Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opinion: Facebook and the War from B'nai Brith Canada

As a recent convert to the world of Facebook, I am overwhelmed by its content and the extent to which individuals reveal their innermost emotions via the social media.

With the Jewish State, finally responding to the numerous missile attacks on its civilian population and, in return, much of Israel coming under a new barrage of the Iranian weaponry, Facebook seems to be an ideal petri dish for ideas, thoughts and feelings on the serious issues of the day.

The emotions displayed by many of my Evangelical Christian friends, who have been posting photographs of religious Jewish soldiers praying at historic holy sites, fill numerous Facebook pages with deeply moving content.One can hear the anguish in their messaging and, at the same time, feel their total resolve and conviction that the Almighty will not abandon the Jewish people and that will once again be victorious.

Equally touching were the many messages from my Israeli friends and several within the Orthodox community here in posted. They, like the Christian Evangelicals, have complete faith and hope and trust in the Almighty that he will once again protect his people. Their comments, insights, rabbinical sayings and the images they post all give tremendous chizuk- strength.

My secular Zionist friends have been equally adamant in their support for Israel and angered at the outrage of those in the media who portray a false image of what has transpired, in the context of Israel’s need to respond to the ongoing hostility directed against it by Gaza’s terrorist masters.

Yet there is another element of life with Facebook that has simply surprised me.For many of my Facebook friends, life goes on as if nothing is happening to the Jewish people.Instead we see pictures of cute dogs and cats chasing balls and comments from people describing their fine dining experiences or simply what they ate for supper. Their Facebook photos show fresh smiling faces, which appear totally oblivious to the fact that there is a war in the world in which, once again, six million Jews are coming under fire. It seems to have slipped under their radar screen.

I recall the outpouring of community concern in 1967, and again in 1973, and although there was no Facebook at the time, I am confident that no self-respecting, caring Jew would be writing and posting about the cute new trick that their dog learned this past weekend while the fate of is being determined.In this respect I think Facebook clearly demonstrates a growing disconnect between great numbers of the Jewish community and the general community as to the welfare and future of the Jewish State.

Perhaps for the general community, it is just another skirmish somewhere in the world and they are certain will once again be victorious because, after all, it is portrayed as a giant in the .However, in terms of the Jewish groupings on Facebook, I am concerned that it seems to be business as usual, with all the day-to-day pettiness being posted for friends to examine and comment on.Indeed, there are dozens of comments on new recipes or on the ubiquitous photos of animals, while our brothers and sisters in run for bomb shelters in fear of their lives.
I am blessed that the overwhelming numbers of my friends on Facebook share the convictions that I have and the desire to bring the truth about the dangers faces to the world. As for the rest, perhaps Facebook reflects a disconnect with reality that should give us pause.

I am delighted that the ability to spread the word has become easier, but I despair when I think of all those individuals whose days and lives are not touched by events now unfolding throughout the .I pray that these individuals find it within their hearts to use whatever means is at their disposal – including Facebook – to speak up in defense of the Jewish people.

Our strength lies in unity. Now is the time to let your voice be heard. -- Frank Dimant, CEO, B'nai Brith Canada

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