Twelve-hundred Jews booed you last month.
This happened at the "Live for Sderot" concert at the Wilshire Theatre on Feb 27. All three presidential candidates each appeared on screen to deliver a videotaped statement of support for the Israelis undergoing a brutal campaign of terror in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
Sen. Hillary Clinton appeared first, spoke clearly and decisively and received a smattering of applause. Then you came on. The crowd jeered throughout your brief statement and booed and hissed at the end of it. I didn't have the opposite of an applause meter with me, but I'd say the reaction hit a low point when you said we must all look forward to a day when "Israeli and Palestinian children can live in peace."
Jimmy Delshad, the Persian Jewish mayor of Beverly Hills, bristled. "Palestinian?" he told me. "It's like he has to throw that in our face."
That brief audition was as clear a demonstration as any of something I've noticed happening over the last few months: the giant sucking sound of Jewish support for the leading Democratic candidate.
There a couple of things that could be noted here, particularly that the type of Jew that is engaged enough to attend a "Live for Sderot" concert might differ from the average. That being said, I actually have a friend who is from Sderot (a border town under consistent rocket attack from the Gaza Strip), and I certainly think that Jews (and human beings) of all political stripes have an obligation to stand for its security and the safety of its inhabitants.
But booing peace for Palestinian children? "Bristling" when their lives, too, are brought up? Claiming that it is something that he "threw in your face"? It's sickening. For that is the dream, isn't it? We can disagree over how to get there and what needs to be done, we can be adamant (correctly) that Israel's security must be maintained. But the end of this trip has to be a world where Israeli and Palestinian children live in peace. One in which either has peace, but the other has fear and strife, is no world I wish to live in.
They boo, I say it louder: I look forward to a day when Israeli and Palestinian children can live in peace.
Now, who out there among my Jewish friends wishes to boo me for saying it?