“Summertime and the Living is Easy” – not really. For many of us, this summer has been and continues to be very upsetting. We, of course, are thinking about the war in Gaza, the countless of missiles being launched at civilian populations in Israel, the loss of life, IDF soldiers killed and wounded, the many terror tunnels that would potentially cause more horror. We are also troubled about the numerous blatant, hateful, and yes, shocking anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe and also in major metropolitan areas in North America.
I’m not quite sure why this latest crisis has been so personal; it could be a sense of responsibility as Alpha Omega’s International President to write and convey a meaningful, supportive message to our members. It could also be that I’m concerned that if a relative calm does not arrive in the very near future, fewer fraters will register for our International Convention in Tel Aviv. But truthfully, as a father of children that would probably be serving in the IDF right now, if we would be living in Israel, my unease and distress is related to the anxiety of the families that have loved ones in or near the combat area.
As of now there have been over 55 soldiers killed, and many more wounded, and who knows what bad news tonight and tomorrow will bring. How many more funerals? Many of us know of a family in Israel with children in the IDF, and many of us know of lone soldiers, born and raised in the Diaspora, that have voluntarily enlisted with the IDF because they feel a very real and compelling connection to the land of Israel.
Alpha Omega is not a political organization, nor is it a religious movement. We may be Democrats or Republicans, Liberal or Conservative, secular, atheist, or observant. We share common values: tolerance to other customs and religions, helping those in need, and a respect for freely elected democratic institutions. Although we may quarrel among ourselves, disagreeing on political and religious issues, we are an extended family, and do whatever it takes to help each other.
We have an indisputable and historic relationship with Eretz Israel and its people. We helped create both Israeli Dental Schools, and we are committed to their ongoing success. Through our Foundations and Trusts we contribute to Israeli organizations and social service agencies. We are genuinely proud of the many medical, dental, and technological discoveries, accomplishments and achievements made by Israelis. So let’s be clear: The Government of the State of Israel not only has the right but also the obligation to protect its citizens from the combined threats of terrorist missiles and attack tunnels.
Alpha Omegans throughout the world support the Jewish State. Our members in Europe and throughout North America will continue to come together and encourage our friends to rally for the brave soldiers of the IDF who continue to battle the terrorists, and who have given their lives for a peaceful future. We need to let our message be heard, and we cannot allow our enemies to continue to lie and fabricate stories in order to find sympathetic ear. Let our politicians know that you support Israel whole heartedly. Share the truth with your friends on social media.
Let us hope that this war will soon be over.
International President 2014