Ari (Ballaban) Jun — In Conversation
March with Compassion
Our mettle is tested as we resist the urge to pick a side amongst innocent civilians, as though this is a sporting match rather than a humanitarian disaster. This Tuesday, too, we will need to remind ourselves of our core values as we “March for Israel” in Washington, DC. I confess, I have anxiety: I want to see our community stand strong for Israel and Israelis without losing compassion for innocent Palestinians. I wonder: What will “marching for Israel” mean to each of us, personally?
To me, it must mean marching for peace—to stand against all who engage in hate. Personally, I hope Tuesday’s march will mark a time of centralizing our resolve and empathy.
That especially matters because when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, they didn’t do so thinking they would deal a true military victory against Israel. Instead, they did it because of the consequences they knew it would provoke; and, dare I say it, they knew this would lead to Jews across the world becoming alienated from their peers. If our empathy extends only to Israelis and Jews, that is what happens, and we play into Hamas’ hand.
Please, I beg you, do not give Hamas this win. Come, march with us in DC—it’s important that we have a large, powerful turnout. And when you do, march for peace; march for justice for the Israeli people; and march with compassion.