The Battle for Critical Thinking and Constructive Dialogue
Middle East expert Avi Melamed outlines the challenges facing Jewish communities in the Diaspora as a result of the breakdown of education on Israel and Jewish rights. Outlining how the corruptive elements of the antisemitic anti-Israel rhetoric have contaminated both social and political dialogue, Avi emphasizes the need for common individuals to learn how to provide intelligent profound arguments to rebuild the ability to engage in critical thinking that no longer erases the facts surround Israel’s existence and her right to defend herself and all Jews around the world against the hate and terror that are rising all around us.
Avi Melamed offers information and approaches to reprogram our schools, our children and ourselves to envision change in education and engagement within our communities.
QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION:
- How has education been “slaughtered”? What trends have created this problem?
- Do you agree that what we see now happening around us demonstrates the dangerous outcome of “nuanced” education that advances the anti-Israel rhetoric?
- Do you believe there is a defensiveness of Diaspora Jewry in accepting the mistakes made in education and community engagement?
- What can we learn from the hijacking of critical thinking by personal political bias that denies the rights of Israel and Jews in favor of the narrative of others?
- Jews who are anti-Israel claim that they refuse to accept the “Jewish version” of Israel’s history. Now we are faced with the challenge of refuting that bias and encouraging them to not accept anti-Israel claims and manipulations out of a distorted desire for social justice. Why do you think Jews of today have been "pushed into a corner”? How can we shift the paradigm?
- “American Jews are paralyzed…if they say anything, they will be crucified for suffocating freedom of speech” - how would you respond?
- What portion of our fears are real, and what is “paranoia”?
- How can we manage our fears effectively without creating a detachment from the cause of those fears? How can we identify the causes and transform them into action?
- How could we approach social media as a tool for improved education and understanding surrounding Israel and Jewish rights?
- DISCUSS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY - “In order to do Tikkun Olam, you have to understand the olam first.”