When ‘Coexist’ Means ‘Everyone Except You’

Coexist, Russell Simmons (Associated Press)
Associated Press

A friend of mine–a fellow conservative and pro-Israel Jew–jokes: “When you see those ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers, what they really mean is: ‘Everyone except you.'”

The circle of caring and empathy often extended by liberal Americans to all and sundry is not as universal as it seems. It tends to exclude those who take pride in fighting for their country and their values–as well as those who are under attack and have no choice but to fight. And it often excludes pro-Israel Jews, and Israelis.

Take, for example, Roslyn Joffe, the mother of one of the victims of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 1969–a bombing in a supermarket for which Palestinian Rasmieh Odeh was later convicted and sentenced to life. Odeh was later released in a prisoner exchange, then came to the United States after lying to officials about her past. Recently, she was tried, convicted and sentenced for those lies–but she is a heroine to Palestinian- and Arab-American groups (and not just radical ones).

In a video from 2009 published last week by William Jacboson at Legal Insurrection, we see Joffe’s lifelong anguish at her son’s death. At 89 years old, she left a final message to her family before she passed away.

In it, Joffe noted that she had never recovered from the loss of her son, 40 years before: “What’s overshadowed all my pleasure has been the loss of Edward. I could never get over that and it overshadowed all my joy.”

That is what Odeh’s supporters refuse to see.

That is what otherwise well-meaning sympathizers with the Palestinian struggle fail to see on the other side of the security barrier they are protesting. That is what celebrities like John Legend, who criticizes Israel in harsh terms while exhorting students “to love humankind,” refuse to see.

When they sport that “Coexist” bumper sticker, they fail to realize that peace is often hard-won through war, and that only because some are willing to fight evil can any of us imagine living in harmony.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak


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