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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Michael Barclay

A Serious Invitation to Candace Owens and Tucker Carlson

I am rarely shocked anymore, but I am beyond shocked at what I saw and heard in an exchange between Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens. I'm shocked, extremely disappointed, and honestly… pretty disgusted.

For those who didn’t see Mr. Carlson’s show on Twitter/X, he spoke extensively with The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens. At about 12 minutes in, they started to talk about Israel, Hamas, and the horrific attack of October 7—except that for both of them, it didn’t seem to be so horrific.

Candace speaks of it as an “academic discussion.” Ms. Owens: This is not an academic discussion--it is life and death and a war against evil. While Owens believes she has a “moderate stance” (11:20) because she doesn’t want to see any children die, her comments throughout the interview demonstrate an entire lack of understanding on any level of what is going on in Israel and the true manifestation of evil that the Israelis are fighting—not just for Israel and her survival, but for the United States and the survival of Western culture.

Her ignorance is astonishing. She appears unaware of the actual history of the region, and given her lack of willingness to condemn Hamas, it is safe to say that she has never actually reviewed the Covenant of 1988, the charter of Hamas. If she had actually read it, I can only assume she would feel similarly to me and any reasonable human being who believes in freedom as opposed to slavery, religious choice as opposed to forced conversion or death, and that a woman like herself should not have to be a de facto slave to men.

She seems to be ignorant of the Holocaust of the 20th century or any of the over 2,500 years of persecution of the Jewish people that led up to that event. From Haman in the 5th century B.C.E. through the Inquisition, from the Passion plays of the Middle Ages to the pogroms of Eastern Europe, the Jewish people have faced attempted genocide over and over. For a woman who claims to be educated, she seems as ignorant of geo-political and religious history as a pre-schooler.

Then there's Tucker, who said things that actually made my jaw drop in astonishment. He said that while he was “horrified about what happened on October 7” (13 minutes into the video), he doesn’t “really understand how it happened.” I’ve always thought of him as a brilliant man. But doesn’t he understand how Hamas, a group that in its own charter ties itself to the Muslim Brotherhood, advocates Sharia law and proudly calls for the “obliteration” of every Jew in the world, could do such evil? He draws a moral equivalency between what was done on October 7 and drug addicts dying of fentanyl and calls the words of ignorant college students “genocidal.” Tucker, “genocide” is what happened in the Holocaust. Genocide is what Hamas has written as its goal. Speech is not genocide. Gas chambers are.

Candace claims that people tend only to get emotional about their own issues and says we shouldn’t get so emotional about this one.

Ms. Owens, I am a rabbi. You may know about me as being the rabbi of the only synagogue in California that never closed its doors during the pandemic; I fought for the rights of people to choose whether or not to vaccinate; I’m also a columnist here at PJ Media. But I am a human being who has an emotional response to seeing any injustices done, in the same way that I would hope everyone would.

Candace repeatedly asks those of us fighting antisemitism, “Where were you" when the fight against far-left goals was happening over the last years.

Where were we, Ms. Owens? I wrote and spoke out against BLM from its very inception, even calling for a boycott of Major League Baseball when the organization decided to support BLM. I pointed out the frightening similarities between the George Floyd riots and the Horst Wessel riots that precipitated the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

I wrote about how BLM was repeatedly emulating the path of the Nazis, down to their very flag.

I published the BLM charter in articles and confronted Jewish colleagues who were choosing to ignore the anti-Israel/antisemitic/BDS language found therein.

Some colleagues who were responsible for millions of dollars of donations finally understood BLM’s true Marxist agenda when they saw their support for Hamas after October 7.

I have repeatedly stood and publicly defended Justice Clarence Thomas against the hateful attacks on him, his family, and his friends by the leftists.

I’m not black, so are you saying I should be silent about the injustice and hate of BLM?

I’m not Christian, but when Pastor Rob McCoy was being attacked for keeping his church open, I was standing next to him and asked other people of faith to support him.

I don’t celebrate the holiday, but have fought to keep Christmas celebrated in the public forum.

I’m not Catholic, but I actively supported Father Morey in his choice to not let Joe Biden take Mass. I wrote and supported Archbishop Cordileone when he made the same choice regarding Nancy Pelosi. I have stood side by side with Bishop Strickland in prayer and support him as he goes through his journey. Again, I’m not Catholic, but I was livid at the degradation of the church at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers when they chose to honor the drag-queen, anti-Catholic “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” I wrote about it here on PJ Media, which was then picked up by Gen. Michael Flynn and Catholics for Catholics and led to a rally at Dodger Stadium. I’m a rabbi, but I was at that rally speaking for my Catholic brothers and sisters because what the Dodgers did was wrong.

I’ve exposed the trans agendas of companies like Carnival Cruises (which led to a change in personnel and practices) and Virgin Air, even though I am not a frequent traveler on either. And although I am Jewish, I have publicly condemned leaders who claim to share my own religion, like Bernie Sanders, Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Randi Weingarten, and Jonathan Greenblatt for their actions that are antithetical to Judaism

I wasn’t alone in those fights. PJ Media has stood up against injustices repeatedly alongside me (another reason to become a VIP member), as has American Thinker and other outlets. Michael Savage, Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and others have spent years, and in some cases decades fighting against injustice and evil that doesn’t affect their “tribe” but is nevertheless perverted or wrong. Where were we, Ms. Owens? The question is, where were you?

Historically, I’m not alone in speaking up against injustice toward others of different faiths, backgrounds, or races. Not because it is “our tribe,” as you put it, but because it is the right thing to do. Some of the original founders of the NAACP, such as Henry Moskowitz, Julia Rosenwald, and Jacob Schiff were Jewish; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed in the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism by a coalition group that went on to produce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched in Selma with Dr. King and described it as “praying with his feet.”

Early abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Garrison devoted their lives to fighting the evil of slavery, not because it was their “tribe,” but because it was the right thing to do. Fighting for what is right and good and against clear evil is not “tribal”; it is being human.

And make no mistake, Tucker and Candace, whether you are conscious of it or not, Hamas is the manifestation of evil in the 21st century. What they have done and are committed to continuing rivals even the evil of Hitler and Goebbels. From a religious perspective, two things must be done: Hamas must be destroyed, not defeated, and we must allow ourselves to cry and never take joy in the task. We are taught that when the angels rejoiced at the death of Pharaoh's soldiers during the Exodus, God stopped them as the work of His hands was being destroyed, telling them it was a time for tears, not rejoicing.

On October 7, Hamas stepped beyond any possibility of redemption and entered the rare realm of true evil. They must be destroyed, and as God instructed thousands of years ago, we need to weep for what we must do—not for the benefit of their souls, which they surrendered with their actions, but for the benefit of our own souls and humanity.

As Golda Meir famously said, “We may forgive them someday for killing our children, but we will never be able to forgive them for making us kill their children.”

I really want to believe the best of both Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens. I want to believe that Tucker Carlson was merely trying to show Ms. Owens’ ignorance in the same way that she was ignorant that the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem is not like the slave quarters of the South, but just a term for where some Muslims choose to live, just like the Jewish, Christian, and Armenian Quarters of the Old City. I truly want to believe that both these two conservative leaders may simply be trying to get high ratings by acting foolish and outlandish.

But none of my beliefs or hopes matter. The simple truth is that whether it is because of ignorance or denial, both of these two conservative leaders are supporting Hamas and evil. It is a truth that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

Both Tucker and Candace have a moral obligation to do something, so I have a public invitation for both Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens to help them get educated so they can understand what is really going on. There is a 47-minute film that has been made by the IDF using the Go-Pro footage of the Hamas terrorists themselves. I would like to arrange a private screening for the two of you and any like-minded friends or family you may wish to invite. After you see it, we can have an honest discussion. No longer will this be an “academic debate,” but let’s see if you still feel that the reactions to the evil of Hamas are just “tribal emotions.”

Do you have the courage to take me up on this offer, see this footage, and have an honest, open, and private dialogue afterward? Not as a publicity stunt and not as a television ratings ploy, but as an opportunity for your own soul’s understanding.

There is a statement that is attributed to Pastor Niemoller during the Holocaust: “First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

I’ve spoken up for black people, Christians, Catholics, conservatives, and anyone who is being mistreated because it affects my emotions, mind, and spirit—not because I am “tribal.” Ms. Owens and Mr. Carlson, do you have the passion and desire for truth to take up my invitation and really see what is causing the reactions of so many people like Ben Shapiro and myself?

Or are you like those on the left who are only interested in examining things that fit into your own personal narrative? I choose to believe in the goodness of your spirits and your pursuit of truth and pray that you have the courage to be open to shifting your worldviews.

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