Golda Meir once said Jews don’t have the luxury of being pessimists. You’re talking to somebody who is a child survivor of the Holocaust. A million and a half Jewish children perished. I don’t have that luxury to be pessimistic about democracy, or Jewish life. So yeah, I am an optimist.
We’ll overcome this, but we’ll have to work on it. We can’t take things for granted. We can’t say, It won’t happen here, or, It’s not that serious. We need to take hatreds more seriously. We need to take our democratic institutions and values more seriously. We’re going to need to be vigilant.
But I think the better parts of us — as Jews, as Americans, as Israelis, and citizens — will come forth. We’ve faced very serious challenges, and we’ve come out ahead.