My Mother-in-Law, My Heroine

My Mother-in-Law, My Heroine

I am blessed with an incredible mother-in-law with a very unusual life story. Annette was born into a Catholic family in Germany in 1946, just a few months after the end of WWII. Annette married my American-Jewish father-in-law, and they raised their 3 children (my husband is the oldest) as Jews in Kingston, Ontario.
Annette, as I mentioned, is not Jewish. She also has decidedly liberal political views and prides herself on being a humanist and a pacifist.
But when she attended a left-wing, antisemitic performance about the current war between Israel and Hamas at a local church, she loudly protested and slammed the door behind her as she exited in the middle of the show. I’m including the outraged letter she sent to the church’s minister below.
I find Annette’s courage and clarity awe-inspiring. It’s easy for me to support Israel and condemn Hamas when everyone around me and everyone I communicate with agrees with me! But for my mother-in-law, who is not Jewish, to stand up for truth and decency in a crowd of people who hate Israel is TRULY heroic.
It reminds me of the Roman saying, that courage is just one of many virtues a person can have, but without courage a person has none. As well as another famous saying: β€œThe only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good people do nothing”
Thank you Annette for DOING something! And thank you for being the best mother-in-law a person could hope for!
Dear Reverend,
My name is Annette Weisberg. I have been a resident of Canada for 54 years, after immigrating from Germany. I am not affiliated with any religion personally, but have always been impressed by the United Church and its policy of acceptance, tolerance and emphasis on Peace. Over the years, I have happily attended many concerts, performances etc. at your church.

However, I was bitterly disappointed and very much offended by last Friday’s totally biased and antisemitic performance by the Bread and Puppets Theater Group from Vermont.

I am deeply distraught by the latest crisis in the Middle East that has been causing so much suffering, death and destruction. I feel for the innocent Israeli victims of Oct.7 killed, mutilated, raped and kidnapped and also for all the innocent civilian victims in Gaza.

However, the totally one-sided Bread and Puppets performance with the repeated accusation of “Israeli Genocide” without ever once criticizing the ruthless attack by the terrorist organization Hamas has deeply upset me. Hamas’ only goal is the total destruction of Israel. They don’t seem to care for their own suffering people, having built their military posts under hospitals, schools and daycare centers. They spend most of the aid money from Germany, for example, intended for education to build tunnels and buy weapons to murder Israelis.
Israel, after the massacre of October 7th, is determined to destroy this terrorist organization; Urban warfare is terrible and all too many innocent victims are being killed in the process to find and eliminate the terrorists, who are really only interested in their own destructive agenda, not in the wellbeing of their own people.
Yes, Israeli bombs are killing innocent people and that is terrible. Yet, how else could the Israeli army find the Hamas terrorists who are purposely hiding behind their own citizens? Israel is certainly not attempting genocide, and would very much prefer just to get to Hamas and not the civilian population.
Hamas has not allowed the Israeli government to supply the hospitals with diesel gas for incubators for premature babies, for example, even though the hospital itself would have accepted it.

I am not a right wing supporter of Netanyahu by any means. But Hamas’ refusal to return the 240 kidnapped victims- many of them children and elderly people, in exchange for a cease fire is yet another proof of Hamas’ true agenda.

Shows like the one at your church last Friday only pour oil on the fire of antisemitism. Unfortunately, in this age of Social Media and polarization, it seems that more and more the Left is joining forces with the NeoNazis to blame Israel for a War they did not start. Ironically, I, who have always leaned to the left stand by Israel now without abandoning my wish for eventually peaceful co-existence of Israelis and Palestinians.

I left in the middle of the show, when the actors ran around in masks looking exactly like the caricatures of Jews circulated in Nazi Germany.

I do wonder if your congregation and administration actually knew what kind of propaganda performance would appear on their stage, thereby desecrating the Sydenham United Church.

Annette Weisberg

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  1. Did the church respond to her?

  2. Susan Lapin

    May I please re-post your mother-in-law’s letter and your comments? Thank you.

  3. Your mother in law is truly an incredible person.

  4. Kudos to your brave mother in law!!!! Update us if the church replies.

  5. Shcoiech to your mother in law who as you know has become my own hero the day I met her! Did she get a response?

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