Scaramucci: John McCain, an inspiration for a day of unity

The political and social discourse in America has grown so poisonous and partisan that I worry for our children’s future. We have forgotten the many values we share and what it means to disagree with civility. As a society, we must find a way to break the fever. John McCain knew how to reach across the aisle and work with people with whom he did not always agree.

His passing comes just weeks before the annual Day of Jewish Unity, which is celebrated each year in memory of a rabbi known as the Chofetz Chaim. This rabbi’s chief contribution to Jewish thought was teachings about the evils of gossip and disunity among people. Acheinu, the outreach arm of the Jewish education organization Dirshu, created this day originally to unify the Jewish people but is also asking people of all faiths worldwide to unite in prayer for global peace and stability.

{mosads}I am a practicing Roman Catholic, but grew up in a neighborhood where there were many Jewish people. As a result, from a young age I’ve always felt a strong connection to Jewish culture. Jewish teachings underlie so much of what makes America great. Perhaps most admirably, Jews maintain an undying commitment to tolerance and unity despite centuries of appalling persecution. At a time of great division in our country and world, we must learn from their example to heal and grow. 

Although I grew up with many friends of the Jewish faith, I first learned about the Holocaust in elementary school when a classmate’s relative joined our class to discuss his experiences. I was horrified. It opened my eyes to what true evil looks like, and what can happen in the world when good people fail to act.

As the global superpower, it is America’s moral responsibility to promote peace, tolerance and prosperity around the world. We have no greater partner in that struggle than Israel, whose values closely align with our own.

I first visited the Holy Land as part of a trip to Egypt in 1985 and have been fortunate enough to return on several occasions. In addition to it being a deeply spiritual experience, seeing the security situation first-hand always causes my admiration for the Jewish people to grow even stronger. Israel shows incredible restraint and patience in dealing with grave threats on a daily basis. Despite what you too often hear from the anti-Semitic propaganda machine, Israel wants peace.

Jews, Christians and Muslims, just like Democrats and Republicans, have far more in common than we do differences. Each religion and each party seeks a world with greater peace, joy and prosperity. We are all to blame for the current divisions because too often we let a few bad apples turn us against each other. I know how hard it can be to restrain yourself when you feel attacked, but we must find it in ourselves to confront evil while remaining open to other reasonable points of view.

Maybe the loss in our country of a true American patriot like John McCain should give us the impetus we need to change and try to find what unites us.

Part of supporting and championing Israel is supporting and championing its people, who are primarily Jews. Jews have contributed so much to our world, but their success is still too often met with hatred. With such a difficult past and a disconcerting present, I completely understand why a Jewish organization feels we need a day to pray in unity for peace.

We as Americans can and must learn from our Jewish neighbors by not letting our differences define us. Please join me on September 7 in saying a prayer for unity in America, stability in Israel and peace for people around the world.

Anthony Scaramucci is an American entrepreneur, founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital. He served briefly as White House Communications Director. Follow him on Twitter @Scaramucci

Tags Anthony Scaramucci civility Day of Jewish Unity John McCain

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