How do we convert to being respectful? We have become accustomed to the fact that in the election “marathon” for the past two years, everything and anything can be said. From one election to another (and to the third, fourth and perhaps the fifth), the political discourse has become disrespectful, careless, offensive and inattentive. It often seems that there is no common denominator between individuals, and that Israeli society is divided into too many factions and sub-factions lacking all respect and unity. Can we disagree without being disagreeable? Are we capable of civil political discourse? A recent prominent example of this type of discourse is the unfortunate statement made by MK Yitzhak Pindrus (United Torah Judaism). Pindrus stated that an individual converted in an IDF conversion system is considered a “shiksa.” The esteemed MK apparently forgot the many thousands of immigrants who have come a long arduous way to join the Jewish people. In a blink of an eye, he crossed-out the important halachic ruling by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who studied the matter in depth and declared, “According to the Halacha, all conversions by the Israeli army are valid according to the Torah.” The conversion issue has been completely abandoned by the main currents in Israeli society, and it is now almost entirely under the control of the ultra-Orthodox establishment. At the “entrance gate” to the Jewish people stand those who prefer to live in social ghettos and avoid seeing the vital national value of conversion. The result is a system of radical Halacha that ignores the importance of the hour, the suffering of the Jewish people in the past century and disregards the sense of Jewish identity that beats in the hearts of converts.However, there is a little light in this dark tunnel and this is the conversion system in the Israeli military. The IDF has established an Orthodox conversion system that operates in dedication according to Halacha. This system was established to reach agreements, without compromise and in a respectful manner. In the military track, hundreds of young men and women convert to Judaism and consider Judaism as their home, as Ruth the Moabite stated, “Your people are my people and your God is my God.” For the past 20 years, my family and I, like many others in my community, have accompanied and have become the home for gerot and gerim during their complex IDF conversion process. I am always excited to listen to their life stories and hear why and how they have chosen to convert in the army conversion. Accompanying these men and women during their IDF conversion process has not only been an honor for us but helped us grow and learn about ourselves in every way possible.Pindros’s blatant statement and extreme political discourse demand reflection. I realize that in real life the situation is different. On the political field and in the media, people often adopt extreme discourse, but I would like to think that in one’s everyday life, in the family, we are different. The waves of hatred and disrespect in the media are mind-boggling, but those in the silent majority, old and young alike, do not act in that manner. Most of us sit together, discuss, talk, exchange ideas, listen to each other, and at the end remain friends and respectful.Just recently I realized this, following the death of my beloved sister-in-law, who was like my sister. The late Alexandra Lavie was a true role model who passed away after an 11-year heroic battle with cancer. During the shiva we were all together: a family of ultra-Orthodox, religious Zionists and non-religious. We all grieved and mourned together. We all adhered to strict rules regarding food, but not always shared the same practices.At times, the ultra-Orthodox family members did not see customs in line with what they were accustomed, however we are all respectful, accepting and kind to one another. For example, during the reading of Megillat Esther there was no mechitzah (partition), and this was also the case when a prominent rebbe came to comfort us and women and men sat together. Another example is when a famous IDF general came and talked to a young ultra-Orthodox man sitting next to him. In all these cases, everyone respected one another. I thought to myself, how happy Alexandra would have been now, to see this unity and respect. Discourse surrounding politics has grown increasingly uncivil, I hope that the upcoming elections will result in a reduced radical, violent discourse. We must always strive for respect, acceptance and unity, not only during moments of grief, but in our day-to-day life. Let us all convert to a respectful, polite and courteous discourse.The writer is a former MK and chair of the Herzl Center, World Zionist Organization.