I will never forget the faces of the anti-divestment zionists at the student government meeting in March, unable to care when Palestinian students spoke about their dead relatives, when Nigerian students spoke in solidarity with Eritrean South Sudanese asylum seekers and Ethiopian Jews in Israel. To them, the pain of their past was all that mattered. Their “birthright” (which, for most of them, should be somewhere in Europe and not in the Middle East) was something they were entitled to, while the Palestinian right of return to land that had always been theirs was nothing, was something that the powers that be could grant if they were feeling generous. I wanted to shake them and tell them to look at our side of the room, to see who was standing with us. If they had, they would have seen White students, Arab students, Black students, Latinx students, South Asian students, queer students, Jewish students, Christian students, Muslim students, and on and on and on. They would have seen people who are able to conceive of multiple and simultaneous oppressions, of the fact that an oppressor can also be oppressed. They might have even looked back at their side of the room, and seen the hate in their own eyes, seen their inability to listen to what we were saying.
When my zionist Facebook friends (I should block or unfriend them but oh well) post statuses addressed to their “social justice friends” alerting us that anti-semitism still exists, posting articles about European Jews fleeing violence and persecution once again, I can’t believe how obtuse they’re being. When Holocaust survivors are speaking out against Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, you have NO RIGHT to appropriate their experiences to justify the oppression of another people. When people who have lived through anti-semitism at its worst say that what you are advocating is wrong, you have no right to contradict them. When black South Africans compare compare Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Israel to apartheid, you DO NOT tell them that they are wrong, that they do not understand subtlety, that you, a white American Jew in the United States, understand better than they do. And when you use African American civil rights activists’ words and struggle out of context to justify an occupation orchestrated by an anti-black regime that is in violation of international law, you better sit down and shut up because I have nothing left to say to you.
I was really not planning on discussing Israel-Palestine on this tumblr. I’ve written a lot of drafts and was prepared to create a separate tumblr from this to address the issue, because FB is bad enough. This is an issue I’m incredibly willing to speak about in person, but having fights on the internet in response to people I generally like is not something I want.
But this is not okay. This post is not okay. You go on about respecting other people’s experiences - how dare you deny me mine. How fucking dare you. How dare you fucking group every person who hopes that one day Jews can have a peaceful country to return to as all of these things. That is not okay.
You speak about anti-Semitism so casually. Like it’s no big deal. Like the fact that on the American continents there is more violent discrimination against Jews than any other group isn’t a big deal. That hearing language that you know was used to incite people to kill your own goddamn family, generation after generation after generation, used in the same places where you lost family members, generation after generation after generation - like that isn’t a big deal. Discourse matters. Intention matters.
Germans in Berlin calling us pigs. French people attacking us. Discourse that implies that we control the world, control America, manipulate it. Did you know that every time there’s an economic depression anti-Semitism rises? Accusing us of using blood in religious rituals, of killing children. You all speak of history and narratives as though we’ve been learning from it, but the world today is saying the same things against the Jews it has always said. All over the world. Everywhere in the world. As justification to silence them, to destroy them, to ignore their grievances. That is our case. Because - and for some reason I will never understand this is still a news flash - Christians, Muslims, etc - wait for it. There are countries where all those religious people are the majority. Where they can live in peace. Does it ever justify genocidal acts against them? One hundred percent not. But don’t act like there’s an equivalence here. There isn’t.
How the hell can you dare claim that we don’t care? How the hell can you be so blind? I know people in the Israeli reserves that will be the first to say the situation in Gaza is hell, it’s awful to live like that, they need aid and evacuation. How can you claim that every individual who thinks Israel has any right to exist doesn’t care about humanitarian rights? Do you speak for me?
My family’s entire narrative is one of death and destruction. Of labor camps and ghettos and fleeing oppressive regime after oppressive regime and of denying everything one is and of sacrificing oneself for ones children. And its one of hope and rebuilding and moving to the next country, the hopefully better country, and working and working and working and hoping and fleeing.
The way to promote your narrative is not to dismiss mine. The way to promote peace is not to condemn voices in their entirety for advocating other opinions. I keep wanting to unfollow and unfriend people, because it’s starting to wear on my soul. But I don’t because condemning an entire person based on one belief, an entire group, no matter how wrong I think they are -
it’s not okay
generally speaking I don’t have a problem with people who are both pro gun rights and people who are personally pro life (even if I am opposed to the later as a policy.) I understand the importance conceptually of the second amendment and respect it, especially as 90% of gun owners have reasonable views on gun laws (such as not allowing felons and the mentally ill to bear weapons) and even though I advocate pro-choice as a policy and truly believe it’s a women’s issue, I fully distinguish between that and being pro-abortion (as I think most women do), I very much understand how someone could find abortion personally reprehensible.
BUT THIS FUCKING TUMBLR POSTER.
I was scanning through the Obvious Child tag (great movie highly recommend) and this person had the audacity to compare abortions to mass genocide and condemn women who had had it, and to say the right to control ones own body wasn’t nearly as important as protecting life. So I clicked the tumblr to see what other things accompanied this post. THREE SCROLLS DOWN I see a post on how people have had to give up too many of their gun rights, compromise too many times, that they should get alll their gun rights back.
you seriously think that the right to own deadly weapons is more important than preventing the FAIR HIGHER NUMBER OF GUN-RELATED DEATHS EACH YEAR, WHILE THE RIGHT FOR A WOMAN TO HAVE SOME MODICUM OF A SAY OF WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY IS LESS IMPORTANT?
TELL ME AGAIN ABOUT HOW ABORTION ISNT A WOMEN’S RIGHTS ISSUE. PLEASE, TELL ME AGAIN.