Sunday, 21 August 2016

Toward the Next Jewish Rebellion: Facing Anti-Semitism and Assimilation in the Movement

My knot turns into a hot anger. Why doesn’t anyone say anything about this? And then it occurs to me that, I, too, have said nothing.

I said nothing when my friends blamed the Israel Lobby for US support of the war on Gaza and shared articles about how the US was tricked by Jews into supporting Israel in the first place, as if a lobby is actually what’s responsible for US elites deciding that it is in their interests to support a colonial Israel, as if even an organ as powerful as AIPAC can be held responsible for centuries of US imperialist foreign policy, as if it is always the all-powerful Jews behind the scenes pulling the strings.

I said nothing as friends of mine rejoiced at the deaths of Israeli soldiers with a glee I’d never seen toward any other soldiers, as if to root for the underdog also meant relishing the death of the opponent, as if the dead soldiers were not 18 year old kids raised on war and drafted by law into it by their leaders but somehow patently evil in their blood and their bones, as if slogans we used during the Iraq war like “Bring the troops home,” were too generous for them...

... I said nothing about the massacres of civilians in Syria that took place at the same time, just as most of my friends said nothing about it, as if the only reason to do so would be to distract from the war on Gaza, as if the Syrians must be forgotten so that the Jews can be held accountable.

I said nothing about the deafening silence of my friends about the children murdered at the Jewish day school in France, the shootings at Jewish community centers in Kansas City and Seattle, the Bat Mitzvah shot up in Denmark, the Jewish stores destroyed in Brussels, the synagogues firebombed in Germany, the Jewish graves defaced in Toronto — as if the only purpose of grieving Jewish death would be to justify Israeli militarism or American Islamophobia, as if mentioning these tragedies was to equate them with the oppression of other peoples, as if Jews today are too powerful to have compassion for.

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