Silence speaks volumes

As an anti-Zionist secular Jew living in Southwest Colorado, largely without a Jewish community that shares my values and beliefs, this has been a devastating time. I do not support the U.S. funding of Israel’s military, and I feel that it is my responsibility to take action against the dehumanization and genocide of the Palestinian people. I wish I could say that I was more shocked that, while such a small number in my community have not joined in to protest and call for a ceasefire, some have taken to social media to share statements berating and blaming all Israelis.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a fascist dictator whose popularity has rapidly declined in recent years. Some have gone so far as to call all Jewish people around the world colonizers, holding them unequivocally responsible for the actions of Israel. Some have callously declared that, if any number of Jewish lives must be lost in order to free Palestine, so be it. As we grieve, many of us are being accused by goyim that we’re not having the “correct” response to these deeply personal events.

Anti-Semitism is deeply embedded within most major U.S. institutions, within radical groups on the left and the right, and within popular social movements. Writing this letter likely isn’t going to make me any friends – but if there is one thing that all Jewish people could all agree on in this tragic moment, it might be that we are used to being scapegoated and hated. Anti-Semitism begets Zionism. Everyone around the world right now is seeing a brutal picture of what happens when you take any group of people and cast them out, denying them sympathy, safety and belonging. Hate begets hate. 

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaking to Congress, recently said: “We are human beings just like anyone else. My Sissi – my grandmother – like all Palestinians, just wants to live her life with the freedom and human dignity we all deserve. The cries of the Palestinian and the Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all.”

– Adar Higgs, Mancos