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Anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine advocacy

Anyone who claims to speak for Palestine while condoning acts of bigotry against our Semitic brothers and sisters should not be speaking on our behalf at all, let alone for those suffering in Gaza. 

By Yasmeen Serhan

Amidst heart-wrenching death tolls and news accounts of the recent escalation in Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza, reports of violence in a Parisian protest against the Israeli military operation began to shower my newsfeed. Articles detailed how hundreds of participants in a pro-Palestinian demonstration allegedly took to the streets of Sarcelles – home to one of France’s largest Jewish communities – and wreaked havoc on the surrounding community.

Accounts described how protestors allegedly threw Molotov cocktails near a synagogue and set fire to local businesses and vehicles. Such actions came at the heels of Paris’ recent citywide ban on all pro-Palestine activity, including demonstrations. The protests, according to these accounts, were supposedly in the name of Palestinian “advocacy.”

A protest condemning the Israeli assault on the Gaza strip, held outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Chicago, IL on July 16, 2014.

A protest condemning the Israeli assault on the Gaza strip, held outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Chicago, IL on July 16, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Though it is still unclear as to exactly what transpired in Paris and who was responsible for the acts, what remains clear is that what occurred in there did not mirror the actions of pro-Palestinian activists elsewhere. In countries like Australia, Chile, Spain, and countless others, thousands of people stood up in solidarity with the people of Gaza and against the Israeli military’s escalating operation, which has thus far claimed the lives of more than 655 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and 31 Israelis, 29 of them soldiers. In London, 15,000 demonstrators took to the streets to demand Israel end its attacks on Gaza. In Chicago, 10,000 protestors marched for 10 blocks in protest of the Israeli assault. Yet, unlike Paris, such large protests did not succumb to violence.

The reason is simple: Such acts of violence simply have no place in Palestinian advocacy.

Pro-Palestinian advocates must continue to ardently oppose the siege in Gaza, as well as the brutal military occupation of the Palestinian people. However, we, as supporters of the Palestinian people, too must actively push back against any form of bigotry or violence against Jewish communities. This type of behavior, as exemplified in the events in Paris, is antithetical to what Palestinian advocacy stands for – a movement of freedom, equality and human rights. Such actions only perpetuate the misguided paradigm that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is based on religious bigotry, and only provides fodder to those who use such incidents to depict all Palestinian supporters – many of whom Jews – as anti-Semites. Ultimately, such violent actions are no better than the right-wing extremist “Death to Arabs” protests taking place throughout Israel. It is a mockery of Palestinian advocacy, and something that should never be tolerated.

Five activists were arrested during a direct action at Boeing International Headquarters in Downtown Chicago on July 16, 2014. The activists wore red stained shirts and protested Boeing's involvement in the deaths of Palestinians during the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza. (Tess Shcaflan/Activestills.org)

Five activists were arrested during a direct action at Boeing International Headquarters in Downtown Chicago on July 16, 2014. The activists wore red stained shirts and protested Boeing’s involvement in the deaths of Palestinians during the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza. (Tess Shcaflan/Activestills.org)

Just as some within the Jewish community condemn Israel’s violent operation in Gaza by decrying “Not in my name,” we too must speak out against the unthinkable acts of violence that threaten to take place in ours. Anyone who claims to speak for Palestine while condoning acts of bigotry against our Semitic brothers and sisters should not be speaking on our behalf at all, let alone for those suffering in Gaza. Palestinians know firsthand what it’s like to be oppressed on the basis of identity; the last thing we should allow is for our peers and allies to hypocritically do the same.

In famed Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf’s latest tribute to Gaza, he sang, “Raise your head high, it is your weapon.” In the spirit of Assaf’s words, we too must continue to raise our heads high. It is a far more powerful weapon than any Molotov cocktail will ever be.

Yasmeen Serhan is a Palestinian-American student studying international relations at the University of Southern California. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Related:
An open letter to the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir
WATCH: A voice of peace on the Gaza border
The night it became dangerous to protest in Tel Aviv

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. No

      The racism of the weak and the racism of the powerful are not the same thing.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Dan Judelson

      Demo in London closer to 50,000 and may even have been twice that. Other incidents in Belfast, Belgium and Canada too. But thanks for this piece and hope my comment is more coherent than Baruch’s screed.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Richard

      Without the widespread influence of anti-semitism among pro-Palestinian activists in the West, there would be no pro-Palestine movement in the West. Your denials mean nothing.

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        That’s bullshit though. Many of my friends are very critical of Israeli policies regarding Palestinians, especially now. Some of them are Jews.

        None of them go to Pro-Palestine demonstrations, because they do not want to associated with Anti-Semites and Islamists.

        If there was a genuinely non-racist, non-antisemite critical movement against Israel’s atrocities, some of them would join that movement. Including myself. Sadly, there isn’t. Maybe I should start it…

        Reply to Comment
        • orit-the-petite

          ?? I don’t get it. That is exactly the point he made- there aren’t any.

          Reply to Comment
        • Mikey B

          Yeah start one and I’ll be your first member brah!
          Fo Reals

          -a Muslim brotha

          Reply to Comment
        • Seraphya

          I think that was his point. The pro-Palestinian movement in the West has almost nothing to do with Israel or Palestine. It is made up of many diverse groups that each have their own agendas and use the Palestinian cause to advance those agendas. Those agendas can be Marxist, Islamist, anti-imperialist, anarchist, revolutionary, antisemetic to name just a few. It is very similar to the way certain (some, not all) Christian Zionists and Noe-Conservatives use Israel as part of their agenda.

          The Pro-Palestinian movement that currently exists in the West would fall apart without antisemitism. A different and better and stronger Pro-Palestinian movement would spring up without antisemitism, but the Pro-Palestinian movement we have in the West is not interested in that for the most part, as the Palestinian cause is not about the Palestinians but a canvas to project their view onto in a way that will get them publicity.

          Reply to Comment
          • fuscator

            You have 20/20 vision, Seraphya, but the world is blind. You cannot explain colors to the blind.

            Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        Your comment means nothing.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      Take the anti-Semitism out of the Koran and Hadith for starts.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gearoid

        Are you going to take out all the bigotry from the Torah?

        Such cherry picking proves that you are prejudiced, and nothing more.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          How is the ‘bigotry’ in the Torah now being used by Israel against the world’s 500 million Muslims?

          You won’t answer.

          Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            It’s being used against Palestine’s, Israel’s, Jordan’s and all the other more than 10 million Palestinian Muslims. Regularly.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Cites please.

            Reply to Comment
          • Average American

            The Torah is in fact quite biased in favor of Jews and therefore not in favor of non-Jews. In it is described how Jews are supposed to pay a man for his work. Then as always comes the clarification of that statement, saying a Jew has to pay a Jew promptly, but can pay a non-Jew at his leisure, if ever. Similar to another passage saying a Jew can’t push a non-Jew into a well, but a Jew doesn’t have to pull the non-Jew out of the well either. Clear attitude of superiority and separation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Felix?

            Reply to Comment
        • Not to mention the misogyny, genocide and racism in the bible… all the name of “Yahweh” of course.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            Yes, Jews committing genocide. We have been doing that for the last 2000 years to others who just minded their own business and did nothing to Jews.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Arb

      There is nothing unclear about what happened in Paris.

      And there is nothing unclear in the violence against Jews we’ve seen in recent demonstrations in Toronto and Calgary.

      There is nothing unclear in the anti-Semitism we’ve seen in Germany’s protests.

      http://www.jpost.com/International/Germany-condemns-anti-Semitic-protests-urges-restraint-Israeli-restraint-368631

      It’s all very clear.

      But Yasmeen is absolutely right that there is no place for this in pro=Palestinian movements. It’s just that this is naive and wishful thinking.

      Reply to Comment
      • carl

        Important contribution: the Palestinian cause is a struggle between an oppressor and a oppressed in which antisemitism has no place.
        But unfortunately, as you can read in the comments above, antisemitism can also be used as a formidable political tool.

        Reply to Comment
      • Craig Vale

        There is always the tendency for those who whole heartedly support Israel no matter what the issue, to equate anti semitism with being anti Israeli ( Policy-wise). I’m accused of that often when defending the rights of the Palestinians. The accusation is usually contained in the opening sentence. Rather than debate the merits of whatever the conversation is, it’s far easier for many an Israeli supporter to just lay that charge out there and not answer the question asked or the statement made. It makes them feel good and does not require the respondent to have an intelligent answer.
        Having said that, there is no denying that rabid anti semites are out there and few even visit this forum. They are not too hard to discover.
        In truth the genesis of the entire conflict for the past century is rooted in the anti semitism that Thedore Herzl ( the founding father of modern Zionism) was so fed up with that led him to write his Zionist Manifesto ” Der Judenstat” In light of the recent debacle in France re: the persecution of high ranking Gen. Dreyfus, a Jew. Anti-Semitism was at the very core of his trial on charges of treason. Later exonerated , the damage was done. Herzl’s response was for him and many others to want to realize the dream of a homeland for the Jews. Mind you , hardly every Jew was on board for that journey. The rest is history so to speak but there is no denying that the dream of a Jewish homeland was due to centuries of persecution and many like Herzl had had enough! Unfortunately Herzl dies young (44)? and IMHO his dream was hijacked in the ensuing years by militant nationalists who’s main concern was returning the diaspora to Palestine no matter the method or the means.
        So if you want to argue the merits of the conflict leave your anti Semitic views at home. There is no place for them in this debate or anywhere else for that matter.

        Reply to Comment
        • Matthew

          I applaud you for actually incorporating the history of Zionism into the argument. I avoid pro-Palestinian rallies because they (mis)intentionally equate Zionism with fascism and think Zionism itself must be destroyed. This conflation obviously underscores many activists holding no knowledge of history whatsoever. Zionism, similar to the PLO, *was a historical liberation movement of the Jewish peoples*. Herzl, as you so rightly cited, felt that since the nation-state system excluded Jews from being citizens and thus inexorably denied them the basic civil, economic, and political rights the rest of the citizens were afforded, then Jews had no other option besides the socialist amalgamation of European Jewry into one political entity for the expressed purposes of procuring their own rights as citizens of the world. For centuries, Jews left their own fate in the hands of gentiles, always asserting the Messianic notion of “one day our lives will be better.” Herzl was on the first (besides Mendelssohn) to mobilize a group of people to take their fate in their own hands and take action rather than stewing in inaction and despondency. This led to a socialist movement of Jews attempting to spatially centralize themselves in a territory to assert political autonomy, which after many debates (and an unfortunate ideological turn) the territory became Palestine. The emigration to Palestine initially was not in the consideration of establishing a sovereign state, but existing alongside Arab villages in socialist kibbutzim. It was not until the 1920s, following the Balfour Declaration, when Jewish statehood fell onto the table. This sentiment of total segregation, along with a minority of ultra-nationalist, violent Jewish terrorists, that led to deteriorating relations between first the Jews and British, and then the Jews and Arabs after the partition. Arabs, rightfully, felt weary of the Jewish presence, and also are not innocent of nationalism. Both parties began a vicious struggle to claim territory, leading the Arab/Israeli war of 1948. To make matters worse, the Irgun (the Jewish terrorists I spoke of before), a relative minority hated by much of the Yishuv (the general Jewish pre-Israel population in Mandate Palestine) somehow finagled political hegemony of the situation, forcing relations to become even more sour as they participated in massacres against Arabs (and Englishman). The Jewish refugee problem following the war only exacerbated the already contested territorial struggle. Otherwise Zionism served a purpose, not a colonialist or genocidal purpose as so many protestors proclaim, but a purpose to liberate an oppressed peoples. It was both Arab and Jewish nationalism, Jewish terrorism, and the rapid Jewish militarization which led to the disintegration of Zionism — effectively depleting it of much of its initial morality. This is precisely why many left-wing Israelis call themselves “post-Zionists” rather than “anti-Zionists,” as they have a historical appreciation of the concept but recognize it ultimately degraded when Jews asserted their dominance in the expulsion of much of the indigenous population. It is Jewish nationalism which should be deplored NOT Zionism, which equates sovereignty with the peaceful recognition of Jewish AND Arab rights within the territory (otherwise the ability for all peoples to contribute in the political forum, not just the Jews or not just the Arabs).

          Reply to Comment
    6. Gustav

      While I applaud the sentiments of the author, I abhor the pretence that the authors views are the norm smongst Palestinians.

      I wish it would be but the second Intifada after Ehud Barak’s peace offer persuades me otherwise. And the anti-Semitic Durban conference which followed it just confirms my scepticism.

      Last but not least, I look around in our neighbourhood, and I see how Arabs treat minorities or even each other and I come to the conclusion that we are better off as having a Jewish majority in Israel. We may not be perfect towards our Arab Israeli citizens, nor are they behaving perfectly as citizens but we are infinitely better off as most Arabs and certainly minorities in surrounding Arab countries.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Craig Vale

      “but we are infinitely better off as most Arabs and certainly minorities in surrounding Arab countries.”
      Wow, I can’t believe you had the chutzpa to place your superiority complex front and center and play right into the hands of those who voice what is perhaps the most ubiquitous stereotype amongst the goyim. Did it ever occur to you that those Arabs might have been better neighbors if you hadn’t burned their olive groves, killed their livestock, stolen their lands and killed their children ? Just sayin’.. you liss-nen ?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        WTF are you talking about?

        Are you saying that Christian minorities in Syria, Iraq and Egypt are better off than Arab Israeli citizens?

        Are you even saying ordinary Arabs in Syria, Iraq and Egypt are better off than Israeli Arab citizens?

        What about Jews in Muslim countries? How many Jews are there in Muslim countries?

        Talking about Hutzpah, when are you going to stop with this “when are you going to stop beating your wife” type question?

        Go and read my previous post instead and address IT. Not your talking head propaganda mantra points …

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          The Christian minorities in some Arab (and Muslim) countries are certainly better off than Israeli Arabs, let alone West Bank Palestinians, whose life is entirely controlled by Israel.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            And what about the ones who are persecuted? Why don’t you boring people ever complain on their behalf? Is it because their lives are not as valued as the lives of Muslim Palestinian lives?

            Reply to Comment
          • Zusel ben Shlomo

            Felix, Please identify the Arab/or wider defined Muslim countries where Christian minorities have full unfettered civil, religious, and personal rights? Serving in all branches of the government in positions of the highest authority. Copts in Egypt? Christians in Iraq? Syria? Jordan? Libya? Pakistan?

            Reply to Comment
          • Natalie

            Here’s one – Lebanon.

            Also, as I am an Arab Christian (Lebanese), know countless Arab Christians from several countries (Iraq, Syria, Egypt), and I personally know Arab Israeli Christians and have heard their stories, I have to agree that they are, in many cases, worse off than Christians in Arab countries.

            One Arab Israeli Christian I know left because she said it was simply unbearable to be treated as a second class human and she could not fathom raising her children in a place like that. I know another Arab Israeli Christian who now lives in the US and can’t even bear to go back to visit her family for the same reason.

            I compare that to my annual trips to Lebanon where I visit my family, go to the beach, and have pretty much the best vacation you can imagine, and I do feel that Christians in Lebanon, a minority in an Arab country, have it a lot better than Israeli Arabs.

            Reply to Comment
    8. Luke Weyland

      It was great to hear the organisers of Sydney’s Gaza rally, state that the rally is neither to promote nor to attack any religion. They also welcomed a spokesperson from Jews For Palestine to address the 10 thousand plus strong crowd.

      Reply to Comment
      • Arb

        Wow, they let a Jew speak?

        Reply to Comment
    9. Larry Saltzman

      As a Jew, I have experienced very little anti-semitism while posting on line and doing work to end the oppression of Palestinians. My impression of Arabs I have met, and of Palestinians in particular, is of very fair minded people who can distinguish between Jews who oppose what Israel is doing and those who support or participate in the crimes of Israel. Were the situation reversed I can only hope I could live up to the standards I see many Arabs setting.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Fox

      It is also important to use another term, perhaps anti-Israel.

      Semites include Arabs, Hebrews, Babylonians and the list goes on.

      Anti-semitic is anti-Palestine, anti-Israel, anti-Iran, etc.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Funkle

      Semitic = Arabs and Jews are both Semitic people.

      Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        but anti-Semitic refers specifically to Jews. I really don’t understand why you guys think pointing out that semitic, which actually is a word for a specific family of languages, doesn’t only include Jews somehow invalidates the bigotry expressed or means that the term anti-Semitic does not just mean Jews.

        Reply to Comment
    12. Empiricon

      How do you interpret “protestors allegedly [throwing] Molotov cocktails near a synagogue” as anti-Semetic?? Not “at” but merely “near” qualifies?? Did you even read the link under “alledgedly”?? In which the head of the synogogue says “there was ‘not a single projectile thrown at the synagogue’ and that ‘at no moment, were we ever physically in danger’”?? In which he says that it was the JDL that was violent??

      Reply to Comment
      • Kiwi

        Soon you people will convince yourselves that you positively love Jews.

        Reply to Comment
    13. Wendy Goldberg

      Yay for you, Ms. Serhan. Thank you for sharing this. You are a light for all of us.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Carmi Turchick

      What the author is actually saying here is, do not make us look bad by becoming explicitly racist, keep it on the implicit side like we have been. The “peace movement” “pro-Palestinian” side has been deeply racist for decades. A peer-reviewed study found a very strong correlation between anti-Israel views and anti-Semitism. The vast majority of those who are anti-Israel hate Jews.
      The picture of “peaceful” protesters includes typical racist signs…”end the occupation” sounds nice until you ask and they tell you they think ALL of Israel is an occupation and really their sign means “Destroy Israel and commit genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Jews of Israel.”

      Reply to Comment
    15. It should never be about Jews. Making Jewish people in general a target of hate is what distinguishes anti-Semitism from activism.

      It’s about the state… the system… hard-right Zionism… but as a check of some Gaza related comment threads out there makes clear, the crimes of the state routinely spark a hate fest that has no place in discourse and activism that matters.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Yes, when it comes to Jews, inversion should be the order of the day.

        The following cartoon aptly sums up how the extreme left treats Israel, the Jew amongst the nations:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SS93A6GNws

        The left used to stand for justice. Nowadays they stand shoulder to shoulder with Nazis and Islamo-fascists but they are less honest than the Nazis who openly admit and boast about their hatred of Jews.

        Reply to Comment
        • The anti-Semitic accusation in the case of the left arises from what some have termed the “new anti-Semitism.” This is the attempt to fuse hatred of Jews with criticism/activism directed at the state of Israel. It is a false narrative because Jewishness is not in every case synonymous with support for the state of Israel or even Zionism. In fact many of Israel’s most vociferous critics are themselves Jewish.

          Chief among the promoters of the new anti-Semitism is Canadian PM Stephen Harper who with no apparent embarrassment equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism (without caveat or footnote). This isn’t just irrational and non-democratic thinking, it is really a form of propaganda… a way to intimidate Israel critics by seeking to characterize legitimate activism as racist and hate-based.

          Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            The idea that only Arabs deserve self determination and 22 independent Arab countries but Jews don’t even deserve even one country of their own is anti-Semitic. Extremely anti-Semitic.

            That idea is espoused by Islamo-Fascists such as Hamas and extreme leftists have now stooped to supporting Hamas. So Steven Harper is 100% spot on when he calls such people Jew haters.

            Reply to Comment
          • A “democratic” state that uses ethnic/religious markers in establishing what is essentially a two-tiered society is a contradiction in terms. Add apartheid-like policies and occupation and you end up with the type of genocidal attack we are witnessing in Gaza today – a massacre of civilians Netanyahu depersonalized recently with a reference to the “telegenically dead.” It speaks to a morally bankrupt government. How did we reach this point? In large part because the U.S. has armed Israel and protected it against accountability, no matter how egregious its actions.

            Jews of course have a right to a state, but not to the exclusion of the original inhabitants, many of whom were driven out and dispossessed. In Canada even Harper recognizes the claims of First Nations, however inadequately.

            Reply to Comment
          • JohnW

            There are over one million Arab Israeli citizens. How many Jews are there in the 22 Arab countries? Millions of Jews used to live in Arab countries but they too were all driven out.

            A lot of injustices occurred because the Arabs made war on the Jews instead of compromising. That’s what happens in all wars. Even wars waged by NATO in which thousands of civilians died. Go search civilian casualties caused by NATO in Afghanistan and Serbia. But you lefties seem to keep awfully quiet about that. You only get energized when after countless Hamas provocations, Israel retaliates. That too betrays Jew hatred. Treating Jews differently than others is Jew hatred no matter which way you want to spin it, Jcee. It is once again fashionable to hate Jews, this time amongst the extreme left. Stop denying it Jcee. Man up! Stop pretending that you only hate Israel. Admit that you hate Israel because it is a majority Jewish state. The only one in the world. Why are we not entitled to be a majority in one place in this world? Why do we only have to be a minority everywhere, where we may or may not be treated well depending on the whim of the majority? We are sick of that. Is that why you call us racists? Because we want to be a majority in just one place on this earth?

            Reply to Comment
    16. Bearded Joe

      Good article, by Palestinians are also Semites. Check the origins of the word. Having said that, and at the risk of being declared anti-Semitic, I will say that I have several times asked pro-Israeli Jews why there are such conflicts with Palestinians. And almost to a person they degraded Palestinians, saying or implying they were not ambitious and uneducated. They very much reminded me of certain Whites talking about Blacks in the old (and not so old) south. So I believe anti-Semitic. So I believe anti-Semitic can run both ways.

      Reply to Comment
    17. ezra p

      I saw the jewish voices for peace disturbance of israeli ambassadors speech to christian friends of israel in the us…there stand up speak out tactic to shout down the ambassador might have worked in a smaller venue…but it came across as very angry emotionally charged….i think it would have worked if the speakers stayed more calm.

      Reply to Comment
    18. rinat

      I wan to say that while I am pro israel. I agree with the message of the article. I have Palestinian friends who are pro Palestine who do not feel the need to call me a Zionist pig and I do not feel the need to fall them terrorists..civilized peaceful behavior towards each other is much better than violence and bigotry

      Reply to Comment
    19. Susan

      In Germany there were shouts of “Death to Jews” from the podium. There was no violence, because the police were there. In London, I saw a picture of a protestor carrying a sign that said, “Hitler was right.” In Paris, Jews had to defend themselves so Jews were attacked. Antisemitism is not as rare as you would suggest.

      I have never seen or heard anyone declare someone an antisemite to shut down criticism of Israel. I have heard people call someone an antisemite because they genuinely believed it only. There is a myth that Jews silence critics of Israel by “crying antisemitism.”

      There is a sheer ferocity and intensity in the criticism of Israel that I don’t see in the criticism of any other country. Yes, I do think that the reason is that Israel is a Jewish country.

      That does not mean that Israel cannot be criticized, but there is a difference between genuine criticism and extreme criticism and one-sided criticism of Israel.

      I disagree with the Israel’s invasion of Gaza, but I still think that some of the criticism is unfair.

      Jews do not take the Torah literally. Many verses that are objectionable have been reinterpreted by the rabbis over the centuries.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Susan

      “Accounts described how protestors allegedly threw Molotov cocktails near a synagogue and set fire to local businesses and vehicles. Such actions came at the heels of Paris’ recent citywide ban on all pro-Palestine activity, including demonstrations. ”

      Before the city-wide ban on demonstrations, a synagogue was attacked and protestors tried to enter the synagogue. Jews had to defend themselves.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Harry

      So glad to see this post. I have been following both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine websites and the comments from extremists on both sides are disheartening. I was wondering, where were the moderates from both sides? Were their voices drowned by extremists? Like somebody else said “”There are only two sides, and they are not Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs. They are moderates and extremists.”

      Reply to Comment
    22. Anna Zmesia

      Racism is disgusting and it makes me ashamed to be human. We are all different so that we can experience the beauty of being human. Raise your consciousness and see people through a lense of empathy. Had you been in someone else’s shoes, you would most likely think like them. Wake up. You are a soul having a human experience.

      Reply to Comment
    23. davey

      It’s a complex situation. Israeli military is committing mad atrocities,with the government trying to dupe the entire jewish population, particularly those in the diaspora into believing that all criticism of israel is anti-semitic. The palestinians are obviously an oppressed community, and it’s come down to them electing hamas as their representatives. Hamas is completely unapologetic in their stance against Israel’s very existence as well as being rampantly and indiscrimantly anti-semitic, and making an effort to radicalize the rest of the Palestinian population in that direction.

      I’m jewish and the whole situation makes me wanna cry. So much hate man. I don’t understand why Israel is doing what they’re doing and trying to drag all of us jews into it too. Nonetheless i do have an acute awareness of the anti-semitic nature of some critics of Israel. You can do the right thing for the wrong reasons….

      on the religious front both Islam and Judaism demand superiority over all non adherents. Of course there are progressives on both sides who don’t feel that way. But it’s unfortunately the extremists who take the forefront of the political and military discourse by virtue of their zeal and conviction that they are God’s elect.

      We need more legitimate dialogue rather then the sort of binary black and white thinking that internet response forums tend to elicit. We are all humans and i think that if we could all meet face to face we’d find our similarities outweigh our differences.

      Much love everyone.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “I’m jewish and the whole situation makes me wanna cry.”

        On another thread I saw you soulfully almost wishfully muse about how Israel is temporary and how in the longer term it is destined to disappear. I just want to reassure you that it won’t.

        As for the love that you speak of, it is admirable. Perhaps you could try and instill that milk of human kindness into the enemies of Israel? I assure you that if you would meet with success, we the supporters of Israel would reciprocate.

        But while Hamas rules in Gaza and while it can muster the support of the Arab diaspora and western stooges and while the silent majority in the West get to be misled by the left leaning media who go into a feeding frenzy about how Israel murders babies without provocation, I wouldn’t hold my breath about Arabs learning to love Jews. It sounds good in the anonymity and safety of the internet, but it is just a pipe dream.

        Reply to Comment
    24. Tomer

      The activity of the Islamicists in Paris eg attacking synagogues, burning down kosher shops etc just make more French Jews move to Israel.

      A self-fullfilling prophecy in action!!

      Reply to Comment
    25. Susan

      “Israeli government trying to dupe the entire jewish population, particularly those in the diaspora into believing that all criticism of israel is anti-semitic.”

      All criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, but a lot of it is. I say this as someone who does not support this invasion.

      The Israeli government did not dupe me into believing this. I came to this conclusion all on my own.

      Please explain where Judaism demands superiority over non-adherents. That’s just not accurate even for the majority of non-progressive Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Alex

      I really like this woman with the sign: “bombing gaza is a crime”, well i guess bombing israel is not a crime? am i right?

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        Not if it’s done in self-defense, which Palestinians have as much a right to as the Israelis.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          Yea, right, the new definition of self defense according to the Goldmarxes of this world:

          Hamas’s declared intention todestroy the only Jewish state in this world and it’s replacement by the 23 Arab Muslim state. Punctuated by rocket fire on a million of Israelis in the South for nearly 15 years.

          Interesting definition of self defense by a bod who claims to be Jewish and Zionist. Hands up anyone who believes him?

          Reply to Comment
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