I’m writing this under the assumption that we all understand this concept fairly well. It almost feels like there is a Jewish world and a non-Jewish world, and they will never even attempt to understand our perspective on history. Meaning- why Israel is necessary for us to survive. I see so much hate and anti semitism on reddit under the guise of Palestinian support. But in all actuality- these people are not pro Palestine- they are anti-Israel. They use Palestinian suffering (which is real and cannot be denied) to further an anti Israel and anti semitic agenda. I see so many posts on r/unpopular opinion stating “Hating Israel is not Anti Semitic” and it is flooded with awards and upvotes (Is that really an unpopular opinion?).
However- when we talk about other minorities, including racial or religious minorities, the common sentiment is “only members of that minority can truly discern what is considered racist for them and what is not”. Meaning a white person can’t say whatever he wants about the black community and claim that he’s not being racist- only a member of the black community can make that discernment for obvious reasons. Why is this not the same for us? Why does this double standard for us? We can’t let them decide what is antisemitism for us, but we also should not and do not silence valid opinions.
People then ask- “but where is the line drawn?” The line is actually very clear if you study history, and make an attempt to understand our perspective. If you criticize israel for their government, this is valid. Completely. I think most people would agree that their government does not represent their people. Prime example: China. I think when someone tells anyone that they’re Chinese, the answer isn’t “Oh that’s cool, but I disagree with the government.” they probably do too, as do we with the Israeli government.
However when you criticize Israel by saying it has no right to exist, that it’s an apartheid (which by definition is NOT), OR THAT THOSE “Hook nosed settler Jews colonizing land”, it is anti semitic. it is a touchy subject. Handle it accordingly- and let us discern whether your message is hateful or not.
Not only do westerners not understand the scope of the conflict- they use it for personal gain. they will never understand that we are indigenous to the land, how “Palestine” never even existed, has ethnically cleansed Jews from the land several times, and also the world “Palestine” literally has the Hebrew root word for “invader” or “colonizer”.
I’ve seen comments on reddit telling us to “get out of Israel and go back to where we came from.” WE ARE FROM ISRAEL/JUDEA. YOU CAN DIG 5 FEET DOWN AND FIND JUDEAN ARTIFACTS IN SEVERAL AREAS. They support indigenous rights for everyone but Jews- because this is their narrative.
Antisemitism is different because it guises itself as a valid and justifiable hatred which mutates to represent us as whatever the world hates most. Right now, in an era of social justice, it seeks to paint us as “evil white colonizers and oppressors killing poor, indigenous brown people”. Have these people read or understood that most people in Israel are brown skinned as well? it’s irrelevant, and shouldering American constructs of race and pasting them onto an ethno-religious geopolitical situation thousands of miles away. This whole perspective and ideology is so….western. This issue is a geopolitical issue, not a racial one, and westerners need to understand that. We are both from the land. Most Israelis and jews want peace, and for palestinians and israelis to live together in peace. Changes need to happen on both sides to accomplish this. Israel needs to be held more accountable for their treatment of Palestinians, and Palestinians need to be held accountable for multiple acts of terror, including bombing children’s daycares and hospitals.
That being said, we (Jews and non-jews) live in two different worlds. I get messages on reddit telling me how awful our people are, that we are the root of all evil in this world and oppress others. When I get these messages, I flash back to times I’ve been in lectures with holocaust survivors, telling us about how their child’s limbs were cut off and then thrown into a fire in front of them. Times where groups of us are crowded around a holocaust survivor as they tell us how antisemitism feels like it’s on the point it was in 1939- and how even then, nobody batted an eye. it reminds me heavily of this scene in the movie Black Klansman.
See, for us, we understand VERY WELL how step 1 can lead to step 10. For them, they are so fixated on step 1 that they don’t understand how it can get to step 10. History has shown that nothing has changed- it is still as accepted and even glorified as ever to hate jews. We remain the most persecuted minority in the world yet we still have to fight for ourselves- even in this age of great social change. Why? My grandparents were victims of the shoah, and my dad has been on edge, telling me to arm myself because he believes another shoah can and will happen. Why does nobody see this? i’m tired of people telling me “i don’t understand why everybody hates you guys”. I want more people to say, “I understand how antisemitism works, and I reject those notions and am an ally.” BECAUSE antisemitism is designed to play on normal, valid human hatred. It is the easiest hatred to be indoctrinated and brainwashed into believing. We all as humans naturally dislike the greedy, wealthy, controllers, oppressors, colonizers, thieves, liars, and cheaters. What antisemitism has always accomplished flawlessly was inserting us into those narratives as the source of these injustices. The nazis attempted to do the same, and executed it damn near flawlessly.
And they use different words to dance around saying “Jews.” They use the word “Zionists” to describe what they really mean as Jews- given that over 90% of jews around the world believe in Zionism, it’s not hard for us to feel like it’s specifically targeting us- but in a more “politically correct” way. As we all know here, Zionism as a movement has NOTHING to do with Palestinians living on the land. it is simply a belief and ideology that calls for Jews to own their indigenous homeland as a one safe place to avoid mass persecution and genocide in the world. And ever since it’s modern conception, israel has saved many of us from persecution. Like I said before, the injustices that have been committed are in the name of a corrupt government with conflicting interests to that of the people (like most governments) and not in the name of Zionism. It is an extremely nuanced and complicated conflict, and i wish more westerners would make even the SLIGHTEST attempt to understand our side of the story before they blindly oppose Israel’s existence- it harkens back to 1939, where people blindly believed in ideology that was shrouded and disguised to make sense and play on emotions. The moment Israel ceases to exist, another holocaust will happen. I firmly believe this. When people call for the death of or the dismantling of Israel, they are calling for our genocide. End of story. As I’ve listed above, there are more constructive ways to chime in and opinionated on the conflict.
This is just my rant. I just wish more people could understand our perspective, history and culture. How Judaism is not only a religion, but a suitcase of values used to keep traditions of our old indigenous land/culture/society as we were displaced. We need to band together more than ever. Am Yisrael Chai now and forever