Date of publication: 2017-08-29 15:22
The Israeli government has made explicit claims that it is the nation of all the Jews, not a nation of its citizens. If you’re a Jew, you 8767 re born with potential Israeli nationality. That 8767 s why any Jew from around the world can come in and automatically become a citizen of the state of Israel, even as Palestinian citizens of Israel have less rights and state resources than Jewish Israelis. So all Jews around the world are de facto made a part of this Israeli project.
The more the conversation about Israel changes, the more it stays the same — there are some fundamental questions that come up over and over again that we need to untangle in order to have a breakthrough. Antisemitism is one of those questions.
The phrase 8775 anti-Israel 8776 has become anathema. You can 8767 t say that you 8767 re anti-Israel, and being called anti-Israel is seen as the equivalent of being called antisemitic. But being anti-Israel is totally legitimate. If you 8767 re a Palestinian who 8767 s lost their home, lost their livelihood, is facing daily oppression, or you 8767 re a refugee and you can 8767 t go back, of course you 8767 re anti-Israel. Israel is the country that has done these things to you!
It flattens the Jewish experience. It discounts the historically constant Jewish strains of anti-Zionism — or non-Zionism, or post-Zionism, whatever you want to call it — that have always existed since Zionism was created. It ignores the vastly different experiences depending if you are an Ashkenazi (from Europe) Jew or a Mizrachi/Sephardi Jew, or Ethiopian Jew. When you 8767 re talking about any sort of bigotry, part of the definition is the idea that you can make one overarching generalization about that people.
Recent reshuffling among the Trump administration may have Steve Bannon on the outs, but we are only weeks removed from a white supremacist as “the shadow president.”
Some of the bigger Jewish organizations, that have a lot of resources, have specifically used recent acts of antisemitism as a way to suppress conversation on this issue. Most recently was the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act — a federal bill intended to codify criticism of Israel as antisemitic, which was fast-tracked through the Senate. The depth of the hypocrisy behind that bill was so clear when it was brought out right as Steve Bannon became a key adviser to Trump, and all of a sudden we were seeing a rise of antisemitic incidents and no response from the Trump administration.
It 8767 s been also very successful within the Jewish community in getting people to see Israel as the expression of their Jewishness. They see Israel as their Jewishness, so an attack on Israel is made to feel like an attack on them. So something like the Gaza war happens, and Jewish communities have huge rallies in defense of Israel.
Romano also noted that individuals often report using Adderall when drinking alcohol to offset the effects of the latter drug. They feel that they do not get as drunk as they would when taking Adderall. Individuals may drink more alcohol when taking Adderall, though, which can result in serious impairment, including death from alcohol poisoning.
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The “anti-Israel is antisemitic” component discounts these facts and makes the conversation into a psychological thing, an irrational hatred of Jews, instead of one that is structural and fact-based. For those of us who are Jewish, we have a responsibility to say, you can hate the state of Israel, and that doesn 8767 t mean you 8767 re antisemitic.
Peter Beinart wrote a piece recently that I found extremely strange. I often appreciate his writing and how he 8767 s openly wrestling with lots of issues. But in this article, in reaction to Israel’s ban on BDS activists, he wrote that he just wants his kids to love Israel. When they 8767 re older they can wrestle with it, but for now he just wants them to have the space of love for it. So he tries to protect them from the realities of Israel.
We have an opportunity to say to them, 8775 If you 8767 re against the Muslim ban here in the United States, you should be concerned about the fact that Israel has had a de facto Muslim ban and a Christian ban for many decades. If you want to be consistent about your politics, you 8767 re going to have to speak out about both of these things, and start to reconcile the fact that you have one set of criteria for the United States and another for Israel. 8776