I cannot be silent. And I will not stand for this continued anti-Semitism, be it in its newest form, Anti-Zionism, or the tried and true, millennia-old chicanery we all know as Jew Hatred. NEVER AGAIN means NEVER AGAIN! IDROS knows full well that this blog post, and most of the push back I have seen on Social Media and beyond, will be read by the very people who need to read it the least. Our collective echo chamber of mostly Jews (and those most sympathetic to MOTs…whom we have learned to trust and have welcomed into our inner sancta of neuroses and inherited trauma) certainly helps…but it’s not going to stamp out the flames of genocidal intentions and hate speech from our vile world.
May 17 IDROS read the following tweet and exchange on the Twitter.
It almost made your stoic and hardened author cry. You see, almost exactly a year prior, IDROS proudly changed his profile on social media to Black, with a hashtag of #BlackLivesMatter. IDROS stands in solidarity with all oppressed people on our planet. But in this Israeli-Palestinian saga, who are the oppressed people and who are the oppressors? It isn’t as clear as groups like BLM and BDS would have you believe. And though BLM doesn’t use the term White Supremacy in this tweet, it does very clearly on its website, and didn’t distance itself from BDS’ response. Jews are only white when it suits the labeling class. A large number of Israeli Jews look just like their Arab (and Palestinian) neighbors.
What irked your author most was that Jews have been and continue to be one of the most important allies for all marginalized groups seeking equal civil rights…especially for Blacks. And for tweets like this, from a prominent Black activist group with over a million followers, it further clouds the water for Jews, who most of the world views as inseparable from Israel.
And so, as a writer, IDROS wrote a message to the powers that be at BLM using their “contact us” messaging system on their website.
Here is the letter:
To Whom It May Concern:
I was extremely disappointed to see your unilateral support for the Palestinian cause made public on social media during the latest bout of fighting. Not because I believe that the plight of the Palestinian civilians and children is fair and should be ignored. To the contrary, I grieve daily for all INNOCENT lives that are mistreated, face injustice and senseless violence all over the world…this includes the indigenous and migrant populations in Gaza and the West Bank.
BUT…this is a very complex and nuanced situation, and innocent lives are threatened and killed all the time on both sides. The true crimes to the Palestinians are propagated by Hamas and the corrupt leadership in both Gaza and the West Bank, dating back even before Hamas rose to prominence. The world (via the UN and USA) as well as regional powers (Iran) pour money into the coffers of Hamas and the PLA under the auspices it will be used to help the Palestinian people and communities. However, said leadership uses those funds to buy arms, train terrorists and to pay the families of terrorists who die by their own hand murdering Israelis and other “infidels.”
I also was alarmed to read your message, which said you were united against “Settler Colonialism” all over the world. I see that sentiment nowhere on your website. And your actions would say otherwise as well. I see no protests of any other place in the world where “settlers” and/or “colonialism” is or was a policy or the manner in which the nation was founded. Israel, unlike most of the world that was actually founded in colonialist fashion (and that you do NOT protest), was founded LEGALLY, through the United Nations. But Israel is hardly a settler/colonialist nation, and while Israel may do some things in the name of security and protection of its citizens that violate borders drawn up in 1949, those borders were created BEFORE every Arab nation in the Middle East, including the people who now call themselves “Palestinians” attacked Israel in 1967 and numerous other times since, and most notably, have not recognized Israel’s right to exist. Your decision to unilaterally side with the Palestinians over Israel, and not call to the carpet the terrorist entity who rules over the Palestinians, Hamas…now, or ever, is a joke.
Finally, you must know that the Jewish people have been and continue to be among the most active and faithful allies in championing the causes of African Americans. Stalwarts such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg were instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, and Rabbis marched shoulder to shoulder with Dr. King. Jews continue to vote and march for causes near and dear to Black people, and for organizations such as yours (as well as prominent Black people in general) to align yourself with movements that are anti-Semitic and stand for the complete destruction of the one Jewish nation in our world, and the murder of all Jewish people (see the Hamas charter if you refuse to believe this) is very difficult to grasp.
In fact, your post and continued unilateral support for the Palestinians without denouncing Hamas and other terrorist entities who enable Hamas and corruption among the Palestinians in general puts Jews at risk right here in America and around the globe.
I would like to have a dialogue with you and the people who made the decision to post your unilateral support for the Palestinians, to understand your motivations better and to potentially find a way to mend fences. Marginalized minorities like Jews and Blacks should be working together, not alienating one another. I would like to help us get there.
Thanks, and hopes for peace,
IDROS, unsurprisingly, is still waiting for a response…on the edge of his seat…It’s been over a week. He’s not holding his breath.
One thing that became crystal clear during the Trump Experiment in America is that you can’t reason with or successfully debate ignorant or racist people.
Another element of post-fact society in the age of the internet, is that anyone with Wi-Fi can find a hundred blog posts, doctored videos or twisted narratives masquerading as factual to justify their opinions or general BS.
And here we are…we jettisoned the mascot of White Supremacists everywhere, but the ignorance and racism persist. Imagine that.
For me, the worst part of this latest flare up in the global case of hemorrhoids that is the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, is that most of the racism and ignorance for this particular situation rests with the same people, by and large, that were my allies for the past four years.
THE SAME BASE that called out Trump and his supporters for their hatred and lies and incitement and internet conspiracies…now directs that same vitriol and finger pointing and cancel culture mentality at Israel and the Jews.
Anti-Semitism…aka Jew-Hatred, knows no party lines or boundaries. It is ubiquitous and insidious, and can be found in every corner of our world, among every race, religion and ethnicity, every class and caste, and among the least and most educated of people.
I knew. I would be lying if I said this surprises me in the least. I made a conscious sacrifice…one I would make again in a heartbeat, by the way. I willingly chose to help take down a demagogue and wannabe tyrant IN MY OWN COUNTRY, which I love and support despite its imperfections, all the while knowing that the party and candidates I propped up in HIS place would be detrimental to Israel. And I should say this…I don’t begrudge my fellow Jews who voted Red. We all see why they did…ISRAEL is a beacon of strength and hope for all Jews, whether we live there or not. We all know that had Israel existed before World War II, the Holocaust would never have happened. And so, Israel and its continued safety and security, is and should be a top priority for all Jews. But the painful reality for us Jews is that there is no good choice…ever…in any election. Because Anti-Semitism has corrupted all of humanity. The silence of those supposedly most intolerant of racism during the past couple of weeks has been deafening.
Hamas is a Terrorist Organization. They brilliantly tested America’s new Administration in much the same way children push the boundaries with a new babysitter. Sensing weakness, and also unhappy with the moderate tact Abbas has taken, Hamas pounced, making a play for political control in the West Bank where they have no influence, and also bolstering their control in Gaza. The evictions in Sheikh Jarrah provided the perfect Red Herring, a drama few outside the legal world would fully understand, but that would easily garner the sympathies and anger of pretty much everyone in the world…especially when spoon-fed to the media Hamas controls in the region in order to ensure the spin always goes their way. (Hamas uses a combination of threats and also access to all the gory violence the world craves when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis to keep the media – like the AP and al Jazeera – in their pocket.)
Israel isn’t perfect, but it is one of the most incredible places on the planet. It is an anomaly and an anachronism; a pariah state surrounded by enemies, forced to sleep with one eye open, every night of its existence. But it astounds in its innovation, its intertwining of the spiritual and secular, its inclusion of all races and religions, its beauty (natural and manufactured), its ability to cultivate the most arid and formidable tracts of land on earth, and its wonderful and strong citizens, who constantly prove a willingness to help any and every person and nation in the world with any problem at the drop of a hat.
Whenever there is a global disaster or crisis, Israel is ALWAYS among the first to arrive on the scene with aid. Israel is a shining beacon of democracy and liberal values in a large wasteland of misogynistic, backwards and paralyzingly rigid rule by radical religious zealots, tyrants, despots, terrorist enclaves and autocrats.
It hurts me personally to read the comments; to see and hear and read about the slew of celebrities who castigate Israel and support the Palestinians; and to read/watch the biased accounts across trusted media platforms worldwide.
Mark Ruffalo, one of the staunchest anti-Israel/Pro-Palestinian celebrity voices that didn’t once play in a band called Pink Floyd, recently posted this interesting, timely apology:
I thank him for the sentiment, mostly because he has 7.5 million followers and he finally realizes that his words are causing innocent Jews to get hurt and killed and are playing a role in a global flare up in Anti-Semitic hate speech and actions.
But to me, the words he chose are passive aggressive at best, and fall way short of the mark. And You Can Count On Me, IDROS, to give an honest account (see what I did there?)
He limits his apology to his recent Israel/Hamas posts, but has been posting similar, one-sided opinion tweets for years. He also wrote “Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.” Now? So, all the other times you have tweeted or reposted tweets that featured hyperbole were ok? You see Jews being killed and assaulted globally as a result of things millions of people like you post, say, and accept as fact and realize you are an accessory to murder…so you post an apology…for this one time? A narrow, flimsy, carefully worded, half-hearted apology.
The truth is, I am being hard on Ruffalo mostly because he has taken Israel out to the woodshed, unabashedly, for more two decades. He is one of Israel’s most rabid critics and is unrelenting. I am actually happy to see any sort of apology and sincerely appreciate his act, narrow as it was. I have some respect for Mark, not just as an actor, but for his good intentions beyond just this one issue. He genuinely cares about people and our planet and gets behind causes all over the globe to make our world a better place. While it pains me that he unilaterally blames Israel for the plight of the Palestinian people (and not Hamas, nor the Arab nations in the region who helped create the current situation and enable its prolonged cycle of violence), he doesn’t fall into the category of Israel critics that I find most repugnant: Single issue critics, who focus all of their “holier than thou” attention and disdain on Israel and its “treatment” of the Palestinians, yet fail to speak out or seem to care about any other injustice on the planet.
Israel is not without sin or blame in this endless cycle of violence. But the tiny nation has been placed in a precarious situation since its founding and has been forced into conflict by ALL of its neighbors countless times. It is a nation, and as such, has every right to defend itself and to protect its citizens. And for the most part, that is what it does. And Israel’s Armed Forces and Government take great care to limit if not entirely eliminate collateral damage. But its enemy is wily and uses innocent citizens as pawns in an elaborate long con to gain control of the region, destroy Israel and kill all of the Jews.
It is frustrating and devastating to know, for a fact, that a majority of the world is prejudiced against your people…your family and friends, your traditions, your history and everything in life you hold dear. It is difficult to put in words what it feels like to have lost large branches of your family tree less than a century ago to the same vile hatred and ignorance and ambivalence, and many other branches decades before that, and over and over again like clockwork throughout history.
People see dead children on the news or on Facebook and they need someone to blame. And we Jews have always been great scapegoats for people…throughout history. We have been blamed for wars, plagues, the murder of religious figures, eating the blood of children, stock market crashes, faking moon landings, controlling Wall Street, controlling the media, controlling Hollywood, controlling governments, being Communists, being greedy money loving Capitalists, not being white, being white…and on and on and on. Whatever fits the narrative du jour. And in total numbers, we represent a mere rounding error in comparison to the Global population…even before being butchered on the grandest and most grotesque scale last century.
So, the world should embrace the plight of the Jews…allow us to defend ourselves in the one predominantly Jewish state in the entire world. That doesn’t mean Israel should be allowed to bend or break the rules, and murder indiscriminately. But Israel has every right to defend itself and its citizens when attacked. But just like racism permeates every facet of society in America, global anti-Semitism informs policy, media, elections, alliances, perspective, sentiment and reaction(s) throughout the world…and in particular, within the very entities created to uphold and preserve the world order such as the UN.
But the world will not suddenly come around and see the light. The hatred has always been there, simmering just below the surface for stretches, and then erupting, cyclically, like a volcano of genocidal vitriol, malice and misanthropy. And as Jews we cannot depend on a sudden change of heart to save us. Furthermore, the Arab world led by Iran and its evil tentacles of radical Jihad, like Hamas, are running a masterful long con, playing the media like fiddles, showing a cavalcade of dead children, whether killed by Israeli armed forces or not, using propaganda and conspiracy theories, and generally pulling at the heartstrings of anyone and everyone across the world who fancies themselves to be “woke.”
Jews, as always, are trapped between the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis…and today those threats manifest as Anti-Zionist venom from the progressive Left and straight Jew-hatred venom from the Nazi and White Supremacists on the Right.
IDROS is scared. Scared for his family and friends. Scared for the future of Israel and the Jewish people. And terrified that his children, who are mostly unaware of the full horror show that is the collective history and present of the Jewish people, will have to learn about it, and then live those truths, whether they want to or not.
On a related note, this article by Pamela Paresky is the most frightening and sobering thing I have read in a while…IDROS urges all his readers to give it a looksie. It should be required reading for all high school students across the globe.
Sorry to be such a buzz kill,
#NeverAgain #DontBeSilent #SpeakOutAgainstAntisemitism #IStandWithIsraelForever #AmYisraelChai