Well, someone unfriended me on facebook today for remarking in a comment thread that I am a zionist. Maybe I don’t fully understand what that word means, as it provoked such an immediate backlash. (Note to self: study this thoroughly.)
I just… I can’t talk or think about this anymore. I am utterly overwhelmed. I was watching Anthony Bourdain this evening and the Jerusalem episode came on (suggested by one of you, I think) and I found myself in actual, literal TEARS.
Then this unfriending, and the hateful rhetoric (not from him, but from someeone else commenting) accompanying it. Jews are in an untenable position these days. If we side with anything or anyone other than our fellow Jews, maniacs that they may be, we’re traitors. If we side, even partially or in only certain regards with Israel and our fellow Jews, we’re bloodthirsty monsters, and cogs in the machine of apartheid. A lot of the anti-Israel stories and articles and opinons I see are starting to take on a distinct whiff of anti-seminitism. It’s easy to start short-handing things, because the message, the history, the politics, the sentiment, are so complex — but it’s the shorthand that holds the promise of hatred. Shorthand ensures a lack of nuance.
I want to be wearing white only. I want to take neither side. This is almost impossible, but at the same time, “picking a side” is even more impossible.
And I’m feeling ridiculous about things: sometimes I find myself getting angry at non-Jews who are taking sides, no matter which side they take. I recognize how completely moronic that is.
Edit: the person re-friended me, and sent me a long message. I think we understand one another now. This is a person who taught me when I was just a baby in politics, in college, in progressive thought, in global awareness; a person I reconnected with recently after many years. The time I spent in his company back then was utterly transformative, so I am glad we were able to communicate thoughtfully and be back on better footing…
But it’s left a terrible taste in my mouth. And a burning desire to be as far away from all of it as I can be.
My dear Ethan (orgdotnews) just posted this on his Facebook and I nearly wept.
A humanist kaddish for all those lost in the fighting.
May the inherent worth of all humans be celebrated, extolled, and praised. May we see in our enemy’s eyes the humanity we claim as our own. May we find strength in the peace of knowing that we’re all deserving of life, respect, and freedom. Holy is he who lays down his arms and refuses to kill. Praise be to she who realizes that life is more precious than land. Peace be upon all people, everywhere, in the community of humans of which we are all a part.
I’m not really a praying person, per se. Not in the “Dear God, it’s me Margaret” sort of way, anyway, but this is lovely and it hits the spot. Thanks, friend. Once again, you’ve put words to my own heart.