A while ago, I mentioned the Senior Son thought I had my empathy chip removed some time ago. I really am the least empathetic person I know. What I am is a practical pragmatist. Ziggy used to say that was one of the things he liked best about me; I could be passionate about all sort of stuff, but when it came to me and mine, practical pragmatism always won out. If nothing else, I was reliably dispassionate in my private life.
Now, that said, do not think for one New York minute that I am apathetic. I am not. I care deeply about a number of issues, and in my own way, I go about dealing with them. Some are very little....like watering the plants at shul. No one was doing it. I hate seeing perfectly good plants all withered. It's not exactly a big deal to water the bleepin' things, and then they give you lovely leaves. There are bigger things I care about, too,....as most of you, dear readers, already know. That's why I do this blog thing.
So if you've been around for a while, it should come as no surprise that I am an advocate for civil rights. ALL civil rights. I have posted the Declaration of Independence in this blog, and I have liberally quoted from the Constitution. I fervently believe people have the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We, the People, in these here United States are struggling against an escalating tide of civil wrongs. Gun violence is out of control. Black men are being shot by police at an alarming rate. The incarceration rate among minorities is obscene, and there are places where the process that puts people behind bars is so stacked that it's beyond being a travesty. To top it all off, there's a whole political party that seems to sanction this kind of small-mindedness and hate, as if those are desirable attributes in the country.
Those are not desirable attributes; those are the tip of a reprehensible iceberg that smacks up against every hope and dream built into the fabric of our Constitution. And in there, millions of people are once again wrapping their heads around the idea that the Civil Rights movement did not stop in the 60s or the 70s; that movement must continue forward. There is much work to be done by all citizens of all races, all creeds, all genders, all orientations. We, the People are poised at a moment when great change is possible.....
Or maybe the moment already has been lost.
When we should all be pulling together as We, the People, striving to create an equal and social-conscious society, one minority group has just been blindsided. One small group that has been at the front of every march, every demonstration, every rally has just been told that they are no longer welcome to the party.
I am not welcome at this party. Neither are my kids, nor most of my friends.
You see, we're Jews who support the existence of the State of Israel.
The Black Lives Movement has singled out Israel in their platform as an agent of genocide. They refer to Israel as an apartheid state. The condemn Israel for being, well, Israel.
Calling Israel apartheid is an old canard. Stating that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people flies in the face of reality. Their statement sounds like something out of the Protocols Of the Elders Of Zion.
Under the section called INVEST/DIVEST, the following statements appear:
This is followed by the following "remedies:"
- Federal Action:
- Fight the expanding number of Anti-BDS bills being passed in states around the country. This type of legislation not only harms the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, but is a threat to the constitutional right to free speech and protest
For the record, I am NOT a fan of the Israeli government. I strongly disagree with many of their policies regarding Gaza and the West Bank. I think Netanyahu is right up there with President Bush II in lousy leader land. And I think the religious coalition is basically wrong when it comes to Diaspora and non-Haredi Jews.
Is that clear enough? Do you get that I disagree with large swaths of Israeli domestic policy????? Are you getting that part???
HOWEVER, and this is a BIG HOWEVER...
Anyone who has ever been to Israel should know from being there that Israel is the only country in the region that has western standards of citizenship. That means freedom of religion, freedom of speech, free education, free health care, and compulsory service in the IDF. Israeli Arabs serve in the IDF. There's an Israeli Arab on the bench in the Supreme Court. All Israeli kids who go to public school get a diverse and respectful education regardless of race, religion, nationality, whatever.
That is not how an apartheid state works. But why let facts get in the way?
Israel is not perfect, but the Israeli government does not throw gay people off roof tops. ISIS does that. You don't see Syria mentioned, do you?
Interested in the state Human Rights in Palestine? Check out the Wiki article. You might find it interesting. Yet, Black Lives Movement didn't seem to take into account the human rights abuse that is standard in Gaza and the West Bank before it accused Israel of human rights abuse. You know...human shields, hiding rocket launchers embedded in civilian areas. Teaching small children how to be martyrs for jihad.
But this isn't really about human rights at all. This is about Jews living in Israel, isn't it? It's about Jews having self-determination. It's about Jews running their own country and prospering. Because if it was really about the Palestinians, they would've been encouraging Soda Stream to stay on the West Bank because they provided good paying jobs with benefits. If you cared about the Palestinians, isn't that just the kind of economic development you want?
Not if your real goal is to push the indigenous population into the sea.
That's right; the indigenous population. Jews have been living on the land for over 3000 years. Jews built Jerusalem. Ask Jesus. He was there. He was one of us. Ask him where he lived. It sure wasn't Lithuania. Or Poland. Or even New York.
But we're not indigenous enough, are we?
So, here's the bottom line. I cannot and will not support any movement that
- refuses to recognize Jews' right to live on our own land in our own country that we happen to share with a lot of other folks.
- refuses to recognize human rights abuse and violation in ALL locations. Singling out Israel is not about civil rights, it's about antisemitism.
- refuses to recognize the role of Hamas in the violence being perpetrated against civilians in BOTH Gaza and Israel.
An organization that refuses to recognize those basic facts is an organization that provides a fertile ground for prejudice and hatred of others. Ultimately, they are not about civil rights; they are about themselves.
I can and will continue to fight for justice for Philando Castile without signing on to Black Lives Movement. I can and will continue to fight against marginalization of the African American community without associating my name to a cause that fosters hate of others. I can and will actively support the fight against civil wrongs.
I can and will remain firmly rooted in the idea that Israel has a right to exist. With or without the blessing of Black Lives Movement.
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day
Sometimes the very best shopping trip happens in your own closet.