Friday, July 17, 2015

Criticizing Israel doesn't make me anti-Semitic

I usually stay far away from the issue of Israel and Palestine because I am an active member of the Jewish Community and I love my fellow Jews. But as a Buddhist, I love all beings and wish no harm to any, even those that wish harm to me. As a mother of 2 sons, I am well aware how children always blame the other for starting. As a divorcee, I realize how painful it is in the middle of separating from someone with whom you have shared a home for a long time. I also know that it is dysfunctional to retain hates, bitterness, blame, and thoughts of vengeance, and much better for my heart and whole being to forgive and love.

I never say forgive and forget. NO! Forgive and remember! By remembering, we learn and hopefully grow in wisdom and compassion.

The world is shrinking rapidly, and a bunch of myopic international corporations are making obscene profits on promoting fear, hatred, discord, and war. My position is that both sides have their issues. Both sides are full of hate. Both sides are tired of fighting. And both sides are violating international human rights. This is basically a racist war. It is racist for Netanyahu to believe that every Israeli life is worth 500 Palestinian lives. It is a genocide, much like what the USA did with the Indians, and what Australia did with their aborigines. Much like what the Cro Magnin did with the Neanderthals. The way I see it, the Jews of Israel were an oppressed ethnic group, having now been freed of oppression, decided to turn the tables and oppress another ethnic group as they were once oppressed. Yes, it is true that we Jews were slaves in the Third Reich, and the Israelis haven't enslaved the Palestinians yet.

If I love being a Jew, and I criticize the fascist genocide of the Palestinian people by the Netanyahu government, that does not make me anti-Semitic.

I was just discussing the other day how racism all over the world affects dark-skinned people. In Israel, the Yemeni dialect of Hebrew has become the gold standard in common language, even all over the world. The Yemeni rabbinic scholars are touted as the wisest and most profound. Yet, the Yemeni people are discriminated against in Israel because they have dark skin. That is similar to White culture co-opting Jazz, Hip-Hop, Blues, and standards of beauty that include thick lips, and round nostrils in men, yet discriminate against Black people.

I don't love being White. I see it as a quirk of fate. I don't love the White Privilege I receive resulting from that quirk of fate, although I find it ridiculously funny. But if I criticize my racist, sexist, classist, perpetually warring culture, that doesn't mean that I am anti-American.

PS. I am not one to criticize anyway.  I may point out the ironic facts of injustice, but I am one to make a plan to change it rather than waste my time criticizing. 

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