“At least we can always go to Israel if there’s more anti-Semitism,” Liz Rose’s mother used to say, but as an anti-Zionist wrestling with the Pittsburgh massacre, she does not feel that way herself and is disturbed by the fact that she represents to other Jews what she is herself afraid of, more anti-Semitism.
Tag Archives: Pittsburgh
Senator Cory Booker’s endorsement of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act following the massacre in Pittsburgh can only be described as a cynical use of real antisemitism as an excuse to dismiss Palestinian rights so as to further his political career.
The alleged Pittsburgh shooter saw Jews as warriors for a liberal democracy. This is a role the brothers Rosenthal may not have known they were playing, but we should honor them and the nine other victims by championing refugees and migrants and civil rights for minorities.
Israeli responses to the Pittsburgh massacre are exploiting it to promote their anti-Palestinian and exclusivist agenda. That understanding is at the core of Zionism; and it is no answer to anti-Semitism or the white supremacist who killed 11 Jews.
Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, who has been everywhere in the media explaining Pittsburgh, has a history of accusing leftwing critics of Zionism of anti-semitism as “damaging” as white nationalism. Last January he accused IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace of anti-Semitism, and he said his former boss President Obama had made a “series of missteps” on Middle East policy.
“As we mourn this horrendous act of violence against Jewish communities, we know that this is not an isolated attack and our response cannot be isolated either. The attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue is part of the growing threats and acts of murderous violence based on white supremacy, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Jewish hatred, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.”
The murderous rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue had absolutely nothing to do with the struggle for Palestinian rights. And anyone who is telling you there is is shamelessly trying to use the murder of 11 innocent people to further their own racist agenda to dehumanize Palestinians and justify their ongoing oppression by the state of Israel.
Mara Ahmed writes, “The struggle against anti-Semitism is permanently intertwined with the fight against Islamophobia, settler colonialism, and imperial violence and encroachment. It’s not possible to pick apart and support one component versus another, and it’s our decision to commit to all, or nothing.”
Lesley Williams has seen the despair and terror in the Jewish community since the attack in Pittsburgh and wonders as a Jew of Color where this response was following other recent racist attacks. “I have a message for all of you, my white Jewish friends,” Williams writes, “I feel no more fear, no more rage, no more terror than I did two days ago. No more than I have felt every day as a black person in this country.”
Robert Herbst writes, “Now the poisons circulating in our politics, with a heavy dose injected by Donald Trump and his discourse of hatred, have killed 11 members of Tree of Life Congregation in the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, and left their mark on the whole American Jewish community. My fear is that this incident will increase our communal sense of victimhood. In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward, either physically, spiritually, or politically, here in the United States, or in the Middle East.”
Many moral voices are blaming Donald Trump and the spirit of xenophobia he has licensed for the hate-crime in a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday that killed 11. But some advocates for Israel, including Josh Block and Shmuley Boteach, are blaming anti-Zionists.
Palestinian, US Jewish, and Israeli groups joined theater artists in signing a letter calling on Toronto, New York and Pittsburgh arts organizations not to host Israel’s Gesher Theatre or partner with the Israeli government.