So I got an unsolicited e -mail from my old pal Jack Rosen (NOT), who is the President of the American Jewish Congress, and was SOOO delighted with Senator Chuck Shumer’s astonishing and brave decision to come out against the Iranian nuclear deal.
Good ol’ Chuck. He’s courageous enough to call ’em like AIPAC sees ’em.
Jack Rosen asked me to “join” them in thanking the daring Senator Chuck.
Thought I’d share my response (very slightly edited for clarity):
“Dear Mr. Rosen:
You invite me to “join” you. Never, not in a 1000 years.
Let me explain why.
As a Jew (and NO, not a “self-hating Jew” but, hopefully, an ethical one), a son of a sabra, and an American, I cannot join in the support of Israel as it currently exists,- an ethnocracy that was created, and is maintained by, ethnic cleansing, and institutionalized religious, racial and ethnic privileges that constitute the “crime of apartheid” as defined by international law. The fact that bought and paid for US politicians are willing to sign on to the nonsensical and morally bankrupt positions espoused by AIPAC and the American Jewish Congress is not something to be proud of, just something to be ashamed of.
As Jews, and as Americans, we are SUPPOSED to believe in egalitarianism and that no one should be denied the equal protection of the laws notwithstanding one’s race, religion, or ethnicity. Only the willfully blind or the inexcusably ignorant can deny that Israel, which DEFINES ITSELF as the “Jewish State,” is thus inescapably and unavoidably ethnocentric and discriminatory, as is evidenced in a thousand facets of its policies and institutions, including its immigration policies (e.g., the Law of the [Jewish but certainly not Palestinian] Return), its land and housing policies (home demolitions, discriminatory denial of building permits to Palestinians, the Jewish National Fund’s refusal to sell or lease land to anyone but Jews etc), water and resource policies, the settlements, the lack of civil rights to the millions of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Gaza and the discriminatory laws that entitle Jews at the expense of even non-Jewish CITIZENS of Israel. Then there’s the ongoing brutality and killing by the IDF in the OTs and the disgraceful attacks on Gaza.
Where is your conscience Mr Rosen? Where are your values? Are they reserved only for Jews? I am a student of history (with an undergrad degree in history and a life time of diligent reading and thought since) and like all of us was devastated by my study of the Shoah, In light of the lessons learned from centuries of oppression of our (the Jewish) people, that culminated in the Holocaust, how can you sign on to support policies that are so discriminatory, so oppressive, and so unconscionable brought, so ironically and disgustingly, in the name of the Jewish people. (In the role of oppressor)?
In my opinion, you should be ashamed.
The Iran nuclear deal may not go as far as one would like, but it is the best deal possible in this climate. The fears ginned up over an expansive Iran are so exaggerated. Unlike Israel, Iran has not once attacked its neighbors by expansive war since the Iranian revolution. The idea that Iran, in the name of freeing the Palestinians or in the name of Muslims generally, would use a nuclear device against Israel (which, with its own huge nuclear arsenal and submarines has an ENORMOUS retaliatory capacity, to say nothing of the US) that would necessarily also slaughter millions of Muslims and destroy or make uninhabitable the holy city of Jerusalem and probably most of the rest of Israel/Palestine is simply incredible and illogical in the extreme. Senator Schumer’s post reflects those fears, but not the countervailing considerations that largely dispel them. So too are Bibi’s truculence and fear mongering, which have more to do with scaring people into the Likud camp than reality, and are without substance or rationality.
Please remove me from your mailing list. I will, however, be happy to engage in a respectful and rational dialogue if you wish to try to refute the points made in this message.