Annie, I think one key point in DrJaye’s remark was this the average Jewish person. WE all know them – they are our neighbors, colleagues, family members and friends. They know “something bad” is happening in Israel and to Israel, but they don’t want to even raise the issue.
I speak of well over 80% of the people who are and/or who identify as having jewish heritage in the US (and needless to say, much the same is true of perhaps a similar 80% of the general non-Jewish population).
People have lives. They have worries. They have challenges. Most say they have little time for what is euphemistically labeled “politics”. Which is a [mis]nomer for anything people may potentially disagree about and/or is bound to raise “controversy”. Naturally the israel/palestine thingy falls under the rubric of “politics”.
While it is perfectly understandable that most people have no time for – mental or physical (or, rather, they don’t put time aside) for “politics”, I’d say that there are situations where some engagement in part of this “politics” is, in fact, essential. As in essential to individual well-being as well as the collective one.
Jews are brought up for a very simple reason – they have an [obvious] dog in this fight. As in a big, bad, menacing dog. They cannot and should not turn away from it, because it is a threat to all the values they hold dear. The evil that israel has and is becoming is a boomerang bound to reflect on all who share any kinship with people who live in that part of the world. It may be far, but it is also near. In this case, for all too many the “personal is political” line is all too true. Just as much as the reverse “the political is personal”.
By the same token, I’d level the same “J’accuse” at the Christians and especially christian zionists. They are very much part of the battle that’s being wage for their own souls – which, being fundamentalists, is presumably important to them. IT will not do to let them off the hook. IT will not do to let the likes Of Cruz to keep bablling incoherently about “our ally, who shares our values”.
And frankly it won’t do for the many non-Jews who “acquired” a “dog in the fight’ by virtue of marrying into a jewish family. They too are now part of the campaign to save this country’s values, or what’s left of them.
The real ally of the killers of Palestinians is silence. Silence because to speak up is to go to an uncomfortable place. I also happen to believe that it is our duty – all of ours – Jewish and not – to not just comfort the afflicted but to ‘afflict the comfortable” (somebody said that once, supposedly, no?). Silence of many “average” people, who nonetheless know “something’. Enough to turn away from the subject.
I know how much criticism was directed at the Germans of the 30’s for “being silent” while bad things were raging all around them. For letting fascism take hold in their country. For ignoring what was said about “inferior races” and untermenschen. That much maligned “ordinary German” – that’s what our friends, families, colleagues and neighbors risk becoming, once history’s verdict is in.
To counter that risk we all have to do things that are not comfortable and even risk relationships, possibly work promotions.
I think it is especially time for the closet anti-zionists to come out into the light. Perhaps this article will help, but it should be one of many, not just a once in while occurrence.