An open letter to Marsha Levine

Dear Marsha —

I have followed with great interest your response to an Israeli teenager who sought some information regarding horses.

You see, Shachar Rabinovitch wrote to you because she had possibly done some research and discovered that you were an expert on horses. Now, I would think that as someone who had been involved in academia that is an absolute compliment. Teachers exist after all to facilitate the enquiries of hungry minds. And for those who seek knowledge, the doors should always be open. Is that not a function of a progressive society? Is curiosity not the reason we exist on earth — to further our understanding of the world? Is it not the decent thing to do to help someone?

But no — apparently this basic strand of humanity that runs through us, especially those in academia, seems to have bypassed you entirely, because judging by your response, you lack humanity, humility and decency.

Instead of responding with some level of civility, to at least offer a link or another avenue she could research, you decided to inject into the conversation a political viewpoint that is about as far removed from horses as human rights is to Saudi Arabia.

In a further response to the growing publicity, you said the following:  “Jews have turned themselves into monsters” and “The Jews have become the Nazis.”  You have also proudly proclaimed yourself to be a signatory of the BDS movement and Jews for Justice for Palestinians.  Both organizations are fascist movements whose interest is only to demonize Israel and the Jews and shut down all free speech in regard to Israel. And judging by your responses you are definitely in the right groups.

But probably the most disturbing thing in all this is that as a Jewish person, you are part of a people with a very ancient history.  A people who above all have always valued knowledge.  A people whose focus has always been on education.  A people whose mission on this earth is to make it a better place.  Well… it seems there are always exceptions.

You speak of justice for Palestinians, but in reality you are merely kowtowing to an age old principle of trying to be accepted by the world — not for who you are, but for who they want you to be.  You don’t care about Palestinians or justice for them.  Because if you did, you would be marching in the streets to protest the thousands of Palestinians who are dying or have died in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. You would be tearing your hair out and screaming at the Jordanians and the Lebanese who have been denying refuge to the Palestinians fleeing from Syria. You would be protesting against the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who has stayed in power long after his term expired. Don’t the Palestinian people deserve democracy too?  And of course you’d be up in arms at the Hamas authorities in Gaza who spend the billions of dollars they receive in aid on terror tunnels rather than building hospitals and schools thereby denying a future to their youth.

Many people are calling you a self-hating Jew right now. But that is not accurate, because judging by the response to your despicable actions, there are many more in the world other than yourself that are hating you.

And also judging by the many responses and messages you’d no doubt be receiving, perhaps you too will not like the feeling of being singled out and despised the way Israel is singled out and despised by the groups of which you’re a proud member.

I want to be clear that you are entitled to your opinion and your view, but when you chose to respond to an innocent enquiry of a young schoolkid with a manifesto of hatred, you have opened the door to a world much larger than yourself.

Unlike you, there are Jews who are proud of their heritage and are proud of their Jewish state and who have made so many sacrifices to ensure that state’s survival. There are Jews dying right now in the streets of Israel, so that you may enjoy your life in Cambridge. And there are also Jews who will stand on the tallest mountain they can find, surrounded by the pits of hatred and still shout with joy and with pride and with love how much they love the State of Israel.

Marsha, I’m also a Jew — a proud one who takes great pride in the State of Israel and supports it in all her efforts to achieve peace in the most difficult region of earth. But a peace that is based on security, not the whimsical ideas of someone who sees life through a kaleidoscope of fantasy and fiction.

So while you can march happily for ‘justice’ alongside people who have called for your death, you’ll find me on the other side, marching too for justice, but justice for Israel.  And something else that will surely make your skin crawl.

I will not be alone.

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.