As a Jew, I don’t support Israel…

And so hails the sentiment of some Jews around the world, as illustrated by an article I came across the other day with the following headline:

I’m Jewish But I Don’t Support Israel — And Neither Should Any Jew Dedicated to Social Justice.

I have a problem with these Jews, because they masquerade their Jewishness in a way they think it gives them some kind of higher authority on morality than the rest of the Jewish population.  They hold it out like a badge of honour, while they plunge the knife deep into the Jewish heartland.  They emphasise their Jewishness so we’ll take them seriously, and like to roll out fringe groups like Neturei Karta who believe Israel shouldn’t exist, or Jewish Voice for Peace, who actively support the BDS movement against Israel.  Somehow they want to portray an image that Jews being against Israel is a massive mainstream movement.

They think of themselves as part of the Progressive Left, but in reality they have aligned themselves with groups that are nothing more than fascists who have more in common with the ideology of oppression than liberalism.  I know people from the left wing persuasion and the right wing persuasion of Israeli politics, and the only wing these people belong in is the one for the criminally deranged at a mental asylum.

They’ll tell you that as Jews they believe in freedom of speech, yet will continually disrupt speakers who don’t share their view of the world, as they did at a “Chicago stands with Israel event” earlier in the year where Jewish Voice for Peace members stood up and shouted “We are Jews.  Shame on you.”  Kind of ironic, I was thinking the same thing.  So free speech for all — unless you disagree with them, of course.

Perhaps blinded by a lack of knowledge of the basic facts of Israel, or perhaps unaware of the lies and untruths told on campuses, or perhaps naively believing that the aggressive, malicious movements that strive for Israel’s destruction actually care about human rights, they join them, and either wittingly or unwittingly become a part of a movement that would wish there be no safety for Jews anywhere — complicit in the destruction of their own people.

They try to dictate to other Jews about what being a true Jew is, a socially progressive Jew, a Jew with a conscience, and yet that conscience is not tempered by the lack of social justice in any of the enemies they actively support.  They say to support Israel is to support an apartheid regime, one that tortures and commits genocide — and that’s something their Jewish conscience can’t allow.  And yet they march with exactly those groups that openly state their intentions of practicing those very things in the mythical Palestinian state of the future.

Perhaps it’s their desire to be accepted by the world, and yet when that world turns against them, it’s kind of ironic that their only place of refuge would be that little sliver of land they fight so hard against.

Israel is open to criticism — of course it is. It’s not a perfect country and there are many things that can probably be done better — like any other in the world.  But when you’re a Jew marching alongside groups with the same agenda as Hamas, whose intention is to wipe you out, you kind of have to wonder that with friends like these…

Now they have a right to speak against Israel, but when they try to use their Jewishness as some kind of righteous torch they’re waving to taint the rest of us, my response is that for every one of them that has fallen into the pit of naivety, there are twenty more who haven’t — Jews that don’t necessarily agree with every policy or every law of the State of Israel, but still care deeply about the country and its future constructively, not destructively.

You see…I’m Jewish too.

And I support Israel.

And so should any Jew dedicated to social justice.

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