After the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt a new kind of loneliness. It was the loneliness of feeling not cared about, or worse – hated – for simply existing as an Asian person. It was the loneliness of feeling like your community was isolated and in danger because the rest of the world legitimately was blaming you for something that had nothing to do with you, and didn’t seem to care if you were harmed because of it.
During that time I started to find comfort in new spaces combating anti-Asian hate. Some of them were Asian-specific communities, organizations, and influencers. Others were intersectional spaces of allied people understanding the legitimate danger Asian-Americans were experiencing.
And now, as an Asian American Jewish woman, I feel more alienated than ever. As the violence in Gaza and Israel continues, I see numerous so-called “intersectional” social justice accounts and spaces reporting completely one-sided narratives of the situation. I see how this rhetoric leaves Jews of color, LGBTQ+ Jews, feminist Jews, and other intersectional Jews being abandoned by what we once found to be safe spaces.
The misinformation begins with the omission of the internationally recognized terrorist organization Hamas, which rules over the Gaza and has launched thousands of rockets into civilian areas of Israel. In case you needed a reminder, there is not a single Jew in the Gaza Strip. Israel removed every Israeli settler from Gaza in 2005, after which Hamas took power and has since been utilizing humanitarian aid money to fund its terrorist activities.
On top of that, I see these accounts, influencers, and celebrities blaming Israel for protecting innocent civilians. To paraphrase The Daily Show Host, Trevor Noah, Israel is the big kid on the playground so they should just let the little kid pick a fight. Effectively he is saying that Israel should not use the Iron Dome Missile Defense system to intercept rockets before they hit civilians. And that Israel should not locate and destroy the Hamas military personnel and infrastructure in Gaza that is being used to launch these rockets, which is what they are currently doing.
I wish it stopped there, but it doesn’t. Antisemitic attacks outside of Israel have been on the rise. In the UK they have increased by over 400% over the last 10 days. France banned pro-Palestinian rallies in anticipation of extreme antisemitic violence. Jewish people in New York City, Montreal, London, Seattle, and Los Angeles (to name a few) have been attacked on the streets. There have been attempted lynchings, sexual assault, and beatings happening across the globe. Synagogues and kosher restaurants are being vandalized. Rallies of so-called pro-Palestinian protesters are calling for the killing of Jews and waving Nazi flags.
Despite this clearly antisemitic activity, I have yet to see one of these communities, organizations, influencers, or celebrities condemn this antisemitism. I see @soyouwannatalkabout coming up with ways to call for the US to defund Israel – which by the way, funds the Iron Dome Missile Defense system that currently has saved millions of civilian lives. What I am still waiting to see is their post condemning terrorism. What I am still waiting for is the post condemning antisemitic violence against Jewish people. Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath.
I feel myself and my intersectional Jewish peers reaching a point of desperation. Never mind the fact that many of these online posts have erased thousands of years of Jewish history by calling Israelis white-settler colonialists. Never mind that they have told Israel it cannot protect its citizens because it is too strong, even in the face of terrorism. Never mind that they do not care one bit about where the Jews would go if we did not have Israel.
At this point, I will ignore all of that. At this point, all I am asking is that you stop spreading misinformation that is contributing to rising antisemitism across the globe. All I ask is that you condemn the violent antisemitic attacks occurring right here in our own communities – the same communities where Asian Jews, Black Jews, Gay Jews, Trans Jews, feminist Jews, and all kinds of other intersectional Jews exist and are now standing alone in fear because even our “safe spaces” have abandoned us.