Jennifer Moses

Dear Bibi: Thanks for nothing

Dear Bibi:

Thanks for making the world a much more dangerous place to be a Jew.

Yes, I’m talking about the current bombardment of Gaza, but I’m also talking about the settlement movement broadly, and specifically, about forcing Palestinian families out of their homes in East Jerusalem in order to put right-wing settler-movement Jews in their place.

Why right wing? Because no moderate, let alone liberal, Israeli Jew would so much as dream of owning and inhabiting something that is not rightfully theirs.

Listen up, Bibi: if I’m appalled by the terror you’ve unleashed over Gaza, and disgusted by the sight of a Jewish state acting as the neighborhood bully, can you even imagine what non-Zionist Jews (and others) are thinking? Yup: that’s me. Zionist to the core. Been to Israel countless times. Have family there. Real estate there. Speak the language. Give oodles of money. Tears and prayers for Israel — oh, Israel! Oh, Jews! And yet, as of now, the Zionist state is little more than a bully with a cudgel, beating up the old ladies and little kids.

Stop already. Not because Hamas is decent, let alone good. But because in addition to reigning death over largely innocent Palestinians, your policies are messing things up for us, for Jews. And not just in Israel, where Jewish thugs have recently amped things up in the style of any other group of thugs — from the Brown Shirts to the Red Guards — setting things up for all kinds of reprisals, but the entire world now has a new excuse to equate Zionism with racism, or, to put it another way, to accuse Jews of being the bad guys. Which in the current bloody situation, we are.

Who needs this?

Since you seem to have forgotten your basic Jewish ethics, here’s a reminder:

You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.

Maimonides had a field day with this. For more info, read the Mishneh Torah.

Here in the United States, with our still simmering history of racism, Black people on the whole know that anything they do, for the good or for the bad, is held up as a mirror, an account of their entire community. So to is it for Jews, with our long history of being victims of brutal power structures with no concept of the equal-humanity of all, including — and particularly — Jews. When did you forget that we too were once treated as if we weren’t fully human, as if our lives didn’t matter and our deaths didn’t leave our loved ones in tatters of  grief?

I’m a serious gardener. As a rule of thumb, gardening doesn’t work as a matter of merely weeding and “mowing the grass,” as the regular putting-down of Arab unrest is referred to in the IDF. You also have to cultivate the good plants and flowers, water them, clear away anything that might lead to leaf mold. Only then does the garden thrive.

Since its inception, I’ve been appalled by the BDS movement. But for the first time in my life, I’m more appalled by the official actions of State of Israel.

About the Author
Jennifer Anne Moses is the author of seven books of fiction and non fiction, including The Man Who Loved His Wife, short stories in the Yiddish tradition. Her journalistic and opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Newark Star Ledger, USA Today, Salon, The Jerusalem Report, Commentary, Moment, and many other publications. She is also a painter.
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