Two simple words. A call to action. A call for respect. A call for self-determination.
And yet, the ones in power who should support it and who would be able to make it happen are the most fiercely opposing it.
Two simple words grew and grew from a cry for help to eventually become a dangerous threat in the eyes of many Israeli Jews.
It is an idea that hits much too close to home to Jews and yet our collective stance seems to have learned nothing from the past. A people without a state they can take refuge in combined with an oppressive regime equals war, death, and saddening amounts of grief.
When someone says or yells Free Palestine, Israeli Jews feel threatened. Threatened, as if the very idea of another state simply existing is somehow a call for war against Israel, and every Jew in the world.
Peace is what most Israeli Jews would say, as the answer to what they’d like most for their country. But decades of brainwashing and propaganda accomplished its goal.
Now, when we’re talking about freeing Palestine, we’re somehow also talking about enslaving Israel. Put aside the low probability of a significant military power suddenly being enslaved, activists advocating for the end of occupation and a way for the Palestinians to get their own way are not trying to convince the UN to invade Israel. We are not in danger in this “situation.” We are the danger. In the Holocaust, we were the victims — many in the Diaspora still are to this day. But Israeli Jews, who are, of course, protected by the most moral army in the world, are not the victims, something you wouldn’t know based on their behavior.
Free Palestine is two words that urge the liberation of a country that once was. Free Palestine is about Palestinians, but Israeli Jews took it as their own ethnic slur.
Based on this logic, if you think that Jews deserve a homeland, you should think that they should have the right to oppress, kill, and eliminate others.
Here comes the same argument of terrorists and the idea that if “we give something for them, they will want even more,” which is terribly flawed reasoning. We are not giving anything to them, because it’s something that we took with force.
It’s tzedaka. It’s Tikun Olam. It’s repairing something we broke.
We cannot reframe a picture that was broken from the start. We cannot say the Palestinians are to blame when they try to resist a violent occupation of native people.
We cannot set it as a condition for them to be peaceful when their hearts, bodies, houses, and communities are torn apart every day.
Free Palestine is not antisemitism. Antisemitism is talking endearingly about Hitler and Nazis on a radio show, as Ye has done. Antisemitism is a violent hate crime that takes place in a synagogue.
Free Palestine should have nothing to do with Jews. When we say Free Palestine we are thinking about children hiding in alleys from rockets, because they do not have a professionally built-out bunker system. We are not thinking about Jews.
We are asking for respect for a marginalized ethnic group. For a chance at freedom.
We are calling to Free Palestine.