In Praise of Bigotry

Throughout this summer, I have proudly advocated for equal rights across the world, but apparently, this comes with a steep price. Standing up for Israel and being a Zionist is coupled with racism and bigotry in the world community. In this respect, I am proud to be a bigot.

I have been called apathetic for attacking the propaganda that artists use in order to garner support for the Palestinian narrative without displaying facts behind it. I have been called a hypocrite for attacking the anti-Israel and often anti-Semitic blog, Mondoweiss, for their ad hominem attack on my friend for his clothing choice and iPhone app preference. I have been called Islamophobic and compared to anti-Semites for my condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s disgusting violation of human rights, particularly in regards to women’s rights. And perhaps most unwarrented, I was alleged that this quote: “We must stand strong in order to protect what we know is right: human rights, equality, justice, fairness, and the one nation in the Middle East that offers all this and more, Israel.” inherently “shows incredible bigotry towards all other Middle Eastern states, implying that they are little more than barbarians living in anarchy”.

If being a bigot means standing up for the equal rights of men, women and children, no matter their age, gender, sexual preference, religion, race or any other defining factor, I will proudly take on the title. If being a bigot means I disagree with the hanging of Christians based on religion, the hanging of rape victims for engaging in premarital sex, and the legalization of marital rape, I am honoured to be called so.

The challenge of defending Israel in the world community is that as a country, She isn’t perfect. But can anyone name a single perfect country? It is true that settlers commit ‘price tag’ attacks (a sort of nationalistic terror attack), but Israel condemns these actions. On the other end of the spectrum, when the Israeli army kills Palestinian terrorists, their government has chosen to name schools and holy sites after these murderous ‘martyrs’. Israel isn’t perfect, but She is held to a double standard in the world community, particularly in the United Nations.

I won’t sit here and call attention to every unjust attack on the Jewish State, it simply wouldn’t convince anyone to change his or her convictions regarding Israel. But, I will stand up and say I am proud to be called a bigot. If bigotry stands for equal rights, for justice, and human dignity, I am proud.

Throughout this summer, I have been criticized and condemned by friends and unknown sources alike for my writings, beliefs, and convictions. I have been denounced, for believing in what I know is right. And it has hurt, until yesterday. One of my best friends reminded me of the Winston Churchill quote, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life”. I am proud to have made enemies if it means attention has been brought to the heinous abuses of human rights and truth across the world. I encourage everyone to stand up for what we know is right: human rights, equality, justice, fairness, and any country that does its due diligence to protect these values.

About the Author
Seth Greenwald is passionate in his fights both against anti-Semitism on college campuses as well as the fight against anti-Israel bias and slander worldwide. Seth first developed a passion for Israel after traveling there for his Bar-Mitzvah, kindled that passion through United Synagogue Youth, and has continued to develop throughout his undergraduate career at Clark University. Seth also served as an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting for America (CAMERA), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the David Project.