Maybe I’m lucky. Maybe I’m naive but I’ve made it to 62 without experiencing the sting of antisemitism.
That is until now.
Yesterday I felt it and yes it hurt. Yes, I know it can be lethal. I am named after two grandmothers who burned in Auschwitz. I was lucky. I got a small dose and yet I’m still reeling.
So how did this happen?
Not in any way I could have foreseen. When I joined the antisemitke’s professional development group I thought I’d up my freelance writing game. Our coaching session, at the cost of $300 for an hour went well and I followed her social media posts for advice and writing jobs.
Then yesterday my erstwhile “friend” retweeted a vile anti-Israel trope. Here it is if you’re curious.
I emailed her back. Here’s what I wrote.
It saddens me to see you retweeting standard anti-Israel dribble. Unlike Hamas which actively seeks our destruction, here in Israel Palestinian Arabs are integrated into our society (no Jim Crow here) despite the fact that they are potential fifth columnists–the US interned Japanese Americans with far less ground. We let our Arabs roam free–though we subject West Bank Arabs to the indignity of checkpoints–but that’s only because they have a long history of deadly terrorism. The minute they give that up we’ll stop searching for them.
We don’t want to bomb Gaza but what choice do we have when Hamas fires its rockets on random civilian targets including a kindergarten–thank G-d it was empty. Gaza doesn’t need an Iron Dome. It needs to put down its arms.
You owe it to yourself to pay a visit and experience the only democracy in the Middle East.
And here’s what her response was.
You’re welcome to unfollow me on Twitter and leave my community—Islamophobia, Zionism, and any form of racism aren’t allowed. If you’d like me to remove you, please let me know
Classic cancel culture. .
Here was my response. I‘m really shocked that you believe that old trope about Zionism and Racism and where did I display any Islamophobia. I think you are mistaken about Israel.
And here was hers.
Carol, please do not email me again about this. If you cannot respect my boundaries, you will need to leave my community, which is a safe space against bigotry.
So I’m kicked out of her club minus the refund I requested and there’s no one to call. No twitter cop, no professional ethics board.
And where does this leave me? Hurt, angry, disappointed, and shocked. The offending post had originated with a group called Jews for Palestine.
What can I expect from my non-Jewish ex-friend when we Jews are doing this to ourselves?
In a way it makes sense. Zionism can be hard to explain. A nation-state for the members of a specific religion? Not very WOKE but where are we Israeli Jews supposed to put ourselves?
Almost eighty years ago, six million including many of my relatives died because no nation would make room for them.
Our enemies don’t want a binational state. They want us to disappear, to die. Read the Hamas charter They say it very clearly. This is our land. G-d gave it to us. It says so in the Torah and it’s our right to defend it.
But the progressive left doesn’t get that. Instead, they have positioned themselves with people who would either murder us or in the best case tolerate us as second-class citizens, the status Jews occupied for a thousand years under Muslim rule.
I don’t know why my friend can’t see this.
And yet I ache. Being outed is no fun.
I wanted to score those journo jobs.
Instead, I’m part of the nation that dwells alone.
What is the lesson here? That I need to stop seeking approval from people who hate my guts. Will that cause me to live in a smaller, more restricted world? Perhaps but my Jewish world is full of riches I have yet to explore. It’s my place. I have no other . And my job is to grow where I am planted.