It’s tough being a progressive Jew during times like these. While I am someone who wants to see Palestinians be treated well and have some semblance of self-determination, I cannot sit around and listen to people “bash” Israel in ways that border on anti-Semitism. Yes, there have been casualties on the Palestinian side, but who started this current skirmish? It isn’t like Israel just decided to lob missiles at Gaza for sh-ts and giggles.
Israel was attacked by a terrorist organization. What would you expect the country to do? Yes, Hamas uses their fellow Palestinians as human shields, which is abhorrent, but that can’t stop Israel from defending itself. At least Israel tries to keep innocent casualties to a minimum. Hamas lobs rockets at Israeli civilians without restraint.
The debate within my party, the Democratic Party, reflects a longstanding divide among American Jews (like myself), a mostly Democratic and secular group, who are enmeshed in our own battle over how to view the Israeli-Palestinian tensions. While many older American Jews view Israel as a lifeline that is essential amid the growing levels of anti-Semitism we see, many younger Jewish Americans struggle, as I do, with the right-wing policies of the Netanyahu-led government in Israel and liberal values.
I’m pro-Israel and anti-occupation, but Hamas isn’t stating the case for their people in an appropriate way.