If you don’t see the divisions, you cannot work for unity.
It is not true that to be united, we just need to have unity between the secular and the religious or between the Jews and the Muslims!
In so many ways and to so many degrees, we’ve all been played against each other. Awareness of the gaps is the first step to bridge them and unite our society. To pretend unison to deny real divisions won’t work.
In every juxtaposition, there are minorities who are extraordinarily hateful or violent. For simplicity, we will leave them out of our discussion, but they should be banned from any power in our equality-based democracy.
Most people tend to only notice division in which they are the underdog. Only standing against such divisions has nothing to do with unity. It is egocentricity all over again, the highest form of separatism.
We incline to care most about the oppressed identity and not see the rest. So, many Jews want unity among Jews and with Gentiles but don’t think about social class. The poor will stress class, the women and LGBTQIA+ gender, young and old: age, etc. We need to start seeing others, too.
An important way to unite is for Ashkenazis to think about ethnicity, men about gender, comfortable Jews about the economically weak, etc.
It’s easy to be at ease inside your own bubble. Learn to bear discomfort.
The first step is to befriend them and listen, listen, listen. Just shut up. If you need to, ask open questions. Learn to apologize and be patient. It may take decades before they tell you you’re a good ally.
Yet, don’t seek friendship with “the other” while neglecting people of your own background. You’re a bad ally if you’re not strong in your own roots.
If, as a white person, you don’t stand up against racism, you’re a racist.
If, as a man, you don’t oppose discrimination of women, you’re a sexist.
Etcetera. Get my drift?
United in Prayer Gathering at the Western Wall, this afternoon.
These Are Some Divisions in Israel that Need Our Attention
- Between Jews
Black and White
Secular, Traditional, Religious, and Ultra-Orthodox
Left and Right
National and International
New and Settled Immigrants
- Between Jews and Gentiles
- Between Gentiles
- Beyond the Religious Divides:
Working and Poor
Black and White
Female and Male
Straight/Cis and LGBTQIA+
Central City and Rural and Periphery
Talking of National Brotherhood Week: