SJP and StandWithUs team up to cool campus climate ;)

Comments (3)
  1. bokertov says:

    beautifully written creative non-fiction. 🙂

  2. KT (written by Andrew) says:

    Homie, I get the humour. It’s just not funny, not only because the ultimate source material for your humour is 1,400 dead Palestinians, but because it’s something you’re doing to get “us”, the “others”, to see that you are human.

    We get that you’re a human!! We get it!!! We get that BFI/StandWithUs/Young Americans for Freedom/All Zionists are all consistent of human beings, too! We’re not stupid people, man. We’re not hateful people. We just want to see an end to the occupation of Palestine and the racist policies of the State of Israel and the failure to acknowledge the Right of Return. Many (most?) of us would like to see one state with equal rights for everyone. It’s a really simple thing, man. We’re all humans, we get it. Now please let us move forward and work towards actual justice.

    This snarky post does nothing for justice, it just tries to strip away the meaning of a material reality to turn it into this “two perspectives” dichotomy, because it draws attention (and maybe a guilty conscience) away from the fact that the project of political Zionism, the idea that the Jewish people need a State in Historic Palestine that is of a distinct Jewish character and not of any other kind of character, has required prolonged and everyday violence to maintain itself since 1948.

    This violence manifests in the form of enforcing demographic control (and thereby resorting to physical violence to expel the native population and structural violence to refuse them from getting back in), suppressing anti-Zionist activists (the colonizers who refuse), and propagating distortions and half-truths in the media and at universities to justify the maintenance of apartheid in Israel, settler-colonialism in the West Bank, and military control over Gaza. There are countless other acts of violence that could go on in a list exponentially longer than all of what I can write to you.

    It is unfortunate, because the same sort of tactics have been used to suppress Jews for thousands of years. It is really awful to see them employed against other human beings, in this case Palestinians and their sympathizers, especially in the name of a people that have been subjected to a vast history of atrocities. You, as a liberal Zionist, probably understand that on some level, because liberal Zionists are Zionists who are aware of the humanity of their “others”. What you’re not aware of is how what you’re doing is basically making this all seem ok with humour. This makes me sad, as humour is one of the only things that keeps me going and I feel like what you’re doing is an insult to humour itself, because it’s making apartheid some kind of “funny” thing with two “perspectives” instead of a reality that must be ended.

    This article comes off as saying “Look at this thing Botha said! It’s just like this thing Biko said! LOL!”. You’re equivocating, and even though you present this equivocation in the form of humour, the article is still a statement in defence of violence and a testament to the banality of evil.

    Sometimes, the sort of ideology you promote is even more abnormal, reflective of the discourse employed by more hawkish Zionists. I’ve even heard you describe the word “massacre” as “a colloquial term”. I’ve heard you publicly describe Jordan as an apartheid state, but not Israel. That’s actually racist. (Jordan is more or less apartheid for Palestinians, but that neglects the fact that the whole reason the Palestinians are there in the first place is because of Israel, which has 30 laws that discriminate against Palestinians). These two quotations were from the two conversations I’ve had with you, so I imagine if I kept up “dialogue” with you, I’d be able to hear more. I have a low tolerance for people who make concessions to state violence, as I consider such an act even more hateful than punching someone in the face (which is something you would never do or never defend anyone else for doing, so why defend a state that kills civilians, kidnaps kids, steals people’s land and water, cuts down their olive trees, etc?).

    Maybe you’re programmed to respond to that, “but what about Hamas?! What about their violence??”. I think it’s safe to say that that no one here is asking you to defend Hamas. I think it would be a good start of you tried supporting equal rights and ending the violent occupation of Palestine and the Golan Heights, as well as allowing the Right of Return. None of that has anything to do with Hamas, Fatah, the PA, or any other political institution in Palestine.

    I mean, I get it… you want Palestinians to talk it out with you, which is understandable. The thing is that they no matter how much talking they do, Palestinian students here have absolutely no control over whether or not they can return to their home, or whether or not their relatives can go from their houses to work or school without being stopped at a checkpoint, whether or not the water or electricity will be on today at their cousin’s house. What you also don’t get is that your persistent efforts to talk it out with them, as a Jewish American with none of these struggles, is condescending. How did you get to that position to step to the table with them to discuss the fate of their people from a university campus in Los Angeles?

    I’m sorry, but your entire article reads like “S*** Liberal Zionists Say” on tumblr, which is a blog written by a former Liberal Zionist who realized he was defending the indefensible. I hope, for your sake, you change your mind, but I recognize that it’s your choice. You’re young enough and talented enough to do real meaningful work for something like a JVP/YJP. I’m not trying to be condescending and say “come to our side, kid!”. I’m trying to speak to you as an equal (isn’t that what you’ve wanted us all to do all this time?) and tell you that you are on the wrong side of history.

    I don’t know why you defend Israel. I don’t know whether or not it’s a performative thing that you do as a way of showing love for your faith. Everyone has their reasons, and as you know, many Zionists are atheists. But I’d just like to speak to you as a person who presumably holds his religion and his culture deeply; there are other ways to be Jewish, and those ways are beautiful and in keeping with the rich history of Judaism. Don’t give in to the harmfully reductionist conception of Judaism as being inextricably linked to unquestioning support for a specific nation-state, Israel, a recent phenomenon in the vast and rich history of the Jewish people.

    Speaking for myself, there have been many more atrocities committed in the name of whiteness than in the name of Jewishness, so I have even more of my work cut out for me than you do.

    End of dialogue.

  3. ryan says:

    I agree. Palestinians are right and Israel is wrong. Stop pretending like there is another narrative. There is only one narrative. If anyone in Israel is suffering from terror it is their own fault for stealing land. No dialogue should be permitted until all the concessions are made. Liberal zionists try to have dialogue to make them feel better for being lazy and ignorant. Also, I respect you (but your ignorance makes it hard for me to continue to respect you).