I’ve got a horrible story to share with you, a story of horrific persecution. Two teenagers attempted to get their girlfriends a nice present but instead were chased down by police, put in handcuffs and arrested, merely for trying to be romantic, caring boyfriends. These days a man has to worry if a romantic gesture will end up in a jail term.
But this isn’t an isolated incident, today, a nice Jewish boy has been singled out for being Jewish. Yesterday, a man went shopping and didn’t buy faux-Arab chickpea spread because it was made by Jews. A few weeks ago, people picketed an environmental group because it was made up of Jews. Jews can’t even post on Facebook without being criticised. It’s as if there’s something about Jews that makes them inherently hated by non-Jews.
Except….it isn’t. Criticism of Israel is not criticism of Jews, it is criticism of Israel, just like kidnapping a koala is a crime regardless of how much you love her (seriously guys, they pretty much only eat eucalyptus trees). Israel does bad things, so we criticise it, we organise against it, and if all Israeli Jews converted tomorrow and kept their oppressive policies and actions we would continue.
And no, Israel, you do not get to represent the world’s Jews. You can call yourself the “Jewish state,” but that doesn’t make you Jewish just like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is neither democratic nor does it do much for its people. Israel is a supremacist state that uses several definitions of who is a Jew in order to keep basic human rights in the hands of a select few.
Jews are Jews, they are people like any other people and if people do things that are harmful, there are penalties that have to be paid for those. If you steal a car, you get prosecuted for car theft regardless of your ethnicity or religion(at least ideally); if you steal a country and oppress its people, you need to own up to that.
Part of the problem is the racist nature of Israel. Israel was founded on racism – the idea that it would be a state for Jews and Jews alone which is a problem when the population is not 100% Jewish(by whatever definition). Israel does not have an legal Israeli designation even on its passports, and its policies towards the Palestinian people target Palestinians for being Palestinian. In fact, the checkpoints, the military (in)justice system that locks up kids who have been tortured, nightly raids on Palestinian homes, collective punishment, land grabs, all target Palestinians merely for being Palestinian. There’s a term for this.. I believe it is called projection.
So, please. I’m tired of hearing about the occupation soldier, on Palestinian land, guarding an illegal Israeli outpost being targeted because “they were a Jew.” I’m tired of hearing activism against Israeli war crimes characterised as “Jew hate.” I’m tired of seeing people suffering under occupation being slandered as anti-Semites.
STOP SAYING “JEW” WHEN YOU MEAN “ISRAEL”
The two are not interchangeable and you are exploiting Jews in order to keep your criminal occupation going.. and there’s a word for that.