We received the note below from a British Jew. I then had a conversation on the phone with him and he said he felt the urgent responsibility to communicate the world’s opinion of Israel to American Jews before public opinion in the U.S. shifts dramatically, led by the BDS movement. I’m honoring his wish to remain anonymous.
How do you describe the feeling that your life has been a lie? I think that the reason Jews are so reluctant to acknowledge what is clearly in front of them, is that shifting from ‘Israel is never wrong’ to ‘we have created a monster’ is such a terrifying realisation, self delusion is the easier path.
Please hold my hand. I need you to talk me ‘down from the ledge’ because as I finally see the horror in front of us, I am petrified. I’m reaching out because I don’t know what to do and I hope that by explaining to you, how scary shifting your position on Israel is, I can help us establish a process for other Jews. I need help.
Like Alcoholics Anonymous we need a place where Jews can safely process the ramifications of Israel. This is not a well written article, I’ve edited it many times, but please identify the confused structure, panic and paranoia as the experience all Jews go through when we realise what is in front of us.
I am sure there is a clever word for people like me (a play on birthright, birthrefusal?) who were raised pro-Israel and now see that the only logical position, any sane person can take is that the USA was complicit in Israeli crimes against humanity. How can any normal person not be pro-Palestinian? How can any American not be outraged at what they funded, supported and received hatred for?
I live in London in the UK, my father is Israeli and I was raised to support Israel. Pure hasbara. The atmosphere in Europe towards Israel was bad but is now toxic. If the USA shared the European view, the Jews would be deported out of Israel. Europe used to hate Jews because of anti-semitism, now they have a reason to hate us.
No sane person can support Israel. Any sane person can form a conclusion that the organized American Jewish community, that I admire and love so much, has blinded Americans, given tax money to Israel, and put a bullseye on their back.
My concern is not a reduction in support for Israel, but a vitriolic backlash from the American people, towards Israel, the Jews, the Adelsons of this world, AIPAC, etc. Support for Israel won’t go from 51% to 49%, it will fall off a cliff, with massive implications.
While we sit and dither, the BDS and internet movements have hit a nerve. Students and academics are the only people ‘the lobby’ can’t buy or intimidate. Telling young people no, only makes them more determined. No open debate can support Israel. This is an albatross and will haunt us forever. President Obama has set up Israel perfectly and even peace now won’t suppress future criticisms and revisions. Israel is a stain on America’s history.
While Jews communicate Israel in nuance, the public will say; we paid $100 billion for what? We vetoed war crimes for what? No way. Nothing is off limits. Nazi-esque reparations will be called for, investigations, sanctions, the truth is, I’m very scared.
The EU has already announced sanctions against the settlements. Either Israel agrees to peace now, right now, today, or world condemnation will follow. The message should be it’s already too late.
I apologise for what seems like a rambling, paranoid, overly personal article, but as I said, shifting positions on Israel is so hard and scary, there needs to be a bridge. Create the safe place today that says; Israel is moments away from International condemnation, an irreversible decline in its standing with the American public and pariah status, for Israel, Israelis and Jews.
You can’t legally argue every Israeli position. Human rights trumps emotional attachment. Israel screwed America is a better argument than Israel is sort of a democracy. Israel waged wars, but lost the big battles. American Jews, this is wrong, you will not win in the court of public opinion. Israel will lose, try to salvage something.
The urgency with which peace needs to happen cannot be over stressed. BDS is here. The truth is here.
I then had a second conversation with him on the phone. A London professional, he said he had opened his eyes on these issues when he saw that Avigdor Lieberman was reaching out to Russia, evidently for protection at the United Nations if Israel loses the U.S., and thought, Game over. American Jewish organizations are so completely disconnected from the world’s opinion of Israel they do not see the next phase of the conflict, which is upon us, right now. BDS has educated the next generation, and Palestinians will be going to the U.N. to seek rights, and then– “the light will be shined on the laundry.”
Stories will get out that no one can defend: Wait, a Jew and a non-Jew can’t get married in Israel? Wait, they’re building roads that Palestinians can’t drive on?
I have never been more panicked, he said. Europe is gone, the U.S. is reaching a tipping point, and he fears a “toxic” reaction in public opinion in the U.S. And Obama will not lift a finger, because Israel embarrassed him and when he gave Israel a last chance to “sweep things under the rug,” with a two-state solution, the three numbskulls, Lieberman, Bennett and Netanyahu, took a sledgehammer to it.