Monday, January 26, 2009

Jews and Palis: Not a Soccer Game בעד היהודים ובעד הפלסטינים

OK I think we all need to grow up here and lose the labels pro / anti-Israel and pro / anti-Palestinian. These labels are both simplistic and passè. We are beyond them. “Pro-Israel” makes me think of someone waving a flag with Hava Nagila playing in the background. Anti-Israel makes me think of Hassan Nasrallah and the terror gangs (Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Martyrs, etc.). Pro-Pali makes me think of, well, someone who supports the Pali cause. Anything wrong with that? Does it necessarily mean that person supports Israel’s destruction? And anti-Pali, well, I’ve never actually heard anyone referred to this way, although I’m sure many settlers we read about in the paper are.

My point is that most of us don’t fall into the above categories. Israel and Palestine don’t need fans in the soccer team sense, and most of us who are on one or the other “team” don’t want to wipe the other team off the map (well there are those days when Army of Allah or whatever they’re calling themselves today is playing with explosives and ends up blowing up an entire family and then running to the media and blaming the IDF…).

As I tried to explain to someone, during the Civil Rights movement in the US, did the fact of one’s being white preclude supporting the struggle for civil rights of people of color? So why must the fact that I’m a Jew preclude any sympathy for the Pali cause?

I also want to say a word here about that tired label “a friend of Israel”, which is code for (mostly Republican) politicians who support Israel in all its actions, including expanding the settlements. I believe that a true friend will tell you the truth even if it’s not what you want to hear, and I’m hoping that Obama’s administration will include such friends. In the same vein, I’ve always been uncomfortable with the staunch support of Israel by evangelicals, whose views are opposed to mine on nearly every issue. Perhaps we should stop ignoring that disconcerting embarrassment we feel in our kishkes when we see Israeli leaders cozying up to evangelical preachers. Really, who are we fooling?


  1. I don't at all mind Israeli leaders "cozying up" to evangelicals, as long as no compromises are asked of us. They're following their own edicts, as I understand it, and I think -- without knowing all the facts -- that their goal is to protect and advance the cause of aliyah. Doesn't Israel need all the friends she can get?

  2. What you call "cozying up" I call prostituting ourselves. They aren't friends, they're enablers, the same way if I supply you with drug money, I'm enabling your habit. Then I'm not much of a friend, am I? No one needs "friends" like that. A friend would say, "You're addicted to settlements and occupation. How can I help you detox?"

    As for aliya, how are the evangenlists promoting aliya? And if they are...?