Asking Jewish creators what they think of the situation in Israel right now is all the rage. My inbox this morning was interesting.
Before I make my stance clear I want to point out that tone policing is 100% legit on my part if you approach me with the comments like ‘What you Jews are doing in Israel, do you support that.’ Hey fuck you. I’m a Jewish person and we are Jewish people. We aren’t ‘the Jews’ – and NEVER assume that every Jewish person you meet is down with what Israel is doing. There’s a fine line between anti-Israeli sentiment and antisemitism, try not to cross it.
I’ve been very vocal about my disgust with the Netanyahu regime but let me be clear, my disenchantment with Israel began back in early 90’s with Ariel Sharon.
Sharon pushed settlement of incoming Jewish into lands throughout the Gaza Strip–but most people forget this because he also was the first PM to pull Israeli troops out of it. Do not forget, he started this shit and the men that followed him made it worse. This has been going on since the late 80′s.
I made a complete break with supporting Israel during the leadership of Ehud Olmert. Under his leadership, Israel began allowing Slavic peoples in from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Balkans, giving them citizenship based on the fact that “they had Jewish relatives somewhere in the family.” I’m generalizing, but the rules were altered liberally to that affect – go google.
I’m Slavic and Jewish, and I can tell you, we’re not friendly people. You tread on us and we hate you for all eternity–even if you’re one of us. These folks came to Israel, settled in Israel, and adapted a hyper-nationalism that eventually turned Zionism into an oppressive movement. When Netanyahu took control, things got worse.
Netanyahu allowed a wave of ultra-conservative Jewish to enter the country and settle because he needed their numbers and their money. These conservatives were unwilling to live beside the likes of the “average Israeli” because those people weren’t Jewish enough – seriously, I’m not lying to you. Rather than enforce a reasonable “hey if you want to live here you got to live with everyone else”, the Netanyahu regime reopened the wound of “Gaza Settlement” and allowed these well-financed ultra-conservatives to begin building in occupied Gaza. Gaza belongs to the Palestinian Arabs living there because Israel shoved them in there and thus are an occupying force.
These ultra-conservative types started building their houses. They would legally seize public wells needed by resident Palestinians; they’d open up shops and refuse to sell to Palestinians whose farms were displaced by leasing agreements. If these “settlers” needed land for a park and there were Palestinian’s living on it, the Palestinians got displaced outright, or their young men and women would be arrested (silly charges) thus forcing the families to seek residence elsewhere. It was pervasive, underhanded, and shitty–and Western Europe and United States allowed because they needed a “non-Muslim presence” in the Middle-East.
Things got hairy when the ultra-conservatives began arming themselves for “fear” of Palestinian hostility. Kick a dog long enough and he’ll bite you. They lobbied the government for military intervention. The military stepped, and Gaza became a national issue. A chunk of the voting populace (Remember those Slavs & and Balkans?) identify ethnically as ‘Israeli’ and even though they have no concept of what occurred during the Yom Kippur war regarding the strife between elder Jewish folks and Arab Palestinians – these people were enthusiastically about ousting every Palestinian from Gaza. They’ve raised their kids (many of whom now serve the Israeli military) to feel the same way – and that’s a recipe for disaster. Now the world is watching and seeing what Israeli society has become – it’s not about the Jewish faith, it’s about populism disguised as Zionism.
I hate that half of the United States voted in a man that has allowed our nation to become a tool for the cultural genocide of Arab Palestinians in Israel. I’ll own that shit though because I’m an American that served my country and I know we can do better, even though we aren’t.
I do not support Israel though I am Jewish – but I support Jewish people that can and will do the right thing and call out this ironic episode of history-repeating.