‘As a Jew’ is a phrase I wish I never had to hear again in relation to Palestine. I don’t want to read anymore justifications that the Jewish tradition opposes violent settler colonialism. What is this Jewish tradition? There is no essence of Jewishness outside of its practice and today, where it counts – in the Jewish establishment and in the interests of western states presented as one and the same as the interests of Jews – Jewishness is aligned, is in lockstep with murderousness, land-grabbing, exploitation, dehumanisation carried out by Jews, Jews who have been indoctrinated to believe that we are superior to everyone else, first and foremost the Palestinians.
The only reason to speak ‘as a Jew’ is if there is any chance that people will no longer feel obliged to defend Israel or to be silent in complicity with its actions for fear of being branded as antisemitic. Frankly, I am out of patience with those who won’t say anything about Israel because they are scared of being labelled antisemitic; if that’s the limit of your antiracism, you need to reconsider your priorities. Do you fear being called ‘anti-white’ because you speak about state racism? Because that’s what it means to prioritise your fears of losing your comforts because you may be perceived as antisemitic – it means you have chosen to align with racial-colonial white supremacism, because Israel is part of that project. It does not protect against antisemitism, it perpetuates it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people who are antisemitic. They can go to hell with the other racists. But politically when we are talking about Palestine, this has no meaning because you are just as likely to be labelled an antisemite if you are Jewish and speak out for Palestine as you are if you are not Jewish. In fact, real antisemites who want to herd all the Jews into Palestine to hasten their Christian salvation are less likely to be called antisemites than I am. So that tack is tired.
As myself, I say End Israel, Long Live the Palestinian Resistance and Free Palestine.
If you are unwilling to join me, then as Randa Abdel-Fattah writes, don’t ‘profess to be progressive, human-rights loving, anti-racist, decolonial, intersectional, open-minded.’