“Anti-Zionism is a luxury”

Originally, our group was scheduled to go to the Temple Mount. Valerie and I have never wanted to do that because of the injustice it represents. So, we declined. (Our friend Victor Styrsky has always felt the same way). Though it is a Jewish holy site, the Temple Mount is controlled by the Jordanian government, and Jews (and Christians) are not allowed to pray there. Further, Jews are routinely harassed and sometimes accosted by certain Muslims who feel that is their duty. It is gross discrimination and Jim Crow segregation. 

No other ethnic group stood more in solidarity with African-Americans as we fought for our civil rights than the Jews. So, until our Jewish brothers and sisters are free on the Temple Mount, we will boycott it. (I prefer the Kotel anyway).
(Yes, I know that it was the Israeli government that offered control of the Temple Mount to Jordan. Not the point. Don’t start that debate on my wall).


— at Kotel Western Wall Jerusalem.

Anti-Zionism is a luxury.

Not long ago, I was reading an article about Jewish organizations in France — and how even though there is debate about Israel, it is currently muted. Anti-Semitism is a serious threat there, making immigration to Israel a serious alternative. French Jews, as a result, cannot afford to be anti-Zionist, for the most part.

Others of us, however, can.

On Sunday evening, Satmar rabbi Yaakov Shapiro spewed vitriol and untruths about Zionism and Israel on New York radio. And I realized — he is a very, very lucky guy.

Like it or not, much modern anti-Zionism is an easy mask for anti-Semitism. But Rabbi Shapiro will never know this anti-Semitism, since it is never directed at him. It is directed at the rest of us, those filthy, money-grubbing Zionists. (Smell any traditional anti-Semitic tropes?)

Those of us who are secure — as Jews, as citizens, whatever — are free to be anti-Zionist because we don’t need the ideology. Those of us who do need it (or believe that others do) cannot afford to be anti-Zionist, knowing that doing so would put others (and potentially ourselves) in danger.

So, congratulations. Your baseless hatred of Israel — not your nuanced, relevant, real criticism — signals that you know no suffering, but that you ignore how others do.

Proud Zionist,

Coach Yulia

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