A Progressive’s views on Israel: I am a “progressive” (whatever that is) for all intents and purposes, virulently anti-Trump, pro-choice, and so forth. But I and others like me are distinguished from other progressives by being in the group called Jews. As a Jew, I divert from current “progressive” ideology as follows: Jews are not just a religion, they are an ethnic group, just as, for example, Kurds are not just Muslims, they are an ethnic group. As such, both groups have been persecuted throughout the ages. There is only one way to put a stop to that: we need a homeland, one that we govern and we protect. We cannot dilute our control over our own destiny by putting “democracy” (whatever that is, American democracy got us Trump) ahead of ethnic group control. In the case of Israel, where Arab citizens vie with Jews politically, if another group takes over, there is nothing to stop the persecution from returning to its old strong form. The solution, to my mind, is to establish a homeland for the ethnic group called Palestinians, where they need not take over another ethnic group in order to govern their own destiny. Therefore, I am against “democracy” in Israel if it means Jews lose control, I am in favor of the establishment of Palestine. I will not tolerate the view that the Jews are occupiers or anti-democratic, or are creating an apartheid state. That is the view of people who haven’t shared my own experience in this American democracy paradise: in grade school the kids would call me a dirty Jew, would talk about Jewing people down in a bargaining session. In high school a guy would step on my feet facing me and yell “Dirty Jew, Dirty Jew” in order to get me into a knife fight. My father and two other Jews opened a market in Glendale, CA, in the 1950’s, the dairy refused to sell to them because they were Jews. Oh, you say, that is all ancient history, Jews are doing great (despite rising anti-Semitism) here in the MAGA land. Well, maybe, but take a look at recent elections in Hungary and the Czech Republic, among others, where anti-Semitism is right out loud. I won’t need a homeland, but maybe (hope not) my grandchildren will. I don’t want that homeland to be governed by anyone other than Jews.
When my family arrived in the United States in 1980, we were grateful to start fresh in the land of opportunity. Jews in America worked hard to get their fellow brethren out of the Soviet Union, where on our passport our nationality was listed as Jewish. My parents did not want my brother and I to be denied school and work because of our passport.
This Veteran’s Day, I am so present to how unique America is. Most places you cannot speak your mind, especially if it is against the leadership. My children can be 100% themselves and stand up for what they believe in. Even when hate lurks, like in the article above, we can challenge laws that still make this possible.
The United States of America is about change, every four years, we get to balance and reset. There is no finality, there is no doom, yet there is a space to make your voice loud and clear.
Tonight for my son’s birthday we are headed to the Warriors vs Clippers game, living the American dream!
Thank you Veterans for making our voice and livelihood possible!