Prior to 9/11/01 I was very much a typical American regarding Israel/Palestine. As I was conditioned, I knew virtually nothing about what was going on in Palestine and I was reluctant to look into the matter, thinking that it was much too complex for me to even to begin to understand. And reflecting my typical American conditioning, I was sympathetic to Jews, although I had never in fact met any Jewish people in person, being from a typical mid-western town. I definitely was not anti-Semitic.
Heck, I didn’t know any Jews so the opportunity for being labeled anti-Semitic never came up. That didn’t happen until after 9/11/01.
As the 9/11 attack was happening, it occurred to me that the attack had to do with what was happening in the Middle East and now it behooved me to learn what was happening. I was behooved to work through my conditioned barrier of not wanting to look into the matter because it was much too complex to understand and find out for myself what was going on.
I learned that the Palestinians were being kicked off their land so that Jews from anywhere in the world could live there. I attended a Middle East committee meeting and said that I didn’t think this was fair, that it didn’t matter what happened in the past to the Jews, that two wrongs don’t make a right, etc. After that meeting, I was considered anti-Semitic by the experts that apply the label: the Jews that attended that meeting. Thereafter I was treated coolly by everyone associated with the parent anti-war organization. Word had gotten around.
Holy cow! I never would’ve imagined myself being considered ant-Semitic: an altruistic Catholic boy who defended little kids every day on the playground from older bullies, the exemplary server boy, the choir boy, the kid that the nuns and teachers considered a role model for others.
But there I was. An anti-Semitic, for being concerned for justice and equal rights for the Palestinians. Little did I know that being an anti-Semitic was so easy. It is so easy. In fact here’s the formula: You become aware that Jews are responsible for doing something unfair, like kicking Palestinians off their land so that Jews from anywhere in the world can live there and, boom, you’re instantly anti-Semitic! You don’t even have to complain about it. The labelers just have to know you know about it. It is that easy.
I’m outraged that Palestinians are being methodically genocided for Jewish apartheid. I can’t shut up about it. In fact should a group representing the anti-Semitic labelers want to pay me a visit and hang me for being anti-Semitic, I’d hang them instead. On the other hand, should a group of angry Palestinians ever want to hang me for what I as an American have enabled and allowed to happen to Palestinians, I’d plead for mercy.
The way I look at it, if you’re aware of what’s happening to the Palestinians and you’re not considered anti-Semitic, then I question your humanity. If you don’t say anything about it, you’re an accomplice to genocide. What would you rather be, anti-Semitic or a genocider? For me, there’s no choice. Yes, of course I’m anti-Semitic. Aren’t you?