We’re All Humans, Even in Israel

June 18, 2018

 

I see how people look at us and it amazes me. We are such a tiny country and as Jews we are a small minority in the world, and yet, we are the most significant insignificant group of people I may ever have the pleasure of being a part of.

 

Israelis are not their politicians. Nor are they a political party. They aren’t a wing on the political spectrum either. Besides, if you really knew Israelis you’d know that if there are two Israelis having a discussion, you would find three opinions. That’s our humanity.

 

We are not militaristic. That’s a meme born to dehumanize us. It evokes an image the likes of the dictatorship that rules North Korea. All of us marching in step as we parade around our weapons. Well we do have a military that we have used to defend ourselves from Hamas in Gaza, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and now Iran itself in Syria. We have used this military to stop five Arab countries from killing us in 1948 and again in 1967 and again in 1973. We have tried to stop Hezbollah with two wars in Lebanon. We have this crazy desire for survival. We know the price of not surviving only too well. We paid it with six million. That’s our humanity, our desire to protect and defend ourselves.

 

We are not whatever framework you use to view the country you live in. We are not apartheid, nor white supremacists. People who try to dehumanize us will use the apartheid meme. In doing so they diminish the horrible thing that apartheid was. Apartheid was a hate based racist system and it is now used to spread hate against a different people. White supremacy would imply that Jews are white. Jews are diverse. They aren’t only like the guy behind the deli counter in Boro Park. We are crazy diverse and we’ve been dispersed through all the corners of the earth. We might have come home from Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Iraq, Iran, France, Egypt, or even Boro Park. Our diversity is ultimately our light and that light is our humanity.

 

As humans we are not immune to the ills that humans bring to the world. There will be those that do wrong and those that support bad policies. There will be those led by fear. Some of it is real. We have learned to believe those that threaten to kill us. Right wing, left wing, Muslim and Christian antisemitism is louder today then it was when I was growing up. I understand the fear but I know we should never let fear decide for us how we walk in this world.

 

We are human in every way. Our humanity expands and contracts, but every time it contracts it expands again in beautiful ways. Don’t take that part, our humanity, away from us.

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