Approaching the role of my community, both with anger and love – Mondoweiss

We have spent the last year or two focusing on Palestinian voices. This is a priority for us given the bigotry Palestinians face in American political culture and the dire consequences for foreign policy.

But as our mission evolves, I want to come back to why I started this work and what continues to motivate me. Mondoweiss originally from the Jewish community and to this day some of our employees have roots in this community. In 2005, I needed to express my shame at the role of the Jewish establishment in shaping foreign policy, treating Israel as a “villa in the jungle” of the Middle East and thereby promoting any militant action in favor of it. from Israel. As our friend Marc Ellis said then, official Judaism replaced the ark on the altar with a Merkava chariot.

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This understanding arose out of a kind of Jewish devotion. I grew up believing that the Jews had a special place in the shaping of modern civilization, and I still believe so. Jews played an important role in the arts and industries that were so central to American culture as a child, and this sense of uniqueness, what we now call the exception, shaped my thinking as adult. I am always proud of the habits that my tradition has cultivated in me. They were noble and moral in my opinion.

But with the rise and everlasting peril of the Jewish state, Jewish public culture has been transformed. Advocates of Israel say 95 percent of American Jews support Israel, and while that number is clearly an exaggeration, there is no doubt that a large majority of Jewish organizations today exist to some extent for s ‘ensure that Israel maintains its support for the United States. States, both in aid and diplomatic support. Even as young Jews realize that Israel is an apartheid state, the Israel lobby has expanded its role to control such views within the Democratic Party and warn Middle Eastern countries that the road to Washington goes through Jerusalem. In a nutshell, you have to come to an agreement with Israel to gain access to the US government.

In our journalism, we do not accept this framing. We insist that Palestinian human rights must be part of the Western narrative of the Middle East.

Exceptionalism has become a monstrous fantasy of Jewish nationalism. The things that I love about Judaism, the things that made me, are today often looked down upon as signs of weakness. And look around you, communities around the world are trying to overcome their own crumbling exceptional ideas in a time of globalized discrimination, inequity and climate crisis. The old ways no longer serve us.

So write for Mondoweiss has had an ever-renewed meaning for me not only because we have worked for the liberation of the Palestinians and against American militarist policies, but because I feel that I am working to redeem my community from a long nightmare: its commitment to the militant nationalism. Call it romance, but these ideals have animated my work.

And I know that I am not alone. Many other Jews are engaged in Palestinian solidarity because they love their traditions and want the best angels of our nature to prevail. I still see my part in this struggle as approaching the role of my community, both with anger and with love. And journalistically: Seeking to uncover the facts and truth about how Zionism transformed Jewish life and affected American foreign policy. I think I owe a lot to my fellow citizens on this planet. Today I am one of the privileged; and I use this privilege to defend human rights.

And I am incredibly grateful that your support allows me and all of our staff to continue in this crucial task. Please make a year-end donation today – it will be instantly matched by other generous donors!

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