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Women Of Color Who Criticize Israel Won Big. That’s Good

 
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Mevater









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 7:59 pm
Do you agree or disagree with the writer that these victories are good for American Jews? Is a country in which all its citizens have equal rights and freedoms, a country that will have more peace?

Women Of Color Who Criticize Israel Won Big. That’s Good For American Jews.

by Batya Ungar-Sargon (opinion)

The United States midterm elections did not quite yield the much-anticipated “blue wave” that Democrats had hoped for. The Democrats flipped just enough seats to take back the House of Congress, while losing their most high-profile races, including Beto O’Rourke’s race in Texas and Andrew Gillum’s in Florida (Stacey Abrams in Georgia has not yet conceded).

Still, Tuesday night was a big night for women of color, many of whom made history.

Two Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, will be the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib will be the first Palestinian and Omar the first refugee and the first hijabi in Congress. Other winners were Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman to represent Massachusetts; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won her election after a shocking primary in which she defeated a longtime incumbent; and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland of New Mexico will be the first Native American women in Congress.

These are not only wins for these women and the minority communities they represent. They are wins for American Jews.

This is true despite the fact that some of these women have been criticized for being openly critical of Israel.

Omar once tweeted the ugly sentiment that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” though she has since steadfastly supported a two state solution. And after endorsing a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ocasio-Cortez backtracked in response to pressure from the left. Similarly, Tlaib began her race with an endorsement from J Street, which was rescinded after she came out in favor of withdrawing aid from Israel and supporting a one state solution in which Palestinians and Israelis belong to the same nation state.

And yet, the wins of these women of color are wins for our community not despite their criticism of Israel but because of it. For it’s simply not the case that the American Jewish community is willing to supply Israel with unconditional support anymore.

After 50 years of leaning heavily on Israel as a marker of who we are, defining ourselves as “pro Israel” and not much more, the American Jewish community is asking itself for the first time in half a century: What does it mean to be a Jew in America?

It was the horrific massacre in Pittsburgh that finally supplied the answer: Despite all our privilege, we are still a minority. And as such, the wins of other minorities — and the wins of liberal democracy — are ours.

For a few years now, the American Jewish community has engaged in a reevaluation of its relationship with Israel, questioning the extent to which Israel deserves unconditional support in light of its increasingly tenuous commitment to liberal democracy.

There’s the entrenched and brutal occupation of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the deprivation of their civil rights; the iron-fisted reign of the ultra Orthodox over matters of personal status and prayer at the Western Wall; and the increasing and explicit commitment to ethnocentric nationalism, most recently expressed by a “Nation State bill” which, at least symbolically, elevated the status of Jews and demoted the status of minorities in Israel.

For the past few years, these features of Israel have put the American Jewish community in a tough position; the vast majority of American Jews are liberal Zionists who support Israel but not its occupation of the Palestinians.

That tension at the heart of the American Jewish community has only been heightened by the Trump Administration, who most American Jews do not support despite Trump’s extreme support of Israel. In just two years, Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem, withdrew all aid from the Palestinians, and scuttled the Iran deal.

But these efforts have only frustrated American Jews further, empowering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to further sideline the Diaspora community’s concern for civil rights and religious pluralism.

This tension between Israel and the American Jewish community has American Jews reevaluating not only their relationship with Israel, but their very identity as a community.

This has never been more true than after the massacre in Pittsburgh. The American Jewish community is still reeling from events of October 27, when Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, taking 11 lives as well as the feeling of safety that many Jews felt was part of their American birthright.

It was a stark reminder that at least to the murderous white nationalists in this country, we are still a minority.

More stark of a reminder was the love and support that came flowing out of other minority communities in America, especially the Muslim and black communities.

Black churches across the country held vigils and stood in prayer with us. So did Muslim communities, who also raised over $200,000 for burials for the victims.

Less supportive was Israel. From Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer’s disastrous interview repeating Trump’s “both sides” phrase, to Naftali Bennett’s appalling statement that he’s “not sure there’s a surge of anti-Semitism in the United States,” to Israeli opposition leader Avi Gabbay’s outrageous suggestion that the shooting should encourage American Jews to move to Israel, Israel’s representatives shocked, appalled, and angered American Jews grieving for their loss.

Most shocking was the astounding decision made across the board to defend President Trump, who many American Jews saw as the killer’s catalyst. It was the fact that Jews helped immigrants — demonized by the President — that sent Bowers over the edge. Yet just days later, Trump again suggested absent evidence that George Soros could be behind the asylum seekers making their way to the border.

And yet, from Netanyahu to Dermer to Bennett, there was a single-minded decision to stand by Trump – the man most American Jews view as the stoker-in-chief of the flames of racism.

Meanwhile, it was African and Muslim Americans who had our back and stood beside us.

Pittsburgh gave us an old-new answer to the question of “What does it mean to be an American Jew?”

It means to be a minority.

But Jews are not just any minority. One the one hand, we are a minority with a distinct religious and ethnic makeup; and yet, unlike other American minorities, we have complete equal rights. We are not only tolerated; we are cherished. Police officers run into the line of fire to save us — literally. An entire country mourns with us.

Not all minorities in America are this lucky. Muslim Americans continue to be profiled by the police, while the civil rights abuses against the black community are legion.

But we Jews are the proof that liberal democracy can work, that a minority can be granted full and equal rights, due process, and equality before the law. We are the proof that with enough work by those like us who have privilege, everyone in America will one day have what we do.

Our status in this country should not be judged by the actions of one deranged man, but rather by how the rest of the country responded. And it responded with an outpouring of love and a commitment to our safety.


https://forward.com/opinion/41.....ican-jews/
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Mevater









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 9:39 pm
Anyone care to offer their opinion on this opinion piece?
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leah233









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 9:47 pm
This article makes about as much sense as saying that its good for German Jews that the Nazis won the elections becuase it shows how a group of uneducated, unconnected people who don't come from wealthy families can win elections in Germany. As Jews we should welcome that.

To address one of the many tangential nonsensical points in the article: I sure have NOT seen that it was the African and Muslim Americans who had our back and stood beside us by any of the hate attacks in Brooklyn.
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allthingsblue









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:13 pm
So she thinks we should throw all our Israeli brothers and sisters under the bus to save our own skin.
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Mevater









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:19 pm
leah233 wrote:
To address one of the many tangential nonsensical points in the article: I sure have NOT seen that it was the African and Muslim Americans who had our back and stood beside us by any of the hate attacks in Brooklyn.


Thats correct but in Pittsburgh, many Muslims donated funds and offered help.

U.S. Muslims Raise $190,000 for Burial of Jewish Pittsburgh Victims
Islamic Center of Pittsburgh head tells Jewish families: If it’s guarding the synagogue, if it’s walking to the grocery store, we’ll be there to support you

https://www.haaretz.com/us-new.....-1.6610817

'Respond to evil with good’: Muslim community raises money for victims of synagogue shooting

https://www.washingtonpost.com.....0aaf73557e
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Fox









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:26 pm
The logic in this piece is so tortured, I'm not sure I follow it. If I understand Ungar-Sargon's point, she's saying, "Yay! My team racked up some points in the Oppression Olympics!" And part of her proof is that other contestants cheered for us.

Um, no.

Ungar-Sargon regularly writes pieces that make perfect sense if you're an inadequately educated non-observant Jew whose feedback loop comes almost entirely from journalists with similar educations, backgrounds, and values. Like the NYT, for example, she also believes that Orthodox Jews are "fundamentalists." Rolling Eyes

In her world, American Jews share her precise attitudes toward Orthodoxy, religious observance, political leanings, and feelings about Israel -- and she has taken it upon herself to explain what American Jews think.

Ungar-Sargon, in this and other pieces, reminds me of a story I once heard from a traditionally-leaning Conservative rabbi. He told about a woman who was expounding to a group on "the Jewish belief about abortion." Of course, she had no real knowledge of halacha or anything else, and when he pushed back a bit on some of her statements, her response was, "Well, I'm a Jew, and that's what I believe."
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sequoia









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:34 pm
When someone mentions “the brutal occupation” I stop listening.
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gold21









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:41 pm
sequoia wrote:
When someone mentions “the brutal occupation” I stop listening.


Exactly
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Rappel









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 10:57 pm
"There’s the entrenched and brutal occupation of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the deprivation of their civil rights; the iron-fisted reign of the ultra Orthodox over matters of personal status and prayer at the Western Wall; and the increasing and explicit commitment to ethnocentric nationalism, most recently expressed by a “Nation State bill” which, at least symbolically, elevated the status of Jews and demoted the status of minorities in Israel."

As a Jew who is working toward the total return of the Jewish people to the land Hashem gave us, under a Davidic king, and in a manner which demands full service of Hashem:

I think the author is very, very, lost.
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elisheva25









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 11:48 pm
Who wrote this piece of garbage? What kind of a twisted individual ?
In every generation we prove to be our worst enemies
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Mevater









  


Post  Wed, Nov 07 2018, 11:58 pm
Id like the author to put all her assets down as collateral, if she says that she thinks that a few years down the line, with some left leaning Democrat in the White House, with the likes of Keith Ellison in a position of power in the Democratic party, and these pro Palestinian Congresswomen, that Jews will have more peace of mind and a decrease of Anti-Semitism, instead of less peace of mind and an increase in Anti-Semitism.
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grace413









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 12:38 am
Who cares about the rantings of a self-hating anti-Israel Jew?
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etky









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 12:43 am
Rappel wrote:
"There’s the entrenched and brutal occupation of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the deprivation of their civil rights; the iron-fisted reign of the ultra Orthodox over matters of personal status and prayer at the Western Wall; and the increasing and explicit commitment to ethnocentric nationalism, most recently expressed by a “Nation State bill” which, at least symbolically, elevated the status of Jews and demoted the status of minorities in Israel."

As a Jew who is working toward the total return of the Jewish people to the land Hashem gave us, under a Davidic king, and in a manner which demands full service of Hashem:

I think the author is very, very, lost.


...in la la land.
And I found her analysis of the Israeli reaction to Pittsburgh wrong beyond belief.
As if Trump is the measure of all things Shocked
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Mevater









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 12:50 am
etky wrote:
...in la la land.


Writers write what the readership wants to read and believe. In this case a fictional fantasy.

$he'd rather have us outraged than her bo$$ and their loving reader$hip.
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etky









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 12:52 am
BTW, anyone else find her name ironic?
Sargon II was the Assyrian king who finished off Tiglat Pileser and his successor Shalmaneser's conquest of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE and exiled its inhabitants.
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FranticFrummie









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 9:59 am
Puke Puke Puke Puke Puke

That's the only response this drivel deserves.
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ora_43









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 10:54 am
I think Ms. Ungar-Sargon should come visit the Middle East.

Not so that she could educate herself about Israel, although that would be nice too. So that she can see that the old adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is complete nonsense. Hezbollah hates ISIS; doesn't mean they like us.

Although really, she shouldn't need to come all the way out here to see it. It would be enough to open her eyes. Louis Farrakhan hates white supremacists, and also thinks Jews "have infected the whole world with poison and deceit." When people invite him to speak and cheer him on as he describes Judaism as "a system of tricks," is that a victory for Jews?

There's a common fantasy among younger, more radical leftists: that there is only Oppression and Justice, and never the twain shall meet. It's absurd. It doesn't stand up to more than a minute or so of critical thinking. But it remains popular, because... OK I'm actually not sure why, but my guess is, because it's just so appealing. Wouldn't it be nice if it were true?

In the real world, sometimes transgender rights and women's rights are in conflict, sometimes immigrants' needs and the needs of local minorities are in conflict, sometimes feminists are racist and sometimes people who fight racial injustice are misogynist or anti-Semitic.

And sometimes, when people who hate Israel in a way that clearly violates the "3D test" get support, that's bad for American Jews.
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Mevater









  


Post  Thu, Nov 08 2018, 8:14 pm
The author was on the Zev Brenner radio show.

To summarize Zev Brenner disagreed with her and said despite the USA being a free country where anyone can run and get elected, anyone talking about a one state solution, will never be good for Jews.

Zev added that until the Palestinians teach their kids that both their lives and Israelis lives have value, there can be no peace. That not what most Palestinian parents are teaching their kids.
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