Initially I said to myself, this is not my battle. But then I watched, in horror, as people marched through the streets of Philadelphia chanting the genocidal slogan of the Palestinian people: “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.” Translation: Kill the Jews, push them into the river, keep faith with the ancestors and their desperate attempts at a final solution.
I heard the words “solution” used in exactly that context by young students of all races and religions as they filled Rittenhouse Square on a warm October evening. My first instinct was to provide quiet support and let the Jewish residents of Philadelphia take the lead in the PR war. But then I started seeing the reports of what had been done in Gaza to innocent Israelis. I heard about the kidnapping of elderly grandmothers, the rape of young women, the murder of babies.
I realized that we had entered a very dark period when, instead of crying out in horror that infants were massacred, supporters of Palestine were quibbling about whether the children had been decapitated, thrown in ovens or simply shot. That was the hill the defenders of Hamas were willing to die upon.
We all have a role in this tragedy if we are human beings. The suggestion that this is not our battle to wage and that we must be polite and judicious and respect the defenders of Hamas is as repellent to me as the thought that there is some value to Taliban rule and the dehumanization of women in Afghanistan.
It is as inconceivable as the idea that mutilating the genitals of a young Muslim girl in West Africa should be respected as a “cultural tradition.” It is as maddening as the argument I once heard from a judge at an asylum hearing that we in the United States cannot hold other countries to our standards of human and civil rights. If we can’t do that, why even file for asylum in the first place?
And you know the thing that triggered me the most? It wasn’t being called profane insults by the people marching down Chestnut Street and chanting their uneducated slogans about the holy martyrs of Hamas. It wasn’t Jake Tapper on CNN, carrying water for Rashida Tlaib and essentially defending her defense of terrorists just so he could make some cute little jab at Marjorie Taylor Greene. It wasn’t even the refusal of college presidents to unequivocally condemn the horrors in Israel without adding “But the Palestinian children…”
The thing that most angered me was a comment from an anonymous person who played the “I’m a Jew so shut up shiksa” card. His comment was as follows: “I am a Jew who does not need a homeland, that supports the resistance of Palestine, and am watching with my own eyes the textbook definition of genocide against Palestinian children.”
The fellow needs to read up on the definition of the word “genocide.” According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, it means “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.”
What the Arab world is trying to do to Jews is genocidal, by that definition, but not what Israel is doing to protect itself. Tragic, collateral damage of people living in an area as human shields to terrorists is not “genocide.” Trust the shiksa, who has 30 years of asylum practice at her back.
It is incumbent upon non-Jews to speak out against the rising tide of anti-Semitism. It is not up to our Jewish brothers and sisters to take on the burden alone, even though they are quite capable of raising their powerful voices. As the Jew and the Catholic marched with Protestant MLK, as my own white father marched with Blacks in Mississippi, every one of us who claims the dignity of being human needs to speak out against the terror.
Copyright 2023 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.