Fooled you! It’s not what you think. Far be it from me to justify Israel’s oppression of Palestine by trotting out the tired “they shoot rockets at Israel” argument. Half-Jewish in descent, but raised in another religion, I know little about Judaism. But there’s no denying that I can “feel” it inside me.
I’m also prone to the Jewish self-loathing that afflicts many of us. For example, the heightened interior life — a.k.a., neurosis — to which many Jews seemed privy to me when I was young struck me as “uncool.” Thus I’ve long wondered if the outsized anger with which I respond to how Israel treats Palestine was a variation of that syndrome.
Then I had an epiphany (insert hosannas by celestial choir of indeterminate denomination here). I realized it wasn’t self-loathing I was experiencing but that other syndrome known to reflective Jews. You know, the one where we expect more from Jews than from others. How can we treat Palestinians like they’re animals? Of course, that line of thinking is not only vanity, but the flip side of a thought process that leads the “chosen people” — Israel and its American supporters — to justify subjugating the members of another race and religion.
First posted at Focal Points.
Also see my 2008 post Nothing like a fresh Israeli offensive to bring out the Jew in me.