There is a lot of consternation on DKos and other progressive websites about the refusal for many otherwise stalwart allies/posters to unambiguously condemn Israel and unequivocally disassociate from its policies.
This is because, for many Jews and their allies in our movement, the situation is far more complex, for psychological, political, and historical reasons. Israel remains the ultimate refuge for Jews around the world, for better or for worse.
While the Holocaust is a distant memory for many, to the Jewish community it is only the latest horror visited upon it. It is seared into our collective memories, and recent events only reinforce our feelings of being "the other", easily stigmatized, and sometimes violently threatened.
Laws against Jewish property, political, and legal rights have been promulgated as recently as the mid-20th century. Even today, Jews openly are discriminated against in many Arab countries. To assert ones Jewish identity, even for citizens of the US, at best makes you unwelcome in erst-while US allies like Saudi Arabia.
Even on this site, I have witnessed a conflation of the words Israeli and Jew. There are millions of non-Israeli Jews around the world. There is a mounting and perceptible feeling of vulnerability among the Jewish community.
These feelings are NOT just paranoia: [http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/...}
The ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict has exacerbated communal tensions in France, which is home to Europe's largest Jewish community and Muslim population.In Greece, 69% of the population harbor antisemitic views, in a questionnaire that had NOTHING to do with Israel . In fact, a member of the Greek parliament actually read from the infamous "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on the floor of that august institution:
A synagogue on the outskirts of Paris was firebombed and two others attacked by violent anti-Israeli protesters in the capital's city centre over the weekend.
In Greece, anti-Semitic viewpoints are aired frequently, particularly the notions that Jews control the global economy and politics. In 2012, when the Golden Dawn’s Kasidiaris read in Parliament from the anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the reading drew no condemnation from the other lawmakers present.
While I know that emotions are running high on both sides of Palestinian-Israeli crisis, it's important to avoid the level of vitriol that only fan the flames of intolerance and violence. Words matter.