Today, I learned that – due to my writing for Daily Kos and Tikkun – I have been officially declared a self-hating Jew, joining the likes of Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman on a list I’m only too proud to embrace (links to which appear below).

How did this happen?

It’s quite simple and rather mundane. See, as an American progressive, I have long held that one of the most important geopolitical issues of our time is Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories, and the U.S. government’s role in enabling this military occupation. I have long held that America’s unwillingness to seriously intervene in this asymmetric conflict, to use its inordinate leverage (namely: $3 billion in annual funding) to compel Israelis to embrace a two-state settlement is a moral and political embarrassment.

As a Jewish progressive, I have long held that this occupation and domination of another people is the single greatest moral failing of my generation. For the human rights abuses Israel’s sustained occupation has wrought – civilians being subjected to undemocratic, military rule, indefinite detentions, home demolitions, restrictions on basic freedoms, and worse – make me shudder with shame and sadness.

And for harboring such political perspectives, I have been called an anti-Semite by conservatives and progressives alike, a term that has become so diluted by misuse that all it really amounts to anymore is a glorified way of saying I disagree with you.

And now, I have joined Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman (among many others) on an ‘official’ list of self-hating Jews curated by a right-wing, extremist organization that – tragically – mirrors the views of too many middle-of-the-road Americans.

Here is part of Glenn Greenwald’s entry (this link contains adult content), earned for honest political critiques of American foreign policy in the region:

He uses classically anti-Semitic narratives regarding Jewish power and dual loyalty – while also warning of the corrosive effects of Jewish money.

And here is a section of Amy Goodman’s entry (which also contains adult content), earned for some of the smartest, in-depth reporting on Israel and Palestine:

Pro-Palestinian writer and host on Pacifica Radio and one of many leftist radical Jews who populate the airwaves on Pacifica Radio. The media watchdog group CAMERA condemned her Pacifica Radio for “repeatedly providing a forum for racists, anti-Semites and other critics of Israel.” She is also a ubiquitous speaker at anti-U.S. and anti-Israel rallies.

And here is a portion of my entry, or rather snippets of my writing which earned my place on this self-hating list:

Palestinians are controlled in an apartheid state without any political rights … [Israeli leaders are still stricken by] psychological demons that stretch back to the Holocaust, demons which magnify Jewish victimhood such that brutalizing another people becomes a justifiable, even necessary position.

Now, that fact that this self-hating list exists, or that it’s run by an extremist organization, should be neither surprising nor noteworthy. What is noteworthy, however, is the fact that too many progressive Americans – and Americans in general – view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as simply a match between two peoples who hate each other, a match that they should just figure out on their own (or destroy each other trying).

How could such an asymmetrical conflict – with one of the most sophisticated armies in the world pitted against a stateless, powerless people – be viewed and dismissed by so many in America as a dumb conflict between two ideologically-bent peoples?

Lists like the one I’ve been included on and the principles that underlie it – casting Palestinians as a brutal, murderous lot – is much to blame.

In truth, both peoples are full of those who simply want to enjoy the right to watch a proper soccer match in peace while having access to a good cell plan.

But with so many self-hating Jews abounding, it’s hard to see such a reality.

Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG


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