First, no one has to hate themselves for any reasons other than their own “sins” and, of course, what is a “sin”?

Second, who cares what anyone says on “social media” in any event since it is all said in the abstract? It is all something “voiceless” on a screen. Who know what if anything truly human is behind it.

Third, when people (even in this abstraction) speak as a “group” you can never rely on that voice to have any genuine meaning. Group voices have no meaning. They never have and never will. Not the “Palestinian voice” nor the “Jewish voice” nor any other. Only individual voices count for anything and you can only know that face to face.

Because we find ourselves becoming temperamental on social media over matters that enflame us things continue to enflame us. Only human beings, calmly speaking to each other as human beings can ever approach dialog.

And no one has to hate themselves for the actions of another. No matter how hateful those actions may be. And actions on both sides, in this instance, have been rather hateful historically.

But, speaking only for myself, I’ll go one step further, as I have for many years. One doesn’t have to “demonize Israel” in order to defend the Palestinians. One merely has to criticize the actions of the Israeli government and certain factions among the Israeli population.

As an American citizen (and, I hope you, as a Canadian citizen) I feel a right to criticize my government when I feel they have turned against the democratic principles of my government. When they act injudiciously in any manner. When any member of my government behaves foolishly, especially if they are in a position of leadership. If, for example, they behave in an untoward manner in regard to a member of the (other) indigenous populations.

Why, then, should I not feel that same right to criticize the Israeli government (or any other)? It is NOT a criticism of “Israel” any more than my criticism would be of the “United States” or yours of “Canada.”

And why not criticize certain parts of the population? I criticize parts of MY population with regularity!!! They drive me CRAZY!!! The Q-people and the Trump people especially. Oh!!! And guess who THEY like???

Once again, and again: I am a Jew. I have been the victim of antisemitism far longer than you. But I have never been asked to denounce Israel or change my identity or any of these other things. You have. Okay. These others online have. I believe that. But why turn it into a generality, an abstract reality IF IT ISN’T SO for all Jews? Or even a majority? Or even a large proportion?

You know what? Perhaps your Facebook friend is thinking over what you said. Good people do this sometimes. And they do it quietly.

I, too, would wish more Palestinians would stand up to Hamas and reject them. But Hamas is a brutal, terrorist organization and perhaps you don’t understand what standing up to them means. Everyone of the Palestinians in the past who has attempted standing up to them has died. More or less. They are not nice people.

I wish more people in the Knesset would stand up to the religious nutjobs in the occupied territories. They are possibly more problematic than Hamas!

It isn’t simply one side. It never has been.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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