Friday, January 8, 2010

What More Can I Say

Sharing what I have learned
Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 10:58 AM CST

Criticize Israel or Israeli government violence, and the response is always the same: you’re an anti-Semite. Those who spuriously spit out the slur intend to damage my reputation and discredit my perspective.

In defense, I am not anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism, bigotry, means not sitting at the same table as a Semite, blaming all for the sins of one, developing irrational hatred. A bigot feels that all members of the group are lesser beings to be denigrated in the basest ways.

Does this mean that because I am well prepared to discuss what happens in Israel/Palestine, but not prepared to discuss similar problems elsewhere, that I am a bigot? I have lived in Jerusalem, visited Gaza and maintain close ties with Palestinians and Israelis of conscience. I have spent 15 years researching the situation and history of the Israeli/Palestinian problems.

I sit at the same table as Israelis and plenty of Semitic people; I do not blame all for the crimes of the Zionist government. I know the difference between Judaism, Zionism and Israeli nationalism. Motivated by a need to inform, I write to advance peace that only justice can bring.

I speak against Israel because I feel complicit in what Israel does. My taxes pay for actions that never will bring about peace. When Congolese women are gang raped, the United States Congress does not pass a resolution saying they approve. When Israel unjustly crushes Palestinians who have no recourse whatsoever, we not only send words of approval, we pay for the deed.

There’s no need to write about Palestinian wrongs; we get that news. The American people have the right to know the whole truth. Israel’s will costs us money, lives and morality. I make no apology for trying to share what I have learned.

Elizabeth S. Mayfield

Ames

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