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Not backing down (on Palestine)

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earlier in may, the dream panel on palestine spoke at umass: Dave ZirinRoger WatersLinda Sarsour, and Marc Lamont Hill. moderated by Vijay Prashad. excellent throughout but some of the things that struck me: 

–linda’s comment about how jewish white privilege is tenuous, ephemeral, and at risk of being revoked. therefore the radical left is where the jewish community has a permanent home, rather than white nationalism, christian evangelicalism or even imperial liberalism of the sort embraced by hillary clinton and her ilk. 

–linda pointing out how out of all the speakers on that stage, it was marc lamont hill who was heckled constantly, the only black man to speak. she didn’t belabor the point but it illustrates, oh so beautifully, how zionism is racism. 

–marc lamont hill urging people to use the words ‘settler colonialism’ to describe zionism and the ethnic cleansing and occupation of palestine. i’ve always used those words because they clarify. ‘conflict’ is an obscene obfuscation.

–dave zirin unpacking the idea of ‘self-hating jew’ by defining it as becoming ‘what we once opposed and mimicking our oppressors from decades past.’ he chooses to walk with ilhan omar rather than benjamin netanyahu.

my jewish compadres from jewish voice for peace, see all of this – the overlap between anti-semitism, islamophobia and anti-black racism – and how we cannot survive unless we band together. 

i recently helped organize such a community discussion at the islamic center and got emails from liberal jews engaged in anti-racism work as well as the jewish federation, calling me to task for allowing two activists from JVP to participate because they are a small minority and do not represent the broader jewish community. i disagree. the impulse to censor and shut down is proof that this is exactly where the jewish community is headed and so those are the voices we need to hear most.

pls watch,

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