There is anti-Semitism. Anyone who denies that is either blind or lying. However, calling an individual anti-Semitic because they state the Israeli government is committing violent acts against Palestinians is absurd. It’s also ridiculous to deny that white, Jewish people also benefit from white privilege and white supremacy and, as such, treat people of color in the same manner as non-Jewish white people.
U.S. Government Is Not The People So…
While a government is supposed to represent the people, more often than not, it falls short of doing so. Just like there are many people in the United States who are against the current cabinet there are individuals, who are Jewish, who are against the Israeli government. As a citizen of the U.S. it is our duty to protest and call out our government when it falls short of our expectations and the same goes for Israel.
Furthermore, as human beings, it is our duty to speak up as well. Calling someone an anti-Semite for criticizing the Israeli government is the same as Trumpers calling people unpatriotic or anti-America for decrying his racist conduct. To use the threat of that label is the same as Trump or his minions threatening to use theirs — it’s a way to avoid accountability, to avoid answering the tough questions we need to answer if we want something better for future generations. Neither does it exempt any Palestinians who are targeting innocent civilians either. There is enough accountability to go around.
Speaking up for human rights is a human right. It demonstrates love for people, state and/or country; however, love of people — of life — should take precedent. To care about people on all sides of a conflict is what prevents human rights from being violated and inhumane, brutal treatment from being inflicted. When we lose the connection for people outside our own, just as Trump is attempting with immigration, the horrible becomes not only possible, but inevitable.
Speaking up — standing up is key. A thousand “good people” who are silent because they don’t want to be a target or make waves is frail and easily dispersed. Get a hundred “good people” who will yell, demonstrate and stand on the front lines to protect others and you have a force that is formidable.
White Privilege Is About White Skin
Being Jewish does not mean you do not experience white privilege or portray white entitlement, especially in comparison and around people of color. Because privilege has to do with melanin deficiency and little else. Many people of color, including myself, have had negative, discriminatory, microaggressive treatment at the hands of someone who was white and Jewish.
However, we do not want nor care to make the distinction that you are or are not Jewish. From our experiences, it’s just typical white privileged behavior displayed by a typical white person.
Your skin is what gives you that privilege and sense of entitlement.
Your behavior and engagement with said privilege/entitlement is what labels you, by us, as “white”.
Those who benefit from white privilege do not have to be a certain kind of white. All they have to do is look white and that opens doors for them. There is anti-Semitism just like there is white privilege.
You can be a victim and also a villain. To understand, look at the list at the end of “Myth: Racism Against White People” and see how many of these experiences (that many people of color have gone through) you’ve also experienced.
We do not need an Orwellian “Animal Farm” cycle of the oppressed becoming the oppressors. We need people, as hard as it might be, to regard life as precious. A simple metric. Killing children of any category, should at the top of the “I’m evil” list. If you regard an adult life of your group as more precious than a child of another, you have lost something precious.