Protester vs. Radical
Over the past few weeks, protests organized by Jewish Voice for Peace have poignantly made the case against the slaughter of civilians in Gaza with slogans such as “Never again for anyone” and “My grief is not your weapon.” A rabbinical student wrote a heartfelt essay for 972Mag about her reasons for participating in a sit-in on Capitol Hill alongside other rabbinical students and rabbis. Yet those who speak out against collective punishment for Hamas’s brutal attacks are routinely demonized as antisemitic. Of course, we should call out antisemitism when we see it. I spend a lot of time swimming in the waters of progressive social media, and my own experience has been that most people are opposed to the siege of Gaza while also critical of the few instances of bigotry they’ve seen in activist spaces. By and large, it isn’t protesters who are extremists; that label belongs to those who dehumanize whole civilian populations. It’s a false binary to suggest that terrorism can’t be addressed without indiscriminate bombing, killing thousands of children in the process.
Tags: first amendment, foreign policy, free speech, human rights, israel, palestine, protestors, protests, war