The organizers behind Israel-Loves-Iran, a social media project combating hatred between Jews and Muslims, bring us some much-needed heartwarming in the aftermath of the terrible attacks in Charlie Hedbo magazine and a kosher market in Paris. Reposted with permission, here are evidence that Jews and Muslims are friends and heroes to each other.
As one of the captions says, “these crazy killers have one agenda: for us to start pointing fingers, for us to hate each other. separate and conquer. Our answer is simple: we ♥ each other” [sic]. Like their Facebook page here and visit their Peace Factory here.
Above: Lassana Batily, a 24-year-old Muslim from Bali, saved the lives of 15 people at the kosher market by hiding them in the freezer room and escaping to inform the police. His video interview here. Read more »
In the wake of the terrible attacks in Paris, my friends all seem to be retreating to the safety and sanctimony of their respective political teams. Team Right, is doing everything in its power to use the tragedy to reinforce its political message: Jews are not really safe in the diaspora. The attacks in Paris are further proof that antisemitism in Europe is worse than it has ever been since the end of WWII. Israel is the only way for Jews to truly be safe. Muslims need to engage in some serious introspection and be more vocal in their condemnations of terrorism. Meanwhile on Team Left, people are urging us not to paint all Muslims with the brush of their fanatics and attempting to remind us that while the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were inexcusable and unequivocally wrong, that doesn’t mean that everything they ever published is retroactively right. Team Left is also arguing that there’s a double-standard when it comes to our expectations of condemnations and that this is rooted in Islamophobia.
The weaknesses of Team Right’s positions are obvious and glaring. While there has indisputably been a rise in antisemitic attacks in Europe over the past ten years, the notion that Jews are no longer safe in Europe is a gross, politically-motivated exaggeration. Netanyahu’s sleazy appearance in Paris, against French President François Hollande’s explicit wishes, along with statements by Israeli officials encouraging French Jews to move to Israel en masse, are disturbing on multiple levels. First, how dare Israeli officials presume to tell French Jews where they ought to live? This in and of itself is condescending and wrong. Second, Netanyahu et al are shamelessly using the community’s tragedy to score political points in the upcoming Israeli election. Third, these statements place Israel and its supporters in that revolting nexus of antisemitism and Zionism, where the safety of European Jews is jettisoned in favor of the antisemite’s desire for them to leave and the Zionist’s desire for them to come. Finally, the language that Team Right uses to talk about Islam is crass, insensitive, and inaccurate. This should come as no surprise. While Team Right is intolerant and largely ignorant of Islam and Muslims, they are exceptionally tolerant and chummy with people who have made careers out of spreading Islamophobia.
This is a guest post by Yonit R. Friedman. It was originally published at allthesedays.org
Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a senior at Harvard University, is the Internal Coordinator for Open Hillel, a student-run campaign that promotes inclusive and open dialogue about Israel-Palestine in university campus Hillels. She first became involved with All That’s Left in the summer of 2013, while interning for Shatil through the New Israel Fund.
Disclaimer: Rachel’s views, as expressed in this interview, are her own. They are not representative of Open Hillel.
At the Open Hillel conference at Harvard University in October 2014, Rachel Sandalow-Ash scanned the crowd of 350 people. “This,” she remarked, “doesn’t look like just a small group of radical activists.” Despite her not-so-subtle jab at Eric Fingerhut, the CEO of Hillel International, Sandalow-Ash, a founder of Open Hillel, is a product of institutional American Judaism. Growing up, she attended the Conservative-affiliated Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton, Massachusetts, as well as Jewish summer camps. Before college, she didn’t think too much about broadening the Jewish conversation about Israel-Palestine, as Open Hillel aims to do. Between the right-wing Zionist politics of her day school, and her parents, who she describes as “J-Street-y,” she believed that issues related to Israel-Palestine “would cause a lot of controversy, so [she] shouldn’t talk about them.” Read more »
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in.
— Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”, 1965
And then, all of a sudden, we were slaves. Chapter 1 of Exodus moves quickly and gets right to the point. And just as quickly, it slows down to detail Pharaoh’s negotiations with the midwives (Exodus 1:15-22):
When Ms. Snow writes that “the American legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation is a wound so deep it may never fully heal,” what process of healing is she referring to?
Would it be the “healing” that has resulted in an incarcerated population that is larger than any other in the world, and overwhelmingly Black and brown? The “healing” that comes from more Black men in prison today than were enslaved in 1850?
Is it the “healing” that comes from a “War on Drugs” that has decimated neighborhoods, and even entire cities and towns, upending families to punish the economically and socially disenfranchised?
The painful truth for Black and brown Americans is that there is no “healing” process in this country. It is an illusion concocted by America’s privileged classes to comfort ourselves that we are different in some meaningful way from our parents and grandparents. The same comfort that many Jewish Americans, sadly, try to extract from our otherwise noble civil rights legacy.