Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Letter From A "Self Hating Jew"

While reading an article this morning on Haaretz.com about the director Ken Loach's boycott of Israeli cultural institutions, I was struck by one of the reader commentaries at the bottom of the article. More specifically, it was one of the responses to another reader's comments. A Mr. Larry Saltzman, of Santa Barbara, California, expressed the following;

" I agree with Loach. The occupation of Palestine and the recent war against Lebanon are worthy of any sanctions and boycotts that can be successfully imposed on Israel."

to which, Ronald Ginson, of Lee's Summit, Missouri replied by calling Mr. Saltzman a "self hating Jew".

While I heartily disagree with Saltzman's assertion regarding sanctions and boycotts, that is a matter for another day and another blog. My argument today, is with Ginson's use of the term "Self Hating Jew".

This term, is simply too easily and too often bandied about by members of the right wing who see the world in black and white; those Jews who stand with them are immune, while those who oppose their platform, or any element thereof, are summarily dismissed as self hating.
Well hear this; I`m a Jew, and an Israeli, and I love being a Jew, and an Israeli and for that matter, I simply love myself. (Where's the self hate?) I also oppose the war in lebanon, and the occupation by my country`s government of the palestinian territories. Furthermore, I want peace, and the only way I see this happening, is for my government to assist in establishing a Palestinian state, aiding in building a working infrastructure, and for both us, and the Palestinians, to open a new page. This is all very simplistic I know, but I'm trying to be brief and stay close to my original point; the "self hating Jew".
To be honest, I don`t know many "self hating Jews". I assume that when one uses this term, one means it literally, as it`s far to simplistic a designation to hide any subtlties. So, when you, Mr. Ginson, call me a "self hating Jew", which I'm sure you inevitably will, please keep in mind, that Israel and the world in general, are full of people like me, who both love our Jewish-ness, and our Israeli-ness, and despise the actions that are so often carried out in the name of our supposed well being or protection. If that makes me a "self hating Jew", then I can only wish you and the others who favor this term the healthy level of self esteem I and my ilk enjoy.

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