Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Yes, this is serious. Yes, it is structural. When you're talking about protesting at Hillel, you're not protesting Israel. You're protesting the rights of Jews to have a Jewish life on campus. When you protest at a JCC, you're actually protesting the rights of Jews to have a Jewish life. For anyone who couldn't guess, "CC" stands for "community center." The fact that the majority of people there have politics you don't share is not enough reason. There are good reasons the majority of people at any random Jewish Community Center have the politics in question.

No, I don't see Occupy Judaism dealing with it. That's why I couldn't sign the pledge from Occupy Judaism (a Jewish movement within OWS), which read, in part: "We are committed to keeping Occupy Wall Street free of anti-Semitism and other forms of oppression. We are committed to holding accountable those who would attempt to discredit Occupy Wall Street with unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism." It's not that there haven't been plainly outrageous claims made by right-wingers about OWS -- it's that there's no room to talk about actual antisemitism. The bit about keeping OWS free of antisemitism is, in practice, mostly refusing to see it. I have supported OWS, and I'd love to embrace it more fully, but I can't until there is real space to talk about antisemitism.

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