“Antisemitism is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. This sentiment is a form of racism, and a person who harbors it is called an antisemite.” Wikipedia
I have no hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. Not one scintilla. I have never uttered one word that could be considered antisemitic, yet in recent weeks I have been accused of hatred for the Jewish people. Evidently, unless you blindly and without reservation support the military, political, and religious objectives of Israel, you are guilty of antisemitism.
Defenders of Israel love to use the “antisemite” label to cut off all discussion about Israel’s eight-decade-long apartheid practices. During the United States’ immoral wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, President George W. Bush famously tried to cut off all discussion and debate by saying “You are either for us or against us.” Who wants to be considered un-American during a time of war, right? This is exactly what is happening now with Israel’s war against Palestine. Either you are on Israel’s side or you are an enemy of the Jewish people.
I am against all war. As a pacifist, I see war as a failure of human imagination; an inability to solve conflicts without violence. While I grudgingly admit that self-defense is, on rare occasions necessary, few wars are prosecuted for self-defense reasons. When nation-states wage indiscriminate war, the result is always failure. There are other ways to settle conflicts, but we humans tend to take the easy way out by using violence, bloodshed, and carnage to settle our disagreements. That’s what Hamas did, and that is what Israel is currently doing.
Peace in the Middle East is possible, but until the West sees Israel as part of the problem, peace is impossible. Israel must be held accountable for their crimes (as must Hamas), and as long as they are given a pass, blood will continue to flow in the streets. Driven by Bible verses, Israel will not stop until they take ALL the land God promised to Israel in the Old Testament. There’s no room for a two-state solution, and as long as that is true, Palestinians will continue to push back against Israel’s apartheid practices.
As long as dead children keep piling up in Gaza, I will not turn a blind eye to Israel’s murderous behavior. Further, I hold the United States and President Joe Biden responsible for the war. As long as Israel has the U.S. standing with them and funding their military, they will continue to do what they are doing. Cut off the money and tell Israel that we will NOT defend them if they expand this war to Lebanon and Iran. As long as their bully big brother stands behind them in support, the bloodshed will continue and could lead to the deaths of American soldiers.
Call me an antisemite all you want, but I will continue to care about the deaths of children and other innocents far more than I care about being labeled a Jew-hater.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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