This is a follow up to a post I did a short time ago called Self Hating Jew? so it might help to read that first.
A couple of days ago, someone wrote to an NZ Jewish email list, stating that they considered an article published in Craccum, the Auckland University student magazine, to be antisemitic. I replied with the following:
Without particularly wanting to get into this argument again, while the article below is anti-Zionist, it most certainly is not antisemitic in any way, shape or form.
A short discussion followed, and my next email to the list was the following (names replaced with **'s):
***, I deny the "right" of the State of Israel to exist. So do an ever-increasing minority of Jews the world over.
Your step from "Israel shouldn't exist" to "kill the Jews" carries a severe logical flaw – many of the people the world over who deny the"right" of Israel to exist as a Jewish state do for for reasons of justice for Palestinians, of anti-statism in general and a number of other reasons, rather than antisemitism. They do not have an issue with Jews in any way, shape or form, but rather with the way Israel was formed and/or the concept of nation states in general.
Of course, a number of people who believe Israel shouldn't exist are antisemitic. That is not in doubt. But seeking to label all anti-Zionists as antisemites is a definitive step down the wrong path. If you see people trying to kill you everywhere you look, chances are you'll make it come true.
All fairly low-key, all quite polite. So, imagine my surprise when I awoke the next morning to find an email in my inbox from a Wellington Jew who has known me, quite literally, for my entire life. This email had been sent off-list, by someone who grew up with my Mother (who died in 2002).
The email read:
Shame on you Asher.
Your Mother would turn over in her grave to read what you have just posted.
This is the sort of shit I have to deal with. Discussion is great, argument is fine. But when someone stoops down to this sort of level, I can only respond with vitriol. The person who sent me this email was also responsible for spreading lies about me at last years Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day, a day when Zionists celebrate the conquering of East Jerusalem in the 6 day war of 1967) event in Wellington. My reply follows:
Fuck you *****.
As if you can even begin to think you have the right to presume what my Mother might have said or thought in any given situation.
My Mother raised me to value my own thoughts and opinions in the knowledge that they were valid. My Mother raised me to be more than merely a reactionary spouting off talking points that I had heard on the news.
When I was young, I remember a certain Wellington Orthodox Rabbi who told me I should question everything anyone told me. Being a cheeky kid, I asked him "even things you tell me, Rabbi?". He answered me swiftly with something I remember and value to this very day. He said, "You should question me most of all, as I'm claiming a position of authority".