“Jews are not part of the clan and never will be.”
It’s not okay to discriminate against minorities…unless they are Jewish.
This was the uncomfortable realization for the three Jewish participants of the Chicago Dyke March, and has been a longtime bothersome reality for many Jews on university campuses and in other progressive circles. If you are Jewish, and especially if you are pro-Israel, you are deserving of the very hate, violence, and maltreatment that progressives preach against.
At the Chicago Dyke March, the three Jewish participants were discriminated against for carrying a Jewish symbol. They were told that the symbol was making people feel “unsafe”, and were forced to leave. This blunt crossing of the fine line between anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism shows the incremental rise in hostility towards Jews in our times. It is not the first time in history such a gradual process of increasingly unmasked anti-Jewish sentiment is occurring, and we must heed the writing on the wall.
So why are we getting “kicked out”?
Linda Grauer, one of the two participants, titled her opinion piece: “The Chicago Dyke March Preaches Inclusion. So Why Was I Kicked Out for Carrying a Jewish Pride Flag?”
The answer is that Jews are not part of the clan and never will be. We are a people with a special history and an important, albeit obscured, higher purpose. This purpose is known by the phrase, (to be) “a light unto the nations”, which really means that we need to be a model of the unity that our world so needs. The very word “Jew” (in Hebrew “Yehudi”) comes from the word unity (“Ichud”). It is also written in Midrash Tanhuma in rabbinic literature that, “Israel will not be redeemed until they are all one bundle”. Whenever we forget or reject our purpose, to unite, and try to immerse ourselves in other nations and societies, they eventually force us out and label us as outsiders, as Jews.
The Path to Security and Acceptance
The reason given at the Dyke March for removing the Jewish participants was that their flag was too reminiscent of the Israeli flag and therefore, threatening. Indeed, when Jews run from their identity as carriers of the torch of unity in this world, others see them as a threat. It is written in the Talmud (Yevamot 63), “No calamity comes to the world but for Israel.” All over the world, people have an underlying sensation that Israel is the source of everything that happens, and that it is responsible for it. This also explains the double standard Israel is held to at the U.N and by its many critics. It’s not that Israel is perfect, obviously it makes its mistakes, but that is not the real reason that it is constantly singled out as the only perpetrator of havoc in the world.
Eleanor Shoshany Andersen, one of the Jewish participants in the Dyke March said that she “would feel physically unsafe if she came back to the march with anything short of a forehead tattoo that said “Israel is the worst thing that has ever existed”. Sadly, there are many Jews who do fall for this trap.
However, showing resistance to the state of Israel, or otherwise adhering to the values of the circles Jews wish to belong to, will not save them from being excluded. Just as Jews who were “more German than the Germans, and more French than the French” before the Nazis came to power, were isolated and later persecuted, so it is today. Those Jews who believe they are “on the same side” as anti-Israel groups such as BDS and others, will eventually be bitterly disappointed.
Trying a New Solution
Trying to escape our role has never worked out well. However, when Jews will finally begin to unite amongst themselves, above political affiliations and opinions, they will truly stand for the progressive values of inclusion and love that they feel drawn to.
I believe that Jews gravitate towards progressive circles in the first place because they have a deep knowingness that unity above borders and separations is how human beings should live, but they should know that they are the ones who must lead the way, by rediscovering the method of connection that is ingrained in their own heritage.
Without a true method to achieve love of others, we are left with movements that preach unity, but in fact create separation. Instead of being surprised by the rejection we face from such movements, we should see it as a sign that it is time to rediscover who we are, and bring the world the light and unity that will make it truly inclusive.
The book, Maor VaShemesh, writes, “The prime defense against calamity is love and unity. When there are love, unity, and friendship between each other in Israel, no calamity can come over them.”
And so, the banner that Jews must raise is that of unity above all else. Not to make everyone the same, but to connect everyone into a shared purpose of love and humanity. Only by leading all other societies to true peace and harmony will we ever be truly accepted, included and honored.
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