I’ve said, I think today, that it looks like the Jews have lost control of the “individual Jews” narrative and instead appeared in the media like a swarm of malicious and cruel insects.
I think that is true, and I think this is damage control.
As Rabbi Alissa Wise scrolls through social media, her feed is littered with videos of dead Palestinian children, parents holding their lifeless bodies with screams caught in their throats and eyes sunken with grief.
Like millions around the world, she has been haunted by the gruesome scenes flooding out of Gaza, where civilians have endured more than two weeks of an Israeli siege and bombing campaign that has collapsed homes, destroyed vital infrastructure and sparked a humanitarian crisis.
The airstrikes have killed more than 4,600 Palestinians so far, including an estimated 1,900 children, and wounded at least 14,000 others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. Another 1.4 million people have been internally displaced, the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
“It’s wretched. I wake up every single morning with tears in my eyes, rage in my heart and I channel it into action,” Wise, a rabbinical council member with Jewish Voice for Peace, told CNN. “My coping mechanism is to yell into the void, yell into the halls of Congress.”
She feels the same grief and horror over Hamas’ surprise attack in Israel on October 7, when the militant group brutally killed more than 1,400 people, including civilians and military personnel, and abducted over 200 others, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel says its mission in Gaza is to root out and destroy Hamas, which governs the small territory. But it is the 2.2 million Palestinians living there, unable to escape, who are bearing the brunt of the attacks.
It is these lives that Wise and other Jewish American peace activists are mobilizing to save with their calls for an urgent ceasefire.
On Wednesday, thousands of Jews and allies marched on Capitol Hill, where they carried Palestinian flags and rallied in support of Palestinian rights, while Wise led a smaller sit-in with hundreds of activists inside one of the Capitol buildings. The action was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow, two of the largest US Jewish groups calling for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Members of Jewish advocacy groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now protested on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, on Wednesday October 18, leading to hundreds of arrests. @evystadium reports: pic.twitter.com/eLJhOtN4PM
— VICE News (@VICENews) October 19, 2023
Washington DC , USA 🇺🇸
HAPPENING NOW – Pro-Gaza protesters including members of Jewish Voice of Peace in Cannon House office building on Capitol Hill are holding ‘ceasefire’ banners and chanting ‘not in our name.’
Source: MWR. pic.twitter.com/eDgzos34kV
— Outspoken. 🇬🇧 (@ExploringAlway) October 18, 2023
At the sit-in, led by two dozen rabbis, they blew shofars, a traditional horn made from ram’s horn and used in Jewish rituals, and shared testimonials from Palestinians suffering in Gaza. They wore shirts that read, “Not in our name,” and unfurled banners demanding a “ceasefire.”
The activists also called on the US government to stop providing aid to Israel, which Wise says “encourages and funds the mass murder of Palestinians.”
Wise was one of more than 355 activists, mostly Jewish, arrested during the event, according to Jewish Voice for Peace spokesperson Sonya Meyerson-Knox.
Thousands more Jewish Americans continue to gather in protests across the United States, calling on President Joe Biden and other elected officials to rein in Israel – arguing more civilian deaths is not the answer to Hamas’ deadly attack.
Moments after Rabbi Wise was released by authorities, she learned one of her closest Palestinian friends lost his entire family in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.
“I fell in a puddle on the floor. It was a very sobering reminder of exactly what we’re trying to prevent,” Wise said. “It’s critical for American Jews to stand up and say, ‘never again’ is never again for anyone.” The slogan has been a rallying cry of the Jewish community since World War II.
“If we’re going to learn anything from history, it’s that the things that we stand for are for everybody, no exception, and that includes Palestinians,” she added. “We’re pulling back on organizations that suggest Jewish safety must come at the expense of Palestinian life. We say, it’s not either-or, it’s all of us or none of us.”
In addition to organizing civil actions, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow are also educating communities through digital media, engaging with journalists, organizing petition drives and coordinating telephone and email campaigns aimed at elected officials and news organizations. Much of their work is done in partnership with smaller Jewish groups, as well as Arab, Muslim and Palestine solidarity activists.
Jewish Voice for Peace, founded in 1996, describes itself as the largest Jewish pro-Palestinian organization in the world, with over 440,000 members and supporters across 30 states. IfNotNow also has a large US network, with tens of thousands of Jewish members who have taken direct actions to protest the Israeli occupation since 2014.
More than half of Gaza’s population are refugees whose ancestors fled or were expelled from their homes in present-day Israel by armed Jewish groups during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which Palestinians call al-Nakba or “the catastrophe.” Israel has never allowed them to return to their homes and many have lived in poverty ever since.
In 1967, Israel seized control of Gaza in the Six-Day War with Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and held it for nearly 40 years before withdrawing troops and settlers in 2005. Since then, Israel, in coordination with Egypt, has imposed a blockade that critics say transformed Gaza into “the world’s largest open-air prison.”
Hostilities have regularly broken out between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, including Hamas, which was elected to power in 2006 and ousted its opposition in 2007.
The situation for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and refugee camps in surrounding countries is similarly dire.
Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow believe that only by addressing these issues can peace ever be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians.
For the record, it’s just a fact that there are a whole lot of Jews who don’t support a disproportional response to Palestine, and who want a Palestine state, and even who want citizenship for the entire Palestinian population (which effectively means abolishing Israel, because there would be so many more Palestinian voters than Jewish voters that this whole “maintain Jewish identity” thing would break and they’d be forced to do multiculturalism, which in Israel, they claim is genocide).
I’ve seen a lot of compelling data that most American Jews and even a large portion of Israeli Jews (particularly women, obviously) are much more committed to left-liberal politics than they are to Israel and probably to Jewish collective identity more broadly. It appears that the Jews themselves have mixed up “Jewish collective identity” with “Jewing over the goyim,” which is exactly what Orthodox Jews have been saying would happen as a result of assimilation for like 100 years.
All that having been said: it appears, very much right now, that the unhinged pro-Israel Jews are screaming so loudly, and coming out of the woodwork to swarm. (The word is definitely “swarm.”) It’s like the noise of locusts. It’s a swarm. Everywhere, these Jews are completely losing their minds in public settings.
I also believe that the left-liberal Jews probably are kind of reacting to that on some visceral level. They aren’t circling the wagons, but they appear to be silenced by the swarm.
I assume that someone picked up on this, the fact that it was appearing this way, and put together everything in the above CNN article as damage control.
I think the Jews have very serious problems on every level imaginable. They just can’t function. They are too driven by the stain of God’s blood on their hands.
It’s not just that many or even most American Jews care more about open borders and child genital mutilation than they care about the security of Israel – the Israeli nationalists care more about killing Palestinian children than they care about the security of Israel.
Again: the Jews who ostensibly only care about the security of Israel behave as though they are acting on a first principles concept “to cause harm.” It looks like Israeli national security is an excuse or an actual front for bloodlust and mass murder.
I’ve only recently started viewing it in such an extreme way. But I’m just having trouble explaining any other line of logic. The Netanyahu decisions only make sense if your singular goal is large scale war and death. It doesn’t make sense in terms of Israel’s security. Israel security first ideology would create a workable peace-based solution to the Palestine problem. There are potential reparations and bribery oriented neutralization strategies that have never been considered at all. There was never a military solution, other than blockade/starvation, which isn’t feasible in the West Bank and isn’t really feasible in Gaza due to PR consequences and Hezbollah missiles.
Elvis Dunderhoff contributed to this article.