The Israel of Your Dreams is a Nightmare: Letter to Jewish Students

“I am sharing my story to acknowledge that the discomfort some of you feel on your college campus is real. Though the images and information that you see around may not reflect the Israel of your dreams, they are not anti-Semitic.  In fact, labeling your discomfort anti-Semitism, or allowing others to convince you that this is the case, can actually undermine our collective struggle against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. Turning your discomfort and frustration into attacks on Students for Justice in Palestine or participating in the demonization of scholars and movements critical of Israel will not relieve you of your discomfort. The challenges you face are an opportunity to learn and to grow, personally and intellectually, even if you do not change your political views.

“Jews have always prided themselves for being the “people of the book.”  You can turn your discomfort into an opportunity to expand your knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by paying careful attention to Palestinian narratives, which most of us have not been exposed to growing up.  The Israeli cabinet’s adoption of the “Jewish Nation-State Bill” is a rude wake-up call to Jews everywhere. The Israel of our dreams IS an Apartheid state and its leaders seem certain that they have our support.  It is time to wake up and speak up, before it is too late. Jewish students on college campuses in the Diaspora can set an example for their Jewish counterparts in Israel by holding Israel accountable and by insisting that it adheres to democratic principles and respects international law..”

– Read more: The Israel of your dreams has turned into a nightmare: A letter to Jewish students -Simona Sharoni, Mondoweiss

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