I had a Facebook exchange on one of my posts some weeks ago. This FB friend asked me how I would expect to get people to understand me when I use terms like ‘pseudo pro-Palestinian protesters’ and ‘anti-Israel protesters’ in reference to the violent protests that I believe are anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic rallies camouflaged as pro-Palestinian protests and that are unfolding all over our country right now.
I asked him to share with me an example of a pro-Palestinian protest that was not violent and anti-Jewish. Just one.
So he quoted Martin Luther King: “Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert.”
This is reference to my words… not in reference to the protesters.
Then he asked me if I thought all of my accusatory, insulting language was going to make things better for my relationships with friends who see the Palestinian side as well as the Israeli side?
Kind of concerns me that he doesn’t feel that the violent protesters are…well, violent and has a problem with me calling this out. Kind of concerns me that he feels that “anti-Jewish” is insulting. Kind of concerns me that he assumes that I only see the Israeli side.
And I asked again, share with me one protest that is not violent and anti-Jewish (oops that phrase again, my bad).
Show me one non-violent, pro-Palestinian protest.
One protest where the protesters faces are all uncovered, where they do not chant ‘from the river to the sea” or ‘intifada revolution.’ Where they do not burn Israeli flags or rip down American flags. Where they do not stop traffic at airports, or take over retail establishments, or deface national monuments or call Israelis Nazis or tear down posters of Hamas hostages in Gaza.
One protest where the protesters sit peacefully and speak about the challenges in Gaza. And know where Gaza was. And what river and sea they are talking about. And care about the Muslims being killed in other countries. And call out Hamas for the atrocious crimes against humanity, the rapes against so many women and girls, the beheading and cutting off of limbs and breasts, the burning of babies, the taking of hostages, that Hamas inflicted on Israel on October 7.
Show me just one protest. Just one. Show me one pro-Palestinian protest that is not anti-Jewish. Show me a pro-Palestinian where the protesters show up in a non-violent way.
The response was “some people see dragons all around them.”
This means me.
I asked him if he wanted to have a conversation around the nature of these protests, or if he wants to just critique my way of communicating.
I asked again for him to share one non-violent, pro-Palestinian protest.
I asked him if he wanted to continue the conversation over coffee or a call.
He said I was not willing to listen and if he couldn’t change my mind, why bother….
I said that was unfortunate… that direct communication in person is a much better way to have this kind of dialog.
And I shared that I was curious why he felt my words were violent and insulting, as I felt they were factual and based on my experience of what is happening.
‘Whatever,’ he said.
‘And there we go,’ I said.
And then he blocked me.
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