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David Palumbo-Liu Headshot

Don't Give In to Anti-Semitism; Act Against Injustice

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A Facebook friend and I are engaged in a silent debate. Nearly every time I post some news story critical of Israel's attack on Gaza, he posts back, without comment, a news story on the growing, ugly, resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. Indeed, stories coming from Israel warning of a coming second Holocaust raise deep concerns.

Where does this hatred come from these days? We do not have to look far, as it seems that each time we log on, we find another report of some horrible killing in Gaza. The recent Israeli bombings of UN schools, where Palestinian children and their families had gone to seek shelter, move our hearts.

But it is more the case that outrage and anger, rather than pity, come forward when we read reports of IDF personnel blithely discussing killing Palestinian children face to face. Such deliberate acts cannot be excused as "mistakes."

War creates horrors such as these. But to give in to visceral expressions of hatred in return, aimed against an entire people, is morally unjustified. It's also destructive and does nothing to right the actual wrong. It names the wrong party.

If one wishes to intervene to end this nightmare, rather than simply and unjustly rail against an ethnic group, one should protest against the actions of the state. There are plenty of ways to do so. And, I would say, one should also give of one's energy and financial resources to aid nonviolent efforts to end our financial support for Israel, especially support that goes to arms.