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Racism and the Collapsing Society, Barbara Love and Tim Jackins, June 7, 2020

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Gentiles: Engage with What Is Happening in the Middle East

Dear fellow Gentiles,

This is an important time for us all to stand against anti-Jewish and anti-Arab oppression. What is happening in the Middle East continues to be heartbreaking. It needs all of our hearts and minds engaged—starting from wherever we are. It needs us to decide to let this matter. It is part of our world.

It never makes sense to judge ourselves as too small or too ill-informed. “I can and will make a difference, and this means . . .” is a way forward. And any step we take out of passivity and powerlessness is also a step toward our own liberation, and the liberation of us all.

There is a strong pull in all issues to take sides—to separate the “good people” from the “bad people.” This never makes sense. What does it take to be both for Israelis and for Palestinians? We get to discharge and figure out our way to an answer. It is our own independent, powerful mind that is needed—whatever our background and story.

Let us take steps to be informed—to have as full a picture as possible in whatever way is available to us, with lots of listening, listening, listening. Having a full picture will include understanding the role of anti-Jewish oppression—an oppression that has been deliberately obscured from the whole population.

Anti-Jewish oppression involves setting Jews up to be middle agents1 and thus be available as scapegoats to be blamed for the actions of those with real structural power. To be scapegoated, Jews must first be given positions of apparent power. (They may also be given some real power but always conditional upon doing the dirty work of those who are really in charge.) Israel has been given the military power to be “the cop on the beat”2 in the Middle East. This allows the real exploitative forces to hide behind Israel.

It is also Israel’s job to distract the populations of both the West and the Middle East from their true interests and from organising against the main people who profit from their exploitation.

Israel is set up to act on behalf of the United States and Western Europe. The conditional power given to Israel by these global powers allows Israelis, and all Jews, to be seen as the “bad guys” and to be hated and blamed. This fulfills the purpose of anti-Jewish oppression, which is to obscure the role of those with actual power and influence. Israeli and Jewish terror and experiences of vulnerability from centuries of anti-Jewish oppression are manipulated to support those with power to act out, under cover, their patterns of greed.

We also need to face and act against the injustice of the mistreatment of the Palestinians and how anti-Arab oppression in the West allows them to be treated as if their lives matter less.

We must discharge any distress that leads us to be self-righteous and take sides, or be numb or feel distant as if what is happening has nothing to do with us.

Let us put ourselves in the direction of informing ourselves and engaging in what is happening. It is happening in our world.

However, it is not the only horrendous thing that is happening, and indeed the attention it receives is part of the way that anti-Jewish oppression operates—portraying and focusing on the Jews as the ultimate “bad guys.”

Please do take this to sessions and support groups. Also, RC literature is excellent on this topic, and there are many other resources I would be happy to share with you. We need to keep thinking and discharging as we use wide-world resources, however, as few of them confront both the role of Israel and the anti-Jewish oppression simultaneously.

Whoever we are, let us step out of internalised oppression to discharge and take power now. This is how we reclaim our integrity.

Dorann van Heeswijk
Information Coordinator
for Gentile Allies of Jews
London, England

1 “Setting Jews up to be middle agents” means creating the conditions in which Jews become middle agents.
2 “Cop on the beat” means police on patrol.

Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00