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Thoughts After the Pittsburgh Shooting

It is meaningful that we are responding so thoughtfully to the recent targeting of Jews in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA).

I appreciate the postings about what we could be doing and are doing to contradict isolation and numbness. I like that many allies have written to me and to other Jews. That is such a contradiction [to distress].

I get to discharge on how every life is precious. We never deserved to be targeted.

It is interesting that the synagogue that was targeted did immigration and refugee work.

Other oppressed groups, particularly in the United States, have been reminded that Jews, too, are being targeted.

The targeting is, in part, connected to the fact that Jews are more and more actively engaged in fighting present-day racism. (Our being allies goes beyond our participating in the earlier U.S. civil rights movement.)

Very important: we get to remind ourselves that anti-Semitism has been set up as a diversion from the basic struggles taking place in society. Not long ago, key leaders of the Democratic Party received bomb threats. Many people (a high percentage of whom are Jews) are fighting hard for Democrats to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The society is collapsing at an even greater rate than before. The need for basic change is more and more apparent.

The climate created by the U.S. right-wing [reactionary] forces breeds the targeting of almost all, if not all, oppressed groups. Anti-Semitism, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and all the other oppressions are out there, visibly and dramatically.

This is an opportunity for discharge, for connection, for making new allies, for speaking truth, and for Jews of all races to visibly play a leading role in the struggle for justice and against oppression.

Re-evaluation Counseling started with a leader (Harvey Jackins) who took a principled stand against fascism and anti-Semitism. It continues to be a central place for discharging on and understanding the key role of anti-Semitism.

In solidarity,

Diane (Drezel) Balser

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of Jews


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00