I write to express my unease and deep disappointment over what I see as a lot of macho posturing that Israel is a religious geography not a geopolitical geography, and that all the land that Israel now occupies must become a permanent part of Israel because the Old Testament says so.
This religiously-based position leaves no room for compromise. But we mustn’t turn our backs on history and what we have learned from our own struggles. During the Holocaust, to be a Jew meant immediate scapegoating and ultimate death by extermination. My mother just wanted someone to care for and help her and treat her like the lovely young woman that she was instead of a branded animal with no rights. Many survivors went into human rights work. Many of their children hold the rights of all people as sacrosanct, regardless of religion. When we target the Palestinians and all Muslims as “the other” and unite ourselves around making entire races targets of hate and prejudice, we are not being Jewish. To be a real Jew, one must make a pact that because of the Holocaust and what happened to our people, we will not scapegoat, marginalize, or take the rights away from other human beings just because they are not Jewish.