Opinion on Opinion

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 26, 2024

Dear Editor,
    I deeply appreciated the contributor in the Opinion piece last week describing the concept of Tzedakah, affirming “Jews’ inescapable obligation to fight for the rights of every human being facing any form of discrimination” and rejecting Israel’s atrocities [“Dear Israel: I’m Stuck in the Middle With You,” Feb. 23].
    An important missing piece of context, though, is the settler colonial nature of Israel. The founder of political Zionism himself, Theodor Herzl, called it a “colonial idea.” This ethno-nationalist vision resulted in what Palestinians remember as the Nakba or “catastrophe,” the ethnic cleansing that took place during the formation of the state of Israel. 750,000 Palestinians were displaced, 78% of historic Palestine seized, and about 15,000 killed in a series of mass atrocities. These massacres occurring after the Holocaust constituted tragedy on top of tragedy. The ethnic cleansing continues today.
    Considering the overwhelming history of antisemitism as well as contemporary upsurge, I understand the author’s statement, “… Jews must have some place to go.” However, I question whether the solution to antisemitism is a Jewish ethno-state, which will inevitably continue to result in apartheid. I believe we must fight antisemitism and all forms of oppression together rather than trading one person’s oppression for another’s.
    I join in the author’s conviction to “treat everyone with respect, kindness, and dignity.” Of course, to me, that means an immediate cease-fire to end the genocide and collective punishment of Gazans. It requires restoring funding to UNRWA and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel. Ultimately, I believe the solution is a secular, democratic, decolonized state. In the words of Jewish Voice for Peace, “We choose a future where everyone, including Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, can live their lives freely in vibrant, safe, equitable communities, with basic human needs fulfilled.”
Christopher Kennedy
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle