Newspaper logo

OPEN LETTER TO MY BROTHER:

Why Carter is "Good for the Jews"

Carter is my hero for speaking out, and we should listen to him.

by DEBORAH REICH
My job is not to fix what the other party is doing wrong, but what my group is doing wrong in my name, and with my tax dollars.
Hi Jon,

Any possible inaccuracies in Carter's book (I haven't read it) pale immediately beside the huge service he has done to Jews everywhere, in spite of the abuse heaped on him by mainstream Jewish organizations etc., by opening up the debate in the USA and making it somewhat respectable (finally) to look honestly at what is going on in Israel/Palestine. This is not the movie "Exodus" anymore, folks--if it ever was! I think not! --any more than the "taming" of the American West was really like a John Wayne movie. (Ask a Native American. Listen to some Buffy Ste. Marie songs!)

In years to come, we as Jews will be terribly ashamed--we will be humbled and dishonored and ashamed and full of an unbearable regret--that we remained in denial so long of the reality on the ground in Palestine, both today, and in history. It's not about motives and intentions, past or present; it's about the dire consequences in real time, today. We are willfully refusing to see what is being perpetrated in our name. Come and visit the Wall, a few checkpoints, etc., and see for yourselves, people. I can get you a guided reality check tour here. Don't talk to me about "Palestinians are..." until you have met some actual Palestinians personally. They will shatter your stereotypes forever. They are people just like us. No different. Even their stupid leaders are no stupider than our stupid leaders!

"You killed and then you inherited" is forbidden in Judaism. Go ask the ghost of Rabin.
The paramount priority right now is not what the motives were in creating Israel, nor how the Holocaust figures in, nor any policies Israel has pursued in the past. All of that debate is beside the point right now. The paramount priority right now is to put a stop to the phased genocide taking place at this moment in the West Bank and Gaza. The eventual "cleansed" (of Palestinians) state that the Israeli army and successive governments of Israel are in the process of achieving for us will be an abomination to any morally normal person, but by then it will be too late. One thing for sure: a "Jewish" state it will not be. "You killed and then you inherited" is forbidden in Judaism. Go ask the ghost of Rabin.

People ask me why I don't talk about the evil stuff that (some) Palestinians do. I answer that my job is not to fix what the other party is doing wrong, but what my group is doing wrong in my name, and with my tax dollars. The folks like me on the other side are struggling heroically to pursue their own agenda of civic repair in their own society and they deserve full international support (but don't get much).

There is no argument over here anymore, among reasonable people, that abominations are being perpetrated every hour of every day by Israeli armed forces on ordinary innocent Palestinian civilians. Everyone in Israel knows this, although they have no clue what to do about it. People admit it--even cab drivers and other street pundits who are usually right-wing. The Cheneys and Rumsfelds and Wolfowitzes of Israel are running the army and the "civil administration" in the West Bank, etc. Their regime is out of control. The hard-core "settlers" (read: vicious thugs) are out of control. The Border Police are out of control. Units of Border Police hunt down and shoot Palestinian kids for fun; how sick is that? I am not making this up; it's in the papers. Anyone can read it.

Carter is my hero for speaking out, and we should listen to him. I truly hope (for his own sake) that deep-down he is not anti-Jewish or anti-Israel; but even if he were, it wouldn't invalidate what he is trying to make us do: to open our eyes, look past the sacred fairy tale of what Israel is, and see what Israel is doing. Love us or not, he seems to be trying to save us from ourselves. Maybe we should give him a hand?

Hope this answers your question!

P.S.: My new slogan: I am not a self-hating Jew. I'm a self-loving human.


Deb Reich is a writer and translator in Israel/Palestine. Contact her at debmail@alum.barnard.edu. © Deborah Reich 2006. Reproduction with attribution is encouraged.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on January 22, 2007.