Saturday, October 24, 2015

I hate: the Occupation. I hate racism. I hate hypocrisy.

Last night, October 19,  in Greenburgh Town Hall, at a Jewish Voice for Peace/ WESPAC event when Suhail Khalilieh, Palestinian policy analyst, and a young Palestinian girl from Bethlehem who teaches violin in Aida Refugee Camp, and Gideon Levy, Haaretz  journalist spoke, they were continually and furiously harassed and assaulted with violent ugly words shouted and spit out at them from a group of people mainly at the back of the room and in particular one woman who held up a sign “Gideon Levy = Hate.”  

Gideon Levy began in his steadfast strong measured voice: “Yes, the sign does represent me. I hate: the Occupation. I hate racism. I hate hypocrisy. I hate ignorance. I hate brainwashing…” The audience applauded his words. 

The audience was filled with a diversity of people, many of whom I recognized as Jewish friends, people who cared deeply about what has been happening to the Palestinians -  Christians and Muslims – as well as the Jewish people - since 1948 at the founding of Zionist Israel. I have been wondering why there is always such a brutal attempt to silence people who speak out against “Settler Israel,” regime after regime that has promoted an apartheid system in Israel and a brutal military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza; people who have erased the memory of Palestine as a country that once harbored Jews, Christians and Muslims.  

This Saturday night, October 24, 7 p.m. at the Inquiring Mind, Saugerties, Noga Kadman - whose Jewish forefathers on her mother’s side arrived in Palestine from Eastern Europe in 1860’s and on her father’s side, in the 1930’s -  born in  Jerusalem, now residing in Tel Aviv, will be presenting her book Erased from Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948. I hope people of all faiths and beliefs attend, and are able to take in and listen to -- without trying to snuff out -- what Noga has to say.  

Jane Toby

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