I sometimes wonder if the apartheid in Israel is motivated by ethnic hatred more than religion. I think of both groups as Caucasian. However some Palestinians and Israelis aren’t exactly white like me, or an American Jew who may be of Middle Eastern descent, but is still quite white in his color and social capital. The original issue was religion, but as Jews in America promote their group as an ethnicity more than a religion, you have to wonder what Jews in Israel are telling themselves when they force indigenous people off the land to the more arid areas, restrict their movements, and cut off their electricity.

I’ve had to do research on this as I’m coming from the outside. I am part of neither group, ethnically or religiously (though many Palestinians are also Christian). I saw a paid article in the Cal Daily, the UC Berkeley newspaper from May 21, 2012 discussing the deplorable treatment of Palestinians and how American money supports this segregation and nadir. It was from the Justice First Foundation It presents some facts that are not mentioned in other places. Brutal attacks by Palestinians appear in the news, but not the killings committed by Israeli forces. This is a flawed approach for those who want Israel to thrive. It will breed suspicion; it is bad public relations.

Another group I have seen with ads in San Francisco and Berkeley is, which advocates peaceful collaboration between these two groups. It also exposes some truths that you frankly do not see in mainstream media. This group should win people over who want to work towards a time when no one is killing each other.

The Zionist movement had inspired Jews to move to Israel and buy land privately decades before England declared the land would be their homeland, despite provisos to protect the rights of non-Jews in Palestine. All Palestinians became Israeli and part of a Jewish state. After a turbulent 20th century, many argue Israel is a democracy, but how can it truly be if you have to be a Jew to naturalize?

We do not make immigrants convert to Christianity to naturalize and if we did that would be contrary to democracy. We had racial quotas allowing only white peoples to naturalize until 1952, but that was not right either. Then again countries in the Old World are still defined by their ancestors who dwelled there for millennia. But both Israelis and Palestinians have dwelled there for millennia.

This issue is too broad for one post. However I wanted to provide these bits of facts and introspection to get folks thinking. We can’t hate, nor love, a group because of what has gone on in the past, even if wrongs have yet to righted. We should honestly work towards our ideals of justice, peace, and unity.


About Daniel Roddick

Daniel has a B.A. in American History with minors in both Ethnic Studies and Sociology. He also has an M.Ed. in College Administration and Counseling. Daniel has worked in the financial aid industry for over a decade. He has presented all over the country on financial aid issues related to equity, inclusion, and access to education. He is also a writer of poetry, fiction, and this blog, all of which touch on identity.
This entry was posted in Race & Ethnicity, Religion & Spirituality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Israel-Palestine

  1. Jonathan Hradecky says:

    You bring up a great point about identity here… Is culture really a physical thing based on the people themselves, or is it an intangible lifestyle based on song, food, clothing and stories that can truly be embraced (or let go of) by any being that chooses to do so? And should culture/religion REALLY be so location (country) based? In the US, we try not to do that, but we still have issues surrounding the relationship of Church and State.

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