A few weeks ago (i.e., early July of C.E. 2014), Lasha Darkmoon asked her readers to submit brief essays explaining why they were — or were not — “anti-Semitic.” Though he had no intention of submitting a paper on that subject, Toshiyori pondered the question. He knows Palestinian Semites whom he respects and thinks of as friends; in years past, he has known American Jews whom he admired and whose companionship he enjoyed. But, remembering that Adolf Hitler’s valet (Emil Maurice) was Jewish, it seems that — to avoid being labeled “anti-Semitic” — it is insufficient to have Semitic associates or even to regard some Jews as admirable. Particularly from the second half of the 20th century to the present, it is expected of one that he/she be an advocate of Zionism.
“Zionism” is, of course, neither religion nor race, but a political doctrine more or less comparable to communism, capitalism, etc. Although it is espoused primarily by Jews, many Gentile politicians and TV evangelists now claim to be Zionists. To the extent that anyone opposes Zionism (which, in practice, is the violent occupation of Muslim Palestine by Jewish racists), he or she may be subject to the charge of “anti-Semitism” or — in the case of those Orthodox Jews who refuse to endorse Zionist dogma — of being “self-hating” Jews. Ergo, by default, Toshiyori qualifies as an “anti-Semite.” Bearing this grievous fault firmly in mind, there follows Toshiyori’s impressions and thoughts on the current [late July, C.E. 2014] situation in Gaza.
For at least ten years, Hamas has been firing rockets into territory claimed by Israel. In the course of this period, the government of Israel claims two Jews have been killed and one Jewish apartment building damaged by Hamas’ rockets. Assuming that these figures are accurate and wholly truthful, it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion that such rockets are scarcely more dangerous than fireworks. Despite which, they have served as pretext for repeated IDF incursions into Gaza.
During the present invasion, Israel has thus far — i.e., to the cease-fire of 26.VII.14 — succeeded in killing over 1,000 and wounding more than 6,000 Palestinians. Of the dead, at least 800 are civilians, including 200+ children. Toshiyori appreciates the Palestinian people’s frustration with Israel’s blockade. But it should be obvious that this is too high a price to pay for Hamas’ expression of anger utilizing amateur rocketry.
By contrast, the U.S. government has supplied every weapon deployed by the IDF, including both illegal phosphorus and fletchette bombs, with the unanimous approval of the House of “Representatives” and the Senate. It needs be remembered that all of these killing tools are purchased for Israel by America’s taxpayers. For, the day will inevitably come when Israel’s war criminals are brought to justice. If so, nooses may also be knotted for America’s Senators and Congressmen, who endorsed and facilitated Israel’s every crime.
As Buddhists, we are obliged to pray for both peace AND justice in the Middle East. It should be obvious that, without justice for Palestine, there will be no peace for Israel. Unquestionably, Jews have the right to self-preservation. But this does not and cannot be permitted to extend to the annihilation of any other race or religion, i.e., to genocide. Even if it means separation, we must all learn to live and let live.