I am a Jew who is hurt and angered on a level I have rarely experienced before

April 3, 2018

by Martin Odoni

I have been hurt down the years by comments Zionists have thrown at me, for being a Jew who opposes Israeli policy, and who does not think Zionism was a necessary ideal. I have been accused of being a ‘Palestinian shill’, an ‘assimilate half-breed’, and the ever-popular insult-of-choice, a ‘self-hating Jew’. (How this abuse is any more acceptable than explicit anti-Semitic terminology is quite mysterious.) I try to resist the temptation to blow up at Zionist-fanatics when they resort to this, but I have not always succeeded. This is because these are vicious insults designed to make me feel guilty, as though I have violated my own nature – as though they know better than I do what my nature is. But for all the hurt that causes, my stance on Israel has not changed.

Netanyahu

The Israeli leader has to stop claiming to act in the name of Jews around the world. There is a very large number of us whom he has never consulted.

I have long felt the suffering of the Jewish people has been exploited and manipulated for political purposes, including by Jewish, and more particularly Zionist, groups themselves. But never have I felt as personally sullied as by what has happened over the last twenty-four hours. Never have I felt as angry, hurt, exploited, or demeaned, by the use of anti-Semitism as a political football, as I feel right now.

Last night, by invitation, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, observed a seder for Pesach with members of ‘Jewdas’. They are a group of leftist British Jews who are opponents of Israeli policies. After over a week of ridiculous hysteria against Corbyn over a remark he made years ago about a putatively anti-Semitic mural, he is now under constant attack for doing something that could hardly be more pro-Jewish.

‘Jewdas’, due to their opposition to Israel, are being spoken of in the same terms as the anti-Semites that Jeremy Corbyn supposedly supports (very untrue). That is the only reason that ‘Jewdas’ are being criticised.

This is yet another no-win-situation for Corbyn. Had he declined the invitation he had received, the headlines would have been, “NOW CORBYN SNUBS JEWS AT PASSOVER!!!” followed by lengthy twisting-of-details to present it as clinching evidence of his ‘anti-Semitism’. Because he accepted the invitation, and the media narrative requires that he needs to be presented as, at worst anti-Semitic, at best insensitive towards Jews, the group he visited must now be de-legitmised. The fact that the ‘Jewdas’ group has a track-record of criticism of Israel is thus used against them. The media, and right-wing politicians, are effectively intimating that, because ‘Jewdas’ say things that some other Jewish groups do not, they are ‘undesirable’ and that mixing with them is ipso facto insulting to Jews more widely.

There are too many reasons to list why this is ridiculous, the most glaring being the near-racist assumption of ‘homogeneity’ – that Jews are a sort of ‘Hive-mind’ people with no individual power-of-thought. Any independent thinkers are therefore ‘seditious’ almost. This is not only the narrative of hawkish Zionists, it is being leapt upon by opportunistic politicians and journalists who have nothing to do with Jewish communities at all. And the narrative has been expressed so persistently loudly since last night that it is beginning to stick. “Corbyn is prepared to mix with Jews,” goes the narrative, “but the ‘wrong kind’ of Jews. The kind that criticise Israel. That makes him even more of an anti-Semite.”

So, to be Jewish and a critic of Israel is to be a “wrong kind of Jew”. That of course means I personally must be “the wrong kind of Jew” too. Society’s expectations override the freedom to be an individual once more, like in Victorian times.

Now as I have mentioned before, I spent intermittent spells of my childhood being insulted for being a Jew of any kind. Now I find myself insulted for being a particular kind of Jew – the wrong kind. And the frightening realisation is that we are on a slippery slope, at the foot of which, people like myself will likely be told we do not ‘count’ as Jews, because we support the Palestinians against Israeli oppression.

You see why I am hurting?

I despair that many Jews are letting themselves – and the people’s history of suffering – be exploited in such a cheap, demeaning way. But then it is difficult for a Jew to fight it. In my position, and indeed the position of ‘Jewdas’ (which in this context is proving to be an unfortunate choice of name), there is a strong, demoralising threat of being seen as a traitor. And there is no one in prominent positions in the media or politics right now who is prepared to speak up for us. To speak up, that is to say, for people who know that the stigma of anti-Semitism is being cynically exploited, and feel personally hurt by it. No politicians seem prepared to resist the narrative. Even Corbyn’s allies in Labour like John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey seem reluctant to call out the deceit. The mainstream media clearly want to believe the ‘anti-Semitism-in-the-Labour-Party’ crisis is real and huge-scale, so will not give voice to anyone who points out why it is not, let alone lend credibility to the objection by pointing out how many of the dissenting voices are Jewish.

Dissenting Jews like myself are screaming-into-the-void. Which makes it hurt even more.

Were there ever proof that ‘anti-Semite!‘ is often a politicised shoutdown of voices inconvenient to Israel, this is it. The definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ is now so broad that it is poised to extend, not just to gentiles who disagree with Israel, but even to Jews who disagree with Israel.

No one will combat that, because the circular reasoning therein classes me as ‘the wrong kind’ of Jew. And who would want to listen to someone who cannot get ‘being Jewish’ right?

_____

POSTSCRIPT 04-04-2018: Please see the comments section below for an example of precisely the treatment dissenting Jews such as myself often receive from Zionists, then click here for more about this.

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17 Responses to “I am a Jew who is hurt and angered on a level I have rarely experienced before”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Louis Chamoun Says:

    The problem is when you allow extremists to claim that any criticism of Israel is antisemitism, you are actually saying that whatever they do cannot be questioned. That their can be no punishment for their actions as a state.

    I actually applaud Corbyn for meeting you. He picked the Jewish community that somewhat share his view and didn’t compromise on his principles…proving once and for all that he is not anti Semitic but questions the validity of Israel’s actions.

    If you read this people, remember to question why things are the way they are? When the media tell you something, use emotive language for one party and not the other, or twist a narrative, what is it they want you to be believe. Do this before you live you entire lives as sheep waiting to be herded from one idea to the next.


  3. The “jews” he met were COMMUNISTS. The same descendants of commies who mourned when Stalin -the murderer of 20 million, Jews and non-Jews- died. They are (as YOU) the Kapo’s of this generation of Jews. We’ll never get rid of people such as yourself since you make life so exciting. Keep on digging a 6 foot spiritual hole for yourself!

  4. 1juliecg Says:

    Reblogged this on 1juliegriffiths and commented:
    Martin Odoni, A young man sure of his own conviction can see straight through the odourous misinformation and manipulation of the media for it’s struggle to hang onto their ill gotten gains by supporting those who are both selfish and evil, most people spell that as main stream tories ans blairites.


  5. Am I right in the reading that the Netanyahu family is being investigated for corruption ? or is this no smoke no fire ?

  6. grecaroni Says:

    Well said . . unfortunately, for peoplekind, the fundementalists from all institutionalised hierarchical religions occupy the majority of the power seats in government & corporations. So we’re basically screwed as constantly at the mercy of their genocidal impulses.

  7. Liza Dresner Says:

    Thank you. Me too is all I can say! Self hating Jew has been the most hurtful thing said to me and it has been said, often!

  8. Joe Horner Says:

    Martin,

    Thank you for raising your voice, it will be heard along with others raised in support. Liza, yours is heard as well.

    As a gentile I’m likely unqualified to form an opinion on this according to certain viewpoints – unless it’s the “approved” opinion, of course! But, as a human being, I consider myself well qualified to form an opinion on basic human decency and I have no doubt whatsoever which faction is comporting itself with decency, respect and honour.

    I salute you, Sir, for your humanity.

  9. 4foxandhare Says:

    Thank you, Martin.

    I am saddened and dismayed that loyal Jews, such as you, have been subjected to this horrible unjust abuse.

    Take heart. The many are with you, and the few will not prevail.

  10. Harvey Monte Says:

    Would you say that Netanyahu was a Zionistt?


  11. Martin Odoni – you have support for your views all over the world including from me. I very much admire you for speaking up. Perhaps this will inspire more Jewish people to consider this matter seriously and speak out. Well done.


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