In this thread I am sharing my thoughts on Israel and on Palestine (32 tweets). I am sharing because I find that silence is unacceptable for me right now. Situating myself in tweets 1-5. My take on the background and recent events tweets 6-16. My position begins at #17.
1/ I’m Jewish. My father was born in Israel. His father was born in Berlin. In 1933, my great-grandfather lost his job at the university of Berlin as Jews were no longer allowed to teach there. They went to British Palestine to live in a town near Tel Aviv.
2/ I owe my existence to that decision. There are very few other people in the world with whom I share a last name because of the Holocaust.
3/ I was born and raised in Toronto. I went to an after school Jewish program to learn a bit of Hebrew, a bit about Judaism, a bit about Israel.
4/ As a young adult I went on “Birthright” a sponsored trip to Israel for Jews living elsewhere. That was my only visit so far in my life to that part of the world.
5/ I grew up learning about the importance of Israel in the context of the Holocaust. The story I learned was that if there had been a Jewish nation at the time of the Holocaust more or all of Europe’s Jews could have been saved.
6/ The trauma of the Holocaust and centuries of pogroms, exclusion, and violence in Europe before that underlie this story that Israel needs to exist as a Jewish state. The only Jewish state. Just this small sliver of land.
7/ Israelis are people. They deserve to live in peace and freedom. They are not free: “the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and...
8/ …narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.” (Nelson Mandela)
9/ The current conflagration began with legal wrangling towards the dispossession of homes in a Palestinian neighbourhood of Jerusalem.
10/ Obscure legal arguments have been used for decades to establish Jewish “ownership” of properties in East Jerusalem prior to 1948, upheld by Israel’s courts.…
11/ The transparent pro-settler “logic” of these lawsuits and court rulings amounts to the inexorable removal of Palestinians from Jerusalem. (Palestinians who owned property lost prior to 1948 are not afforded the same right to reclaim it).
12/ The currently planned so-called evictions working their way though the courts would be the first in over a decade. The timing may have to do with Israel’s current prime minister, an authoritarian who has relied on the support of Israel’s extreme right to maintain power.
13/ He was in the midst of negotiations with the extreme right to form a government after four elections in two years. Violence against Palestinians can only endear Netanyahu to these allies.…
14/ Palestinians protested these planned pseudo-evictions, defending the right to stay in their homes. Israeli state forces responded with violence. This violence escalated and forces damaged the Al-Aqsa mosque in the last days of Ramadan. Next, Hamas launched rockets.
15/ Israel then “responded” with deadly force, missiles obliterating buildings and neighbourhoods in Gaza. Over two million people live in Gaza. Their lives and homes have been destroyed.
16/ 50% of Gazans are under 18. More have lived their whole lives in an occupied territory, blockaded, cramped, without clean drinking water, adequate medical supplies, sufficient food, or any control of their borders or destinies.…
17/ Peace is not possible at the end of a gun. People in Gaza and the occupied territories live in terror. They are not safe. It is a humanitarian crisis. People in Israel live in more material comfort, but they too are not safe.
18/ On my brief visit to Israel more than a decade ago, I saw so many soldiers, so much security, it was a shock to me.
19/ I have infinite compassion for the effects of direct and generational trauma on modern Jews. That trauma does not, however, give any right to inflict oppression, violence, or subjugation on Palestinians.
20/ Just as past personal trauma does not excuse cycles of violence seen too often seen in family or personal relationships.
21/ To put it into two reductive cliches: hurt people hurt people but two wrongs do not make a right.
22/ Without justice, there is no peace. I wish for a free Palestine. Freedom from violence for Israelis and Palestinians alike, now and forever. No more violence and no more oppression.
23/ I am thankful and hopeful for the ceasefire due to start tonight. A ceasefire is not enough. It is not peace. It is not justice. And it is not freedom.
24/ I wish for no more legal wrangling to steal homes. No more settlements. No more occupation. Justice. Freedom. True peace. And an end to all of the suffering for all people in all places.
25/ I stand for justice. I condemn violence committed or intended by Hamas. I condemn even more strongly the perpetual violence against Palestinians, especially the terror and death being wrought right now.
26/ I stand against anyone who would justify such violence, terror or collective punishment. These actions are immoral.
27/ I stand with those who condemn violence and call for Palestinian liberation including colleagues such as Ritika Goel (@RitikaGoelTO ), recently accused of antisemitism for doing so.
28/ I stand against antisemitism and all forms of prejudice and systemic injustice.
29/ “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly, affects us all.” Martin Luther King Jr.
30/ I do not profess to have any grand answers. I hope for resolution grounded in justice and a shared humanity. Someone recently mentioned to me that “peace is not impossible.” I pray that that is true.
31/ I think there are many people in Israel and in Palestine who care about and are worming towards peace and justice. A few that I want to highlight are: @btselem @alhaq_org @WomenWagePeace
32/ These are my thoughts and feelings. Thanks for reading.

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