Watching the news this past weekend, I was disappointed to still see signs behind Trump at his press conference that read "Black men for Trump". I keep asking myself how these peopl could ignore the racial injustices he is creating and supporting? How can they not remember the history of their ancestors? How is any of this okay?
Last Saturday, I decided to pass on attending a rally in downtown Indy at monument circle that was themed "We all belong here". I didn't skip it because I disagree with inclusion. I am all about inclusion. I want refugees protected. I want Muslims to be treated like people, not terrorists. I want the anti-semitism to stop. I want the leader of the free world to stand up for freedom of all people and treat us all as if we are innocent until proven guilty.
I skipped the rally because the Jewish speakers were from Jewish Voice for Peace. An organization that has certainly created plenty of "alternative facts" about Israel. An organization that claims it seeks peace for Israeli and Palestinian people, but is completely misguided in its attempts to do so. I spent a lot of time in 2015/16 working to combat anti-semitism and the pro BDS movement on college campuses in Indiana.
BDS stands for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions. Its target- Israeli products and services (including technology like your smartphone and laptop). BDS supporters claim that by not supporting Israeli products and services, you will somehow create a better situation for the Palestinian people. The problem - it is not making a positive impact on the lives of Palestinian people.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complicated. It is not a black and white, good vs evil situation. Also, I do not claim to be an expert. I am constantly educating myself on the situation, and whatever your belief on the matter is, I hope you are doing the same.
Here is what I know. The Jewish people have been persecuted for as long as we have existed. We have resisted, persisted, and managed to survive. There is one tiny country where Jewish people are a majority: Israel. One country where I know in a world crisis I will be protected. I have been a minority my whole life, and knowing that there is somewhere in the world that I can exist as part of the majority is important to me. A concept difficult to grasp for people who are a part of the majority.
So then we have the issue of the two-state solution... I truly believe it is the only way for peace in Israel to exist. The Palestinian authorities make a solution, and an end to the war impossible when they committing & awarding acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens. Israel protects itself like any county being attacked would do, but for some ridiculous reason is treated like a war monger for doing so.
I look at our history; from Ancient Egypt to the Holocaust to current anti-semitism and everything in between. I say of course we will fight back when our people are stabbed on the streets.
History matters. We cannot pretend it does not exist. We can not make judgments about anything happening now without considering the events leading up to the situation.
So I say to my friends, family, and neighbors ...
Do you remember slavery? Do you remember when African Americans were segregated from white people? When they were not allowed to vote? When they had to sit in the back of the bus? Do you remember when homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disease? Do you remember when women could not vote? Do you remember when women did not have access to proper and affordable reproductive healthcare? Do you remember when the US refused Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany?
So I ask you...
When you vote, do your research.
When you speak, think first.
Please don't forget the history of our nation.
Please don't forget the history of your own ancestors.
Consider the history when you form opinions, because pretending it does not exist is irresponsible and shameful.