In addressing Mr. Devolin’s letter to the editor one must first emphasize that it is not only illogical but quite absurd. For those that don’t see it, allow me to point it out.
To start off, it has become common practice for Israel apologists to label any individual that criticizes Israel’s discriminatory policies towards Palestinians as “anti-Semitic”. But wait, they might encounter a slight problem; what if the person they are ignorantly name-calling is a Semite? Like me. So sorry to burst your bubble Mr. Devolin but yes, I am a Semite. It is beyond me how I can be an anti-Semite and a Semite simultaneously. Well anyways, there goes that argument. So evidently, these apologists must come up with another one.
They then proceed to call you an anti-Jewish bigot, a Jew-hater. Now this is a serious problem, calling someone a Jew hater is not to be taken lightly in any context. I value my Jewish friends and respect their religion; however I do not sympathize with Zionists, the same way I wouldn’t sympathize with any individual that defends a racist political ideology. It’s that simple, Zionism is a political ideology that has nothing to do with religion. I feel that it is also important to mention that I am proud and honored to have served as [email protected]’s Programs Director, Secretary and President alongside our 2 former Jewish Vice Presidents. Well there goes another unreasonable argument, on to the next logical fallacy.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. To dismiss the idea that Jews who support Palestinian human rights actually exist outside our imaginations, these apologists attempt to label them as “self-hating Jews”. So basically the Jewish Voice for Peace, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and many others are demeaned by racists that blindly support Israel’s apartheid and genocidal regime simply because they are too feeble minded to acknowledge that these Jewish people are standing up for justice and equality of all Palestinians and Israelis. Zionism is not Judaism and nothing is more insulting and anti-Jewish than associating an entire religion with a racist, exclusivist and supremacist ideology. Don’t believe me? Would you like to hear it from our Jewish and Israeli members? Oh wait, they’re “self-hating Jews”. Keep reading, their arguments get more outlandish.
Now that they’ve run out of logical fallacies to support their senseless arguments, they must now try to find another way to delegitimize our cause. Mr. Devolin (and every other Zionist I’ve had the unwelcoming pleasure of meeting) uses the argument “The UN is bias”, “Amnesty International is bias”, “The Human Rights Watch is bias”, “The UN Human Rights Council is bias”, “the international community is bias”, “B’Tselem is bias” (mind you, B’Tselem is an Israeli human rights organization) etc. etc. Somehow every single human rights organization on the face of this planet is bias. So as a human rights activist and advocate, could an Israel apologist please point me to a human rights organization that will support your claims? Or is it just anybody and everybody that criticizes Israel’s human rights violations considered bias? I wonder if anyone has the mental capacity to see the logic behind these Zionist arguments. I certainly don’t. In the words of the brilliant spoken word poet, Remi Kanazi, “I didn’t write history; and didn’t choose for you to stand on the wrong side of it.” Mr. Devolin I suggest you listen to his spoken word poetry, it speaks truth. That’s something to keep in mind when you realize that out of 188 nations in the world, the US, Israel and 7 other countries voted against Palestinian statehood. So it’s literally the US, our allies and Israel against the rest of the world (and just for the record; our allies, in this situation, aren’t as many as people think, 8 allies to be exact)
To finish off, Mr. Devolin seems to be more concerned over the baseless claims that our mock check points and apartheid walls “harass and traumatize” Jewish students than he is about the fact that these forms of oppression and apartheid are alive in Occupied Palestine and funded by our tax dollars. (Yes, I say baseless because even the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights does not find these mock scenarios as anti-Jewish.)
So Mr. Devolin, if you are asking me to sympathize with those that support the occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, I will not. If you are requesting that I stop raising awareness about the apartheid and institutionalized racism within Israel so that your feelings don’t get hurt, I will not. If you are asking me to “dialogue” with individuals that defend the massacre and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, I will not. If you’re telling me that I should feel ashamed for opposing the incessant demolition of Palestinian homes, I do not. If you, Mr. Devolin, are suggesting that I should “be sensitive” when speaking about Israel’s blockade and siege of Gaza and the constant bombing of Palestinian schools, homes and UN facilities, just because you have baseless claims that Jewish students feel harassed and traumatized, I WILL NOT. I suggest you take a trip over to Occupied Palestine and experience firsthand Israel’s racist and apartheid regime at the 500+ illegal Israeli military checkpoints within the Occupied Palestinian Territories where strip searches, military brutality and the murder of civilians happen on a daily basis, THEN come back and talk to me about feeling harassed and traumatized. I will not normalize with those that support the dehumanization, vilification and ethnic cleansing of another people. Not when the Nazis did it to the Jews of Europe, not when the colonizers of the U.S. did it to the Native Americans, not when the white South African government did it to their black population and certainly not when the Zionists are currently doing it to the Palestinians. I refuse to normalize or dialogue with racist Israel apologists, not until there is equality for all and supremacy for none.
Nadine Aly is a junior at FAU majoring in Political Science and minoring in French. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a former FAU Boca Raton House Representative and Senator as well as former President of [email protected] and Vice President of Dream Defenders at FAU.