I’ve been numb this week. I’ve been angry. I’ve felt rage and sadness and alone.
A few of you know this. You reached out, sent me words of love. That means more than I hope you will ever know.
I’ve muted, snoozed, and blocked many contacts this week, too. When I posted about how more Jews were killed last Saturday than on Kristallnacht, than on any other day since the Holocaust, I was asked – but what about the Palestinians? I was told – but what do you expect? Israel deserves this. I was called a “horrible racist genocidal asshole.” I was told to “fuck off you white supremacist piece of shit colonizer.” These messages were all from onlookers, from non-Jews, non-Israelis, non-Palestinians, once friends.
Because a Jew posting about Jewish trauma must mean that they don’t care about the trauma of others. And you who have told me off this week, somehow feel compelled to try to repair what you assume to be my errant ways.
I’ve seen many of you post what you feel are very important statistics about this side and that side. Including many, so many, antisemitic tropes. Including many, so many, Islamophobic tropes. Including horrible images of death. Including images of celebration.
Because some of you celebrated when more Jews were killed in one day than since the Holocaust. Some of you rejoiced while your Jewish friends were in mourning. The world’s Jews were in collective aninut (the period directly following a death, before a funeral, a time of all consuming grief) and people we thought were friends were telling us we deserved it. One (non-Palestinian) person told me that they believed in Palestinian resistance by any means necessary, that they would not judge how people resist.
The cycle of anger and numbness started around then. I can’t think of another time when there was such public exuberance following/during the massacre of so many. This wasn’t indifference – indifference we see a lot of – this was rejoicing.
And so I understand even more today how deeply entrenched antisemitism is. When once the world said never again, some are now saying but maybe now, it’s ok. Because, you know, Israel.
And I am anticipating you who are reading this and how you won’t be able to help yourself from trying to point out how Israel deserves it – look at the statistics, watch this reel, listen to this podcast! Who won’t be able to help yourself from talking about how it is so much worse for others. Who will try to explain to me, no, Tracy, it’s not the Jews, it’s the Zionists! For you (but mostly for me) I am turning off the comments to this post. Because, you see, I have heard all of your justifications my whole life. So have my parents, so have my ancestors.
On Thursday, my son began his Bar Mitzvah learning. The night before, those of us in the program received an email about security protocols at the building. Jewish communities around the world have increased police presence, increased vigilance. Increased trauma.
It breaks my heart, what is happening in Israel, in Gaza. I am purposefully refraining from assigning blame for the deaths and suffering in this post. I am working hard at that. Because one thing I learned this week is that during times of all encompassing grief, when we try to appoint blame, we lose our compassion.