I don’t get why my fellow citizens are attacking American Jews for the behavior of Israeli politicians. To blame a Jewish medical student or professor of history at Columbia University for the war crimes of a hard-line marauder like Netanyahu is absurd — as though American Catholic families had been made to suffer for murders done by the Italian mafia. Where’s the connection?

Our Bill of Rights needs a bill of responsibilities to balance it, because we’ve become too fuzzy-minded to identify responsibility, to look for a problem’s root and possible solution. Instead, we assume blanket permission to wallow in self-righteous blame and unload the frustrations of our time on anyone we can paste a label on. Someone dismayed by Israeli politics is called an “antisemite.”

Really? Isn’t it possible to admire the tough Jews who built a nation in the desert and — quite understandably — want to defend it, and still to wonder why Israelis have been allowed to settle on the West Bank in spite of the original agreement? To trust and love Jewish friends and adore the Jewish artists and brilliant Jewish minds who enrich our lives — even to be a Jew carrying on the culture — while hating the killing in Gaza and thinking regime change in Israel is crucial to any chance of peace? That’s not antisemitic. It’s anti-fascist. Anyone who can’t tell the difference has a vacuum where a sense of history might be or a very short memory.

Brooke Pacy

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