Trying to Make Israel vs. Hamas about Race Is Nonsensical and Dangerous

(Washington Post) James Kirchick - In the weeks since Israel launched a defensive military operation against Hamas missiles emanating from Gaza, a chilling series of anti-Semitic attacks have occurred in the U.S. "Enough of Black and brown bodies being brutalized and murdered, especially children," declared Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) in a May 11 tweet condemning Israel. Yet casting the Israel-Hamas conflict as racial is nonsensical. A majority of Israel's Jewish citizens trace their roots from North Africa and the Middle East. Their skin tone mirrors that of Arab Palestinians. And even for Jews whose ancestors came from Europe, portraying them as White is perverse. As the Israeli writer Matti Friedman observed, "My grandmother's parents and siblings were shot outside their village in Poland by people the same color as them." According to the FBI, attacks on Jews in the U.S. account for more than 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes, despite Jews representing 2% of the population. The writer is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.

2021-06-03 00:00:00

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