Here are 12 suggested values/ideals that I’ve pulled out from a few of the 400+ posts, articles and poems I’ve written since 2011.
1. refrain from categorizing People as “Good” and “Evil.”
”This is not a story of Cruel Israelis or Evil Jews versus Good Palestinians or Noble Arabs. It is a story of mutual dehumanization and un-mutual power.” (Source).
2. do not understate the severity of injustice in order to appease [imagined] audiences.
”It cannot be said lightly, the time has long passed for gentle language and “hear-able” rhetoric: The Occupation is cruelty and injustice manifest.” (Source).
Both at is most exposed, as in Susiya.
And at its most manicured, as in the “City of David.”
3. align your money and travel with your values, to the extent possible.
If you do not support the occupation, do not support institutions that support the occupation (i.e., by studying at Ein Prat or donating to the JNF).
4. Resistance to Anti-Semitism must be part of Leftist movements for justice.
“The struggle against anti-Semitism in our movements [is a]… humane and correct expansion of the universal struggle for a more just world.” (Source).
5. The state of israel and Compassionate judaism are at odds with each other.
”As far as I know, Judaism has something to do with loving the stranger, something to do with having been strangers, something to do with the strangeness of love.” (Source).
6. Jerusalem, you don’t really want to go to war, do you?
”Jerusalem, even the most shmealogy of your pigeons is like a metaphor for, like, peace.”
7. Activism and nonviolence/pacifism are often circumstantial privileges.
”Just like activism, which is often a privilege enabled by resources, circumstance, education, finances, and more, pacifism is a privilege related to circumstance. And, like activism, pacifism is a circumstantial privilege that should be utilized.” (Source).
8. Language as a tool for dissonance – صح ولا مش غلط – אמן ואמן
Mine is currently a trilingual struggle. Although I write mostly in English,
I also love Hebrew.
And learning Arabic was one of the most important things I have done in my life.
9. Stories make us human; the unexpected makes us flourish.
So storytelling, always, and its echoes.
10. There is a desperate need for decollectivization.
”Refusing to angelify any demonized social group, refusing to give legitimacy to a certain type of discourse. Let’s try it out:
“Palestinians are violent!”
“Some Palestinians are violent. So are some Israelis.”
“Fine, most Palestinians are violent!”
“Have you met most Palestinians?”
“Fine, many Palestinians are violent!”
“Have you met many Palestinians?”
11. There is a desperate need for differentiation and detangling.
For example, I really like being a part of Israeli society and care deeply about Israeli people (source); I feel very differently toward the Israeli government and the State of Israel (source).
12. Despair is selfish, paralyzing and false.
”I’ve heard attributed to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel the teaching that “despair is the most selfish state a person can be in.” When you despair, you think primarily in terms of yourself (This is so hard for me; I’ve analyzed the situation and I don’t see any reason to hope). In doing this, Heschel teaches, we render ourselves unable to do what he calls God’s work, but what could also be framed in secular/humanistic language: Working with and for others. I’d also add to Heschel’s teaching one from Martin Buber: “At every moment, we are able to do something that will change the face of the next hour.” So not only is despair selfish and paralyzing: it’s false.” (Source).