Design

Have a Loving Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We are going to see Alex’s mom and sister for the first time in ages. We’re so excited to squeeze them. Hope everyone has a safe weekend, and here are a few links from around the web…

Did you watch the Friends Reunion? Here’s the trailer. (Their chemistry is exactly the same!)

Now THAT looks like a great sandwich.

28 great reads for every summer mood. (The Atlantic)

Lovely quotes from Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, who died this week. Also: “Many children have done collages at home or in their classrooms. In fact, some children have said to me, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ I consider that the highest compliment.”

I want to try these Trader Joe’s snacks.

LOVING this little pot, which brightens up your whole face.

This gorgeous house tour, complete with a gingham sofa.

A baby boomer’s entertainment industry advice. You never know! (New Yorker)

Incredible paintings.

My nightmare, haha.

What a beautiful wedding dress. (New York Times)

My favorite Lulu & Georgia sale picks. (How gorgeous is the wallpaper?)

Finally, I wanted to say something important: American Jews need allies against antisemitism. Writes the author Jordana Horn: “If we don’t talk about what’s going on, candidly and openly, I fear for what will come next for us Jews in America. The fact is, there’s been a tremendous uptick in targeted hate crimes against Jews all over the world in the past two weeks.” We are standing with our Jewish readers and I apologize for not speaking up sooner.

Please join us in donating to send aid to Palestinian families. We stand with our Palestinian readers and are holding you close in our thoughts, hoping for safety and peace.

Plus, three reader comments:

Says Cooper on four fun things: “Has anyone else watched the NBC/Peacock comedy Girls5eva with Sara Bareilles and produced by Tina Fey? It is DELIGHTFUL. It’s not a show I expected to love but the quick wit, nostalgia, and hilarious song lyrics are such a mood-lifter. And so great to see a show featuring women in their 40s!”

Says Tracey on you are doing a good job: “We need to remember that coping is not the same as thriving. When there’s not enough water to go ’round, it’s enough to just hang on, sit tight and wait for the rains to come — THEN you will thrive! Until then, cope however you can.”

Says Agnes on you are doing a good job: “Ok, well, I am cat sitting and couldn’t find my friend’s cat in the house for 10 minutes and was about to have a literal HEART ATTACK that she was gone forever and I’m a negligent pet sitter and their family member is MISSING, before she appeared from — I swear — thin air. I am still freaking out. HOW YOU PEOPLE DO THIS 24/7 WITH ACTUAL HUMANS, I DO NOT KNOW. Please find a mirror and take a bow!!”

(Photo by yasmine.)

Note: If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We recommend only products we genuinely like. Thank you so much.

  1. Anna says...

    Posting here a petition regarding stopping anti-Semitic curriculum from entering California public schools. If you are a resident of California, please consider signing:

    https://noclassroomantisemitism.paperform.co/

    • Kate says...

      Teaching kids about apartheid is not anti-Semitic.

    • Aly says...

      @Kate – I suspect from your comment that you haven’t read extensively about the California ethnic studies curriculum. It is a wide-ranging and thorough ethnic studies curriculum that teaches about discrimination against every minority group in the United States but omits *ANY* mention of anti-semitism. It is a curriculum American studies that singles out Israel/Palestine as the *ONLY* global conflict it discusses. It describes hate crimes against every other ethnic and religious group in the US, with *NO* mention of hate crimes against Jews (despite the recent white supremacists shouting “Jews will not replace us” at rallies, the fatal Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn being pushed, punched, and stabbed in broad daylight throughout the past year, and more. It of course does not address the wave of anti-semitism that many in this comment thread have noted is rising in left-wing circles.

      @Anna is addressing the issue that the Cup of Jo team was originally addressing: the rise in anti-semitism and the need for allies for US Jews.
      Folks, I urge you all to do the work and learn more about antisemitism on the right AND on the left. As a person who has identified her entire life as left-wing, I am terrified by what I’m seeing. I have always learned to expect it from the right, and although the antisemitism on the right seems to be widely recognized, but the antisemitism on the left is widely denied. This is called gaslighting. I’m not talking about criticism of Israel. I’m talking about the sort of things I describe in my comment here. Until we have allies on the left who are willing to call out the antisemitism among them/us, US Jews are in the position where they are constantly persuading others to stand up for them, and getting the response that there’s actually no antisemitism on the left at all. As noted in these comments, victims of violent/deadly antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East have noted that this atmosphere directly proceeded the ethnic cleansing they experienced. Please, educate yourselves.

  2. MG says...

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments regarding the rise of antisemitism. The situation in Israel is heartbreaking for all sides…and the threat of antisemitism globally is very real. Last week, I left my grandparents’ apartment and ran into a large group of men shouting “F*CK the Jews! F*CK Israel!”. It was a sickening, blood chilling experience. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors – their parents, aunts, and uncles were sent to the gas chambers. Against all odds, my grandparents survived and came to America – hoping for a more peaceful existence…more than 70 years later, I could hardly bring myself to share that aggressive brush with antisemitism with my now 90 year old grandmother. To say she was shaken by the story is a gross understatement. She explained that this is the same climate that preceded the Holocaust. I would like to think something so horrifying could never happen again, but she assures me no one really believed something like the Holocaust was possible the first time around. Please check in on your Jewish friends and please stand up for them.

  3. Sasha L says...

    Thank you COJ team for the thoughtful words about antisemitism and the plight of Palestinians. I feel like you spoke my heart. Attacks on Jews all over the world are so wrong. The attacks on Palestinians by the state of Israel are so wrong. Just like I as an American do not support or condone many many actions by my government and I am not defined by our leaders (I’m often completely appalled by them), Jews don’t deserve hatred directed at them because of the actions of the Israeli government, military, leadership, and neither do Palestinians deserve blame that may be directed at Hamas. The powerless are being oppressed and brutalized by the powerful, and it’s a very old story and one that crosses all boundaries.

    Blessing of peace to all those living in oppression. And I hope that justice will come, swift, harsh and unforgiving, to those that oppress.

  4. Reader says...

    Wanted to take a moment to call out this comment from Joanna, above, in case anyone missed it:

    “We are going through an incredibly scary and difficult time at home and I wish I had had more time today to think about semantics which I agree matter so much!”

    Can this be reason enough for everyone to relax? I think it should be.

    And I’m hoping it will also serve as a reminder that we don’t deserve an explanation like this. Perhaps we should, instead, assume the best about people who have not shown us otherwise AND allow for the possibility that life might be difficult for them in a way that we do not know or understand.

    • Lisa says...

      THANK YOU, Reader. I can’t believe how upset people are at someone who runs a lifestyle blog while also raising a family during a pandemic. Joanna can’t be everything to everyone- how many of the commenters have tried to do that?? Please don’t put her in a situation where she’s damned if she comments and damned if she doesn’t. This has been a safe place to land for many of us for years and I’d hate for some people to ruin that.

    • Heather says...

      Also wanted to echo this comment. Joanna – you are such a bright light! I’m sorry you are having a hard time at home and hoping things turn around soon. You have created the most beautiful place on the internet. Sending you lots of love!

    • bonnie says...

      Exactly, Reader. You nailed it. Judging from comments here lately, a lot of these readers will be working hard at taking care of their family and themselves while creating their own lifestyle blogs, writing articles, hiring writers, editing, hiring photographers, arranging shoots, working with sponsors for support and also working with tech support, while reading and learning more about social issues, history, trends, politics, books, entertainment … oh, wait. Maybe not. Maybe those who have issues with a small business actually BE the change they wish to see in the world, and create a blog they deem better. Or is it easier to just criticize? You betcha.

    • Ker says...

      Wow I definitely glossed over that in my reading of Joanna’s reply. Thank you Reader for drawing attention to it.

      Joanna, thank you for what you do. There is a whole community behind you, and we are deeply grateful for this space you’ve created. Sending love to you and your family as you navigate these challenges.

    • B says...

      Thank you for highlighting Joanna’ comment and saying this, Reader. I completely agree. Joanna, I hope you and your family are hanging in there. <3

    • Alex says...

      Yes, Reader, thank you. Also Thank you Joanna for being so loving and inclusive, for doing such a wonderfull job and creating this truly unique place on the internet. AND thank you to all of the commenters who (despite of the tragic and highly emotional topic) expessed their views in the politest ways possible. I read most of the comments in this thread and feel so thankful for all of the insights and education I received. Wishing for love and peace for every being on this beautiful planet …big hugs to you all.

    • C. says...

      Reader – yes, thank you so very much for this comment.
      It must be a tremendous amount of work to run this blog, and I think a large part of what keeps me reading is the sense of Joanna’s kind and respectful spirit, which infuses so much of the content. And I find it remarkable that she and the other writers/editors read all the comments and often respond to them personally. Too bad a lot of the comments don’t reflect the same level of effort, respect, and thoughtfulness. It’s good to remember that there are human beings with real lives and challenges on the other side of the screen.

    • amy says...

      I hope you are ok joanna. You are such a shining light for so many. I hope you take time if you need it and that your family is ok. sending love.

  5. Clarie says...

    Thanks for the sandwich recipe.

  6. Hana says...

    I really appreciate this blog trying to be balanced about the israeli-palestinian conflict. I have german and palestinian roots (Gaza). My husband is jewish. His family has roots in North Africa and the baltics. We have family in Gaza and Israel and of course everywhere else. We live in Germany. I don’t know, how our kids (8, 6 and 3) will cope with this once they realize the full extent of the conflict. I kind of hope, there are more people like us.
    A reader from Germany

  7. Lisa says...

    I would also like to say thank you for the acknowledgement in the rise of antisemitism. One of the incidents that has been reported happened on my street – a convoy of cars going through London with a loud speaker shouting things like “Kill the Jews” “Rape their daughters”. There have been discussions in the last few weeks around added security to my children’s school and nursery, police presence at the synagogue over shavuot and shabbat and again the question of how much of a future is there in the UK for us as a family. My son (5) wears a kippah and having him walk around ties a knot in my stomach – when I take him to school I keep him close by and I feel hyper-vigilant. I don’t want to ask him to take it off. He is so proud of being Jewish, he loves wearing a kippah but the reality here is that it can make him a target.
    What has also been hard is the silence from friends, who I stood by and tried my best with during things like the protests last year for BLM, to acknowledge and learn more about their fear and pain. But I have received nothing. It just reinforces the feeling that ultimately, as Jews, we are alone.

  8. Colleen says...

    Thank you for showing support for and solidarity with Palestinians, however imperfect. I think just starting these conversations and raising awareness about how Palestinians are experiencing many human rights violations is quite important, and appreciate seeing that conversations started here.

  9. bevin says...

    That wedding dress was very gorgeous but the wedding story – and the bride! She is amazingly courageous, as is he I guess! I loved reading about it! I wish them all the success in the world!

  10. bevin says...

    A dear friend of mine did not discover he was actually Jewish until his father died and it was quietly revealed. His family, a successful old New York Dutch family, had buried that part of their lineage for a couple generations. It pays to know when to be subversive sometimes.

    On another note, I LOVE that gingham decor so much! AND I saw that exact red gingham sofa at an estate sale a couple months ago for a $100 bucks and wanted it so much, but the logistics of trading it out were too unmanageable so I had to let it go, argh!!

  11. rose says...

    I’ve been hooked on beet reuban’s which have been so delicious!

    The other thing I’ve eaten for the first time the last two days in a row because it was surprisingly delicious, is Korean cold noodle soup – so much more satisfying than it sounds – so flavorful and totally refreshing! I followed Maangchi’s video recipe online exactly, (even using the asian pear which was so perfect), for the non-spicy version then added a spoonful of gochujang. Also I’m vegetarian so I just used boxed veggie broth and it was DELICIOUS. Do not skip the mustard oil that comes with the package – it is tiny but essential! Anyone would like this! Highly recommend!

  12. J says...

    Thank you for this post and thank you to this community! I appreciate when you speak out on issues, not because I expect this blog to get it all correct (impossible) but because the comments also help understand illuminate a wide variety of issues and perspectives. I come here day after day for positivity, lightness and fun but and also for hope and education. Thank you to the people who comment to expand, share your personal view, etc. This world is not easy but somehow I am able to digest hard things here.

    • CS says...

      Wow, thanks for this comment. Exactly how I feel, too. Xoxo

  13. Laurel says...

    I really appreciate this site, Joanna – y’all obviously work very hard to create meaningful content and build community. Next year, please consider a mention of Memorial Day. To your readers who have lost a loved one in service, and to all for whom those sacrifices were made, this one day of remembrance matters. Thanks for all you do.

    • silly lily says...

      YES, absolutely, times a thousand.

  14. Julia says...

    Most importantly, let’s REMEMBER OUR FALLEN TROOPS THIS WEEKEND, which is the reason for this long weekend and which a lot of people with political agendas have conveniently “forgotten.” I hope Cup of Jo will distinguish itself as still showing respect for those who have given their lives to protect our freedom and to fight communism around the world, and compassion for families suffering from the loss of those brave people. Maybe you don’t have family members who’ve died, but a lot of your readers probably do. If you follow the trend of politicians blatantly disrespecting the brave sacrifices of those who defend our liberty, what kind of values are you trying to share with your readers? I think I can guess, but I’m hopeful you’ll do the right thing.

    • Julie says...

      I do remember Trump disrespecting veterans on many occasions — I have not seen this trend continuing under President Biden. However, I understand some discomfort with the worship of “America First” that war-memorial holidays can elicit. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think honoring the sacrifice of military members can still be paired with critique of our role in world conflicts. — it’s NOT easy to do, though. Just wanted to say to anyone else navigating this tension, you are not alone.

    • kate says...

      totally with you, Julia. It’s so disrespectful.

  15. Jess says...

    Guys, it is just not fair to expect Joanna and the CofJ to respond with perfect pitch and tone to every political and social issue. While it is brilliant that CofJ doesn’t shy away from big issues I think people’s expectations are wildly unreasonable – this is not a politics or social analysis blog. It is wonderful that CofJ is so thoughtful, but ultimately they do not have a responsibility to make sure every cause is heard in exactly the way people want it to be – not only because there are so many different opinions on what the ‘right’ way is. I feel like if I were Joanna I’d be crippled with anxiety before I posted anything and feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. People need to stop being so critical and let the woman do her best, which is clearly what she is doing.

    • ML says...

      Seconded.

    • kate says...

      but of course, if she didn’t speak up for kamala/biden, BLM, george floyd, etc youd have a hissy fit, right? It’s the mention of being pro-america that triggers you?

    • K says...

      Yes! Thank you. Wholeheartedly agree.

    • E says...

      Agree 1000%

    • Nat says...

      I completely agree Jess! Someone will always find fault with things Jo posts, no matter how hard she tries. I appreciate her thoughtfulness. It’s impossible to please everyone.

      It’s funny how that other reader responded to you using examples of posts about BLM, Kamala/Biden, George Floyd, etc and then says being pro-America is triggering… as though discussing those topics is somehow “un-American”. Seems to me that she is easily triggered into thinking that way.

  16. Tali Adler says...

    Wow–thank you. Allies speaking up about antisemitism means so much.

  17. Grace says...

    Hi Jo, I’ve been reading your blog every day for years and I admire how it has evolved over that time. I just wanted to send my support…no matter how diplomatic or considerate you are, there will always be those who disagree, are offended or feel it’s not enough. You’ll never keep everyone happy but the attempt is all. Thanks for being a lovely corner of the internet xx

  18. Kay says...

    Asking because I am genuinely curious. I’ve seen lots of Israelis saying they want peace with Palestinians, they support equal rights for Palestinians and want a 2 state solution. Thus, I’m confused as to how Naftali Bennet got voted in to be the next potential Israeli PM as he is more right wing and a racist to boot, than Netanyahu.
    “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”
    ” I will do everything in my power to prevent a Palestinian state”
    ” When Palestinians were climbing trees, we already had a Jewish state.”
    Israel is a democratic country which means majority votes win. Does that mean the majority of Israelis voted for him? Were there no other candidates?

    • Aly says...

      Hi Kay! That is an excellent question. The system of government here in Israel is a parliamentary democracy. That means that there are many parties – not a 2 party system like the US. As an American, I am still getting used to this so forgive me if my description is less than perfect. Basically, on election day you vote for the party that you want. For me, this was the Labor party, a left-wing party headed by a woman, Meirav Michaeli – think of Elizabeth Warren’s platform plus a commitment to a 2 state solution. My husband voted for a farther left party, Meretz, which includes Arab parliament members. There are also entirely Arab parties – the Arab population in Israel tends to vote for Arab parties. The ultrareligious right wing votes for ultrareligious ultra right-wing parties (whose ideology is about as far as you can get from most of the secular Israelis who comprise the majority of the country). And a lot of traditional conservative people (most closely aligned ideologically with Republicans in the US) vote for Likud, which is Bibi’s party. Because it is a parliamentary democracy, no one party wins – the party who gets the most votes and has the best chance of forming a coalition (requires 61 of 120 parliament seats) gets the mandate to do so. Each party’s votes directly translates into a proportionate number of parliamentary seats. In the past elections, Bibi got the most votes and got to form a coalition (usually with the ultra-far right religious parties he depends on for support – this explains his increasing drift to the right over the past 12 years, similar to how Trump pandered to the religious right and white supremacists). But in each election, Bibi got fewer and fewer votes, and had a harder and harder time forming a coalition. This past election, the block with the most votes was FINALLY not Bibi/Likud and the right wing. The center and left wing parties collectively had more votes than the right wing. The centrist party with the most votes – Yesh Atid – and its leader (Yair Lapid) tried to build a coalition of center, left-wing and Arab parties. The fact is, they don’t have 61 seats on their own. This is the struggle here. They have to add more right-wing parties to their coalition to get to 61. Because Naftali Bennett had the final 7 votes which they needed to get them to 61, he has a disproportionate amount of influence. If he walks away, there is no coalition and the country goes to elections again. There have been 4 elections in 2 years for this reason – the numbers just aren’t there for a left-wing or center-left government. It breaks my heart. So the center and left-wing parties in the government (each of which parties received as many votes as Bennett’s) have agreed to give him 2 years as PM just to get him on board. The hope is that because the coalition leans heavily center/left, it will rein him in. He has to have his coalition on board for his decisions – meaning that the decisions themselves have to be more center/left. He doesn’t have any more or less followers than Merav Michaeli (Labor), and only slightly more than Meretz (the far left), and only about a quarter as much as the centrist parties have combined. The system is hugely problematic, but so is a two-party system. Here it feels like every vote really does matter – I know that Merav Michaeli will be a part of every decision, representing left-wing feminists and that gives me hope that even if Bennett is PM, she and the many other center and left wing parliament members will stand in the way of Bennett doing harm. In two years, Yair Lapid will replace Bennett, and he is a sane, centrist person who I believe really could bring a two state solution. The most important thing right now is to get rid of Bibi and the ultranationalist right wing. It’s step 1 to any lasting peace. Hope this helps explain a bit.

    • Annie says...

      Israel has a parliamentary form of government (similar to Finland, India, Greece, Italy, Nepal, etc.) In Israeli elections, you vote for a party, not a candidate. If no party gets enough seats for a majority, the party with the largest share of the votes is tasked with forming a government through coalition with other parties in order to reach a majority. In the last election (March 2021), the Likud party (Netanyahu) had the largest share of the votes, but was unable to form a coalition government, so then other parties are given the opportunity to form a government.

    • Kay says...

      Annie and Aly, thank you so much! I had no idea that Israelis voted for a party and not a candidate. Your repaonses were very informative!

    • Aly says...

      Hi @kay – thank you for your kind words! And by way of update, the new coalition was officially formed! Bibi and his far right coalition are OUT. The new governing coalition breaks down like this:
      Left wing and center-left: 38 seats
      Ra’am (Islamist): 4 seats
      Right wing and center-right: 20 seats
      It’s a historic moment of cooperation between left and right, Jews and Arabs. Feeling pretty optimistic as I wake up in Tel Aviv this morning and am looking forward to greeting my left wing and Arab neighbors here with a giant hug.

    • Margarita says...

      thank you Kay for making this question and thank you Aly for this answer. I learned a lot.

    • Kate says...

      Hi Aly, I’m seeing you a lot in the comments sharing some great information. Thank you. I’ve been reading up on Meirav Michaeli. She sounds amazing! One quote from a recent interview in The Times of Israel:

      “Second, refusing to work toward an agreement with the Palestinians is slowly but surely gnawing away at the legitimacy of Israel in the world.

      Third, the deepening occupation and perpetuation of the conflict is destabilizing Israel from within. And it’s hurting the IDF’s ability and freedom to deal with other threats.”

      I like that she uses the word “occupation” and also that she uses feminized nouns and wants to cancel marriage :) I am 100% pro-Palestinian freedom and she is completely correct in saying that it is now becoming unpopular to support Israel’s offensives on Gaza and the apartheid system. As a white settler Canadian I recognize that my own country was settled through horrendous acts of genocide on Indigenous lands, but many of us were born here since the country was established so we certainly can’t pack up and leave our home. But we do have a duty to educate ourselves about the intergenerational trauma and suffering the First Nations people have endured and a duty to dismantle these systems of oppression using our own privilege. All this to say, I wholeheartedly support the establishment of Israel as a much-needed solution to keep the Jewish diaspora safe. What I do not support is the violent antagonizing and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people which mirrors what my own country perpetrated a century ago and we have since come to know as a horrendous crime. I am hoping for peace, for Jewish safety and for Palestinian self-determination, but we know it is entirely up to the government of Israel AND the Israeli settlers to end the occupation.

    • Aly says...

      Hi @kate – thank you so much for the thoughtful and interesting comment. Meirav Michaeli is indeed a force to be reckoned with and she gives me so much hope for the future of Israelis and Palestinians (and for the betterment of life of women, and LGBTQIA, and more and more…).

      To be clear, the occupation she is referring to is the occupation of the West Bank (which Israel has occupied since 1967) and NOT the occupation of the remainder of the state of Israel (which Israel was granted when the United Nations split mandatory British Palestinian into a Jewish state (Israel) and a Palestinian state in 1947. Israelis are not all settlers – the settlers in the West Bank are settlers, and I agree with every word Meirav Michaeli has to say on the subject (including the quotes you provided).

      I just wanted to be clear, since you refer to yourself as a settler, that Israelis within the post 1948, pre-1967 borders of Israel do not consider themselves settlers, even on the left. The settlers are exclusively the settlers of the occupied territory of the West Bank (Israel used to occupy Gaza as well but it unilaterally withdrew all forces and settlers from Gaza in 2005).

  19. M says...

    I have a sincere question for those who advocate for a 2-state solution. Can you explain more about how you think this would still work? On what land? The scraps left of the West Bank …and then Gaza? I just don’t think this is viable anymore unless Israel is willing to give up all the city-sized settlements. Why not a true democracy for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, etc? I think it’s too late to talk 2 states at this point. I don’t think the Israeli gov’t has ever been sincere about wanting two states. And Palestinians have never been happy with the terms.

    • M says...

      That said, I’m also aware of the incredible obstacles that would need to be surmounted for a 1-state solution. I think the policy of the Likud party have been to push out as many Palestinians as possible to ensure that a) there will never be a Palestinian state, and b) if they ever end up having to consolidate into one state, there won’t be enough Palestinians to threaten the Jewish gov’t.

    • Alyson Emily Schwartz says...

      Hi M. First – Israel already is “a true democracy for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, etc” – but does not include the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The issue is how to have peace, prosperity, and security for the Palestinians in those territories AND for the for Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze within Israel. Gaza democratically elected Hamas in 2007, and Hamas has never run elections again. Their charter calls for the death of all Jews (in Israel, and worldwide) and for the existence of one state only, which is an Islamist state. They are recognized as a terrorist organization. So you can imagine how difficult it might be to talk about a one state solution that includes Gaza at this point. The West Bank is governed by a different organization, Fatah. They were going to hold elections earlier this month and suddenly called them off – likely because they feared that Hamas was going to win the elections there, too. I don’t have an easy answer – I really believe that the civilians involved want peace and prosperity for each other. The question is how to create a state between a democracy (50% of whose voters veer right wing, much like in the US) and a terrorist organization. When I vote left wing at the polls, I pray that our leadership will move leftward (and it just might – see my other comment to Kay below). But I fear that I cannot imagine the Palestinian leadership moving leftward – or not even leftward, but at a minimum acknowledging that Israel is a state and not outright calling for death to all Jews. I hope you can understand why that might be scary/problematic for me as a Jew. Honestly, needing to type all of this out over and over on every blog post and instagram post is incredibly triggering for me, but I feel it’s my job to correct all of the misinformation circulating on social media, so I will keep doing it.

    • Alyson Emily Schwartz says...

      @Jennifer – thank you for that Washington Post link. I missed that piece somehow and I think it does an excellent and balanced job of explaining the challenges on both sides. I wish well-researched pieces like this were shared more broadly.

  20. Jill says...

    Reading through the comments thread this morning, I’ve learnt more nuance about the philosophies behind pro-Zionist, anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian statehood, anti-current Israeli government, anti-Semitic, etc, than I think I’ve ever read in any news article before. (e.g. I realise I’ve definitely been misusing the term Zionist.) It’s testament to this blog and its incredible readers that a comments thread is able to unpack this hugely sensitive and emotive subject in a respectful way. And credit to Joanna and team as always for providing a thoughtful, kind platform to have this conversation. Sending love to Jewish readers and Palestinian readers in the Middle East and in diaspora communities around the world at this very sad time xx

    • Aly says...

      Hi Jill – sending love right back to you. This is the reason I love this community . . . and the reason I will keep posting again and again. I think we really are connecting in a meaningful way, even when we disagree.

  21. Annie says...

    Joanna, thank YOU so much for the link to donate to Palestinian families and for the show of solidarity. Simply amazing. I’m such a proud reader.

  22. Rosie says...

    I generally walk around with a healthy amount of privilege as a white woman in America, even though I am queer and Jewish. I was in an Uber in Brooklyn the other night, and the driver made an antisemitic comment about how the Hasidic population in the city refusing to wear masks is making it easier to get rid of Jews. I said, hey, not cool, because I didn’t want to get into a debate with a strange man late at night. He then stopped the car, whirled around at me, and demanded to know if I was Jewish. I stammered that I was, and he began yelling at me about how I am trying to wipe out his family in Palestine. Me. I’m the one responsible. I didn’t know how to react because I was terrified, and he told me to get the f*ck out of his car, called me a kike, and sped away, leaving me in a sketchy area of town in the rain without a ride. I have been very supportive of Palestine. I have given money and tried to follow the news and carry on conversations with my family to make sure we’re all educated on what is going on. I don’t consider myself a Zionist, but the idea that I can be targeted for asking someone not to talk about getting rid of an entire ethnic group, my ethnic group, is not okay. I said nothing offensive. I didn’t defend the actions of Israel, but I still ended up being treated that way. Yeah, antisemitism here is a huge frigging problem, no matter what else is going on elsewhere with more visible traumas involved. When I spoke to my wife, she told me that our daughter’s teacher, a good friend of ours, said she had seen an uptick in bullying of the Jewish girls. She quietly suggested that it might be a good idea for our sweet baby to take a break from wearing the Star of David necklace she has worn for years. No matter what Israel is doing to Palestine, this shouldn’t be how things go here. I am so scared. I know Palestinians are scared too, but I am so scared for my family.

    • Ker says...

      Wow. This is heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing what you’re dealing with. I think for many people, support for Palestinians and abhorrence for antisemitism arise from the same place of solidarity and commitment to human rights.

      But we must not brush over the fact that some (many?) people do hold horrific antisemitic (and-Palestinian) views too. We have to be vigilant to stand up to these people on both sides.

    • Joy says...

      Rosie I’m so sorry that happened to you.

    • Sarah says...

      Rosie, I am so sorry that happened to you. How terrifying and awful.

      I know nothing will make this happening better, but know a stranger is thinking of you and sending you a big, big hug.

    • sophie says...

      When things are touchy you have to know when to keep quiet. It’s nothing you can solve in the back of a cab from a vulnerable position like being a passenger. He declared himself hostile: just be smarter about when and whom you choose to speak with. If you’re going to be a hero then do it very publicly so that your words or actions can be supported or documented by others in view. These people are just looking for a way to vent their frustration and are not thinking or acting logically. Don’t expect rational behavior or polite “discussion”. Be safe.

    • Nora says...

      I am so sorry that happened to you. I stand with you.

      I read a wonderful essay that made the point that we don’t believe that the safety of Americans of Muslim or Asian decent should be compromised by Saudis bombing Yemen and the Chinese government’s genocidic policies towards Uyghurs; so why is it okay that the safety of Jews in America is compromised by the actions of the Israeli government? It’s really good; link below.

      https://boazmunro.medium.com/dear-american-progressives-your-jewish-friends-are-terrified-b24068fcf488

    • NM says...

      @sophie, I understand the sentiment of your response but it is incredibly insulting and gets to the crux of the problem with antisemitism: It is loaded with gaslighting and excuse-making. It’s ok for folks to be antisemeitc if xyz. If a white driver had done that to a black or asian passenger I very much doubt anyone would dare make such a suggestion.

  23. Talia says...

    The comments in this thread demonstrate exactly why Joanna’s comment is so important. Speaking out against anti-semitism does not equal dismissing the Palestinian struggle. It is simply a recognition that the latest conflict has create an unfettered increase in anti-Semitic violence that has gone largely unreported. Being a Jew and supporting Jews does not mean we agree with every action the Israel government makes. It does not mean we can be targets for hate. These are separate issues and I commend Joanna and her team for the bravery involved in using your voice to recognize the fear Jews are living in right now. Your recognition meant the world to me and I thank you deeply.

    • Anon says...

      I could not agree more. Well said. Thank you, Joanna.

  24. celeste says...

    Can we get some men to weigh in on Father’s Day gifts? Please and thank you.

  25. Amanda says...

    My whole life I’ve gotten hateful comments for being Palestinian. Many people say we don’t even exist. I stopped telling people I was Palestinian. I stopped wearing my scarf. I didn’t want to have any more confrontations. It is a comfort that Jewish Americans are finally coming out in support of the Palestinian people, including my beloved Jewish friends. The tide is turning.

    • kate says...

      I mean… Have you heard of the holocaust? The tide is turning? My ancestors were murdered in concentration camps. The jews have suffered, always. No ones plight is worse.

    • Alyson Emily Schwartz says...

      @Amanda – that is awful and I see your pain and I am sending you love and recognition and support.

  26. Vero says...

    I feel there is nuance being missed here. What about believing that Israel should be a dedicated space, especially after all that Jewish people have been through in the last 100 years, while ALSO not agreeing with the way Israel is going about this. Both can be true. Palestinians should not be killed and pushed out of their traditional homelands just because a Jewish state should exist. It’s not as simple as Zionist / anti-Zionist.

  27. Loren says...

    I completely agree that Israel, as a state, is not perfect and is responsible for some terrible acts against innocent Palestinian civilians (and vice versa). However, when we discuss the important issue of Palestinian human rights, is it not worth mentioning that in many instances, Palestinian human rights are violated by Palestinian governments themselves? For example, in Gaza, homosexuality is a crime that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and according to the Independent Commission for Human Rights, in 2020 there were multiple violations by Palestinian authorities of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press in the West Bank and Gaza.
    This doesn’t justify anything that Israel does or doesn’t do – but if we are really interested in promoting the rights and wellbeing of Palestinians, surely all rights violated, by Israel or by their own leaders, should be discussed?
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/palestine-state-of/report-palestine-state-of/

    • Kate says...

      ^this^ is an example of “pinkwashing”

    • Jackie says...

      Hi Loren – I mean this respectfully, but as a queer woman I don’t want you to speak for me on this issue. There is rampant homophobia in America, Israel, and frankly everywhere else in the world. None of those places is a paradise for the queer community. For example, here at home in the US, we sadly have an ongoing outbreak of black trans women being murdered and nothing is being done about it. This logic is used by other to promote Islamophobia. Please don’t use our community to disparage the people of Palestine. I want them, along with Israelis, to live in peace and safety. And yes, there are plenty of LGBTQ+ Palestinians (along with allies).

    • Loren says...

      Hi Jackie,
      I’m sorry if you thought I was using your community to disparage the people of Palestine, that wasn’t the intention. The point was, that if we are looking at the complete picture of human rights for Palestinians, and if we truly support them in their quest to live in freedom and safety, then I think it very relevant to say that there are also issues of human rights abuses within the Palestinian governing authorities themselves that having nothing to do with Israel. State-sanctified homophobia was just an example – albeit probably not the best example – but if you read the Amnesty International report there are, sadly, plenty of others (torture, repression of dissent, etc). Again, this doesn’t justify anything Israel does or doesn’t do, but for Palestinians civilians to truly live well, I think these human rights abuses are also an issue that needs to be mentioned.

    • Jackie says...

      Loren – Again, respectfully, I am going to question the relevance of singling out Palestine here. The human rights track record of the US is abhorrent. My parents came to the US from South America in the 70s after the US led a coup against a democratically elected leader from a socialist party. They instilled a military dictator (Pinochet) who killed their own citizens and operated concentration camps. This is well documented and one fairly small country. This is true all over the world – including say lying about weapons to justify a war in Iraq and countless other examples. A very large portion of the US supports taking rights away from the LGBTQ+ community and we saw that actually happen during the last administration (in addition to other abominations like family separations). The government of Israel (like that of the US and Palestine) is also not perfect. I will refrain from critiquing it in the same way I would critique my own though and know it’s not a reflection of its people. Singling out only Palestine here is problematic. While I am going to assume this was not your intention at all, that logic is part of a colonial justifications to paint people of color as somehow more backwards.

    • Loren says...

      Hi again Jackie,
      I don’t think it is singling out Palestine or people of colour, given that the discussion at hand is about Palestine and the human rights of its civilians. As you correctly pointed out, many if not, sadly, all other governments are guilty of human rights abuses to some degree, and they are also worthy of discussion – in the correct context. This context is particularly related to the Palestinians, and to bring up human rights abuses occurring currently in another country could be seen as disrespectful to the Palestinians in this specific incidence (NOT in general). My only point is, as with every issue, one needs to look at all sides, and, as I said before, if the true goal is to overall improve human rights, we also need to address any oppression from within the Palestinian leadership and not just from Israel. The same would apply in any other country – all sources of oppression need to be addressed.

    • Jackie says...

      Hi Loren – The same needs to be said of both Israel and the United States. We are a nation built on genocide and slavery. We still see the regular disenfranchisement of people of color and our indigenous communities. The whole world watches our law enforcement officers kill people of color with impunity, cities without white majorities go without water, mass shootings occur regularly while the NRA funds congress, First Nations women regularly abducted without investigation. All of this is a failure – among many others – of our own government. To ignore that is a privilege not afforded to people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. The idea that all of that can be ignored to “fix” a nation of color while ignoring the injustices of nations run by white majorities is the same logic used in colonialism/white savior complexes (and disastrous foreign policy like the Vietnam War.) The comment doesn’t live in a vacuum. Selectively ignoring the problems of white-majority nations in this type of conversation contributes towards dialogue of Islamophobia and minimizes the agency/complexity of its citizens. If you’re concerned about injustice – great! There’s a TON of work to do here at home.

    • Jackie says...

      Hi Loren – The problem is that comment does not exist in a vacuum. To skim over the rampant injustices of white-majority nations with the idea that they must “fix” a nation run by people of color is the same logic that drives colonialism, the white savior complex, and a whole lot of ill-fated US foreign policy, such as the Vietnam War. To get to select when to ignore the rampant injustices in the US, a beautiful nation but one built on genocide and slavery, is a privilege not afforded to people of color, indigenous nations, and the LGBTQ+ community. The whole world watches the US face an epidemic of mass shooting without government response, cities without white majorities go without clean water in one of the richest places in the world, indigenous women routinely disappear without any type of police response, law enforcement officers killing black people with impunity and largely without consequence, and the list goes on. All of these things are a failure of the state. Ignoring all of that with the idea that white communities need to “fix” nations run by people of color is very problematic in this conversation. As a smart, informed citizen you know how rampant Islamophobia is and how it drives foreign policy. These types of comments (again which ignore the incredible injustices that also exist in places like the US) minimize the idea that the people of Palestine have the agency to govern themselves.

  28. J says...

    Thank you Joanna for including this link. As an American Jew, and also an Israeli citizen who now lives in Tel Aviv, it has been terrifying to be running from rockets here, and then devastating to witness the amount of misinformation and hatred against Jews and Israel. It is scary to be a Jew in the world now, and the silence is deafening. There is hardly a Jew in the world who isn’t talking about it, frightened about it, and taking note of the silence, especially in a year that has involved the strong calling out of every other type of prejudice.
    I am a great-grandchild of Holocaust victims, who were murdered in mass graves. And amid the rising anti-Semitism in the US, which is nothing new in Europe by the way, Israel is where I feel safest. Even though hundreds of rockets were sent to my city by Hamas, a terrorist organization who oppresses their own people, that few here are calling out. Yes, people can feel free to be critical of any country, including Israel, and most Israelis are indeed critical of their own government, wanting change. But just as there was a huge call out for people to be anti-racist last year, I believe people need to feel the same obligation to be anti anti-Semitic. I believe that being anti-Zionist is the same thing as being anti-Semitic, like the linked article says. And that many people need to do the work to check their own biases and underlying prejudices. Israel is singled out in a way no other country is. And the outrage against Israel, and the misinformation, is astounding, when the same people condemning Israel are silent on the massive human rights atrocities happening elsewhere in the world.
    Do I think the Holocaust can happen again? I never thought I would say this in my lifetime, but yes, I terrifyingly do.

    • Aly says...

      @J – I agree with every word. And I’m also an American Jew and an Israeli citizen living in Tel Aviv. I feel like we should host a meet-up. The combination of running to bomb shelters/watching the misinformation and anti-semitism spread in the US was a double whammy for those of us in your/my situation.

  29. Dana says...

    As a Israeli I’ll be the first one to say that the Israeli government should be called out for oppressing Palestinians and expending settlements ( which goes against the only possible solution to the conflict- a two state solution).
    I also find it very sad to see no condemnation of Hamas by Palestinians readers. I hope many of you know that many of the West Bank Palestinians remained silent during the last weeks events, because they are afraid of Hamas no less than they are afraid/ despise the Israeli occupation. There is a desperate need for 800 schools in Gaza, 80% of the people are on welfare. 50% of the people are unemployed, yet, Hamas is so invested in destroying Israel, that they manage to smuggle 14,000 thousand rockets. If you truly care about Palestinians, don’t stop criticizing the Israeli government, but please don’t remain silent about Hamas’s role in this mess.

    • Alyson Emily Schwartz says...

      I agree with every single word. And it terrifies me to think that aid meant to help innocent Gazans is going to make it into Hamas’s hands. I’ll criticize the government every chance I get, but when will anyone else speak up against the terror that Hamas causes to its own people? Doesn’t anyone know how many of the civilians killed in this past month were killed by Hamas’ own rockets? Doesn’t anyone know that they have miles and miles of underground tunnels/bomb shelters for their own leaders, and not for civilians? Did anyone read this piece in the Washington Post?https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/05/14/gaza-tunnels-hamas-israel/

    • Anna says...

      100% this. This is the story that has been wiped from most leading news organizations in the U.S. Thank you for saying this.

    • Sara says...

      The lack of criticism of Hamas in any way at any time seems to have become such a staple of US progressives. The (strategic?) narrowing of what is considered ‘allowed’ and not to bring up and discuss – and I don’t mean as a focal point while dozens of children are being killed by Israeli bombs, but also during ceasefires – is deeply troubling.
      As someone coming from a country that committed a genocide AND and continues to be a major human rights violator towards it’s own population while noone bats an eye, I can accept no ‘strategic’ justification for oversimplifying the situation in Gaza and only ever focusing on the wrongs of Israel. It’s ridiculous.
      Not to mention how easily my (by definition) progressive friends gloss over the fact that Hamas aims for destruction of Israel and death to all Jews. What the?

  30. Esther says...

    Thank you Joanna for expressing your concern about the growing anti Semitism in America as well as the need to support Palestinians.

    In response to the other comments, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if you are able to strongly stand on one side, you simply have not done enough research. And by research I don’t mean reading news articles and social media posts. I mean learning about the complex history of the region from academics and experts as well as through interactions with Israelis and Palestinians and learning from their experiences. As someone who has begun to do this work, I will say this: there are Israeli and Palestinian extremists who wish to see the other group gone from what they see as their homeland. There are also Israelis and Palestinians who believe the other has a right to exist in the region and desperately want a two-state solution. Peace will only come when both sides are willing to give up some of what they believe is theirs and accept the presence of the other. Until then, there will continue to be violence affecting innocent civilians on both sides.

    • Ker says...

      So well said, thank you.

  31. Bec says...

    Joanna,
    I want to thank you so much for bringing attention to the rise of anti-semitism. It truly means so much to me as a Jewish reader, and I am glad to hear others are feeling validated and seen too. Trying to lump together the issues of anti-semitism and Israel/Palestine is just a dangerous road to go down, and I am sorry that your very well-intentioned statements of support are causing people to pick at your wording and your ‘allegiance.’ So many things can be true at once and one truth does not have to cancel out another. Good for you to call attention to Palestinians’ need for humanitarian aid/support too. But, please please trust the words of the readers here who are showing you this is a very unrelated issue to the rise of anti-semitism. I know it’s not easy to appeal to and support everyone but it is clear you are someone with a huge heart and you are doing your best. Please don’t stop your public show of support due to any mis-guided comments. Thank you again.

  32. Andrea says...

    Ah, meltdown May winding up as planned.

    Can we all take a breath and contemplate what any real effect a blogger or blog has in acknowledging any struggle? And by real effect I mean real impact on the world. I would peg it as pretty much zero.

    We may want people to “be on our team” in some philosophical way, but none of this has any real effect on how people think about Jewish people, Palestinians or Israel. So why do we demand empty signaling?

    I think we can intuit that Joanna Goddard is generally not an a**hole and not unsympathetic to people suffering. To increasingly demand that speak out on X, Y or Z seems beyond the pay grade of a lifestyle blogger. Or maybe I underestimate her ability to navigate situations like the Tigray Region conflict.

    These also seem like an immature requests. Joanna Goddard is a person who puts content out into the world and makes a living from it. She’s not an arbiter of what is acceptable suffering, who is right, who is seen. She produces content and we view this content. If you need a place to be seen and validated, that exists in relationships in your life, in people you can touch. Let’s let a blog be a blog.

    • Bec says...

      I completely agree, Andrea. Glad you could articulate it better than I could.

    • JW says...

      Hear hear!

    • Josephine Williams says...

      Hear, hear!

    • Nora says...

      Andrea, I agree and thank you for saying this.

      It’s totally cool that Jo is willing to name these issues and provide space for discussion in the comments – but can we all be adults about it? That is, can we all listen and respond and post thoughtfully instead of assuming a tedious woker-than-thou posture and criticizing and language policing each other as well as the person who is providing the platform, which is, once again, a LIFESTYLE BLOG?

      Rising anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people are enormous, dangerous, heartbreaking problems. Of course it’s hard to know what do do once you’ve made donations and written your congressperson, but please understand – scolding and language policing cheapen the entire discussion and don’t help anyone on any side at all.

  33. Sarah K says...

    Thank you for taking a stand against antisemitism! This issue is very close to my heart.

  34. Meredith says...

    I’m really appreciating reading through all the comments this weekend about anti-semitism and the Israel-Palestine situation. I would love to see a fuller post (or even a series of posts, given, as many commenters point out, that these are not the same…) that both informs readers about some of the many things that are going on, and also presents us with examples of lived experience and opinion.

    • Sarah says...

      I don’t think that is a particularly fair request and, with no disrespect to you Meredith, I hope Joanna doesn’t feel she needs to provide that level of engagement in this issue. It is incredibly complex and there must be more appropriate places for you/us to get more information from people more connected to the issue. Perhaps more knowledgable people could suggest available resources.

    • Meredith says...

      Oh! Interesting. I was actually just trying to reflect on how much I valued the conversation and could see value in it being continued with more depth. Of course, it’s just a suggestion! I’m certainly not trying to make an unreasonable or unfair request, nor am I trying to say that this blog should become an educational platform. I’ve just appreciated the attention that’s been given to different lived experiences on this blog in the past, and see continued value in that. I certainly agree that it’s important for each of us to do our own learning. Sorry that wasn’t clear from the initial comment!

    • Sarah says...

      Oh no need to apologise at all, reading back my reply it might have been a bit harsh! And I certainly don’t think you were being demanding or anything like that. I am sorry!

      I agree the conversation has been fascinating – I have learned a lot by reading these comments. I wish there was this level of discourse more places! And my questioning if anyone could suggest other resources was a genuine one – I feel like I would trust CoJ readers to have interesting and (perhaps! Is there a thing?!) balanced suggestions.

      Have you read the Motherhood Around the World post from a few years ago from a mother in Jerusalem? Interesting both in itself and from the comments.

  35. Zuzu says...

    To any Palestinians who may be reading this comment — who are already disproportionately censored; currently extra sad; losing jobs because of the truth; losing sleep worrying about the family you’ve been barred decades from returning to see; traumatised by the constant images of destruction; weary of strangers always putting an asterisk, a disclaimer, a diversion, a bothsidesnow on your lives and your struggle……….

    I offer this humble comment: I see you. Your pain is not unnoticed. Your joy and music and strength are not unheard. I’m sorry your pain had to be an afterthought like this, in a space that has been so historically kind and welcoming. I love you — simple as a human who loves another — simple as the desire in all of us to be free.

  36. Sara says...

    Thank you, Joanna, for being an ally with American Jewish readers (especially given that you are a US-based blog), while also expressing sympathy and resources with which to help Palestine. It was really welcome and comforting at a time when hatred towards Jews has felt more prevalent (and lonelier) than I can remember.
    With gratitude.

  37. Tess says...

    Thank you, Joanna, for this and everything! You’ve created a wonderful community in a weary world. Sending you hugs. ❤️

  38. Karen says...

    I can’t imagine the anxiety you go through when you click Post. Everyone immediately tells you what you should have or could have done better. This has always been a place to open my eyes to bigger topics- and I can always research deeper. Thanks for being brave enough to start the convos all of the time!

    • Kylee says...

      Exactly this Karen. I have learnt so much from this blog, and I’m grateful to Joanna for her strength in bringing forward the more difficult discussions. I’m also grateful to everyone who comments. I love that there are usually so many kind, informed comments – even if I don’t agree, I can have my eyes opened to a new perspective and a new understanding, and that’s what it’s all about really isn’t it?

    • April says...

      Agree with everything Karen said!

  39. Aly says...

    Thanks you AD, ES, and Adel, for your thoughtful and informative comments. Sometimes it feels like the depth and reach of the misinformation is so vast and I am alone in trying to educate people on the basic facts in the area. It’s nice to see others doing it too.
    Now for the record:
    1) Jews are indigenous to the land where the state of Israel exists and have been for over 2000 years. Not colonialism.
    2) Palestinians are also indigenous to the land (for approx. 1100 years).
    3) Not all Israelis are white. There are white-passing Israelis (with european backgrounds, like me, known as Ashkenazi Jews) and there are Israelis of color, known as Mizrachi Jews, which means Jews from Arab countries (Syria, Iraq, Morocco, Yemen). There are also Black Israelis who escaped ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia. I don’t want to generalize, but I know MANY left wing white Israelis, and also MANY right wing Israelis of color. There are also counter-examples in each group. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS BLM IN THE US. It is different.
    4) Twenty percent (20%) of the population of Israel is Arab. Arab citizens have the same rights as Jews to vote, work in every profession (including parliament members and Supreme Court judges), and do everything that Jewish citizens do. In fact, we were (prior to the recent war) on the verge of a governing coalition that would end Bibi’s right wing government and would include center, left-wing, and Arab parties for the first time in Israel’s history (in the past Arab parties have been elected to parliament but there has never been a coalition that included Arab parties). This is a historic step and it’s not at all coincidental that tensions were being inflamed by the right wing government as this was about to happen.
    There’s much more to say but for now I wanted to share these points to inform everyone’s opinions (most of which seems to be formed by social media posts which are inaccurate at best).

    • Marissa says...

      Thank you for highlighting all these important points, especially the right wing’s government role in inflaming tensions. This is an essential component of recent events that even the most well-meaning people are not aware of. And although some Arabs have many opportunities in Israel, we are still second-class citizens. Access to said opportunities is not equal, and Arabs have more barriers to overcome to have the same opportunities as their Jewish counterparts. Additionally, nonsymmetrical funding, police brutality, general discrimination, and segregation are commonplace for Israel’s Arab citizens.

    • Hanna says...

      Thankyou!!

    • NM says...

      ❤️ thanks for taking the time to explain. Super informative.

    • Rd says...

      Thanks for this

    • Stellamaris says...

      You are mixing up concepts. Colonisation isn’t about who was there first or long enough. Colonisation is when you actively try to replace a population with your own, however ethnically or religiously diverse.
      Apartheid is when you significantly restrict freedoms of a certain group of people, even if it’s based on labels and if you have people in your ranks that share ethnicity with the people you oppress or are less white.
      This seems so obvious and yet people are still trying to deviate the debate from these issues.
      Antisemitism is indefensible and so are apartheid and colonialism, both of which the Netanyahu government has openly been doing, thus perpetuating longstanding policies of the State of Israel, but that another government could very well choose to stop.
      (Because the difference between antisemitism and antisionism is one thing, but you can also be pro-Israel as a country and against its policies, just like being appalled by Trump didn’t make anyone automatically anti-American).
      Antisemite acts and the brutal colonial apartheid are two equally severe problems, but one does not make the other acceptable and this actually goes both ways. The same thing applies to Hamas being a terrorist group or not, it is simply not a justification for actively trying to oust people from their home based on a indigenousness claim.

    • Ani says...

      Just because you say it, doesn’t make it all true. Settler colonialism is settler colonialism.

    • Aly says...

      @Marissa – thank you for sharing all of these points. I completely agree with you on every single one and want to amplify all of them, and your experience. All of the points you raise are a part of Meretz’s platform and Ra’am’s platform, and I am praying with every piece of my heart that the anti-Bibi coalition is formed (tomorrow!!) and the first things we see addressed are more equitable funding for Arab communities, de-segregation, more equitable policing, and a more just, less racist society. I am hopeful. I am holding space for you and hoping for your prosperity, and the prosperity of all Arabs in Israel and Palestine.

  40. Agnès says...

    I love that Éric Carle quote; it makes so much sense when artists have this attitude towards children. Have a great week-end joanna, it shows that you always try to do your best.

  41. Traci Barr Segal says...

    Standing up for American Jews against antisemitism is so important. Besides, how does one know what an individual Jews position on Israel is anyway? It’s like saying that all Americans are Republicans. I’m also reminded of the horribly anti-Semitic COJ comments that followed the woman who shared her living with children experience in Israel. No other country featured in that series showed so much hate.

  42. DG says...

    Totally agree with S on this one. Rachel, how nice that you’ve never needed/wanted Israel as your homeland. What of the Jews who live in Israel? My (pro-two-state solution, liberal, Netanyahu-hating, secular) family in Israel has been there since 1946, when they literally had no place else to go after losing 90% of their family in the Holocaust. Our family remains so small and close because so few survived the war. Where should they go? Should they abandon their apartments in Tel Aviv and go…..where? To LA? Where Jews eating sushi were beaten by a mob last week? To NYC? Where Jews were attacked outside Ess-a-bagel last week? Where I am wondering if I feel safe sending my 1st grader to Hebrew school in the fall? Does the rise of anti-Semitic hate not remind you even more that Israel is a vital safe haven for Jews? Israel must exist peacefully and there must be a two state solution. To believe this is to be a Zionist. You say you have no desire to visit Israel, but I recommend you do so and educate yourself. Israel is not only warmongers and zealots. Millions of Israelis just want to live peacefully.

    • Aly says...

      Thank you for this comment DG. I agree with every word (as a pro-two-state, Netanyahu-hating Jew in Tel Aviv). The American Jewish voices in the debate are too often a voice of privilege – it is wonderful that they have always felt safe and never needed Israel as a homeland or safe haven! But the vast majority of Israelis I’ve met either directly escaped religious persecution (in the USSR, Iran, or Ethiopia) or are the children or grandchildren of those who did (Europe/Iraq/Syria/Yemen). It seems eerily similar to white privilege to me to say that a Jewish homeland is not necessary when there are people who fled rape and murder to reach Israel. I moved to Tel Aviv from Park Slope this past summer and even as we spent the last two weeks running in and out of our bomb shelter while Hamas’ rockets were falling around us and it was terrifying. At the same time, I know I would be just as terrified speaking Hebrew with my kids in Brooklyn or Manhattan right now. Sending you big hugs.

  43. Sabeen says...

    I wasn’t aware of the rise of anti-semitism in the US and it goes to show how selective our understanding of the world is. I would hope that people feeling the hurt and fear that comes with being at the receiving end of something as horrible as anti-semitism or any other form of racism would be able to feel something for the people on the receiving end of 11 days of air strikes. Joanna, this is a topic that needs to be covered. The end of apartheid in South Africa didn’t happen because the government decided it was the right thing to do. It took years of struggle and it took many lives and it took courage for people to speak out against injustice. And perhaps you didn’t speak out because it so easily becomes an us vs. them argument and no one really listens or tries to see the other side. I just feel so hurt thinking about the families who have been killed and those who have to go on with out their loved ones. Maybe you can reach out via Instagram and share an interview with a Palestinian mother and an Israeli mother and give us some insights into what life is like for ordinary people as they try to go about their days.

    • sookiestackhouse says...

      Sabeen, I share your feeling that we must recognize the pain experienced by Palestinians, not only in the wake of the latest violence but more generally. I do take exception to the implication that those who have been victims of antisemitic violence in the US would channel that experience and somehow connect it to the suffering of Palestinians halfway across the world — I know you probably didn’t intend it this way, but that comment suggests that hate crimes can be productive. Hate crimes are one of the few matters in the world that are absolute: without exception, crimes committed against people on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and nationality are wrong and never justifiable – full stop.

    • Aly says...

      Hi Sabeen,
      As an Israeli and a Jew, I agree with every word. Thank you for this thoughtful comment. I live in Tel Aviv and was under rocket attack from Hamas for those same 11 days and it was terrifying – even with a bomb shelter in our building. It was deeply traumatizing for my kids and all of their friends. I know that this is only a tiny sliver of what families in the south of Israel have experienced as they have lived with constant rocket attacks from Hamas for the past 20 years. And I know that what we experience in Israel is only a tiny sliver of the suffering that families in Gaza have experienced. It is unimaginable pain and suffering. My hearts are also with all of the families of the 67 children killed. All of my friends’ hearts are, too. It might be helpful to read our left wing newspaper, Haaretz, which reflects how critical so many Israelis are of the current government and how much they support a Palestinian state, Palestinian security and prosperity. The front page was pictures of the 67 children. At the same time, my heart breaks that Hamas shoots rockets from densely populated civilian areas into densely populated civilian areas. My heart breaks that the Israeli army cannot respond to indiscriminate rocket attacks on my family without harming Palestinian families, despite the preventative measures I truly do believe that they take (even though if they harm a single civilian life, they are insufficient). We are on the verge of finally ridding Israel of the right wing Prime minister, Bibi – I believe that a center-left coalition including Arab parliament members will be announced tomorrow. I pray. The left wing Israeli voices and the Arab voices in the government will finally be elevated for the first time in many decades. They would make the two state solution a priority. And Joanna, if you do take Sabeen’s advice and want to do an Israeli mother’s perspective and a Palestinian mother’s perspective, I’d be honored to be your Israeli mother.

    • sookiestackhouse says...

      Following up on my earlier post: if Indians in America were assaulted because of Modi’s anti-Muslim nationalist agitation in India, would you say that you hope those Indian-Americans would feel more sympathetic to the plight of Muslims in India? Of course not; you would (and should) be outraged. Saying that American Jews who have been assaulted will hopefully be more sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians in the Middle East in wrong for the same reasons.
      Relatedly, for those who insist that continued antisemitism only proves the need for a Jewish state: perhaps. But you can – and must – insist that such a state be ethical and just to all its citizens. A true Jewish state should define Jewishness through ethical policies, and not only in the identity of its citizens as mostly Jewish.
      We can condemn violence against Palestinians in Palestine and violence against Jews in the US as two absolute wrongs; neither justifies the other.
      Finally: Thank you, Joanna, for your kindness and empathy. Nothing you write about this conflict will satisfy everyone, but I commend you for not shying away from nuance and complexity.

  44. Susannah says...

    Oh please don’t pile on Joanna everyone. I so appreciate how this blog doesn’t shy away from hard topics, at the risk of bringing on conflicting opinions in the comments. I would never want the team to feel like they could no longer do that, or grow exhausted from moderating us all. I love mingling here with all of you supportive kind people who assume we all come with the best of intentions, and – absolutely! – share kind direction or correction where helpful. Clearly Cup of Jo has shown it is anti violence, anti-hate of every kind, to everyone, like we all are here I hope.

    • DG says...

      Same. Give her a break. It’s hard to get this right and she is trying.

    • Hanna says...

      I completely agree! I am so thankful for this place and that you guys talk about difficult/important subjects as well. Big hugs, Joanna and team xx

    • Marissa says...

      But the thing is, Cup of Jo did not clearly express its stance against the state-sanctioned violence and oppression faced by the Palestinian people. I haven’t seen any comments that went beyond sharing “kind direction,” indicating why it is important to also show solidarity with the Palestinian people. I am sure it wasn’t your intention but to be honest, your comment kind of discourages those who support Palestine from sharing their critical perspective by saying that sharing their view is piling on and that their views can push the team to no longer be able to handle posting difficult topics. As someone who has actually been directly affected by the Israeli-Palestine conflict, I am speaking up now more than ever because, similar to the changing views of BLM that started last summer, people are finally starting to listen and learn about the plight of Palestine.

    • Anon says...

      @Marissa… Thank you for your clear and kindly worded comment. I agree. The comments that I have read have all been respectful but honest. It is important to speak out and Joanna and her team are brave to provide a forum for respectful dialogue.

    • Susannah says...

      Thanks Marissa, it was the blaming, judging, critical piling on I was referring to. Different I think from respectful feedback and perspective sharing

    • CEW says...

      Marissa, it’s a lifestyle blog.

    • jules says...

      Amen! The expectation now seems to be that everyone with any sort of platform must comment on every global and geopolitical issue in a way that feels good to all parties. How could it be possible? Belarus, Turkey, Ethiopia , shootings, voter suppression – those are just off the top of my head. “Do better, apologize, getting it right….” I applaud the team for continuing to try to do all that despite the inevitable and continued backlash. We love you Team CoJ!

  45. Ramona says...

    Fred Rogers and Eric Carle…both such gentlemen. 🎨👏🏼🙂

  46. Ruby says...

    Gotta echo a some points here. Happy to see you say something about antisemitism, though antisemitism and what’s going on in Israel & Palestine SHOULD be their own issue. Would you advocate for another minority, such as black lives, LGBT+, etc, and then follow it up with “oh and let’s donate to a food bank!” – it takes away from what you’re advocating for.

    I get where you were coming from and I really appreciate it, but why is it that when we fight for Jewish people, it always comes with a condition of sorts?

  47. Ellen says...

    I stand completely against any form of anti-Semitism and am saddened to read about the rise of it, but as a longtime Palestinian reader here, I dream of the day I will visit this blog and read, ” We are standing with our Palestinian readers and I apologize for not speaking up sooner. “

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh but we are!!! We are very much standing with the Palestinian community during these heartbreaking times and donating for family aid and promoting that on social — and also standing with our Jewish readers during this surge of anti-Semitic attacks in America. It is both. I really apologize for not getting the wording right here, and not expressing my view more clearly — I always want to do that and know how important it is. We are going through an incredibly scary and difficult time at home and I wish I had had more time today to think about semantics which I agree matter so much! Please know I am so heartbroken over what is happening in Palestine, while also wishing for peace in the Middle East, while also wishing for safety for Jewish people in America (and the world). I am not an expert at any of this but trying to read, learn and empathize with struggling communities. Thank you so much for your note, Ellen. Xo

    • JJ says...

      I know I am just some rando on the internet, but as a Jewish CoJ reader I stand with Palestinians. 100%.

    • Kate says...

      I think the best way to support Palestine right now is to speak up. Specifically, we need to dismantle the dominant narrative that it is wrong to criticize the violent acts of the state of Israel. They must be held accountable, just like any other country. Look up how many UN resolutions Israel has violated. These are not debatable. They are facts and therefore should not be controversial.

      If simply making donations is your form of supporting Palestine then you will also be making donations to support Gaza in another few years when it gets bombed again. This cycle must end.

    • CS says...

      Joanna, there is never a question that your heart is in the right place. The wording of such a thing is so delicate, and you are brave for even trying. You bring such light to the world. I am sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time at home. Please be kind to yourself too and stay safe. Xoxoxo

    • Faza says...

      Totally agree with Ellen. Joanna, perhaps this paragraph can be re-written to demonstrate true impartiality and sincere support to both communities. If I were a Palestinian reading this paragraph, I would feel extremely hurt. Given the vast amounts of destruction and deaths faced by Palestinians, a mere throwaway line about donating to Palestinian families after a paragraph largely about supporting the Jewish community against anti-Semitism seems (unintentionally) insincere. I would like to think good of your intentions, and hope to see an edited paragraph. Thank you.

    • Farhana says...

      I agree with Ellen. Joanna, you can always go back and edit your wording right and write ” We are standing with our Palestinian readers and I apologize for not speaking up sooner”. This map is pretty handy to understand the gravity of the situation. https://imeu.org/article/fact-check-msnbcs-palestinian-loss-of-land-map

    • E says...

      @Ellen, Solidarity. I recommend to everyone the May 19 episode of The Daily—an unforgettable interview with a young woman living through the fighting in Gaza.
      @Jo—sending love for whatever is going on. Thanks for what you do here. It is big, important, and good.

    • Anonymous says...

      Love this comment Ellen. I’m not Palestinian but am Muslim and seeing the atrocities and all the massacred families (the children!!!!) breaks my heart

      Joanna thank you for your clarifying comment.

      I’d love to see more light shined on the Palestinian plight and a whole post dedicated to resources and even photos or memories of the Palestinian children .
      Thank you!!!

    • katie says...

      I’m so sorry Joanna. You’re damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

      I’ve been reading your blog for years. You don’t shy away from tough subjects. I never took your speaking out against antisemitism as not supporting Palestinians.

      I couldn’t do what you do. Especially for a service that is free. I love your blog and appreciate you and all of your staff. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • CS says...

      @Ellen… I had commented earlier anonymously in solidarity with Palestine, but realized I should mention it again here, too. We are standing with you. No question the government of Israel (which many jewish people loathe) needs to be called out.

    • Ellen says...

      Joanna, 
      Thank you so much for your response, it meant so much to me.
      I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through at home, I hope things get better soon. Sending you all the love.

    • Jane says...

      Ellen you are so gracious in your comment here. I am not Palestinian but this post from Cup of Jo makes me very angry, if this blog truly stood for Palestine they would have started speaking up about Palestine before yesterday and would have started the post clearly stating this stance. I know Cup of Jo are trying and I have been reading them for a decade; but I wholeheartedly think they got it wrong here and owe you and the Palestinian readers an apology. As a South African I stand with Palestine and know how important all voices were in ending apartheid. If Cup of Jo are not willing to be one of the voices for Palestine I’m not sure I can continue reading.

    • Jemma says...

      Right! As a friendly reminder, there are a LOT of other resources you can turn to on the Internet for news. Joanna has stood against anti-Semitism while standing for the safety of Palestine. She (like myself) has said she’s not an expert on Middle Eastern politics. While Joanna writes beautifully on a number of other topics and Cup of Jo is part of my media diet, it is exactly that .. part of it. There are plenty of other news sources, blogs, podcasts, social media feeds, and yes, even books, etc. that ARE written by Middle Eastern experts, many of whom have dedicated their journalism careers to studying it. Also, we all have an Internet platform these days – so if you happen to have an expertise, amplify it in your own voice (in addition to donating, writing your representatives, signing petitions, attending peaceful protests, etc.)

  48. S says...

    For liberal Americans, it’s been natural to denounce racism when it’s coming from the right, but very hard to acknowledge that antisemitism is now coming from the left. Targeting a religious/ethnic minority is never correct. We should all be able to clearly agree upon this, but yet, this is one of the first blogs to say anything about the drastic rise in antisemitism in recent weeks.

    Over the past few weeks, Jewish friends and I have been writing each other all stating that we can’t remember a scarier time in the world to be a Jew. I read a statement recently by @henmazzig that resonated with me: “The more you attack Jews on the streets in the name of Palestine, the more you destroy our synagogues, the more you deny our history and humanity, the more we will believe Israel must exist.” There is one, tiny Jewish homeland in the world, the place that half of the world’s Jews live and have sought refuge in when persecuted in other countries. My dad and his entire family were persecuted for being Jews in the Soviet Union until he escaped in the late 1970s. My grandmother escaped the Holocaust and survived pogroms. My great-grandparents were killed in a mass grave in the Holocaust. Stating that you believe that a religious minority should be free to live and practice their religion in safety requires no other justification.

    Over 90% of American Jews are Zionists. If you’re only listening to 10% of anti-Zionist Jews, then you are engaging in tokenism to promote your own personal beliefs. For anti-Zionist American Jews–it’s a privilege if you might not personally need Israel as a refuge today. According to thousands of years of history, that privilege sadly hasn’t lasted long in any society.

    • Lisa says...

      You aren’t alone, I’m with you. I shouldn’t be ashamed to say I am a supporter of Israel, I’ve studied the region for at least 10 years now – to me there is no question. The government has its faults FOR SURE. But I am with you

    • sookiestackhouse says...

      You can believe in the right of the Jews to have a homeland AND in the right of Palestinians to have a homeland. We must support both. And, as a Jew who is critical of the Israeli government, I urge you to consider moving beyond simple binary paradigms (Zionist vs anti-Zionist) and to consider that the reality is far more complex. You can support the idea of Israel while at the same time demanding that it adhere to moral and ethical standards toward Palestinians. Wouldn’t that be better for everyone?

  49. A says...

    Some media I recommend to contribute to discussions re: Palestine, Israel and antisemitism

    1) ‘The Present’ – a short film on Netflix, directed by a British-Palestinian and nominated for the Academy Awards. It offers a small glimpse into the daily life of a family navigating the apartheid state of Israel/Palestine.

    2) ‘Jews Don’t Count’ by David Baddiel, which questions why antisemitism is not treated in the same ways as other forms of racism. His perspective is primarily UK-focused but there are lots of parallels to the US.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you so much!!! Can’t wait to watch.

    • Kate says...

      I would also like to recommend the How Cum podcast recent episode ‘How Understanding’. Remy is Jewish herself and interviews a Jewish/Palestinian lesbian couple and together they unpack EVERYTHING. It really helped me understand not only the whole history but also what Jewish folks are going through right now, how Israel has traditionally been viewed as the homeland and above reproach. This narrative is the issue at hand. And truly, condemning anti-Semitism while we’re talking about Palestine at this time feels like the “All lives matter” of the moment. Obviously, anti-Semitism is horrendous. But if we’re talking about apples, why do people keep talking about bananas?

    • RG says...

      I am a US/UK Jew, very left-leaning, and I strongly second the recommendation of Jews Don’t Count. It is a shock to the system to encounter antisemitism on the left – I honestly still don’t know what to make of it – and many progressives do not seem to recognise the potential for antisemitism within our own ranks. The book is fantastic and easy to read, and if you identify as a progressive/liberal you should read it so that you can have more confidence that in your activism and speech you are not perpetuating antisemitism.

  50. Emily says...

    Thanks very much for your statement against antisemitism, Jo. As an American Jew and long time reader I feel a little bit safer when I hear non-Jews say something like this. It really is scary to worry about being targeted on the street, at a restaurant, at a synagogue. And many of us have intergenerational trauma for the very same reason. In fact, I grew up without a grandfather and my father without his father because he died after an illness contracted in a concentration camp. Those who feel the need to respond to a condemnation of antisemitism with comments on the countries of Israel or Palestine need to take a look in the mirror and really sit with why you are unable to simply say, “antisemitism is not acceptable.”

    • L says...

      Joanna’s comment on the blog condemned anti-semitism, and then followed that strong condemnation w/ a comment to donate to aid Palestinians. The responses bringing up Israel and Palestine appropriately respond, because of that, and because we are dealing with this rise in anti-semitism, in the context of a terrible humanitarian crisis at the hands of a government. There is no excuse for anti-semitism, I condemn it and don’t tolerate it- AND, there is no excuse to oppress an indigenous population because of their ethnic or religious origin & kill civilians repeatedly with asymmetric power, as Israel has done to it’s Palestinian population. Conflating criticism of the Israeli government’s actions w/ anti-semitism is silencing to Israelis and Jewish Americans who don’t agree with the actions of the government- It also silences Palestinians and those who are speaking up for their human rights. As a Palestinian American, whose grandparents & parents both fled Palestine as Israel was being founded, and as it was increasing its territory- under traumatic conditions, but ultimately found safety as displaced people and then refugees, I know the context of this situation from a particular perspective. I also feel like my perspective, my entire existence, my family’s story has been denied and gaslit from the beginning of my life, in our media. This is changing slowly. Ultimately when I see what has been happening in Israel since my grandparents fled, and when I talk to Israelis about their experience, I cannot see a way out of the continued trauma and suffering in Israel (by Israelis and Palestinians) without acknowledging the Palestinian perspective in the story, and without redressing the second class citizenship, prejudice and oppression of Palestinians in the Israeli government system. Jewish Safety, Israeli safety, and Palestinian Safety are not and should not be mutually exclusive.

    • Amanda says...

      Thank you so much for your comment, L. You have a very important perspective on this, and I really appreciate your sharing, and very much feel it to my core. I am not Jewish, Israeli, or Palestinian, but have been blessed to grow up in a community surrounded by all of these groups of people, and many others. Your comment highlights the nuance that it is so hard to share online. Thank you.

  51. Joanna says...

    I’m sorry, but what about being an ‘ally’ to Palestinians? 219 people were killed by the IDF’s recent attacks on Gaza, at least 63 of them children. Israel’s attacks killed more Palestinians in the first 24 hours than Hamas rockets have killed in the past 20 years. Israelis have freedom and democratic rights, while the residents of Gaza live in an open-air prison under conditions of violent apartheid. Staying silent for weeks and then writing a post implying that antisemitism in the US is the really concerning thing here (oh yeah, and we also “wish for peace” in the Middle East) is really quite something. I hope you can reassess your priorities. (And yes, in the context of huge platforms like this blog, it is a matter of priorities. Antisemitism is disgusting of course – and part of my family are Israeli Jews, so I’m not divorced from the issue – but I don’t understand why it’s apparently controversial to say that civilians being murdered by a military force deserves more attention and outrage.)

    • Elinor G says...

      Loss on both sides is heartbreaking. War is heartbreaking. Terror is heartbreaking. You wrote that “Israel’s attacks killed more Palestinians in the first 24 hours than Hamas rockets have killed in the past 20 years”. Do you know why is that? Because Hamas uses civilians as human shield, hiding weapon underneath Shifa hospital, schools and homes. Hamas launches rockets from densely populated areas, and therefore IDF’s defense unfortunately leads to heartbreaking death of civilians. Do you suggest Israel stand by while hundreds of rockets are being launched on its citizens? While Hamas invests money in terror, Israel invests money in defending its people and developing the Iron Dome. Thanks to the Iron Dome Hamas’s rockets don’t cause as much harm. Also, IDF doesn’t act from inside densely populated areas. So please check the facts before writing about civilians being “murdered”. Claims like that are harmful, biased and simply not true.
      And yes, we all pray for peace in the middle east. Always.

    • AK says...

      Amen to this. I’ve seen what apartheid looks like in Palestine and it’s not enough just to “wish for peace.” Why speak out against anti-semitism, but not apartheid and war crimes?

    • M says...

      @Elinor I agree with you that Hamas endangers the lives of Israelis and Palestinians, but it’s a bit disingenuous for people to constantly argue that they use human shields and densely populated areas. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. There is no place in Gaza that is not densely populated. Hamas is a terrorist group, and based on all I’ve learned about them and their makeshift/guerilla type operations, I do not believe their intent is to kill off Palestinians. They understand the cost of their actions (wildly disproportionate bombardment by Israel) and act anyway, but their goal is not to sacrifice Gazans.

    • Joanna says...

      @Elinor – I’m sorry, I may have misunderstood. How did these 219 Palestinians die if they weren’t killed by the IDF? Did they all spontaneously have fatal heart attacks?
      Personally, I don’t believe for a second that all or even most of the buildings that the IDF bombed had Hamas weapons in them (remember the al-Jazeera building?), but putting that aside, I find the ‘human shields’ defence very silly. It’s akin to saying that in a hostage situation, it’s OK to shoot the hostage if you also kill the hostage-taker.

    • RG says...

      AK asks: “Why speak out against anti-semitism, but not apartheid and war crimes?” Does it have to be a choice? I don’t think so. Both can be done, but please do not malign a Jewish person for speaking up against antisemitism. The reason you need to speak up against antisemitism WHILE working to shift the situation in Israel and Palestine is because, historically, every time there is an uptick in criticism of the Israeli government, there is a rise in antisemitism. That isn’t nothing – it’s hate crime, it’s even synagogue shootings. Alongside this, there are rising rates of Holocaust denialism and minimization in the US, UK and Europe. And a history of Jews being, periodically, expelled from their countries of residence through policy and pogrom. There are real risks to Jews that come alongside important critiques and changes that need to be made. If you do not understand this context, then you do not understand the conflict enough to speak on it, frankly.

  52. Sara says...

    There are a lot of things I want to say but will refrain from echoing similar sentiments already addressed in this thread. I do, however, want to remind everyone that Arabs (re: Palestinians) are also Semitic. I’m frustrated as an Arab American, Christian, professor and researcher that people have gone to great lengths to educate themselves on “how to be an anti-racist” and only applying that framework to African Americans. This applies to Israelis and Palestinians.
    Joanna, I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I do appreciate you standing up against anti-Semitism. But your comment about Palestinians came across very much as an afterthought. I know we don’t all get it right, and we aren’t all convicted by the same things. And I think sometimes we readers have some unrealistic expectations for our favorite bloggers. That said, I do hope you take some time to educate yourself on the realities of the “events” taking place in Palestine. I’m always happy to share resources.

    • Cate says...

      Well said

  53. Sage says...

    So sad that Eric Carle died. Hungry Caterpillar and so many of his other books are staples in my house nowadays… What a lovely segment with Mr. Rogers.

  54. Allison says...

    One thing everyone can agree upon is that words are important. So to clarify according to Merriam Webster: if you say you’re anti-Zionist, you’re against the *existence* of a state of Israel. It’s not about policies, or any particular ruling government; it’s saying there should be no state of Israel. And if that’s what you mean, you’re entitled to your opinion. But let’s be clear what we’re talking about.

    And Jo, thank you for acknowledging the anti-semitism. It’s been a scary time to bear the vitriol and explain it to my innocent Jewish sons, but the silence of many and qualifiers (the “buts” after saying they’re against the anti-semitism but…) has been so disappointing.

  55. Abbey says...

    It is extremely dangerous to conflate antisemitism with criticism of the Israeli government. Any government that cannot be criticized is a danger to the world. As an American Jew, I am deeply offended that Joanna decided to address this topic in the way she did. I am sick of statements like hers that intentionally shift focus toward general antisemitism and away from critiques of imperialism, colonialism, and apartheid. The rise of antisemitic sentiment in the US and abroad is scary and worth discussing on this blog. But an acknowledgement of the existence of antisemitism IS NOT an acceptable response to current war crimes being committed by the Israeli government. It disrespects true victims of antisemitic vitriol as well as the thousands of Palestinians who have been murdered or displaced by (American-funded) Israeli bombs. Joanna should not have been pressured to comment on this topic at all. I wish she hadn’t.

    • C says...

      Historically her heart has been in the right place so I will veer towards that even though I absolutely agree with all you’ve written 💗

    • Farhana says...

      Thank you so very much!

    • Rachel says...

      I think she is referring to the bodily violence towards Jews in America right now. It’s happening. Many things can be true at once. Many things are almost always true at once.

    • M says...

      Thank you for this comment. Not a Palestinian, just a human watching everyone tiptoe around calling out an apartheid state because that might be labeled anti-Semitic. Dr. Gabor Maté said it best, “the dream of Zionism brought a nightmare upon the people of Palestine.” No matter how safe a state of Israel makes you feel or how many traumas the Jewish people have had to endure (and they are many) that does not give the government the right to dispossess, annex and oppress the Palestinians and their land. There is no shortage of information to open your eyes to the reality that Israel is a apartheid state and must be stopped but people choose to hear and see whatever confirms their personal bias. You have to choose to seek the truth and scream it loudly to whoever will listen.

    • BEBE says...

      Agree completely. My family is ethnically Jewish and I strongly condone Israel’s brutal oppression of Palestine. I also condone the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the United States. It is easy to do both, actually.

      I’m extremely disappointed in Joanna’s initial comments, though I know she sincerely is trying her best. I have read Cup of Jo regularly for years but I think this has really soured my view.

    • R. says...

      Thank you for your comment. I, another American Jew, feel the same.

  56. K says...

    I think it’s helpful to be allies with those struggling and suffering and say, hey, I see you, I see what you’re going through.

    I still haven’t figured it out yet, but I think it gets tricky when we blame a culture of people for the suffering of another culture of people, rather than holding a government entity accountable for the proper, realistic reform. I don’t think it helps any of us to say that one suffering is worse than another. This breeds resentment. We all matter, we all are connected, if one of us suffers, we all suffer, in one way or another, eventually. But it’s not fair! They started it! They’re attacking us much worse! How would you mediate a fight amongst siblings?

  57. Lily says...

    Thank you for speaking out. I am not Jewish and I don’t support the current Israeli government, but I am very disturbed by vitriol, hateful acts, and false information that I have seen so much of recently. I am especially shocked to see so much of it in progressive spaces. I am concerned that the very people who mock cries of “fake news” blindly accept Instagram slides that seem progressive without verifying the information for themselves.

    • S says...

      Oh I feel this so badly.
      As someone deeply embedded in progressive, intellectual left wing circles, I feel stumped.

    • Aly says...

      Thank you, @Lily. I feel the same way. I have always identified as liberal/progressive/left-wing and I am shocked by what I’m seeing circulating in the US. My liberal/progressive/left-wing friends in Tel Aviv kind of can’t believe what I’m describing to them. My husband has a lot of friends in intellectual/academic/left-wing circles who confide in him (secretly, via DM) that if they were to ever voice any concern with the vitriol and false information you’re describing, they could lose their jobs. I am terrified by this more than right-wing antisemitism, which I always wrote off as a bunch of ignorant, hateful white supremacists – scary but uneducated. The exceptionally educated individuals in the academy spreading antisemitism are the ones who really have the power to influence ideas and discourse.

    • Lily says...

      Yes, @Aly, I know what you mean. I am a professor and a felt some fear when I posted a message against anti-Semitism on Instagram.

  58. NM says...

    Just want to remind those once again conflating the situation in Palestine with antisemitism.

    No statement of “stop Asian hate” would be accompanied with any word on China’s egregious human rights violations or North Korea’s brutal totalitarian government.

    The trouble with antisemitism is that it is woven into the global fabric and predates many other forms of bigotry (most counties today were not even in existence when it began).

    Please try to dig deep into statements you make. You may not even notice they are antisemitic.

    Just like so many white people did not realize the ways they were taking part in racism in so many insidious ways. White people had/have to actively educate themselves on being anti-racist.

    The same is true here. Please don’t gaslight. Educate yourself if you want to take a stand.

    • Alana says...

      Thank you!!! I was thinking the same thing.

    • Dani says...

      I think what’s been so hard for me to sit with is why have Americans been so silent on what was happening to the people in Palestine, are we so normalized to Arab/brown death that even 65 dead children doesn’t phase us? I love Cup of Jo but it was disappointing to see no mention of that.

      And when people called out the injustice of it, they were often shut down which is why so much conflation is happening (ie in the article it says criticizing Zionism is a form of antisemitism). I appreciate peoples comments on the different identities with Zionism, since to me it wasn’t criticism of the idea of a Jewish state, but criticism of the state sanctioned ethnic cleansing as a result of it. What happened in Gaza was a direct result of Palestinian families being forced out of their homes to make way for Jewish settlers (the literal sequence of events in Gaza were Palestinian families being forcefully pushed out of their homes in a neighborhood in Jerusalem->Palestinians protest and are violently shut down->Israeli soldiers attack worshippers in Ramadan as a result->Hamas threatens retaliation if Israeli military doesn’t stop->Israeli military doesn’t stop->Hamas fires rockets->Israel bombs Gaza).

      And this isn’t the first time Palestinians have been forcefully pushed out of their homes, as we speak another 800 people are facing forced expulsions in another Palestinian neighborhood to also make way for Jewish settlers and a historic theme park. If this isn’t ethnic cleansing, then what is? And the fact that people feel uncomfortable to call this out as wrong openly makes me sad.

      Sorry for the essay, it’s just hard to not feel bummed/hurt/angry by all this.

    • Sara says...

      @Dani. I hear you, and feel the same – politically, emotionally, with regards to the plight of Palestinians. Yet the thing that confuses me, is why do we expect CoJ to make a statement on the bombing of Gaza, but not of the bombing of Yemen? US plays a big role in that atrocity, too.

    • Amanda says...

      NM, I think the difference here, and why folks didn’t respond to the “stop Asian hate” with a critique of China, was because the hate crimes against Asians were not in response to the actions of the Chinese government, but due to false claims that blamed Asians for the coronavirus. The rise in antisemitism in the US and elsewhere is, sadly, largely a result of the increased coverage of the attacks on Palestine. I think this is why this is coming up in conversation.

      I agree that it is unfair to lump all Jewish people with the Israeli government, but really truly sadly, that government is having an indirect effect on antisemitism globally, which is deeply ironic, since the Israeli government rationalizes much of these actions by claiming these attacks as a necessary protection of the Jewish state, and therefore Jewish individuals.

      I hope I explained this well and did not gaslight. But as an Asian, I do feel the situation has very different context right now.

    • Dani says...

      @Sara that’s actually a very fair question, though the only counter I have is that the US is far more implicit with that the state of Israel does given we give them $3.3 billion a year in aid, vs $1 mil to Saudi. And also no one conflates criticizing Saudi with Islamaphobia (the House passed a bill last year criticizing abuses in Yemen, that has yet to happen with Israeli human rights abuses).
      Though ultimately you’re right in that I wish we called out our government more for their problematic allyship with them.

    • Aly says...

      Hi @Dani – that’s an interesting point, but I have to point out that the $3.3 billion number is incorrect and deeply misleading. The US provides $3.3 billion of FMF – foreign military financing. – to Israel. It is not aid – it enables recipients to purchase defense systems and services from the US. Israel uses it to fund the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which intercepts rockets headed for civilians (such as the 4,000 rockets fired by Hamas into Israel during the 11 days of war this May). It intercepted rockets which otherwise would have fallen directly on my apartment building – we found the shards of the intercepted rockets scattered around our neighborhood. The US also provides $1.38 billion of FMF to Egypt and $500 million to Jordan.

      With respect to Yemen – the UN considers its humanitarian crisis is the worst in the world, with close to 80% of Yemen’s population of nearly 30 million needing some form of assistance. I think that Sara raises this issue because it is a heartbreaking, devastating crisis on a massive scale which we hear too little about. While all humanitarian crises need to be addressed, and none are excusable, it can sometimes feel like the left spreads more awareness of some than of others. I don’t feel comfortable with the “but what about X’s atrocities, and why aren’t you upset about Y’s oppression of their minorities?” sort of conversation, because it doesn’t feel right to me morally to compare size or degree of suffering communities. Suffering is awful and must be ended. But as a Jew and an Israeli, I have to say, the intensity of the vitriol against Israel seems unmatched. among all countries in the world. I have never seen another country, no matter how unspeakably cruel, abusive, or even murderous, be discussed the way Israel is. And that scares me.

    • Dani says...

      Hi @Aly, thanks for clarifying the aid v financing, and I’m thankful you and your family were protected and absolutely think it’s necessary and justified for Israel to use those funds for missile defense. I wish the civilians in Gaza were afforded the same protections, my friend from college last 21 members of his extended family in Gaza a few weeks ago.
      At this point we can go back and forth without convincing the other, I’m sure there would be lots of “But what about Hamas” or “But what about Palestinians being expelled from their homes.” I’ll just clarify that my criticism is with the government of Israel only, ie the largest recipient of American foreign military financing.
      Signing off from the comments here, wishing you peace.

    • NM says...

      @Amanda blaming American citizens for the actions of a foreign government based their religion is a serious problem.
      The Chinese government is actively engaged in what has been called a genocide of the Uyghurs. I would not condone anti-Chinese sentiment and vitriol aimed at Chinese Americans based on that fact.

    • Amanda says...

      @NM, I am not blaming Jewish people for the actions of Israel! I am saying that it is WRONG to blame people for the actions of a country, but sadly, it does happen a lot. I am just saying that in the specific context of “stop Asian hate,” that is not what was happening, and the two situations can’t really be compared. I do not condone that behaviour, just highlighting that hate crimes can’t be compared like apples and oranges? They’re all bad. Maybe for different reasons, but still bad.

      ALSO Asian does not equal Chinese.

  59. Marissa says...

    As a Jewish-Christian Arab, I do appreciate that you condemned the abhorrent increase in anti-semitic events. However, I am dismayed by your lack of acknowledgment of the plight of the Palestinians. Palestinians continue to be systematically marginalized and oppressed by the Israeli government. Glossing over their hardships and persecution and simply wishing for peace in the Middle East is a disappointing use of your platform.

    • Ellen says...

      Thank you so much for this – Palestinian reader here – I feel so seen by your comment.

  60. AnotherK says...

    Yeh, I mean I definitely don’t give a crap about Friends on any level but do understand a lot do…

    However addressing anti Semitic anything is hugely important to me and calling out the bullshit in this area that keeps coming from our country is something that needs to be spoken about all.the.fucking.time
    Have a great weekend

  61. SM says...

    Like a few other posters, I’ve never been compelled to comment until now. That changed earlier this week when, as citizens or legal residents of the United States were increasingly being singled out for their religion, this community was silent and so I wrote in to encourage a dialogue about the increase in antisemitism. I’m grateful for the better late than never though I’m discouraged that the topic was lumped in with sandwiches. But aside from that, as much as there are Americans who do and don’t agree with our government’s policies and shouldn’t be assaulted, likewise Jews who may or may not agree with current or earlier policies of Israel shouldn’t be made unsafe, especially in the country of which they are citizens. There’s a difference between peaceful disagreement and violence, and when a minority chooses violence, the majority needs to speak up loudly and quickly.

  62. Jane says...

    Echoing some other comments here – I appreciate you attempting to use your platform but I think some extra reading is required here, it’s missing the mark. Your concern for Palestinians reads as an after-thought, and you seem to imply that the root of the problems is anti-semitism. The state of Isreal should be rightfully criticized right now, while simultaneously supporting Jewish people. One does not need to be anti-semitic to criticize government actions.

    I’m in Canada and when your government was/is putting children in cages I did not think “wow, I hope this anti-American sentiment ends, and also good luck to those kids in cages”. There are multiple issues at play here, but supporting Palestinians should be at the forefront of your mind as well.

    • Anonymous says...

      110% agreed with this. It read as I’m sorry for antisemitism. Oh ….and yes palestine!

      Antisemitism Is BAD. Also Palestinian families are being killed. WORSE.

      Maybe please donate to Palestine. Then mention antisemitism.

      Thank you for mentioning Palestine though.

      Thank you!

    • Anon says...

      Agreed. Please, research this well. In this case, it is truly the government of Israel that is oppressing and persecuting the Palestinians. This does not justify antisemitic behaviours in any way. But we need to study the situation carefully. It is clear the the state of Israel needs to be called out for their blatant human rights abuses. (And for bombing the journalist’s building so that they cannot report what is happening!)

    • Plus one from me. Thank you for putting my thoughts into something cohesive. Completely agree.

    • T says...

      This exactly. I know Joanna is trying to say the right thing, but this did not read well.

    • Aly says...

      @Anon – just to make sure you’re receiving accurate news, it was just made public that the journalist building (which was already revealed to house offices of Hamas terrorist operations) was also the location for Hamas” R&D of technology that would disrupt the Iron Dome system – i.e. the system that intercepts the rockets aimed at MY children in MY densely populated civilian neighborhood. The equipment was in the building at the time of the strike.
      You may have noticed that Israel revealed some highly classified intelligence to President Biden at the time of the strike, and President Biden expressed support for the strike (without making his reasons public). Now we know why.
      We now know that Hamas not only endangers innocent Gazans by building terror tunnels under UNWRA schools (those have been made public – I assume you’ve heard) and sending rockets from densely populated civilian areas in Gaza (25% of which FELL IN GAZA), but they also endangered civilian journalists by locating terror operations within a journalist building without their knowledge.
      Before you accuse Israel of “bombing the journalist’s building so that they cannot report what is happening” I suggest you read a broad variety of news sources in order to ascertain the facts and avoid spreading misinformation.
      Surely you’ll speak out against Hamas’ deliberate endangerment of Gazan civilians and journalists? Or retract the previous misinformation you spread? Surely someone will? Anyone?
      I am dismayed to see that there are a number of Jews (including me) who have to teach Modern Middle Eastern Politics 101 on every blog post and Instagram post and very few allies who are joining us in corrected the spread of misinformation and antisemitic tropes. It’s exhausting. I wish everyone took it upon themselves to educate themselves (truly, with legitimate news sources that aren’t instagram). Feel free to start with Haaretz – Israel’s left-wing newspaper. No one is more critical of Israel than Haaretz. It contains the good, the bad, and the ugly, and does not mince words.

  63. Caroline says...

    Yes. Israel (or anyone else in the world for that matter) has not been able to constructively find a viable solution that everyone inside Israel and outside can agree on and in fact has a long way to go in terms of equality and better treatment and lives for Palestinians–a long way. These issues must be championed, changed, and resolved in order for everyone to live in peace. But this is not a genocide. For goodness sakes. I implore you to not keep throwing around such inflammatory and, more importantly, inaccurate language, which helps no one. Not the Jews, not Israelis, not the Palestinians.

    • Aly says...

      Thank you, Caroline.

    • Kate says...

      Here is the definition of genocide: the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

      I certainly wouldn’t call 66 dead children self-defense.

  64. NM says...

    Thank you, Joanna. ❤️
    I know it feels complicated to address antisemitism in the midst of a complicated geopolitical conflict that gets conflated/ often becomes a legitimate excuse for antisemitism.
    But thank you for doing it. Hate has no place anywhere.

  65. Thank you for saying something about anti-Semitism. It’s so plain. And this conversation can take place alongside the conversation about protecting/promoting human rights for Palestinians. However, I’ve never been so scared to be a Jew. My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor. She died in January (may her memory be a blessing) and I’ve spent the last couple of years writing a novel about her experience, so it all feels very fresh to me. It’s terrifying to see the same anti-Semitic tropes that thrived in the Middle Ages (and before) and Nazi Germany still going strong. I’ve been afraid to speak up because I have a book out querying for representation and I’ve seen Jewish authors who have even mentioned their childhood trips to Israel (in long ago interviews) being dragged and boycotted on social media. It’s crazy! Anyway, thanks, and to other Jewish COJ readers, I see you and I’m glad we are in this together!

    • Aly says...

      Hi @Joy – thank you for this comment. No one seems to notice the anti-semitic tropes circulating. Jews have been called child-murderers since the Middle Ages (and Christ killers before that). The death of children is horrible. It is inexcusable. And yet the fixation on the image of child-murdering Israel, when children are killed constantly by governments worldwide, including in the US is . . . . terrifying.

  66. Tali Levy says...

    Thank you so so much for saying something Joanna. As an American Jew, I’ve had a sick anxious feeling over the past few weeks. It was seriously depressing to see so much vitriol and hate being vocalized. No matter your feelings on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Whether you’re coming from the left or the right…antisemitism is NOT OKAY. I also think anti-Zionist is a really really dangerous term. It implies that the State of Israel’s existence and future is not legitimate or worthy. Thousands of years of antisemitism and the RECENT systematic extermination of millions of Jews brought the Jewish State into existence. Those things are intrinsically bound together. I think that’s why, when Israel is attacked, it feels so so personal and scary to Jews all over the world.

    • Joy says...

      YES to every single word of this.

    • Lauren says...

      What term should I use instead of anti-zionist? I realize that question could sound a bit snarky but it is well intentioned, I’ve been struggling with how to show support for Jews but also my horror over Israel’s human rights abuses?

    • C says...

      My parents/family suffered greatly during the Holocaust in Germany and that suffering was passed on to their children. Never in a million years would they or I want to oppress and disposes another people as has been done so often to Jews. Never.

      While I do not know the answers as to how a solution should be reached, I am opposed to what the Israeli govt and some Israelis have done and continue to do to the Palestinian people (and yes, I do know the history as much as is possible).

      When people who call themselves Zionist (there are many different types!) use the term in an extremist way to oppress another people, it is no longer about the “right for Israel to exist”, but rather the right for Israel to do as they please and create an apartheid state at any cost.

      The freedoms and safety of Palestinian people will not only benefit them but also Israel and all Jewish people. As I have witnessed this conflict from afar (and heard various ideas from family in Israel), I am not only scared for my family and my children, but my heart breaks for all the innocent children who suffer at the hands of the corrupt and power hungry. Suffering that gets passed on and on and on…

    • AD says...

      Lauren, in response to your question, you can say that you don’t support the Israeli government and condemn it’s actions.

      Only identify as an anti-Zionist if you believe Israel should not exist.

    • KJ says...

      C – yes to all of this! I keep thinking about those who perished in the Holocaust and how they must be turning over in their graves about what’s happening now. It truly blows my mind what Israel is doing.

      As far as anti-Zionism, maybe Israel shouldn’t have a state if they can’t do better. How many years have they had to figure this out?

    • Aly says...

      @KJ – Would you say maybe the US shouldn’t have a state if they can’t do better (with respect to communities of color)? Maybe Canada shouldn’t a state of they can’t do better with respect to the indigenous people they brutally murdered? Maybe any other Western state shouldn’t have a state? What about all of the brutal human rights abusers in the Middle East shouldn’t have a state?

      You wouldn’t say that about any of those countries, which have been around much longer than Israel, a young democracy. And THAT is why it is anti-semitic: “Maybe Israel shouldn’t have a state if they can’t do better. How many years have they had to figure this out?”

      Please question your biases, everyone. I am.

    • NM says...

      “ As far as anti-Zionism, maybe Israel shouldn’t have a state if they can’t do better. How many years have they had to figure this out?”

      THIS is when legitimate criticism of Israel becomes antisemeitc. As another response noted, there is hardly a country in the world that hasn’t done things worthy of intense scrutiny and condemnation. Yet no one calls for those countries to cease to exist.
      The antisemeitc test of criticism of Israel is this:

      Does your standard apply to every other country or not?

      Educate yourself. Question your internal prejudice. I am not sure what country you come from, but it is quite likely that under your system it should cease to exist. And even more likely it has had far far longer to “figure it out”.

    • Aly says...

      @NM – thank you for explaining this so clearly. I commented as well but honestly I was so shaken by the comment that you and I both quoted that my response came out a bit unclear and full of typos.

      The fact that this comment thread, on the coziest, kindest corner of the internet, contains this kind of antisemitism (along with the “my jewish neighbors are heartless” comment – did you see that one??) chills me to my innermost core. Imagine what is out there in the larger world, outside of this respectful bubble.

  67. Anna says...

    Thank you for speaking out against anti-Semitism. My family is Jewish, my daughters attend Jewish school. I woke up this morning dreaming I was running with my daughters to a bunker as bombs were falling from the sky.

    Today in America. I am just as afraid the progressive left’s soft-enablement of antisemitism (cloaked in the ‘it’s complicated’ camp) as I am of right wing neo-Nazis with assault rifles. Feels the middle majority gets narrower every year on this topic…

    • Aly says...

      Anna, after literally running with my kids to bomb shelters last week as rockets fell from the sky (we live in Tel Aviv), I can tell you – I am just as afraid of American anti-semitism on the left and on the right as I am of those rockets. I am considering cancelling our trip to the US this summer because my daughter speaks almost exclusively in Hebrew and is too young to understand if we tell her not to speak it outside of the house.

    • Louise says...

      So you are dreaming about the daily reality for Palestinians? How nice for you that it is just a dream.

      Whenever there is conflict in the Mid-East these reminders that my Jewish friends and neighbors are both so heartless and tone deaf is jarring.

    • Aly says...

      @Louise – Anna might have been dreaming about my reality, as I ran with my children to the bunker as rockets fell in our city (Tel Aviv).

      I urge you not to say statements like “my Jewish friends and neighbors are both so heartless and tone deaf.” Please consider whether you would say that sentence with respect to any other ethnic or religious group. Please consider whether you would feel comfortable posting a statement like that on a blog if you weren’t describing Jews.

    • Anna says...

      Aly – thank you. I am so, so sorry, and I know. I am glad you and your family are safe, and thank you for taking the time to post in response to so many comments.

      Louise – would you stand in front of me and my daughters and say out loud what you posted here?

      I ask because my husband lives in the United States because not so long ago, the Soviet Union decided Jews weren’t that great of neighbors, either. And because Israel exists because another time – again, not too long ago – many neighbors looked the other way as Adolf Hitler murdered more than 6 million Jews.

      Returning Israel to the remaining Jews, who are Israel’s indigenous people, was an assurance from the world that people like me and my daughters would always have a safe haven, should people decide we are too “heartless” and “tone-deaf” to be good neighbors.

      I would invite you to listen to educate yourself, Louise, and listen to your neighbors’ concerns and views with an open heart. Here are some resources that might be helpful, should you decide to:

      1. A short history of the boundaries of British Mandate Palestine. The vast majority of British Mandate Palestine was annexed by Jordan shortly after the creation of Israel.

      https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/the-middle-east-1917-to-1973/palestine-1918-to-1948/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordanian_annexation_of_the_West_Bank

      2. A short primer on Hamas, who currently rules Gaza and whose stated goal is destroy the state of Israel and turn it into an Islamic State:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas#:~:text=Hamas'%20declared%20objectives%20are%20to,destroy%20the%20state%20of%20Israel

      3. A short primer on Iran’s funding of Hamas, who in turn spends every dollar it receives from Iran and most aid organizations building rockets to bomb Israel.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-iranian-help-hamas-builds-made-in-gaza-rockets-and-drones-to-target-israel-11621535346

      4. And finally, a short, non-comprehensive accounting of anti-Semitic acts of violence in the U.S. recently, including the attack of Jews eating sushi by a pro-PLO mob in Los Angeles, where I live, a couple weeks ago.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_antisemitic_incidents_in_the_United_States

  68. Dana says...

    Thank you COJ. I am an Israeli who has been living in the states and raising Israeli kids. The last time an Israeli government represented my world views was in 1995 (a center-left government, led by Yitzhak Rabin who was assisanted for his efforts to promote a peace agreement with the Palestinians). I am worried for my relatives and friends who live under a constant threat of terror. Sad for the innocent Palastianis civilians and worried about the growing anti-Semitism around the world. So often I see comments that are so ignorant and aren’t growing to solve any of these problems. Thank you for trying to reflect a multidimensional problem. The world needs more peacmakers, not more hate!

    • Aly says...

      Thank you, Dana. Every word of this.

    • Jenny says...

      So well said! You have an open minded character and are thinking about the issues so ethically

  69. Kate says...

    This isn’t quite it. Speaking about anti-Semitism and Palestinian freedom in the same breath frames the issue as opposing causes.

    Hateful, racist people do not die out. They hide out. They will use any opportunity to cause harm. But implying that Palestinians and their allies are perpetuating this rise seems to imply that critique of Israel is ‘casual anti-Semitism’, a new term I’ve been seeing.

    Palestinians are dying. Let’s not lose focus. The Israeli people will also be safer when Palestine is free and their state is held accountable, if that helps make the movement more palatable for you.

    • Robin Danely says...

      Thank you for this.

    • AD says...

      To comment on a point that has appeared several times in the comments:

      Anti-Zionists think that Israel should not exist and that Jews should not have a state. This is why some people feel anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism–because anti-Zionists argue that Jews should not have statehood.

      While some people truly are anti-Zionist, I think others actually mean that they oppose the actions of the Israeli government. I, and many Zionists inside and outside of Israel, share this stance. There are many different kinds of Zionists, include left or Labor-Zionists who advocate for Palestinian statehood, deeply oppose the current Israeli government, send aid to Palestinians, etc.

      To be an American Jew against the existence of a Jewish state, in my opinion, is a privledged stance: it means that because your family found safety in America you don’t concern yourself with Israel. Historically, many Jews from all over the world–including Jews from Iran, Ethiopia, the Soviet Union, etc.–were not “lucky” enough to escape to America and settled in Israel instead.

      Also, people can be Zionist and anti-Semitic. Many Evangelicals, for example, support the state of Israel even though they support policies that harm Jews and other religious minorities. Evangelicals support Israel because they think it is required for the second-coming. This why many right-wing American politicians support Israel–to pander to the very large Evangelical vote. Most American Jews, on the other hand, vote Democrat (77% voted for Biden).

      Again, it’s kind that CoJ is trying to take this on. It is a very complex and sad topic. We should be prioritizing sending aid to Palestinians and demanding Palestinians safety, justice, and autonomy. I hope both sides can find leadership committed to peace for the most vulnerable. And I hope these upswings of antisemitism end for Jews everywhere. Peace.

    • Sara Stojković says...

      How did Joanna’s words imply connection between anti-Semitic acts in the US and Palestinians and their allies? I’m really reading it differently, just as a pitch to support Jewish Americans who are being targeted solely on basis of religion/ethnicity, nothing more.

    • Kiana says...

      Thank you AD, this comment is spot on for me. I think there’s been a lot of throwing around of terms that people don’t quite realize the definition or significance of such as “anti-semitism” or “zionist” or “two state solution” etc. I’ve seen a lot of ignorance around these terms in people who I converse with about this topic. I’m not an expert by any means but I believe that most American progressives condemn strongly anti-semitism and violence against anyone for any reason. However, in that same bunch, there are a variety of perspectives that either don’t think Israel should exist or that it should be a land shared equally and justly between the Israelis and Palestinians. You can not paint Progressives with a broad brush, as we fall into different ideologies. BUT! Speaking up for Palestinians is not anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist and that is the charge most people are making, unfairly. Similarly, criticizing the right-wing proto fascist government in Israel under Netanyahu is also not anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist.

    • Alex says...

      I disagree – I think speaking about anti-semitism and Palestinian freedom in the same sentence imply they are deeply connected, and we can and should be fighting for both the way we fight for a justice in a multitude of other ways and for diverse causes.

      We clearly read her sentiments differently, which is OK! But I didn’t feel she was implying at all that Palestinians are at fault for a rise in anti-semitism. From what I am seeing, most of it is being perpetrated by white people. Saying that “Palestinians are dying. Let’s not lose focus” seems to me as if you are saying that we can only focus on one atrocity, and that letting Jewish people be subject to hate, violence, and fear worldwide is worth it to protect Palestinian people. That is as wrong of an argument as saying Palestinian suffering is worth it to protect Jewish Israelis.

      Also as an aside, people should not feel they have to make clear they *also* support Palestinians when condemning anti-semitism. Anti-Semitism is wrong, no matter what you think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Criticism of Israel’s action as a government is one thing; wishing death to Jewish people is another entirely and needs to be addressed. We should be able to confidently condemn anti-semitism. AND confidently support Palestinian’s right to autonomy and peace. It should be an AND situation, not a BUT situation in my mind! Jewish people worldwide are not responsible for the actions of one country’s government (nor are individual Israelis anymore responsible in the entirety for the actions of their government as a whole than any of us are for ours!). AND Palestinian people deserve safety, freedom from oppression, and autonomy.

    • Anonymous says...

      This

  70. Emilie says...

    Just here to thank Joanna for posting about this issue, and to thank Jewish commenters for this discourse; I am here as a non-Jew to learn about all of this (anti-Zionism and pro-protection of Palestinians while also standing up in the fight against anti-Semitism).

    I am so sorry for this increase in violence, and also for thousands of years of hostility, prejudice, and discrimination.

    • Aly says...

      Hi Emilie! As an American Jew living in Israel I am here to help educate (although it is deeply triggering to me and I feel that everyone should take it on themselves to “do the work”). Zionism is the belief that the Jews have a right to a state in the land to which they were indigenous (more or less the land in which the modern state of Israel exists. Palestinians are also indigenous to the land – although they settled the land approx 1100 years after the Jews were ethnically cleansed from the area. Following the ethnic cleansing of Jews in Europe in the Holocaust and from the Arab nations (Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Syria, etc), the United Nations divided the British colony of Palestine into two states – one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians. The Jews accepted the state that was offered them, and for a variety of reasons, the Palestinians did not. The Jews declared independence and were recognized by a variety of countries worldwide, and Palestinians and the neighboring Arab countries then attacked Israel in the 1948 war with the express purpose of dismantling the newly formed state (during which Israel, in the course of defending itself, expanded its borders). Israel was again attacked unilaterally by its neighboring countries in 1967, during which time it occupied Gaza and the West Bank. Israel has continuously occupied the West Bank ever since, but unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Hamas, which is recognized by the US as a terrorist organization and whose charter calls for death to all Jews, was democratically elected as the government in Gaza in 2007. As a liberal and a Jew and an American and an Israeli I am against the occupation of the West Bank. Nearly every Israeli I know is. We are all against the right wing government and my friends and I have voted 4 times in the past two years to get rid of Bibi (the prime minister) whose expansionist actions in the West Bank are mostly to secure his religious right wing voters who believe that that land is sacred. We all want to see a two state solution, but it is made complex by the fact that a terrorist organization (which of course never ran elections again in the 15 years since they won the election) claims to represent the people of Gaza who suffer tremendously. Getting aid to Gazans is made incredibly difficult by Hamas, who in the last week alone (a) sent rockets to the border crossing where Israel was delivering humanitarian aid, and (b) cut off water supply to use the resources to make more rockets to shoot at densely populated civilian populations in Israel. To say you are anti-Zionist means that you don’t believe there should be a state of Israel – that does not mean you are pro-Palestinian. It means you don’t believe the state is a legitimate state. It’s the equivalent of my saying the United States or France or Canada should not exist because of the violent acts that occurred in their founding and continue to occur today. It is insanely triggering to Israelis (and to some Jews) to say you are anti-Zionist because you are questioning the mere existence of a state that has been recognized by everyone for 73 years. To say you are against the right wing government and its policies is a different matter – much like we all disagreed and protested against the Trump regime. Like we protested against police brutality. Like we protested for BLM. And criticism of this government and its treatment of Palestinians is one that the majority of Israelis would agree with, btw.

    • Emilie says...

      Hi Aly – thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write this reply. I should have noted in my original post that while I am so appreciative, I didn’t mean to ask or pressure anyone into a triggering situation in order to educate me (though I am grateful you did!)

      I studied 20th century world history in university but appreciate this thread (especially your comment) because I have never learned directly about the history of Israel or the current politics and crises from a Jewish, Israeli, or Palestinian person. Thank you again for this reply, I am going to circulate it to some friends and family who are underinformed about the crisis and similarly have no direct sources from whom to learn.

      I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in an Israeli or Palestinian living through this conflict. I hope for a two state solution as well, and that it can be achieved without further bloodshed. Sending you love and appreciation from the west coast of Canada.

    • Maggie says...

      Hi, Aly,
      I wanted to also thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed and informative reply. I really appreciate it.

  71. E says...

    Joanna, I am sure you are under a lot of pressure you may never have anticipated, given your platform. Thank you so much for always doing your best.

    I am a Jew with family in Israel and ancestors who died in the Holocaust. I want to say that I abhor Netanyahu (who in my eyes is extremely Trump-like), and I feel that much of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is racist and inhumane.

    After the last five years, maybe it makes more sense to people here in the US– our government does not represent who we are as citizens, as people. At times it is operating in direct opposition to our values. We have the obligation to pressure our governments to reflect those values. And in the meantime, citizens do not deserve to be demonized, discriminated against, or to face death because of the stance a government is taking.

    My Jewish kids attend a Jewish school at a synagogue in a very liberal diverse US city. Over the last few years the building where they learn each day has been repeatedly vandalized with swastikas and violent anti-semitic language. Every day when I go to drop them off and pick them up, I look over my shoulder in fear. Every single day.

    • Aly says...

      Thank you, E. Love from Tel Aviv.

    • Ana says...

      I’m so sorry. You shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of your children every day. Palestinian mothers shouldn’t either. Nor Israeli mothers. Enough is enough. We must demand that our leaders aggressively pursue peaceful solutions and end the destruction and violence and terror that has consumed this region for too long. The fact that the recent escalation happened after signs of progress on that front is no coincidence. People in power want the current situation to persist, want us to think of each other as enemies and monsters. I pray that in your children’s life they will not see other children (in the US, Palestine, or anywhere) as enemies, but as their neighbors, fellow citizens.

  72. Colleen says...

    I really do think your support of Jewish people in United States warrants its own post as does your support for Palestinians (which feels like an after, after thought here). Being anti racist means speaking up for all people groups not just what feels popular or topical.

    • zivar says...

      agree. it feels like an after thought. this is a really important conversation at the moment.

  73. Lynn says...

    Comedy lovers – I once watched this episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt called “Party Monster: Scratching the Surface” and it’s complete and total brilliance made me a follower of Meredith Scardino… creator of Girls5eva. Props to Meredith!

    Agnes – I spent 6 hours just last week thinking my indoor cat was outside and lost or dead (eventually finding her outside!) and was thinking, I wouldn’t lose one of my kids, right??! RIGHT?!?!!

    • Amy says...

      Lynn and Agnes-
      I am dying. You two have made my day on the kids comments.
      Thank you for the smiles!

    • Sage says...

      I just finished episode 3 of the Girls5Eva show and it’s cute, but if the second child subplot keeps going, as I’m sure it will for #drama, I’m out out out. Why can’t he just be a new york lonely boy, sigh :/

    • Agnes says...

      RIGHT!!! Ahh I’m crying for you!! Amy, glad to be of service, heehee!

  74. Toni says...

    Thank you CoJ for calling attention to the rise in antisemitism. I am saddened to my core that I feel lucky that I don’t dress or look stereotypically Jewish and that my very French name doesn’t give away my religion. As a Jewish person living in NYC, I have never before felt scared about being Jewish, but here we are.

  75. S says...

    Thank you for saying this so graciously, Amelia. I’m a very longtime reader, but I’ve never commented here on cup of jo, and it’s unfortunate that this is the occasion for which I felt very strongly moved to emerge from my silence. Frankly, I feel extremely disappointed and let down to see Joanna’s one-sided take on a humanitarian crisis that is so very clearly devastating on the other side as well. I wondered about the silence on the matter here, gave Jo the benefit of the doubt and wrote it off as her feeling too far removed from it all. So for her silence to broken, belatedly, in such a lopsided way was saddening to say the least. It doesn’t take much humanity, nor effort to open your eyes and ears on social media these days, to understand this situation for what it really is. My heart is weary.

    • K says...

      One sided take? Huh?

      Anti Semitic actions against ANY Folks are not okay (Palestinians and Jews are both Semitic, as Hebrew and Arabic are both Semitic languages). The Israeli government is not the same as Jewish people. Condemning the actions of Hamas or the Israeli government (or both!) does not mean you love or hate any group less or more. This isn’t football. It’s not about picking sides. condemning any and all inhumane actions is valid. People aren’t governments and governments are not people. You can love and support Jewish people while saying that Netanyahu is an asshole. Many of my progressive Jewish friends are heartbroken for the Palestinian civilians that are caught in the crossfire of this conflict.

    • Avigail says...

      First of all, thank you for your sincere attempt after I and a few others commented recently to you about the lack of mention about the crimes against jews across the country. For those weighing in on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it’s true this blog isn’t a foreign affairs forum. Connecting what’s going on across the country with trying to assign blame to Israelis or Palestinians (why is nobody mentioning the terror organization Hamas? Written in comments only 4 times but plenty of blame assigned to Israelis and/or Palestinians. Since when are governments or civilians responsible for the actions of terrorist organizations?) is really not helpful. Point blank, can we all agree that we have a huge problem with violent crime against Jews right now in our own country? I can see Joanna your hesitancy in addressing this because of how emotionally charged people are about what’s going on overseas. Yes the post isn’t perfect and in some ways misses the mark, but perfect is the enemy of done and this requires urgency to address. Thank you for making a sincere effort!

  76. Rachel says...

    Yes, better late than never.
    I am Jewish and the US is my homeland like thousands of other American Jewish people.
    I’ve never felt that Israel is my homeland any more than Belarus or Germany where my relatives fled from over a hundred years ago.
    Constantly equating/confusing Judaism with Israel and what’s happening there is damaging to all of us.
    I’ve never had any desire to visit Israel and will not until everyone in that part of the world can live together in peace and equality. I hate being lumped in with warmongers and religious zealots of all stripes.
    You can be Jewish (culturally, ethnically, religiously) and support the Palestinians, and also support Israeli residents of all faiths and origins (There are Israelis who originate in Ethiopia, Russia, all over Europe and the Middle East, and the Philippines to name a few).
    The US needs to stop supporting Netanyahu and his ilk, and stop catering exclusively to the Zionists, Ultra-Orthodox and Haredi, and US Evangelicals.

    • kat says...

      Hear hear! Sending hugs.

    • Emmie says...

      THIS.

    • Kate says...

      Yes! The ONLY way to support freedom for Palestinians AND safety of Israelis is to be anti-Zionist. Critique of the state of Israel is NOT anti-Semitism and is an incredibly problematic rhetoric to perpetuate. Jewish safety and Palestinian freedom are not opposing causes.

    • S says...

      I’m sorry, but I’ve been hearing this over and over again from progressive Jews in the U.S., about Israel not being “their homeland,” and it feels like a very privileged statement. It not feeling like your homeland doesn’t change the fact that it IS a homeland for nearly half of the world’s Jewish population, who happen to be about 0.02% of the world’s population.

      I consider myself to be a liberal Jew (and also happen to be a religious refugee to the U.S.), and I want nothing more than for the occupation to end, for an equitable two-state solution, for a reversal of the religious extremism that has been growing exponentially in Israel, for Palestinian citizens in Israel (and of course in Gaza and the West Bank) to be treated equally, in all ways, and with dignity and respect. For their families to be safe. And I also want Israelis to be safe. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. J Street is an organization that mirrors my views–pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli.

      Also, the word Zionism has been co-opted by those who consider themselves anti-Israel in general. It actually just means those who support the idea of a Jewish state. If you don’t support that and want to call yourself anti-Zionist, that’s fine. Not sure why, though, it’s okay for others to define what a word means to a people. Liberal parties in Israel are known as liberal Zionist parties. The extremists consider themselves Zionists, too, but the word itself hasn’t generally been synonymous with right-wing extremism.

    • AD says...

      A Zionist is someone who thinks Jews have a right to statehood. Anti-Zionists think Jews do not have the right to statehood. Anti-Zionists do not just critique the state of Israel–they do not think it should exist.

      Many (many) Zionists are opposed to the current Israeli government and its abhorrent violence. Many Zionists critique the Israeli government just as many Americans have critiqued our own government. Many Zionists want Palestinian statehood and advocate for justice to Palestinians. Many American Jews are far-left and Zionists and advocates for a Palestinian homeland. There are many types of Zionism with very different political stances (i.e. Labor Zionism, Liberal Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, etc.)

      The terminology is often misused and fuels so much violence.

    • Joy says...

      S, I could not agree more with the idea of Jewish people disassociating themselves from Israel and acting like they don’t understand other Jewish people’s ties to the land. My grandmother sailed to Israel as an 18 year old who just spent 2 years recuperating from concentration camps in Germany. Israel was the only place she could go and feel safe. It was the only place that would take her. Her home city of Vilna, of which less than 10 percent of the Jewish population survived, was no longer an option. It’s so upsetting to see this history erased before my very eyes.

    • Aly says...

      Hi Kate,
      Just to clarify, criticizing the right wing now-fascist Israeli government (which I do, as an Israeli and an American and a Jew) is NOT anti-Zionism. Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people have a right to a state somewhere in their indigenous homeland. Anti-Zionism is the belief that Jews should NOT have a state in their indigenous homeland. Denying that the state of Israel has the right to exist is not the “ONLY way to support freedom of Palestinians and safety for Israelis” – anti-Zionism would mean the end of the state of Israel. I cannot stress enough that no other country has to defend its legitimacy AS A STATE which has been recognized for 73 years. Criticize Israel’s government. Please, join us, as an ally of the Israeli left and the Palestinians. But please get the terms right because calling it Anti-Zionism is the equivalent of my saying that Israel needs to cease to exist. The Israeli left believes that the best path to safety and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis is a two state solution – two states living side by side, as was proposed by the UN in 1948. Israel and Palestine. That is not anti-Zionist. That is pro-coexistence and self-determination of two peoples.

    • AD says...

      Exactly what Aly says.

  77. Miri says...

    Thank you so much for saying something. I have been waiting. It feels like the whole world is hating us extra right now.

    • Rachel says...

      Yes. It sucks. It feels like there’s always a baseline of general hate/dislike/bias and then times when it peaks but rarely times when it dips.
      Hugs, Miri.

  78. D says...

    Thanks Joanna. Jews — Jews, in general, need allies and for people to speak up. NOT just American Jews. Jews in America, Jews in Europe and, yes, Jews in Israel too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes for sure — that was the title of the article that I was linking to.

  79. Rachel says...

    Thank YOU for speaking up about antisemitism. We need all of the non Jewish allies we can get.

  80. Amanda says...

    Antisemitism is inexcusable, and we should absolutely stand up against this hate. It is violent and disgusting, and reflective of so many of the race and religion-based issues that have led to countless deaths and crimes.

    However, I do not like that that article says that anti-Zionist = anti-Israel = antisemitic. That is a false equivalency. That is like saying being anti-white supremacy = anti-American = anti-Christian. You can oppose the horrendous acts being committed against Palestinians, while also not being against Jewish people, or being antisemitic. I do not excuse antisemitism, but I also do not excuse the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of a group of people who simply exist on their land.

    • Rachel says...

      Exactly.
      One can be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic.

      This gets forgotten/ignored all the time.

      (I’m anti-Zionist and Jewish, like a lot of people!)

    • Adel says...

      Ethnic cleansing? Ouch. I believe that that is an opinion, not a fact. I’m not here to present my views on the Israeli Palestinian conflict- let everyone do their own research and come to their own conclusions on this extremely complex issue- but to make blanket statements based on assumptions can be very hurtful to people. Especially people who have relatives in Israel, living in war and fear. Perhaps the moderators at CoJ can keep this in mind, in the same way that potentially racist statements would not be published.
      Thanks for support for your Jewish readership. It’s scary times, especially for those who come from families of Holocaust survivors.

    • AD says...

      You can also be pro-Zionist and pro-Palestinian statehood. A Zionist is someone who believes that Jews have a right to statehood like all other groups.

      Like many others, I am a Zionist who deeply advocates for Palestinian statehood and justice. I’m a Zionist that hates Bibi as much as I hated Trump. I’m a Zionist who hates white supremacy because black lives matter and because American neo-Nazis have threatened my family.

      In other words, I don’t get your comparison or how it doesn’t continue to spread anti-Semitism. But it’s a common stance, so I’m not surprised.
      Thanks to CoJ for noticing how bad it’s gotten–I’m also nervous to observe my religion with my child in this country and have been since the shootings in Pittsburgh. I send love to all Muslims in America who feel the same way–may we be able to observe our beautiful religions in peace. May all of our family in the Middle East who so desperately want peace get leaders who will actually work for it. Take care.

    • ES says...

      The notion of Zionism has been misunderstood and falsely defined, especially over the past few weeks. Zionism is a movement among Jewish people that supports the presence of a Jewish state in the region of Israel/Palestine. It doesn’t exclude the presence of a Palestinian state. There are many Zionists who support a two-state solution as well as a solution where Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist, peacefully, side-by-side, and have access to the same rights and freedoms. The problem with anti-zionism and anti-Israel rhetoric is that it feeds anti-semitism. It is fair to be critical of the current government of Israel and their decisions (most Israelis are!) and condemn their actions, but we can do that while supporting the presence of a Jewish state.

    • Dani says...

      Thanks for this comment. I think this has been what has been so difficult for me. Antisemitism is so dangerous and the rise in it is incredibly alarming, and should not be taken lightly.
      When I’ve try to speak up on the acts of violence happening to the Palestinian people by the Israeli government, it immediately gets shutdown. I wish people were ok with calling out that state sanctioned ethnic cleansing is wrong, and we need to hold our own government accountable for its involvement in excusing it.

    • Kate says...

      Exactly. I’m really disappointed to see this rhetoric perpetuated on CoJ. The gaslighting about the issue of Palestinian freedom is very real and I am sad to see that Joanna is not speaking up in support of her Palestinian readers who are currently suffering an ethnic cleansing and apartheid regime. It’s important to support justice and safety for all people, but speaking about anti-Semitism and a free Palestine in the same breath IS the problem.

    • AD says...

      Also noting that one can also be Zionist and pro-Palestinian statehood and justice. A Zionist is someone who believes in Jewish statehood. Like many Jews, I’m anti-Bibi, anti-Trump, Zionist, and advocate for justice and peace for Palestinians.

    • Jen says...

      Yes. Thank you.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I agree that anti-Zionist doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Semitism.

      I linked to the kveller article because I appreciated her points about the surge in anti-Semitic acts and sentiment happening in America right now, but at the same time don’t agree with her parenthetical lower in the article about how anti-Zionism may equal anti-semitism. I linked to her because overall I think her article has a worthwhile message about the concerning anti-semitism in the world and the need for people to speak up.

    • Amanda says...

      @ Adel, the definition of ethnic cleansing is as follows:

      “the mass expulsion or killing of members of an unwanted ethnic or religious group in a society.”

      Palestinians are being bombed and killed for being Palestinian. That is their ethnicity. They are being killed for being Palestinian. That is the definition of ethnic cleansing. Not an opinion.

      Also, thank you for responding, Joanna, and others. Agree that the article brings up good points. Also interesting to learn more about the conflation of the definition of “Zionism” and how it may not necessarily mean what it is currently being used for. Very good to know.

    • Kate says...

      I rarely comment but I had to weight in on this one. Joanna, if you don’t agree with the “parenthetical lower in the article about how anti-Zionism may equal anti-semitism,” you shouldn’t have linked to it. When I read it I assumed you agree with it in its entirety and I was very sad and disturbed. There must be another article you can link to that condemns anti-Semitism without promoting the dangerous idea that anti-Zionism is the same thing.

    • KL says...

      Re “ethnic cleansing” —
      There is an imbalance of military power and infrastructure between Israel and Palestine. This tragically results in a greater loss of Palestinian lives.
      But Israel bombed Palestine because Palestine bombed Israel. And yes, they bombed in part because of a terrible mishandling of a delicate situation by the current (horrible) Israeli government. That’s a serious problem.
      But to call retaliatory bombing
      “ethnic cleansing” is to call every war in which one side had more military might the same.

      This is not a justification.
      But it is an erasure of facts to ignore the fact that Hamas (the Palestinian governing power of Gaza) sent thousands of bombs on civilian targets. That most of them didn’t land doesn’t mean the intent was not there.
      And not to get too far into this— but the written, stated goal of Hamas is the ethnic cleansing of Jews not just from Israel but from the world.
      Calling Israel’s actions here (and again not saying they are free from any fault) ethnic cleansing is gaslighting.

      Also, I’ve seen the term “colonialism” pop up quite a bit. This implies that Israel was established by an outside colonizing power. But in fact, Israelis/Jews are indigenous to the region and have been living there continuously for millennia. More than half the Jewish population is Arab. Colonialism is terribly misleading.

      More than that, it is, again, gaslighting. Imagine if Native Americans wanted to inhabit their indigenous lands, would we call them colonial?

      THIS I believe is how we got to where we are with the current antisemeitc climate: Incredibly simplistic, falsified information flowing on social media (which I believe was specifically referenced in some of these comments as proper sources of information — social media is not the place for nuance and complexity and a deep dive into history).

      And, although it may seem impossible to some readers, I say all this as a liberal Jew who advocates for Palestinian rights and for a free Palestinian state.

    • Sara says...

      @Kate I’m struggling with this view. How is speaking up against hate crimes in the US that target a group some readers belong to, while acknowledging (imagine if she didn’t!) the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza (clearly not the website’s target audience) the problem? This is a lifestyle magazine, not a foreign affairs one.

    • Adel says...

      @amanda you make a good point, the definition of ethnic cleansing is not an opinion. The question of whether or not that’s occurring is. How is that a question? Well, if you do some research you may find that the bombings of Palestinians are in response to the Palestinians leadership (NOT the average, truly suffering person living there) aggression/bombing/terrrorism. These bombings are not intended to kill regular people- they are intended to eliminate terrorists. The Israelis warn them of when and where they will be bombing (which other county does that?) but some terrorist leaders use the people as shields. This is truly terrible, and the Palestinians are suffering tremendously. You should donate money and resources to them, and try to help in any way possible. But if we want to solve this on a global level, and understand the problem, it starts with the terrorist leaders, whom the Palestinians did not chose. They need to stop spending millions on terror activities and use the money for their own people. This is a super complex issue, which brilliant people are struggling to solve. But let’s not simplify things and turn Israel into the aggressors. I don’t mean to explode this into a political/emotional argument, just to highlight the fact that there are many facts and many opinions at play here. Thanks Joanna for trying to be supportive of all, truly a delicate tightrope to navigate, and very much appreciated.

    • Ad says...

      Kate, I’m concerned that Joanna IS anti-Zionist and thinks that Israel shouldn’t exist, period, based on her comment. I appreciate CoJ trying to take on these issues, even if some of the comments are triggering.

    • Joanna says...

      @Caroline, I don’t understand this argument. The Israeli government kills Palestinians en masse, simply for being Palestinian and living in the place where they have always lived, but because they’re not doing it on a large enough scale to totally wipe them out, that is not mass murder?

    • Kate says...

      It has been the narrative for so long that this issue is “complicated”. Thanks to social media we can now see the lived experience of the Palestinian people. There is no point in debating terminology. As Sojourner Truth said, “Truth is powerful and it prevails”.

    • Jane says...

      @ KL and Adel:
      Thank you so much. You took the time and effort to explain MANY of the underlying issues and nuances SO well when I could not bring myself to speak up here because resignation…
      As a German citizen, it is so hard to see people take to the streets here in Germany once again chanting hatr against Jews. They are being instrumentalized by governments like the Saudis and terror organizations and brought up to hate. There are people behind the scenes who want Israel and the Jews wiped from the face of the earth and will go to any length to achieve this.
      That it has once again become dangerous to do anything while wearing a Kippa in Germany is so deeply, deeply disturbing.
      Please continue speaking up against hate against Jews.

    • Kiana says...

      Adel, I also have some reservations about calling what’s happening in Palestine “ethnic cleansing” because the Palestinians are only actively being murdered during times of war. The other times, the Palestinians are living under an apartheid system and are ethnically displaced from their land. We tend to conflate Palestine with Gaza but in fact, Palestinians everywhere in Israel are treated as stateless or second class citizens. Up until now, I’ve been using the passive voice but the reality is that there is a way to say this directly but nobody likes to: This is done by the Israel government and sanctioned by the United States.
      Admitting this distasteful fact is not meant to paint Israelis as bad guys or to paint Hamas and Palestinians as innocents. It’s not anti-semitic or anti – zionist to say this either.

    • Amanda says...

      @Adel and others, thank you for taking the time to reply carefully. I understand why it might be triggering to see a term like “ethnic cleansing” used against Israel, however, just because it is triggering, I do not think it means that what is happening can be called anything but ethnic cleansing, simply because it is not on a large enough scale.

      I grew up with a number of Palestinian people, all of whom lost the majority of their extended families over the past thirty years. With this loss came the loss of their cultures, a distance from their languages, and eventually the loss of their home, because they were forced to seek refugee status. How can that removal of ones family and culture be considered anything but ethnic cleansing? I too am a displaced person, my family was removed from Asia many years ago to become indentured labourers, and we experienced this same loss of culture and home. This is a sore spot for me, personally, just as I imagine it is for you as well, and why you also feel compelled to speak up. I am an ally to Indigenous peoples in the Americas, and have seen what happens to communities when people attempt to drive communities out because they wish to create a new, homogenous state. I think Jewish people should be allowed to have a homeland, just as I think everyone should have the right to be able to access the place where they are Indigenous. However, I do not believe that should come with the killing of other Indigenous peoples. The problem here is the extremist Israeli government that has incited violence on Palestinian people, resulting in Palestinians taking retaliatory action. Yes, there is violence coming from both sides at this point, but there is a power dynamic. I do not blame Jewish people for this violence, but I do not support what Israel is doing. This level of violence is cruel, especially when there is a power dynamic in favour of Israel (due to access to resources, support from big International allies, a police and surveillance state that has allowed Israel to keep eyes on Palestine for decades, etc.), and especially when this violence has an end goal of cultural erasure in the area.

      Israel can exist without causing this violence against another peoples. I’m sorry if you disagree, but I have seen how violence against a different peoples ends, and I do not agree with it.

      I respect that you have a different viewpoint, no doubt because of your individual background and upbringing, but other people will also believe in their viewpoints strongly as well, and both truths can and do exist. I hope this explains where I am coming from. I have no anger towards you or any individuals commenting on this thread, but as someone who has been removed from their culture with no pathway to regain it, and someone who fiercely condemns this violence as a strategy in a modern world, this is where I stand.

    • Aly says...

      Hi all – I know everyone’s hearts are in the right place, and we are all praying for and working towards prosperity and safety for Palestinians. I think it’s important that everyone understands the terms we are seeing used in this thread.

      Just to be clear – Zionism is support for the existence of a Jewish state *somewhere* in the land to which they were indigenous (3,300+ years ago). Anti-zionism is the belief that Israel shouldn’t exist. Anti-zionism is not the same as criticizing the state of Israel or its government or its policies (which I do!), and it is not the same as wanting a Palestinian state to exist (which I do! with all my heart!). It is not the same as saying that Israel should end the occupation of the West Bank (I agree!). It is not even the belief that Israel should return to its 1948 borders (the land granted to it by the UN when the UN divided the land into an Israeli state and a Palestinian state in 1947 Partition Plan). Anti-zionism is the belief that the state of Israel must cease to exist.

      That is why, in the parenthetical in the linked article, the author says, “arguing that Israel has no right to exist seems a lot like antisemitism.”

      I have yet to see any other country in the world need to defend its existence.

      I hope this clears up once and for all why *some* Jews might think that the call to end the existence of the Jewish state *might* be antisemitic.

  81. Amelia says...

    Thank you for calling attention to frightening rise in antisemitism. The article linked in the post contextualizes this conversation in light of recent horrific violence in Jerusalem and Gaza, and so I also want to add that it is critical to support humanitarian and psychological aid to Palestinians (especially children) who are dealing with horrific trauma right now. My partner is Jewish and we are very active in fights against antisemitism, and we also donate in support of Palestinian communities. Here is a link to an Oxfam overview of the current humanitarian crises in Gaza and how to help: https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/nearly-half-a-million-people-in-gaza-out-of-reach-of-humanitarian-aid/

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes absolutely! We have donated and promoted donations for aid to Palestinians on Instagram — and I’m glad you’re linking this here. Thank you!!

    • Shoshana says...

      Ditto! I am Jewish and here’s to fighting anti-semitism, but, my God, the Palestinians! I don’t see how you can say “protect the Jews” without acknowledging the genocide that Israel is doing to the Palestinians. My grandparents aunts and uncles are Holocaust survivors.

    • Kate says...

      Exactly, Shoshana!!
      Israel has perpetrated some serious crimes against the Palestinian people.

    • Amelia says...

      Thank you for your response, Joanna! I know you are working to be responsive to a lot of voices and navigating this in a U.S. and global context can be very challenging – I think that trying and being responsive to comments and dialogue is always the next right step.

    • Nikki says...

      In truth I find this sentiment of donating or contributing to charities as agreeing with or standing with a cause or a people a soft way out of global issues. Yes the people and organizations need your financial support, but they also need Americans to lobby against the massive amount of military funding it offers Isarel. I think that donations to charities has been used for a long time as a way we can contribute to issues financially without actually addressing our role in perpetuating global systems which cause so much harm.