I know I am going to lose a lot of you with what I’m about to say. I can no longer leave any semblance of my politics at the door. I know my business hurts because I share my politics at all. But it’s who I am and there’s no way to not speak directly and completely at this point.
In 2001 I was politicized about the Palestinian situation, by an Israeli, Simona Sharoni. Because she was an Israeli, for me, she was positioned to help process and quickly break denial about the Palestinian situation. I'm forever grateful to this woman, who was one of the people who started Women in Black and who continues to do groundbreaking work. In my process, I made art, I lost relationships. I will continue to. I’m not someone who believes in spiritual bypassing, trust me, I’ve tried it, I can’t do it.
Ever since I was first politicized about Palestine, part of my coping from the immense grief and horror I felt was to deepen my Jewish life and practice. If you are interested in my work, you have to know where it came from. I turned to making a Judaism of my own because I saw what a U.S. Judaism centered in zionism could do to our psyche’s. I saw what a straight Judaism could do to my psyche. I couldn’t do it.
Before the torah (bible) was written, before there were rabbi’s, long ago, Jews lived with the earth. We prayed to sand, we remembered we came from stars and planets. On an atomic level, we allowed our bodies to memorize these things. When you feel in the depth of your soul that you are an earth body, when you worship fur and eyes and burning bushes (there’s an actual bush, that actually burns), you know the value of a heart beat. These memories are still in my cells, and yours too. This memory is what fuels my work, it is a work of love. This memory understands justice. This memory makes me proud to be a Jewish ancestor.
An anti-zionist Judaism, aligning with Palestinian self-determination will save the Jewish people. In the cosmic web of our future existence, we need to be anti-zionist. Many Jews have known this since the first whispers of zionism were born. Aligning with Palestinian self-determination is an act of love.
We are in harrowing, heartbreaking times. My heart is heavy with the massive killings of Palestinians. I can’t really write or think about much else. That is how pain works. Our attention goes toward pain because our presence and actions are what heal pain.
When our bodies are physically hurt, cells rush to the place of the injury giving extra attention, giving it energy, that’s how the healing happens.
The same is true of our minds and spiritual lives. When there is an emotional trauma or breaking, we focus there. We talk to friends, we obsess, we journal, we feel it a lot. We put energy there.
The same is true in the world. When there is pain and suffering, that part of the world needs our energy for healing.
Usually when we ignore our physical, emotional, spiritual or worldly pain, it becomes worse, it dements. That is what happened from the trauma of the Nazi holocaust. The world used atomic bombs (I really think they are called atomic bombs because their intention is kill atomic memory in our bodies and the earth body), the Nazi’s participated in genocide and somehow everyone thought the healing for this was to create an only Jewish country and displace ¾ a million people, creating an apartheid state. A lot of people thought this was a good idea.
Sivan, the month we have just entered, is the month of action. Action is energy.
Gaza needs our energy. Palestine has needed our energy for decades. The U.S. government (aka, for those of us who live in the U.S., our dollars) has been giving Israel energy since its inception- in the form of money. We give over 3 billion a year to them. The majority of this money goes to the military! We are funding this horror. We need to change the energy. We need to redirect this money to Palestine, to healing.
Please acknowledge the Nakba, the “catastrophe” as Palestinians call it, the anniversary of the the formation of Israel 70 years ago, please give Palestine our energy. Grieve for Palestine and keep dreaming of a free Palestine. Let’s keep remembering this historic Great Return March: feel the flight of the kites flying through the air, hear the feet dancing the dabke, see the celebrations-the weddings and hearts singing. Let your heart break for the children’s lives lost, the sons, daughters, bodies maimed by the Israeli government. Let the fierce self-determination and incredible peaceful organizing by a people living in an open air-prison, fill your body with strength to fight fight fight act act act.
Jerusalem is not a zionist prize. Zionism is not Judaism. Standing up against violence and injustice is very Jewish. Please stand with Palestine and Gaza and join the long history of the black liberation movement, indigenous rights movement and people all over the world.
Believe in Palestine.
I work with Jewish Voice for Peace and these are some amazing resources:
Call your state reps - ask them to speak out against the killings and violence in Gaza, and the Israeli occupation/apartheid in Palestine. Ask them to end military and security ties with Israel.