Fri 10 Nov 2023 10:05 am - Jerusalem Time

About the Jewish protest "Not in our name"

Ghassan Zaqtan

In the scene taking shape in the United States, US President Joe Biden appears as an old person in a changing place. His load of ideas is old and his tools are old. The books he read are old and his memories, in which Golda Meir appears as an inspiring figure, now seem outside of time. 

The man who stumbles in his bubble seems, at his best. His conditions, an ambiguous prisoner of his famous expressions that can no longer be refined, expressions such as: “If Israel had not existed, we would have had to create it,” with all the clear envy that this expression conveys for Balfour, the British Foreign Minister who made the famous promise who caused all this chaos, injustice. 

The killing that has not stopped for more than ten decades, or the phrase “You do not have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” which made former Israeli Prime Minister Lapid give him the title of a “strong Zionist” in an emotional moment. The American administration is investing in everything: Biden's Zionism and Blinken's Judaism, who in turn invested his Judaism to justify the extermination of the Palestinians.

An old, dilapidated car on a highway. This is what Biden's order looks like from his space, which is a complex mixture of old age, the passing of time, the urgent desire to renew his presidential term, the specter of Trump, opinion polls, and the search for the Jewish card as a savior from the abyss.

On the street outside the White House fence, things are not going in this direction, and in a clear shift, we can notice the active and vital role played by a cohesive bloc of the Jewish community in America, which is leading successful protests against the policy of the Zionist president and the Jewish minister, and is raising its clear slogan, “Not in our name.” You don't have the right to do that.


This slogan will be raised in the Congress building, in the Statue of Liberty, in full view of the residents of the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., and in the New York train station.


The Jewish protest against the policy of absolute bias towards the Israeli occupation is no longer confined to an Orthodox religious sect (“Anatori Karta”), whose members and rabbis have been raising Palestinian flags in ideological objection to Zionism, and in protest against the existence of Israel itself as a legal sin, but it now includes groups of Young people, democrats, intellectuals, academics and civil society organizations who arrive from liberal positions, civil rights organizations, academic circles and secular culture, or from Israeli leftists who have left Israel in the last two decades, certainly influenced by the courageous and long-suffering persistence of writers and historians such as Ilan Pappe, Gideon Levy and Amira Hess.


This is not entirely new. Opposition trends to the Israeli occupation have always existed in the American Jewish community and to a lesser extent in Western societies, especially among intellectuals, in the form of circles of activists who support Palestinian rights and oppose the occupation, but it is now appearing during the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza and the cries of killing and revenge. 

Launched by the War Council under the umbrella of the “Iron Swords” campaign, it is clearer, more coherent, and more organized, and has an impact on the streets in the United States. “Not in our name” is the cry of the Jews who emerged from the “ghetto” of hatred that the Netanyahu government and successive Israeli governments tried to surround them with and through which they committed their crimes in their name.


The Jewish protest is a strong contribution to lifting the lid on the crimes of the occupation and its illegitimacy. It is a courageous protest that provides a double effect in protecting the widespread protest that continues to expand in the American street against the massacre from ready-made accusations of “anti-Semitism,” and helps in disguising the position of the American administration, which is an accomplice to the genocide. 

Continuing, and strengthening the presence of the democratic Jewish voice with its human culture as a partner in confronting rampant Israeli fascism, the policy of genocide and the ruling apartheid system in Israel.


“Not in our name” is a profound use and awareness of the history of the Jewish catastrophe, and when it is raised in the face of the perpetrators of genocide in Palestine, it turns into a humane interpretation of the phrase “never again.”


From Annahar Alaraby


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