This post mostly speaks for itself, but there is one point that does need to be emphasized: the moral punch of the below only works if you accept the left column. Hypocrisy is a two-way street -- the right column has force because of how it depends upon accepting the principles in the left, and vice versa. The case for indicting those who fail the demands of the right column falls apart of I weren't willing to defend the insistences of the left.
Indeed, there are probably people in my community who could read this entire litany in reverse -- start from the right column, and then ask "do we?" of the left. They are welcome to do so. I happen to speak to more persons who should read from left to right. And there are other communities, with other internal dynamics, whose members should write their own litanies altogether.
But this post is, and I will cop to the point, very much an exercise in "these and these". If your thought upon reading it is to complain of "false equivalence" or "both side-ism" or any related concept, consider your objection logged and noted.
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We in the Jewish community do reject the peddlers of "one state from the river to the sea" when the vision of statehood the put forward is one where Jews are a marginalized, barely-tolerated minority.
Do we reject one state-ism and its promoters when it promises a state where Palestinians are deprived of equality, citizenship, and voting rights?
We do insist on people having awareness of antisemitic tropes, and refusing to tolerate them as part of legitimate "criticism" of Israel.
Do we show vigilance in recognizing anti-Palestinian tropes, educating ourselves in what they are and scrupulously calling them out when they appear in "criticism" of Palestinian actors?
We do hope that people will not hold all Israelis, or all Jews, or all "Zionists", responsible for every horrible action taken by any yahoo who has the temerity to drape himself in the garb of a defender of the Jewish state.
Do we refrain from holding all Palestinians, or all Arabs, or all Muslims, or all those who support Palestinian rights, responsible for every extremity and indecency done by anyone who claims to act under the banner of a "free Palestine"?
We do call for nuance and complexity when discussing Israel's flaws, and avoiding simplistic slogans and reductive explanations -- that Israel is naught but bloodlust, or white supremacy, or invasion.
Do we resist the temptation to indulge in simplification and sloganeering when they appeal to our political tastes -- "a people without a land", "Palestinian rejectionism", or "if Arabs laid down their weapons, there would be peace"?
We do object to those who place the entirety of the blame for the present conflict on Israel, and who reject any Palestinian agency or responsibility for harmful or oppressive choices.
Do we object to those who engage in one-sided blame entirely of Palestinians, holding Palestinian actors solely responsible for why a just peace has not been reached and who fail to acknowledge any Israeli agency or responsibility for entrenching the conflict and the oppression?
We do feel it is past time for those who wish to talk confidently about Jews know something about Jews, and commit to learning about Jews as we know ourselves, rather than through the distorted histories and narratives others have proliferated about us.
Do we refrain from talking confidently about Palestinians or Arabs unless we truly do know about them, not just the distorted histories and narratives promulgated by others but the histories and narratives they would recognize as their own?
We do think that outsiders should be appropriately deferential to those who have actual "skin in the game".
Do we acknowledge that Palestinians have just as much skin in the game, and that deference to those most effected does not and cannot mean deference only to Israeli judgments?
We do demand zero tolerance from other communities in harboring antisemites, and are deeply grieved when those who harbor hatred for us appear to retain places of honor and influence in other communities.
Do we show zero tolerance for the bigots and haters in our midst, expunging them from our communal organizations and rendering them nullities in our politics?
We do condemn those who deny the Jewish people's real and genuine connection to the land of Israel, presenting us as foreign interlopers or even an outright invented people.
Do we condemn those who deny Palestinians' connection to the land, who treat them as fictitious or even place their very name in scare-quotes?
We do refuse to accept that one can satisfy one's obligation to talk to Jews by only cherry-picking the favorable few who already match one's preferred politics.
Do we refuse to indulge in tokenizing those in other communities whose claim to prominence is no more than that they say what we already wish to hear?
We do hold that a pure right of return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants is not compatible with a two-state solution, and that a comprehensive agreement ending this conflict probably means that not everyone will be able to live on the precise acre of land they'd most prefer.
Do we hold that Jewish settlements in the West Bank, no matter how rooted the settlers' connection may be to the land, is also not compatible with a two-state solution, and that they, too, may not be able to live on the precise acre of land they desire?
We do call without reservation Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and other groups which target civilians for death terrorist organizations.
Do we call without reservation "price tag" militants, hilltop youth, Lehava, Otzma Yehudit, and Kahanists terrorist groups?
We do condemn those who traffic in hatred and incitement against Israel's Jewish population, riling up the fires of sectarian division and generating predictable dividends of mistrust, division, and violence that can poison entire generations.
Do we condemn those in Israel who traffic in hatred and incitement against the Palestinian people even -- especially -- when they occupy high places in Israeli society or government, and forthrightly call out their responsibility for spreading poison in the hearts and minds of the people?
We do understand that the indiscriminate rocket fire raining down on Israeli towns is a war crime that cannot be justified as "resistance", "liberation", or any other banner.
Do we understand that strikes which disproportionately injure or harm civilians, or collective punishment of communities, are also war crimes which cannot be justified under the banner of "deterrence", "self-defense", or anything else?
We do insist on recognizing Israel's right to exist, and the Jewish people's inviolable rights to security, freedom, and self-determination in our historic homeland.
Do we recognize Palestine's right to exist, and the Palestinian people's inviolable rights to security, freedom, and self-determination in their historic homeland?
Do we, as a community, do all these things? Truly? Can we say in solemnity that we do do them, with equal force and equal commitment and equal heat? That we do them without hedges, indulgences, caveats, or apologetics, in the right column as much as in the left?
We must do.