We All Need to Heal
Give an oppressed subgroup some amount of power,
Threaten them with guns
And grant them clean showers.
Tell them they’re like you
Strip them of their roots
But whatever you do,
Keep them beneath the surface.
Drews, Mizrahi, Poor, Ethiopian Jews. The Israeli government gives these groups some amount of power to divide them against themselves and against Palestinians. These groups are targeted so do not have the privilege to be a Refusnik (a person who refuses to serve in the IDF) or participate in other Palestinian liberation work without harsher consequences. Divide and conquer.
The history of Jewish oppression, largely in Europe and not in Arab countries, occurs by giving some Jews some amount of power so they get scapegoated rather than power systems being addressed, which was a huge element of the Holocaust.
Yesterday we heard from a Druze Refusnik share about the Druze experience. Druze are a minority religious group. Most Mizrahi Jews are Jews originally from Arab countries. Druze are judged by some Palestinians because they are given more rights by the Israeli State. Mizrahi are looked down upon by many Ashkenazim, as they are targets of racial profiling by the police and are treated as second class citizens. Many Mizrahi would rather keep their minimal power in society by buying into Zionism than working for their own liberation. Different ways of dividing to put people down.
How do Jewish people who know the history of Jewish oppression oppress others in the same way? I get fear of persecution but that’s a trauma reflective response that takes healing to undo. Guns, indoctrination, genocide of Palestinians and continued exile and suppression of power takes Jewish historical oppression and buries that oppression into our souls.
We all need to heal. Everyone has a part of their identity that is oppressed. Give up individual power and surrender to liberation for everyone. The US screwed up perpetrating genocide on indigenous nations and its politics remain beholden to that original sin. Israel can enact liberation, and doing so now means that Palestinian refugees can return to the homes and lands they lost in 1948. Please wake up. Stop the complicit violence.