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What I hear when I hear Diaspora Jews on Gaza

'I have nothing to worry about except whether Starbucks will have my almond milk latte, but I can still judge'

The comments of some diaspora Jews about the recent Gaza events sounded, to me, a lot like this:

“As a Jew who lives outside of Israel, it is heartbreaking to hear that 60 people were killed in Gaza today. Even if a large number of them are terrorists, even if they threw Molotov cocktails and explosive devices, and shot at the soldiers guarding the border with Israel. Even if they sent bomb kites and waved Nazi flags with swastikas on them. Even if the leaders of Hamas called Palestinians to storm the border with Israel, saying ‘tear down the fence and then tear Israeli hearts out from their bodies.’ Even if less than a mile away from the border with Gaza, Israeli families and children were sitting at their homes worried for their lives. Even if it is not the first time we have faced these violent mobs of tens of thousands of Palestinians, led by bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists. It still breaks my heart to see it.

“As a Jew I am ashamed of myself today. I understand that I have no military or security experience, but is this the only way to stop tens of thousands of people and terrorists trying to cross a border of a country? I know that if it was in any other country we would have seen many more casualties. I know that my country, for instance, would have carpet bombed the border and killed everyone that tried to break through, but it is Israel that I am ashamed of. Although my country has secure borders and I have nothing to worry about except whether or not Starbucks will have my almond milk latte, I can still judge. I can tell you we should be ashamed of Israel today.

“As a Jew, I know that every bullet shot, even if it was targeting Hamas terrorists, was not supposed to be shot. I understand Israel’s need for self-defense, but can’t they just talk and play nicer? Don’t they understand what it does to us? Don’t they know how hard it is to be Jewish and not condemn Israel? We might ruin our reputations and come off as ‘not liberal enough’ in our social circles and then what? We will have to be brave? Why won’t Israelis be brave and let them break through the fence to their cities?

“As a Jew I cannot defend the actions of Israel. I cannot do it as my connection to this country is so strong that I have to condemn it publicly from the safety of my home. I have to post it online so people will know I am not like Israel and the Israelis. I have to make sure that other criticism of Israel by the anti-Semites of the world is legitimized, because I am a Jew and I say what they say, but I also add the words, ‘I love Israel’ to the end of every statement, so how can I be accused of hating Jews? I don’t hate all Jews. I just hate the 7 million in Israel and I want to distance myself from them.

“As I write these words, tears roll down my cheeks, I cannot take it anymore. I can’t handle this because I am soft, and I didn’t sign up to be protected by the fact that there is a Jewish state. I need to make it public that this state does not represent me. I condemn it today because it is weak and my contribution is to hit again when Israel is weak, join the mob. And if this mob one day turns against me, I hope that Israel won’t remember I was beating her up when she was on the ground and that she will let me in. But until that day, I will keep hitting.”

About the Author
Hen Mazzig is a young, energetic, Israeli – a writer, strategic communications expert, international speaker, LGBTQ activist, social media Guru and advocate on behalf of his country. Hen’s family comes from Iraq and North Africa (Berber Jews from Tunisia), giving him a unique background for his talks, in which he shares his family’s story and the story of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries. As a young Israeli, Hen served in the IDF for almost five years as an openly gay commander. During his service as a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defense Forces (the IDF), the Palestinian Authority, the UN, and the many non-governmental organizations that work in the West Bank. Hen has shared his story with thousands of students throughout the USA, Canada and UK for the last six years. His articles were featured in the International Business Times, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and many other publications. Hen has a proven track record of creating dialogue where it seems impossible. With more than 18,000 follower on Twitter and with several thousands more on facebook- where he is a voice for Israel that is so needed. He has built relationships, friendships, and changed hearts and minds of so many not simply by sharing the truth about Israel and the history of the region, but by being a voice for justice and peace for diverse groups and peoples. He is a rare voice in this divisive day and age that can unite people for a common cause rather than sewing discord and conflict over conflicting narratives in one of the most complex conflicts on earth.
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