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This Year, My Husband Was Fired for Reporting Anti-Semitism

Written By: Lauren Howard

Earlier this year, my husband was fired for reporting anti-semitism.

The following weekend, our lawn was littered with small plastic bags filled with anti-semitic propaganda and an unidentified powder. The lawn where my children play was covered in both hate and chemicals designed to harm them for who they are.

Every Jew, no matter where you are in the world, is affected by things that harm other Jews. We are affected by anti-semitism because it’s pervasive and hits us everywhere—including where we live even when our homes are far removed from our ancestral homeland.

What’s happening right now in Isreal is devastating for Jews for so many reasons, not the least of which is literal generational trauma secondary to genocide. But it should be equally devastating for everyone because humans are dying. More than a thousand humans have died. That should be fundamentally heart-breaking for other humans.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have questions.

We SHOULD be asking how people get so radicalized that they believe in killing. We NEED to have that conversation globally because it’s happening in every community and will continue.

We should be asking if we had a part in that radicalization, even if intentions were otherwise good. We should also be honest about the times that they just weren’t. Questioning the Israeli government and its role in creating hostile conditions is the right thing to do here because you can question history without making people responsible for the atrocities they have survived.

It's not about blame. It's not repeating history.

As I’m learning more and reading more, the two sides of this argument have turned into a thousand perspectives. The heartbreak within these communities is palpable in a way I can’t even fully describe. It’s tangible. It has a physical presence.

What happened this weekend is terrorism, and there is no place in my universe to support terrorism.

I also know that the Jewish people in Israel are the most recent victims of terror but not the only victims of terror. Judaism prioritizes the life of the living over all else, and while protecting our own community is important, protecting and prioritizing all humans is just as important.

Grieving is the right thing to do right now because that’s what hearts need to heal. Questioning is the right thing to do for tomorrow because that’s how we avoid repeating history and protect other communities from the same.

Unqualified support and the right to evaluate and criticize past decisions are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re required in tandem.

Image by Pierre Bamin via Unsplash.


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