From: Al Jazeera
We all know the stigma, but we cannot remain silent
Growing up in the United Kingdom in an agnostic family that had Jewish and Christian members, I was free to have an opinion about the continual clashes between Israel and Palestine. It reminded me of Britain’s relationship with Northern Ireland. While I never endorsed violence or supporting the Irish Republican Army, I sympathized with the occupied rather than the occupier and recognized the occupied’s right to resist occupation.
Back then, even when my opinion differed from my friends’ and colleagues’, I felt secure that I would not lose work or friends or opportunities or sleep because I recognized that the state of Israel used unnecessary and criminal violence against the Palestinian people in order to further its Zionist ideals.
Today, as a white woman living in the United States, I do not feel free to express an opinion about the conflict without facing opposition or abuse. Only two days ago a woman who asked me to refer pregnant women to her acupuncturist business page, posted a Golda Meir quote online: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” I had to do a double take. Who, exactly, was I supposed to refer to this woman? Was I meant to be racially selecting clientele for her, or did she honestly think a woman of color — any color — would find the insinuation that race dictates how much one loves one child an acceptable statement to make as a small-business owner specializing in birth and pregnancy? MORE