Thursday, October 6, 2016

Not my Judaism, not my country.

GUEST: Marjorie Leopold, local activist, teacher and producer, talks about forming a new human rights organization in the Mid Hudson Valley, a chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

This interview had a very low volume when we played it today. I fixed it when I created the podcast version. If you couldn't hear it very well live, try clicking on and listening to the enhanced interview. 

Once we got through with the nuts and bolts of how to form a Jewish Voice for Peace, we talked about the fight for Jewish identity within local communities. Of course, the fight is everywhere now: in the media, in the colleges, and in our government. 

JVP is the most progressive group out there, courageously demanding that their Jewish faith not be used to defend Israel's apartheid treatment of the Palestinians. What religion would want to claim that war crimes represented the height of their moral worth? Making Israel into a religion will have a lasting negative effect on the Jewish people. History will remember them as victims of genocide who became perpetrators. 

How will history remember me, a veteran who has lived comfortably all his life while his country ravaged the Third World with death squads, invasions and drone attacks? Since World War II, the United States has established itself as the country without a conscience, all the while praising itself as the beacon of human rights and democracy. What butchery has been done in my name, and what gross hypocrisy propagated by my society.

How am a different from Jews living in Israel? In fact, the two societies are blood relations when it comes to imperialism. The only hope for either country is to be remade into a just and law abiding democracy that rejects militarism and the racism. That's my goal for the United States, and the only way I can live my life in the belly of the beast.  

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