Serwer draws a parallel between divisions in Jewish communities over Israel and divisions in (U.S.) Black communities “about loyalty and authenticity.” Describing Netanyahu’s characterization of David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel as “self-hating Jews” based on their support of a settlement freeze, Serwer writes,
What makes this kind of argument particularly interesting, however, is how much it resembles intraracial arguments between black folks about loyalty and authenticity. In the eyes of those who support all of Israel’s actions uncritically, the “Juicebox Mafia” are “House Jews”: Jews whose positions on Israel are motivated by their internalizing long-standing anti-Semitic myths and identifying with those who seek to oppress the Jewish people. These Jewish conservatives are, ironically enough, embracing the same kind of bare-knuckle identity politics as the blacks they love to hate.
Also, this totally resonated with me:
I’ll cop to caring about Israel more because I’m Jewish—but that doesn’t mean I’ll evaluate its actions uncritically out of blind loyalty. In fact, in most cases it’s precisely because liberal Jewish bloggers care about Israel that they’re critical of its actions: They see Israel’s behavior in the region, particularly its treatment of the Palestinians, as harming Israel’s long-term interests.
Serwer’s post hits on a particular type of parallel between Jewish communities and U.S. Black communities that (while perhaps ignoring the overlap between the two groups) is too often left by the wayside when these communities are discussed. How can we learn from the way different groups handle intra-community tensions and accusations of self-hatred? How can we use a grounding in identity as a strategic move, positioning ourselves as uniquely able to critique specific actions because they have been taken in our name(s)?