Dislikes cartoon on Mideast

Friday, January 19, 2018

My name is Austin, and I am an American Jew studying in Western Massachusetts. I'm really disappointed and offended that your staff decided to publish a comic (Dec. 8, 2017) that completely distorts the nature and the importance of what is happening in Israeli-occupied Palestine right now.

Palestinians live under an apartheid regime in which they struggle to exercise the most basic human rights. The mass protests and clashes that cropped up in the wake of the Trump Administration's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory does not even begin to compare to the systemic violence that Palestinians suffer daily on the ground, whether it be at the constant checkpoints that limit their freedom/mobility, the night raids that take Palestinian children from their homes, or the relentless presence of Israeli military forces in almost all aspects of Palestinian life.

Our president and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continue to affirm that these decisions are done in the name and in the interest of Jewish people around the world. I for one, do not stand for that. Israel does not represent my Jewish identity and I firmly believe that it dangerously fuels anti-Semitism to be giving unwavering support to a regime that constantly denies the humanity of an entire people, supposedly in the name of the Jewish people. 

I hope that in the future the Recorder staff will strive to challenge the larger patterns in U.S. media coverage of Israel/Palestine by giving space to Palestinian voices. In contrast with the perspective that your comic puts forward, there are actually many visible and outspoken Palestinians who are striving for real solutions to the occupation, which would give their people rights denied to them for more than 70 years. 

Austin Kahn