The Conspiracy

A bad comparison

As I said in the post I wrote about a half-hour ago, I support the right of American Jews to critique and comment on events in Israel. I do not, however, support exaggerated, disrespectful and trivializing statements like this one, which appeared in a recent column by Julie Weiner in the Jewish Week:

With the panoply of choices, being a “responsible” consumer starts to feel almost as stressful as being an IDF soldier manning a roadblock. Or, depending on your perspective, as harrowing as being a Palestinian waiting in line all day to go through that same roadblock.

Get some perspective. This is not true. Soldiers give two to three years of their lives to defending the state and have to face life-threatening situations on a regular basis. Palestinians live without citizenship or civil rights and have to go through every day under military occupation that restricts their freedom of movement and access to basic services. Weiner, here, is talking about buying stuff online from her home in Queens. Not the same.

And I don’t care that she wrote “almost.” This is very far from “almost.”

Weiner’s larger point is that all of the boycotts and “buycotts” and controversy surrounding Israel, any mention of the country in everyday conversation can cause a political debate. That’s a legitimate qualm, though I think it should also tell us something about the wrongheadedness of several current Israeli policies.

Either way, it’s not the same as serving in an army in a conflict zone, or living your life as a refugee in an occupied territory. Enough with the hyperbole.


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