An Open Letter to Israel

AsĀ  a musician, it is occasionally necessary to stand up for something, to speak out against injustice.

While mine may not, perhaps, be a popular stance, it is, nevertheless, my stance.


Dear Israel,

It is most unfortunate and truly regrettable that your people have undergone such brutal treatment for quite a long history, notably, and most recently, culminating with the Holocaust. Antisemitic movements have left your people without country or home.

You have experienced fully what it is like to be treated as a sub-human species.

Yet, today, in a land taken from people already living there, we find your people doing exactly what was done to you.

What are you building with your apartheid walls but an open-air concentration camp?

When you test your weapons systems on Palestinian civilians, how are you any different than the Nazis who used your parents and grandparents as test subjects for their weapons and medical experiments?

When you destroy roads and make easy transportation nearly impossible between villages in Palestinian areas, even if it’s an emergency medical vehicle, how does this differ from travel restrictions imposed on your people throughout the 1930’s and 40’s by fascist regimes throughout Europe?

When you place restrictions on supplies, water and food with your blockade on Gaza and the West Bank, how is this better than your own treatment in the Jewish ghettos under Hitler’s regime?

When your people cheer and applaud your military bombing civilians in Gaza, how, exactly, are you any different at all than the masses who cheered on the rise of Hitler?

Have the cruel lessons of history been so poorly learned that you, yourselves must perpetuate the very kinds of violence carried out upon your parents and grandparents? Have you not learned the horrors of being regarded as somewhat less than human?

As to Iran, haven’t you been telling the world for over thirty years that Iran was days, or weeks, or months away from building a bomb? What do you gain from more war?

Do you wish to plunge the world into yet another world war?

Do you not realize that with Russia and possibly China as allies, attacking Iran would accomplish exactly that?

I call upon you to remember your families, your grandparents, your parents, yourselves, your humanity.

History has offered you a lesson in compassion, a lesson in cruelty, a lesson in the depths and heights of humankind.

Will you learn it?

Chad S. Rushing

One Reply to “An Open Letter to Israel”

  1. Right on, Chad. As someone whose own children practice the Jewish faith with their paternal grandparents, I feel it’s necessary to point out that it is possible to be critical of the nation state of Israel without being an antisemite. I have such a profound respect for Jewish traditions, the community and their general world view, that I have set aside my own religious background (in regards to taking my children) in favor of teaching them the Jewish faith. Throughout my adult life I have had a number of close Jewish friends and have been embarrassed by the Jewish community as one if their own on many occasions, be it standing up as a brides maid at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in New York City, or attending the bar mitzvah of a close friend’s child. I’ve even attended Rosh Hoshana services in the woods in Oregon, and prayed along side a congregation of conservatives at a memorial service when Israel lost one of its leaders, Itzak Rabin. I could go on and on, my affiliations with the Jewish people are plentiful. I’ve even made a documentary for A&E TV, The Angel of Bergen Belsen, about a Polish Jew who saved 54 children by hiding them in her barracks during WWII. To call me antisemitic would be laughable to anyone with a discerning mind. That said, when I’ve opined that perhaps Netanyahu and Israel’s current leadership are guilty of anything more than protecting the Jewish people from the pipe bombs of Hammas, I’ve had the antisemite label hurled at me in disgust. How dare I suggest Israel is the aggressor in the situation? Well, I have news for the ill-informed if the world: 1) Israel is illegally occupying territories using the justification that a common Jewish ancestor, Abraham had a conversation with G-d, who told him that certain pieces of land with very precise boundaries belong to people who are not only if Jewish faith, but of ethnic Jewish heritage in their maternal lineage only, and 2) It is possible to be critical of the nation state of Israel without being antisemitic. I do not hate Jews, I hate injustice!

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