The ability of Jews to speak freely about the Middle East is hardly guaranteed. Even poets were cancelled from the recent J Street conference for daring to be critical.
One of those poets, Kevin Coval, writes:
Since the second Palestinian intifada I have thought, written and spoken about these issues, but over the course of these last several weeks, I have arrived at a new beginning. Prior to now, I muddled this issue in complexity. But I have come to realize it is actually simple and clear. I am a Jewish-American man in solidarity with the Palestinian people. I am in solidarity with Israeli and American and All people who work and risk their lives and livelihood for justice. I am not restricted to working within the confines of the Jewish-American community. Justice and resistance to imperialism is a global, human concern for all people. For Jews, yes, but not Jews alone. For Palestinians, yes, but not Palestinians alone. It will take us all to push and demand governments and corporate interests to create fair, equitable living conditions. It will take all peoples to hold history accountable for the atrocities that occur.
Here’s the other poet, Josh Healey, with his work Queeer Intifada, filmed in Washington DC recently during the J Street event (but at a separate venue):