I moved back to the U.S. largely because this didn’t have to be normal for me — I could leave. Israelis will tell you that it’s not so bad; Netanyahu will tell you that they’re “managing it.” Palestinians won’t tell you that, because it’s worse for them and most can’t leave. The root cause of the violence both here and there is much more than anti-Semitism. Ultra-nationalism is core to our shared story.
So I find it strange when people ask me whether I wish I were in Israel now that Trump is in charge and anti-Semitism is rampant. Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Union, Israel’s second-largest political party, has urged the Israeli government to prepare for a mass influx of American Jews. The idea is that I would be safer there, you know, as a Jew. After all, in Jewish day school they taught us that Israel is the safe-haven for all Jews. That it is a place for me to express my full identity.
I have never felt more unsafe — as a leftist, as a Palestinian ally, as a Jew — than I felt in Jerusalem.