The shameful attempt by the Jewish Federation in Pittsburgh to censor Rob Rogers, one of America’s great artists, because of his critical but truthful cartoon depicting Gaza as a locked jail cell with the Gazan people staring out to the world from behind bars wondering why their hatred of Israel is questioned, is one more example of the willful blindness and deep denial on the part of the mainstream American Jewish community about the reality of Israel’s illegal occupation and treatment of the Palestinian people.
I am currently in Jerusalem and have observed a similar denial here. The killing of children and civilians is so normalized that the cafe-sitting, mall-shopping Israelis, who know little about the horrific conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, have become oblivious to what their country is doing: an “incremental genocide” and an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The evidence is well-documented and irrefutable at this point, and yet the federation and the Israeli populace will not face up to these truths and have instead created an “iron dome” of justification based on misnamed anti-Semitism, manufactured security concerns and Israel as the weak victim, still the ghetto Jew of Nazi-era persecution.
This is not only dishonest; it is a moral cowardice that has infected the mainstream American and Israeli Jewish community and will make a true and just peace in Israel-Palestine impossible.
Thank you, Rob Rogers, for your artistic integrity and courage.
The writer is chair, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions — USA (ICAHDUSA.org).