Editor, Daily Nexus,
In Elana Wenocur’s letter to the editor (“Comparison Made at MCC Screening is Over The Top”, Daily Nexus, Jan. 29), she incorrectly cited the discussion which followed the screening of “Channels of Rage.” As the speaker, I feel it necessary to correct her errors. First, I am not Palestinian nor did I misrepresent myself as such. Nor am I Muslim, nor Arab. Second, Wenocur accuses me of saying “Palestinians are living under conditions exactly like conditions in Nazi concentration camps.” Since I am not a Holocaust survivor, I would never say such a thing.
On the contrary, I cited an article, available in Ha’aretz, in which the council chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Yosef Lapid – himself a Holocaust survivor – compared the treatment of the Palestinians today to the treatment of the Jews prior to WWII. Upon hearing this, Wenocur bolted from the theater. I understand this is a very sensitive issue for Arabs, Jews and all of humanity. I understand that Wenocur was angered. However, in referencing this article, I do not find myself at fault.
At the same time, I am sorry. I am sorry that critiques of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinians are perpetually silenced in the name of “anti-Semitism.” I am sorry that we can only see two categories: “pro-Israel” or “anti-Israel.” I am sorry that the call to protect human rights is perceived as “anti-Semitic.” I am sorry that speaking on behalf of innocent human beings who are suffering, dying, starving, living as refugees and denied the most basic protections as the world watches in deafening silence can be misconstrued as “hate speech.”
The time for tiptoeing around this crisis is behind us. We can no longer be silenced by the fear of promoting an unpopular opinion. Silence is the enemy I have come to displace.