Israel made itself a pariah by barring me and my fellow activists

(photo: Getty Images)

The author with roots in Palestine speaks to her exile from her family’s homeland.

By Ariel Gold | The Forward | Jan 7, 2018

As BDS grows, builds and succeeds, Israel becomes more and more desperate to contain it. The latest effort is this blacklist. . . . By blacklisting organizations and banning even Jews and Quakers who take principled stances to support Palestinian human rights, Israel is isolating itself even further.

As a Jewish mother, one of the most important things to me is to instill in my children a sense of Jewish identity and values. For my now 15- and 16-year-old children, this has over the years included Tot-Shabbat at our synagogue, Hebrew school, Jewish summer camp and even Jewish youth group trips to Israel.

As a family, our history dates back to Rabbi Joseph Karo of 14th-Century Palestine, writer of the Shulchan Aruch (the codification of Jewish religious law). In 2015, I took my children to visit Karo’s grave, in the holy Jewish city of Safed. It was the most prominent grave in the cemetery. My son, daughter and I placed stones at the gravesite of the ancient rabbi our family descends from and said a short prayer.

But our identity as a Jewish family manifests in another way, too: in the responsibility to think critically and act as effectively and morally as possible. This means a commitment to ending the human rights abuses Israel commits against Palestinians.

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