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Testimony 15: Judith

Love your neighbour as yourself is a key commandment and one that I know resonates with many in the British Jewish community. I try my best to uphold this but I know I am not perfect. Falling short is only half the story – in order to grow and move on I feel it is vital to be honest, reflective, and practice teshuva, even when this is challenging. 

With this in mind, I acknowledge my own anti-Palestinian racism. 

I realise now, with horror how I’ve unintentionally silenced Palestinian voices. When I think about the blogs and articles I’ve read, the talks I’ve attended, I realise I feel most comfortable hearing about Palestinian experiences of the conflict either from Jews or from Palestinians who speak alongside Jews.

How would I feel if my experience could not be heard directly and independently? If a non-Jewish person wanted to learn about anti-Semitism and/or Jewish experiences of the conflict through their own prism? I would feel silenced, marginalised, not valued. And I recognise I have made others feel this way. I have not listened or trusted voices which can teach me so much more about the occupation. 

So how do I plan to better uphold the commandment to love my neighbour as myself? I will seek out Palestinian articles and blogs. I will listen to Palestinian speakers. I will read their stories. But most importantly, I will do this with respect and an open-heart, with the same trust I would hope to receive.