“Jews go back to Palestine.”
This was a common antisemitic slogan hurled at Europe’s Jews prior to WWII. “You don’t belong in Europe, go back to where you came from.”
And so we did. We re-established the state of Israel, and finally returned to the homeland of the Jewish people. We are called ‘Jews’ because our ancestors came from ‘Judea’, a small area of the middle east – modern day Israel.
“Jews get out of Palestine.”
This is what the Jewish community of today hears on university campuses, on the streets, and increasingly, in the news. The narrative that ‘Jews don’t belong in Europe’ and that Jews are a middle eastern people has changed to one of Jews as a colonizing force, stealing the land of Israel from an existing Middle Eastern people and oppressing its original inhabitants.
The narrative might have changed, but the reality hasn’t. There has been a consistent Jewish presence in Israel for millennia, and the archaeological record supports this. It’s certainly true that for thousands of years there has been a Jewish diaspora, with millions of us living all over the world. For most of the last 3000 years, the majority of the Jewish people has existed outside of the land of Israel, primarily in an effort to escape Middle-Eastern antisemitism. Multiple empires conquered Israel, driving out its Jewish inhabitants to various degrees. But there has always been Jews in Judea.
Today, it is vitally important that we reclaim the narrative, and that we do not allow this next wave of anti-Jewish sentiment to be the loudest voice when it comes to Israel and our Jewish identity. The anti-Israel forces know perfectly well that Jews are from the middle east; after all, these same people told us to ‘go back’ there for generations. Rather, they are upset that the Jewish people refuse to die, and outraged that we have finally reclaimed our homeland, and now have a strong, democratic and respected Jewish state.
The British are from Britain, the Chinese are from China, and Jews are from Judea.
La’ad Canada is proud to partner with some of the world’s most respected voices in Indigenous studies and international law, to promote the reality that Jews are Israel’s indigenous people, and to silence the counter-narrative.
In every generation our enemies come for us. This is our generation’s fight.