"We are the Good Jews, not the Bad Jews":
A hypothetical letter from some
American Jews to The World

by Lorna Salzman

Dear World:

We humbly, civilly and respectfully ask that you take some of your valuable time out to read this.

We are writing it because we are increasingly fearful that the cruel merciless persecution of Palestinians by the lawless illegitimate state of Israel is giving the wrong impression of Jewry and making life for us Good Jews very difficult in our communities. While we deplore anti-Semitism and hope it will end some day, in the meantime we Good Jews do not want to be tarred with the same brush as those Bad Jews.

We Good Jews are being accused of cruelty and repression even as we try to separate ourselves from Israel and its warlike Bad Jews, the Zionists, and even though we clearly align ourselves with the voices of moderation and justice that characterize the Arab world, such as those of Hamas, IHH, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the peace=loving Turkish humanitarians who gave their lives in the unjustified flotilla attack.

We are proud of these courageous individuals and their political organizations and will continue to offer them our moral and financial support to the fullest extent possible. As liberals and progressives dedicated to the cause of freedom, we salute all of those who participated in the humanitarian flotilla as genuine freedom fighters,fighting in and for a cause that, G-d willing, will let them prevail over the forces of darkness, behind which lurk the Bad Jews.

For centuries the Bad Jews have been rightfully accused of arrogance, elitism, dishonesty, greed, intellectual superiority, drinking the blood of murdered children, controlling the media, banks and western governments, starting World Wars I and II, ending the Ottoman Empire in Turkey in the 1920s, and other atrocities too vile to mention, in a parochialism that has justified their self-segregation from Christian
societies. The holocaust, pogroms and ghettos have failed to force the Bad Jews to mend their ways. This harms the Good Jews immeasurably.

The truth of these accusations is difficult to deny. But it is important that you, the world of the 21st century, hear another part of the truth, which is this: while many Bad Jews are guilty of these crimes, there are at least as many Good Jews who do not deserve the vilification and enmity of the world.

We implore you to separate us, the Good Jews, in your mind, from the Bad Jews and understand that we share your opinions as well as your political goals, including the dissolution of Israel, a Jewish state that was founded to give a false impression of democracy, freedom, equality and social justice, even as it has - unlike its Arab neighbors - abandoned these principles.

These Bad Jews continue to give Judaism a Bad Name. By their brash behavior, defiance, insistence on state sovereignty and the right of self-defense, and their resistance to the Arab cause and the laws of Islam, they are making the lives of Good Jews even more difficult.

We have vainly tried to reason with some Bad Jews to do what is good for the Jews, to not provoke or make trouble, to keep their heads down, to no avail. We have told them that Good Jews do not assert their rights and aspirations in such an aggressive manner; that Good Jews must understand that in order to survive in the Christian and Arab world, they must not speak too loudly or insistently, or behave in ways that endanger their fellow Jews. We have told them that the opinions of the Christian world as well as those of the Arabs need to be respected. Compliance with the majority views is crucial if Good Jews are to be fully accepted in non-Jewish societies. We Good Jews understand this and wish to assure the world that we are doing our utmost to convert the Bad Jews to our ways so as to head off a backlash that could target all of us.

We hope that in your wisdom you will see the truth of the matter so that we Good Jews can continue to be tolerated in the wider Christian society and especially in the Arab world.

—Good Jews Everywhere

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.