“Why people want me to shut up,” by Israeli anti-Zionist Jonathan Ofir:

“It’s well over five years since I started to write about political matters pertaining to Palestine/Israel in public, first on social media.

One of the very first responses I got was one asking me politely to stop, since I was upsetting people. Then it became a bit less polite, with old classmates calling me names and saying I was the worst of the worst. In between were all kinds of suggestions of how I hate the place I come from, how it’s unbelievable I’d talk like this etc.

At some point it dawns upon you that they don’t mind you being quiet, or saying things praising their ideology – Zionism. It’s just that they can’t stand the sight of you challenging the state ideology. And you start getting the logic, that what they really want is silence and obedience. Ostensibly, they’ll boast about their Jewish democracy – but they don’t want real democratic advocacy, because that is just not Zionist. They know it viscerally: they are against equality. It will be much harder for them to admit, though, that they support Apartheid.

And when you add it up, you see that the Apartheid is mostly carried forth by people who are silent. Not only are they silent, they try to silence those who protest it, and it’s not because they’re being paid to do so – the exposure of the Apartheid is seen by them as reflecting badly on them, and they do not want to pay the societal price, nor do they want to relinquish the privilege of the master-race.

That’s when you understand, that to speak up against this is a possibility that must be excercised. Even if your message is not as strong the one day, but stronger the next day. Speak up. For them, this is an offense in its very nature. They view it as unpatriotic, as unthankful, an offense to those who have sacrificed etc. They will likely not see it as an investment in our collective future, because for Zionists, the future is racial privilege or nothing.

So if you have something to say that can help dismantle the Israeli Apartheid, say it. Say it now, or withhold the peace. The supporters of the status quo will tell us that peace is somehow in the status quo, in any case with Zionism as a must. But there has not been a day of it since the start. They will say it’s because they hate us. But we’ve heard that before.

If you support a future of equality and dignity, speak up. Great evils continue through silence. You might even be impressed by the fact of your own voice, once you’ve stepped out of the indoctrinated chorus.”