Just like me, this rabbi woke up to the truth about Israel’s cruelty after witnessing the same event that woke me up!

In 2010, Israel had been levying a brutal 5-year blockade on Gaza. Peace activists fmr. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and fmr. US Marine Ken O’Keefe were on board the Mavi Marmara relief ship with others to deliver much needed supplies.

Like me, the rabbi was shocked by how the Mavi Marmara was attacked in 2010 by Israeli commandos, with no warning. They murdered 10 of the peace activists, and Ken O’Keefe was sent to Israeli prison. I then saw hundreds of Jews in Tel Aviv honking their horns and CELEBRATING in the streets!!

I knew something was terribly wrong, and put that together with what I experienced during my two trips to Israel, decades earlier.

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Rabbi David Mivasair was a progressive Zionist for much of his life More recently, he has committed himself to working towards the justice, equality and freedom of the Palestinian people. In this emotional and eye-opening conversation with Dr. Safiyyah Ally, he shares his journey with us, from his first time visiting Israel as a 19 year old and observing how Arabs were treated to his intensive engagement with Palestinians and support for people in Gaza.

He shares how difficult it was for him to make that cognitive shift and rip off his mask, so to speak, and how hurtful it is to be considered persona non grata in the mainstream Jewish community. He feels the dominant Jewish institutions are locked into a defensive position, and he believes many Jewish people think similarly but are reluctant to speak out. He says much of what he does is informed by what he knows of the Holocaust and his understanding of his Jewish faith. He laments the dehumanization of Palestinians and says there’s a propaganda machine trying to push a narrative with a campaign of misinformation and disinformation which people are increasingly starting to see through. His message to Jewish leaders? “Put the ethic before the ethnic.”

Nov 15, 2023