Israel, Palestine, and Babka
Babka is a Jewish online space. It is a space for Jews to connect, share, celebrate, discuss, and debate. We also federate, which means that we open our doors to conversations with those outside our community, Jewish or not, to engage in the same social interactions.
With so many Jews in one place, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the topic of Israel comes up with some frequency. In the minds of most Jews, there are two Israels. There is the ancient Israel of Tanakh, our ancestral homeland and center of our spiritual life, and modern Israel, with cars, cell phones, and politicians.
As one talks about Israel, there is an inevitability to discuss the Israel/Palestinian conflict. The I/P conflict looms large in the minds of millions, not only in Israel/Palestine, but around the world. Discussing this conflict in any depth would require a treatise, but one does not need to fully understand the conflict to understand that for both Israelis and Palestinians, there is a lot of pain and many feelings rooted in feeling. Most on both sides of the conflict feel that their lives are existentially threatened by the current situation.
For many diasporatic Jews, the threats to Israel’s safety feel very real and very tangible. When a bombing or shooting occurs, many Jews feel it in the pit of their stomach and understand the fragility of the lives of the half the world’s Jews, who live in Israel. For Zionist Jews, the feeling extends even further, to a threat to the realized dream and effort that took nearly two thousand years, to realize the dream of Jewish safety in a Jewish homeland.
With this understanding and background in place, I will say unequivocally that hate and calls for, or endorsements of violence have no place on Babka.
Babka is, and must be a place of thoughtful, respectful understanding and dialogue; calls for violence, whether they be against Jews or Palestinans, are not welcome. We believe in human rights, as well as safety and self-determination for Jews and Palestinians.
It is unfortunate that we have had to take action against accounts posting hate speech and promoting violence against both Jews and Palestinians. This conduct is against our values and is not tolerated regardless of who it is aimed at. We take hate speech seriously, and take administrative action against it.
The work to keep Babka safe is difficult and intense, but we do it out of love, and will continue to do so.
Written by Serge
Founder of Babka