Debate Magazine

Pro-Israel, Pro-Feminist

Posted on the 10 October 2011 by Starofdavida
Pro-Israel, Pro-FeministI’m on EMILY’s List’s emailinglist, so I get all of their emails to support certain feminist candidates. (Itdoes bother me that they’ll only look at Democrat women, though. Can’t you atleast consider going past party lines?) A while ago, I received informationabout Kate Marshall (D-NV), who at the time was running for Congress in a special election. (She lost.)
Since the info was from EMILY’sList, I knew Marshall had to champion women’scauses, but I didn’t know about her position on Israel. I procrastinated looking itup until recently, when I found that she released a really beautiful statementsupporting Israelwith the following at the end:
Background:Israel has been in the newslately, and will be even more in the news with Beck’s “Rally to RestoreCourage” in Jerusalem.In an R district, it will be useful to express support for Israel anddemonstrate some foreign policy prowess while it is a timely topic - especiallyfor people who are likely paying attention to Beck’s event.
Yeah. I think that speaks foritself. Don’t you love politicians that campaign as a certain platform just togarner votes, and then God knows what they’ll do once they’re in office?
I was prepared to write anarticle in total support of Marshall, but once I found out that she’s not a reliable friend of Israel, it complicates things. Thisis where the whole “are you a Jew or are you a feminist?” comes in.
I’ve said before and I’ll sayagain that I’m a Femidox Jew, an Orthodox feminist whose identity is made up ofthose two parts. (And for all you Frum Satire fans, yes, I did take the termFemidox (fifth to last) from him.) I’m Orthodox, I’m feminist. They’re equal parts ofmy identity.
So do I support Kate Marshall,the pro-woman anti-Israel candidate? No. Do I support Tammy Baldwin, who isendorsed by J Street(an anti-Israel group that claims to be otherwise) and has voted against Israel? No. Icannot stand behind any politician that is not completely, totally, andabsolutely a friend of Israel.It’s my homeland, and I need to know that it will not be in danger. (As AvivaCantor said at the Women’s Liberation and Jewish Identity Conference,if the authorities came for you because you’re a Jew, would your neighbors hideyou? What do you do if they don’t and you don’t have Israel? Unfortunately, we alreadyknow the answer - six million died as a result.)
On the flip side, do I supportFaceless Candidate X who supports Israel with his or her entireheart, but is pro-life? No. The “fem” in Femidox won’t let me do that.
In Deborah, Golda, and Me:Being Female and Jewish in America,Letty Cottin Pogrebin (the Jewish feminist founder of Ms. Magazine)mentions that she went to an identity conference once, where there were signslike “woman” and “Jew” to stand beneath. At the time she chose to identify as awoman, but she says that “after 1975, I would not have been so sure.” I feel like I’m almosther opposite: a few years ago, I would have immediately gone to “Jew,” but nowI’d have to stand under both. Because that’s who I am: a Femidox Jew.
It can get tiresome to jugglearound two identities all the time, but hey, I never said my life was easy.
About the picture I included with this post: it was a flag flown by a Holocaust survivor when the UN announced the creation of the state of Israel.
Don't forget that today is the last day to submit for the Star of Davida Essay Contest! If you need a few more days, the deadline's not written in stone, but please email me at [email protected] to inform me that your entry will be late.

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