Words of the Week: Mitchell J. Kaplan

“In the narrative war between Israel and Islamism (obviously not the same thing as Islam), the views of one side – the side that has the oil, the side that funds Middle East Studies programs at U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and many other universities in the United States – are generally given more credence than the views of the other side. Antisemites claim that Jews control the media and even the government. This is of course a lie, and a very old one. The narrative truth of Jewish experience – and of my experience personally – is that Jewish identity is the identity of a tiny minority, struggling to survive in a world of cultural bullies.

My conscience tells me that it is my responsibility as a human being to share the Jewish/Zionist narrative and to support it – just as those who are born into the Palestinian narrative feel it is their responsibility to share and support their narrative. In the end, my hope and prayer is that we will find an area of harmony between these divergent narratives that will at the very least ensure the survival and dignity of both peoples.

I am quite well aware that I may be damaging my literary reputation, my book sales, or even my prospects for being published in the future. But if a writer cannot be honest — if a writer must support the dominant narrative — what is the point of being a writer at all?”

Excerpted from Mitchell J. Kaplan’s public Facebook post titled “Narrative, Truth, Conscience.”

an assortment of screens: laptop, phone, tablet, plus other desk items, and a text label that reads, "Words of the Week"