Losing Facebook friends over the war in Gaza

But as anti-Semitism spun out of control in so many countries and the horrors in Iraq grew and these same Israel-bashers said nothing—literally not one word on Iraq—I began to, well, spin a little out of control myself. “THIS is genocide,” I posted over and over again, showing horrific images from Iraq and Syria. “Where is the outrage? The protests? The self-righteous indignation?” At the top of every story describing Hamas’ executions or bullying of Palestinians, I posted, “Your people, Penelope…”

“Sorry, my dear girl,” a friend in India messaged me. ”But at times, I feel you are merely purging your mind. I wonder if anyone is really listening.”

Indeed. Sure, a mix of violent anti-Semitism and blatant hypocrisy is going to rile me up. But did I really want to rant? Become a one-issue poster?

I pulled back. I posted some pretty pictures. I even posted a bunch of images of Islamic art and architecture, an aesthetic I deeply respond to.

But each time I pulled back, I would receive a barrage of messages—from both Jews and non-Jews—about how important my Israel posts were. A lot of people wrote that, for a variety of reasons, they couldn’t post on Israel, but they very much hoped I would continue. An ex-Navy Roman Catholic knight offered to sponsor me to become a Dame. A WWII veteran called me a “patriot.” This gave me pause. I was just getting used to calling myself a Zionist—something I had never done despite my staunch support of Israel—but a patriot? What has happened to our own self-identification that “patriot” initially sounded even worse than “right-winger”?