I feel most comfortable with Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now calls for ceasefire and negotiations. Also a lifelong activist like you and protested the occupation with Women in Black in the 90s, visited Gaza in 1995 and 1997, presenting at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program Conference. I am uncomfortable with the understandable splitting pro and anti, zero sum, dualistic thinking. I am in DC and feel uncomfortable with the upcoming Zionist march. I heard a zoom today of Israelis - talk about peace, 2 state solution, hate Bibi and Hamas but seemingly completely oblivious to the suffering of innocent Palestinians and actions that will make Israel less secure. Btw, this is not technically ant-Semtism- but a reaction to Jewish violence and domination - more like Judaephobia.

I am a political psychologist in the field of conflict transformation. This is setting us way back and much constructive work needs to be done.

Expand full comment
Nov 9, 2023Liked by Kim Goldberg

Kim, thank you. I am Italian and graduated with a Thesis about fascism long time ago. My grandparents were both given medal for resisting in different ways against fascism and antisemitism. I grew up with many Jews family friends. I never felt so bad as these days. I thank you for speaking clearly about the truth of this situation. I know that it is not of great help, but you are not alone. Many people thinks like you and I am one of them. You have a voice in your writing. Keep going. Please. Never give up. I don’t have a voice. Many don’t have a voice. I can only tell the truth to people that wants to speak with me…if they don’t change idea after I start to say the truth. Your words make me feel that I am not crazy and that still exists someone able to see and state the truth. I pray that your words may reach many more people and reinforce their souls as they have strengthened mine. Thank you. Never give up.

Expand full comment

Thank you very much for your words, here Claudia. That means a lot to me.

Expand full comment

What I don't want to see any more of is civilians—of ANY race or nation—killed. Not one more above the 10,000 Palestinians indiscriminately bombed, 40 percent of whom are children. Not one more iPhone video of bleeding children on hospital floors in Gaza that have no more beds and no more medicine. Not one more above the 1400 Jews killed in the October 7th attack.

It's the extremists on both sides that are driving the slaughter—Hamas calling for the killing of all Jews, Zionists calling for the killing of all Palestinians. Palestine is not Hamas and Israeli politics aren't a monolith any more than Canadian or American politics is. Netanyahu is of the extremist faction, the far-right Likud party which has openly stated they want not only Palestinians but Christians gone from the "holy land." As we saw prior to this horrific conflict, Israelis took to the streets in millions to protest Netanyahu's attempt to "reform" the court system in order to avoid prosecution for corruption and fraud. He is not "Israel" any more than Justin Trudeau is "Canada."

What is desperately needed is a ceasefire followed by mediated negotiations for some kind of settlement, who knows what kind yet. The UN for once is right: the killing must stop, on both sides. As Diane Perlman's article says so aptly: "Our children would be safer if we could empathically bear equal witness to each historical narrative and rise above both sides to gain a true perspective of cause and effect, and the dynamics of asymmetrical power." For a start, that means avoiding all extremist movements or marches of any kind, for either side. All they do is add to the polarization and hate.

Expand full comment

I agree, Art - let's have no more civilians killed on any side. I was more looking at how this plays out in the West and in left activism in the West, what tone-shifts are occurring at a local level in attitudes toward Jews as a people. At least that is what I personally am experiencing. That's all I can really speak to in my own writing.

Expand full comment

As noted in my comment, I've always avoided getting involved in marches and public demonstrations when the fever of public emotion is high. Moderates tend to have their voices drowned out by extremists, sadly seems to be the rule. I am against racial hatred of any kind, whether against Jews or Palestinians or anyone else.

Here's an astute assessment of the October 7 raid by former US marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter: https://www.scottritterextra.com/p/the-october-7-hamas-assault-on-israel?publication_id=6892&post_id=138815282&isFreemail=false&token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo3NDc2MDAzOCwicG9zdF9pZCI6MTM4ODE1MjgyLCJpYXQiOjE2OTk5MDIxMDgsImV4cCI6MTcwMjQ5NDEwOCwiaXNzIjoicHViLTY4OTIiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.83hs2_mo_aNfBodrLrMb3ur3CiKJbtsMlOadSys4Mtk&r=18id7q&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

Expand full comment

Here's my 2009 warning about this

My 2009 Warning to Obama about Gaza

Whatever it Takes: Open Letter to President Obama from Conflict Analysis Professionals for Enduring Security


Expand full comment

Thank you so much for all you have done and you will be doing. We need people like you to remind us what is sanity and how to be sane.

Expand full comment
Nov 9, 2023·edited Nov 9, 2023Liked by Kim Goldberg

I would also like to add, that the most ardent supporters of peace in the Middle East are religious affiliations: Organizations of Christian, Catholic, Judaic faiths come to mind. The secular can only whine, march, and post to social media. Probably do not even support any of those organizations working on the ground to alleviate pain and suffering and toward peaceful resolutions to the ongoing nightmare. Like the Mennonite Central Committee (Anabaptist Christians):


Expand full comment
Nov 10, 2023Liked by Kim Goldberg

Kim, this is excellent and you have my complete agreement and support. The hatred of Israel is much worse here in Montreal, as might be expected. An Imam has called for the killing of all Israelis. Two Jewish schools have been attacked. Molotov cocktails thrown at a synagogue. These are very dark times in which we live. It is frightening for all of us.

Expand full comment

Thanks Stephen. I have been following the Montreal news with horror, worrying about how far this will go. Hearing also about "Jew mapping" being done right now in Canada. Be safe.

Expand full comment

There is no end of irony to the positions of those who you reached out to.

Presumably "Leftist" homesteads on pure, unbroken land? And has not "settled" on land once "owned" by another?

And regarding those crossovers from the LGBTQ+ community:

"...In the Palestinian Authority, gay activists and the LGBT community at large are subjected to continual and severe persecution. This persecution comes directly from the PA itself, which is supposed to prevent discrimination and protect all its citizens. As one gay organization wrote on its Facebook page: “We have received hundreds of hate messages and threats to our lives. The assault against us is without precedent. We are being called traitors and degenerates and there are even calls to eradicate us. We fear for our lives.”

Israel is considered a paradise for the LGBT community. It is the only place in the Middle East where gays are not persecuted by either the society or the authorities. There are dozens of cases of gay Palestinians from the PA, and even from the wider Arab and Muslim world, who have sought refuge in Israel from persecution they suffered in their own countries..."


Expand full comment

I'm with you, Kim. If it's any consolation, most of those yobs have no idea of the actual history, they are emoting based on lazy academic notions, shallow black and white interpretations, following the lead of Judith Butler (who considers Hamas and Hezbullah as part of the progressive left) and old man Chomsky, the charlatan Edward Said, etc. Your good friend the vegan animal activist and ex radio host from Victoria as one example would consider you (as I gather she does now me) an Islamophobic racist. You can bet not one knows about the Hamas Covenant (1988) < https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp > which, as the charter of the party democratically elected to govern Gaza, aspires not only to annihilate Israel but also to kill all the Jews, in the name of "The Most Merciful Allah".

Expand full comment

Thanks, Darren. It's all very problematic. I'm going to speak up where I can, come what may.

Expand full comment

Darren, please enlighten us with the actual history. Calling Butler "lazy academic", Chomsky "old man" and Said "the charlatan" is great insight from you. As a holder of truth please shine it on all of us. Unlike you there is a great awakening in Jewish community and here some example of it :

Wonderful Jews







































































































Expand full comment

Brave and thoughtful reflections and questions as usual, Kim.

Expand full comment

Thank you Sharon.

Expand full comment

Good analysis of the unquestioning reactivity out there right now. Anxiety-driven side-taking is rampant right now and only someone with the history of activism you have could really write about this cohesively. The slaughter that is going on is indefensible because as you say, it doesn't matter who the victims are. The actions that cause this suffering is deplorable. That is easy to see. What is more difficult, is a clear road to making it stop. Thanks for your good words.

Expand full comment

Thanks Rena!

Expand full comment
Nov 9, 2023Liked by Kim Goldberg

I feel for you and the feeling of alienation from what formerly felt like a welcoming group of peers. I’m sure it’s not true for everyone but speaking from my own experience, I only began to understand the history of “from the river to the sea” yesterday, and before that thought it was a poetic way to dream of a peaceful future for all people in the region. Excuse my ignorance, but it’s my guess that many people share the same ignorance and believe they are repeating a pro-peace rather than end-Israel chant.

Expand full comment

Yes, I think it is ignorance in most cases that has them reciting that 'from the river to the sea" chant like it's some sort of recipe for paradise. Yet if you question them on it they get defensive and start gaslighting me, saying i am just trying to defend Israel's genocide. They really don't want to look at the fact they are chanting for something that would be the end of Israel. and if you push them far enough on that... I think most would eventually say "Good!" So it's a pretty bleak truth I have come face to face with in last 4 weeks

Expand full comment
Nov 9, 2023Liked by Kim Goldberg

It seems on pretty much every issue in the West from gender ideology to climate change to wars we are being asked to pick a side. And the extremists are often driving the two tribes to war (yes, I am quoting Frankie Goes to Hollywood).

Not a fan of the chant either but then members of the Israeli government are openly calling for all Gazans to be sent to the Sinai and the West as refugees. Guess I am guilty of both sideism.

With the constant hysteria churn and villain of the week we are being pushed to constantly choose a team, and basically turn our brains off.

On the upside I have been part of many successful movements from South African Apartheid to East Timor freedom and independence to shutting down the World Trade Organization. Humans have made huge advances in the last 100 years.

Expand full comment

Come down Kim, my wonderful Jewish sister. With talk we can resolve misunderstanding.

What ‘From the River to the Sea’ Really Means & Why Israel Can’t Win, w/ Vijay Prashad


Expand full comment

Totally agree. Kim, I have had it with always trying to consider the Jewish, Israeli perspective. Done. Forget it. The Israelis are the tyrants in this - and they have been practicing genocide for the last 75 years while always presenting as they are the victim. Enough. What Israel has done with the carpet bombing, apartheid and genocide - is beyond criminal. Thank goodness Hamas has stood up - and it's about time!

Expand full comment

On the history, meaning, and power of “From the River To the Sea”

Slogans are never just statements etched in stone and "From the River to the Sea" is no exception. Its history, use, and the controversy it generates, reflects the liberatory aspirations, and backlash against, the movement for Palestinian freedom.


Expand full comment

Here these two great souls are also talking about "from the river to the sea". Abby is Jewish.


Expand full comment

Here is another explanation for “From the River to the Sea”:


"AMY GOODMAN: And let me ask you about the term “from the river to the sea,” which the Israeli government takes, and those who charge others with antisemitism say, it means the annihilation of the Jewish population of Israel. I’m looking at the Likud party platform of March 1977, “The Right of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel),” which is the land of Israel. And it says, “The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is eternal and indisputable and is linked with the right to security and peace; therefore, Judea and Samaria will not be handed to any foreign administration; between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.” That’s between the sea and the Jordan River, between the river and the sea. Can you talk about that term?

OMER BARTOV: Yes. You know, the originators of the Likud party, the Revisionist part of Zionism, under the great leader Jabotinsky, had a song that they used to sing. And the song was, “The Jordan has two banks / this one belongs to us, and the other one, too.” That is, they were not only talking actually about so-called historical Palestine, which is Mandatory Palestine of the interwar period; they were actually talking also about parts of the Jordan, of what is now the Kingdom of Jordan, as belonging to the future Jewish state.

So, when we talk about “from the Jordan to the sea,” we are talking about the territory that is now controlled by Israel. In that territory, there are now 7 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians — 2 million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, 3 million Palestinians who are in the West Bank, and two to two-and-a-half million Palestinians — most of the population of Gaza are refugees in Gaza. So it’s 7 million versus 7 million.

To talk about a Palestinian state or a Jewish state between the Jordan and the sea, the question, of course, arises: So, what happened to the — what will happen to the other half? That is really the question. If one talks about a Palestinian state that refuses to recognize the Jewish right of self-determination — that is, of the right of Jews to have a state of their own — the question is: What will happen to the Jews there? Would they go back to Europe, as some people say, whatever that actually means? And if you have a state the way the Israeli right, the Likud party, and now the much more radical, really Jewish supremacist elements in Netanyahu’s government, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, these people who sort of trace their roots back to Rabbi Kahane, who are really Nazis — if you think — if you ask yourself, “What do they mean?” they want to create a Jewish state that does not have Palestinians in it, nor Arabs in it. And the policy has been consistently to make life as unbearable for the Palestinians there, so that either they will finally move out, which they have no intention of doing, or to use an emergency situation, such as exists right now, under the cover of which they could be ethnically cleansed. And that’s a major worry now among Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, who are worried about a second Nakba, a second expulsion of Palestinians after 1948, something that has been mentioned by a number of Israeli politicians, and, of course, a major worry in the West Bank and in Gaza.

So, what we need to think of is not the term “from the Jordan to the sea,” which is the territory that Israel now controls, but how does that territory get to be shared by these two groups in ways that do not include oppression, lack of any rights, lack of equality, and certainly does not include violence and expulsion."

Expand full comment