With all the crazy bombings and attempted bombings going on in the US right now, there’s not a lot that would make me consider moving back. But each day, I am made passively aware that I am still a stranger in a strange land. When Summer and I first moved in together, I discussed the struggles and wrestling I do with my culture and faith. Do I believe in a deity? I don’t know… I believe in SOMETHING bigger than me. Do I think it matters if I keep kosher or turn on a light on Shabbat? No. If I follow something or do something, it’s because I feel it adds to my personal growth and challenges me as a human. And she has always been supportive of that. Unwavering.
But last night, she and her boyfriend returned back from a weekend away.
“Wow!” He said. “Did you hire cleaners?! You’re never good at keeping things this clean!” He meant it as a joke. A back handed compliment. It fell short.
“What’s this??” He picked up a book about Passover for my sons.
“Ew. I’m not eating this stuff!” I’m trying to write this off as a joke, but he’s pressing my nerve.
“It’s a holiday about understanding slavery and showing compassion for those still in pain.”
“Ha!!! Like the Palestinians?!?!”
I walked out. Whatever your personal belief on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, THIS IS MY FUCKING HOUSE. I was so angry. I pay the bills and I have never thrown that in anyone’s face, but I felt the need to now. And it’s the next morning, and as my web feed is filled with comments about how the US has sent loads of money to Israel, and responses about how “maybe Hitler was on to something,” I’m biting my tongue.
Because Summer asked him to apologise. And he did. Fully and without holding back. And so what can be gained from explaining how completely fucking disrespected I feel? Maybe nothing. But for the very first time since I moved to this country, I really saw passive antisemitism. He doesn’t MEAN to disrespect me; he’s just making a joke. And he’s not an asshole… But I kinda feel that way for being so damn angry, right now.