I live in something of a Jewish bubble, so I often find myself wondering what gentile family, friends, colleagues, and students think when Jewish social media goes off the rails every so often or with great frequency concerning Israel or anti-Semitism. I mean, not the anti-Semites, or the committed anti-Zionists. They make themselves clear. But offline, I never ask anyone directly. It would be rude to put someone on the spot, and I refuse to do it. It is an awkward silence. You/they must think we’re out of our minds.
I doubt it except in the usual ways they cast everything as evidence of the wrongheadedness of their opposing tribe.
Does leave me wondering how one might criticize the influence of AIPAC in these times without kicking this all off in all too predictable ways…
Well, now if I understand your question, you want to know what an average gentile thinks when “jewish social media goes off the rails” (your words, not mine).
I am gentile but maybe not average. I live in France and last Saturday a supposed Yellow Vest made some pretty strong insulting remarks in public to a Jewish writer, Alain Finkelkraut. Initially a reporter said the Yellow Vest had cat-called AFinkielkraut “sale juif”. The latter insisted that he was not insulted in these terms and refused to file “une plainte” so the evening news went back over the film for the second time on Monday and reported that the Yellow Vest had insulted him using the terms “sale sioniste”. The third time the news went back over the story The Yellow Vest was also reported as having former ties with Salafists.
Now, in the past day or so, President Macron has met with CRIF which is an organization like the Anti-Defamation League in the US. Now certain journalists, some representatives of CRIF and some members of the government are calling for sanctions against anyone who criticizes Israel
and measures that would qualify “antisionist” as equivalent to a racial slur. Several French philosophers and writers have spoken out and reserved the right as writers or journalists to be able to criticize any temporal state. I know non-Jews who are decent people who have visited Israel and who would say positive things about their trip to Israel but could also cite negative aspects of their experience but who remain civil in doing so.
I generally try to avoid difficulties but if someone asked my opinion about a country I had visited, I would try to be as objective as possible citing the positive as well as the negative. But if new legislation is now going to be enforced whereby I would suddenly become liable for my opinions, then I would prefer to keep my mouth shut and avoid certain situations and personal contacts that would lead to trouble.