Jyllands-Posten, Lars Vilks, Charlie Hebdo, Pamela Geller… They really offended you with their cartoons of Muhammad, didn’t they? So offended, you think they deserve to die. To be murdered. To be shot down in cold blood.
Guess what, I’m offended too.
I’m offended when you organise Holocaust Cartoon Contests.
I’m offended when you call me an ape and a pig.
I’m offended when you spit on and burn my flag.
I’m offended that you think “Mein Kampf” is worth reading – so much so that it’s on your bestseller list.
I’m offended that you create TV-shows (for kids!) that portray us as monsters that kill Muslim children, and use their blood to make matzah bread for Pesach.
I’m offended that I have to fear for my life if I wear any religious symbol that reveals that I’m a Jew.
I’m offended that I have to come extra early to shul because of all the security checks that I have to go through.
I’m offended that my friends kids have to have heavily armed police officers as guards outside their schools.
I’m offended that I constantly have to defend my country and our right to exist.
I’m offended that you want to annihilate us and wipe Israel off the map.
I’m offended that I can no longer speak my mind without worrying about the consequences.
I’m offended that you disrespect me as a woman and think I’m a second class citizen.
I’m offended that you constantly disrespect our culture.
I’m offended that you want to take my freedom of speech, freedom of religion and way of life away. I’m offended that you want to destroy my democratic society and replace it with tyranny and dictatorship.
I’m offended that you think you have the right to tell me how to think, how to speak, what to say, how to dress and how to act.
I’m offended that you come to our part of the world and expect us to obey by your rules, while you disobey our rules and laws every chance you get.
I’m offended that you want to kill me. And hell yes, I’m offended that you think you have the right to murder me if I draw a silly cartoon of your prophet Muhammad (who clearly has no sense of humour).
But do you see me hunting you down with a gun? Do you see me throwing molotov cocktails at your mosques? Do you see me vandalising your grave yards? Do you see me burning your flag and chanting “Death To All Muslims”? Do you see me going on a killing spree, killing innocents, because of all the horrible, anti-Semitic drawings and cartoons you publish and post every day?
No. Because that’s not who I am. And because of this I know that we are the good guys and you are not. You may terrorise us and temporarily frighten us. You may win a few battles but not the war.
The good guys always win. Light always conquers darkness. Didn’t you know? Haven’t you learned anything from history?
Don’t ask me to respect you if you don’t respect me. It’s a two-way street you know. And just because I can, I’m now going to draw Muhammad with a funny red nose and clown shoes – and I’ll enjoy every minute of it. Maybe I’ll even post it on Facebook. Because it’s my right. A right that my forefathers fought long and hard for! My right!
Offended? Tough luck.
(Originally posted on my blog at The Times of Israel, May 8, 2015)