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Ice Cream Prophets - a poem in support of the Jewish students at UC Berkeley

Ice Cream Prophets
©Rabbi Menachem Creditor
In support of the Jewish students at UC Berkeley

Misguided good-intention
threatens my family tonight.

I am a Jew,
standing in the same spot
I stood three years ago.
New faces scream
the same old claims of being silenced
and through their screaming seek to silence.

These anti-Israel students with ice cream sundaes
claim prophecy
and the right to speak for the oppressed.
Surreal. Cartoon. A rerun, even.
Delusion with serious consequence.

Campus is a high school rally tonight,
applause indicating popularity/righteousness/rightness.
Fashionable activism in place of mindful engagement
for the sake of peace.

Clap, Clap.

Good conversation - real conversation,
happening everywhere but here tonight.
One side claims exclusive rights to empathy
and the other points to facts and complexity.
No one’s listening, just taking turns.
This doesn't resemble community in the slightest.

A fourth-year points to her ethnic ancestry
and claims "I know what it's like to be oppressed."
Who doesn't? And who on campus could?
Oppressed as she high-fives a sorority sister?
And who, through ancestors, doesn’t embody a painful past?

Too many tears this week for everyone everywhere.
Why create more?

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