The other day I was having a casual conversation with a department colleague when I (not entirely) jokingly suggested I was hoping to get one of the bigger offices in our upcoming move. He became a little serious and said, “You’re just like one of those Zionists, aren’t you? Always wanting more space, more land.” I replied that he should be thankful I am not “like one of those Palestinians” as I would have already blown up the photocopier room. He didn’t find that funny at all.
I am not particularly sensitive to these things. I don’t think all criticism of Israel is equivalent to antisemitism. And I wasn’t overly offended at this person’s comment. But I am aware enough to know what he meant. He didn’t mean that my semijoke about needing more lebensraum made me sound like just any old nationalist expansionist. It made me sound like a Jewish one to him and apparently that’s particularly bad. And of course, he knows that Varnson is of the Hebrew persuasion. So I felt I needed to send a shot across his communist (really) bow.
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