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Dayenu by Daphna Rowe

Since October 7th I have been screaming, I have been crying, I have been reasoning, and I have been educating. Like most Jews, I have also been hyper vigilant and not sleeping well. I have been perpetually exhausted, anxious and sad.

And now, I am done jumping through hoops. I don’t care if I’m the nicest person in the room, the loudest person, the most well-informed, or the most intelligent. None of that matters to anyone. Those who view me as an antagonist, or as evil, simply because I am Jewish or Israeli, will always view me this way, no matter what I say or don’t say.

I should want to know my history not because I need people to understand me, but because I want to understand it, and because it gives me pride. Any other reason is meaningless.

I was recently involved in a Feast for Peace here in Margate, UK. It was a call for solidarity and dialogue. I sat with a local Palestinian girl who agrees that the binary narrative is dangerous. She and I understood that Jews and Arabs are family, that we are cousins. We understood that our grandparents could have easily been neighbors. Something became very clear to me that night. If she and I, a Palestinian woman and an Israeli woman can break bread, and the rest of the world continues screaming, then those screaming are not activists. They are co-opting our struggle. And I wish them inner peace.

And here is how this shouting match ends for me:

1. We can’t make everyone ‘get it’. The ones who do ‘get it’ value facts. And those who don’t, have so deeply interwoven their identity with the propaganda that anything which challenges it, they will view as a personal attack on their ego. It could be a celebrity, an influencer, a guy at the local bar – it doesn’t matter. Antisemitism is here. That’s our current reality. We have to endure it until it passes again. And it will pass again. 

2. If I’m thrown in the ring, e.g., someone comes at me with some antisemitic BS, I will fight back. I will not cower and I will not be afraid to tell them what’s what. I will stand up for myself and my community. Full stop.

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3. And for the times I’m not in that ring, I will love even harder. I will enjoy every fucking second I can with my loved ones and not allow the hatred take those moments away from me.

That’s it. Dayenu.

Daphna Rowe received an MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol in 2011 and is a member of The International Society of Political Psychology. Daphna was born in Hamburg, Germany, raised in New York City and currently resides in Margate, UK. She is also the founder of Natural Perfume company @lovorika_official, the Director of the  @margate_mermaid_parade, and a Singer/Writer.

Image of Daphna by Daphna