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OPINION: A Counterpoint to Andrew Walshver’s Recent Jewish Voice for Peace Op-Ed

Editor’s Note: The below op-ed was written by Queen City Nerve contributor Darrell Horwitz in response to another op-ed Queen City Nerve published that was written by Andrew Walshver of Jewish Voice for Peace Charlotte on May 24. Upon reading that op-ed, Horwitz reached out with his concerns. While we at Queen City Nerve stand by the decision to publish Walshver’s op-ed, we allowed Horwitz space to voice his criticisms publicly. Our op-ed policy does not allow hate speech, calls for violence or malicious misinformation, and we believe that neither this piece nor the one that inspired it violate those policies.

Israeli officials investigate the scene of an attack by Hamas in Israel following Oct. 7.
Israeli officials investigate the scene of an attack by Hamas in Israel following Oct. 7. (Creative Commons)

Being a resident of Charlotte since late September 2019 and a frequent contributor to the Queen City Nerve on a freelance basis starting just five weeks after arriving in town from Chicago, I am also a regular reader of the publication. I was shocked at an opinion piece I read written by Andrew Walshver on Friday, May 24 about the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza since the war broke out last year after the Hamas attack on October 7. 

Just like Andrew, I am Jewish, but unlike him, I was anything but religious growing up. He described his complete transformation from being a zealot about Israel to supporting the Palestinian people, and urging others to also, while never detailing what he read to change his beliefs. 

I experienced prejudice in Chicago during childhood and continuing through my working life specifically because I was Jewish. As a kid growing up in a neighborhood called Albany Park, my family moved in when most Jewish families were moving out, but there was a courtyard building on the corner of my block strictly inhabited by Orthodox Jewish families.

Some kids younger than me approached and asked if I would join them in picking on the Jewish kids in that building. When I told them I was Jewish and asked if they wanted to pick on me, they decided it might not be a good idea. 

When I got into car sales, I worked at a Nissan dealership in a suburb of Chicago. During a Saturday meeting, the general manager said the word “kike” when talking about the owner of a competing Nissan dealership. 

In another incident, another manager went in to try to close the sale with a Black couple I was helping. While sitting at the desk, he happened to notice the business card of a co-manager, Miles Diamond, lying nearby and suddenly got distracted. To directly quote him, he said, “Miles Diamond, you would think a guy with that name would be suave and sophisticated, but he’s overweight, dresses like a slob, is losing his hair; he’s a Jew!”

He literally spit it out. In case you’re wondering, the couple didn’t buy. 

At a BMW dealer I worked at a few decades later, the general manager once compared me to a customer of mine he didn’t like who was the program director of a popular Chicago sports radio station, saying I was just like him except he was fatter. I wondered what he meant by that. Was it that we were both White and liked sports? Oh wait, I know, we were both Jews. 

That GM harassed me to the point where I didn’t even want to wait on customers anymore. I ended up being physically sick for two years until I had surgery to cure my ailment, but I always thought it was caused by the stress brought on by his antisemitism. 

That’s why that opinion piece affected me so much. I knew what it was like for people to be singled out specifically because they were Jewish, and I thought about it all night after reading it. I woke up early the next morning because I couldn’t sleep thinking about it. 

It triggered me, and I didn’t think it belonged in The Nerve, as the writing generally concentrates on Charlotte and North Carolina and doesn’t delve into international issues, so I think they stepped out of their lane.

Speaking to Queen City Nerve editor Ryan Pitkin about the piece, he mentioned that The Nerve doesn’t print anything that promotes hatred or violence. I think when the link is included from the group Jewish Voice for Peace, which includes this line in their vision: “We picture Palestinians—from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea,” which is a phrase often associated with the elimination of Israel and the Jewish people, that’s crossing that line depending on the interpretation of the person reading it.

Antisemitism is on the rise in the US, and it’s prevalent on college campuses. In a CNN story speaking about the Anti-Defamation League and their grades of colleges (including the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) failing to protect Jewish students on campus, it details reports of antisemitism on college campuses surging since the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack and reaching historic levels. 

Jews as well as non-Jews were attacked and slaughtered on that day, yet it seems only Israel is being blamed, while protesters are forgetting Hamas initiated it and are still holding hostages. 

Hamas has control over that region in Gaza, and much of the atrocities happening to the Palestinian people are because they are making the innocent people targets of Israel’s attacks, often using women and children as shields to protect them, and hiding in areas near hospitals, schools, and mosques that help their cause when the casualty counts come in, so the atrocities are attributed to Israel while Hamas gets a pass. An article in The Conversation details Hamas’ rule in the region, and the freedoms they deny the Palestinian people. 

There are also questions about Israel’s claim to the land they occupy, but there are stories that go way back in time saying that was originally land they inhabited, as this Newsweek article from October 20, 2022, describes. [Editor’s Note: The article is an opinion piece written by Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has helmed the recent war effort.] It details where the name Palestine came from and refutes the propaganda that Jewish people stole the land. 

What there is no question about is the hatred of the Jewish people throughout history and how they have been targeted, including what happened in Eastern Europe in the 1930s and ’40s, where over 6 million Jews were exterminated, though there are still those that deny that happened. 

That’s why I think the Queen City Nerve deciding to run the recent opinion piece was dangerous and irresponsible. There are people out there easily triggered to do horrific deeds, and the last thing needed was giving them more ammunition against Jews. 

I don’t believe in treating anyone like a lesser human being, no matter their race, religion, or sex, so I feel for the innocent people of Gaza and all they’re going through. But writing an editorial does nothing for them, just like demanding the Charlotte City Council pass a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

We have to understand what we can control and what is out of our control. Publishing that piece last week could do more harm than good, especially to innocent Jews being targeted because of their religion.

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One Comment

  1. I’m a secular Jewish guy from Brooklyn who has been living in Charlotte since 2017. I met Walshver when he was dispatched to fix a problem that I had with my internet. Another Jewish guy from Brooklyn. We talked, and we even became “Facebook friends”. And then October 7 occurred. I was admittedly fooled by his charming demeanor. But what I’ve seen of him now is revolting. A (formerly Orthodox) Jew who served in the IDF when he was younger, who has willingly, and gluttonously, drunk the Kool-Aid that so many deluded Progressive Jews have imbibed. The same Kool-Aid that has apparently seeped into the drinking water at so many colleges across this country. And as for the Jewish Voice for Peace, its members are nothing more than the useful idiots that Lenin himself referenced. A bunch of lost souls who would sacrifice me and mine so that he can be patted on the back by the very terrorist organization(s) that laugh at them when their backs are turned, and who in turn would be murdered, simply because they are Jewish, but are left alone for now because they are nothing more than kapos and collaborators. Long live the Jewish people, who have survived much worse than the Walshvers of this world.

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