I Am an Other

I am a tall blonde, green-eyed white woman. Yet I know I am an OTHER. I have felt like an Other for a long time now. You see, I am a Jew. I have felt the hurt of antisemitism many times in my life when people find out I am an Other. In other words, Not one of them.

A college course on the Holocaust cemented what my ancestors hoped for me, I made the conscious choice to live a Jewish life, active in synagogue and community, raised Jewish children who are now raising their own Jewish children.

No, I do not own a business, unless you consider my tiny writing business, and I am solidly middle class, wondering if I will have enough funds for my retirement years. Did you read that – NOT WEALTHY?

I am not powerful. I am a force of nature in the kitchen and in writing, but as far as actual power, I have none. If I did, I would try to use it as a force for good, a force to change people into good and kind human beings who do not make Jews feel like others, as well as the same for any other minority.

So much for all Jews being rich and powerful.

I have spent my life doing good deeds, serving others, doing the right thing. I worked in civil rights in my twenties, was on an AIDS care team when I was in my thirties, and served my community of Houston – the most diverse city I know, in a variety of ways. For Good. My friends span every nationality, color, and religion, as well as sexual preference. I am a good human being, or I try to be at all times.

I was outraged at racism, and was an active and sympathetic friend to my friends of color during the George Floyd era and beyond.

I truly believe we are all brothers and sisters, regardless of color, religion, and ethnicity. Any of my friends of color will back this up.

For a long time I suspected, and recently confirmed, that people like me who champion for the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, and other minorities, Jews like me, we are never or seldom championed back. I don’t feel anyone rallying behind me, except for an errant non-Jewish friend here and there texting me that they love me. Yet they are not rallying in the streets, countering the ugly antisemitic “pro-Palestine” rallies. They are not raising funds and sending supplies, they are not paying for reverse-the- propaganda advertising.

I could never understand how Hitler came to power and was able to exterminate 6 million Jews and four million other undesirables, with the approval of the citizens of his country. Jews were not only “Others” back then, according to Hitler, we were the lowest form of humanity. This was only 80 years ago, not in the Middle Ages.

From researching, I found out that Hitler was able to convince the masses that all Jews were evil with his lies and propaganda – a kind of mass public brainwashing from his public relations campaigns.

History is once again repeating itself.

The lies are: Jews/Israel is evil, Jews are oppressors, Jews have apartheid, Jews stole land. All of those lies are compounded, lie upon lie into an almost hysteria- like back in Hitler’s time – to make people not care about Jews or what happens to them. To make people turn a blind eye to suffering in Israel.

When 9/11 occurred, Americans knew terrorists sought to destroy, to kill. The terrorists in the Middle East want to destroy and kill all Jews. They are very vocal about it. And yet, no one really cares, because after all, this is about the Others. They are not trying to free Palestinians who they have treated poorly since taking over control of Gaza, they are trying to destroy Jews.

I guarantee you that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that allows Palestinians to work alongside them, to live alongside them, who allows their Christian and Muslim citizens to freely worship – and if you have never visited Israel and you do not understand this – you may be a victim of brainwashing by a very rich and powerful propaganda machine.If you do not understand that their citizens of all nationalities vote and work and live together, then you are wrong. In defense of the tiny territory granted in the war of 1948, but given to us in the Bible back in Biblical times, Israel has had to do necessary things to protect its security.

Our government has made many mistakes in the past 20 years. Israeli government has made mistakes. Most countries governments are not perfect, but there is no call for Jihad for all of the citizens.

There are no other middle east countries taking Palestinians in – and how many Jews had to take refuge to Israel out of their middle east countries when it got too dangerous for them to live there or when they were actually expelled? Do you see Jews in Iran, Iraq, or other hostile countries? Where did those Jews go? Israel. Many people have been displaced, why only feel sorry for one group?

You are concerned for the Palestinians, but not for the Jews? Why is that? It’s plain and simple antisemitism that people do not even recognize as antisemitism, it is THAT ingrained in their very being. It is believing false propaganda that has been drummed in for years. Many dollars have been fed into this propaganda machine that Jews are evil. That is why you have protesters asking for genocide to the Jews and other extremism in response.

College campuses are hotbeds of antisemitism as terrorist groups pay for group campaigning against Israel and Jews to naive and unknowing vulnerable college students. They have not looked for facts, only repeating false rhetoric. That is scary because they are our future.

The public relations campaign has worked well enough to have the world turn a blind eye on atrocities in Israel against Jews. Time and time again, but more importantly, right now. That is the purpose of the propaganda that millions of dollars have been spent on, and it is working exactly to their evil plan.

Right now when the most heinous and barbaric, and brutal murders of Jews in Israel took place, where over 200 babies, children, and women were taken hostage, where entire families were murdered and beheaded in front of each other and taped on phones by terrorists, people are more up in arms at how Israel will respond. People expect humanitarianism without even considering those still held hostage. People EXCUSE the terrorists, because the propaganda has gotten to them, and Israeli people must have deserved it.

I don’t know about you, but as I see the beautiful, innocent faces of those slaughtered, I do not think a single one of them was an evil oppressor.

Did anyone excuse the terror of 9/11? Were any of the victims Evil Americans? Evil Oppressors?

Why excuse this terror or demand humanitarianism during this reign of terror?

Because we are Jews. We are Other. We somehow do not matter if we get brutally slaughtered.

Because every single pogrom, every single attempt to murder and destroy our people, there are most who do not rise up in our defense. We must have deserved it all.

I don’t see anyone asking Ukraine to go easy on the Russians.

I don’t see anyone having demonstrations about the “evil oppressor” Russians who have invaded another country where innocent civilians have been killed.

So why are there demonstrations about the evil of Jews, about the evil of Israel?

It’s called Antisemitism. And it is every bit as ugly as any form of racism.

Even uglier if you consider the barbaric acts getting little consternation because it is against the “Other,” the Jew.

I had a few arguments this week with antisemites who I called out as antisemites. They never ever saw themselves as that, but when you give them facts, and they argue and have to be shown proof, it smacks of Jewish disdain, of bias, of prejudice. It says that lies have made them uncaring towards Israel and Jews. They are loathe to shake off the brainwashing the propaganda caused.

I am very frightened about our Jewish future with the world not caring what happens to our people.

I suddenly feel very alone in my own country.

Because I am an Other. The one and only Other- (our tiny, tiny minority) that is not championed, that is not defended world-wide. After all I am just a Jew.


  • Andrea Birnbaum

    Excellent synopsis of what is happening! Very well written.

  • This article is true – UNFORTUNATELY.

  • Alyssa Friedland

    So beautifully written and so true ! Thank you Arlene, for all you do to support us in Israel and all you do to combat antisemitism ! Each one of MUST make a difference and show the world the truth , the ethical morality that must be upheld and the evil that must be eliminated from our world ! May we soon see the safe return of our innocent hostages and may all our soldiers fulfill their mission and come home safely

  • Very good article

  • Thanks for sharing your story and your feelings
    I am very proud of you for this amazing blog
    Hoping and praying for peace in Israel and for all of us the Jewish people in this world
    Liora Cohen

  • Very well said ‼️

  • Treatment of Jew will never change. Be proud of who you are and keep speaking out.

  • Well said. I especially liked, “Our government has made many mistakes in the past 20 years. Israeli government has made mistakes. Most countries governments are not perfect, but there is no call for Jihad for all of the citizens.”

  • Love this! Though tall, blonde and hazel-eyed, I was an “other” also; one of three Jewish students in my HS. Even though I educationally qualified and my mother was part of the local Board of Education, I was initially rejected from National Honor Society as I was a Jew. I got in on second round picks. I applied and got into many of the “seven sisters” schools but chose to attend my state university where there was a “healthy” Jewish acceptance and attitude and a strong Hillel presence.
    I, too, am concerned about our Jewish future. I worry about what my grandchildren and our young upcoming Jewish students will face.

  • Amazing Arlene!!! So true. Thank you for putting this in writing.

  • Stunning in its eloquence. I think that you should send this to your newspaper, as well as to the New York Times.

  • Wonderful piece. It hits the nail right on the head. Who stands up for us? Would you mind if I passed your blog on to some of my friends? I think some “Others” will appreciate your writing too.

  • It is so true and scary.
    Antisemitism has never really left. Ask the college students who hate us why? They have been brainwashed too!
    I sent your blog to many of my friends. Please keep writing your words of truth.

  • Honestly …I am trying not to cry. Thank you for this blog. It certainly hits home for me as antisemitism continues to break my heart. I will share, Arlene.

  • Arlene thank you for taking time to share your thoughts in such a poignant way.

  • You’ve done really well expressing what so many of us feel. Thanks.

  • Beautiful written. Like Norman and many others, I feel you but can’t express it as beautifully you did. Thank you

  • So well said. It’s exactly what so many of us are feeling. When I see swarms of high school and college students in the United States riled up by anti-Semitic speakers, it reminds me of the Hitler youth. When people ask, how could all of those young people in Germany have turned on the Jews and killed them without remorse, now I see how.

  • You have beautifully written what I and many of my fellow Jews feel. It is heartbreaking and terribly sad. There is not a day that goes by that I dont feel exactly like this. Thank you so much for putting it into words. We need to pray for us all

  • I understand. I started feeling like an OTHER in college. It has never changed since then. I am so proud to be a Jew. We are encouraged to follow core values: being responsible for others, repairing the world, giving charity, teaching our children about our history and values, never stop learning, interfaith, acceptance, and a strong affinity to Israel. However, We must rely on each other and pray others will learn from us instead of treating us as OTHERS.

  • This was beautifully written, and you hit every mark. Can you make this to share? I would love to be able to do that your article needs, repeating, repeating repeating.

  • Very well said. I feel what your saying but could never express it as well as you have.

  • You just said a mouthful! Worse is when it comes from other Jews, like those protesting against “Israel’s occupation & aggression towards Palestinians”! Everything you said is true. And very sad.

  • I could cry a sea of tears at this point. Thank you for putting it all together.

  • You are right on target. It is so scary. They want to finish what that horrible person Hitler didn’t finish. Am also frightened that Hamas will come to America again.

  • You said that beautifully and I think that we all feel that way to an extent. Here’s hoping that someday the rest of the world will come to accept us “Others”.

  • You are not alone!
    Many of us are in the same situation.

  • Heartfelt writing of what so many of us are feeling. Will share. Thank you!

  • Eileen Weinstein

    This says it all. Exactly how I am feeling. Shared! Thank you.

  • Michael Ostroff

    Kol haKavod Arlene for expressing your passion and commitment for our people, the Jewish people, using such articulate and compelling prose. We stand with you arm in arm, raising our voices to share what is right with the hope that humanity will embrace the goodness that truly exists in ALL people. Joining together we strive to make all of the evil, lies, hate, and injustice disappear.

  • Marilyn Mullner

    I too truly believe that we are all brothers and sisters no matter our race or religion. We need to show kindness and love to try and stop all the hatred in this world. It hurts my heart to hear you say that you feel like you are an Other. I know you as a sweet, caring and loving person. I hope this article that you have written will open the eyes of others. I have many Jewish friends and I do care about them. Please don’t feel alone.

  • I wish everyone would read and share this. So much important information.

  • Arlene, as you know I am not a regular “blog” reader but I am thankful that I read THIS blog of yours! I too am worried for the future of Israel & “our people”!
    Thank you for calling a spade a spade & I say to our non-Jewish friends…”We see you & we are watching to see who speaks out for us… “the others”!

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