get out of/go back to Palestine

The excuses don't fool us.

The problem is not where Jews live.

It's that Jews live. 



The “wandering Jew” trope has its origins in thirteenth century Europe. According to legend, Jews are cursed to wander the earth until the Second Coming of Jesus, stateless, as punishment for “taunting Jesus on the cross.”

The legend varies from place to place and time period to time period, but many historians believe that “Biblical justification” for the legend is found in Matthew 16:28: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” 

The legend depicts the Wandering Jew as an evil, mythical, immortal creature. Between the 1500s and 1800s, so-called “sightings” of the Wandering Jew were common in Europe and later the Americas. In 1911, historian and folklorist Joseph Jacobs wrote, “It is difficult to tell in any one of these cases how far the story is an entire fiction and how far some ingenious impostor took advantage of the existence of the myth.” Oftentimes, Wandering Jew “sightings” were used as pretext for Christians to go into Jewish quarters to massacre Jews.

 In the beginning, the “Wandering Jew” was simply a legend; however, over the centuries, the Wandering Jew morphed into an antisemitic trope and a metaphor for the plight of the Jews, displaced from their homeland and cursed to wander the earth, stateless, until the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Catholic Church responded to the First Zionist Congress in 1897 by invoking the stereotype of the Wandering Jew: “According to the Sacred Scriptures, the Jewish people must always live dispersed and vagabondo [vagrant, wandering] among the other nations, so that they may render witness to Christ not only by the Scriptures...but by their very existence.”



For many centuries, Jews in Europe lived segregated in ghettos, denied citizenship to their countries and other basic rights. The French Revolution marked the beginnings of the emancipation for European Jewry, though in some countries, such as Romania, Jews were not emancipated until the twentieth century.

With this emancipation came tremendous backlash from non-Jewish Europeans, who resisted the civil rights and naturalization of the Jewish minority. In 1852, an antisemitic caricature of the Wandering Jew was first published in a French publication. The caricature depicted the Wandering Jew with “a red cross on his forehead, spindly legs and arms, huge nose and blowing hair, and staff in hand.”

The debate over Jewish emancipation gave rise to what is known as “the Jewish Question,” the question being, what should be the fate of Europe’s Jews? By this point, the Wandering Jew, also known as the “Eternal Jew,” had morphed from legend to antisemitic trope to a metaphor for the future of European Jewry.

In the late 1930s, the Nazis took the image as inspiration for an antisemitic art exhibition called “The Wandering Jew Eternal.” In the 1940s, the Nazis took it a step further with their propaganda film “The Eternal Jew.”

Ultimately, the Nazis answered the “Jewish Question” — that is, the question over the fate of European Jewry — with the Final Solution, the full name for the Final Solution being “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” For the Nazis, it was not good enough for Jews to (1) be citizens of their own country, (2) wandering, stateless, or (3) form a nation-state of their own (i.e. Zionism, which the Nazis had banned by 1941). In other words, the problem was not where Jews lived, but rather, that Jews lived at all.



For two millennia, Europeans knew very well where Jews come from. To reiterate, they simply believed that Jews were doomed to eternal statelessness for their “crime” of rejecting Jesus at the cross. For millennia, Europeans referred to Jews as “Oriental,” that is, not European. 

The term “antisemitism” itself, coined by antisemite and anti-Zionist Wilhelm Marr, demonstrates that Europeans perceived Jews as members of the so-called “Semitic” race. In the Middle Ages, Europeans believed all Asiatic peoples — including Jews — descended from Shem, one of the sons of Noah. In fact, that’s where the term “Semite” comes from. 

In the eighteenth century, Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant described Jews in Europe as the “Palestinians living among us.” The first Palestinian Arab to ever identify as Palestinian was Khalil Beidas, in 1898, over 100 years later.

In the 1930s, Nazi Brownshirts marched down Berlin singing the Sturmlied, their de facto anthem. The lyrics include “Germany, awaken from your bad dream! Don’t give space to foreign Jews in your empire!” and “All these hypocrites, throw them out! Judea, leave our German house!” 

A Nazi-era children’s board game, “Juden Raus!” — meaning “Jews out!” — invited the players to round up the Jews and deport them to Palestine. The Nazis ironically disapproved of the game, believing it to trivialize Nazi policies. An infamous photograph from Nazi-occupied Norway depicts a Jewish storefront defaced with graffiti reading, “Palestine calls. Jews are no longer tolerated in Norway.” 

After the Holocaust, European civilians made it abundantly clear that Jewish survivors were still not welcome in Europe. It’s estimated that in Poland alone, some 2000 Jews survivors were slaughtered at the hands of their former non-Jewish neighbors between the end of the war in 1945 and 1946. Similar outbreaks of post-Holocaust massacres of Jews took place all over Europe.



“When my father was a young man in Vilna, every wall in Europe said, ‘Jews go home to Palestine,’” the Israeli author and peace activist, Amos Oz, wrote in his memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness. “Fifty years later, when he went back to Europe on a visit, the walls all screamed, ‘Jews get out of Palestine.’” 

Since Israel’s establishment in 1948, country after country has outlawed Zionism, on account that they believe Jews’ presence — and sovereignty — in the Land of Israel is illegitimate. And every single one of those countries has, at the same time, made the lives of its Jewish citizens a living hell. Without exception.

It happened in the Soviet Union, where Jewish life was heavily repressed by law. It happened in Poland, where Jews were stripped of their citizenship in 1968. It happened in virtually all Arab countries, where rioters ravaged their ancient Jewish communities in response to the Zionist movement and Israel’s eventual establishment. It happened in Ethiopia, where Jews were arrested, tortured, and hung for trying to escape their government to go to Israel.

Today, terrorist-supporting mobs are rioting in front of a synagogue, vandalizing nearby Jewish businesses, and walking up and down the street with sticks looking for Jews, all under the guise of opposing an Israeli real estate event held at a synagogue in the most Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. Apparently, not only are Jews not allowed to purchase real estate in Israel (no, contrary to the propaganda, the company holding the event is not selling properties in the West Bank, and even if it were, that still wouldn’t justify this behavior), but they also deserve to be bludgeoned in the streets of Los Angeles.

You would think that if people don’t want Jews to move to Israel, they wouldn’t relentlessly attack Jews in the Diaspora, prompting them to…well, immigrate to Israel for safety. It’s so evident the problem is not actually where Jews live, but rather, that Jews live at all.



No, I’m serious. While your grandparents and great grandparents were expelling us from their countries, or worse, killing us, now you think you have the moral authority to tell us where we can or can’t live?

Your ancestors from Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East (oh yes, even Palestine), North Africa, and/or even many countries sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas expelled us from our homes, not once, not twice, but over and over and over again throughout history. You are the last person that gets to dictate where we do or don’t live.

 In July 1938, 32 nations met in Évian, France to discuss the crisis of German and Austrian Jewish refugees seeking to escape Nazi Germany. Out of 32 nations, only the Dominican Republic agreed to take some Jewish refugees — and they did so for their own sinister purposes, because their dictator hoped to lighten the skin of the predominantly Afro-Indigenous population.

In 1938, an American Institute of Public Opinion poll found that 94% of Americans disapproved of the Nazis’ treatment of Jews…yet 71% of Americans opposed Jewish immigration to the United States. They’d rather us die at the hands of the Nazis than live in America. Even worse, in December 1945, after the end of the Holocaust, only 5% of Americans supported the absorption of more refugees from Europe.

If you don’t protect us when we are being killed, you have no moral standing to tell us where we should or shouldn’t live.

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