My personal politics defy easy categorization.
Many would like to see me as an ultra Left Winger based on my support for environmental causes, workers rights, feminism and LGBT causes.
That evaluation is spot on.
I am also a militant atheist.
A stone Yankee from the far north mountains of upstate New York I militantly embrace the concept of personal freedom/liberty.
As a woman who survived rape and dealt with it by plunging into the martial arts I champion the rights of women to defend themselves including the use of weapons, most notably knives and handguns.
My embrace of the idea of gun rights causes many on the Left to stereotype me as a Right Winger.
Back in 2001 on September 11 I was stunned and outraged by the murderous terrorist attack upon my country.
I remember the images of the Palestinians dancing for joy in the streets, how they labeled the United States as the great Satan.
I was ostracized by people on the Left for my gut reaction to both this attack and to the Palestinian celebration of the deaths of nearly 3000 American people that resulted from these attacks.
In 2002 I lived on Long Island and often went into New York City for classes and to visit museums. I had last been in NYC in 1967 so I never saw the World Trade Center.
I avoided going to the site of the attacks, I was already boiling over with anger.
Then one day I went to a free Photoshop seminar. I took the East Side subway down to the station nearest to where the seminar was being held.
I was early and realized I had never been to that part of NYC so I walked around a little.
I came upon the church near the foot print of the WTC, the fence with all the grief messages upon it.
Had you asked me what to do at that moment I would have said, “Turn the countries of those who attacked us into glass.”
I understand the gut reactions of the Israelis to the acts of Palestinian terrorism.
I am Polish-American on my father’s side, third generation, close enough to the immigrant experience to feel a connection to family in Poland. Some three million Catholic Poles died at the hands of the Nazis along with the six million Jewish people. I feel a certain “Never Again” solidarity, an outrage against the antisemitism too prevalent on the part of so many on the far left.
As a woman and as a member of the LGBT communities I see Israel as the only nation in the Middle East where women and LGBT people have any real rights. Indeed the only nation in the Middle East where women and LGBT people do not regularly face the grossest violations of their rights as human beings.
I am well aware of Israel’s love of the United States and how it is one of several nations in this world that we can count on as a wholehearted ally.
I have watched the ultra left attack both Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren because of their support for Israel.
I do not celebrate the current fighting in the Middle East.
Indeed I wish there would be peace between Israel and its neighbors, there have been far too many deaths to go around.
The stress of nearly 70 years of living with terrorism has grievously harmed the heart and soul of the people of Israel. But they were not the ones who started the wars. They built the walls to protect themselves from numerous suicide bombers and other acts of terrorism on the part of the Palestinians. Israel was not the nation sending those suicide bombers.
Palestinians and their allies including Egypt, Syria and Jordan repeatedly launched attacks upon Israel.
Fortunately the efforts aimed at annihilating Israel were doomed thanks to the courageous IDF.
So I guess I fail the test.
I support Israel and the Israeli people.
Even as I wish for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
If that makes me a Zionist or a supporter of Zionism so be it.