When you’re like me and get a new asshole ripped daily by both the far right and the far left, it can feel like you’re in a Gary Larson cartoon as a dude on a tiny desert island with a palm tree. I don’t have a long white beard, but I definitely feel the weirdo isolation—this week more than ever before.
Over the past four years, my countless posts against that malignant narcissist Mango Mussolini sparked the ire of both his cosplaying Nazi followers and my own fanatical co-religionists, who regularly went ripshit on me for loathing their beloved leader. But that wasn’t going to stop me. I coped with the stress of 45 by sharing memes and following like-minded liberals who seemed to experience the same full-body cringe at Trump’s every idiotic move. While I got likes for commenting on his racism, sexism, or his orange neckgina, members of the other team called me an “ugly jew cunt” and more than a few Hasidic followers called me a fake Jew.
Those DMs never actually bothered me. Extreme religion—be it Pentecostal Christianity or extreme Orthodoxy of my own faith—has always disagreed with me, and probably always will. I have always suspected that no matter the faith, in any religion’s fundamentalist form the true believers all ultimately subjugate women and believe that being gay is a sin. Which is why all of their comments calling me an infidel have always been meaningless to me. If you don’t believe in hell, you don’t fear the bubbling sulfur of the devil.
But that was before we were all plunged into Hades on Earth this past week, bombarded with horrific images on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a barrage of influencers, fashion brands, and random-ass TikTokers posted one-sided propaganda claiming that Israel was ethnically cleansing oppressors, I felt my blood simmering and decided to post a simple Insta story: “I support Israel’s right to defend itself,” it said, simply. “Oh, and PS to some of my gay friends who keep posting against this, Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East that supports LGBT rights!”
People I respect(ed) reacted furiously: editors, artists, writers, actors, everyone. One nutcase sent an ire-filled all-caps hate note and some mis-infographics. When I wrote her back that her Hamas-generated propaganda was uninformed, she replied with laughing emojis that she begs my pardon but she was extremely well informed because she, quote “went to Columbia!” Cool, cool, I replied. I graduated from Yale in three years.
Three gay men who I have been friendly with went off—completely batshit—asserting that I was ignoring human rights. Why would the wokesters pick Palestine as their trendy cause when Hamas wouldn’t allow them to be gay? My dudes, while Tel Aviv is packed with rainbow flags, you’d be legit stoned by the other side. Israel is the ONLY country in the Middle East with Pride weekend! Oh, and cc: Hadid Sisters: Your alluring bikini shots would go over real well with Gaza’s Modesty Police. Did you ladies and soon-to-be-sis Dua Lipa know that if you show your skin the way you do, you can be legitimately murdered for bringing shame upon your family?! The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.
In the days since my posts went up, as I shoveled the muck out of my accounts like someone doing maintenance on a sewer, I’ve wondered a lot about the chasm that I hadn’t seen coming between me and these people. I think the polarization has been so bad for so long that we all had people we follow on social media who seem politically aligned, that we somehow came to trust but who, we are now reminded, we never actually knew very well. I want to throw out a giant lobster net into the world and drag in the middlers who think like me, who are anti-racism, anti-homophobia, pro-environment, but also know that Hamas is the terrorist organization. I know you’re out there somewhere! I can’t be the only person who has a Black Lives Matter sign in my window but also believes Israel isn’t an apartheid state, who does Women’s Marches yet knows Hamas isn’t La Résistance, but actually sexist, homophobic rocket launchers we are supposed to forgive because Israel has the Iron Dome.
In the end, none of us wants to see Palestinian civilians killed. But this isn’t a black-and-white cause célèbre that some social dipshit should weigh in on without at least first learning what it is that Hamas obviously wants (and it’s obvious because they say it, all the time): the annihilation of Israel. And it’s not something the rest of us should be taking any guidance on from those social dipshits.
Look, I know it’s been a heinous year, and everyone is walking on eggshells in fear of being canceled. Believe me, I do not want to be on the same side as that human whitehead Marjorie Taylor Greene. But the other option here is worse.
Jill Kargman is the creator, writer, producer, and star of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out.