‘Ultimately, we are alone’

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Knoxville City Council’s Nov. 28 meeting included a resolution painful to watch and so very, very unnecessary. Newly re-elected council member Amelia Parker (yes, we’ve got her four more years) brought the resolution, calling on the federal government “to urge an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine and to express the council’s support and solidarity with the people of Palestine facing genocidal levels of violence at the hands of the state of Israel.” Read it here: Parker 1 Parker 2 Parker 3

After raucous arguments, chanting and general mayhem by supporters, Parker made no effort to argue for her resolution. No other council member spoke. The resolution died without a second. Parker never intended to pass the resolution; she simply provided a forum for her supporters to rail at the other council members. It’s no wonder Mayor Kincannon donated to both of Parker’s opponents.

The Knoxville Jewish Alliance had speakers as well, there to oppose the resolution.

Both sides

Too many people have said, “Both sides have a point.”

No. Not really.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as the highest ranking elected Jewish officeholder, offered a powerful speech on Nov. 29, 2023, to explain how Jewish people feel about the rise of antisemitism and the false equivalency of “both sides.”

“Jewish Americans are being singled-out, targeted and isolated. In many ways, we feel alone.” … Since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, Schumer said many Jewish-Americans were appalled to see attacks against Jews simply because they are Jewish and have nothing to do with the Israeli government.

“Injustice against one oppressed group is injustice against us all.” He said Jewish Americans “carry within them the scar tissue of this generational trauma.

“Can you blame us for feeling vulnerable only 80 years after Hitler wiped out half of the worldwide Jewish population (six million people)?

“The long arc of Jewish history teaches us a lesson that is hard to forget. … “Ultimately, we are alone.”

Here at home

We need to start talking with and listening to our fellow Knoxvillians. Here’s a place to start.

Chabad of Knoxville is hosting its annual Chanukah celebration Unite Through Light featuring a concert and menorah lighting. The free event will be held at World’s Fair Park performance lawn on Thursday, December 14, 2023.

Radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill is master of ceremonies. The event is open to the entire community, regardless of religious affiliation. There will be pre-concert family-friendly activities on the lawn starting at 5 p.m. including a bounce house, games and traditional latkes sponsored by Trader Joe’s. The grand menorah lighting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m.

Nissim Black

Nissim Black, world-renowned American-Israeli rapper, songwriter and music producer, will hold a concert at 6:30 p.m.

Black’s inspirational and uplifting musical talents have made him a true visionary in the music industry. His videos on YouTube have reached more than 26 million viewers worldwide. He recorded a video message inviting people to come celebrate the last day of Chanukah.

“We’re going to have energy, we’re going to cry tears of joy and we’re going to sing together,” Black said of the event.

Rabbi Yossi Wilhelm of Chabad of Knoxville said the event is possibly more important now than ever before and hopes the Knoxville community will show up in celebration and solidarity.

“We aim to foster a deeper sense of unity across Knoxville’s diverse community and highlight the dignity of difference and the commonality that humanity shares,” said Rabbi Willhelm. “Sharing our traditions with the wider community is a powerful tool to eliminate artificial barriers that may divide us.”

The concert is free, but VIP seating can be purchased for $36. To purchase VIP seating or to become a corporate sponsor, contact rabbi@chabadknoxville.org.

Chabad of Knoxville information and quotes provided by Fletcher Marketing PR


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