Dear Jamal Joulani,
My name is Emmanuelle Berdugo and I’m a 21 year old college student at the University of California, San Diego. I am writing this letter to you to express my outrage at what happened to you and my prayers for your well-being. I studied in Jerusalem last year and would hang out on Ben-Yehuda Street all the time. I can’t believe that this sort of violence occurred there. I am so sorry for all the pain inflicted upon you, for the racism plaguing the society you live in, and for the continued suffering that you and the Palestinians endure.
We, the Jewish people, know what it means to be oppressed, to suffer, to be outsiders. When I read about what happened to you, I wonder if we have forgotten our past.
I can’t speak for all the Jews but I can speak as a Jewish person who has been taught about the equality of human value and most importantly about tzedek: justice. What was done to you was not just and you deserve justice to be served.
The people who hurt you must be brought to justice. But more than that, the prejudice which you face every day must come to an end.
I know that I cannot change what has already happened but I can promise you that I will work everyday to change the future. I will spread your story and the injustice that you faced. I will continue to advocate for an end to the occupation, and most of all I will continue to advocate for a society based on the values of justice and equality. And I am not the only one; thousands of Jewish-American youth are outraged at what happened to you. I hope that together we can provoke a change in the way our people consider your people. May you have a speedy recovery and I wish you nothing but the best in the future.
J Street U UCSD