Bruce Jackson (b. 1936), Self-hating Jew, undated; photography; Courtesy of the Artist

Bruce Jackson Being There: Self-Hating Jew

Monday, May 27, 2013

Throughout the run of Being There: Bruce Jackson Photographs 1962-2010, the artist is sharing some of the stories behind his photographs.Being There is on view until June 16, 2013. The catalog accompanying the exhibition is available at The Museum Store at the Burchfield Penney.


Our closest friends were the civil rights lawyers William and Margaret Kunstler. Whenever we were in Manhattan, Diane and I stayed at their house in Greenwich Village. One time when we were there, I went out to pick up bagels and the Sunday NY Times around the corner. But it was hard getting out of the house because it was being picketed by a group angry at Bill for defending El Sayyida A. Nossair, charged with murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and Israel's anti-Arab Kach party, one of the people who helped found the settlements that are now at the heart of the mess there. When I opened the door, they screamed at me, "Self-hating Jew! Self-hating Jew!" I said, "But you don't even know if I'm Jewish." (I am.) It made no difference. They screamed it at me as I went up the block to get the bagels and the Times and as I came back with them. The cop, who stood between them and the front gate of the house, looked embarrassed to be there. As I looked at their faces, particularly that blond guy with his hand raised, I couldn't help but think of Nazi jugend attacking Jewish houses in Germany after Krystallnacht. What, after all, is the difference in hatred?

-Bruce Jackson