My arranger is also my teacher and we have worked together for a few years now. Apart from setting my piano pieces for bandoneón and strings, he has turned me from a writer of bare melodies into a decent harmonizer. Give him a few decades and he'll make me master the intricacies of counterpoint and orchestration.
He's also a far-left Jew and an extreme critic of Zionism. While aware of each other's views, we don't usually talk about it.
The Tango House in Rosario
The subject of Israel wouldn't have popped up in the conversation if the double-bass player had not been what I term a "Jewish community Jew" -- a Jew who (unlike those whose life takes place mainly outside the community) blindly supports Israel and takes quite seriously weird theories about intermarriage.
The two began to argue, raising their voices and the eyebrows of other diners. Then, at a given moment, my arranger mumbled something about the genocide in Gaza.
"Genocide" is the second-most abused word in I/P debating. Some people talk of cultural genocide, or geographic genocide or whatnot, but the word shouldn't be devalued. Genocide is when people come searching for you and you have to hide. Then they find you and shoot you on the spot. Or ship you to a concentration camp to kill you with Zyklon-B. Or take you to a desert and leave you there to die of thirst. Or cut your head off with a machete. Not what Israel does.
Of course there are other ways of committing genocide. You can create conditions in which many people belonging to a specific group will die without your having to fire a shot. Like in the Ukrainian Famine. But it's not what Israel does either. Israel has prevented essentials from coming into Gaza and has caused malnourishment among the Strip's children and that certainly is a crime, even a crime against humanity -- but not the crime of genocide.
I told my arranger as much.
"I can't believe you're defending Israel," he said.
"Am I defending Israel? Or am I sticking to intellectual honesty," I replied.
After that, I thought of an analogy I should have made. If a person beats a kid, do you charge him with murder? I don't need to call Israel what it isn't, because what it is is already enough to expose its fraudulent nature -- an ethnically supremacist country masquerading as a Western democracy; a State hijacked by fringe religious fanatics purporting to be an outpost of enlightment; an entity that claims to seek peace just as it builds ever more land-grabbing settlements on another people's property.
So that no, Javier (not your real name), you shouldn't irresponsibly use that second-most abused word in I/P debating when you fight the Zionists. Because if you do, you're giving them the perfect excuse to hurl at us the most-abused one.