Although you’ve put together quite the masterful argument against use of the Magen David, it doesn’t change its actual meaning to those who have spent their entire lives with it, from 10 to 100 years old, to all of their ancestors over the millennia, and it certainly doesn’t change its meaning to me. You perhaps want to wash away the history of what this symbol has actually been for hundreds to thousands of years to the Jewish people, but this chain from antiquity to now cannot be broken by even this most eloquent argument, despite its use by some for nationalistic purposes.
“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Indeed, the Star of David has now seemingly been banned from a march in Chicago, an obviously Jewish symbol under the guise of “anti-Zionism”, presumably the belief Israel shouldn’t exist at all (no matter that Jews made up the majority of Jerusalem before the modern state of Israel was ever even a thought, but which is a whole different conversation). I own one of these very flags, and have for many years. Not once until this conversation started did I ever consider it representative of Israel whatsoever, and the reason is obvious: the Star of David is a Jewish symbol that extends throughout almost all of recorded history; even if you believe that it indeed appeared out of nowhere in the 13oos, the point is unchanged. I’m sorry that those who don’t grow up with this history don’t understand that, but it strikes me as potently ironic that those screaming about the privilege others enjoy who don’t attempt to understand their own points of view now so fiercely ignore another’s, that of one of the most historically marginalized, brutalized, and murdered peoples on the planet.
And, of course, this is so much the point, which you recognize as well: “There is a kind of casual antisemitism on the left; the patriarchal activist refers to Jewish men only by their last name. The radical feminist uses the cringe-inducing term ‘ZioNazi’ with suspicious frequency. But this isn’t a force on the left; it’s mostly ignorance and micro-aggression from young urbanites.”
I come from a fiercely liberal family from parents who marched in the streets with civil rights leaders. I am now and always have been a fierce liberal, and was raised this way. But, for you to recognize this pervasive antisemitism within elements of the radical left yet still believe it is entirely detached from forces behind stripping these marches of historically Jewish symbols is disingenuous and delusional.