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There’s a doxer in my dinner

When a young Australian Zionist saw a well-known pro-Palestinian activist at a restaurant in Melbourne, she found herself filled with more hope than hate.
Hannah Moshinsky
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bagel antisemitism

Published: 27 March 2024

Last updated: 31 March 2024

When a young Australian Zionist saw a well-known pro-Palestinian activist at a restaurant in Melbourne, she found herself filled with more hope than hate.

Dorian Doxer is not really their name, but for their privacy and my safety that’s what I’ll use. Neither did I really have dinner with them, they were at the table adjacent with their partner and child, and I doubt they would dare be caught dead with a pro-peace, left-wing Zionist like me.

Why I recognised Dorian Doxer’s face is unfortunate, and it was reason enough to be jarred mid-sip of beer, mid-meal with my family at an Indian restaurant in inner-city Melbourne on a quiet Wednesday evening.

Contextualising Dorian Doxer requires ever-enfolding circles of history. Do I start from when the doxing began? Or October 7? 2014? 1948? The first pogrom in Russia? Since the first expulsion of Jews from modern-day Israel/Palestine in 722BCE by the Assyrians?

Our history is long — and our struggle, unfortunately, is just as long. So when I came across Dorian Doxer’s prominent Instagram account propagating Israel as ‘colonial’, distributing libels about Zionism and doxing ‘Zios’, including my own family members, it came within a larger historical context of degrading, harming and refuting the identity of Jewish people.

Just as feminism is not for men to define, modern-day Zionism — born out of Jewish self-determination after 2000 years of exile from our ancestral homeland and an S.O.S to the rise of antisemitism in 19th-century Europe — is not for non-Jews to define.

And just as it is not for me to publicly vilify Dorian Doxer’s heritage and make a list of people who identify similarly, it is not for them to scrutinise, simplify and belittle mine.

I hate this war. I hate how it is playing out on social media. I hate that there are still hostages. I hate that innocent Palestinians have lost their lives. I hate Hamas. I hate October 7. I hate that feminists did not react. I hate the extreme, racist, right-wing Israeli ministers inciting hatred. I hate that some of my non-Jewish friends claim they know better than my lived and learned experiences. I hate that I sent a Muslim friend a solidarity artwork online and he blocked me. I hate that my sister wished we spoke quieter at the restaurant after I told her who Dorian Doxer was. I hate that my community feels so very terribly misunderstood.

But, Dorian Doxer, I don’t hate you.

“They have caused so much hurt to so many people”, a friend said to me, eyes downcast, when I mentioned seeing Dorian Doxer at dinner. “I don’t think I could have finished my meal”.

How can one reconcile the irony of a person or an ideology that seeks to minimise harm by creating more harm in effect? Harm is harm, like pollution is pollution, and air is air.

The Israel-Hamas conflict will unfortunately affect my future a lot more than Dorian Doxer’s. But I’m Hannah Moshinsky trying to do the least harm in all I’ve lived and learnt in my world, and they’re Dorian Doxer, attempting their version of the least harm. And while I have issues with their version, I choose to see them as a person trying — so here tonight, at this restaurant, we break our bread.

"How could a ‘Zio’ ever do the least harm?" I imagined Dorian Doxer asking.

But they never asked us ‘Zios’ — they’ve never even engaged in dialogue with the Jewish community. This lack of curiosity and conversation has paved the way for sharp and hurtful libels about my culture, my people, and offends and invades us in a manner that you, Dorian Doxer, wouldn’t dare treat other minorities.

So even when my body stiffened as Dorian Doxer walked in wearing a pro-Palestinian shirt, I did not feel hate, but hope.

I hoped that they could enjoy this warm evening with their family, and many more alike in peace, safety and privacy. I hoped there could be space for Dorian Doxer to similarly hope this for Israelis in our ancestral land as they fight for Palestinian liberation on Australian land. And the same hope goes to Israeli activists to seek this for Palestinians on Palestinian land. There's not as much space in Israel as there is in Australia, but there’s enough, if both sides seek to sit geographically side by side.

And even if Dorian Doxer did ever ask "How could a ‘Zio’ ever do the least harm?’" I would answer with what I pray for every Friday night at the conclusion of the prayer for the state of Israel at the humanist Kabbalat Shabbat service I attend (based on Psalm 122):

"Let there be peace in your homes, safety within your borders. For the sake of my people, my friends, I pray you find peace. For the sake of Judaism and Zionism, I seek your good."

About the author

Hannah Moshinsky completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics at the University of Melbourne and has been madricha (youth leader) in Habonim Dror Australia.


  • Avatar of Rana

    Rana1 April at 04:10 pm

    Honest question: how do you know Dorian Doxer never asked “Zios” and never engaged with the Jewish community? How do you know this to be?

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