HOLOCAUST NOW: THE NIGGERS OF GAZA … AND HERE

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By Gary Corseri

“And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed?—Men, women, and children whose cry is, “Our Lord!  Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; And raise for us from Thee one who will help.” 

 –The Holy Koran, Sura IV, Verse 75

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. … You have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.”

–The Gospel of Matthew, 23: 13-27

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners do the same.

–The Gospel of Luke, 6: 27

JUST BEFORE THE EXIT OF THE RESTAURANT, my thoughtful, septuagenerian Leftist writer-friend is contemplating a poster of “The Rat Pack”–Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lawford and Bishop in front of the old Sands hotel in Vegas, circa late 50’s/early 60’s.  They’re all slim and young, hip and cool, smiling–and I comment, “The good old days! … Looks innocent now, doesn’t it?”

And he answers, “Are things worse now—or do we just know more about what’s going on … so they seem worse?”

“They are worse,” I aver, “because we know more—and because it is now.”

The tyranny of now!  The poignancy of it.  The brilliance of it.  Its fleeting beauty and its searing pain that notches itself into the psyche of the race, scours the memory and transfixes the future.  “Too crowding, too confusing,” Frost wrote.  “Too present to imagine.”  The Now forever transcending Now.

Just before the exit of the restaurant, my thoughtful, septuagenerian Leftist writer-friend is contemplating a poster of “The Rat Pack”–Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lawford and Bishop in front of the old Sands hotel in Vegas, circa late 50’s/early 60’s.  They’re all slim and young, hip and cool, smiling–and I comment, “The good old days! … Looks innocent now, doesn’t it?”

It’s not just Santayana’s well-worn dictum about not learning the lessons of the past and having to repeat them.  It is living long enough to watch the grotesque patterns constantly repeating themselves—an insane kaleidoscope of blood, gore, stupidity and treachery; a Mandelbrot set where Satan himself is the miniscule jester, infinitely repeating, dancing madly in the background of our lizard brains.

The Holocaust monopoly is over

Whatever else it may achieve, Israel’s onslaught against women, children and the ridiculously mis-matched rag-tag “army” of Hamas men who are trying to protect them—whatever else it may accomplish, it has done this: It has destroyed the 60-year plus rationale of the Holocaust as Israel’s raison d’etre.  The Zionist state has ensured that any claims it may have had against a war-weary world that “allowed” the Holocaust to happen must now be cancelled.  Whatever moral high-ground Jews may have had to carve out of the Ottoman Empire a piece of their ancient kingdoms of Judah and Israel is now ground turning to sludge beneath their war boots, their tanks, their US-paid-for F-16’s, their naval bombardments, their expansionist settlements, their apartheid policies. 

I am not one to deny the Holocaust of the Jews (though research suggests ample reasons for questioning the numbers).  One of the enduring horrors of the present state-terrorism against a practically defenceless population is that it has made “The Holocaust” irrelevant.  There is no more Holocaust with a capital “H”!  More than 60 years after the end of the holocaust of the Second World War—some 50 million dead; nearly 80 years after the holocaust of the First World War—some 20 million dead; more than  a century after half a millennium of Euro-American holocausts against the natives of the Americas, Africa and Asia—100s of millions dead—we reach a forlorn conclusion: whatever else the attributes of the tool-using ape—the one that built the spires of Notre Dame, lofted the “St Mathew’s Passion” and erected the sublime scaffolding of the “Tao Te Ching”–, whatever else you may say about us, say this: We are a holocaust-making species.  We’re not only genocidal, we appear to be geocidal, too.  (Not all, of course; only the worst of us: most of our politicians, businessmen, preachers and entertainers!)  While the names, nationalities, colors of our victims change with the generations, this central fact remains: powerful fanatics can always adduce imperatives to justify their rampages against the herded, far less powerful masses.  And, yes, what the Zionist state is doing in Gaza now is a holocaust in the most degrading tradition of that horror genre! 

If we recognize this little Satan dancing within our limbic systems—this tribal Id-itching for power and control—one next wonders if the sane, peaceful majority of our species can ever succeed in straight-jacketing the lethal maniacs?  The way the question was framed when I was a kid in post-WW II and fin-tailed-cars-America was this: Where were the “Good” Germans?  Next: Didn’t they know what was happening?  Couldn’t they have stopped it?  And if they knew, and did not stop the gaseous slaughters—weren’t they guilty, too?  (And implied, therefore: Didn’t they deserve Dresden and the rest?)  And if they did not know … shouldn’t they have known?  And weren’t they guilty for not knowing?  (Hannah Arendt, contemplating the accountant/owlish demeanor of Adolf Eichman even invented a term for the guilt of not-knowing and not caring to know: “the banality of evil.”)  Now, should we not ask, Where are the Good Jews? 

The Missing Good Jews

In fact, there are many “Good Jews” who are as disgusted with the steel-toed boots of Zionism as are their Gentile kindred.  In fact, they are apt to feel more kinship with the uncircumcised Gentiles (and their Shiksas) than with their Bible-thumping, war-drumming cohorts who have exchanged helmets for yarmulkas.  In fact, many Semitic children of Abraham and Sarah and Abraham and Hagar are wondering: Where did these Ashkenazi fanatics come from and how did they seize control of our religion, our politics, our very identities?

One place one is not going to find “Good Jews” is in the US Congress, especially the Senate.  According to Wikipedia, the US Senate is 14% Jewish (out of a total US population of 1.4 % Jewish!)  A chosen people, indeed, but what combination of  international financing, media control and political corruption accounts for such divine choosing?  (Just for fun, check out the number of Blacks in that exclusivist club: In 2005 when Barack Obama defeated the voluble but vacant Alan Keyes for the Illinois seat, he became the 5th African-American senator in US history.  As of now, it remains to be seen whether Ron the Hair-guy’s choice of Ron Burris to fill Obama’s seat will bring the number of our black senators to the grand total of 1 (out of a total US population of about 14%!).

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Obama’s conspicuous silence on the Gaza question is eloquent in what it says about the man’s mettle and repugnant willingness to play by the accepted canons of the empire. Obama’s utter servility to the Jewish Lobby should surprise no one, as it is by now standard operating procedure for any ambitious politician on either side of aisle. 

But not to worry!  As Veep-Elect Joe Biden famously declared: “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist!”  Which means what exactly?  Perhaps it means that whoever hoped for “change we can believe in” had better plant a few flowers at Paul Wellstone’s grave and pray for a resurrection.  It means that the complexion of our president may change, but the Anglo-American-Zionist imperialist alliance that has bullied, ransacked, raped and murdered with a fair bit of impunity for some six decades now—that alliance is alive and well and still strutting at Balmoral Castle, Crawford Texas and in Bernie Madoff’s penthouse (at least for now).

It also means that Joe Biden can give Majority Leader Harry Reid a good run for his money as the dumbest politician in America today.  Justifying the US Senate’s unanimous resolution to support Israel “in its conflict with Hamas,” the Good Mormon earnestly asked all Americans to consider how we would respond if Canada or Mexico were lobbing rockets at Buffalo, New York or San Antonio?  Wouldn’t we respond just as the noble Israelis?  Aside from the fact that most “Good Americans” don’t know the difference between a Zionist and a cinnamon twist, someone had best give Pastor Reid a brush-up course in Analogies.101.  While Mexico may have weighty, recrudescent reasons to lob rockets our way, there is a considerable, rather inhospitable desert between our borders, and as long as their own crapulous politicoes can use the porous borders as a release valve to vent the steam of over-population, I believe we are fairly safe.  And, even if a few jobless mariachi crooners suddenly go loco and fire a few rockets into the Salton Sea, would we then have the right to incinerate every man, woman, child and burro in greater Guadalajara?  As for Canada—the main reason they have for sending rockets our way would be the inane TV shows we send their way.  But we can probably rest easy.  “Law and Order” is not a real casus belli.

VP-elect Joe Biden is legendary for his personal ambition and willingness to do the Pentagon’s dirty business. A company man to the hilt, Biden, for all his vaunted sophistication, remains an unreconstructed hawk and a worshipper of America’s bizarre brand of smug  “exceptionalism”.  In the VEEP’s view, such putative superiority amply justifies our “right” to do as we please on the world stage, without much regard for the opinions of mankind.

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It is hard not to be cynical when one drives down Old Georgetown Road in the affluent D.C. suburb of Bethesda and sees a huge banner in front of a synagogue proclaiming, “We Support Israel!”  First thought—a la Biden—what exactly does that mean?  I have noticed this sign for several months now and each time I see it I wonder if there might be an amendment or two.  And, each time, I sadly observe no refinement of the original impulse.  The banneristas are what I lik e to call “Up to a Point” people.  They reach some comfortable conclusion then will not go beyond it.  They will kill and die, torture and be tortured to maintain that psychological comfort zone.  If we were alien beings observing the phenomenon from space, we might shake our bulbous, gray heads and fly on.  Unfortunately, the un-brain-dead among us are left dreading the next object of the proclamationists’ contemplation.

Second appertaining thought: Didn’t we use to have some laws and some consensus about the separation of Church (read synagogue, temple, mosque and shrine) and State?  If the banneristas want to declare their allegiance to a foreign power in a my-country-right-or-wrong sort of jingoistic way, haven’t they broken at least one covenant with the rest of the community in which they flourish?  Basically, if they insist on taking political positions—and what else are they doing?—can’t the rest of us start taxing them?  Can’t we make a fuss?  There must be a God-awful lot of tax moolah to be had from all those rattling collection plates and Bingo nights.  (Not to mention Bernie Madoff type charities.)

A campaign to tax the warmongering churches and synagogues is one way we can begin to take back our world.  And on that subject, we might wonder just how much of our tax dollars in our sinking US economy has been flushed down the porcelain bowl while supporting the Zionist entity’s acquisition and utilization of weapons of mass destruction?  Since Anwar Sadat played footsie with Menachem Begin, there’s been an overt transfer of wealth of two billion a year in “foreign aid” to Israel and one billion a year to our favorite living mummy, Mubarak.  A billion here and a billion there is real money—but it’s a pyramid of beans when compared to the covert aid in military equipment, training and intelligence.  What if cheated, foreclosed-upon Americans, without health care, with lousy schools and a crumbling infrastructure, stopped hemorrhaging tax dollars to the murderous war-machinery of the American-Zionist empire? 

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IDF soldiers prepare for an assault on the periphery of Gaza.

If one needs anger and disgust to fire up the movement take a quick look at these US Representatives primping, preening and expostulating before the Israeli media of Ha’aretz, etc.: 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054234.html 

(Frankly, I could not get beyond looking up the nose of Henry Waxman looking down his nose at the camera!)  What are we paying these jackasses for?  Have they made the world safe for democracy?  Have they added an iota of humanity to the eternal struggle for light, truth, peace and understanding?  Can we fire them?  Can we rise up in rebellion? Can we stop being herded like cattle to election booths in order to pull levers for the sake of meaningless slogans that do not save a single child from these days of infamy?

Among the terrible pictures that I have seen on the Web, pictures that Palestinians and friends of Palestine have sent me, the most terrible was not of shattered, mutilated bodies, of blasted lives and unendurable pain.  The most terrible was a picture of young Israelis standing within their secure borders (of occupied Palestine!) looking at the devastation being visited on the terrified civilians of Gaza a couple of miles away.  And the unremitting horror of that image was that those who watched the bombs bursting in air and the puffs of death rising—they were smiling.

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IDF Caterpillar D9armored bulldozer. The heavily armored D9, which was almost impervious to Palestinian weapons, demolished Palestinian houses and buildings. The obscene disproportion in weapons and equipment between the two sides —yet to be sufficiently noted by the US media—makes the Gaza operation a large-scale massacre, not a clash between roughly balanced combatants. 

I searched my memory banks to recall where I’d seen such an image before.  It was many years ago in a book about the Civil Rights struggle in America and it showed a lynching of a black man and a crowd of grinning whites—men, women and children in a party mood under the limbs of the tree upon which hung the burnt and crucified corpse.  It used to be possible for travelers in the  apartheid US south to purchase postcards depicting such scenes—and they had captions like, “One less Nigger to worry about!” 

Nigger!  Terrorist!  How easily we have learned to dehumanize a population which was defrauded, whose lands were expropriated, whose children have been mutilated.  What happens in Gaza will not stay in Gaza.  What happens in Gaza will very likely happen in New York or London or Tel Aviv within the twinkling of an eye.  We are all Niggers here!  We are all “the other” in someone else’s nightmare.  Very well, then.  Let us stand with the Niggers of Gaza and everywhere against the grinning lynch mob.  Niggers—unite! 

Naomi Klein offers some good ideas here:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/09-0

We can boycott the lunatics.  We can cut off their funding, the life-blood of money they suck out of the system.  Here’s a site that names names and provides details:

http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-israel.html

Do we really need to spend $5 bucks for a cup of latte from Starbucks so that CEO Howard Shultz can be honored with a “Friend of Zion Tribute Award?”  Must we stuff our faces with McDonald’s lousy burgers so that chairman and CEO Jack M Greenberg can work with the Jewish United Fund to “maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitor and, when necessary, respond to media coverage of Israel”?  We need a burger man monitoring our media?  There are many more suggestions at the inminds boycott site.  Let us cry out now and back it up with our dollars: Enough already!

Let us also boycott the cultural products of this insanity!  Do we really need to see one more movie about the Jewish holocaust?  Are there no other tragedies to ponder?  Can I think of no better way to entertain my date than to take her to another Stephen Spielberg movie?  Must I buy Elie Wiesel’s next book just because Oprah tells me I should?  Can we learn to think for ourselves again?

A sound way to oppose the grinning lynchers is to expose them.  Zionism can no longer be peripheral to American politics.  We need to educate ourselves and demand that it be a central topic in our political campaigns.  We can no longer excuse the genuflections of Obama, Biden, Hillary, et. al. before AIPAC—our most powerful lobby.

The Buddhists talk about Saddha—a questioning process for the soul.   We grow through experience, self-interrogation about right and wrong—not by blind faith in a creed, an ideology, a religion, a national or ethnic identity.  But, through study, meditation, good works and courage we may achieve a measure of enlightenment and a higher level of humanity.

Morality—our behavior towards our own human species and other species–supersedes any allegiance to the tribe.  Whether it is Rabbi Hillel exhorting us not to do to others what we don’t want done to ourselves, or whether it is Jesus the Nazarene expressing the idea in the affirmative, the message is the same.  Without empathy, we are a doomed species.  Those without it will always be barbarous.  Our modern “civilization” (finance capitalism with media/academic/military control) does everything to crush it, deny it.  Arnold’s lin es come to mind: “And we are here as on a darkling plane / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight / Where ignorant armies clash by night.”  Yet we endeavor to preserve our empathy because we know without it we are lost, we are nothing.  Our only real strength is in our relationships.

Is there an empathy gene?  Can it be switched on, switched off?  Can it be cultivated?  Is it there in some and not in others?  Have we been “naturally selected” over the millennia to turn it off as the warrior traits were favored over the nurturing?  Nine years into the New Millennium and we are drowning in our own excrement, wedded to the hag of ancient ideas. 

But some of those old ideas are like amaranths, always ready to bloom again with proper nourishment.  About wisdom, Solomon wrote, “She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”  And about opposing evil, exposing stupidity and acting with courage and morality: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”

Gary Corseri, a Senior Culture & Arts Editor at Cyrano’s Journal Online, has posted/published his work at Thomas Paine’s Corner and hundreds of other venues.  He has performed at the Carter Presidential Library, had dramas on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and his books include the novel, Holy Grail, Holy Grail.  He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.

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6 comments on “HOLOCAUST NOW: THE NIGGERS OF GAZA … AND HERE
  1. A most powerful article, and I appreciate the author’s sincerity and insights about this awful tragedy. His quotes are especially apt:

    “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.

    –The Gospel of Luke, 6: 27

    I just saw someone on TV on an Oprah type show proudly proclaim that “she was a good person because she did everything possible for her kids…(!). That person, and the approving hostess, apparently forgot what Luke reminds us of. But then again selfishness is so total in this culture, so pervasive, that o one sees it for what it is.

    And, by the way, here’s one person who will hence follow the author’s suggestions to stop patronizing this Zionist cultural machine. No more Spielbergs for me until this horror stops.

  2. The progressive deterioration in American cultural standards (and this country was never very intellectualish to begin with) makes it easier for the manipulators in the highest spheres of government and business to get away with just about anything. And the constant megadistractions provided by the media, not to mention facile and misleading “answers” to our most pressing problems, is fertile ground for the “grinning lynchmob.” Only a well organized movement, savvy in the arts of communication and organization can stand a chance of changing course before there is a real catastrophe at the national level.

  3. No question that the fight is totally lopsided, grotesquely stacked in favor of Israelis, esp. since besides their enormous native capabilities they have the US as an unconditional backer in arms and money. This is not the narrative the US media usually communicates since they carefully hide not only such telling inbalances but also that while it is undeniable there is blame to go all around…Israel and its brutal and often cynically defended expansionist policies created the problem. American Jews MUST start rethinking their knee-jerk allegiance toward Israel. This is key to any real changes. This is a most valuable article and I thank this organization for running it. It surely would not have been published in a regular mainstream org as it “lacks balance”. That it may SEEM to have, but it has truth. And truth is what matters in good journalism.

  4. Speaking as a Jew but not a Zionist, I think it’s irrefutable (and shameful) that there are more supporters of Israel’s wars (percentagewise) in the US Congress than among the Israeli population itself! As the author points out there are many “good Jews” who strongly denounce these cruel wars against essentially a pitifully armed population, and to enforce a program that could not be distinguished from an old fashioned Nazi “cleansing” operation. The antiwar ranks of Jews include today not only citizens from all walks of life, but also distinguished Israeli soldiers. These wars, which mirror Bush’s doctrine of “pre-emptive” war are a stain on the conscience of every decent Jew in Israel and abroad.

  5. I seldom comment in depth on pieces, but the quality of your latest–combined with my personal admiration for you–prompts me to do so on this occasion.

    As awkward as it is for a gentile to criticize Israel, it is even more so for a Jew (by birth, not practice) who has long-abhorred Israeli excesses to comment on criticism without seeming to be an “apologist.” That I am not, but as an atheist who has been a lifelong student of comparative religion–particularly as a component in the dynamics of cultural evolution–allow me to offer a few observations.

    Starting with Zionism, it is often stated that the rationale for a Jewish nation was largely predicated on the Holocaust. In truth, the history of Jews seeking a homeland has ancient roots, which grew over centuries of persecution. The Holocaust greatly increased momentum towards nationhood, but Jewish nationalism was already growing in Europe–largely propelled by virulent anti-Semitism. The Holocaust dramatically made the Zionist’s case for them. Personally, I find all forms of nationalism to be offensive, but, from an historical perspective, the Jewish case for a secure homeland was more compelling than most.

    When you say that you’re not one to deny the Holocaust, you run the risk of inadvertently conveying generosity in your historical interpretation. I know you, and such a thought would never enter my mind. To Jews and Jewish supporters, however, just raising the issue gives credence to the absurd historical revisionism on this issue. This is reinforced to some degree by questioning the numbers. Would the genocide be mitigated if a lesser number of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviets, et al. perished in the ovens? The Armenian Holocaust at the hands of the Ottoman Turks took far fewer lives, but clearly was the equal of the Holocaust in moral culpability.

    I feel differently, Gary, as relates to numbers in historical matters not involving genocide. Stalin, for example, is reputed by some sources to have killed 10-20 million political prisoners. A more realistic figure is 3-4 million, with perhaps another 6 million perishing from other causes–most notably, famine. Not that Stalin wasn’t a mass murderer whose paranoia reached clinical levels, but many have exaggerated his brutality for political purposes. In these instances, numbers serve to instruct honorable historians.

    Now, to the Palestinian issue. Even allowing for historical and cultural factors that have contributed to the Zionist mind-set, Israel’s record vis-a-vis the Palestinians is simply reprehensible. Although a nation composed principally of secular Jews, the fundamentalists have a stranglehold on the political process–with truly tragic consequences. As a people who have never been distant from merciless oppression, what psychosis would, and could, move them to exploit others. Not unlike the victims of abuse who become abusers, Israel has defiled the lessons of its own history and undermined the promise of its future.

    Perhaps no single act defines this madness more than Israel’s unconscionable disregard for innocent life. They justify disproportionate retaliation on a number of grounds that I consider largely specious, but even that does not speak to their criminal disregard for innocents–often, as presently in Gaza, of greater number than combatants. An important passage in the Talmud, tzar ba’alei chayim, expresses and demands that all life be respected (I might add that it applies to nonhumans as well), and Israel’s virtually indiscriminate actions defame its holiest of documents.

    That said, I wonder why we rarely hear about the deplorable record of the filthy-rich Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, who have long turned a deaf ear to the screams. As Palestinians languish in destitution, many lacking even the basic necessities of life itself, their affluent Arab brothers and sisters provide merely a band-aid to stop a hemorrhage. This incomprehensible neglect equals significant complicity in the massive suffering, but they receive a free pass by progressives whose pens flow freely on Israel’s misdeeds. The former does not lessen the latter, but I find this critical myopia to be of interest.

    I also find the “Jewish lobby” issue” to be somewhat overstated. Although the lobby’s influence is obscenely disproportionate to the numbers, this nation and its politicians hardly need the application of pressure to shame themselves. For example, is the “Jewish lobby” so potent and corrupt that Congress is putty in their hands, or is our nation ill-served by a morally bankrupt and intellectually impaired body of elected representatives? We went to war in Iraq for oil, but one only has to look at Rwanda and Darfur to observe the manifest disregard for decency when there is no self-interest to prick the conscience. We allow Israel to use our weapons to commit criminal acts, and, yes, partly this is due to the lobby, but more so to the fact that most simply don’t give a damn about the Palestinian plight–just as South Africa’s Apartheid meant little.

    I hasten to add that I’m not defending the excessive and unconditional aid received by Israel, but I see several several other casual factors of consequence– such as this country’s flawed Middle Eastern geo-political calculations. Moreover, ascribing virtually all the Palestinian woes to Israel does a disservice to the historical footprints that long preceded 1948. Finally, where is the responsibility of this country, arguably as great if not greater (since we load the gun) than Israel. Similarly, at the international macro level, exaggerating Jewish control of media, finance, and politics often produces more obfuscation than illumination.

    I’ve been a fervent critic of Zionism throughout my adult life, but never at the expense of other interactive dynamics at play. We tend to grievously oversimplify as a species, and Jews have historically been convenient for those lacking in capacity and conscience. Many of the “Good Jews” you spoke of, passionate critics of Zionism, cannot help but wonder if the egalitarian cause would be better served if other contributory factors received the depth of attention that Jews collectively seem to attract–too often replete with generalizations, both subtle and blatant, that have a long and sorrowful history. The result is that other, and often larger, dialectical forces frequently receive less attention than they deserve.

    Finally, you made mention of “Good Jews,” resisting what is often done in their name, and there were many more in this country not that long ago. As with all immigrants, however, “culturalization” takes a rapid and distressing toll. If one looks at the history of the ACLU, for example, Jews were the predominant force in the early years. Many of these same individuals went on to become neocons, as was dramatically manifested in the changing face of COMMENTARY magazine.

    Thank you, Gary, for your piercing cry for justice.

  6. Thank you, Roberta, Abi, Thomas, Andrei and Edward. You’ve all made excellent comments for me and others to ponder–and grow by.

    As Edward Sanders has made the most extensive and comprehensive addition, and has effectively counterpointed some of my own observations and conclusions, I’d like to work with his comments in a pointillistic fashion below, reiterating his general comments and then focusing in CAPS on some specifics. So, let’s try it!

    Mr Sanders’ first 3 paragraphs again and then my have-to:

    I seldom comment in depth on pieces, but the quality of your latest–combined with my personal admiration for you–prompts me to do so on this occasion.

    As awkward as it is for a gentile to criticize Israel, it is even more so for a Jew (by birth, not practice) who has long-abhorred Israeli excesses to comment on criticism without seeming to be an “apologist.” That I am not, but as an atheist who has been a lifelong student of comparative religion–particularly as a component in the dynamics of cultural evolution–please allow me to offer a few observations.

    Starting with Zionism, it is often stated that the rationale for a Jewish nation was largely predicated on the Holocaust. In truth, the history of Jews seeking a homeland has ancient roots, which grew over centuries of persecution. The Holocaust greatly increased momentum towards nationhood, but there already was growing Jewish nationalism in Europe–largely propelled by virulent anti-Semitism. The Holocaust dramatically made the Zionist’s case for them. Personally, I find all forms of nationalism to be offensive, but, from an historical perspective, the Jewish case for a secure homeland was more compelling than most.

    I’D SAY THAT THERE IS NATIONALISM AND THERE IS JINGOISM. WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH IN THE CASE OF ISRAEL IS JINGOISM. IN THE U.S., TOO.

    THE MODERN DRIVE TOWARDS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE GOES BACK TO THE WORLD ZIONIST COUNCIL–WITH HERZL, ETC. I THINK THE YR WAS 1897. THE LEADERS OF THE MODERN MOVEMENT WERE JINGOISTS AND RACISTS, AS ARE THEIR DESCENDANTS. VARIOUS SUGGESTIONS WERE MADE TO THE MODERN ZIONISTS AS TO WHERE TO ESTABLISH A MODERN JEWISH STATE–TASMANIA, MADAGASCAR, ETC. MODERN ZIONISTS INSISTED ON “THE HOLY LAND.” (TO ME, ALL LAND IS HOLY!) THEY DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE NATIVE PALESTINIANS ANY MORE THAN EUROPEANS CARED ABOUT THE NATIVES LIVING IN THE NEW WORLD.

    MORE–

    When you say that you’re not one to deny the Holocaust, you run the risk of inadvertently conveying generosity in your historical interpretation. I know you, and such a thought would never enter my mind. To Jews and Jewish supporters, however, just raising the issue gives credence to the absurd historical revisionism on this issue. This is reinforced to some degree by questioning the numbers. Would the genocide be mitigated if a lesser number of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviets, et al. perished in the ovens? The Armenian Holocaust at the hands of the Ottoman Turks took far fewer lives, but clearly was the equal of the Holocaust in moral culpability.

    NOBODY HAS ADDUCED ABSOLUTE FIGURES FOR THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST. UNTIL A FEW YRS AGO, A PLAQUE AT AUSCHWITZ COMMEMMORATED A FAR SMALLER NUMBER–MAYBE 3 MILLION.

    MY OWN FEELING ABOUT THESE MATTERS IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT DYLAN THOMAS EXPRESSED IN HIS POEM, “A REFUSAL TO MOURN THE DEATH BY FIRE OF A CHILD IN LONDON.” IT’S ONE OF THOMAS’S GREAT POEMS. IF I RECALL CORRECTLY, THE LAST LINE IS, “AFTER THE FIRST DEATH, THERE IS NO OTHER.” (IT WAS WRITTEN RIGHT AFTER THE FIRST LONDON BLITZ. THE IDEA IS PRETTY MUCH THIS: THE DEATH OF ONE INNOCENT IS A HOLOCAUST TO THE FAMILY.)

    I DO, IN FACT, GIVE SOME CREDENCE TO HISTORICAL REVISIONISM. “HISTORY,” NAPOLEON SAID, “IS AN AGREED-UPON MYTH.” HISTORY, RELIGION, SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY–ALL AREAS OF HUMAN THOUGHT MUST BE RE-EVALUATED, RE-VISITED FROM TIME TO TIME.

    MORE–

    I feel differently, Gary, as relates to numbers in historical matters not involving genocide. Stalin, for example, is reputed to have killed 10-20 million political prisoners. A more realistic figure is 3-4 million, with perhaps another 6 million perishing from other causes–most notably, famine. Not that Stalin wasn’t a mass murderer whose paranoia reached clinical levels, but many have exaggerated his brutality for political purposes. In these instances, numbers serve to instruct honorable historians.

    I’M NOT FOLLOWING YOUR ARGUMENT HERE.

    GENOCIDE IS GENOCIDE, WHETHER IT’S DONE IN THE NAME OF HISTORICAL IMPERATIVES OR RELIGIOUS FANATICISM.

    MORE–

    Now, to the Palestinian issue. Even allowing for historical and cultural factors that have contributed to the Zionist mind-set, Israel’s record vis-a-vis the Palestinians is simply reprehensible. Although a nation composed principally of secular Jews, the fundamentalists have a stranglehold on the political process–with truly tragic consequences. As a people who have never been distant from merciless oppression, what psychosis would, and could, move them to exploit others. Not unlike the victims of abuse who become abusers, Israel has defiled the lessons of its own history and undermined the promise of its future.

    I AGREE WITH YOU TOTALLY IN THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH.

    Perhaps no single act defines this madness more than Israel’s unconscionable disregard for innocent life. They justify disproportionate retaliation on a number of grounds that I consider largely specious, but even that does not speak to their criminal disregard for innocents–often, as presently in Gaza, of greater number than combatants. An important passage in the Talmud, tzar ba’alei chayim, expresses and demands that all life be respected (I might add that it applies to nonhumans as well), and Israel’s virtually indiscriminate actions defame its holiest of documents.

    AGAIN, I AGREE WITH THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH.

    That said, I wonder why we rarely hear about the deplorable record of the filthy-rich Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, who have long turned a deaf ear to the screams. As Palestinians languish in destitution, many lacking even the basic necessities of life itself, their affluent Arab brothers and sisters provide merely a band-aid to stop a hemorrhage. This incomprehensible neglect equals significant complicity in the massive suffering, but they receive a free pass by progressives whose pens flow freely on Israel’s misdeeds. The former does not lessen the latter, but I find this critical myopia to be of interest.

    I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF CRITICISM OF THE FILTHY-RICH ARAB NATIONS IF ONE LOOKS AT THE RIGHT WEBSITES!

    THE WEST–ESPECIALLY THE U.S.–HAS BEEN PAYING OFF THOSE FILTHY RICH ARABS FOR DECADES–AND AS LONG AS THEY SUPPRESS THEIR MASSES AND KEEP THE OIL FLOWING OUR WAY, WE’LL KEEP PAYING THEM. (OF COURSE, THEY’VE ALSO BEEN BUYING UP OUR DEBT LIKE CRAZY, SO IT’S A REAL COZY RELATIONSHIP FOR THE FILTHY RICH HERE AND THERE.)

    JEWS ARE MORE OBVIOUS TARGETS HERE BECAUSE, FOR ONE THING, THEY’RE HERE. JEWISH CULTURAL INFLUENCES PERVADE AMERICAN CULTURE. PROPORTIONATE TO THE ACTUAL POPULATION OF JEWS HERE, THEIR INFLUENCE IS MUCH LARGER THAN ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP’S.

    MORE–

    I also find the “Jewish lobby” issue” to be somewhat overstated. Although the lobby’s influence is obscenely disproportionate to the numbers, this nation and its politicians hardly need the application of pressure to shame themselves. For example, is the “Jewish lobby” so potent and corrupt that Congress is putty in their hands, or is our nation ill-served by a morally bankrupt and intellectually impaired body of elected representatives? We went to war in Iraq for oil, but one only has to look at Rwanda and Darfur to observe the manifest disregard for decency when there is no self-interest to prick the conscience. We allow Israel to use our weapons to commit criminal acts, and, yes, partly this is due to the lobby, but more so to the fact that most simply don’t give a damn about the Palestinian plight–just as South African Apartheid meant little.

    I’D SAY WE WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ FOR OIL–AND ALSO TO CRUSH ONE OF ISRAEL’S CHIEF OPPONENTS. WHEN SADDAM HUSSEIN STARTED TO PAY THE FAMILIES OF SUICIDES WHO HAD BASICALLY KILLED THEMSELVES (AND OTHERS) IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST ISRAELI OCCUPATION, SADDAM H. SIGNED HIS DEATH WARRANT. HIS DAYS WERE NUMBERED FROM THEN ON. HE HAD, IN EFFECT, CUT THE STRINGS AND REFUSED TO BE THE MARIONETTE OF THE WEST ANY LONGER. (NORIEGA HAD DONE THE SAME SORT OF THING IN PANAMA, OF COURSE, AND LAST I HEARD HE WAS STILL ROTTING IN A JAIL CELL IN FLORIDA. WE DON’T LIKE IT WHEN OUR MARIONETTES CUT THE STRINGS.)

    AGAIN, I THINK THE INFLUENCE OF THE JEWISH LOBBY IS HUGE. OF COURSE, THERE ARE PLENTY OF ROTTEN WASPS AND OTHERS IN OUR GOVERNMENT, MEDIA, CORPORATIONS, ETC. THERE ISN’T A JEWISH CABAL RUNNING AMERIKA, INC., BUT THERE IS AN ALLIANCE, A MATRIX OF INTERESTS.

    MORE–

    I hasten to add that I’m not defending the excessive and unconditional aid received by Israel, but I see several several other casual factors of consequence– such as this country’s flawed Middle Eastern geo-political calculations. Moreover, ascribing virtually all the Palestinian woes to Israel does a disservice to the historical footprints that long preceded 1948. Finally, where is the responsibility of this country, arguably as great if not greater–since we load the gun–than Israel. Similarly, at the international macro level, exaggerating Jewish control of media, finance, and politics often produces more obfuscation than illumination.

    THERE’S NO NEED TO EXAGGERATE THE INFLUENCE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE IT. IT CAN’T BE HIDDEN. MOST PEOPLE HATE COVER-UPS MORE THAN THE ACTUAL CRIME!

    MORE–

    I’ve been a fervent critic of Zionism throughout my adult life, but never at the expense of other interactive dynamics at play. We tend to grievously oversimplify as a species, and Jews have historically been convenient for those lacking in capacity and conscience. Many of the “Good Jews” you spoke of, passionate critics of Zionism, cannot help but wonder if the egalitarian cause would be better served if other contributory factors received the depth of attention that Jews collectively seem to attract–too often replete with generalizations, both subtle and blatant, that have a long and sorrowful history. The result is that other, and often larger, dialectical forces frequently receive less attention than they deserve.

    I AGREE THAT WE SHOULD CONSIDER THE COMPLEX OF CAUSES. THAT IS THE MOST RATIONAL APPROACH.

    BUT, RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY SITUATION PLAYING OUT IN GAZA. A SITUATION CAN BE OVER-ANALYZED AND PSYCHOANALYZED TO THE POINT OF IMPOTENT RESPONSE.

    THE MODERN ZIONIST STATE HAS REJECTED EVERY REASONABLE MODUS VIVENDI WITH THE PALESTINIANS. THEY’VE REPEATEDLY VIOLATED PEACE TREATIES/ACCORDS/TRUCES, AND HAVE EXPANDED SETTLEMENTS, SENT 700,000 NATIVE PEOPLE INTO THE DESERT, SEVERELY RESTRICTED THE FLOW OF FOOD, WATER, MEDICINES. THESE ARE THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES WE MUST DEAL WITH NOW.

    THANK YOU FOR THE DIALOGUE.

    GC

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