Monday, July 13, 2009

Gaza and Warsaw—A Tale of Two Ghettoes

Zionist Jews commonly use the accusation of “antiSemitism” to try to stifle any criticism of Israel. Howard Jacobson, the professional Jew retained by the UK Independent, is often commended by his fellow Zionists for attacking those knaves who would scurrilously attack poor Israel for killing innocent Arab kids in Gaza, a pastime they are fond of. Jacobson pleads that Jews cannot label any critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, though they never cease doing so.

For Jacobson and his cohorts, I am anti-Semitic. I am confusing racial prejudice with a moral stance to condemn Israel for its bombing of Palestinian civilians. Like most good people, I was horrified by the extent of the slaughter of the Arabs trapped in Gaza. My moral stance is not a prejudice against Jews, but is a prejudice against evil. It is formed from the widespread evidence that the conflict was not fair, and that Israeli soldiers were just butchering the helpless. Or is the death of 400 children not a massacre, but merely inevitable damage caused by the “fighting”? I object to being called anti-Semitic from a man who is little more than a verbal pimp, for reading widely about the Israeli army, which has no compunction about shooting unarmed volunteers or young children going home from school, using the weapons the US has paid for as if it were a joke, and concluding that they are wrong.

Such propaganda pimps complain about anti-Semitism whenever the Nazis who now run Israel are ever actually correctly identified. In this instant who could fail to compare the herding of defenceless Arabs into Gaza to be murdered with shells and phosphorus bombs with the Warsaw Ghetto when Nazis perpetrated a similar crime on Jews. So, Caryl Churchill’s powerful play, Seven Jewish Children, shows Jews as supporting everything Israel has done to the Palestinians in parallel with Jewish treatment by Nazis. Though the Palestinians did not initiate the Holocaust, they are paying the price. Gaza was the latest extension of the war of invasion and conquest waged since WWII against the indigenous Palestinians, who remain oppressed and humiliated, their homes demolished, their livelihoods destroyed, their crops uprooted.

Inevitably, the leagues of professional Zionist letter writers ply their media targets with grapeshot. They, and others like them, relentlessly tell the world that Israel is in the right, whatever it does, regardless of the self-evident selfishness of its occupation and settlement of Palestinian land and the barbarity of its suppression of Palestinian resistance. If increasing numbers today are thinking most Jews are Zionists, then the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Chief Rabbi, and people like Howard Jacobson can take some of the responsibility. Yet, for the first time ever, major sections of the Jewish community, even in the United States, dissociated themselves from what Israel was doing in Gaza, and in Israel at least a substantial minority of Jews freely opposed the invasion, or expressed grave doubts about the atrocity. The UK Zionist rally supporting Israel attracted less than a fifth of the numbers of previous rallies.

That criticism of Israel’s murderous attack on the Semitic population of Gaza as anti-Semitic is bizarre, but is meant, of course, to be a “big lie”, the method used by Göring. And does anyone seriously think Israel is poor, these days? That is another lie—the David and Goliath lie. Israel is wealthy. It is not militarily weak, but is the strongest power in the region, with a nuclear bomb, and a well equipped army and air force. The Palestinians have none of this, and have no prospects of getting any sort of military equality while the US plays superpower politics in the region. As the greater power, Israel can make choices the Palestinians cannot. They can choose to be merciful and enable everyone to live peacefully and with dignity.

It is a dastardly slur to suggest that there is something racist about the expression “the Chosen People of God”, an honour that has given Israelis the right to do just as they like in someone else’s land. And, if Israelis seem not to care about dead children, as long as they are not Jewish, when they are mercilessly killing Arab children and innocent passers by, how can anyone avoid coming to that conclusion. The suggestion is “outrageous” to the Zionist scribblers. What is outrageous is that the Israelis continue to get away with it. There are Israelis now who openly want to force a loyalty test on Palestinians without which they would be “transferred”! Whatever next will the Israeli fascists and their comforters think of?

A Sane Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Jewish actress, Miriam Margolyes’s family from Belarus were wiped out by the Nazis at the Treblinka extermination camp. “I honor their memory, but I can’t think about the bad things done in Israel. It’s a slur on the memory of the Holocaust.”

Margolyes thinks Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians is a form of betrayal. “One of Judaism’s ideals is to do as you would be done by. We are betraying it. I’m Jewish. I feel I have a responsibility to say:

“Look at what’s happening. Look at these people with their lives in ruins. We’ve done this. How do you expect people to stop bombing you when you are bombing them? But Israelis feel that they are the victim. They haven’t been to Gaza. When you see little boys being shot at, you know it’s wrong. We’re so used to being the victim, we’re not realizing that now we are the oppressor.” It is a matter of right and wrong. “I have a fierce sense of justice. I’m 67. If I don’t tell the truth now, when am I going to start?”

The injustice must eventually end in reconciliation, as in South Africa. But “the fact is that Israel was founded by taking land from people. They pretend it wasn’t and gloss over it, but it was. We have a responsibility to those people to repair their lives. That land has to be shared out. I don’t have all the answers, but one has to be to stop the killing, and take the wall down.”

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