A Little Background on the Latest Insanity in Palestine
March 21, 2006
The object of Israelís storming of the prison in Jericho, Ahmed Sadaat, was head of a militant organization that took responsibility for the assassination of Israelís tourism minister in 2001. He was recently elected to the Palestinian parliament and is considered a national hero. The ministerís assassination was in retaliation of an Israeli assassination, and the tit-for-tat bloodshed continues ad infinitum.
The raid was illegal, but of course, the entire 39 year occupation is illegal. If you actually want to make peace with your neighbors, you donít start by seeing how far you can repress and humiliate them.
Personally, as Iíve mentioned previously, I donít have the barest confidence that Israel is interested in peace, unless it involves the permanent colonization of conquered land and the permanent humiliation of the Palestinian people.
Israel can have all the revenge it wishes. It has the power to wreak all manner of pain, suffering and evil upon its subject, subjugated people. It would seem that Israel cannot stand to see a momentís peaceful respite intrude upon its need for revenge; to show those Arabs whoís boss. However, the damage to Israelís psyche and soul will have far more lasting consequences to Israeli Jews than the mere poverty and physical pain suffered by the Palestinians.
Germans will feel the stain on their collective persona of Nazi atrocities for centuries if not millennia. Same for the Turks of their genocide of Albanians in the early part of the last century. The Rwandan Hutus and the Serbs will live with the horror they visited upon their neighbors for a long time. The Jews of Israel, and those who blindly support them, are not in the same category as the above, but the essence is the same. In this case, subjugation and repression of another people for sheer power and self-aggrandizement.
The assassinated Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi, liked to refer to the Palestinian people as lice; to be crushed as you would a despised and lowly louse. In truth, just as the Nazis needed to categorize we Jews as subhuman before they could treat us as less than human, Israelis could not treat Palestinians so callously without allocating for them a lower than human category and just generally demonizing them.
Let me iterate in the strongest terms that I absolutely do not accept the accusation that criticism of Israel relegates my Jewishness to the status of tainted or disavowing or self-hating or anything remotely of that order. A Ďgoodí Jew fights for the rights of every oppressed and downtrodden human being. During Israelís early years I feared for its existence, today I fear only for its soul. Every act of sweet revenge on Israelís part will add to its bitter legacy.
When I read of the Holocaust as a teenager in the 50ís, during a time when there was still a lot of overt prejudice against Jews in America, and heard the words, Ďnever againí, I thought that meant never again for anybody, that no people should ever have to suffer the horrors wreaked upon we Jews. I will never accept the proposition that Ďnever againí gives Israel special dispensation to ignore at will all international covenants, rules and norms of conduct. When the UN General Assembly votes against you 190 to 4 itís not because everyone else is out of step. Itís not because everybody hates you, itís because you are wrong. Dead wrong.