Sunday, October 28, 2012

disillusionment from the Israel of "Exodus"

The 1960 movie Exodus with Paul Newman, is a perfect example of cinematic propaganda. I fell for it and so did many other Americans, including Justin Raimando, who has written a post at Anti-War dot com that perfectly encapsulates the entire course of thinking from early infatuation through Exodus up to complete disillusionment under the light of reality. I strongly urge you to read the entire post, but here are some excerpts...

...(the imagery from Exodus) ...burned itself into my brain, and, like many Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike, I felt a bond with the Israeli people that could almost be called spiritual. Today, however – almost fifty years later – I have quite a different view of the Jewish state. Not even the musical score written by Ferrante and Teicher can erase the reality of a nation that systematically oppresses its Palestinian helots, a ruthless Sparta armed to the teeth (courtesy of my tax dollars) that is now engaged in a propaganda campaign designed to drag the United States into yet another unnecessary and horrifically destructive war in the Middle East...

Speaking of Avigdor Lieberman, who has now formed a joint party with PM Netanyahu:

...Lieberman was a member of the Likud youth group while studying international relations and political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he was known for brawling with rival Arab student groups. According to Ha’aretz, at one point he was a member of the extremist Kach party of Rabbi Meir Kahane, now banned as a terrorist organization in Israel and listed as such by the US State Department. He denies this, but the only manner in which his views differ from the virulently racist and nationalist Kahanists is his relative secularism: for example, he wants the state-subsidized Haredim (Orthodox religious scholars) to be conscripted into the army, like everyone else.

Lieberman rose quickly through the ranks of Likud, eventually becoming Netanyahu’s chief of staff, but split to form his own party when the Wye River memorandum granting Palestinians some basic rights was signed by his boss..
After mentioning the recent survey of Israelis that shows a large number acknowledging apartheid and endorsing it, Raimondo concludes...

The Israel of today is not the Israel of "Exodus." It is not the Israel of the democratic egalitarian Labor tradition, symbolized by the kibbutz: it is, in fact, no longer the only democracy in the region – it is, instead, an increasingly tribalist and anti-democratic state, a militaristic society dominated by ethnic and religious exclusivism, and a dangerously expansionist one to boot.

In championing Israel’s cause, Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts continually refer to our alliance with the Jewish state as reflective of American values, contrasting this with the "realist" view which subordinates values to interests. This may have been true in the early days of the Zionist enterprise, but it is far from true today: indeed, Israel is taking a path which can only end in the dark abyss of tribalism, religious fundamentalism – and war.

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