Thursday, October 31, 2013

what do Jews think? What do YOU think?

Max Blumenthal has come out with a new book, Goliath, that offers an unblinking look at how low things have sunk in Israel. I have yet to read it, but it is generating outrage by the ever-ready defenders of everything Israel is or does. As always, online discussions start about Zionism, how do Jews feel about it? Here is a comment I posted on Richard Silverstein's blog Tikkun Olam.

Harriet Beecher Stowe caused an uproar with the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an account, though fictional, of what was going on inside the Old South based on what she had been told by those who knew. Perhaps Max can accomplish something similar with his non-fiction, all the more powerful for that.
Absolute power corrupts and Israel shows how. Protected in every way (financially, politically, militarily) there is no even minimally effective check on Israeli power, Hezbollah and HAMAS notwithstanding, so it is running wild as would any country (or person) invincible to opposition, bulldozing, both literally and figuratively, its way as extremism morphs to the new norm.
I am weary of discussions of the varieties of Jewish thought on Zionism, because my concern is with the welfare of the United States. I am outraged that the world’s superpower of 300 million people is lead by the nose, starting with Harry Truman, interrupted briefly by Eisenhower, but in the last decades continually taking mincing steps so as not to offend zealotry at the head of a population the size of NYC on the other side of the world, zealotry that cares nothing for democracy or human rights and pursues openly, relentlessly, brazenly, a program of exclusion and expulsion, thumbing its nose at the world and then lecturing us all about what it will and will not do. It is not just the mouse that roared, it is the mouse that became overlord.
The behavior of the settlers, the ripping of the Palestinians, from 1947 onward, from their land are anathema to all that America claims to hold dear. The U.S. support of Israel is shameful as we play the hypocritical fool before the world. The sooner the invincible shield that slaps down every criticism of Israel is pierced, the better. You go, Max!
Max will be appearing nearby next month. I intend to go listen to what he has to say because of his courage and willingness to take the heat. I hope to see a packed room and to shake his hand at the conclusion. He puts religion to the side and looks at injustice, something we all can and should do. If my brother beats a man senseless, do I ignore it and rationalize it? We should all put greater or lesser family aside and look without blinking at what we do either actively, or as millions of American citizens are doing, passively, allowing the connected and wealthy to act in our names.

Monday, October 21, 2013

the Christian Science Monitor gets a little bolder

You know, of course, that the so-called "Peace Talks" that are continually sought by US administrations over the years are a sham, a cover for continuing Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The Christian Science Monitor has come out with a series of very informative slides that detail the surges in settlement activity that occur when "Peace Talks" are supposedly being pursued. If only this kind of coverage of facts about Israel's actions were routine instead of rare.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

the sweet sound of reason

Here is the first part of a wonderfully clear explanation of the origin of the problem in Palestine. A tutorial for Americans