Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only shake you down once a year, but when we do we really mean it. It costs a lot to keep the site afloat, and our growing audience, well over TWO million unique viewers a month, eats up a lot of bandwidth — and bandwidth isn’t free. We aren’t supported by corporate donors, advertisers or big foundations. We survive solely on your support.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Domicide

by ADAM ENGEL

DOMICIDE

Main Entry: 1 domicile Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin domicilium, from domus Date:15th century

1 : a dwelling place : place of residence : HOME 2 a : a person’s fixed, permanent, and principal home for legal purposes b : RESIDENCE 2b

from Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Being the only Jew at a party is tough-going these days if you’re unfortunate enough to believe that whacko theory (still not scientifically proven) that Palestinians are human beings with thoughts and emotions and are therefore deserving of certain rights, among them justice and freedom from oppression. Folks automatically assume you’re an anti-Semite.

As if this weren’t bummer enough, the screens all over the room displayed half-a-million flag-waving yahoos in Time Square waiting for the bomb to drop, the ball to drop, the shoe to drop; waiting for something to drop. And it was my birthday. Almost my birthday. New Years Eve. I still had a few hours before this year of our wars 2002 became this year of our wars 2003 and my 38th waddled to me in virgin white diapers.

Now everyone knows that many of the most vehement of anti-Semites these days are Jews, especially the ones who refuse to kneel to the dictates of Sharon and his obsequious state-side “supporters” (Perle, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Lieberman, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, George Bush etc.). Still, I never should have fallen for the bait laid out by Uncle Dom, so deviously cunning in his ignorance. Eighty-year-old Uncle Dom. Self described Italian Catholic. Mind like a steel trap: cold, hard, empty.

I listened silently as he declared that if Bush wasn’t MAN enough to take out Saddam and the Saudis, the REAL culprits behind the WTC massacre, why, Old Uncle Dom would do the job himself. And anyway, why wasn’t I supporting Israel, the only democracy in the region? What was I, some kind of Arab-loving anti-Semite?

How stupid I was to ask Uncle Dom what books or articles, he had read on the subject of Palestine!

“None.”

“None?”

“Look, I don’t have any facts. But what I think is…” and he went back to his tirade as the 54 inch television behind us blared the happy flag-waving minions in Times Square. It’s one thing to wave the flag on fourth of July if that’s your thing, but on New Years Eve? When did this “tradition” begin?

Who can argue with such a brilliant rhetorical craftsman as Uncle Dom? “I don’t have any facts. But what I think is…” would later have me lying in bed for two days, staring at the wall, as if trying to figure out a Zen Koan. Nevertheless, I had to think of some kind of reply. People had taken interest in our little debate. A good number had even turned their backs to the giant screen and encircled us, perhaps hoping we would come to blows. Tough old buzzard, Uncle Dom was, and I was no kid myself. Still, I wasn’t 38 YET, and I bet I could have taken him. But really it would have been so unseemly to pummel my wife’s revered uncle in his own home, where my in-laws’ annual New Years Eve gathering took place.

To add insult to injury, Uncle Jay chimed in, “Yeah, what are you, some kind of Jew hater or something?”

Uncle Jay was one of those impossibly fat specimens of Manhood one might see chasing a tiny Philippine “mail order bride” around the set of a daytime talk show, demanding his “conjugal rights.” Real wide load. Phone company assigned different area codes to various of his Allegheny-sized flesh ranges so as not to be gypped on out-of-region calls.

“Geez, Uncle Jay. I thought if anyone would understand the complexities of the situation it would be you. You’re Irish, for god’s sake. Haven’t you ever read “Ulysses?”

“Yes. As a matter of fact I did,” said Uncle Jay, proudly. “And I believe he was one of the finest Generals ever to serve this nation. Whatever his faults as a President.”

Okay, so I was really out-gunned.

“Look,” I reasoned, carefully. “I never, ever said or would say that I didn’t support the right of the Israeli people to live peacefully and prosperously behind the 1967 borders, or Israel proper. Same way I support the right of the Chinese to live in China, or the Indonesians to live in Indonesia. But I sure as hell don’t support the Chinese annexation of Tibet or all the nightmares and slaughter Indonesia brought to East Timor. Or the Turkish and Iraqi treatment of the Kurds. You can support the right of people to live in peace in their own country without having to condone the violence and criminality of their government. It’s like I ‘support’ the people who live in the U.S., but I sure as hell don’t ‘support’ the policies of that war-mongering bully in the White House. He’s not even a real President.”

Oops. Now I’d done it.

“Well I don’t know what country YOU live in, but George Bush is MY President. He’s America’s President, voted in by the people of the USA,” Uncle Dom declared proudly, truculently.

“Well, no, actually, he wasn’t. He was granted the presidency by the Supreme Court. But let’s not go there,” I said, hastily. “Okay. Try this on for size. You ‘support’ the people of Italy, right?”

“Hell yeah. I’m an Italian. I must have visited Italy two dozen times. Not including the War.”

“What war?”

“What war?” he looked around, grinning, incredulous. “The war to save DEMOCRACY against FASCISM. The Second World War. I did what I had to do in that war. It wasn’t pretty, like you kids see in the movies. But I did what I had to. I served my country. And I was young enough to be YOUR son. Twenty years old, I was.”

“Okay, then. So you didn’t support the Italian people during WWII?”

“What’s the Italian people got to do with it? I was fighting’ Hitler and Mussolini. I was LIBERATING the Italian people from fascism so they could live free like us, dammit.”

“Right. So you admit that you can support the right of a certain people to live in peace and freedom, while not supporting the actions of their government, which, in the case of Italy, was authoritarian, fascist and oppressive.”

“What the hell are you talking? You saying Israel is fascist?” asked Uncle Dom, incredulously.

“No, not at all. I’m just saying that a ‘people’s’ will is not the same thing as the will of their government. Even in a democracy, so called.”

“Look, I’ll tell you what I know, and I know this for a fact,” said Uncle Dom. “The United Nations gave the Jews that land in 1948. It was a legal authority, recognized by the world as a legal authority, and they gave Israel to the Jews legally and if the Arabs have a problem with that fuck them. That’s why we’re gonna kick Saddam’s ass. And those Saudis who bombed the WTC. No respect for international authority.”

“But it wasn’t the United Nations’ land to give.”

“Well, yeah, England’s. But the Jews kicked their asses the hell out of there, and rightfully so.”

“It wasn’t England’s land either. It was Palestinian land, belonging to Palestinians, the majority of whom were Moslems living with, but often fighting against, both Christian and Jewish minorities for at least a thousand years. Where did the UN get the authority to give any land to anyone without consulting the people who lived there?”

“Don’t you tell me about the UN. I fought in that damn war to help create it. It’s a legal body. A necessary authority created to settle things DEMOCRATICALLY.”

“Okay. How about his. Say I want half of your house…”

“Fuck you, you want half of my house. I’ll kick your -”

“Hypothetically. I want half of your house. This house we’re in right now. I go to the local police, a legitimate legal authority, and I say, ‘I want Uncle Dom’s House.’ Now the cops say, ‘No, that wouldn’t be right.'”

“Damn right it wouldn’t,” snarled Uncle Dom.

“But what the cops do say is that they’ll give me HALF your house. That would be fair, the cops say. Now, since they’re a legitimate legal authority, we gotta go along with their judgment. So I move into half your house and you and your family can take the other half.”

Uncle Dom got a kick outta this. He turned to our now rather sizeable group of listeners and said, “Getta load of this guy! I invite him to one party and already he’s taking half my fucking house.”

“Now suppose,” I continued, “I start raising a family. Suddenly the half of the house the cops gave me isn’t enough. Also, I have relatives coming from all over who want to stay with me. So I start moving into your half of the house and making changes. Add a bed here, do some restructuring there, change the wall-paper. Little by little, your half starts becoming my half. See what I’m saying?”

“No, I don’t see. In fact this whole thing about you moving into my house is pissing me off. Let’s get back to the real argument. These Palestinians have no right to be fucking with Israel. Ever look at a goddam map? They have these huge countries all over the Arab world they can go to. Why make so much trouble over that little slip of real estate? Crazy. Just crazy is all.”

“What do you mean ‘Arab world?’ Syria? Jordan? Egypt? That’s like kicking half the Spaniards out of Spain and saying, ‘Hey, no problem. They can just go to France or Germany or, or Italy -”

“It’s the countdown! It’s the countdown!” someone cried.

“10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

Champaign popping, plastic horns tooting, hugs, kisses and another trip around the Sun. I withdrew from Uncle Dom and ushered in 2003 and my thirty-eighth year on this sad planet in the comforting arms of my wife.

“Happy Birthday, baby. Happy New Year,” she said.

Behind me I heard Uncle Dom talking to a new group of less adversarial listeners.

“How do you like the nerve of those North Koreans, starting up all this crap with nukes? We’re gonna have to start throwing our weight around. Iraq. Saudi Arabia. North Korea. Just take ’em all out, take the oil, and be done with it. You think we can’t do it? We can do anything we fucking want.”

ADAM ENGEL can be reached for comment at asengel@attglobal.net

 

Adam Engel is editor of bluddlefilth.org. Submit your soul to bluddlefilth@yahoo.com. Human units, both foreign and domestic, are encouraged to send text, video, graphic, and audio art(ifacts), so long as they’re bluddlefilthy and from The Depths.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
Daniel Kato
Rethinking the Race over Race: What Clinton Should do Now About ‘Super-Predators’
Peter Certo
Clinton’s Awkward Stumbles on Trade
Fran Shor
Demonizing the Green Party Vote
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Road Rage to the White House
Luke O'Brien
Because We Couldn’t Have Sanders, You’ll Get Trump
Michael J. Sainato
How the Payday Loan Industry is Obstructing Reform
Robert Fantina
You Can’t Have War Without Racism
Gregory Barrett
Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama
James A Haught
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality
Thomas Knapp
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture
Jack Smith
Must They be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the US
Gilbert Mercier
Clinton vs Trump: Lesser of Two Evils or the Devil You Know
Tom H. Hastings
Manifesting the Worst Old Norms
George Ella Lyons
This Just in From Rancho Politico
September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
Gareth Porter
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]