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63 years ago most Jews rejoiced over the birth of Israel. Some thought it would become the place where a new vision of socialism with justice and equality would arise. Clearly, not all Jews believed that – or in those values.
Six plus decades later, the idea that Palestinians also deserve their own nation with UN recognized boundaries has caused a panic reaction from the Israeli government and its supporters throughout the world – including the President of the United States as he opposed the idea at the UN last month.
Why the panic? Look at comparative maps of Palestinian territory as outlined by the UN in 1948, with what’s left of that land today. The maps show Israel has stolen most of it — to build settlements for Jews only.
Jews like me and my friends throughout the western world do not want to migrate to the Promised Land (Zion now equals much of Palestinian territory). We don’t want to live amidst Israeli settlers, many of them self-righteous and very superior (chosen by God?) and oblivious to or even proud of what they’ve done to Palestinians.
Decades of Israeli sponsored ethnic cleansing – forcing Palestinians from their homes, villages and land — opened the way to the vast Jewish-only housing developments on Palestinian land. Those who denounce those illegal land grabs get denounced as “anti-Semites.”
Israel, once a land of egalitarian Kibbutzes has turned into an aggressive and right wing nation run by religious Orthodoxy and desires for ever more territory. Look at the map.
Friends abroad wonder how a right wing Israeli government and its US fan club (the Israeli lobby, American Israel Political Action Committee and its offshoots) has converted the US Congress into blind supporters and the President into an obedient servant.
President Obama disgraced himself and his office when he bowed to the patrons of Israel by threatening a veto of Palestinian statehood in the UN Security Council. His world status shrank. The Arab world especially witnessed the once all-powerful United States following Israeli demands – a far cry from impartial leadership in a no-fabled peace process.
How can Obama expect anyone to believe he will promote a peace plan? Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to use those words as he expands settlements into Palestinian territory. Obama’s plan seem akin to continuing his obedience to the demands of a widely condemned (by the UN) nation.
Indeed, in September Washington sent bunker-busting bombs to Israel. Washington continues to insist on curbing Iran’s non-existent nuclear threat while while ignoring Israel’s real potential to do immeasurable damage to the region and the world.
After decades of Palestinian struggle, Obama has implied those people are not yet ready for or do not merit their own state. Is he implying they are inferior to Jews? Does it mean Washington recognizes the stolen (occupied) territory as officially Israeli property? Does he justify the second-class status of Palestinian citizens of Israel and the colonial condition of those in the occupied territories? The implication is clearly yes.
Thanks to his servility to Israel combined with events in the Arab world Obama has presided over the end of US dominance of that region. The kiss-ass Arabs (Mubarak and Ali of Tunisia) have gone into the garbage pile of history. The King of Jordan and the oily Saudis and Kuwaitis can no longer obey Washington’s dictates and hope to retain the tiniest modicum of respect from their people.
Phrases etched into journalese like “peace process,” “Camp David” and “Oslo Accords” will become forgotten or turned into sick jokes.
What Israel and apparently Washington fear is a state that looks like Swiss cheese, pieces of land cut off by large Israeli settlements, patrolled by Israeli soldiers and without independent access to its own water, military establishment or even airports.
Does Israel have a right to exist? It exists. It has 200 nuclear weapons. The question is: can the majority of people and nations force Israel (and the US) to allow for the existence of Palestine.
To such a question the Israeli government and its fan club scream “anti Semitism” a response to all criticism of Israel. This has earned me, and thousands of others, the title of “self hating Jew.” On the list you’ll fnd Noam Chomsky and Woody Allen.
David Horowitz now makes lots of money with Freedom Center and DISCOVERTHENETWORK.ORG, “dedicated to exposing the interconnected web of left-wing activists, organizations, journalists, and financiers that wage political warfare against the United States and her founding ideals.” In 1970, Horowitz, then a super leftist in love with Huey Newton of the Black Panthers and far more revolutionary than thou, approached me at a benefit screening for the Black Panther legal defense fund where I showed my FIDEL film.
“Is this all you’re going to do for the Panthers?” he asked, implying that my limited commitment meant low moral status.
He has turned from ultra-leftism in the 1960s and early 1970s into an ultra-rightist and zealous Zionist. Horowitz once scorned less than ardent revolutionaries and non-vegetarians. He now excels at changing left passion for right passion, but not for a sense of humor.
One trait that helped survive so many centuries of persecution was their ability to laugh at themselves. Israeli expansionists of course can still make sick jokes about occupying Palestinian territories, which give Jews everywhere a bad name.
Saul Landau’s new film WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP screens October 5, 7 and 11 at the Vancouver Film Festival. Counterpunch published his BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD.