FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Crocodile Tears, Notwithstanding: Pathologic Israel

If CP readers have not already, please read John Wight’s hard-hitting The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists, July 31. I take a slightly different approach. – Norman Pollack

All of Israel is responsible for the horrifying death by fire of 18 month-old Ali and his father, an act not of an extreme religious fringe but a collective nihilistic atrocity of a society whose presumed zealotry on behalf of God disguises bottomless hatred for humanity outside its self-imposed boundaries. The terrain of its identity is not heaven but earth, God used promiscuously and advantageously to justify barbaric practice in affirming its own superiority. Even now, small gathering in Zion Square, no nationwide protest to demand the removal of the government and Netanyahu—of course not; perhaps fortunately, because whatever would take their place would be still worse, more hateful, exclusionary, the raw meat of militarism capable of the bombing of Iran, ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, criminalizing whatever little dissent is left.

What a horrible blight on Judaism, an ancient world religion which has brought my family the comfort and security of a loving God, One who instills hope in the poor, the downtrodden—not just Jews but all who suffer under repression. I would have thought the Nazi experience, among the cruelest, inhumane in history, had taught a permanent lesson, especially to Jews, but really to all peoples, about persecution of others, its evilness per se. But I find I am wrong; the world has grown increasingly hostile to human rights on every continent, joined by the amassing of power.   Still, this is hardly pretext for what Israel is getting away with probably from its inception (although I was too young at the time to catch on). The murder of young Ali, and the night before, 17-year-old Shira Banki, in which we see the breadth of ethnocentrism, the interconnectedness of gay rights and Palestinian autonomy on the part of a fear-driven society, fearful not of the outside world but of the presumed enemy within.

Yes, Tel Aviv, unlike Jerusalem, has a swinging night life, yet Shira’s murder also did not arouse national anger, and, truth be told, so deep is the allegiance to a repressive state, gays, whether or not intimidated, did not come out in protest against both of the murders. Ali and Shira, both victims of Israel’s own diseased interior hegemony, speaks volumes about how much Israel blasphemes Judaism, stretching now across the ocean to interfere with and sabotage the nuclear treaty with Iran, itself having only a slight glimmer of fairness given Obama’s consistent record of foreign-policy confrontation, intervention, etc., on behalf of US global supremacy. When even a Rightist administration’s chicanery and use of power politics isn’t good enough for Israel, we can see how far Israel has shifted rightward on the political spectrum. And now American Jewry appears to follow in lockstep, AIPAC and its network of supporters more vociferous and vocal perhaps than ever.

It was not always thus. In the first two-thirds of the 20th century, American Jews were known for support of two things, the arts and radicalism, both often joined and enjoying the respect of the Jewish community, reaching even to the upper-middle class, as in the case of participants in the Mississippi Freedom Summer. No longer, blind devotion to Israel translating into Adelson-style politics at home, carte blanche for Israel’s demand for absolute conformity in Israel, steady pressure on America to pursue a world course of militarism not irrelevant to the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and the restructuring of the global framework to ensure Israel’s security interpreted primarily to mean the weakening of Left governments in Europe and suppression of indigenous radical social forces in developing countries. Israel and the US: joined at the hip in instinctive counterrevolution, the world’s apathy about Israeli outrages to be explained in part by the nuclear warfare both countries represent. This, too, from my perspective, is a defamation of Torah, little mediocre persons acting like God Himself, their followers worshipping mega-tonnage of bombs rather than the Golden Calf.

Where will it all end? My lost Judaism may never be restored. Proudly working class and proletarian (even when outside either), proudly integrationist, proudly progressive as in supporting a whole range of organizations, campaigns, strikes, proudly as writers, actors, composers, putting their talents to work in the fight against intolerance and bigotry, and in the fight for solidarity and brotherhood. I write with tears because so much beauty and social decency is disappearing from our lives as a nation, as Jews, as individual human beings–for what? For a reversion to fascism, seemingly unstoppable, with America and Israel in a far from negligible role in bringing it about. There will be more Alis and Shiras, more crocodile tears, further repression, the Israeli populace averting their gaze so as not to come to terms with the evil they have created. Is there any longer a Jewish conscience?

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 24, 2019
Susan Babbitt
Disdain and Dignity: An Old (Anti-Imperialist) Story
Adam Jonas Horowitz
Letter to the Emperor
Lawrence Davidson
A Decisive Struggle For Our Future
John Steppling
The Mandate for Israel: Keep the Arabs Down
Victor Grossman
Many Feet
Cira Pascual Marquina
The Commune is the Supreme Expression of Participatory Democracy: a Conversation with Anacaona Marin of El Panal Commune
Binoy Kampmark
Failed States and Militias: General Khalifa Haftar Moves on Tripoli
Dean Baker
Payments to Hospitals Aren’t Going to Hospital Buildings
Alvaro Huerta
Top Ten List in Defense of MEChA
Colin Todhunter
As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?
Charlie Gers
Trump’s Transgender Troops Ban is un-American and Inhumane
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Just Another Spring in Progress?
Thomas Knapp
On Obstruction, the Mueller Report is Clintonesque
Elliot Sperber
Every Truck’s a Garbage Truck
April 23, 2019
Peter Belmont
The Monroe Doctrine is Back, and as the Latest US Attack on Cuba Shows, Its Purpose is to Serve the Neoliberal Order
David Schultz
The Mueller Report: Trump Too Inept to Obstruct Justice
Geoff Beckman
Crazy Uncle Joe and the Can’t We All Just Get Along Democrats
Medea Benjamin
Activists Protect DC Venezuelan Embassy from US-supported Coup
Patrick Cockburn
What Revolutionaries in the Middle East Have Learned Since the Arab Spring
Jim Goodman
Don’t Fall for the Hype of Free Trade Agreements
Lance Olsen
Climate and Forests: Land Managers Must Adapt, and Conservationists, Too
William Minter
The Coming Ebola Epidemic
Tony McKenna
Stephen King’s IT: a 2019 Retrospective
David Swanson
Pentagon Claims 1,100 High Schools Bar Recruiters; Peace Activists Offer $1,000 Award If Any Such School Can Be Found
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
April 22, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The NYTs Tries to Rehabilitate Bloody Gina Haspel
Robert Fisk
After ISIS, a Divided Iraq, Wounded and Grief-Stricken
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange as Neuroses
John Laforge
Chernobyl’s Deadly Effects Estimates Vary
Kenneth Surin
Mueller Time? Not for Now
Cesar Chelala
Yemen: The Triumph of Barbarism
Kerron Ó Luain
What the “White Irish Slaves” Meme Tells Us About Identity Politics
Andy Piascik
Grocery Store Workers Take on Billion Dollar Multinational
Seiji Yamada – Gregory G. Maskarinec
Health as a Human Right: No Migrants Need Apply
Howard Lisnoff
Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
Dreaming in Miami
Graham Peebles
Consuming Stuff: The Polluting World of Fashion
Robert Dodge
Earth Day: Our Planet in Peril
Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail