Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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.

October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail