Israel Against Herself
EDITORIAL, 27 Feb 2010
#102 | Johan Galtung
Yes, incapacitating Hamas missiles is as understandable as firing them on an occupier. But the Gaza massacre a year ago is something else. The extreme rejection of the Goldstone report–if anything biased in Israel’s favor–tells another story. Israel was supported by a vote in a US Congress essentially endorsing itself having done the same, occupying-colonizing somebody else’s land, driving them to the margin and beyond. Proposing to outlaw the word naqba, the Palestinian reality from 1948 onward, tramples on another people, like the plan to build a “Museum of Tolerance” on the remains of the cemetery of Palestinian Muslims and making the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb national heritage.
And: the extrajudicial execution of a Hamas official using Western passports. And: fill in–the next (tomorrow’s?) atrocity.
By what kind of theory or theories can we come to grips with such acts? With young settlers in the West Bank, “in empty land”, picking up the English lie in what became the USA, declaring how they hate Palestinians and want to kill them?
Normal in a deep conflict affecting existential needs, some may say, with its accompaniment of polarization mentally and socially, dehumanization of the other, escalation of violence against that dehumanized Other. As such beyond rationality, the reptile brain takes over with a litany of security buying it short time at the expense of long time disaster. Escalating actio militarily and politically, inviting similar reactio from Other.
True, but short on specificity: a Warsaw Ghetto was enacted, bombing to death an enclave with its livelihood; desecration of Palestinian symbols; making Palestinian life so miserable that they will leave to rich Arab countries like Jews did to rich western countries. Humiliation-cleansing by humiliating others.
Or, adding to conflict theory and history projection: the Massada suicide complex. A Jewish version of Hitler eschatology: eternity (well, thousand years) or apocalypse. With his own suicide. Anyone in Israel preparing suicide, not only homicide? The pathological tie to Nazi history to the point of a replay is perhaps understandable. But how about simple moral degradation?
There is the code of seven deadly sins for anybody to keep in mind: superbia-arrogance, avaritia-stinginess. luxuria-lust, ira– anger/vengeance, gula-no limit, invidia-envy, acedia-no heart. Examples abound: the Chosen People-Promised Land, withholding Palestinian taxes, money and sex corruption, vengeance against their own victims, a broadening-deepening zionist colonization with no limits, envy of Arab riches and of Master USA, driven by a hatred that long time ago has eaten up the hearts of far too many.
There are two deeds to overcome these sins: faith and love. Of faith there is much, in zionism and its prophet Jabotinski. Of love little is observed, except–only maybe–of themselves.
Of rationality little, of rationalization much. A word that covers theories is autism:, Israel in its own little bubble.
The future looks dark.
I am thinking with fear and sadness of the assaults being planned many places on Israel, with Iranian enrichment as a decoy. No need to spell out, anybody versed in people’s defense against state atrocities know some and invent more. They are numerous.
I am thinking of massive nonviolence, Palestininans inside and outside Israel with tens of thousands of others marching on Israel. Boycott, divest, sanction, of course. Who in their good minds and hearts does business with that kind of country? Well, people do, some more, some less. But under no circumstance should human contact and dialogue be boycotted. Human bonds should grow.
Then, how about a coming US Republican president, knowing the massive Jewish support for Obama, sensing a double political gain: let Israel go as a liability with no political-military support, like that other apartheid regime, gaining credits in the rich Arab-Muslim world like once in poor Africa, and squandering it.
And she could have a second thought: blaming US Jews for the decline of the US empire, using anti-semitic undercurrents and WASP wishes to dethrone Goldman-Sachs (a successor to Rothschild?) Buying some years for the US world empire by sacrificing Israel’s regional one–tail, dog and all–showing who wags whom.
Who will be the first to enact two obvious steps: downscaling diplomatic relations with Israel to the breaking point, upscaling relations with a unified Palestine. Both measures overdue, given international law that has been twisted into an absurd tool.
Palestine and Palestinians are paying again and again for the German atrocities, with Germany frozen in apathy and fear of being “anti-semitic”, toeing like an understudy the US ballerina line in an obedience only beaten by themselves some generations ago.
Are today’s German politicians not afraid that a generation could emerge asking, “Dad-Mom, what did you do for Palestinians not to suffer what we did?”. They will draw a blank. A shame.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Barcelona 1-3 March will no doubt shed some light on this. And take note, what these extra-judicial tribunals do today, heavy actors may do tomorrow.
Like so many I believe in Israel’s right to exist with a Jewish character, in a Middle East Community, not as run-away EU.
And the Jewish-American artist “invincible” on Democracy Now, putting such shameful themes into lyrics and songs: rockets with phosphorous, bombing UN, walls. A woman, Jewish, anti-Zionist, below 25. Such are forces that can heal Israel against herself.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 27 Feb 2010.
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