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|Israel Shamir articles|
|04/10/02 at 20:15:16|
By Israel Shamir
April 3, 2002
Sharon’s Easter War is the end of a chapter, not of the story.
This week, we learned the full measure of despair and humiliation. Our protests and petitions, emails and demonstrations turned out powerful as charms and curses against tanks. Politically correct, or outrageous, witty or rude, friends of equality in Palestine were outgunned. The US President acclaimed ‘Israeli right to self-defence’; BBC and CNN found a formula ‘in response’; and Sharon’s troops invaded Palestinian towns. They effectively eliminated the Palestinian self-rule and carried out intensive searches, mass arrests, and cold-blooded executions. In Bethlehem, a peaceful demonstration of European non-violent protesters was machine-gunned by the invaders. Local people speak of dozens murdered Palestinians, shot point-blank. Israel and the US, long managed by a single set of men, block the UN and the international organisations, while preparing the part two of their operation, invasion of Gaza.
It is difficult time, but not as bleak as our enemies would like us to think. The suborned Western media reported on ‘fighting between Palestinians and Israelis’; but, as a matter of fact, Israeli soldiers met little resistance. Why the fabulously brave Palestinian fighters did not give a fight to the invading Jews?
One answer is obvious, and it was offered by the Israeli journalist and peace activist, Uri Avneri. The disparity of force is too big for the poorly equipped Palestinians to take on the third strongest army in the world backed up by its tame Juggernaut, the US. But there is another reason Avneri did not mention: the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) hasn’t become the national symbol worth defending and dying for the Palestinians. Life under PNA remained life under Jewish rule.
It is not the right time to dwell on PNA’s faults well described by Robert Fisk and many others. I shall quote only Muna Hamzeh from Deheishe refugee camp, who wrote: ‘Since Arafat and his authority took control of Zone A in Bethlehem in December 1995, this is what he has used "funds" for in Bethlehem: to build a new police station with a new jail; new headquarters for his Preventive Security forces; new headquarters for his intelligence; new presidential headquarters for Arafat and his VIP guests; and a personal helicopter pad built on Jabal Anton, a small hilltop overlooking Dheisheh and the only natural extension for the camp, where Arafat would have been better off building a playground for the refugee camp's children. This is what Arafat built in Bethlehem. (‘Holocaust Revisited’, 12.3.02)
Muna Hamze exaggerated: Bethlehem received a fresh facelift, its roads were paved, Manger square refurbished, new hotels opened and quality of life improved in the years of PNA administrative control. Still she expressed the gut feeling of many her countrymen, from Professor Said to the refugees in Deheishe, deeply unsatisfied with the PNA. Whether they tried to deliver the goods to the ultimate ruler, Israel, or to the squeezed population, they weren’t popular. PNA was established by the Israelis in order to police Palestinian population. It was not established to improve Palestinians’ life. I doubt it could do much more.
In the unfolding Palestinian holocaust, PNA was forced to play a morally ambiguous, nay, impossible part of Judenrat, the Jewish Authority, established by Germans in the ghetto and camps of the occupied Europe. Germans had as little desire as Israelis to police and administrate their alien subjects. They preferred to give them a limited self-rule in internal affairs. Some enlightened Nazis were ready to arrange a separate Jewish state with the framework of the Third Reich, somewhat along the lines of Sharon’s vision of the Palestinian state. They actually did it around Lublin, an area of Poland with big Jewish population. It had a few names: Lublinland, Jewishland, Judenland, Jewish Reserve, and Jewish Autonomous Area.
After the war, there were many books and plays produced on the activities of this Jewish Authority. Jews were unhappy with their own Judenrat, they considered it ‘corrupt’, ‘attentive to demands of the enemy’, and other allegations so familiar to us today. But Judenrat could not achieve more that it did. Nor could the PNA. Palestinians did not receive a bout de soufflé, they were and remained subjects of the Jewish apartheid state, within or without the PNA.
Sharon’s invasion buried forever the screwy idea of Palestinian self-rule (‘independence’) on a small slice of Palestine. It was basically the Nazi idea of Lublinland transferred to Ramallah by the Jewish pseudo-left. The idea of democracy in all of Palestine, liquidation of apartheid, came again to the forefront. Do not look back with nostalgia for the days of PNA; look forward with hope to the tomorrow’s free and democratic Palestine, from the River to the Sea.
Muna Hamze called her essay ‘Holocaust Revisited’. The holocaust image has been evoked by Jose Saramago, the Portuguese Nobel Prize winning writer, who compared the besieged Ramallah with the Warsaw Ghetto. Saramago, who just yesterday was glorified by the Jewish press because of his unorthodox treatment of Jesus, became an object of massive attack. Among the attackers, there were the leading lights of Israeli Jewish pseudo-Left, Ari Shavit and Tom Segev.
Tom Segev mobilized his pen to the service of the Jewish state. “Saramago declared that Israel's actions in the territories are comparable to the crimes that were perpetrated at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. That sounds more like something he read on the inside of the door of a public lavatory than something he wrote in his books. What he said was harmful to the cause it was supposed to serve, so he also emerged from the episode looking stupid. “
Somehow I got tired of hearing this well-meaning mantra, harmful to the cause, from the Jewish “left-wing” advisers to Palestinians, from Tom Friedman or Tom Segev. I do not believe they wish this cause to succeed. And now, the practical difference between the Jewish ‘soft left’ and ‘hard right’ became cosmetic. The following lines were written by a ‘leftist’ Ari Shavit, but they could be written by ‘extreme rightist’ Barbara Amiel, Conrad Black’s wife and a friend to Sharon and Pinochet: “The things Jose Saramago said on Monday in Ramallah were not clear criticism of the occupation. They were an ugly incitement against the Jews. They were not merely foolish, nor only a statement of groundless historical fact. They were a form of bloodletting. For if Ramallah is Auschwitz - and that's the parallel Saramago drew - then Israel is the Third Reich. It deserves extinction. Maybe not all its citizens should be killed, but its sovereign institutions should be smashed. And if Ramallah is Auschwitz, then Tel Aviv is Dresden. Burning it would not be a war crime.”
Professor Alan Stoleroff well answered him: “once again there is an attempt by a left-wing Israeli to face the cold facts of the ongoing crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation. If Saramago's words, or my own Jewish words, had compared the encirclement and the blockades to the Warsaw ghetto, would you react the same way? Didn't it come out in Israeli papers that an Israeli general had urged the study of Nazi tactics at Warsaw in order to put down the Intifada? Didn't Israeli soldiers stamp serial numbers on detained Palestinians? Don't 40% of Israeli Jews respond positively to survey questions when asked if they favor transfer of the Arabs? And the carpet bombing of Dresden WAS itself a war crime”.
If Shavit insists, I am ready to oblige: Israel, this Jewish apartheid state, deserves to disappear. Its sovereign institutions indeed should be dismantled. And its supporters elsewhere turn themselves into participants of the war crimes, and into combatants to their own peril. They would not be able to claim their neutrality. The chasm is not an ethnic or religious, as proven by Jerry Levin of Alabama.
Jerry Levin--CNN's Bureau Chief in Beirut, who was held hostage by the Hizballah in 1984-85--and who these days, is working with CPT (the Christian Peacemaker Teams) to protect defenseless Palestinian children, women, and men from settler rage and violence. He reminds of “Adam Shapiro, who is Jewish, is a member of the International Solidarity movement, and works in Ramallah”. One should add marvellous Jennifer Loewenstein, whose report from Gaza came now in Palestine networks, and other friends of equality elsewhere. These people of differing opinions together with their friends take on the “left-right” block of Jewish supremacists.
|Re: Israel Shamir articles|
|04/10/02 at 20:16:12|
|Easter Offensive 1|
By Israel Shamir
The war in Palestine has become a global war between followers and deniers of Christ.
“Here in Palestine, Jesus is again walking the Via Dolorosa. Palestinians are being crucified. Palestine has become one huge Golgotha”, wrote Canon Naim Ateek of Jerusalem Anglican Church a year ago. This parallel between the Passion of Christ and the present onslaught of the Jewish state on the human rights in Palestine and elsewhere caused a great controversy; supporters and deniers jousted for a few months[i].
His words became even more relevant now, as during this year the suffering of Palestinians grew immensely. Just before the Easter, Sharon’s government began what careful Kofi Annan described as a ‘conventional war’ with jets, tanks and helicopters against defenceless civilian population. Two thousand years ago, only people of Jerusalem were present, while Christ was rushed to Golgotha. Now, in the global village of 21st century, the whole mankind became a witness of this tragic and lasting event. We all stand on the sidewalk of Via Dolorosa. The fateful question, ‘whether this man should be crucified’, applies to all of us. If we stop the execution, we shall change history.
The adversary acutely feels the fatefulness of the struggle. That is why the war in Palestine became a part of the global war between followers and deniers of Christ. It is not an accident that at the same time, the Virgin in Bethlehem was shelled[ii] by Jewish tanks; in the US and elsewhere, the Jewish-dominated media[iii] began a vicious smear campaign against Catholic clergy; while in France, a film Amen denigrating the late Pope Pius came to cinemas. Suggestively, the Cross on the movie’s posters turns into Nazi swastika.
Christendom made a grave mistake by unilaterally abandoning ideological struggle against the Jewish paradigm. One should make a clear distinction between Jews as persons, and the Jewish paradigm as ideology. Jews are just human, and deserve to be treated and accepted as human. The Jewish paradigm should be confronted and counteracted. Two important issues were confused: the question of external relations, human and civil rights, human dignity on one side and ideological difference and variance, on the other side. They can, and should be treated separately.
Christianity and Judaism offer two different, indeed opposing approaches. Their struggle is a natural competition. At first sight, the two sister-faiths are similar; both celebrate at Easter/Pesach their accepted sacrifice by a narration, the liturgy of Passion for Christians and the family narrative of Haggadah for Jews. But at the second thought, they could not differ more. Passion is a story of supreme self-sacrifice of the Chosen one for the sake of universal salvation, the Haggadah is a story of sacrificing the enemies and salvation of the Chosen ones. At Easter, Christians celebrate resurrection of one who sacrificed himself for us. It is affirmation of altruism to the highest degree. Jewish Passover has an opposite idea: it is our salvation and their death. Egyptians and the people of Canaan should be sacrificed, so we would live better, that is the Passover idea, the affirmation of national egoism.
It is not a pure scholastic dispute, but a question of praxis as well. Since the rise of the Jewish paradigm, the prosperous nations sacrifice the poor nations so they would live even better. The growing poverty of the Third World is the proof of it. Look at the figures. Between 1960 and 1980 per capita income in Latin America grew 73%, and in Africa, 34%. During the period of ‘economic liberalization’, or the rise of Jewish paradigm, 1980 to 2000, that growth plummeted to 7% in Latin America and in Africa it went into reverse - minus 23%.[iv]
This paradigm does not stop at the border; it works in the ‘core country’, in the US, as well. There, the rich sacrifice the less affluent so they would live even better. A new study, Divergent Paths[v], proved that ninety percent of young workers in the US now doing worse than they would have 20 years ago. Since 1980, only a small percentage of Americans improved their lot, while for the rest, the perspectives of ‘upward mobility’ are gloomy. In the best ally of the US, in Britain, the figures are even worse. Both these countries have now poorly educated youth and inefficient health care. In the same period of time, rich people became richer by far, tells the study; while the Jewish community’s average income became twice that of Gentile American.
In Israel, an average Jew has eight times the income of a Gentile. Nowhere the praxis of Easter/Passover dispute is obvious as much as in Palestine. When the Jews came to Palestine, they were quite poor. The British administration enacted a local statute allowing building only of stone in Jerusalem. Stone was expensive, Jews were poor, and the statute was described as ‘anti-Semitic’. In 1948, the Gentiles’ stone mansions of Jerusalem were confiscated and given to Jews, while the legal owners were pushed into refugee camps. They languish in poverty so we can live better.
In the bare hills around al Halil/Hebron, Palestinian villagers have no water, and their flocks die near dried-up spring. The spring water goes by a pipe into the swimming pool of a Jewish settlement. It is also a realisation of the maxim, ‘let them die, if we can live better’. Using the Passover idea, the Talmud rules[vi] on priority for drawing water at a well, “need of a Jew to do his laundry takes precedence over the lives of Gentiles”. It is implemented in real life, in real time, in Israel.
Theology is ideology, and there is no place for ideological compromise between these opposing paradigms. The perceived difference between the twain was stated by the sides as follows. A prominent modern Jewish scholar and editor of Talmud, Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz described Christianity as ‘simplified Judaism, adapted to the childish minds of Gentiles’. On the other hand, a grandson of a Rabbi, Karl Marx, wrote: ‘Christianity is the sublime Judaist thought, while Judaism is a sordid utilitarian application of Christianity’.
Now, in these days, we should decide what to celebrate – the altruism of Easter or egoism of Passover. I would conclude with the marvellous words of Robert Leverant, “What the Jews are doing to the Palestinians is abominable. To participate in a service where the Jews are going to say “we are victims” is beyond my ability to stomach”.
[i] see Controversy on my website Friends and Foes
[ii] See my article Our Lady of Sorrow
[iii] See ownership of media in http://www.csulb.edu/~kmacd/Preface.htm
[iv] April 30, 2001 Democracy and the Quebec Summit, Murray Dobbin, National Post
[v] Co-authors of the book are Martina Morris, a University of Washington professor of sociology and statistics, Annette Bernhardt, senior research associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Mark Handcock, professor of statistics and sociology at the University of Washington; and Marc Scott, assistant professor of educational statistics at New York University. The research was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
[vi] Tosefta Baba Metzia 11:33-36
|Re: Israel Shamir articles|
|04/10/02 at 20:17:02|
|Easter Offensive -2|
By Israel Shamir
The war in Palestine became a part of the global war between followers and deniers of Christ. It is not an accident that at the same time, the Virgin in Bethlehem was shelled[i] by Jewish tanks; in the US and elsewhere, the Jewish-dominated media[ii] began a vicious smear campaign against Catholic clergy; while in France, a film Amen denigrating the late Pope Pius came to cinemas. Suggestively, the Cross on the movie’s posters turns into Nazi swastika.
Wait, - a reader proclaims. The Virgin was indeed shelled at fifty yards, but do not get carried away. The media just reported real or alleged sexual transgressions committed recently by Catholic priests in a few countries. That is the duty of the press.
While report of every single misdeed may be true or not, their grouping lies in the eye of the beholder, i.e. the media. The media grouped the events into a single tendency, by picking separate events and creating a world-wide conspiracy of the priests to abuse children, a par with the blood libel of old. While they did it to priests, they carefully avoid doing it to the Nation of Priests. We read of ‘the wave of priests’ rapes”, but we never read of ‘Jewish financial machinations’. In such a case, there are ‘separate misdeeds of separate persons who happened to be Jews’. For instance, a small item in NY Times reported on alleged conspiracy between Goldman, Saks investment bankers and Robert Maxwell. These Jewish tycoons joined forces and swindled thousand English employees of Maxwell’s media empire. The workers lost their pension funds; Goldman and Maxwell pocketed the cash and shipped a share of it to Israel. While giving the facts, the NY Times avoided a reference to the perpetrators’ Jewishness. This praiseworthy political correctness is dropped when it comes to the Church.
The present crisis in Zimbabwe provides another example. The media reported at length about the attempted framing of the opposition leader into an assassination plot against the president Mr Robert Mugabe, but the personality standing behind the plot and/or the frame-up remained unknown. Very few papers, among them a British weekly, the Economist, told its readers that it was an Israeli officer who claimed expertise on political assassinations. But the Economist avoided bringing up a long line of politicians who were kidnapped and/or assassinated by Jews and Israelis. Among them we would find not only old cases of a German ambassador in Paris in 1938, or attempt at Lenin’s life in 1918, or assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo in 1944, and the UN Swedish envoy Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948, but fresh cases of kidnapping and assassination of the Moroccan opposition leader Ben Barka and a failed kidnapping attempt of a Nigerian minister in 1970s. The list of assassinated Palestinians would be too long for the article. Still, the newspapers did not write ‘Jews again at assassination games’, rightly avoiding generalisations. It is just for the clergy the generalising headline implying that ‘priests are paedophiles’ was found suitable. Thus, the Jewish-dominated media continues its struggle against the church, by applying double standard to misbehaving priests and misbehaving Jews.
The factual side of Pope Pius controversy was described many times: accusations of Mad Goldhagen, reduction of Goldhagen’s arguments by Norman Finkelstein, many articles pro and contra, make it unnecessary to enter the subject. It is enough to say that during WWII, the NY Times praised Pius for being the only major figure in Europe who was not silent about racial persecution: “a lonely voice crying out in the silence of a continent.”
The attack on the Pope fits too neatly into general anti-Christian rant of the Jewish Hollywood, where Christianity is typically portrayed as evil. ‘For example, in the film Monsignor (1982), a Catholic priest commits every imaginable sin, including the seduction of a glamorous nun and then is involved in her death. In Agnes of God (1985), a disturbed young nun gives birth in a convent, murders her baby, and then flushes the tiny, bloody corpse down the toilet. There are also many subtle anti-Christian scenes in Hollywood films, such as when the director Rob Reiner repeatedly focuses on the tiny gold crosses worn by Kathy Bates, the sadistic villain in Misery[iii].
“Hollywood has portrayed Christians as sexually rigid, devil worshipping cultists, disturbed, hypocritical, fanatical, psychotic, dishonest, murder suspects, Bible quoting Nazis, slick hucksters, deranged preachers etc”, wrote J.W.Cones[iv], while Joe Sobran rightly concluded, ‘Pius XII isn't Goldhagen's ultimate target; Christianity is”.
Here again, one is rather worried by lack of response. Instead of discussijg whether the Pope spoke loud enough about the Jewish holocaust, why we do not discuss and do not see movies about active involvement of leading Rabbis with the current Palestinian holocaust? Lubavitcher Rabbi did not keep quiet, but called to genocide, and his call was supported by dozens of Rabbis in an ad in Haaretz. Why a poster with the Star of David and Swastika would be condemned by the US senate, while Cross and Swastika poster is displayed on the streets? Why Vatican lawyers do not activate ‘hate legislation’ of Europe against its creators?
The Church’s desire for peace was misinterpreted by the supporters of the Jewish idea. After the Pope, while in the Holy Land, said the Catholic Church "is deeply saddened by the hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place," the Washington Post's London correspondent T. R. Reid called the Church to scrap the Passion narrative, or re-write it totally. This call was repeated by a Conrad Black newspaper, Boston Globe columnist. But the media just repeats what some Christian clergy say. Richard Harries, the Anglican Bishop of Oxford and chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, told The Times, “I would far rather people come to belief in the living God through Judaism than have no spiritual home at all”.
I am not too surprised. The councils and other dialog groups between Jews and Christians became an arena of fierce competition: who is more pro-Jewish of the two.[v] There is no reciprocity. While the Bishop practically calls his flock to renounce Christ, Israeli Parliament (Knesset) debates the Zvili&Gafni Bill proposing up to a year of jail for quoting the New Testament or even referring to Christ and Christianity in a positive way, let alone joining the Church. The Christian clergy, who gave up Christ and preferred the Jewish paradigm, should contemplate the words of Christ: ‘You are the salt of the world, but if salt loses its saltiness, it is thrown away’. They are not needed, as Rabbis would manage without them as well.
Nothing attracts as much as success, and these are years of spectacular success for the Jewish paradigm. More Holocaust museums were built, stronger became the US support for Israel. In 1956, a Jew in the US earned as much as a Christian, and the US could order Israeli troops to leave Sinai. Now the average income of a Jewish community member became twice that of a WASP, and the US administration obediently jumps the loop for Sharon.
‘Is it good for the Jews?’ was the standard question of my grandmother. A radical Jewish kid, I rejected this question, saying, ‘What is good for everybody is good for Jews as well’. My grandmother was not so sure. Now I am not so sure myself. It seems the trends and interests of the people and of the corporate Jews diverge again, after a hundred year long interlude. After all, traditionally ‘the Jews’ sided with the king against the people.
While ‘the Jews’ made this U-turn, there are many Jews who remained with the people, against corporate Jewry. They are our wonderful comrades in arms. Finkelstein and Chomsky, to name just a few, supplied excellent weapons for the people in the war of ideas. Our situation is not unique. Many Whites in South Africa choose to be for the people, not just for Whites. Many aristocrats choose to be for the people, not just for their class. Many Americans struggled against America during the Vietnam War. Now it is our turn to be ‘against our own people’, with the people and for the people.
[i] See my article Our Lady of Sorrow
[ii] See http://www.csulb.edu/~kmacd/Preface.htm
[iii] Medved, M. (1992/1993). Hollywood Vs. America. New York: Harperperennial Library.
[iv] Cones, J. W. (1997). What’s really going on in Hollywood. www.mecfilms.com/FIRM/whats.htm
[v] see Russian Israeli Christian thinker Sergey Balandin, http://www.galanet.net/~balandin/ , review of The Dialog compendium (ed. Helen Frey) http://school.ort.spb.ru/library/torah/shoa/dialog-00.htm
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