Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crucifying Monkey Jesus

That's a moderately horrible title for an Easter Sunday, isn't it? What on earth is Possum ranting about now?

The video above, (Open Salon readers can watch it here), is from an Israeli television show called "Toffee and the Gorilla".

"Yeshu" is the Hebrew name for the historical/religious/mythical figure known in English as Jesus. So Toffee opens by telling the gorilla that Jesus was an enemy of the Jewish people because, "he tried to convert us all to Christianity". That statement is just so wrong, from so many different directions, that I'm not even going to bother refuting it. But it typifies both the raging paranoia that is so typical of the Israeli Right, and the shameless re-writing of history which is their typical modus operandi.

And then the pretty Israeli girl, with her boobage nicely displayed, tells the stuffed gorilla that he'll be playing the part of Jesus, and nails him to the cross. While telling him that he's a Nazi and a coward. As he screams in pain and begs her to stop.

Umm, whiskey tango foxtrot, over?

Now some background. You know, the boring, "let's be fair" part.

This program did not air today, on Easter. The video was posted to YouTube some months ago.

My sources in Israel inform me that this is not typical of the thinking of most Israelis, but that it is typical of the thinking of the Right. While the Right is very much in the political ascendancy in Israel, (as it is here in the USA), it is always worth remembering that Israel has a fearlessly outspoken community of Socialists and other Progressives. It would be a mistake to condemn all Israelis categorically, just as it would be a mistake to condemn all Americans categorically.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Apartheid in Israel

Desertpeace has an outrageous article this morning about a right-wing group in Israel that is unhappy about Arab men being allowed to work at the same job as Jewish women.

It seems that the idea of a Jewish Israeli woman actually having an Arab Israeli boyfriend drives these people into an absolute frenzy. A frenzy which is oddly reminiscent of the racist fear-mongering which was heard here in the USA back during the peak of the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 1960's. Make no mistake, it's the same racist attitude, the same overwhelming fear of a hated other.

And yet, I cannot help but be amused by one aspect of this ugliness. These conservative Jews, who loudly proclaim themselves to be the Chosen People of their god, and infinitely superior to us lowly goyim, seem convinced that their womenfolk will find Arabic men utterly irresistible. But, logically, if they're so damned superior, why wouldn't the women choose a Jewish man?

Silly me, expecting logic from religious fanatics. By all means, go read the article and laugh at the silly Haredim.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

BP Anniversary

April 20th marks the 1-year anniversary of what is shaping up to be the greatest environmental disaster in the history of mankind. Although, to be fair, we still haven't seen the worst of the Fukushima meltdown disaster. But, back to BP.

One year ago on the 20th, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, beginning an oil spill that would eventually dump at least 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean. A barrel, by the way, is 42 US gallons, (or 34 Imperial gallons, or 160 liters). If we do the math, that is 210 million gallons of oil. Minimum. It could have been two or three times that much, we just don't know.

In the "clean-up", which was more like a cover-up, BP sprayed roughly 2 million gallons of toxic dispersants, which are so toxic that they are banned in 19 countries, including the United Kingdom.

In August of last year, a study by the University of Georgia suggested that 70% or more of the oil which was spilled, "has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem".

Rather than quoting extensively from what is, after all, someone else's work, let me just suggest that you read the article at AJE.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jesse Jr Calls It A Spade

With his usual fearless propensity for calling a spade a spade, Jesse Jackson Jr, (a man whom I heartily admire), weighed in with the following comment on the so-called "budget compromise". So-called because we all know what it really was, it was Obama wimping out and giving in to the Republicans without a fight, again. Betraying those he was elected to represent, again. Stabbing us in the back, again.

Ahem, right, Jesse Jr's analysis -

"The people paying the $39 billion price tag to keep the government open did nothing to cause the economic predicament in which we find ourselves. Yet the very people who negotiated tonight’s deal are the same people who rewarded the most fortunate in our society with over $800 billion in tax cuts last December."

Oh yes, I love it. Eloquent, succinct, and most of all, true.

Read the full story at Crew of 42, a blog following the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, or CBC.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Gold and The Stone

Given how harshly and frequently I slam Israel, you might find this hard to believe, but I was once an ardent Zionist. Before I learned the truth. And yet there is still a part of me that is deeply saddened by what has become of Israel.

Thus it brings me great joy to encounter a Righteous Jew (irony intended) among the fascists who inhabit and support Occupied Palestine today. Mind you, Juliano Mer-Khamis was such a man, and what it got him was dead, but let's skip over that ugly little fact for the purposes of this scribble, shall we?

Another such righteous man, (and who am I to measure degrees in such things?), is Uri Avnery, who has written a bitingly insightful analysis of Judge Richard Goldstone's recent "recanting" of the UN report bearing his name. Note that this is a weekly column, so if you follow that link more than a few days after I write this, you'll have to page down and find The Gold and The Stone. Yes, I know, he should have direct links to individual articles, but (shrug) c'est la guerre, non?

I have been watching the interactions between various individuals within the world Jewish community, and there are all viewpoints represented, including many attempting to stake out a moderate position in that fire-swept middle ground, such as Rabbi Michael Lerner of Bayt Tikkun in the San Francisco Bay area.

My formal credentials in behavioral science are utterly non-existent, and you should bear that closely in mind as you read what I have to suggest next. But also apply your own common sense.

Look at the way the Israelis treat Palestinians today, the institutionalized discrimination, the demonization, the cheapening of their lives and trivializing of their deaths. Compare that to the way that Jews were treated in Germany in the late 1930's, and there can be no denying the chilling similarities.

Now think about the way that abused children so often grow up to abuse their own children.

Is it possible that the Zionists as a cultural whole are suffering a type of mass psychosis as a result of some form of collective, multi-generational delayed stress syndrome from the Holocaust? Think about the raging paranoia that is such a prominent part of the Israeli world view before you answer that.

Note carefully that I say Zionists rather than Jews, because many here in the US seem largely untouched by this, and immune to the madness. But is it possible that in casting the Israelis as villains, we are doing them a terrible injustice, because they are not criminals but rather mentally ill?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mossad At Work

By now you will have heard about the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis in Palestine on Monday.

You may also have heard that Hamas is being blamed. This is a typical false-flag operation by Israel. Yes, that's right, Mer-Khamis was murdered by Jewish Israelis. Observe the photo at left, courtesy of Desertpeace.

Let me quote directly the description provided by the author of that site, "The above photo was a press release from Israeli sources purported to show Palestinian terrorists. However one of the suspected terrorists forgot to take off his star of David before being photographed."

Yup, that's right. What we have in the photo of "Hamas Terrorists" are actually Jewish Israelis dressed up in a costume. Follow the little red arrow. See the Star of David? And we all know every well-dressed member of Hamas wears one of those, right? They're also carrying US-made automatic rifles. Oops.

Now, in this day of Photoshop, what does a photograph conclusively prove? That's right, dick-all nothing. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Read about the rest of the story at Desertpeace.

Friday, April 1, 2011

NOT April Fools'

I hate April Fools' Day. Then again, I hate practical jokes. Unfortunately, fate seems to be playing one practical joke after another on us.

The situation in Japan, believe it or not, continues to get worse. Yes, that's true; I have said that before. More than once, even.

Radioactive iodine levels in the sea near the Fukushima nuclear plant are now up over 4000 times the legal limit, and officials are saying they may have a continuous leak.

Plutonium has been found in the soil nearby, and groundwater near the plant is also contaminated at up to 10,000 times the normal level. Oh, but the operators of the plant assure us there is no danger to human health. There is an EPA document on Plutonium here; it's written for the layman, and relatively easy to read and understand, so I'll let you judge for yourselves. The good news seems to be that the damned stuff isn't quite as chemically toxic as was thought to be the case 30-some years ago.

There have also been more explosions at the plant in recent days, just to keep us wondering. And the Japanese government has announced that "evacuations will be long-term", which is a de facto admission of heavy contamination.

In other related news, the Japanese government also announced that it will take control of TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is the operator of the Fukushima plant. This in the face of compensation liabilities which have been estimated in excess of $130 billion US.

While we're on the subject, let's compare that amount to something else. This whole nuclear disaster has incurred a liability of $130 Billion US. That's a lot of money. But it pales in comparison to the $700 Billion US that Obama gave away to the richest 2% of Americans by extending the Bush tax cuts.

Think about it. With the amount that our oh-so-dearly-beloved President handed to the Republicans on a platter, without even a fight, the whole nuclear mess in Japan so far could have been paid for five times over, with enough left to finance HR589 three times over.

And to think I was stupid enough to actually vote for that asshole.