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?

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