By Gary Corseri
“And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated and oppressed?—Men, women, and children whose cry is, “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; And raise for us from Thee one who will help.”
–The Holy Koran, Sura IV, Verse 75
“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. … You have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.”
—The Gospel of Matthew, 23: 13-27
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.”
–The Gospel of Luke, 6: 27
Just before the exit of the restaurant, my thoughtful, septuagenerian Leftist writer-friend is contemplating a poster of “The Rat Pack”—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lawford and Bishop in front of the old Sands hotel in Vegas, circa late 50’s/early 60’s. They’re all slim and young, hip and cool, smiling—and I comment, “The good old days! … Looks innocent now, doesn’t it?”
And he answers, “Are things worse now—or do we just know more about what’s going on … so they seem worse?”
“They are worse,” I aver, “because we know more—and because it is now.”
The tyranny of now! The poignancy of it. The brilliance of it. It’s fleeting beauty and its searing pain that notches itself into the psyche of the race, scours the memory and transfixes the future. “Too crowding, too confusing,” Frost wrote. “Too present to imagine.” The Now forever transcending Now.
It’s not just Santayana’s well-worn dictum about not learning the lessons of the past and having to repeat them. It is living long enough to watch the grotesque patterns constantly repeating themselves—an insane kaleidoscope of blood, gore, stupidity and treachery; a Mandelbrot set where Satan himself is the miniscule jester, infinitely repeating, dancing madly in the background of our lizard brains.
Whatever else it may achieve, Israel’s onslaught against women, children and the ridiculously mis-matched rag-tag “army” of Hamas men who are trying to protect them—whatever else it may accomplish, it has done this: It has destroyed the 60-year plus rationale of the Holocaust as Israel’s raison d’etre. The Zionist state has ensured that any claims it may have had against a war-weary world that “allowed” the Holocaust to happen must now be cancelled. Whatever moral high-ground Jews may have had to carve out of the Ottoman Empire a piece of their ancient kingdoms of Judah and Israel is now ground turning to sludge beneath their war boots, their tanks, their US-paid-for F-16’s, their naval bombardments, their expansionist settlements, their apartheid policies.
I am not one to deny the Holocaust of the Jews (though research suggests ample reasons for questioning the numbers). One of the enduring horrors of the present state-terrorism against a practically defenceless population is that it has made “The Holocaust” irrelevant. There is no more Holocaust with a capital “H”! More than 60 years after the end of the holocaust of the Second World War—some 50 million dead; nearly 80 years after the holocaust of the First World War—some 20 million dead; more than a century after half a millennium of Euro-American holocausts against the natives of the Americas, Africa and Asia—100s of millions dead—we reach a forlorn conclusion: whatever else the attributes of the tool-using ape—the one that built the spires of Notre Dame, lofted the “St Mathew’s Passion” and erected the sublime scaffolding of the “Tao Te Ching”–, whatever else you may say about us, say this: We are a holocaust-making species. We’re not only genocidal; we appear to be geocidal, too. (Not all, of course; only the worst of us: most of our politicians, businessmen, preachers and entertainers!) While the names, nationalities, colors of our victims change with the generations, this central fact remains: powerful fanatics can always adduce imperatives to justify their rampages against the herded, far less powerful masses. And, yes, what the Zionist state is doing in Gaza now is a holocaust in the most degrading tradition of that horror genre!
If we recognize this little Satan dancing within our limbic systems—this tribal Id-itching for power and control—one next wonders if the sane, peaceful majority of our species can ever succeed in straight-jacketing the lethal maniacs? The way the question was framed when I was a kid in post-WW II and fin-tailed-cars-America was this: Where were the “Good” Germans? Next: Didn’t they know what was happening? Couldn’t they have stopped it? And if they knew, and did not stop the gaseous slaughters—weren’t they guilty, too? (And implied, therefore: Didn’t they deserve Dresden and the rest?) And if they did not know … shouldn’t they have known? And weren’t they guilty for not knowing? (Hannah Arendt, contemplating the accountant/owlish demeanor of Adolf Eichman even invented a term for the guilt of not-knowing and not caring to know: “the banality of evil.”) Now, should we not ask, Where are the Good Jews?
In fact, there are many “Good Jews” who are as disgusted with the steel-toed boots of Zionism as are their Gentile kindred. In fact, they are apt to feel more kinship with the uncircumcised Gentiles (and their Shiksas) than with their Bible-thumping, war-drumming cohorts who have exchanged helmets for yarmulkas. In fact, many Semitic children of Abraham and Sarah and Abraham and Hagar are wondering: Where did these Ashkenazi fanatics come from and how did they seize control of our religion, our politics, our very identities?
One place one is not going to find “Good Jews” is in the US Congress, especially the Senate. According to Wikipedia, the US Senate is 14% Jewish (out of a total US population of 1.4 % Jewish!) A chosen people, indeed, but what combination of international financing, media control and political corruption accounts for such divine choosing? (Just for fun, check out the number of Blacks in that exclusivist club: In 2005 when Barack Obama defeated the voluble but vacant Alan Keyes for the Illinois seat, he became the 5th African-American senator in US history. As of now, it remains to be seen whether Ron the Hair-guy’s choice of Ron Burris to fill Obama’s seat will bring the number of our black senators to the grand total of 1 (out of a total US population of about 14%!).
But not to worry! As Veep-Elect Joe Biden famously declared: “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist!” Which means what exactly? Perhaps it means that whoever hoped for “change we can believe in” had better plant a few flowers at Paul Wellstone’s grave and pray for a resurrection. It means that the complexion of our president may change, but the Anglo-American-Zionist imperialist alliance that has bullied, ransacked, raped and murdered with a fair bit of impunity for some six decades now—that alliance is alive and well and still strutting at Balmoral Castle, Crawford Texas and in Bernie Madoff’s penthouse (at least for now).
It also means that Joe Biden can give Majority Leader Harry Reid a good run for his money as the dumbest politician in America today. Justifying the US Senate’s unanimous resolution to support Israel “in its conflict with Hamas,” the Good Mormon earnestly asked all Americans to consider how we would respond if Canada or Mexico were lobbing rockets at Buffalo, New York or San Antonio? Wouldn’t we respond just as the noble Israelis? Aside from the fact that most “Good Americans” don’t know the difference between a Zionist and a cinnamon twist, someone had best give Pastor Reid a brush-up course in Analogies.101. While Mexico may have weighty, recrudescent reasons to lob rockets our way, there is a considerable, rather inhospitable desert between our borders, and as long as their own crapulous politicos can use the porous borders as a release valve to vent the steam of over-population, I believe we are fairly safe. And, even if a few jobless mariachi crooners suddenly go loco and fire a few rockets into the Salton Sea, would we then have the right to incinerate every man, woman, child and burro in greater Guadalajara? As for Canada—the main reason they have for sending rockets our way would be the inane TV shows we send their way. But we can probably rest easy. “Law and Order” is not a real casus belli.
It is hard not to be cynical when one drives down Old Georgetown Road in the affluent D.C. suburb of Bethesda and sees a huge banner in front of a synagogue proclaiming, “We Support Israel!” First thought—a la Biden—what exactly does that mean? I have noticed this sign for several months now and each time I see it I wonder if there might be an amendment or two. And, each time, I sadly observe no refinement of the original impulse. The banneristas are what I like to call “Up to a Point” people. They reach some comfortable conclusion then will not go beyond it. They will kill and die, torture and be tortured, to maintain that psychological comfort zone. If we were alien beings observing the phenomenon from space, we might shake our bulbous, gray heads and fly on. Unfortunately, the un-brain-dead among us are left dreading the next object of the proclamationists’ contemplation.
Second appertaining thought: Didn’t we used to have some laws and some consensus about the separation of Church (read synagogue, temple, mosque and shrine) and State? If the banneristas want to declare their allegiance to a foreign power in a my-country-right-or-wrong sort of jingoistic way, haven’t they broken at least one covenant with the rest of the community in which they flourish? Basically, if they insist on taking political positions—and what else are they doing?—can’t the rest of us start taxing them? Can’t we make a fuss? There must be a God-awful lot of tax moolah to be had from all those rattling collection plates and Bingo nights. (Not to mention Bernie Madoff type charities.)
A campaign to tax the warmongering churches and synagogues is one way we can begin to take back our world. And on that subject, we might wonder just how much of our tax dollars in our sinking US economy has been flushed down the porcelain bowl while supporting the Zionist entity’s acquisition and utilization of weapons of mass destruction? Since Anwar Sadat played footsie with Menachem Begin, there’s been an overt transfer of wealth of two billion a year in “foreign aid” to Israel and one billion a year to our favorite living mummy, Mubarak. A billion here and a billion there is real money—but it’s a pyramid of beans when compared to the covert aid in military equipment, training and intelligence. What if cheated, foreclosed-upon Americans, without health care, with lousy schools and a crumbling infrastructure, stopped hemorrhaging tax dollars to the murderous war-machinery of the American-Zionist empire?
If one needs anger and disgust to fire up the movement take a quick look at these US Representatives primping, preening and expostulating before the Israeli media of Ha’aretz, etc.:
(Frankly, I could not get beyond looking up the nose of Henry Waxman looking down his nose at the camera!) What are we paying these jackasses for? Have they made the world safe for democracy? Have they added an iota of humanity to the eternal struggle for light, truth, peace and understanding? Can we fire them? Can we rise up in rebellion? Can we stop being herded like cattle to election booths in order to pull levers for the sake of meaningless slogans that do not save a single child from these days of infamy?
Among the terrible pictures that I have seen on the Web, pictures that Palestinians and friends of Palestine have sent me, the most terrible was not of shattered, mutilated bodies, of blasted lives and unendurable pain. The most terrible was a picture of young Israelis standing within their secure borders (of occupied Palestine!) looking at the devastation being visited on the terrified civilians of Gaza a couple of miles away. And the unremitting horror of that image was that those who watched the bombs bursting in air and the puffs of death rising—they were smiling.
I searched my memory banks to recall where I’d seen such an image before. It was many years ago in a book about the Civil Rights struggle in America and it showed a lynching of a black man and a crowd of grinning whites—men, women and children in a party mood under the limbs of the tree upon which hung the burnt and crucified corpse. It used to be possible for travelers in the apartheid US south to purchase postcards depicting such scenes—and they had captions like, “One less Nigger to worry about!”
Nigger! Terrorist! How easily we have learned to dehumanize a population which was defrauded, whose lands were expropriated, whose children have been mutilated. What happens in Gaza will not stay in Gaza. What happens in Gaza will very likely happen in New York or London or Tel Aviv within the twinkling of an eye. We are all Niggers here! We are all “the other” in someone else’s nightmare. Very well, then. Let us stand with the Niggers of Gaza and everywhere against the grinning lynch mob. Niggers—unite!
Naomi Klein offers some good ideas here:
We can boycott the lunatics. We can cut off their funding, the life-blood of money they suck out of the system. Here’s a site that names names and provides details:
Do we really need to spend $5 bucks for a cup of latte from Starbucks so that CEO Howard Shultz can be honored with a “Friend of Zion Tribute Award?” Must we stuff our faces with McDonald’s lousy burgers so that chairman and CEO Jack M Greenberg can work with the Jewish United Fund to “maintain American military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel; monitor and, when necessary, respond to media coverage of Israel”? We need a burger man monitoring our media? There are many more suggestions at the inminds boycott site. Let us cry out now and back it up with our dollars: Enough already!
Let us also boycott the cultural products of this insanity! Do we really need to see one more movie about the Jewish holocaust? Are there no other tragedies to ponder? Can I think of no better way to entertain my date than to take her to another Stephen Spielberg movie? Must I buy Elie Wiesel’s next book just because Oprah tells me I should? Can we learn to think for ourselves again?
A sound way to oppose the grinning lynchers is to expose them. Zionism can no longer be peripheral to American politics. We need to educate ourselves and demand that it be a central topic in our political campaigns. We can no longer excuse the genuflections of Obama, Biden, Hillary, et. al. before AIPAC—our most powerful lobby.
The Buddhists talk about Saddha—a questioning process for the soul. We grow through experience, self-interrogation about right and wrong—not by blind faith in a creed, an ideology, a religion, a national or ethnic identity. But, through study, meditation, good works and courage we may achieve a measure of enlightenment and a higher level of humanity.
Morality—our behavior towards our own human species and other species–supersedes any allegiance to the tribe. Whether it is Rabbi Hillel exhorting us not to do to others what we don’t want done to ourselves, or whether it is Jesus the Nazarene expressing the idea in the affirmative, the message is the same. Without empathy, we are a doomed species. Those without it will always be barbarous. Our modern “civilization” (finance capitalism with media/academic/military control) does everything to crush it, deny it. Arnold’s lines come to mind: “And we are here as on a darkling plane / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight / Where ignorant armies clash by night.” Yet we endeavor to preserve our empathy because we know without it we are lost, we are nothing. Our only real strength is in our relationships.
Is there an empathy gene? Can it be switched on, switched off? Can it be cultivated? Is it there in some and not in others? Have we been “naturally selected” over the millennia to turn it off as the warrior traits were favored over the nurturing? Nine years into the New Millennium and we are drowning in our own excrement, wedded to the hag of ancient ideas.
But some of those old ideas are like amaranths, always ready to bloom again with proper nourishment. About wisdom, Solomon wrote, “She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” And about opposing evil, exposing stupidity and acting with courage and morality: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
Gary Corseri, a Senior Editor of Culture and Arts at Cyrano’s Journal Online, has posted/published his work at Thomas Paine’s Corner and hundreds of other venues. He has performed at the Carter Presidential Library, had dramas on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and his books include the novel, Holy Grail, Holy Grail. He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.
To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.