May the Meek Inherit Al Quds

The persons most affected by a decision are always the last to be informed of that decision. The Palestinians are the persons most affected by Trump’s nod to Netanyahu. But:

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Palestine. 

“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian,” said Mark Levin on Monday, while broadcasting from Israel. “They’re Arabs. I’m sorry, they can call themselves Palestinians, or Palestinian Arabs – I don’t even know what that means.”

By 2020 there will be more Palestinians than Israelis inhabiting the same geography. Israel didn’t even exist before May 14, 1948.

“The May 19 Metro article ‘Judge: Terror suspect’s words can be used at trial’ stated that a terrorism suspect’s parents “immigrated from Palestine.” Last I heard, there has been no peace accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority resulting in a country called Palestine. For people who immigrated after 1948, it is factually incorrect to state that they “immigrated from Palestine.”   Herbert Chubin, Bethesda
In 1948 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were driven by well armed soldiers into a diaspora that continues to this day. Palestinians only possessed arms inherited upon the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire — pretty much all the armaments they have today.

what.it.is.to.be.palestinianDe facto Israel is America’s 51st State, or at least its second District. Puerto Rico is a territorial island inhabited by a people with skin too brown for racist tastes. The Israeli ideal appears to be Northern European, fair of skin and akin to the skin favored by most empires.

Where do the Palestinians stand in Trump’s estimation? Well, what grabs his attention? Trump is as decisive as he is incompetent. POTUS 45 is every bit as racist and corrupt as POTI 12, by any ethical measure.  Each president denies the racism behind their actions. Trump envies Netanyahu’s wall and Israeli engineering firms bid for Trump’s dream barrier. Ethiopian Jews try to attain Aliya but can’t get past detention centers. Both blame Islam: Radical Islamic Terrorism but ignore White Supremacists’ terror aimed at Muslims and the survivors of slavery: America’s Black population.

Netanyahu uses his intelligence, and the intelligence at his disposal, to remain in office. Trump doesn’t have enough intelligence to function as an adult. He knows what corrupts absolutely and he grooms it. He’s far closer to a Caligula than any previous President.

I doubt that Trump could find Jerusalem on a world globe, but he has Fox and Friends to cover that from behind their coffee table. They have his ears and the dark matter between those ears. F&F spur him on to spurt his soul-deadening tweets, his talking points.

latuff.2017

The last two empires to make global choices for Palestine have been English-speaking realms with world-counquering ambitions. In 1948 the former imperious spoke the Queen’s English. They passed the baton to the next imperial deciders, the ones who speak English American style.

The United States had already ethnically cleansed indigenous Americans who stood in their way since the arrival of Columbus (notable racist) to today. The 50 states carved into North America arrived by dint of legally sanctioned genocide. Manifest Destiny squeezed life blood from sea to shining sea — State by flagged-star State.

History is always written by the conquerer. Of course “mistakes were made,” but their monotheistic God did favor the features of the Northern Europe didn’t he? Jesus, Mary and The Father depicted with European features and a skin lightened by many cloudy days.

Let’s take a look at how the English speakers ordained the ancient land of Palestine, home for three aspects of a monochromatic God in situ. Each find a place in respective scriptural scripts for the characters at play.

The sons and daughters of Ishmael find themselves at the crosshairs. 1.8 billion gentle worshipers are either “Radical Islamists” or they support “Radical Islamic Terrorism” because they honor the Quran. Is that beyond all possibility in 2017? No, homo sapiens are ever capable of reaching to any depth of depravity to attain greater depravity. Venture capital is always available to fund decadence, be you a Drumpf or a Caligula.

Children as young as 12 enter the Israeli prison system if they throw a single rock, or an IDF soldier merely states that the youth threw a stone.

israel-children-cages

Were it not for the United States of America (and the Marshall Islands) the Palestinians would already have a homeland, one recognized by the world community.

May the meek inherit Al Quds.

Thanks for reading.

Palestinian Animal League

When you announce your vegan beliefs expect incredulity, perhaps not visceral, perhaps visceral. Make public your support of Palestinians to self-determination and expect raw nerves to flare — it comes with the territory. Or am I tilting at windmills? Why must Palestine be a verboten topic?

pal

Misunderstanding happens to “the least of these, my brethren” (Matthew 25:34). I mentioned recently that I am the green sheep in the family. Do I hold a lightning rod aloft, inviting impending doom? I guess.

I live in an area of the country noted for its borders — political, racial, climatic, geomorphic, social: there are others.  Our planet does not need more division and more rancor. Welcome the green, the black and the rainbow. Welcome the stranger.

 

sudfeh.vegan.cafe
Sudfeh Vegan Cafe

Languages fascinate me intensely. Learning them lightens my spirit and dispels an illusory separation. We are all one. I lived and studied in Germany, a country that knows something of borders — their erection and their dissolution. Loving languages is a joy that requires patience, but it rewards that patience by several orders of magnitude. Or is it a waste of time, a conceit if you already speak THE international language — one dipped in the blood of imperious arrogance. Just saying. Colonialism is not dead. Were that it were.

 

berlin.wall
Berlin Wall

My intense interest in the Middle East began in 1967 when I began to seriously study its physical, cultural and religious geography. Study makes friends of pain and joy. I was living in West Germany in 1972, at the time of an ill-fated Olympics in Munich. Stasi was still going strong in East Germany. That same year I learned about Savak and the Shah of Iran from my fellow exchange students of the University of Tehran — a full seven years before the revolution in their ancient land, one with the longest continuous civilization in history, one that started with Cyrus the Great. Many cool people are Persian. Yes they are 🙂

Perhaps this is an overlong preface to my topic. I hope not, but please accept my apology if it is.

 

PALlogo
Source

Let me meld two curiously similar joys and pains — veganism and Palestine. Mix them together and you have The Palestinian Animal League. That kind group of animal activists knows that “acting like an animal” is an expression to deflect misbehavior of a specie with an overdeveloped ego that imposes their self-righteous “superiority” to the innocent fellow sentient beings possessing inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, though it be inexpedient to the self-described exceptional.

We’re not the top dog, we are the arrogant yapping selfish being that always takes advantage. Are we not a part of the cycle of life? Who made us the boss? What is the difference between cannibalism and meatism? I suggest that the difference between eating the flesh of your own and eating the flesh of an other is as trivial as the difference between apples and oranges — both are fruit. Human flesh and the flesh of any other sentient being — both are meat.

Let me now lighten the burden of writing. I yield the pen to The PAL. They know more about themselves than I. Expect joy.

arabic-public-art-qma
Arabic public art

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Niemöller and Johst

Niemöller was not a narrow-minded person

Pastor Martin Niemöller’s timeless quote is larger than his name.

First they came for … then … then …there was no one left to speak for me.

first.they.came.for.the.palestinians
from Mondoweiss

Xenophobia is dangerous and narrow-minded. It flourishes on ignorance. It has no redeeming social value.

Ignorance of algebra combined with chutzpah-level arrogance recently became equated with terror. My advice: spend less time removing innocent passengers from flights and spend more time learning about other cultures. 

The Arabic word “InshaAllah” is the most common word spoken by Arabic speakers to express the hope that everything will be OK, such as “Let’s hope for the best.” Not all Arabs are Muslims. Most Muslims are not Arabic.

Curiously enough, the word algebra comes from Arabic; actually a long list of English words come from Arabic

aljabr

Should we be more tolerant of the rabidly intolerant? Let’s consider über orthodox Al Kresta, the broadcaster who owns the drive-time slot on Ave Maria Radio. Mr. Kresta always presents himself as a fair commentator. A couple years ago he announced formation of a panel to answer the question “Is Islam a Religion of Peace.” He selected a new convert to Islam as the panel’s scholar and proceeded to bulldoze the poor guy.

Here is an excerpt on the clever ruse from The American Muslim:

“He will certainly be in over his head, and this “featured debate” will simply be used as an opportunity to humiliate the American Muslim community. Shadid Lewis may mean well, but participating in this very public event without the tools to deal with someone like Robert Spencer is at the very least unwise. And, the fact that Spencer, Kresta, Ave Maria, et al are framing this as a debate between scholars, when that is clearly not the case makes it clear that they have an agenda.”

Al’s guest today was Winston Churchill’s grandson. It did not take long for Kresta to direct the conversation to Islamic jihad and The Church Militant. The takeaway: Winston would have recognized ISIS as a threat similar to Reich 3.

billziegler1947 follows Kresta in the Afternoon so you don’t have to. 

Fear of the stranger may derive from a sense of superiority, privilege or ordained certainty. Xenophobia flourishes best on the dark side: it works like the brain’s autonomic system to profile “the other” as an existential threat. You don’t even have to think about it. Hate goes way beyond rolling the eyes: visceral reactions, racist rants, flying spittle, cognitive dissonance…

cognitive-dissonance-2

We enough personal experience with the human shadow in our cultures, traditions and literatures to know how long that shadow may be cast.

Hanns Johst wrote the play Schlageter

First performed on Hitler’s 44th birthday, 20 April 1933, Schlageter is a play by Hanns Johst. It celebrates the arrival of Adolph Hitler and Reich Number 3. That piece of Nazi theater is the source for “When I hear the word culture…, I release the safety on my Browning!”

SCHLAGETER: Good old Fritz! (Laughing.) No paradise will entice you out of your barbed wire entanglement!

THIEMANN: That’s for damned sure! Barbed wire is barbed wire! I know what I’m up against…. No rose without a thorn!… And the last thing I’ll stand for is ideas to get the better of me! I know that rubbish from ’18 …, fraternity, equality, …, freedom …, beauty and dignity! You gotta use the right bait to hook ’em. And then, you’re right in the middle of a parley and they say: Hands up! You’re disarmed…, you republican voting swine!—No, let ’em keep their good distance with their whole ideological kettle of fish … I shoot with live ammunition! When I hear the word culture …, I release the safety on my Browning!”

SCHLAGETER: What a thing to say!

THIEMANN: It hits the mark! You can be sure of that.

SCHLAGETER: You’ve got a hair trigger.

— Hans Johst’s Nazi Drama Schlageter. Translated with an introduction by Ford B. Parkes-Perret. Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, Stuttgart, 1984.
It’s not fair to judge a minority of Israelis on the actions of a majority, but the word “Palestinian” twitches thumbs to search for the safety.
Fascism produces no art, no literature. Actually nothing of value, but it is superb at destroying all human values.

 

Thanks for reading.

Jewish Voice for Peace

Full disclosure: I am a card-carrying member of Jewish Voice for Peace and a soft-spoken person. I aspire to stand on the side of peace and social justice.  I am also not antisemitic. To repeat, Jewish Voice for Peace consists of Jewish people and their friends and relations. It also does not imply that I question Israel’s right to exist.

Criticism of Israel is an exercise in free speech, it is not antisemitism.

Israel and Palestine: an animated Introduction

I’ve just read an appeal by Rabbi Margaret Holub on behalf of Jewish Voice for Peace: “The Wisdom To Love Well.”

When she talks about JVP she is often countered with questions: What about China in Tibet? Minorities in other Arab countries? Congo?

Rabbi Holub:

“Of course I want justice everywhere. And, also, I care personally and heartfully about Israel and Palestine because I love Judaism and I love Jews. I care about what is being done in our names…Love is not always easy, and the love JVP calls for is a difficult love. I wish it weren’t necessary. But since it is, I am so grateful that there is a Jewish Voice for Peace to provide community, the structure and the wisdom to love well.”

Updated 17 July 2015

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