The Sunken Synagogue
pa vezer o vageal e kreiz e klever a-wechoù un trouz iskis:
kleier ur sinagogenn a zo o seniñ dindan ar mor...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
 
From Persia's Foaming Mouth To Israel's Plugged Ears

Sometimes the only ones willing to proclaim the truth are the ones who by all other counts should be put in a straitjacket and gagged. Consider the Madman of Iran, President Ahmadinejad—already a frequent subject of this blog. Amidst the foul, black bile that arose from his throat the other day, there were several shining pearls that we ought to pluck from the refuse and examine before we flush it all down the toilet of our memory. Here are some of them:

The existence of the Zionist regime is a threat to the dignity of the Muslim ummah, the believers and the faithful. In accordance with the noble verse from the Holy Koran, the domination of such a regime over the Muslim ummah that reside in the occupied territories and the region is contrary to the consent of the Almighty.

The mere existence of Israel is first and foremost an affront to Muslim dignity. The main motivators of anti-Israel Muslims are none other than the dubious emotions of pride and shame. Of course, I'd be humiliated too if a few scraggly Holocaust survivors managed to swipe back something I had taken from them and kept for centuries, and I couldn't get it back with all the soldiers and weapons in the world. And it's quite normal and understandable to make decisions based on pride; we'll tell jokes, dress smartly, choose or reject careers, buy cars, and write blogs in order (at least partly) to maintain or enlarge our own egos. We usually don't reflect on all the real reasons why we act as we do, but they ought to be recalled and put in their place when millions of lives stand to be snuffed out so that some Muslims can feel better about themselves.

It pains me to say this, but even many Zionists largely base their support for the state of Israel on pride (negatively referred to as גאוה/ga'ava in Hebrew ). Yes, it's nice to have your language be the official one, your religious holidays as national days off, your religious institutions supported by the state, a national anthem that reflects your own history and dreams, and an army you can call your own—whether you're Jewish, Kurdish, Basque, or Arab. But are any of these justification for independence and the painful processes that are necessary to bring it about? I don't think so. There are certainly other reasons for Israel, as well as many other nations, to be independent, but let's be careful to be honest about our motivations and try to keep them pure.

By its unending killings, destruction of homes and farms, encroaching upon sacred places, mosques and churches, unrelenting assaults on residential and non-residential places and targeted assassinations, this regime not only humiliates and disgraces Palestinian people, but also tramples upon the pride and dignity of all Muslims and freedom-loving people of the world.

Whatever justifications might lay behind these actions, the two can always be separated for propaganda purposes. There are people dying and buildings being destroyed, and it's only too easy to display the images and make up your own stories to go with them. Israel's going to look bad no matter what it does, so it might as do what it needs to and worry less about what people will think of it.

... there must be an opportunity for all genuine Palestinians; be they Muslims, Christians, or Jews, residing in Palestine or in Diaspora, to participate in a referendum to decide the political system of their choice and elect their leaders.

It's interesting that he admits here that there are Jews who can be considered as Palestinian as any Arab in Ramallah, but the more important point is that there is a serious problem in denying one segment of a population the right to vote. This injustice has largely been overcome now with the autonomous government that the Arabs in Yesha have. Israel does retain a certain control even over these areas though, to which the Arabs there have no input. Any viable solution will have to grant them full citizenship to some country, somewhere, and it must be done soon.

The young tree of resistance in Palestine is blooming and blooms of faith and desire for freedom are flowering.

The Zionist regime is a decaying and crumbling tree that will fall with a storm.

Yishai Fleisher mentioned the line about Zionism crumbling on Arutz Sheva Radio yesterday, and objected to Ahmadinejad's chutzpah. As rude as it is though, it's a valid point. The old ideals of Jewish unity and love of the land have been replaced in these modern times with hedonistic individualism and love of America (and India). How many Israelis these days are willing to be pioneers and go settle in the Negev or Golan, let alone Judea and Samaria? How many support the Jewish (-only) labor of former days? How many have a strong desire to hold on to any land outside the main population centers? How many can refrain from giving away land even as the negative effects daily explode in their faces? Crime is up, and schools are failing. Children don't respect their elders, and the elders elect a party that will win them money at the expense of their children's security. Religion is donned and shed at convenience by prime minister and peasant alike, and half the children haven't visited Jerusalem. The country has been de-Judaized with Christian immigrants from Russia, foreign workers, and reunified Arab families. The supreme court believes that the highest principle of morality is to go against tradition, and it legislates away distinctions between Jews and Arabs when it will bring the Arabs up, but discriminates against Jews when it will bring the Jews down.

Zionism is a shell of what it once was and of what it could be. Outside of the national-religious sector, it's supported only insofar as it overlaps with one's perceived immediate personal security and aesthetic needs. Muslim anti-Zionism, however, is fueled by a desire to recover from embarrassment, hunger for land and power, religious doctrine, and the confidence that comes from seeing repeated successes in the field. Ahmadinejad was only voicing the obvious disparity. Instead of rejecting his unfriendly words outright, we ought to glean what truth we can from them and take the steps necessary to improve our situation.


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Name: Sabzi Aash
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