One loves the oppressors by liberating them from their inhuman condition s oppressors, by liberating them from them selves. But this cannot be achieved except by resolutely opting for the oppressed, that is, by combatting the oppressive classes.
One of the biggest canards grasped by defender of Israel’s ongoing slaughter of Gazan civilians is “What would you do if you were threatened by rockets?” This blather is mouthed inter alios by people like Canadian Foreign John Baird…yada, yada yada. “Doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself”? This is a classic example of decontextualization.
How about trying justice for a people penned up in prison. These are authentic Jewish values. Unmitigated and longstanding oppression of another people for over 60 years is a stench in the nostrils of God. Murder and injustice is Israel’s response.
The rockets launched by Hamas are pathetic the desperate and crazed attempt —much like the suicide bombers—to respond to a suffering the world ignores. The complicity of the United States and now Canada is unconscionable. What are these hopeless rockets, yet to kill anybody when compared to the sophisticated weaponry of the massive fire power of Israel. They are pathetic cris de coeurs which the world has ignored for far too long.
Daniel Sidarski an activist American Jew openly mocked the embarrassing ad trotted out by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) which showed showed rockets descending on New York city from say New Jersey…”Imagine if Hamas terrorists were targeting you and your family…no country would allow such danger and neither will Israel.
Sidarski responded with his own ad and commentary. He called the ADL”s campaign an attempt to justify the bombing of Gaza(at this moment over 150 dead most civilians and one quarter children) “ just the latest act in a storied history of shameful behaviour.” Jewish theologian Marc Ellis would describe Sidarski as one of the “Jews of Conscience.”
Sidarski created a brilliant response and as he told Ali Abuminah of the Electronic Intifada: “The ADL has been a consistent embarrassment to the Jewish community…While Israel does have a legitimate and responsibility to protect its citizens from attack, and while I strenuously oppose all attacks against civilians to pretend that the current escalation is merely a defensive measure by Israel and not a part of a greater policy to undermine the PA unity deal (of Hamas and Fatah) is to deny the obvious. My Jewish community opposes occupation and warfare..the ADL does not speak for us.
Sidarski’s spoof is brilliant. He understands “structural violence”. This shows itself before a shot is fired This systematic and silent violence, hidden from TV cameras (though less and less today) engages in silent genocide, starvation and exploitation,a racist legal structure, an unbalanced underfunding of education and water rights etc.The situation seethes with violence.It is much more destructive than the counterviolence
He contextualizes the whole sorry mess. He understands that the fundamental and absolute primary violence is occupation and humiliation. That is where all must begin. The ongoing, unrelenting and unremitting humiliation of another people and in this case over 1.5 million Palestinians penned up in a concentrated slum with no access to exits, air space, fishing rights etc.
Sidarski is part of the Abarahamic minority, present in all communities, who has moved beyond tribal loyalties (I am a Jew, a Catholic, an American etc) and who embraces universal values of compassion and justice. Unlike high priced apologists like Alan Dershowitz who sit in academic offices and who defend “the tribe” without walking in the shoes of “the Other” Sidarski has realized that his loyalty to the deep ethical values Judaism entails transcends a narrow Zionism Too many have stayed at the level of the tribe a location which is too narrow, too partial. Sidarski found as we all must a deeper loyalty.
He took the narrow tribal view of the ADL and turned it on its head and asked the more fundamental question Israel defenders do not ask: What if your neighbourhood was a giant prison?
Imagine you have been stateless for 66 years, living under military occupation for 47 and under a devastating trade embargo for the last 8 Imagine that anyone around you could be arbitrarily executed without die process by the occupying army. Imagine you had no legal recourse for addressing youer prdicament.No people would tolerate such conditions forever and neither will Palestinians.
That’s why Palestinians are fighting back