But there is worse…a spiritual corruption at the hands and lies and hypocrisy that borders on blasphemy, in the fact that a people could make use of the Torah to strengthen its national pretensions…This is a kind of prostitution of the values of Judaism…If there exists jew willing to join the national occupationist trend, making “greater israel”…the essential element of their faith a religious commandment, well then these people have become the heirs of worshippers of the golden calf..it too may be called “nation”, “and, “state.”
After the six day War (1967) Yeshayayu Leibowitz,(d.1994) the Israel polymath and Orthodox believer smelled out early, the price that Israel would pay as a nation. Like a Cassandra, he saw too clearly continual perpetual war and the undermining of Jewish values all in defense of nationhood, a concept foreign to Judaism. He correctly saw the coming of the police state and the penning in of Palestinians. In many ways Leibowitz was a contemporary Jeremiah.He spoke as a religious Jew.
Few North American Jews ever heard of him.They much prefer the writings of” blind guides” and Israel firsters.
Chris Hedges writes as the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was stationed in israel/palestine. He should know. He’s been there, seen it up close. No armchair quarterback here. No tribal pundit. He’s another Groucho Marxist—who do you believe me or your eyes?
All governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, including Israel and Hamas. But Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic and totalitarian regimes. It does not deform the truth; it inverts it. It routinely paints a picture for the outside world that is diametrically opposed to reality. And all of us reporters who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories—required under the rules of American journalism—although we know they are untrue.
So writes Hedges n his latest dispatch on Trurthdig.
The latest whopper or “official lie” is “Mission accomplished” in Gaza. after 1938 were massacred,1626 civilians and 460 children 792 Gazans injured, mosques, schools and power plants destroyed and now this from the spin doctors: “Indications from Israeli officials were that the accomplishment of their mission—and not outside pressure to end the assault on Gaza—was the primary reason for agreeing to the deal and the withdrawal of troops. And the IDF tweet:
“Mission accomplished: We have destroyed Hamas’ tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel. All of Israel is now safer.”
You see its about the tunnels.
No it’s about the revulsion of the civilized world and Israel’s biggest ally the USA finally saying “Enough”. It’s about an incredible number of Israeli soldiers killed in this unholy combat. 64 beautiful young people like their Palestinian victims whose lives have been needlessly aborted. In a small country which mourns the death of its military this is an extraordinary number. It is because of this very high numbers that PM Netanyahu in a fit of rage unleashed even more firepower on Gaza.
How long, O Lord will israel continue to produce leaders like this?
So now a 72 hour time out so decent people can give their heads a shake.
Hedges addresses Israeli supporters:
And since most supporters of Israel do not have a desire to know the truth, a truth that would force them to examine their own racism and self-delusions about Zionist and Western moral superiority, like packs of famished dogs they lap up the lies fed to them by the Israeli government.
The Big Lie makes it clear to the Palestinians that Israel will continue to wage a campaign of state terror and will never admit its atrocities or its intentions. The vast disparity between what Israel says and what Israel does tells the Palestinians that there is no hope. Israel will do and say whatever it wants. International law, like the truth, will always be irrelevant. There will never, the Palestinians understand from the Big Lie, be an acknowledgement of reality by the Israeli leadership.
There are so many incredible Israelis who have had it with the violence. I have met them. They need to grow to mitigate the lies of one military government after another. They know nothing but the arrogance of power. Holocaust theology has run its course .As American Jewish theologian Marc Ellis writes.
”Playing the Holocaust trump card isn’t working anymore. Few respond to their Holocaust pleadings as they did almost reflexively decades ago.
Call if cognitive dissonance – using Jewish suffering as a rallying call while Jews causing suffering to others in the name of that suffering is too confusing for most folks. Say the Holocaust and people think Gaza. It isn’t a comparison. It’s a deep revulsion to violence in the name of innocents suffering.”
Hamas, itself the creation of Israel, is the predictable and pathetic revolt against the barbarism of state terrorism. Of course it is futile; of course those rockets as puny as they are are war crimes. Hanas represents the defiance of a besieged people who can no loner stomach such continual oppression and abject humiliation. The end of occupation, the end of blockades and sieges will be the end of Hamas.
I fear however that the worst siege is the siege mentality of Israel and diaspora Judaism. Are there no Judah Magnes, Martin Buber, Abraham Heschels on the horizon?Is the voice of biblical prophecy totally dead?
Abraham Burg, the former speaker of the Knesset and an Orthodox view says,”Israel must understand that genetic Judaism has to end. We have to connect to the Judaism that shares a common fate and values with others.”
That road of necessity leads through the people Israel shares a country with. A vibrant Judaism is never about land. it is about texts. It is about Torah, Talmud and their universal meaning. It is about reconciliation. And here the onus is always on the powerful and their international enablers.