Resistance and the prophetic

Ben Ehrenreich is proof-positive that the prophetic never dies. More on this later.

Ehrenreich

Ehrenreich is an American writer with a Jewish past who for 3 three years has been travelling in the West Bank staying with Palestinian families in both urban centres and small villages. his book The Way to the Spring will give you a taste of his work.

Here he tells stories which never make it into our papers but are grassroots snapshots of the ugly apartheid lives of ordinary Palestinians. These are the stories that Christian Zionists will never hear nor tribal Jews of the disapora who out of misguided loyalty defend everything that Israel does. Many of the latter have no truck with the majestic religion of Judaism but are cultural Jews seeking some kind of transcendent meaning so they reflexively support, many with huge bucks, the “Jewish” state. This type of support (of brutal occupation and pervasive cruelty) mocks the Covenant and betrays authentic universal values of Judaism.

OPP

Ehrenreich like many Jews of conscience actually does something about the situation.He lives with the oppressed and tells their stories to people for whatever reason, (largely ideological) who refuse to believe him.

Recently on his blog (http://benehrenreich.net) this was part of a longer tale:
The Persian historian Atâ-Malek Juvaini’s History of a World Conqueror.

Eight years after the sacking of Bukhara, writes Juvaini, “a sieve maker of Tārāb in the district of Bukhara rose up in rebellion in the dress of the people of rags, and the common people rallied to his standard.” Juvaini, who had ingratiated himself in the Mongol court, describes the rebel leader with undisguised contempt.

Still, we learn from him that the poor came to Mahmud the sieve maker of Tārāb as they once did to Jesus of Galilee: to heal the sick and the paralyzed, to restore sight to the blind. He was said to converse with jinns, or spirits, who, “informed him of what was hidden.” When Mahmud the sieve maker of Tārāb entered the city of Bukhara, the alleys of the market were so crowded with people eager for his blessing that “there was not even room for a cat to pass.”

He had in mind a more holistic sort of healing, and instructed the poor to arm themselves with whatever weapons they could find. “My army is partly visible, consisting of men,” he announced, “and partly invisible, consisting of the heavenly hosts, which fly in the air, and of the tribe of the jinns, which walk on the earth.” And so the poor of Bukhara soon took the town and plundered the houses of the wealthy.

I would imagine that his point was imply to say that people inherently will rise up and challenge oppression. They simply will not accept dehumanization. Jews did in so many ways and more actively in the Warsaw uprising. So Palestinians refuse to accept their simply awful , perduring humiliation. Their resistance is perfectly understandable and legal.

RESI

United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:

Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;” (3)

This justification for legitimate armed resistance has been specifically applied to the Palestinian struggle repeatedly. To quote General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974:

Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle; …

7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people; (4)

Whereas I do not accept some of the implied violence of Mahmoud I am fascinated by his  statement:

My army is partly visible, consisting of men,” he announced, “and partly invisible, consisting of the heavenly hosts, which fly in the air, and of the tribe of the jinns, which walk on the earth.

This hints of the prophetic, of unseen powers which I will address tomorrow,

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Another great post Ted!
    No wonder religion of all stripes is getting a bad name these days.
    Good to keep the focus Ted!


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