Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Chloé Valdary is a junior and an International Studies Major at the University of New Orleans. In 2012, Chloé created the group Allies of Israel on her campus to promote the Jewish state and Israel advocacy. In the spring of 2013, She held the first pro-Israel rally on her school’s campus, called ‘Declare Your Freedom.’ Over 100 people were in attendance, and the speech she gave went semi-viral in 10 days. As a result of her work, she has been covered by such groups as Jewish Press, BET.com, Breitbart.com, The Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom, to name a few. She was named one of the top 100 people positively affecting Jewish and Israeli life in the Algemeiner’s inaugural celebration of this category. This list included notable figures like Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, and filmmaker Stephen Spielberg. Chloe has written articles for The Jewish Press, CAMERA on Campus, Arutz Sheva, The Jewish Thinker and The Times of Israel.
Historical Contexts: Brewing a Deadly Potion
Violins and Gas Chambers
In 1892, cofounder of the World Zionist Organization and social critic Max Nordau wrote his most famous work, Degeneration, which presented a scathing critique of European society as it devolved into what he described as a “horrible train of murder, incendiarism, rapine, [and] torture.” Nordau systematically analyzed and dismantled theories put forth by elite thinkers in his time, such as Nietzsche and Tolstoy. Specifically, Nietzsche’s premise, that, ‘there is no good and there is no evil,’ and his praise of sin as man’s ‘great consolation,’ was what Nordau found repugnant. The explicit approval of such notions was visible in European art and literature. In French society, for example, the “contempt for traditional views and customs of morality” led to conspicuous consumption and a devaluation of moral virtue, and by extent, a deterioration of societal structures which had till then promoted social cohesion. This was illustrated by the French’s inclination to imitate art which was inherently unrestrained and subject to fleeting passions as opposed to principles of decency. Nordau found the praise of such ideas and pseudo-intellectuals by elite society to be doubly offensive. In addition to advocating for morally bankrupt principles, calling such principles ‘enlightened‘ was a gross inversion of objective norms and values, a reflection of the degenerate state into which European society became immersed.
The culmination of such modes of thinking was of course two world wars which plagued the twentieth century and, its most tragic manifestation, the Shoah, the systematic extermination of two-thirds of European Jewry. Nordau, almost prophetically, predicted this and specifically the rise of Nazi Germany in the early 1890s. This to him was the inevitable product of Nietzsche’s ideal, which he described as, “a herd of blond beasts of prey, a race of conquerors and masters, with military organization.”
Yet the praise of evil as good has been a constant in the history of humanity. The so-called scientific racism pioneered by Herbert Spencer was once considered to be axiomatic in academia. Woodrow Wilson, founder of the League of nations was paradoxically a racist who spoke lovingly of the Ku Klux Klan and personally screened ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ a film which portrayed blacks as inferior. Today, Che Guevara, a man who referred to blacks as “indolent” and who personally oversaw Cuba’s communist firing squads is still praised in leftwing circles, his picture tacked up in “centers for diversity” on American college campuses. Curiously enough, most of these ideologies that have resulted in atrocities have the common denominator of purporting to lead to a utopian society. Communists claimed it. Nazis claimed it. Proponents of racism claimed it and still do so today. As though history were naturally moving towards an enlightened paragon of existence, proponents of such preposterous belief systems promote these ideas in the name of human virtue and good will. Melanie Philipps sums it up nicely. She asks, “Had not the architects of the Jewish genocide dispatched their victims to the gas chambers to the accompaniment of Mozart played by string quartets?” Indeed, and the advent of evil masquerading as virtue still continues largely unopposed.
Anti-Semitism, Adopted Persecution, and the search for Utopia
The praise of anti-Semitism as morally sound was an inevitable outgrowth of such modes of thinking and continues to be so today. Derived in part from traditional Christian anti-Semitism but, in Europe, taking on a radically different more secular “enlightened” form, Judeophobia became fashionable in political and cultured circles, being adopted by some of the most respected intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Karl Marx, though a Jew by birth, was an anti-Semite and contended that anti-Semitism was the fault of the Jews’ own culture. Richard Wagner, a brilliant German composer, promoted anti-Semitism which permeated his writings and themes expressed in his music. From Dostoevsky to Henry Ford, the list of educated talented individuals who hated Jews goes on and on. The phenomenon of the rise in anti-Semitism juxtaposed with such an expressive era in the arts and literature can undoubtedly be explained by several factors but I am interested in looking at a more perplexing product of this ideology: The phenomenon of adopted persecution in the Jewish community in the Diaspora.
By adopted persecution, I mean the tendency both historically and in recent years of certain segments of the Jewish community to internalize the accusations foisted upon them and blame themselves for the evils of the world. What often happens is, in an effort to achieve ostensible peace with one’s adversaries, one essentially agrees with everything the adversary says, and works with the adversary to rid Jewish society of its alleged evils to obtain an idyllic utopian society of brotherhood. Benzion Netanyahu writes about this manifestation in pre-Zionist days when ideas were being debated in the Jewish community on how to stem the tide of European anti-Semitism. Communism was advanced by some Jews as an alternative to Jewish national pride, what we call Zionism today. One of the premises of this notion of thinking was that since communism proposed the dissolution of all distinctions, whether that be ethnic or national, Jews would no longer be persecuted. They would not be viewed as a distinct nation but rather apart of the larger brotherhood of the world. So, like the notion that a woman is responsible for being raped, certain Jews sided with those who proclaimed that their very “Jewishness” was what caused anti-Semitism in the first place. Anti-Semitism would necessarily cease with the eradication of this Jewish distinction, both cultural and national. But it is the very eradication of Jewish distinctiveness that is itself a form of anti-Semitism. Indeed, history proved this. Yet, this new variation of Stockholm Syndrome is still advanced as a legitimate position within the Jewish community.
Post Zionism and the rise of J Street
It is within these two historical contexts--‘Enlightened’ evil and Stockholm Syndrome-- that the conundrum of the so-called post-Zionist movement can perhaps be better comprehended. Post-Zionism posits that the Zionist era has passed and is at best a historical era which had its run but is no longer in session. Generally Jews who belong to this camp are of the left-wing progressive persuasion who also fail to understand what Zionism is. They usually understand Zionism to be merely a response to anti-Semitism and thus no longer necessary. They are largely ignorant of the emancipatory nature of Zionism, which, must like the civil rights movement in America, was rooted in ethnic and cultural pride. Zionism, while it was indeed reactionary, was also proactive in its advancement of an indigenous people’s rights. The Jewish right to settle in its ancient homeland is not simply due to the spread of anti-Semitism; It is a matter of fact, regardless of whatever political climate Jews find themselves in, in the Diaspora. Post-Zionists also do not grasp the scope of anti-Semitism, not in the Middle East nor its growth in Europe. Indeed, they often, through Stockholm Syndrome, contribute to it.
I realize that this is a very hard pill to swallow. Nevertheless the symptom must be properly diagnosed if the patient is to heal. Perhaps no greater example of such a festering sore on the heart of the Jewish people can be found then in that of the political organization, J Street. Claiming to be pro-Israel and pro-peace, J Street is neither and advances no such policies. Founded in 2008, its major pronouncement is that a two-state solution to the Arab-Jewish conflict is what must be advanced both for the sake of Israeli security and American stability in the region. This of course precludes a detailed analysis of the situation, and a study into all possible prognosis to the problem. This premature announcement of an end, rather then examining the complexity of the situation and then coming to an educated conclusion reflective of those same complex factors, epitomizes J Street’s creed: The end justifies the means.
This creed helps to explain what could otherwise only be described as J Street’s odd configuration of diametrically opposed objectives, its contradictory notions of peace, and its absurd policy prescriptions. Consider that this organization purporting to be pro-Israel hosted Salam al-Marayati at its 2009 Conference. Marayati is a notorious anti-Semite who once contended that Israel was responsible for 9/11 and who justified terror attacks in Israel as “the expected bitter result of the reckless policy of Israeli assassination that did not spare children and political figures.” Indeed he lauded the fact that Israel’s existence and birth in 1948 was, according to him, ‘unjust,’ and a ‘crime.’ There is something fundamentally psychotic about an organization claiming to be pro-Israel and inviting people who call for its annihilation to speak on their behalf.
How can J Street claim to be “pro-Israel” and simultaneously, in 2009, drop that title in its university arm for fear of “isolate[ing] people because they don’t feel quite so comfortable with ‘pro-Israel”? How can J Street claim to be pro-Israel and host Mustafa Barghouti who advocates for the boycotting of the Jewish State and calls Israel an “apartheid state”? These contradictions illustrate the fundamentally irrational, and indeed,schizophrenic nature of J Street’s constituency, and this irrationality arises as a natural outgrowth of the historical frameworks discussed above: “Enlightened” Evil and Stockholm Syndrome.
In an interview in the New Republic, Marc Tracy asks Jeremy Ben-Ami, cofounder of Jstreet if it was worth “releasing prisoners for the sake of peace talks, as the Palestinians are insisting.” Ben-Ami responds by answering affirmatively, saying that while the prisoners were “the hardest of the hardcore,” it certainly was worth releasing them as they represent the “center of the sense of Palestinian dignity and respect.” Tracy presses him further, asking how can Jstreet support this and simultaneously claim it is pro-Israel security. Ben-Ami responds by claiming that he would never claim to know more than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who agreed to make the conciliatory move. Given Ben-Ami’s record, this answer is curious.
In a recent article on Forward.com, Ben-Ami comments on the new agreement between world powers and Iran; he praises the US agreement, and described it in flowery words and likens it to “heal[ing] old wounds,” as though the powers that be were patching a Dora the Explorer bandaid on that darn impasse of a scratch that was the American-Iranian relationship, which was almost ruined by those inconsequential bruises such as terror attacks and whatnot. Conversely, Ben-Ami describes the Israeli position as “a dangerous policy that runs counter to American interests.”
Have you noted the dichotomy?
When policies are pursued by the Israeli governments that are in agreement with Ben-Ami’s viewpoints---like releasing terrorists---they represent Netanyahu’s obvious awareness of the security situation. Indeed, Ben-Ami cannot dare to disagree with him, because who is he to question the prime minister of Israel. Yet, when these policies are not representative of Jstreet’s objectives, they are “dangerous” and “risky.”
But rationality innately requires intellectual consistency and J Street is lacking in this regard.
Notice further that in Ben-Ami’s answer to the interviewer, he never laments the fact that these “hardcore” terrorists are the “center of Palestinian dignity and respect.” No, for him this is the precise reason why they must be released in order to jump start-talks with Palestinian Arab representatives who view those same murderers as heroes. Conversely, Ben-Ami believes that so-called settlements in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) are an impediment to peace. Jewish communities, the very existence of Jewish populations on certain swaths of land, Ben-Ami believes, are impediments to making peace with representatives who praise terrorists. Apart from being an obvious reflection of Jstreet’s woeful inability to reason,pursuing “peace” even if it comes through suicide, comes with a hefty cost: the inability and the unwillingness to distinguish right from wrong. This is J Street’s modus operandi and a natural outgrowth of its pursuit of ‘enlightened’ evil for the sake of a false utopia.
On Friday, September 20, 2013, at Brandeis University, the J Street Chapter hosted Sam Bahour a “Ramallah-based businessman” whose activities in Judea and Samaria allegedly entail sowing seeds of peace in the region. But as Brandeis student Daniel Mael points out in a now censored but quite apropos article in the Times of Israel, “Sam Bahour, has publicly accused Zionism of ‘chartering a path to ethnically cleanse Palestinians [and has publicly called] for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel.’ Mr. Bahour has stated that ‘Israel [is] a settler, colonial, apartheid movement clinging to a racialist, exclusivist ideology. [The Palestinians] were correct to call for a secular democratic state at the outset of this conflict.’” Moreover, Bahour mischaracterizes the second intifada--a brutal pre-planned campaign of terrorism against the civilian population of Israel--as a “civil uprising.” Deep down, does J Street believe this?
I contend that deep down, yes, they do.
But perhaps this requires a greater level of nuance. They certainly do believe there is some legitimacy in what anti-Israel adherents say, and this is why they host them. And this gets to the heart of the matter. For those who internalize perpetual bullying foisted upon them, it is their own selves who are the problem, not the aggressor. They are the root of the cancer, and they must work to destroy themselves by becoming aligned with the same bullies who maligned them in the first place. In doing so, they eliminate the bullies in question as a threat to their person.
Thus it is no surprise that, according to JPost columnist Isi Leibler, at the recent 2013 J Street Conference, audience members applauded when Fatah spokesperson Husam Zomlot called for recognition of the “Nakba” but were curiously silent when Minister Livni spoke against “the process of delegitimization” of the state of Israel. This is that all-too pervasive act of praising bullies and condemning victims. An inversion of moral standards to obtain goodness. While this is merely self-delusion, it is indeed the variant that makes Jstreet and organizations like them tick. Which is why the cofounder of J Street, Daniel Levy, once remarked in a debate that perhaps if Israel is hated because of what it is, namely a Jewish State, not because of what it does, then “Israel really aint a very good idea.”
Based upon the premise that the UNRWA uses to define refugee, every Jew on the face of the earth is a refugee. There is thus a horrid double standard being employed. If in principle, every Palestinian Arab must return, then by that same principle, every Jew must return. And not only to Israel proper, but to Gaza. They must work to build up every settlement they have begun. They must return to the Temple Mount. Think of the abject irony. If the UNRWA stands on principle, the logical conclusion of its premise is that the Jewish state must only grow in territory and in Jewish population. Because the UNRWA does not promote this, its platform is inherently contradictory and of course anti-Semitic.
I knew the moment the POTUS prefaced his speech at the UN with flowery references to how he had, along with Russia, found a diplomatic solution to the problem with Syria’s stockpile of WMDs, I knew immediately where he was going next with regards to Iran. I hardly ever watch speeches by the POTUS. I honestly prefer to save myself the agony and nauseating feeling I get that inevitably comes with his often contradictory utopian orations. Nevertheless, I felt it prudent to watch this speech because what was to be said would mark a turning point and would show the true colors of the POTUS.
Let me write that again. President Obama’s speech at the UN represented a true turning point in US-Israel relations and I hope you all caught it and realized its implications.
There were very important points that need to be discussed and analyzed if we in the pro-Israel community are to effectively predict how pro-Israel sentiment in this country will be reflected in the general populace in the future, or rather, if it will be represented on a meaningful scale at all. In speaking about Syria, interspersed in the president’s comments was the notion that when America is threatened with terrorism, she will respond. However, he also pointed out that these core interests are not “our only interests.” That nice little segue provided the president an opportunity to tell us all what our new core interests would be, going forward: The Arab-Israeli conflict and Iran.
Iran is of utmost importance, the first on Israel’s agenda in terms of national security, so I will address it first. The POTUS expressed optimism in light of President Rouhani’s statements which showed an ostensible sign of willingness to negotiate and to curve its nuclear weapons program. Obama also expressed great delight in the fact that Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. As a result of this and other rhetorical skills shown by the same despots who murder women if they are raped, President Obama has decided to send John Kerry to break boundaries, meet with Rouhani, and sing Kumbayah, all of course, over a cup of Persian tea. Days later, Obama announced that he had called Rouhani in an apparently “hurriedly arranged” historical phone conversation with the hopes of defusing the nuclear issue with the country.
I realize that I am merely a college student, not yet out of my undergraduate studies, but I am greatly disturbed by the fact that the level of intelligence I have access to vis-á-vis Google seems vastly more competent than whatever intelligence sources President Obama is using. A simple google search of Rouhani’s background will show an amateur who knows nothing about Middle Eastern politics that the man is a complete fraud. In a recently released video. Rouhani is seen bragging about deceiving the West into buying time for Iran’s nuclear program:
The day that we invited the three European ministers [to the talks], only 10 centrifuges were spinning at [the Iranian nuclear facility of Natanz.] We could not produce one gram of U4 or U6...We did not have the heavy-water production. We could not produce yellow cake. Our total production of centrifuges inside the country was 150. We wanted to complete all of these, we needed time...We did not stop; we completed the program.”
This progress in the Iranian nuclear weapons development program was completed under the supervision of the same Ayatollah Khameini who issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons and who just learned the lyrics to John Lenon’s Imagine. Rouhani spoke these words when George W. Bush was still in office. Even then, the US thought they had been successful in halting Iran’s program. But we were wrong. Can a leopard change its spots?
In addition to his sinister methods, Rouhani was involved in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994. A statement from the prosecuting team in Argentina read as follows: “With regard to the committee’s role in the decision to carry out the AMIA attack … this decision was made under the direction of Ali Khamenei, and that the other members of the committee were [then-Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, Mir Hejazi, Rouhani, Velayati and Fallahijan.” An Iranian defect, by the name of Abolghasem Mesbahi supported this finding and testified in 2006 that Rouhani was apart of a special committee led by the Ayatollah that made the decision to execute the attack. So while Rouhani has a history of duplicity and deceiving the West, he is also complicit in murder.
Leaving all of this aside, and disregarding the fact that it seems a bit sub par that President Obama apparently has really really really really really poor intelligence sources, something else is quite disturbing to me. Iran is aligned with Syria’s Bashar al Assad. That the POTUS who threatened Syria’s leaders with contained strikes would simultaneously agree to negotiate with the leaders of a despotic regime which murders its own people, oppresses them, and campaigns against everything Obama heralded in his speech, AND that aligns itself with the same leadership Obama threatened with precision strikes, that I find morally repugnant and obscenely hypocritical. But, more importantly, I find that reflective of the unstable, morally indifferent foreign policy President Obama has chosen to pursue.
Which brings me to the second major issue the POTUS chose to address in his speech at the UN. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would make a speech that the leaders of the horridly anti-Zionist organization Jstreet would be proud of, but lo, and behold, I was wrong. Apart from the grossly inaccurate claims that the President made---No, the West Bank is not occupied, but rather disputed territory which, from both a legal and pragmatic standpoint belongs to the Jews, unless of course one desires another Islamist regime firmly planted there--his speech resembled something right out of Rod Sterling’s ‘The Twilight Zone.’ He described both Israelis and Palestinian Arab leaders as willing to come to the table to negotiate.
Proof of Israeli leadership was shown through Netanyahu’s release of terrorists from Israeli jails. Proof of Palestinian leadership was apparently shown through Abbas brave decision to refrain from hijacking the entire negotiating process. Um, what? Is this an equal strategy of negotiations, Mr. President? One person releases murderers to show good faith while the other decides not to derail the entire process? Is this your idea of a willing partner for Israel?
Furthermore, once again, it seems that the President along with John Kerry are lacking in good intelligence sources. Simple research shows that the leaders in the PLO continue to assert to their people that they are not really interested in finding a peace deal with Israel but rather are interested in destroying the Jewish state by means of diplomacy and duplicity. On August 1st, Mahmoud Abbas said to a mostly Egyptian audience, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.” Indeed, Abbas earlier this year stated that the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin El Husseini, was his hero. It is no real surprise that the man who wrote his college thesis on how the Shoah was a lie would perpetuate the idea of a Jew-free state and call a Nazi collaborator one of his personal heroes. It is, however, far more startling that the POTUS, the leader of the free world, would be duped once more into thinking that a Nazi apologist would be interested in making peace with the Jewish state.
There is a dangerous contrast between reality and what the President wishes to see. Obama called Iran’s rhetorical pontifications “genuine,” as in, ‘I see that you are oppressing your people and that you are aligned with the nation we swore we’d strike just a week ago, but I’m going to believe that you mean what you say.” He referred to the PLO as “prepared to walk the difficult road to peace.” By this he meant that, “I understand that you celebrated the release of mass murderers from Israeli prisons just the other day and I am keenly aware that you call daily for a Judenrein Palestine but I will ignore all of this.” This seemingly incomprehensible reasoning process can only be explained in two ways. Either the POTUS has an incredibly poor intelligence committee that has not picked up on all this data, or he is choosing to ignore such information because he believes the end of peace is inevitable and justifies the means. He is therefore either incompetent or incredibly dogmatic in his belief in the religion of John Lennon.
I am afraid the second is the explanation for the President’s lack of logic, and is a reflection of Obama’s unbridled arrogance and unwillingness to be guided by reality in his decision making process instead of a utopian idyllic goal of a world filled with the brotherhood of man and cotton candy packaged peace. So, he will continue to say, ‘Peace, Peace.’ And there will be none.
Yet I am reminded of a frightening thought. If, G-d forbid, the Jews were driven into the sea, as their enemies want, there truly would be nothing more for them to kill or die for. If the Jewish state was annihilated, well, that’s one less country, isn’t it? And we are very aware that the Arabs do dream of this don’t they? And increasingly it seems like they are not the only ones that hope someday that the world will join them and live as one.
After my first trip to Israel this past June, I was inspired to write the following words. It is more of a prose piece than a typical blog submission, but it captures my feelings at the time of being in the Land with its People. I hope you all enjoy and, through reading these words, come to understand the deep love I have for the Jewish People.
Come And See
Young Child, whose dreams are full of wonder, whose smile makes God beam, awake now for I’ve a story to tell. I’ve a dream to impart to you, if you can bear it. For it is mighty in strength and courageous too. Of all the dreams you’ve acquired in your little life, are they as beautiful, as ambitious, as daring as this dream, this Zionism? This was Herzl’s great ambition, and the legacy he left upon the earth. What are its components? A kippa and prayer shawl? A free Arab? An Ethiopian Jew? This is its sum and then some. But its essence, its essence is in the hearts of the defiant 18 year old freedom fighters donned in khakis, clutching M16s, standing ready to defend their very existence. This Dream is the Redemption of the once despondent Jew; it is the Emancipation of Alfred Dreyfus. It is the Hope which Anne Frank felt in spite of what she saw and it is the Song sung by Hannah Szenes when she longed for the sand and the sea to never end and it never will. Come and see.
It is the persistently palpable heart of 14-year old Tamar Fogel who carries the weight of more than you could ever imagine. It is the cry of the Monsonegos for their daughter and their tenacious unshakeable resolve to live. It is the bellowing voice of Ben Gurion in Independence Hall as the bombs reigned down on Jerusalem and the survivors of the Shoah gripped weapons tightly, uttered prayers to the Almighty, and dared to live. Come and see, Young Child, if you can bear it. It is the Beauty, it is the splendor of Jerusalem, its glistening temple walls, where man and Creator meet and both stop and stare in awe. It is the desert terrain, the granite stones, the cloudless sky and it is the people who exude love just as the sun gives light, as the seas bring forth its salt, as the ground brings forth her food. Can you bear this joy? Only a child can know it, truly grasp it.
So look further and bear witness. Zion’s embers burn on; its sparks dance delicately at your feet. Its energy matches the vigor of the hustlers on Friday afternoons in their kippas shouting candidly, selling furiously, beckoning tourists, annoying the natives, ceaselessly shoving their way, running, dancing towards the moment in time and space where God rests. It is the cool Bedouin Muslim farmer and his family, graciously giving to their guests, kissing each other softly on cheeks, the kiss of friendship and warmth. Watch as their faces light up as they welcome their child home for the week’s end, back from Zion’s Defense Forces, an Arab brother, a Son of Israel. It is the laughter of the Indigenous Ones who longed for their land, who prayed for their land, who mourned for their land, who died for their land. Come and see how free they are, free to sing of The Hope and free to live it. Free and complete in their liberty as they drive down their streets, as they work in their shops, as they buy from their stores, as they build up their homes, as they lay on their lawns, as they dance in their bars, as they swim in their beaches, as they drink from their cups, as they eat from their plates, as they laugh, as they cry, as they work, as they rest, as they live, as they live, as they live!
Can you bear this joy? Because for me, it gives me chills. It makes me want to sing Am Yisrael Chai over and over and over. It makes me want to pray incessantly. It makes my heart leap and my fingers tingle. It makes my mind dance and my body ponder as though in but one moment I could take the golden sunset and place its fibers in my pockets. As if I could smell the glances of the survivors and know their thoughts when they were liberated from the pogroms and from the camps, from the libels and from the boycotts divestments and sanctions, from the protests and the slanders, from the French courts and the fake walls raised up on college campuses!
You Child, you are the child whose hands are affixed upright, afraid of death, not knowing what will come after, back turned to the bayonet held by Josef Blosche. Escape the photo in which you have thus far been remembered by if you can but for a moment. Come and see. The world will no longer remember you because they searched for you and other nameless souls and hapless victims on meaningless search engines. They will know you instead because of this dream you have dared to imagine, because of the wonder in your eyes when you witnessed it, and because of the tears you felt falling down Golda Meir’s cheeks. Child, I have little time, I have such little time. I wish you could come and stay a while. If we could trade places, I would in a heartbeat but we have less than that.
So I have no time to offer you quotes from Jabotinsky. I have no remarks from Ben-Gurion that would delight your heart and no, not even speeches from Herzl to arouse your sentiment, we have no time for that. Instead this is my song to you. My dream for you. I will fashion myself like King David and sing you a psalm, and hope that even in its crummy state, though the world is crashing down around you, you will take this dream and with your last breath understand that it is the most pertinent, most beautiful, most sentient. And I pray that your children will come to know this dream and be filled with a delicate desire to chose life forevermore.
We have not much time, Child. So come and see.
As a Black American blessed to be living in the 21st century, I am deeply inspired by the great strides my community has made since the days of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed. We have been able to enjoy freedoms held at one time in monopolistic fashion by our white counterparts and have become apart of the fabric of American society, our culture and customs integrated into the great Melting Pot cooked up by Lady Liberty. This past Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington; Reflecting on Dr. King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, I was reminded of a people who are unfortunately still in bondage and who are yet ignorant of this fact. I write about the Palestinian Arabs, residing in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria, and even further, those who have never set foot in these lands but who have been constantly told that they need to be liberated from evil Zionists.
I use the term Palestinian in its correct classical sense, denoting a geographical region, a demarcated area of the earth, like the Gobi desert in Asia or the Atlantic Periphery in the USA. Nothing more and nothing less. It is within this context that I have come to realize that the Arabs of this region have been doubly duped; They have been told that they make up a “special” brand of Arabs by mere virtue of the location of their birth and they have been further informed that they are deserving of special treatment because of this different Arab mysticism which they supposedly posses. This is racism in an insidious manner because this racism is presented as both beneficial and progressive.
This prejudice is perpetuated by such notorious groups as the UNRWA, which masquerades as a human rights organization but is in fact nothing more than a group of fraudulent dipsomaniacs who feed off the inferior social status of these Arabs, the same inferior social status which the UNRWA itself propagates. By declaring that every Palestinian Arab is a refugee, in perpetuity, the UNRWA is decreeing that every Palestinian Arab is and of right ought to be inferior, both in contradistinction to his Arab brothers and sisters and his Jewish neighbors. The very raison détre of Palestinian Arab(ism) thus becomes victimhood, and victimhood, in order to perpetuate victimhood. This, as you can imagine, has profound ramifications and cannot end well.
This cyclical racism is further exacerbated by Arab statesmen and leaders who have no moral compunction about denying Palestinian Arabs equality. For example, Abu Mazen’s ridiculously claimed that if a Palestinian state is established, there will still be refugees and these refugees will not become citizens of the new state. While this statement is understood by most rational Westerners as senseless, this way of thinking is a part of the paradigm through which Palestinian Arab(ism) has been constructed. The fundamental idea of what it means to be a Palestinian Arab can be summed up in the words “resistance,” and “oppressed.” If ones very existence is contingent upon resisting, to be free means his destruction. If one is defined as perpetually oppressed, to find emancipation would mean the loss of all significance. Thus the refugee can never find freedom even if there was a state because this would denote the irrelevance of his state of being. Abu Mazen, then, is not only a despotic, corrupt, anti-Semitic Holocaust denier, he is also a self-loathing anti-Arab race hustler, and he is perpetuating apartheid against his own people. This is an interesting paradox; If, G-d forbid, the Jewish state should ever be destroyed as Abu Mazen wishes, and replaced with a Palestinian state, the very meaning of Palestinian Arab(ism) would cease to exist, for there would be nothing to struggle against and no scapegoat to blame for Arab self-oppression.
Arab countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria have a hand in promoting this bigotry. These countries deny basic rights to Palestinian Arabs in order to keep them in their dejected state, in part because they seek to make Israel look bad, but, more importantly, because of their own prejudices against them. This, however, is no surprise. It is important to remember that historically, Arab countries have never actually cared about Palestinian Arabs. In Israel’s war of independence, 7 Arab countries sought, not only to destroy Israel but also to set up their own imperialistic empires (Greater Syria) throughout the Middle East. This was certainly Jordan’s goal, as has been shown in recently unclassified cables between the King of Jordan and Golda Meir. Yet this history is largely ignored by statesmen who, in seeking to find quick solutions to problems neglect to examine the psychological makeup of the people being dealt with. Fathom the hypocrisy of an Arab country which persecutes its Palestinian Arab brothers and sisters by denying them basic rights, and then insists that their inferior status is what makes them special in the first place. This prejudice is endemic, because the Palestinian Arabs believe them.
Thus, Palestinian Arab Nationalism in its current form (and to be frank I do not know if any other form could ever exist since the very idea of Palestine as a nation is academically defunct) is a form of self-hatred, because it is rooted in the notion that the non-Palestinian Arab is eternally superior and the Palestinian Arab is irrevocably oppressed. Palestinian Nationalism is inherently discriminatory because it contends that a separate distinct “special” Arab race exists, that that special Arab race ought to be oppressed, and that that oppression is what deems it worthy of existing. This is orientalism in its most extreme form, for discrimination can at least be outlawed and even self-hatred can potentially be corrected. But taking pride in one’s self-hatred, well that, is beyond repair.