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When Jewish Upon a Star

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Posted on Dec 2, 2011
Mr. Fish

By Mr. Fish

(Page 2)

Dwayne: (via email) I’m not sure I agree with the idea that what’s happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians is the end of a war. Let me bring in some other parallels to consider. Prior to the Stonewall Riots, many in the gay movement felt completely ineffectual and hopeless as a population.

Continuously mistreated and culturally categorized as perverts and, quite literally, seen as being subhuman, gays by and large existed in varying degrees of real misery (depending on the geography) and were forced to perpetuate their own invisibility by remaining subservient to the prejudice that imprisoned them. Returning violence to the police and vice officers galvanized the movement in such a way that could’ve only been achieved through violence—it showed the world that there are genuine consequences for those who, both literally and figuratively, live by the sword.

I don’t celebrate that fact as a virtue, but rather point to it as a truism of physiological physics, a cause and effect as permanent as the truism of gravity. You can will an egg to maintain its integrity with all your might while it’s falling out of your hand, but you won’t be able to change what happens to it once it hits the ground. Likewise, bullies don’t usually possess any great talent for self-reflection and tend to learn of their own dedication to injustice by having injustice mirrored back upon them, if they ever learn. Malcolm X had much the same effect on the black movement as Stonewall had on the gays: No one should be allowed to revel in the delusion that they are so privileged that they can abuse other people and remain exempt from any blowback.

I think of Israel’s “war” with Lebanon in 2006. I think of Vietnam. I think of Iraq. Ultimately, I think, it becomes an issue of personal dignity. Human beings will tend to want to fulfill the fruition promised to them by their own biologies; DNA, in addition to determining eye color and rate of tooth decay, programs us with passions for freedom and comfort and self-determination. What Gandhi and King did was a tactic for rending the whip from the hand of their oppressor, certainly, and one I find exquisitely beautiful and inspiring; however, when I see how lazy and unimaginative and tribal humanity can be I find myself unable to trust that there would be any lasting sorrow over the cruel slaughter of me and my fellow pacifists.  History has shown that there would likely be a quiet celebration for the gained real estate, both physically and ideologically, left by my absence.

Really? If the cops had gone crazy and killed all the protesters and none of them fought back, every single American would know about Stonewall instead of the very small % that do now. Further, if they had killed some cops where would the movement be?

So is it just the right amount of violence? My understanding of Stonewall is that it was not particularly an event of violence by gays inflicted on the oppressive police, but more the collection of a critical mass of people, gathered for the same reason, who got beat up by the police and fought back just enough to make it into the newspaper but not enough to demand revenge by generations of cops to come.

Not sure I agree with the mathematics. Seems that you expect not only great lessons to come from well publicized mass slaughter, but lasting ones as well, which history doesn’t bear out. The Armenian holocaust didn’t prevent the Jewish holocaust, nor did the Jewish holocaust teach the lesson to Israel that people should not be forced into ghetto existence and systematically terrorized and ultimately murdered with great technological proficiency.

Also, everybody knows about both World Wars—you can’t get any more public than that—and both of those wars ended with a global promise of “never again.” Some promise. And, yes, there is something to be said for “just the right amount of violence.” I’d rather be shot in the leg than in the head.

Yes! It feels great, especially when it’s justified. Self-defense violence, revenge violence, righteous violence, holy violence. Deep down inside, I still have some programming that would make me feel wonderful if I could shoot a man in a WW II German uniform. Those fuckers! I want to chop the arms off some Rwandan Hutus! I want to laser storm troopers!

You’re forgetting General Ursus from the “Planet of the Apes.” And you’re precisely right about that programming, which I would argue is only slightly tamed by one’s moral integrity. I doubt that a human being’s natural instinct for doing whatever he can to guarantee his personal survival will ever be sublimated by the abstract notion that stepping into the buzz saw of injustice is better for the species.

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By heterochromatic, December 7, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

balkas~~~~~ are “sephardo-ashkenazic people [s] are in
control of” you?
or is it just gas?

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By balkas, December 7, 2011 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

in palestina, since ca ‘49, shemites [mostly] are killing shemites. the true jews
and/or hebrews appear to be the shemites which for ca 2-3k yrs and until ‘49 lived
in iraq, magreb countries, egypt, syria, yemen, lebanon.

people called palestinians are descendants of ancient canaanites or hamites,
hebrews, hittites, nabateans, arameans. all of these peoples or tribes where
descendants of noah’s two sons, shem or ham.
what now divides israelites and palestinians is mostly the two cults. and it does not
seem that islamic cult is going to lose the war with talmudic; and much tinier cult.
so, one day israel as a talmudic or judaistic solely state will be destroyed.
expecting this outcome, ashkenazic peoples are not immigrating into this artificial
state and future hell; especially for rabid judaists.
besides sephardo-ashkenazic people [s] are in control of u.s more than any other
ethnos; so why go to tiny, impoverished, much hated a region called israel?
thus, it is an enigma to me why world ‘jewry’ [nonshemitic people] avoids peace in
excanaan—the land of the hebrews-arabs; descendants of shem, noah’s eldest, or
ham, noah’s second son [of course, according to the legend]  tnx

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By vince remus, December 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Your article is extremely valuable and truly radical.
An awareness that people who are truly in favor of
social justice must take a stand against bigotry and
racism no matter the target.

The comments to the article are all making good
points relative to the gist of their respective
messages, but how do Israel and Palestine achieve
sustainable peace in the future is the only
discussion that should be taken place if they are to
live peacefully?

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By Jacob, December 6, 2011 at 3:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You “forgot” that Hamas has clearly stated that its objective is the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state, extending from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan river. 
  You also “forgot” that rocket fire continued even after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last inch. If, immediately after Israel left the Gaza Strip, all terror activity from that area ceased. Which means no rocket launching, no weapons smuggling, no efforts to send suicide murderers into Israel then all the crossing points would have remained open, there would have been free merchandise exchange, and thousands of Gazans would have been able to work in Israel. This would have made the Gaza economy much stronger and made further Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank much easier.

However, as you are supposed to know, the Palestinians chose to continue their war of terror and continued to fire rockets at Israeli towns and villages on a daily basis. And of course you know that the residents there have 15 seconds to reach shelter from the moment the alarm sound. Imagine the feeling of a mother, who has children at school, when the alarm sounds.
  You should read the Geneva Convention, which states in Part III, Section I, Article 28: “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.” This means that when the Hamas combatants fire their weapons and hide among civilians, they are not immune from attack. Also, if civilians get hurt, the responsibility lies with those who hide among civilians and endanger their lives.
As long as the Palestinian terrorists continue with their war, Israel will do its best to protect its citizens, whether you like it or not.

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By kazy, December 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Lockwood “Contrary to what the article says… it is the lack of critical self analysis that continuously lands Jews in trouble.  He believes Israel’s behavior and the behavior of the powerful lobbies that act on its behalf (like AIPAC in the USA and similar powerful organizations in every western country) risk a huge backlash.”

So that’s the reason why Jews are always in trouble - because they’re not self analytical enough because if they were more self critical, they wouldn’t be in trouble all the time and there would be no antisemitism - or less of it? Wow!! Who knew? Do you really believe that? That’s amazing. First of all, the above reference of Jewish Lobbyists and Israeli policy has no more to do with being a Jew than those brutal African dictators have in being black or American policy makers who are Christians. We sure do go out of our way to separate Islam and Muslims from their brutal dictators and their violent regimes. But Jews? Not so much. I think if you really want to find a common denominator in the brutality and greed and destruction that exists in this world try looking at the gender: MEN. They’re all men and I think we should round them all up and lock them away and we would see a lot of the world’s problems lessen. It’s funny that no one attacks that very glaring culprit. Secondly, you don’t hang around a lot of Jews it seems. Never was their a group of people that questions EVERYTHING - even God’s motivation for doing the stupid things he does sometimes. Try reading just a bit of the Talmud and then tell me Jews don’t engage in an excessive amount of critical self analysis to the point where you want to blow your brains out. I think that there’s something a bit more behind Jews getting into “trouble” than meets the eye here, that perhaps you and this Gilad guy seem to think that Jewish people bring about their own destruction, that they cause others to hate them. I think that’s what you’re trying to say. That there’s something inherently not likable about Jewish people. I think you have maybe a love/hate relationship with Jewish people. Or maybe just a hate relationship.

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By balkas, December 4, 2011 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

and the people holding a sign supporting murder of 1k shemites were
selves shemitic???
and most supporters of the those shemitic butchers were nonshemitic
[or nonsemitic christians] and nonshemitic [but semitic]

it seems that euro-asians with the mosheic cult believe that noah had
four sons and not just three and that the oldest and most important was
sem and shem.
arabs stemming from shem and the ashkenazim from sem; thus are
semites and i am antisemitic for saying this. good, anything—just don’t
call me an antishemite—thank u.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, December 3, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

I note, «heterochromatic», that you share «EmileZ»‘s interest in a certain part of the human anatomy (perhaps you share the pseudonyms as well ?) and his/her lack of discretion in making said interest a matter of public knowledge. Good on ya - do keep on trying !...


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By John Poole, December 3, 2011 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Speaking truth to power:  America’s epithat:

What a tragedy for all humans that the the little boy along the parade route in a
distant land watching King America roll past had to be a “raghead” kid wearing a
suicide vest. Are the “homelanders” listening?

Mr Fish was the little kid we should have listened to years ago.
PS. No! I don’t know him or wish he was my son or cousin.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, December 3, 2011 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

With a grandmother like that, one can’t go wrong (I say, before realising that your brother Jeff shared her with you)....


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By heterochromatic, December 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Nobody who ever attended Rutgers would be eating Velveeta rather than Cheeze

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By Lockweed, December 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a new book out by the Israeli-Briton Gilad Atzmon.  Atzmon served in the Israeli army in 1982 and after his experiences became a critic of Israel.  He is a popular Jazz musician and interesting (and controversial) writer.

Contrary to what the article says, “Judaism, on the other hand…seemed to thrive on a tradition of critical self-analysis as opposed to the self-glorification of Technicolored Anglo-Saxonism”, Atzmon believes it is the lack of critical self analysis that continuously lands Jews in trouble.  He believes Israel’s behavior and the behavior of the powerful lobbies that act on its behalf (like AIPAC in the USA and similar powerful organizations in every western country) risk a huge backlash. 

His book is called “The Wandering Who?”.  Its criticism of separateness and chosen-ness (the “Chosen People”) appears to be a major part of the book.  I haven’t read his book, but I plan to do so.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, December 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

A giraffe walks into a bar and says…

“The highballs are on me!!!”

Get it???

Get it???

(“Hat tip” to Steve Albini)

Gandhi’s version of non-violent tactics was so extreme that it was in fact incredibly violent.

He expected his followers to “walk smilingly in to a barrage of machine gun fire” (I don’t remember the exact quote, but words to that effect), and viewed their deaths as a cause for celebration. He sent letters to their families congratulating them when someone was killed.

For him, I suppose, after the first mass-murder or two, there was no going back.

He also said that if you don’t have the “moral courage” to use non-violent tactics, it is your duty to employ others in the face of tyranny and oppression, including violence, and to do otherwise is to be less than human.

(“Hat tip” to Norman G. Finkelstein)

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