Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Say It Again

If you haven't seen this column by David Landau, the former editor of Haaretz, it is worth a moment, especially his final paragraphs:

As history, both ancient and more recent, teaches us, there is another vital component in the inculcation of a whole society with xenophobia. It's the big lie, repeated over and over until ordinary people inadvertently come to regard it as truth. "Go and worship your God," Pharaoh pretended to Moses, time after time. His own people no doubt believed him.

In our own case, this past year, Netanyahu has incessantly repeated his mantra that he's merely doing in Jerusalem "what all my predecessors have done for 43 years." The purpose of this pretense is to erase from the public mind, at home and abroad, the fact that two of his predecessors negotiated with the Palestinians and the Americans over dividing the city. The purpose, too, is deliberately to blur the hugely significant difference between building in the Jewish neighborhoods that have been developed over decades and forcibly inserting Jewish settlers into all-Arab neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah. The purpose, basically, is to obliterate any chance of implementing the "Clinton parameters" - Jewish areas to Israel, Arab areas to Palestine, Holy Basin to God [or an international consortium representing Him] and thus reaching a fair compromise on Jerusalem.

The demonstrations taking place on Fridays at Sheikh Jarrah offer some smidgen of hope that not everyone has been duped and silenced. The Naomi Chazan front was abandoned. The "Nakba Law" front was lost without a fight. The battle line in Israel's war of survival as a Jewish and democratic state now runs through the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. There, alongside the few brave Israelis out demonstrating, the president of the United States has planted his pennant, too. Is that the line, at last, where Israel's decline will be halted?

15 comments:

Potter said...

Also there was Bradley Burston who wrote:

We built this city, and after us, the Christians built this city, and after them, the Muslims built this city.

But this is what it has taken 3,000 years, and this Seder, to teach us: All along, it was You who built this city. This is not our city, nor theirs, nor theirs. It is the city of the One God who is all of ours.

Just before saying grace, we learn anew to share the Afikoman, by dividing it. We learn anew that the root of the Hebrew word for sharing, is the same as that of the word for dividing. And the Talmud uses that root, as well, when it tells us that those who are truly well-off, are those who find happiness in their own portion.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1159711.html


Meron Benvenisti ( NPR, 2000) said this before the separation wall/barrier and the checkpoints, before the last intafada when there was more contact between Arab and Jew, Israeli and Palestinian. :

The Hebrew Canaanite name of the holy city means “city of peace”. Names are symbols, expressions of hope, wishes for brilliant future and good omen. Alas, the hope for a city where peace prevails has not been fulfilled. Indeed it turned out that the city has known only brief periods of peace during it’s four millennia of recorded history. Thirty-seven times it has been besieged, stormed and conquered, destroyed and rebuilt by a multitude of nations. All of them sought not material prizes, for they are not to be found in that remote arid hilltop, but symbolic edification: their savior, eternity.

Symbolic assets are by their very nature unique indivisible and cannot be shared. The quest for exclusive possession of the holy city has turned Jerusalem into a battleground of all seekers of absolute truths: sons of light determined to massacre the sons of darkness in the name of universal love, fanatics set to realize the right come what may........

.......Inter-communal conflicts are chronic because they are caused by daily friction of competing collectives. They are twilight wars in which every person must constantly swing between the perception of the other as an enemy who must be destroyed and the perception that he is a neighbor, a living breathing human being.

I was born in Jerusalem and have conflicts and contradictions on my own internal landscape. I share my people’s aspirations and I participate in the struggle for our eternal city. Yet my intimate contact with my neighbor as enemies has taught me to understand their own aspirations and listen to their grievances. I am tired of the conflict and seek reconciliation.

I think that we are all exhausted. Both sides begin to realize that in the struggle for Jerusalem there will be no victors and no vanquished.....



(part of the audio I transcribed.)

Shoded Yam said...

"...Is that the line, at last, where Israel's decline will be halted?"

"... Gentlemen... the 83rd Pennsylvania, 44th New York, and 16th Michigan will be moving in to our right. But if you look to our left, you will see that there is no one there. It's because we're the end of the line. The Union army stops here. We are the flank. Do you understand, gentlemen? We cannot retreat. We cannot withdraw. We are going to have to be stubborn today."

Colonel Joshua Chamberlain to the officers of the 20th Maine at Little Round Top at the battle of Gettyburg, July 1863

YMedad said...

Isn't David the fellow who begged former Sec'y of State Rice to rape Israel? Is he happy now?

Shoded Yam said...

Lord stone the crows, if it isn't Hans Frank, the Gaulieter of Judaea. Whats the matter Reichsfuhrer? Haven't fallen off a stool and broken your hip yet? Ah well, one can only hope.

Note that Mr. Obama has not demanded a moratorium upon construction in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva, etc. Only in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories. Wow?!?! Isn't that where Meedad Manor is? No wonder you're upset. Incidentally, that strange sensation you're feeling in your tushy is not attributable to our former sexy (best pair of legs I've ever seen on a gov't official) secry. of state. If you'll look in the mirror, you'll noticed you're being banged in the ass by a rather large, Harvard educated, African American gentleman. Mind your manners, Hans. Don't forget to give em' a reach around when he's done.

YMedad said...

Every minute that Bernard allows your foul-mouthed inanities to receive cyberspace time is a mark of shame on him. As for you, and as I have commented before, for a Jew to argue with another using Nazi and/or German metaphors and terminology is so sick that I cannot imagine how you exist in the real world.

But don't worry, I always find something to laugh about you.

Shoded Yam said...

"...Every minute that Bernard allows your foul-mouthed inanities to receive cyberspace time is a mark of shame on him."

You're right. I might be going out on a limb here, but I don't think he likes you. :-P

"...But don't worry, I always find something to laugh about you"

Apparently not today. Now go take your meds before your blood pressure spikes again, Hans.

Potter said...

I love Shodad's inanities because they are in the service of an ethics and morality that apparently escapes those it is aimed at and much more civil than bullets, rubber or otherwise.

Shoded Yam said...

Potter,

Believe me, this has nothing to do with my swearing,inanities or what have you. This bag of dust comes here not to trade barbs with me. He doesn't come here to debate either. He's a propagandist. If anything this is just another venue for hasbara, useful idiots as a backdrop, nothing more. He styles himself as some sort of "Eminence Grise", an elder statesman of the shtettler movement. As such he feels he's entitled to all the respect and deference due to such a personage. What he wants here is intellectual validation, professional acknowledgement, a salute to a worthy foe across the battlefield, and he wants it from Bernie. He's a little obsessed and the fact that he obviously holds Dr. Avishai in esteem while this admiration has not been reciprocated is whats really grinding his nuts.

potter said...

Shodad Yam -Oh. Some reading is in order.... I started with <a href='http://bernardavishai.blogspot.com/2008/10/things-that-we-know-we-know.html">this</a>.

Anonymous said...

One little mark fouls it up:

this.

Shoded Yam said...

This sack of shit came to Israel as a "refugee" with all sorts of Beitar connections from Great Neck, LI. Later, he began his career as a dissembler and liar by becoming Karl Rove to Geula Cohen and is largely responsible for facilitating the relationship between the likud, Cohen and Kahane. Having said this, I take great pleasure in kicking him in the face whenever I get the chance. But its still not the reason he's here.

YMedad said...

Dear Mr. Pirate,
First of all, thank you for all the back-handed compliments. It almost sounds as if you are jealous of my accomplishments.
Secondly, my wife comes from Great Neck. I was born in The Bronx and grew up in Queens.
Third, forget politics for a moment but what psychological disorder causes you to employ not only Nazi language imagery but profanity as well? Do you verbally ejaculate when doing so and is this the only pleasure left to you?
Fourth, I don't think I consciously lie and rarely dissemble. I don't need to as the truth serves me better.
Fifth, come on, Pirate, try kicking.

As for "intellectual validation, professional acknowledgement [sic], a salute to a worthy foe: and whether I obviously hold Dr. Avishai in esteem, trust me, I don't. I do admit that his perverting of history, misreading of politics and events and his blindness to the other side are quite a challenge to counter, but I really don't need anything from him but rather from his readers. If I can influence even one, that'll be enough satisfaction. My satisfaction is, however, indeed intellectual but that realm of thought is probably way beyond yours.

Have a nice Passover holiday but go easy on the maror - you have more than an adequate amount within you already.

Shoded Yam said...

"...It almost sounds as if you are jealous of my accomplishments"

I'm afraid not. As I'm the hero of my own existence, I don't collect comic books but I do enjoy dissecting vermin under a microscope. What can I say? I live with a scientist. I'm interested in beginnings.

"..Secondly, my wife comes from Great Neck. I was born in The Bronx and grew up in Queens"

Sorry. Wrong shtetl. I stand corrected. But if I were you, I'd of stuck with Great Neck. Now you're just Sammy Glick.

"...Third, forget politics for a moment but what psychological disorder causes you to employ not only Nazi language imagery but profanity as well?"

Re. "the employment of Nazi Imagery"

First of all, I don't "employ" nazi imagery. I deploy it. For maximum effect. Furthermore, with you its barely necessary. Why go out for milk when I have a cow at home? As I mentioned during our last "discussion", I'm a big believer in the scientific method. You know; "the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses". To summarize; "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck"

As to the profanity, well since its obvious you were raised on a steady diet of feces anyway, I didn't think you'd mind having dessert. You are what you eat, Hans.

"..Fourth, I don't think I consciously lie and rarely dissemble."

You should start thinking then, because for anyone who does, thats what they think about you.

"..As for "intellectual validation, professional acknowledgement [sic], a salute to a worthy foe: and whether I obviously hold Dr. Avishai in esteem, trust me, I don't."

Are you kidding? You've been stalking him for years. All this shit about; "I've been trying to write to you for years at the New York Review of Books" and the rest of it. Please. And Letterman thought he had problems.

"y satisfaction is, however, indeed intellectual but that realm of thought is probably way beyond yours."

Intellectual? Please. Your just some guy who made a career out of sychophancy. While I admit its been quite lucrative (free house, job placement), unfortunately it hasn't been enough to to gain entre into the world of Dr. Avishai. So sad.

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