Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Out of the Ashes


I love Israel and the Jewish people.  My humanitarian politics and the Jewish state were honed out of ashes of the Holocaust and the barbaric murder of the six million.  Even though I did not experience the Holocaust personally, it is in my blood from a very early age -- maybe age 10 -- when I first saw in one of our local theaters a newsreel of that era reporting on it showing dead mounds of Jews from the camps being bulldozed into pits as the Allies liberating the camps had to work quickly to bury the many corpses left. As a child I became nauseated at the sight of it and almost threw up!

It was from then on and later in the late 1960's when my politics developed, and like so many Jews before me, I became left of center.  I have criticized my compatriots on the left for not seeing the forest through the trees.  Does anyone believe that if the situation were reversed and Palestinians held immense fire power that they would let Jewish civilians know when they were about to bomb them or that Palestinians would not cheer if Jewish innocents were killed?  They cheered when they found out about the deaths of three Jewish teens that sparked this latest round of violence.  How can one look at so many Arab states and not see what Islamic fundamentalist behavior does, the kinds of tribal warring cultures they are, and how they crush, in Middle Ages fashion, even their own women and young girls?  This week in Pakistan a man and woman whose only crime was that they loved each other and wanted to marry but their marriage did not meet the families’ approval and so the families “honor” killed them by beheading them both.  We remember, too, Malala, the Afghanistan young girl who gained media notoriety because she was shot in her brain by the Taliban and nearly died.  What was her crime?  She wanted to learn.  Both are mind-numbing singular examples among many acts of Islamic extremist brutality but the left generally remains uncritical and silent.

I want the violence and constant killing to stop but I am proud of Israel and what a modern nation state it has created.  The Jews rose from the ashes to come back and because of the Holocaust have shown our collective strength and scientific brilliance all over the world.

No matter how critical now the world is against the Jewish state or when historically nations have been so lethal to the Jew when Jews fight back I like it.  I wish they had done so through centuries of being at the mercy of Christian state-sponsored murder of Jews, suffered the pogroms of Eastern Europe and the Nazi "final solution" to their "Jewish problem" by killing the 6 million.  I wish we had not marched to the camps like weak sheep to the slaughter.

Israel, however, now has the second strongest defenses in the world.  It fights for its life against those who would destroy it.  But I still worry that Israel’s enemies will not quit because they hate us so much.  So be it.  Who in history has not hated us?

I do pray in times of great peril for Israel to survive.  I am afraid, though, if compromise is not met, as Arab numbers increase and as they become more militarily sophisticated that Israel one day may cease to exist.  At the same time, I loathe, too, the endless suffering on both sides and fear a wider war including the use of nuclear and other WMD.  Ultimately, I fear man's eradication of himself. 

According to NBC News “Palestinian militants have fired more than 900 rockets at Israel. … But there has been as yet only one death on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system (the Iron Dome) that has intercepted many of the incoming projectiles.”

When Jews are strong 2000 years of anti-Semitic Christ-killing lies and rationales of violence against us along with millions of vicious brutal slayings of us are avenged.  Yes, I am, in the final analysis, a Jew who loves the democratic state of Israel and I say Am Yisrael chai. (The nation of Israel lives.)  May it always be so!

Saving the Ship of State before it is too late


The ship of state is sinking and a lot faster than I thought it would. Racism seems to be permanently branded on the American soul and the president is the recipient of it. It is impossible for him to govern with the consent of Congress so he governs by executive order.

A Republican majority House wields power we never knew it could because there never has been such obstructionist, intractable and, in the end, racist control by the Republican Tea Party of stupid.  Tea Republicans swept to a House majority in 2010 forcing Democrats to ever-so-reluctantly hand over the Speaker’s gavel to the political hack John Boehner.  It is impossible for the president to get anything done in the face of all of their malevolence toward him with a sidecar of Republican and Tea Party lies.  Even Boehner, the politically pragmatic Speaker, cannot control them.  Democrats MUST take back the House.  There is no other way to make the system work for especially the middle class.  There has never been, in the history of this nation, such a wide disparity of wealth between the haves, the have littles, and the have nots.  That is not Marxian analysis it is statistical reality and Republicans want to maintain that in perpetuity. 

A Democratic president can do nothing without at least one conservative Court middle class eradicator and activist judge of the 1% either resigning or expiring when there is a Democratic president.  With a Democratic House, Senate and the overthrow a noxious Citizen's United reactionary Supreme Court majority the nation might have a chance to resurrect, repair its sagging infrastructure and put people back to work. Middle class survival will occur only when there is a progressive majority in both houses of Congress.  If governance of this nation is in Republican hands making no attempts to roll back climate change with an explosive volcanic Middle East and a chasm of division at home on every issue the continuous reality for this nation and the world at large spells doom.

There are things over which we have no control but the things we can control we should by using the system we have to perfect the changes we so desperately need.  Pragmatically, the only Party is the Democratic Party (not the one on the corporate take) that can bring that change.  Elect them before it’s too late!