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I have not been writing about Israel and the Jews as often as I’ve done in the past. Why? For starters: The information is in, it keeps coming in, it’s not good, it keeps getting worse, it is simply too painful to keep pointing it out, again and again, without being able to make much of a difference.
No, I am not talking about Israel’s capacity to defend itself militarily or about the likelihood that Iran’s nuclear and imperialist ambitions might lead to a new kind of alliance between Israel and the Arab Middle Eastern states. I am certainly not referring to Israel’s capacity to achieve miracles in terms of medicine, science, and business.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Israel’s demonization is just about complete. It is a done deal. No matter where one turns, no matter what else the subject might be, the real subject is always Evil Israel, the nation that allegedly killed the arch-fiend Palestinian terrorist, Yasir Arafat, (this comical accusation was just made yesterday) the iconic Mohammed al-Dura, the pro-Palestinian unwitting shahida, Rachel Corrie, and, for that matter, the entire Palestinian population of Gaza and the West Bank. After all, that’s what genocide does and Israel has constantly been accused of commiting a Nazi-like genocide, “ethnic cleansing,” etc. And yes, Israel is also evicting Arabs who pay their rent in East Jerusalem.
These are all Big Lies—but they are devoutly believed by western poets, playwrights, academics, UN officials, European officials, American state department and cabinet appointees, human rights activists, so-called progressives, including feminists, including Israeli feminist leftists. All say that Israel (not Sudan, not Iran) must be boycotted, further cut down to size, forced, at best, to live with low-level war victories from now until eternity.
For God’s sake: President Obama is giving the infamous Mary “Durban” Robinson the Medal of Freedom.
And just yesterday, Code Pink persuaded Oxfam to drop an actress from their commercials because she also stars in commercials for an Israeli beauty product company.
I’ve been writing about all this since early 2001. Maybe I’m suffering from battle fatigue. In any event, maybe I just can’t bear to write about Israel today…. but allow me to share a conversation I had with a Jewish woman who escaped Hitler. Somehow, such stories seem important, somehow the individual matters, the individual details matter: We can grasp them, relate to them. The complex political analyses do not always touch our hearts in the same way.
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