Culture, Israel, Mishegas, Politics

Michael Bloomberg brings it home and Jon Stewart nails it, again

Sometimes humor frames things finest.
Not so funny thoughts after the jump
I recently read a piece that mentions that this spat of horrible, unnecessary violence is not in a vacuum. It is another bloody bookmark in what will soon be the forty-second year of the occupation. The exponential nature in which Israel appears to exact retribution from its enemies is alarming. As the ground incursion grows for now, so does the civilian death toll, so do the rocket attacks which are encroaching further and further into Israeli territory. As long as this cycle continues, clearly peace moves further and further away.
We know that ultimately Hamas does not desire peace, their whole foundation is built on war and destruction. It remains unclear to me if the Israeli (and American) government and military industrial complex desire peace either. This situation we are witnessing today is beyond blame, beyond finger pointing. This has the potential to be another chapter in a yet-to-be published “Myths and Facts” book, but there is also the possibility that we, as a people connected by shared faith, tradition and memory, look into our hearts and minds and the actions they produce, and begin to seriously question if this is the world we want to perpetuate.
People’s actions are contagious, and group-think works both ways. It is easier to do reprehensible things when those around us are simultaneously engaged in similar activity. At the same time, when people around us are more generous, more open and more loving, that atmosphere spreads to us and those that we encounter. We’ve all experienced this in varying degrees in all sorts of surroundings, for better and worse.
I do not like the argument “if Canada/Mexico/Cuba/Native Americans were bombing the US, we’d react the same.” I don’t want any nation replicating the actions and policies of the US. Likewise, I don’t want to see any nation replicating the actions of terrorist organizations like Hamas, especially not a nation that, at times, is spoken of as a sort of worldwide military guardian of the Jewish people (I bet the protocols people eat that one up). I would like to see Israel engage in activities that flare respect and compassion rather than anti-Semitic rage like is seen in the videos from the anti-Israel rallies in Florida. I would like to see Israel step away from its policies of grinding the hopes and dreams of the Palestinians, seemingly (not necessarily, but seemingly) trying to crush their soul, step away from the history of war and the belief that a people can be militarily defeated “once and for all”.
During the first intifada, when Yitzhak Rabin is said to have ordered commanders to have their soldiers break the limbs of young Palestinian men, and some complied with the order, he could not have envisioned that those same men would grow older and likely seek to shake hands or play soccer with an Israeli. Why is it such an unreasonable belief that perhaps if Israel engaged the Palestinian populace in ways that would encourage growth between the peoples, cultural and financial, children would grow older wanting to associate with one another.
I do not know what we expect of the Palestinians after 42 years of occupation, and 3 years of being imprisoned from the world and likewise abandoned by them. I do not know what we expect of a people that lives with another nation controlling their phone lines, their power, water and gas. Their borders by land, sea and air all controlled by another nation.
I’ve had the misfortune in my past of encountering a number of people who would fight their dogs for money. There was one individual whom I knew who would beat his dog nearly daily into submission for the sole purpose of making it ruthless. I am not calling any human beings “dogs” but why would anyone believe that people so regularly beaten to submission would emerge docile and peaceful? But do people really believe that beating Hamas, even if it is possible, will end the feelings of animosity and betrayal that the Palestinian people and others feel towards Israel and, in some cases, Israelis and even Jews worldwide?
Like Jon Stewart said, “As long as you believe there’ll be no more crazy people left in New York, ‘OK’.”

5 thoughts on “Michael Bloomberg brings it home and Jon Stewart nails it, again

  1. The rationale is ‘might makes right’. The notion that Hamas aren’t human enough to reciprocate toward peace is a specie of incredible racism, and historical revisionism (given that Israel developed from colonialist/zionist terrorism–just as the US did, but with Christian fanaticism).
    The capitalists are poisoning our planet to support their vile policies and opulence.
    Our only hope as humans is the capacity for becoming peaceful and ecologically sustainable.

  2. The notion that Hamas aren’t human enough to reciprocate toward peace is a specie of incredible racism
    Just so we’re clear, you do realize that Hamas is a political-religious affiliation/ideology, not an ethnicity, or nationality. Correct?
    Hamas has very particular ideological and political objectives that are not necessarily shared by all Palestinians.

  3. The point about what we would do if America’s neighbors were bombing us is not about whether the world should replicate “the actions and policies of the US.” (Although I have to ask, why do we have to hate on ourselves so much? A little hakarat hatov goes a long way.)
    The point is: what would you practically do — right now — to protect citizens barraged by rockets on a daily basis? Not in weeks, months, or years as a peace process unfolds — important work in its own right, but not immediately effective. Do you have an alternative that’s more specific than “stepping away from the history of war?”

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