Monday, April 14, 2008

John Hauptman Speaks Again: Israel's Fascist Policies (John's last entry on this go around)

Israel's fascist policies

George Orwell never thought of this one. Take tens of billions of dollars that support failing military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and relabel it as "foreign aid." Very clever.

Mr. Bush's State Department even has a nice plot of this recent "foreign aid" spike (http://qesdb. usaid.gov/gbk/index.html), but this newspeak does not fool anyone. Show us $20 billion worth of schools, clinics, roads, water or electric systems anywhere in Iraq or Afghanistan. Show us anything. It is only one more deceit in a long string of simple-minded deceits that brought this nation to war.

This is how the Israel lobby and its 100,000 minions make the fractional support of the Israeli government look small: make the denominator big.

I read the Israeli press every day and there is no mystery here. The Israeli government, from the very beginning, has been expelling Palestinians from their homes, confiscating private property, killing defenseless civilians and engaging in continuous ethnic cleansing of the once peaceful inhabitants of Palestine. You can read about this in Ilan Pappe's book "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine."

There are names for this. Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt and 26 other prominent Americans called it "Nazi and fascist," specifically referring to the political party that now runs the Israeli government. Einstein was a refugee from Nazi Germany and he understood quite clearly what "Nazi" meant and what "fascist" meant, and he and many other brave Americans condemned Menachem Begin for his slaughter of hundreds of defenseless Palestinians in the village of Deir Yassin. This was one of 530 peaceful villages wiped from the map and their residents forced into refugee camps. You can read this Dec. 4, 1948 letter to the New York Times by Googling Einstein NYT 1948.

Einstein forcefully condemned these crimes against humanity with a clarity reminiscent of his clarity in physics. We need another Einstein today, maybe 100 Einsteins.

I grew up in a time and a place where Judaism was revered, where Jews were heroes, and where most of the important books on ethics, physics, psychology and humanity on our shelves were written by European or American Jews. The name-calling, and the insinuated name-calling, is not working anymore. Only desperate people without an argument resort to this.

It is not an accident that almost all of my human rights heroes, from Einstein to Finkelstein, are Jews. Most of my heroes are still Israeli Jews, like Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, Jeff Halper, Akiva Eldar and the many more who condemn the fascist policies of the current Israeli government. I think the Israeli government is anti-Semitic, not only because it is fascist, but also because it endangers Jews worldwide, all the while claiming to be defending Jews.

This lie is exposed by the millions of Jews who do not support this government and who condemn it as either "secular and without God" or as contrary to the centuries-old teachings of Judaism. The International Declaration of Human Rights, mostly written by Eleanor Roosevelt, I believe to be inspired almost in its totality by the centuries of persecution of Jews by European Christians.

It is a historic mistake to use this holocaust to justify another holocaust, this time of the Semitic Palestinians who had nothing to do with European Christians.

The historian Jane Haddam famously wrote: "People always seemed to know half of history, and to get it confused with the other half." This is the essential problem, not only in Israel/Palestine, but also Iraq, Kashmir, Rwanda, Congo, etc., where historic mistakes were made by European Empires, and now the United States is stepping into the same trap, and making more mistakes of its own.

We have a Republican candidate for President who still repeatedly confuses Shia with Sunni, and Iran with al-Qaeda. It leaves me speechless.

The wars in the Islamic countries of what we call the Middle East will be over when we respect Human Rights and International Law, as Albert Einstein insisted. They will be over and Osama bin Laden will be helpless when we treat the Palestinians as human beings, rather than the "dogs" that Moise Dayan called them. It is that simple. And, it is our choice.

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