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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Interest in Israel

Regular readers, if there were any (to the best of my knowledge no such people exist, at least in the plural), might wonder what it is about Israel that causes me to mention that entity so often, usually not in a complimentary way. I wonder about this myself.

There are so many answers to this that it's hard to decide where to begin.

"Begin, then at the beginning, and go on until the end. Then stop!" --The King's wonderful advice to the White Rabbit, in "Final Alice" (in Wonderland), a tone picture by David del Tredici.

Well, okay then. The reason that Israel interests me above all is because its founding in or around 1949, the year I graduated from high school and concurrently first started looking at the larger world, is strangely analogous with what was to become part and parcel of the Rainbow (i.e. "black") experience in previous and later years. I mean what was so likely to happen whenever a Rainbow family moved onto what previously had been an all-"white" street or neighborhood.

In the city the usual reaction to these unsolicited and newly moved-ins was that in very short order the street would empty of all its previous lighter-visaged inhabitants. Things were a little different in a suburb and still more in a rural setting, yet the theme was generally the same for all those locations, as it was when the Jewish refugees from the German expulsions and genocides of World War II moved into a previously mostly Arab region of the Middle East after the War. The people who till then had inhabited those streets, neighborhoods, or regions generally resented the newcomers with a purple passion that would never really die in any of the cases that I've just mentioned. Nor can I ever be certain that it did even in the several cases of it that by chance related to me, by direct participation or by the experiences of my forebears in New Orleans, long before I was born.

Of course the people who quickly came to be known as "Israelis" didn't merely move into already existent houses, bring in their furniture, fence in their yards, and notify the local post office of their new addresses, nor did those who were already there pack up and move out in very short order, of their own volition. Instead they stayed put for as long as they could, and they resisted, upon which these latter-day "settlers" from overseas used force to drive out or otherwise appropriate all the current inhabitants of that land, and they terraformed the whole region into a nation meant for them alone. As their rationale these newcomers used the circumstance that other people that they claimed as their forebears had lived in and had dominated that same region before they were driven out, summarily and with maximum cruelty, by the Romans, and these current arrivals saw it as of no relevance that that had happened nearly two thousand (2,000) years ago, making it highly likely that not for at least the last 1,500 of those years had anyone in this modern group been able to trace their family lines or reference their property deeds back to anyone or any offices at all in ancient Judea.

One of the many highly interesting aspects of this birth of a nation is that no one can miss the fact that this other and much larger nation in which we live so happily and with such great self-satisfaction was founded under almost exactly the same circumstances, save for the 2,000-year bit, and that has to be why the U.S. is usually Israel's main and sometimes only supporter during its never-ending quarrels with everyone else in its immediate neighborhood, fostering bloody hostilities and hatreds that continue up to this day, unabated, with no prospect of ending any time soon, or for the next 2,000 years.

I can't help thinking that those who so staunchly defend the Israeli cause are also intensely embarrassed by being joined at the hip with the Israelis, because it keeps alive the doubts about how the U.S. itself came to be "settled" and founded. So, as long as the Israeli cause keeps that question open and bleeding, there is no way that the entirety of the legitimacy of the U.S. can be safely retired and put away, forgotten, in the dusty tomes of history.

Didn't I read a news item just yesterday about a group somewhere or other demanding that the U.S. return some area to its original Indian inhabitants?

The Israelis never hesitate to bring up the Holocaust as another big justification for their actions. But ironically the direct experience of the Holocaust by family members to whom the Israelis can directly trace themselves also totally rules out any chance of being able to use the German "final solution" to get rid of the Palestinians, completely and permanently, which makes one wonder why Israel has several hundred nuclear missiles and some submarines to launch them.

Like the Jews, there will always be people called "Palestinians" and "Native Americans," among other names, who can never be simply gotten rid of. It's an ineluctable law of nature, these days.

But I have digressed, and I didn't even stop at the ending, because I haven't yet reached the ending that I had in mind. Well, what can you do?


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