greetings on this day

A remnant people trying to tailor a fine suit out of rags. The solitary wanderer in his brand name estate. The concept of Judaism rests as an affirmation of the Diaspora and a rejection, in principle of Zionism, which can be seen as a negation of Judaism. It is an uncomfortable co-existence, a positive utopian project, charged with messianic violence, against a concept of redemption, which has its own negative position- the smashing of idols not inducive to constructing a positive utopia. As the battle wages, the collateral damage is immense. Perhaps even potentially apocalyptic.

The racism in Israel is inevitable, a by-product of militarism. The efforts to make the survival of the Arabs more difficult and contribute to a de-construction of their identity results in a dispossession, incrementally and sadistically. Yet, the need for new victims goes unabated , and the ideology eventually dictates that Jewish sectors of the Israeli society, the lower strata, will also pay the price; useful as cannon fodder, Kissinger’s “useless eaters” within the broader militaristic goals of the state. So, much of Zionism has been appropriated as a racial essence in which the state of security, existential survival, has always been imperative to the state of exception; suspension of civil rights and a template for repression. In efect, the worse aspects of Occidental white patriarchy.

---Though many anxious Israeli Jews wonder whether the loyalty law is a new manifestation of fascism, the law is far from new. According to Hanan Hever in Ha’aretz, the new law reiterates Israel’s foundation as an exclusively Jewish state. ‘Jewishness’, that is religion-based ethno-racism, is the necessary condition for equal rights in the state of Israel. The aim of the law is to re- clarify to non-Jewish applicants that they can only be subordinate second class citizens. Membership in the Israeli Jewish community is based on religious principles and on the purity of blood. Thus, despite being in denial about its racist predication, the state of Israel colonises another people and discriminates against its Arab citizens (Hever, 2010). And such discrimination, I want to suggest, is racially based. Read More: image:

According to Raphael Falk, all the prominent Zionists such as Herzl, Hess, Max Nordau, and initially, even quite liberal philosopher, Martin Buber,caught flirting in the euphoria, adopted the terminology of “volk” , a racial nation strengthened and defined by blood and soil.

‘A state whose main preoccupation is security, and for whom security is the main legitimisation, is a brittle organism; such a state will remain vulnerable to terrorism and will ultimately become terrorist itself’. The state of exception does not pertain only to the ‘enemy’ but refers to all social strata and institutions, making it ultimately undemocratic … While Israeli obsession with state security is fed by a deep sense of Jewish victimhood and vulnerability, Said reminds us in The Politics of Dispossession (1994) that ‘The question to be asked is… how long are we going to deny that the cries of the people of Gaza… are directly connected to the policies of the Israeli government and not to the cries of the victims of Nazism’.

Menachem Kahana. photo. ---The White Israeli Union site is a new peak among a number of anti-Semitic phenomena in the Russian-speaking community in Israel. For about threeyears now, the Information Center for Victims of Anti-Semitism in Israel has been active. Its members track manifestations of anti-Semitism in this country through "open" sources, such as the press, and individual complaints that are made to them. The center is headed by Zalman Gilichinsky, 39, a painter by profession, a newly observant Jew who immigrated to Israel from Kishinev. Over time he has accumulated hundreds of incidents that elsewhere in the world would be defined as "manifestations of anti-Semitism," but in Israel, the political system and the law-enforcement authorities relate to them with studied indifference. The range of incidents is wide: non-Jewish immigrants calling Jewish immigrants Zhid, an elderly Jewish immigrant woman in Jerusalem being beaten by a non-Jewish caregiver who calls her "Zhidovka," comments like "Hitler didn't finish the job," swastika graffiti found all the time in predominantly Russian-speaking neighborhoods, vandalism in synagogues and cemeteries. Read More: image:

…Thus too Arthur Ruppin, director of the ‘Erez Israel Office’, and Zionism’s main ‘colonisator’, preached the eugenicist selection of Jewish ‘human material’ in the Zionist settlement of Palestine. Like other race hygienists, Ruppin argued that the state has a role in improving the race, or the volk, and was instrumental in producing a Zionist repertoire of racial categorisation and volkish imagery. Read More:

Rabkin:Zionism has brought about a new Israeli identity that negates the image and the traditional values of the Diaspora Jew. A recent book by the Israeli historian Noah Efron titled Real Jews  that documents this negation, begins with the frontispiece picture of a chained Orthodox Jew carrying a sign that reads: “State of Israel – a state of anti-Semitism to Jews”. Indeed, much of the book is devoted to an analysis of anti-Semitism in Zionist theory and practice.

---Israeli authorities and the Jewish Agency have been misinforming world Jewry by stating that in the State of Israel Jews can find refuge from anti-Semitism. Reports of anti-Semitic acts have turned into a regular feature in Israeli newspapers, mainly Russian-language ones. The movement “Dmir – Assistance in Absorption” has carried out an investigation of the problem and found that the scourge of anti-Semitism had penetrated the society fabric much deeper than predicted in most grim estimates. Many new immigrants have found to their horror that they encounter here in Israel the same abuses and humiliation of anti-Semitic nature on the part of non-Jews who had come together with them from the former USSR, which they hoped to be protected from in Israel. The stories related by the victims and eye-witnesses, as well as in newspaper reports, have been presented in a report on the situation in that sphere. We have repeatedly appealed to various government leaders and MKs, but received no reply. The official Israel does not dare to react to the problem. Against that background, all statements of Israeli leaders condemning anti-Semitic acts in other countries appear as pitiful affectation. --- Read More: image:

Efron’s analysis challenges the currently promoted view that brands opposition to Zionism as anti-Semitic. The recent wave of conferences sponsored by the government of Israel and its advocates elsewhere has portrayed Israel as a victim, rather than a source, of resurging anti-Semitism. However, in view of the material presented in this book, such Israeli invocations of anti-Semitism appear false, self-serving and dangerous….

the lovely vision at the conclusion of A.M. Klein’s Greeting on this Day:
The muezzin upon the minaret
Announces dawn once more; the Moslem kneels;
Elation lifts the Jew from off his heels;
Izak and Ishmael are cousins met.
No desert cries encircle Omar’s dome,
No tear erodes the Wall of ancient pain;
Once more may brothers dwell in peace at home;
Though blood was spattered, it has left no stain;The greeting on this day is loud Shalom!
The white dove settles on the roof again.

---Again a paradox. A new life next to the killing machine, the family drama. A man (perhaps a brother in law) starring into the phallic barrel of death – Bravo Menachem Kahana!--- Read More:

…Why dangerous? Because by designating the State of Israel as “Jewish” one associates all Jews with what Israel is and does. It is this confusion that breeds anti-Semitism. It is important to distinguish between Israelis and Jews, between the Raison d’État behind the action of Israel’s military and the traditional moral values of Judaism. When American Jewish leaders pressure for the liberation of a convicted Israeli spy or New Zealand’s Jewish Council blames the country’s government for imprisoning Israeli spies, these “leaders” harm the local Jews they claim to represent. In the words of the Israeli historian and former Israeli ambassador to France Elie Barnavi, they act as Israel’s “vassals.”…

---Again a paradox. This is a man Purim drunk on a red wine or a wounded man in a pool of blood (the Rabbi on the right looks like Breslever Rav Koenig from Tzfat).--- Read More:

…Israeli leaders worry about “the demographic bomb”, about Jews becoming a minority in the Holy Land. To counter this spectre, they encourage aliya (immigration of Jews to Israel). Since distress, not idealism has been the main stimulus for aliya, anti-Semitism benefits Israel. It is in this context that one should see Sharon’s recent plan to bring a million new Jewish immigrants to his country and his insistent calls on the world’s Jews to move to Israel….

---Stalags, a documentary film about Israeli Nazi porn paperbacks of the same name, is exposing audiences in North America to one of history’s most bizarre literary genres. The film asks probing questions about post-Holocaust Jewish identity and sexuality, in an attempt to explain why Israeli teens had an irresistible infatuation with busty blonde Nazis. Read under the table by a generation of pubescent Israelis, often the children of survivors, the Stalags were named for the World War II prisoner-of-war camps in which they were set. The books told perverse tales of captured American or British pilots being abused by sadistic female SS officers outfitted with whips and boots. The plot usually ended with the male protagonists taking revenge, by raping and killing their tormentors. After decades in dusty back rooms and closets, the Stalags, a peculiar Hebrew concoction of Nazism, sex and violence, are re-emerging in the public eye. And with them comes a rekindled debate on the cultural representation here of Nazism and the Holocaust, and whether they have been unduly mixed in with a kind of sexual perversion and voyeurism that has permeated even the school curriculum.--- Read More:

…Israel and its supporters attempt to discredit all criticism of Israel and of Zionist ideology by characterizing it as another form of anti-Semitism. This tactic breeds resentment that, in turn, feeds anti-Semitism. In the logic of Zionism, both of these phenomena are beneficial: they make Israel appear stronger while at the same time undermine the Jewish Diaspora and stimulate aliya.Read More:


Richard Lemm:Klein expended little poetic energy on the fellaheen. His overriding concern was the Jews facing a new threat in Europe and the Jews battling for survival in Palestine. In “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” (1940),5 he confronts this dual threat:

And there is also Palestine, my own,
Land of my fathers, cradle of my birth,
Whither I may return, king to his throne,
By showing the doorman, Mr. Harold’s worth
Several thousand pounds (and not by loan!)
Redemption for the pawned and promised earth!
0 mummied Pharoah in thy pyramid,
Consider now the schemes thy wizards schemed
Against those shrewd proliferous Israelites!
Rejoice, Judaeophobes!
The brew you brewed and cellared is not flat!
(30-35, 36-38, 42-43)

Now, Klein’s Zionist vision is confronted by the pincer movement of Nazi anti-Semitism and Arab hostility. In “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” Klein falls prey to the “passive stoicism” which once perplexed him in his father, and to despair. He considers the answer of Esau–“the argumentative bullet,” “steel blade,” ” assassin’s bomb”–but rejects them: “Alas, for me that in my ears there sounds / Always the sixth thunder of Sinai” (144-45). “Sonnet in Time of Affliction” shows that Klein can sometimes accept the necessity of violence, and “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” provides more evidence of his ambivalence. It is a curious ambivalence, considering his mastery of Torah: the sixth commandment did not preclude the use of violence against Israel’s enemies. Klein’s ambivalence, though, does reflect the tension between his political awareness that Zionism, to triumph on the terms it had established, had to militantly defend itself, and his longing to be “brother to all that lives.” “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” concludes,

‘Tis not in me to unsheathe an avenging sword;
I cannot don phylactery to pray;
Weaponless, blessed with no works, and much abhorred,
This only is mine wherewith to face the horde:
The frozen patience waiting for its day,
The stance long-suffering, the stoic word,
The bright empirics that knows well that the
Night of the cauchemar comes and goes away,–
A baleful wind, a baneful nebula, over
A saecular imperturbability. (163-72)

Read More:

Lentin:Fanon instructs his insurgent readers to use the master’s tools to destroy the master’s empire, reminding us that ‘decolonisation is always a violent phenomenon’. Fanon recognised that large forces of occupation cannot last and that for the colonised natives the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land (2001, 34). The coloniser’s argument that the colonised understand only force – often repeated by Israel in justifying its aggression – means that colonial violence aims not only to keep the enslaved at arm’s length, but also to dehumanise them. The settler nation’s preoccupation with security makes it remind the natives out loud that it alone is masters: remember the extreme rightist demonstrators in Umm El Fahem against the Islamist Movement shouting ‘we are Israel’s landlords’ as the police attacked Palestinian protestors (Ha’aretz, 2010).

As a result, ‘the settler keeps alive in the native an anger which he deprives of outlet; the native is trapped in the tight links of the chains of colonialism… thus collective auto-destruction … is one of the ways in which the native’s muscular tension is set free’. Violence, according to Fanon, leads not only to trauma and hence submission, but also to the colonised making violence their own. As the colonist army becomes ferocious, as the country is marked out and there are mopping up operations, transfers of population, reprisal expeditions, and massacres of women and children, the colonised draws from violence his humanity . As Europe and the West benefit from colonialism, the humanitarian chatter of the liberal intellectuals obscures the fact that the European has only been able to become through rendering the colonised slaves and monsters. Read More:

In his opinion Judaism expressed this idea when it adhered to its claim for justice and to its hope for social redemption, and was not content with the salvation of the private soul. However, according to Horkheimer, the founding of the state of Israel expressed the elimination of the essential characteristics of Judaism. Judaism has become a “religion” in the worst sense of the word, as an expression of violent force and a desire for ever more. “The dream of the messiah, the dawning of justice on earth which holds together the Jews in the Diaspora, is over and done with. It created no end of martyrs, caused untold suffering – and gave hope. Now the persecuted have gone to Zion without a messiah, have established their nation and their nationalism like other peoples, and Jewry has become a religion”.

He compares the real Jews – who were not tempted by Zionism, nor by Social-Democracy or established Communism to “remnants,” similar to the true socialists who find their place in his Critical Theory. Also in this respect his thinking turns out to be a conceptual development hiding within it the seed of “Judaism.” “The Diaspora is the backwoods. The Jews are remnants. Read More:

This entry was posted in Cinema/Visual/Audio, Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Literature/poetry/spoken word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>