homeward bound: the strange figure in the back room

Accordingly, because a homeland is not only territory but a primal element of personal and national identity, the division of the Land of Israel into two states is not only the sole political solution, it is also a moral imperative. Those who nibble at the territory of the Palestinians, as the State of Israel is doing now in the territories, are obliged to know that they are plundering and infringing the very essence of the inhabitants’ identity – and who better than we know, from Jewish history, how precious the national and religious identity was to the Jews and how much they were willing to sacrifice for its sake.( A.B. Yehoshua )

---and, if I’m ever lucky enough to find myself in King Arthur’s Court with a skilled blacksmith, I will be able to open a back issue of Popular Mechanics and RoboCopperize myself. I grabbed the nearest chainsaw and, to save humanity but mostly to save myself, I began to slice through…...Read More:http://www.girlpants.org/manpants/?p=517

How can we get along without war? Its a supreme question. After all, fighting has been the most natural mode of human expression since the inception of recorded history, the oral tradition. And the improvement of the weapon our principal occupation. But, its easy to be dismissive of war and armed struggle as a total evil. After all, Christendom survived its darkest hour in the fury of the Battle of Tours. We can’t regard the way of war as good, but its been our way. To this point, war has simply been our only means of final arbitration despite the waste and folly  of this eternal contest.

Read More:http://runnercommission.blogspot.com/2011_02_06_archive.html

A.B. Yehoshua:There is no more problematic concept in regard to Jewish identity than that of homeland (moledet ). Yet, a primal and natural connection to a homeland is a cornerstone on which every national identity is constructed. The connection to territory overrides in importance both shared national language, shared religion and, certainly, a shared historical context. Without a primal connection to a homeland – which is often compared to the primal maternal bond – national identity is shaky and hollow….

Jasper Johns.---Sarah Honig:When one of the world’s more influential economists, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, took pains on his recent visit here to dissociate himself personally from Israel’s obvious odiousness, I was hardly surprised. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what in Israeli statecraft incurred Krugman’s displeasure, but his annoyance seemed de rigueur. Why? Because Krugman sounded so much like my own blood relations in Obamaland. It was from them that I gained incipient insight into Israel’s isolation – even within the Jewish context. It began to dawn on me during the worst years of the second intifada, when buses here blew up, supermarkets were dangerous places, fast-food eateries became frequent targets and just going out meant you might be putting your life on the line. Most of my American family – comfortable, self-satisfied, assimilated and resplendent in impeccable liberal credentials – didn’t appear much perturbed about our well-being. Concerned inquiries usually came from non-Jewish friends. But the very same kin were aghast to discover before the last American presidential election that we didn’t share their ebullient enthusiasm for Barack Obama. Indeed I quickly concluded that, even when severely goaded, it’s best not to exercise my freedom of speech. We, the uncool and benightedly reactionary Israeli branch of the clan, were anyhow already frowned upon, disapproved of and exceedingly close to familial excommunication. Read More:http://www.israpundit.com/archives/24791

…But Jewish national identity both amazed and disturbed the world by its lengthy survival, despite a fundamental and core weakness of the concept of homeland which it bears; the more so, because the complex Jewish attitude toward homeland continues, to some degree, to nourish anti-Semitic enmity…. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/dividing-the-land-of-israel-into-two-states-is-a-moral-imperative-1.388861

We see today that insoluble quarrels are rending people’s once united by territorial purpose. Insoluble conflicts splitting nations once allied by a common dream. How can we get along without wars and weapons and not slide into anarchic conditions and bandit societies? Have we within our human resource the capacity to discover new dreams, new dynamisms or are we irreparably burdened by illusions and pathetic rationalizations of the human condition that we can acknowledge no destiny other that blind blundering towards an inexorable end? Still, despite the unpromising portrait we have achieved many wonders in a relatively short time regarding civilization so were are not creatures bereft of promise.

---A boy sits with lighted oil lamps while offering prayers during the tenth day of the Hindu festival Dasain in Bhaktapur October 6, 2011. Hindus in Nepal sacrifice animals, worship the Goddess Durga and celebrate victory over evil during the festival as part of celebrations held throughout the country. --- Reuters. Read More:http://news.nationalpost.com/tag/photos-of-the-day/

…Hence, the Jewish people was not forged in its homeland, nor was the Torah received in the homeland but in the desert, an interim region between the diaspora and the designated homeland. This is exceptional: there are very few nations whose physical and spiritual identity was not forged in their homeland. After the destruction of the First Temple, the exiles in Babylon sang with intense emotion, “By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” However, when after only 40 years the king of Persia called on them to return to their land and rebuild the devastated Temple, only some of them agreed to return to the Land of Israel, and before returning hurled angry words at their brethren who remained voluntarily in exile….

New Spinoza statue Amesterdam.---In novels and poems, in Gordonian philosophies about a renewed bond with the tilling of the soil, in Brennerite moral ideologies about complete responsibility for reality, in Herzlian utopias and in Jabotinsky-like threats - "If you do not liquidate the diaspora, the diaspora will liquidate you" - the various and diverse fathers of Zionism tried t

mpt the Jews at the beginning of the 20th century to rehabilitate the concept of the homeland, which had become so debilitated over the centuries. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/dividing-the-land-of-israel-into-two-states-is-a-moral-imperative-1.388861 image:http://janikdypoznat.blogspot.com/2010/09/amsterdam-restaurant-week-2010.html

But, civilization is a compensatory consequence of our killing imperative; the one could not exist without the other. It is at best a jerry-built structure, highly unattractive. Yet, however humiliating this path may be, humanity, beset by anarchy, banditry, chaos, and extinction must in last resort turn to that chamber of dull horrors, human enlightenment. There is nowhere else to turn. If we are to survive without war or conflict, this structure must be seen as the court of last appeal.

---Read More:http://www.dreyfus.culture.fr/fr/les-francais-et-dreyfus/les-juifs-en-france/media-30-html-Caricature_d_emigrants_juifs.htm

…During the 600 years of the Second Temple period, more than half the Jewish people started to wander across the ancient world, enfeebling the element of the physical connection to the Land of Israel. Although the Jewish national identity and religion did not forgo the element of a homeland, it rendered the concrete homeland virtual. Hence, the Jews also played down the value and importance of the homeland element in other nations, whose countries looked to them like a chain of inns and hotels, in which the Jews, polite guests, passed from one to the other, whether by volition or by coercion. …

Read More: www.viruscomix.com/gotes.jpg

But the choice is not ours. So it seems. Never to be forgotten, to be neglected, to be derided, is the inconspicuous figure in the quiet back room; sitting with head bent, silent, waiting, listening to the commotion in the streets below; the keeper of the kinds. Who is this figure? We do not know. Nor shall we ever. A presence. That is all. But a presence evident in the last reaches of infinite space beyond our probing eye. A presence asserted in all things that ever were, and in all things that will ever be. And the command is unanswerable, the identity unknowable but the ancient concern is with order.

…Through the doctrine of Yavneh and its sages, the virtual homeland increasingly took root in the Jewish identity. The halakha, or Jewish religious law, which made do with only ten Jews for a prayer quorum, made possible the most astonishing national dispersal in human history. It was not only a historical dispersal but active and dynamic, and remains so to this day – from Afghanistan, Iran, Bukhara and Uzbekistan through Romania, Turkey, Iraq and as far as Yemen and North Africa, the entire Mediterranean Basin, to Russia with its peoples and satellites, Eastern Europe and westward. And, of course, upon the discovery of the American continent, the Jews, too, hurried to cross the Atlantic and dispersed across the New World, north and south, as far as the Land of Fire. Nor were remote South Africa, Australia and New Zealand left out by the Jews….

---Martin Luther King:Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong. Read More:http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/resources/article/annotated_letter_from_birmingham image:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4016930,00.html

Where a child is born, or a man lies dead; where life must go on, though tragedy deny it; where a farmer replants fields again, despoiled by flood or drought; where people rebuild cities that have been destroyed; where tides must ebb as tides have flowed; there one can discern the footprints. The figure does not care about you, or me, or humanity for that matter. The figure cares only for order, but whatever the directive is, we should follow through. The figure is rising now, in civilization’s quiet back room, and is looking out the window.

…The “virtual homeland,” in the cultivation of which Jews have excelled throughout their history, generally was looked at askance, to put it mildly, by the other nations. After all, it is understandable that people do not like to have their home considered a permanent guest house for strangers, even if they are polite and peace loving, and highly efficient and productive, as the communities of Jews generally were in all the lands of their dispersal in the past and present. Accordingly, when the secular nationalist identity of these nations grew stronger, and the sense of homeland became a critical element in them, in many places the theological reservations of the past turned into concrete hatred. The “loyalists of the virtual homeland” were compelled to try to transform their countries of residence into true homelands in terms of their identity, whether by assimilation of one kind or another, or – if there was no other choice – by making the virtual homeland a concrete homeland….

Menachem Kahana photo. ---At the same time, the identity of the Palestinians' homeland is almost the opposite of the identity of our homeland, and in a certain sense it too requires examination. As compared to a nation that switched homelands like a frequent flier, for many Palestinians the homeland is sometimes reduced to village and house, which is why every uprooting from them foments tragedy and crisis. The Palestinians in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip or in the West Bank are not many kilometers away from the homes and villages from which they fled or were expelled in the 1948 war, even though they are still resident in the Palestinian homeland. Their feeling is that they did not only go into exile from village and house but from the homeland itself, and so for 64 years they have continued to live in the disgraceful and crippling conditions of refugee camps without the desire or ability to rehabilitate themselves in their homeland. The right of return to the homeland, which is legitimate, became the right of return to the house in Israel, which is impossible and unnecessary. --- Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/dividing-the-land-of-israel-into-two-states-is-a-moral-imperative-1.388861 image:http://truthrocker.livejournal.com/430729.html

…However, the Land of Israel was already then the homeland of the Arab inhabitants, and it makes no difference whether at the inception of Zionism the Palestinians defined themselves as a separate nation or as part of the larger Arab nation. The marshes and wastes of Palestine were part of the identity of its inhabitants, just as the desolate Negev is part of the identity of the Israelis, who will not give up a single boulder-strewn hill there. Could the Jews have retained, by remote control, a historic right to the Land of Israel during the hundreds of years when they were absent from it? Is that even possible? The only moral right to transform the virtual Jewish homeland into a concrete homeland in the Land of Israel stemmed solely from the distress of a nation which had been condemned to death. Indeed, in practice this old-new homeland saved hundreds of thousands of European Jews who arrived in it after the Balfour Declaration, in a period in which the gates of America and other countries were closed to them. …( a.b. yehoshua )

---But it is also true that the "State of Israel" has taken a nation hostage, and has been endangering the lives of millions of Palestinians since the inception of the Israeli state. It is a question of who is retaliating against whom. One of the many false premises of the Spielberg movie is that Israel only went on a killing rampage-and only against Palestinian "killers"--after Munich; that Munich was some kind of watershed. Watershed it was not, except in Israeli propaganda brochures. Israel has been perpetrating killing rampages against Palestinians, mostly civilians, since before the creation of the state of Israel...Read More:http://www.revisionisthistory.org/steinsaltz.html



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One Response to homeward bound: the strange figure in the back room

  1. Michael says:

    you forgot the rest of the article!!! Yehoshua states that the Palestinians should not ask for the same home’s the Israelis are entitled to in their homeland- Israel!!!

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