diverting the flow of history

Just another new state; the least racial, the least religious, the least nationalistic of all states. The most universal of them all. The Martin Buber idea, his model of Israel as a template for a global revolution to change, read dismantle the idea of the nation state, dissolved into a new entity with mutable borders. The narcissism of men to be feared who have big ideas. Real big ideas. Ideas that many feel leads to an engagement renewed with the bitterness of history and are unwilling to risk the potential fallout of radical attempts at social change. The one big play that will eradicate the accumulated history of unarticulated trauma inflicted over centuries. Or are these prophets of change simply more dikes and barrages erected to divert and halt the flowing great flood of history from flowing over a predetermined path…

---The four cultural worlds cited in Udi’s film are: old European artistic creation, the Arab world’s subtle and almost timeless savoir-vivre and love of life, American modernity, and the irreplaceable spirituality of the Jews. Extraordinary scenes show the interpenetration, the collision, the simultaneous giving-birth, of these worlds that are all implicated in the Israeli-Palestinian turmoil. Let us cite the song of the Palestinian woman who interrupts and subjugates Israeli nightclub dancers, or the dance of the soldiers in the synagogue, as though they had been seized, they, the oppressive warriors, by a loving drunkenness destined to the entire earth.---Read More:http://www.lacan.com/symptom/?p=56

Slavoj Zizek ( see link at end):There is a truth in this insight. Cecile Winter proposed along these lines a nice mental experiment: imagine Israel as it is, in its destiny of the last half-century, IGNORING the fact that Jews came there stigmatized by the signifier of the absolute Victim, and thus beyond moral reproach. What we thus get is a standard story of colonization… However, the problem remains: can one really think these two aspects as different, in the sense of the possibility of the first one (the Zionist state) without the second one? It is like in the legendary “If…” answer of an American politician to the question ”Do you support the prohibition of wine or not?’: “If by wine you mean the terrible drink which ruined thousands of families, making husbands a wreck who were beating their wives and neglecting their children, then I am fully for the prohibition. But if you mean by wine the noble drink with a wonderful taste which makes every meal such a pleasure, then I am against it!”…

---How did you come up with the concept of an anti-memory drug? When I wrote about Post-Traumatic Shock Inhibitor (PT-25) in my book, I wanted to create a symbolic manifestation of the selective memory that the oppressor uses in order to keep his split subject intact. On the one hand, he thinks of himself as an honorable man, and on the other, he is willing to do anything in order to live his good, productive life without any guilt whatsoever. It was kind of scary when, soon after I wrote the book, I read elsewhere that doctors are working to develop medicines to erase soldiers' negative memories or to attach good associations to bad traumas. Somebody already said that reality is more surreal than any fantasy; or in other words, there is no gap between the symbolic and the real.--- Read More:http://www.forgivenessthefilm.com/Udi/interview.html image:http://www.reverseshot.com/article/forgiveness

…So why should we, as Badiou proposes, abstract from the holocaust when we judge the Israeli politics towards Palestinians? Not because one can compare the two, but precisely because the holocaust was an incomparably stronger crime. It is those who evoke holocaust that effectively manipulate it, instrumentalizing it for today’s political uses. The very need to evoke holocaust in defense of the Israeli acts secretly implies that Israel is committing such horrible crimes that only the absolute trump-card of holocaust can redeem them.

Udi Aloni’s Forgiveness (2005) is a fiction movie based on one of those crazy historical coincidences: in order to arouse panic among the Palestinians and make them flee during the 1949 war, the Israeli army killed the population of a small Palestinian village in the suburb of Jerusalem and razed to ground all houses; afterwards, they built on these grounds a psychiatric hospital for the survivors of the holocaust (later for the victims of the terrorist kidnappings). The hypothesis of the film is that the patients are haunted by the ghosts of those who are buried beneath the ground of the hospital, in an example of what Gilles Deleuze referred to as the atemporal superimposition of historical moments in the crystal-image. The irony is shattering: those most sensitive to the ghosts of the killed Palestinians are the very survivors of the holocaust (the film plays with the fact that the living dead in the camps were called Muslims, Musulmannen). Aloni neither elevates the holocaust into the Absolute Crime which somehow legitimizes Israeli activity in the occupied zones, allowing the Israelis to dismiss all criticism of the Israeli politics as secretly motivated by the holocaust-denial; nor does he resort to the ridiculously false (and effectively latently anti-Semitic) equation “what Nazis were doing to the Jews, the Jews are now doing to Palestinians.” Read More:http://www.lacan.com/zizantinomies.htm

Like Zizek’s example of the wine, the holocaust is also not definite in its graspability multiplied exponentially. These ghosts, spirits- odd for Zizek to invoke soul and afterlife- are seen as vessels that retain memory, the grail, chalices from Solomon’s temple etc. that should be viewed more as a series of unacknowledged absences. The error is that all the national identities commemorate them with all the problems fraught with symbols and the parameters of memory; but more crucially, to try to occupy these memories, a tempting urge for ego to use the departed to mourn for them or simply wallow in the melancholia as the need arises. When memory walks into the realm of myth there is a vilation of these acknowledged absences by filling the space of eradicated peoples, histories and landscapes with our contemporary psychoses.

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