By Richard Pithouse · 24 Jul 2014
This is what an ethical orientation to the world looks like. We are all – irrespective of the accidents of our birth or our religious choices – obligated to be in solidarity with the people of Gaza.
All of my nearest, most beloved comrades fought from the rooftops, in the fires, from the bunkers. Most of them perished. I hurts me that I can no longer remember all their names. We memorialize only a few. But in my heart I am not parted from them, from the forgotten. …
Continue the rebellion. A different rebellion of the here and now against evil, even the evil befalling our own and only beloved country. Rebel against racism and violence and hatred of those who are different. Against inequality, economic gaps, poverty, greed and corruption. Rebel against the Occupation.
I am sorry but just because this issue started with settlement generations ago is no reason to say that it's not rooted in religion. Israel is a RELIGIOUS STATE, an absurd notion in itself, and Hamas, a fundamentalist religious movement, wants Israel "Removed from the face of the earth," a violent attitude that deserves to be shown contempt.
You cannot seriously put forward that in light of the above and that the two parties involved are battling over the sacred land each believes they are destined by prophecy to reclaim, that it's not essentially a religious issue.
As for demonizing religion, it's NOT demonizing to point out the facts, it's demonizing to kill, honour kill, stone for adultery, kill for apostasy etc. etc. Don't you dare make it a crime to point out a crime sir because you are afraid to do so.
Nonsense, nonsense, it's all nonsense, lets be serious for a moment here.
Make Israel a secular state and treat Hamas with the contempt they deserve and maybe, just maybe they will achieve what South Africa has, under the brilliant statesmanship of Mandela and secular compromise of our people.
The Original Zionsts were Overwhelmingly Secular
Israel was founded as an ethnic state, not a religious state.
I don't think this article at all denies the religious paradigms through which Palestinian-Israeli interaction is frequently viewed. The point is that issues around human life, dignity, vulnerability and sovereignty supersede the loud chiliastic proclamations that fascinate and inflame. This article calls for people to recognize this and not to fall into the bogus discourse around "eternal conflict"; "chosen people"; "unchanging prophecy" that ultimately serves the Zionist cause through repetition and legitimation of utterance and/or demands an equally problematic opposing 'prophecy'. To recognize Palestinians as human beings deserving of a dignified life is to decontextualize and transcend religious discourse, whether Judaic, Christian or Islamic. Its rather simple. Great article.
The Zionist Movement
The leaders of the Zionist movement, from its founding until now, were a-religious and even anti-religious. They founded Israel as an ethnic state for ethnic Jews. The 'religious' Jewish character of Israel is simply a tactic to win broad Jewish support. It is part of a deal that the secular, and often atheist, Zionist leaders made with religious Jews. And what exactly is that 'religious' character anyway? Personal status law? That does not make it a religious state.
Yes, Palestine should be a single secular democratic state, and the racist Zionists should be treated with the contempt that they deserve! But in such a state the contemptuous racist colonialists as well as the erstwhile-resistance Islamists in Hamas should be allowed to organise, form parties and contest elections. But such a state will NOT come about until Jewish Israelis decide to get rid of the racist leadership they have adopted, and realise that their future is tied in with their neighbours - who are not lesser beings than they are.
Save your contempt for the racists and occupiers, and cut some slack for those who have battled for 6 decades against occupation, colonialism, being kicked out of their homes, being orphaned and made refugees. And if they decide to express their resistance to these injustices through their religions - whether in the form of the Islamism of Hamas of the Palestinian Kairos of Christians - they are allowed that.
I'm not speculating on what the tactic to win broad support is, I'm picking up on what they are putting down.
So being Jewish isnâ€™t a religious thing? How else can one be Jewish? By Nation â€“ no, by race, no then by what?
I have no contempt for the victims of these terrible crimes rooted in religion, I simply wish they could see that fighting ideology vs ideology is still fighting. Ideology, whether Nationalism or supernatural beliefs like religion, doesn't solve the problem it is the problem.
I've added a page to my website for religion in light of how much trouble it's causing in the world, and it ties in with how much trouble the US Neocon enable US Corporation empire is slowly taking over http://dwahts.weebly.com/religion.html
Answer to "Who Is a Jew"
To the person maintaining this *is* about religion and asking "who is a Jew?", see Wikipedia's "Jewish" entry, subsection "Who is a Jew?." You do not have to follow Judaism to be Jewish. Ancestry, family lineage, and religious belief are all independently sufficient criteria.
Note that while religious affiliations and sentiments are invoked by all leaders in the conflict, it is not arbitrary that Israel repeatedly annexes valuable land that secures them water and other resources, and that Israel's primary backer, the US, has a well-documented and obviously imperial interest in controlling Middle Eastern oil reserves -- not to simply access the oil for itself but to control flows to other nations, and prices, as a leverage for global power.
This is a beautiful and profound piece of writing.
Jewish Palestine became independent in 1948 along with Jordan in 1946. This follows from the 1919 agreement between King Faisal and Chaim Weizmann to set up a Palestinian and an Arab State. Because of WW2 and the events succeeding it, there were several wars until the end of the Cold War in 1989 -- Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948-1967 following attempts to squash Jewish Palestine which was renamed Israel. In 1988 Palestine became a state for the very first time in history, until then it had always been a province or protectorate of an empire. This second Palestinian "state" was only recognised by the UN in 2013, so which Palestine are we talking about?
As a Jew who knows people who were in Auschwitz and who lost family in the second world war I can relate and sympathise with much of this article. However to portray the militant character of Jihadism, that seeks to destroy the infidels of the Western world, as a social construction by the West is simply absurd. If this is so, who flew the jets that destroyed the world trade centre? Who has a reign of terror in Mali, Kenya and Nigeria? Who denies gay people and women the rights that we have come to consider as our natural birth rights? Who now proposes that Iraqi women be subjected to genital mutilation? Is this all a fabrication of the West?
The statement "But this conflict began as a colonial occupation" is a complete misrepresentation of the beginnings of the state of Israel. The author fails to mention the Balfour declaration and the subsequent vote by the United Nations that preceded the birth of Israel as a nation.
The Palestinians are people, the Israelis are people. That fact should be the most important one applied in any assessment of the situation in Gaza or anywhere else for that matter. Should people be behaving towards other people as they are in Gaza, no they should not. It is as simple as that and those involved should desist from this behaviour however long they have been practicing it whether it has a decades long history behind it or it is happening right now. There is simply NO justification for anti-human behaviour.