On March 14, 2014 journalist Alison Weir published a book “Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the US was used to create Israel.” To date it has received 289 reviews, 79% of them 5-star reviews. One reader gave it a 1-star review, which, surprisingly, was positive. Titled “Going to upset a lot of dogmatic Zionists,” the reviewer said “None of this common sense basic research is difficult. This clearly counters any moral or religious claim that there should be a Jewish country there at the expense of people who already live there. It also counters any idea that the Palestinians are evil, awful people as they are fighting to repel invaders. This is so obvious I am amazed that anyone could think otherwise. What is really Against Our Better Judgement is backing one race against everyone else, allowing them to be exterminated, instead of following Our Better Judgement in accepting that Human Rights are for all humans, not just some over others.” I couldn’t agree more.
But it also upsets people who would rather dance around painful subjects rather than talk about them, because talking about them hurts and can be dangerous. Alison Weir revealed Zionism’s use of manipulation, bribery and terrorism to create the modern state of Israel, forcing us to look where we do not want to look, and see what we do not wan to see. Denial seems the better option, but is not. Abusive behavior is kept secret until it’s too late or someone blows the whistle, then it’s often get out of town fast time for the whistle blower. Denial is considered sacred, even though the result of denial is tragedy for its sufferers and the breakdown of the family, business, organization or nation. When it comes to the subject of Israel, revealing its (and Zionism’s) dirty secrets is painful and challenges the authority of the abusers, who react angrily. For Alison Weir that meant receiving death threats and being kicked out of an organization that she belonged to (Jewish Voice for Peace). For me it meant receiving some nasty comments by someone who didn’t like the fact that I had published a 5-star review of Ms. Weir’s book. “It’s the appealing combination of ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry that make avowed Nazi supporters and antisemitic white supremacists so universally abhorred to all, except to those who gave this book a 5 star rating. It would be very sad,” he continued, “if an antisemitic white supremacist like you could act act on your fantasies.”
If we are serious about wanting peace in Israel (and the Middle East), then we have to stare truth in the face, and the truth about Israel is not in any way pretty. When people like Ayalet Shaked are appointed Justice Minister, homes are confiscated, children arrested and abused, and the Prime Minister and his military chiefs unload a whole arsenal on a tiny strip of land called Gaza because some folks there insist on fighting back, something is terribly wrong and cannot any longer be denied. As the reviewer of Ms. Weir’s groundbreaking book said so well, “Human Rights are for all people, not just some over others.” Short of that, peace will never happen. if JVP really wants to work for peace, they’re going to have to change the way they think about the subject, and look at what the real history is and what Israel’s behavior continues to be. When the leadership of a nation (or any other organization) treats a minority group with contempt and its leaders like Ayalet Shaked are able to call Palestinians vermin and suggest on her Facebook page that Palestinian mothers be killed so they can’t give birth to “more little snakes,” and deputy defense minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan calls Palestinians “beasts, they are not humans,” and says that “a Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual,” something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Calling Israel one of the worst nations in the world in terms of human rights is not anti-Semitism, it is reality. According to Allan Brownfield’s recent commentary in The Council for the National Interest’s website, “we have reached the point where support for Israel must be reassessed.” (To read the article, click here: http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/new/reassessing-us-aid-to-israel-allan-c-brownfeld/#.Vb6MGnjfLHh )
The time has come to talk about what is going on, not talk around it or ignore it. But it will not be easy, as Alison Weir’s experience shows. Israel’s response to critics is to attack them. (For a detailed program on how they do this, check out The Reut Institute’s website and read their manual: http://www.reut-institute.org/en/Default.aspx
Israel will either change its toxic behavior, or run itself off a cliff into disaster. Professor Tony Judt of New York University asked a very profound question about Israel: “How…does a reputably intelligent people, with traditionally strong humanistic values, manage constantly to delude itself about what is going on, what lies in store and what needs to be done? And how has it allowed the Jewish Star of David, and by implication, the Jewish religion and Jewish people, to become associated in the eyes of growing numbers of people with repression?” The answer is simple — Denial, obsessive, malignant denial. Can the picture get much worse. Yes it can, and that spells disaster.