Left-wing politics from the US to Nepal, via Zimbabwe, South America and Palestine.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tziper on Ahmedinijad and the 'Zionist Entity'

Between us, I'm also Fed Up with the Zionist Entity!
By Benny Tziper 09/24/06

Hebrew original here.

While standing in line at the post office I saw a French couple, a man and a woman, not young, who were trying to figure out which line they should be standing in. I went over to them and asked them what they wished to do. They said that since they made aliyah [1] to Israel half-a-year ago they aren't receiving any main, despite having a regular mail box in their front yard. All the letters that we sent to their home were returned to their senders. The clerks behind the desk shrugged and eventually said 'go to the branch management'. I accompanied them to the branch manager, Bat Sheva, who gave them a complaint form to fill in. I apologized to them, saying that post here is a little slow and anachronistic. They said that it's no different in France. I asked them where they were from. The woman replied 'Normandy'. At that moment I saw in my imagination the green meadows and shale roofs of that divinely blessed province and wondered in my heart what they are doing in Ra'anana, in this sun-stroked country. Of course, I didn't say anything so as to not put them in an awkward position.

I think that people like them make aliyah out of a certain fantasy they have about Israel. Outwardly, they look like you and me, but inside they live in a completely imaginary province. I have met several of these French Jews who fulfilled their dream of settling in Israel. Most of them are disgustingly right-wing, disgustingly conservative [in the Jewish-religious sense] and talk of Palestinians and their rights in a disgusting way. Israel is for them the place where they can finally loudly and openly express their hatred for Arabs and for Islam, that in Europe is modestly hidden under mounds of various hypocrisies and of "'that's not nice's".

Through a close acquaintance of mine who recently made the voyage from Paris to settling down in Jerusalem, and thus joined his mother and brother who were already in Israel, I got to know this community of French Jews a little better, and every time my repulsion towards them grew. Members of one family, known to said acquaintance, built themselves a large house in Ra'anana. the father is a businessman dealing in diamonds, who often travels all over the world. He wears a black skullcap, is a right-winger, they keep kosher, and discuss Jewish theological issues around the dinner table. I see the settlement of this family here as a sort of Jewish colonialism that has not yet been sufficiently discoursed upon.

I would call it 'fantastical colonialism": after they grasped the idea that in France they have no chance of social advancement despite all their money - and that they will never be as French as they had fantasized themselves to be - they came here to fulfill their polished and disgusting Judaism: that is, to continue to separate themselves from the (Israeli) environment that is not sufficiently religious for them, that isn't cultured at all, that isn't polite, etc. And together with that to feel a mystic - I would call it fantastical - affinity to Israel and to this holy place that was promised to the Jewish people by god, etc.

That is, these people hate me as an Israel because I spoil their image of a mystical promised land, and they most certainly hate the Arabs who ruin their promised land. They want to live in a Jewish fantasy that they brought with them from France. In settlements [in the West Bank] they often find this wish of theirs, and indeed there are many new immigrants from France in the settlements. That same acquaintance of mine often told me, during arguments over what the Israeli army does in the Occupied Territories, that it's all propaganda and that it's just not possible that Jewish soldiers could abuse Palestinians or shoot children. When I inquired how he can be so sure of this, he said: "I know the son of my friends from Ra'anana. He's a wonderful guy and couldn't hurt fly."

He has a grandiose plan to bring to Israel spiritual men from all over the world for conversations with Israeli intellectuals from various streams of thought, during which those spiritual men will realize the true face of Israel and not the one that has supposedly been distorted in the world's media. I again inquired who would be those Israeli intellectuals who wouldn't blacken the face of Israel in conversation even further than he expects. To this he answered that he thought for example of the settler's prophet of rage, Daniella Weiss [2]. OK, if that is so, I said to myself, we disagree in an extreme way about the definition of an intellectual and of a spiritual man.

Sometimes I get so angry at these new Zionists, who see me as part of their fantasy, that I almost identify with the crazy rage of Iranian president Ahmidinijad, who sees the Zionist entity as a disturbed invention. In the sense that I am talking about here, he is somewhat correct, between us, though for the wrong reasons. I'm fed up with living in this country as a symbol of Jewish eternalness, I want to feel that after fifty-something years of life here, that I live here because I do, without the need for mystical explanations. That is the only way we will be able to overcome people like Ahmedinijad: by finally forgetting the 'why' of our existence here and feel that we are we because we are, just because, because it's nice.

But for that we need to make an effort to be the least possible Jewish in the mystical sense of the word, in the sense of god's promises to Abraham and his descendants and all that nonsense. Ahmedinijad laughs at that, and he's right. Who cares that there was once this guy called Abraham who said that god promised him and his descendants the land, when those very descendants of Abraham are actually from descendants of Sodom [3] as far as the way they act towards their Palestinian neighbors. And who decided that countries pass by inheritance after 3,000 years anyway? And who said that we are the legitimate inheritors of Abraham's legacy? In short, the reliance on our historical right to this land is a retarded argument. Even according to Jewish law, the right to the land is not automatic but rather depends on the actions of the people and the degree of their morality.

Enough. Once and for all. Let's decide that we are here just because, and because we are still strong enough so that 'just because' will last. And enough of wrapping this 'just because' with layers of Jewish mysticism and memories of Jewish holocausts. And let's get out of the Occupied Territories so we can stop being descendants of Sodom and go back to being descendants of Abraham. And then, when we feel good about ourselves, Ahmedinijad will be able to shout all he wants that it's necessary to wipe out the Zionist entity. And he will be right, as long as the Zionist entity continues to be a crazy mystical fantasy, no less crazy than that craze that shows in his, Ahmedinijad's, eyes.


[1]: Making aliyah means resettling in Israel. It literally translates as 'ascendancy'.

[2]: Daniella Weiss is one of the most extreme leaders of the settler movement. She is an advocate of 'transfer' of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan and Egypt and of a 'greater Israel', a country entirely dominated by Jews, run according to Jewish religious law.

[3]: This refers to the cities of Sodom and Gommorah, which were destroyed by god for being sinful and proud.


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