The Art of RZ Doublespeak

June 18, 2011 Category: Uncategorized


Since time immemorial, “protecting ourselves” has been used (by those with superior power) as an excuse to subjugate those in the (less powerful) out-group.  Such is the game played by the privileged: between themselves and those relegated to subaltern status.  Using “for our own protection” as a pretext to oppress—and even kill—others is not something we accepted when Nazis did it; it’s not something we should accept when RZs do it. 

Defective principles are defective independently of who the perpetrator is and who the victim may be; just as valid moral principles are valid only insofar as they are valid for all.  Consistency is the heart of justice.  So when the in-group’s regime steals the land of the out-group while mercilessly depriving them of basic human rights, we must call it what it is: a crime against humanity, not a crime against just the out-group.

Alas, viciously oppressing others in the name of a designated in-group’s “security” is a common refrain heard by iniquitous regimes.  Throughout modern history, it has generally been denounced for the appalling policy that it is.  Thus, when the IG does it, such an act should be treated no differently than when other regimes have done it.  Moral principles, after all, transcend ethnic considerations.  Meanwhile, bigotry is a function of tribal agendas.  Racial neutrality is the hallmark of any just policy, as justice knows no tribal distinctions.

Essentially, the line heard from racist regimes is: “We attack other civilian populations—people who DON’T matter—in order to ‘defend’ our own civilian population—people who DO matter.”  This rationalization is often employed by the privileged in-group in an attempt to justify a brutal occupation and/or systematic persecution of the disadvantaged out-group.

These excuses are offered by the occupying force when it relentlessly imparts needless suffering and death on innocent civilians (i.e. the ones who “don’t matter”.)  “We’re just doing it to keep ourselves safe,” the occupiers insist.  This perverse modus operandi can be used regardless of the identities of the groups involved: depending on the circumstances, white people could do it to black people, black people could to it to white people, etc.

Bigots love to offer soaring perorations about their “national security” and the protection of the anointed in-group…without talking about the security and safety of anyone else.  Revisionist Zionists especially enjoy invoking appeals to the 4,000 year-old “bond” between the Hebrews and the so-called “Jewish homeland”—thereby not only begging the question of who has a right to live there, but calling for racial purity.  (A paean to racial purity: sound familiar?  How quickly some people forget.)  There is an apt term for a nation that designs policy so as to privilege one ethnic group over another: racist.

The adamant demand by RZ to ensure a certain ethnic majority in a designated region is the mirror image of the very thing Jews incurred in Europe 75 years ago.  That RZ’s refuse to acknowledge the eerie parallels here is testament to their hypocrisy.  But the mentality involved operates in the following way: “When someone else does it to US, it is appalling; yet if WE do it to someone else, it is a righteous cause.”  The perpetrators deem this a praiseworthy effort to ensure ethnic dominance in the designated region. 

This is RZ in a nutshell.  “If THEY do it, it’s racism; but when WE do it, it’s a noble endeavor.  Everything done in the name of OUR security is legitimate, but anything done in the name of THEIR security is illegitimate.  The Jews matter; the goyim don’t.”  Get the picture?  Be it Avigdor Lieberman or Heinrich Himmler touting this line, its vulgar logic mustn’t be tolerated.

Over history, this despicable formula remains the same even as the names within it are swapped in and out, as needed, to suit the agenda at hand.  It seems perfectly fine when the in-group is on the winning side; yet it suddenly reveals its venality when it’s another group applying it.  Hypocrisy’s best friend is CONVENIENCE.  Says the Machiavellian, “We apply principles only when convenient, when they conduce to our own purposes.  We simply disregard them when they encumber our agenda.”

The key to moral principles is that they are identity neutral and transcend the interests of any given party at any given time.  Moral principles do not have a proviso appended to the end, saying: “Apply as needed” or “Disregard when inconvenient.”  As much as we may be tempted to coyly invoke such provisos, morality becomes a game of heartless utility and craven opportunism when we indulge in such contingencies.  A principle is not a principle unless it is applied even when inconvenient—unless it is honored even when counter to one’s own interests.

Meanwhile, demands for racial purity are a key element in RZ.  The astonishing irony here is lost on RZ apologists—as déjà vu seems not to work when the shoe is on the other foot.  Aryan supremacy in reverse is just as bad as it was in overdrive.  Anti-goyim-ism is, after all, the mirror image of Anti-Semitism.  As blatant as it is, this perverse symmetry is not acknowledged by RZ.  “When OTHERS do it, we call it reprehensible; yet if WE do it, it’s a righteous cause.”  Therefore, when they say, “Never again,” they merely mean, “Never again FOR US.  But for the goyim, oppression is perfectly acceptable when it suits our interests.”  The same behavior goes from appalling atrocity to noble endeavor the moment the shoe is on the other foot.

A 4,000 YEAR BOND:

The “4,000 year” figure often invoked in RZ rhetoric is patently irrelevant because it pertains to a single ethnic group’s rights, not to human rights.  Any rationalization for bestowing privilege on a certain tribe over all others is prima fascae unjust, and should be dismissed out of hand.  There is no divinely ordained “favorite” group of people, no uniquely privileged tribe.

The “4,000 year bond with Israel” is an assertion that depends on stories found in an ancient book that have since been proven to be myths.  No serious thinker would take such an appeal seriously by ANY group—with regard to ANY holy scripture.  Why?  Because iron age fables aren’t a valid basis for foreign policy—be they fables from the Pentateuch or of any other sacred text.

As far as universal principles go, all sacred texts are on the same footing.  Such artifacts are, therefore, beside the point.  Indeed, any group at any time can claim that any place they covet is their “holy land”, thereby imbuing themselves with unique entitlements and exclusive rights.  “This tribe allegedly used to occupy that piece of real estate at some point in the past” isn’t a moral argument for seizing land. 

Various empires / tribes have come and gone in various locations over the long course of human history…going back to pre-Babylonian times.  How far back in history one opts to go in order to justify this claim is, of course, arbitrary.  No matter what the point of reference is, it is invariably used to privilege one group over another.  Such appeals, then, are categorically inadmissible.  We can play this game with Saskatoon as readily as with Canaan.  Even as RZs refer to Canaan as “Samaria” and “Judea”, we may just as well refer to it as “Iudaea Province”, as it was called during the Roman Empire…while referring to France as “Gaul”, Arabia as “Shem”, Turkey as “Anatolia” or “Galatia”, Iraq as “Mesopotamia” or “Assyria”, Iran as “Persia”, etc.  Meanwhile, why not refer to Gaza as “Philistine”?  We could play this game all day…yet it gets us nowhere.  Why?  It’s all a moot point.

Moreover, any claim of a “4,000 year” history of the Jews is historically untenable.  What is now labeled the “Torah” was not even compiled until—at earliest—450 B.C. (during the Persian Empire).  It was based on proto-Judaic folklore that was cobbled together over the previous couple centuries (using such hypothetical traditions as the Jahwist, the Elohist, and the Deuteronomist).  None of it is to be taken seriously as actual historical record.

RZs shouldn’t expect everyone to lend credence to the Torah any more than Scientologists should expect everyone to lend credence to Dianetics.  (Imagine if Dianetics claimed, say, Nebraska to be the Scientologists’ holy land.  Would this be grounds for followers of L. Ron Hubbard to demand sovereignty over the Cornhusker State?  Why should anyone take into account the Pentateuch any more than Dianetics when dealing with contemporary international relations?  Is one religion more important than another?)

Based on ACTUAL history, if anyone wants to claim Canaan as their “homeland”, Egyptians could do it, Hittite descendants could do it, Babylonian descendants could do it, Assyrian descendents could do it, Median descendants could do it, Persians could do it, Greeks could do it, Macedonian descendants could do it, descendents of the Romans could do it, Sassanid descendents could do it, Byzantines could do it…as well as Hebrew descendents or even Ottoman descendents.  So we shan’t play the silly game of determining to whom that tract of land “originally” belonged.  (Zoroastrianism preceded Judaism, but this doesn’t now give Persians precedence in any territorial matter.) 

Talk of “our ancestral homeland”, then, is a rhetorical maneuver that mustn’t be tolerated by any party.  Such a proclamation privileges one ethnic group over another based on patently specious criteria.  What we now have to recognize is international law, as it pertains to the global community—a community of human beings—a community where there are no subalterns.  Historic boundaries aren’t guideposts to human solidarity.

There was a U.N. resolution in 1948 to partition Canaan; so we start from there.  (The Balfour Declaration may have ancillary relevance, but any talk of land rights prior to that is completely beside the point.  Going back 3,000 years helps nobody.)  If we want to give the Israelis the benefit of the doubt—which I endorse doing—then we can even use the 1967 boarders as a point of departure.  But ANY settlement activity since then is—by definition—an illegal occupation that must not only be stopped, but reversed—replete with reparations.

An indication of RZ intransigence is the initial attitude of Menachem Begin toward the 1947 U.N. partition proposal.  He defiantly declared that the U.N. partition (which recommended giving Jews about 50% of Palestine, thereby evicting indigenous habitants from half of the land) was “illegal” and that “it will never be recognized” by Zionists.  Why?  He demanded that the ENTIRE piece of land (deemed “eretz Israel”) “will be restored to the people of Israel.  All of it.”  This is, of course, begging the question.  It stipulates that “The Land of Israel” is—by definition—whatever the Jews stipulate (by fiat) to be “eretz Israel”.  In essence, the argument amounts to: “We have a right to that parcel of land because we define that parcel of land as ours.”

In 1937, David Ben Gurion had stated (in a letter to his son): “We will expel the Arabs and take their place.  In each attack, a decisive blow shall be struck resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the population.”  This vulgar proposal is especially ironic, as the letter directly preceded another group’s “final solution” against the Jews.  The outlandish perversity of the history is difficult to miss:  Directly following the ordeal of being at the receiving end of the Nazi’s final solution, RZ leaders proceeded to orchestrate their own final solution against another group, in Canaan.  One is reminded of the horribly abused child who grows up to beat his own children.  “We were expelled elsewhere, so now we will be the expellers here.”  Once again, the persecution was racially based—a repeat of humanity at its most despicable.  “Never again!” the RZ proclaims, meaning “never again TO US”…which means they give themselves license to make it happen again—so long as it’s to someone else.

If the U.S. were to play the queer “ancestral homeland” game analogous to that proposed by RZ, then a preposterous charade would ensue.  Going back just two centuries, most of North America would have to be returned to Native American tribes.  (Nebraska, after all, is the homeland of the Sioux, the Omaha, the Arapaho, the Ponca, and the Pawnee.)  Using this logic, at the very least, Texas would be given back to the Mexicans.  Canaan is no different than is, say, Nebraska when it comes to “rights” to land.  Nebraska belongs to the U.S. since the 1803 purchase of Louisiana territory from France.  THAT is now the only viable point of departure for ascertaining who has jurisdiction over Nebraska.  This jurisdiction is in no way based on ethnicity.  The moment jurisdictions are determined by race, grievous problems arise.

So it goes: sovereignty over Nebraska is determined by the Louisiana Purchase.  In the same vain, certain parts of Canaan were given to Jewish refugees by a U.N. resolution following World War II.  Therefore, talk of history prior to the 20th Century is now a moot point.  The primary directive now is to ensure that no group is being oppressed / persecuted, regardless of who they are or where they now happen to be.  No group is exempt from this moral standard.

Just because there might have been a “king” of a local tribe in Judah named “Solomon” who might have built a temple during the 10th century B.C. does not entail that a group of people of a certain ethnicity are licensed to kick people of another ethnicity out of Canaan here in the 21st Century.  “The House of David” is a point of reference that only means something to those who take the Pentateuch seriously.  It is not a justification for evicting an ethnic group that doesn’t fit the desired narrative.  Shall we say that the next Israeli bulldozer to demolish a Palestinian home is entitled to do so because of a story from the Pentateuch?

Hinduism preceded Islam by over two millennia.  India can’t use that fact as a reason to evict Muslims from Kashmir.  (Imagine if Hindus attempted to use the Mahabharata as a rationalization for illegal land-grabs in Pakistan.)  Regarding minorities that have been persecuted: What about the Armenians and the Kurds in Anatolia?  Should ethnic cleansing be tolerated because “the Turks were here first”?  Examples of such foolish rationalizations are endless.

The Christian Roman Empire tried to use Christianity’s precedence over Islam as an excuse for the Crusades against Arabs along the Mediterranean coast.  That a Christian presence preceded a Muslim presence (by three centuries) was no excuse to evict Muslims from Canaan.  Why, then, would such an excuse be valid for any other tribe at any other time?  Shall we conduct ourselves like feuding iron age tribes when conducting international affairs?

Lots of tribes once had a “homeland” that is no longer reflected by contemporary national boundaries / sovereignties.  Those of Jewish ancestry aren’t any more important than any other humans.  In the modern era (i.e. in a civil society) we’re obligated to treat all humans as fellow humans—irrespective of race.  No one has the right to oppress anyone.  Period.

No group’s tradition is ipso facto more important than any other group’s tradition.  Many traditions are incompatible.  Thus any appeal to “upholding our tradition” is inadmissible in international affairs.  You have your heritage and I have mine.  Lest we keep our respective heritages to ourselves, we will privilege one over another, which goes against human solidarity.  No legacy trumps any other because all legacies are tribal affairs.  “But my legacy is older than yours” is a sorry excuse to privilege oneself over another.

What of god’s will?  Shall we go with THAT criterion, then?  Your god or mine?  Your narrative or mine?  We could play that game as well.  We could quibble over the ordinance of THIS deity vs. the ordinance of THAT deity.  Who’s divine Providence trumps who’s?  The answer: It’s all patently irrelevant. 

To all parties, it must be said: Put your holy book aside for a moment, and let’s talk about human rights.  The answers to today’s problems aren’t found in sacred texts; they’re guided by universal principles.  As far as any negotiation goes, all parties must be told: Leave your religion at the door.

Appeals to what one group deems holy writ are inadmissible in any serious discussion.  That one tribe’s dogma stipulates a particular point shouldn’t have to be another tribe’s concern.  International relations can’t be based on anyone’s folklore.  Each group keeps its dogmas to itself, and proceeds with the serious work of being part of a civilized, pluralistic world.  This can only be done by embracing universals: principles that transcend historical accident.  Spurious social constructs are no basis for foreign policy, as we learned 75 years ago in Germany.


We may recall the hypocrisy of the Cold Warriors here in the U.S. during the Cold War era.  We were told that “force projection” was vital in order to ensure our own “security” against a menacing nemesis.  We were uniquely entitled, then, to broaden OUR “sphere of influence” vis a vis THEIR “sphere of influence”, so that the latter was precluded by the former.  The “catch”, of course, was that the U.S. did all the things that Russia was forbidden to do: If YOU do it, you’re hell-bent on global domination, but if WE do it, we’re just protecting ourselves. 

This brazen double standard was employed by the Pentagon to rationalize surrounding Russia with missiles and bases…even as any hint of an indigenous communist movement anywhere in the world was an indication of the Kremlin trying to take over the world.  An analogy to this duplicitous “sphere of influence” approach is the IG vis a vis Palestine.  The approach is simple.  The IG insists: “Incursions by us into their land is perfectly acceptable, because we’re just protecting ourselves; but if THEY do anything but bow their heads to us, then they are trying to destroy us.”

Simple fact: RZ is responsible for more civilian deaths in Palestine than Hamas is for civilian deaths in Israel.  (The tally is not even close.)  If Hamas can be said to be a “supporter of terrorism” based in its transgressions, then—by the same measure—RZ is a more grievous terrorist movement than even al Qaeda.  Want to tally the number of innocent civilians killed—per the policy of each movement?  RZ gets the gold medal.  Suffering caused?  RZ wins again.  Schools and medical facilities destroyed?  RZ wins yet again.  Public infrastructure destroyed?  RZ leads every metric of terrorist activity.  It’s not even close.  RZ understandably talks about how some Israelis live in constant fear—but they point this out as if they weren’t causing every Palestinian to live in constant fear…while mercilessly imposing impoverishment and destitution on millions.  Who is living in constant fear?  The IG doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

To clarify: RZ is a terrorist movement BY ITS OWN STANDARDS (number of innocent civilians killed).  This becomes apparent once we abstract from specific ethnic identities, leaving only the underlying logic by which we assess movements.  (After all, innocent civilians are innocent civilians, whether goyim or Jew.)  Is it really so much to ask that we all employ a consistent application of principles / standards, independent of ethnic identity?  The suffering of a single Palestinian is just as unacceptable as the suffering of a single Israeli.  The suffering of ten Palestinians is ten times as bad as the suffering of a single Israeli.  The math of humanitarianism is quite simple.

A regime can’t use it’s own security concerns as a rationalization for aggression when the other side has FAR GREATER security concerns.  In a world where the security of ALL human beings matters, this is common sense.  One doesn’t secure liberty by depriving others of liberty.  One doesn’t effect one’s own security by oppressing others.

The identity neutrality of moral principles is a corollary of the Categorical Imperative: Act only based on principles that one would have all others base their actions on.  Alas, respecting the rights of every human qua human is anathema to RZ.  The RZ ethic is a function of the Jew-goyim distinction: God’s chosen people vs. the goyim (i.e. the privileged vs. the subaltern).  Ergo the RZ’s disdain for consistent application of principles.  In this worldview, some people matter; some people don’t.  How do we know which is which?  Race.  Sound familiar?

RZ rhetoric exhibits nothing but contempt for the Categorical Imperative.  If an Israeli suffers, it’s a cosmic catastrophe; yet if a goy suffers, it’s acceptable collateral damage in pursuit of a noble endeavor.  The point is clear: One can’t indict anti-Semitism without recognizing its mirror image, anti-goyim-ism.  If we are to be against racism, we must be against ALL racism.  (The hallmark of a racist is that he’s against all kinds of racism except his own.)

Of course, radicals on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have a list of transgressions.  Nobody is exempt from culpability when iniquities have been perpetrated by both parties in the dispute.  However, in any altercation based on mutual antagonism, we should not pretend that a catch-22 is at hand.  Whenever there is a massive power asymmetry between the disputants, the onus to cease and desist with aggressions is on the side with drastically superior power.  This is especially so when the reciprocation of attack is (consistently) enormously disproportionate to the harm incurred.  (Estimates range from 11 to 20 Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed.  This doesn’t count the chronic suffering of most Palestinians due to the horrible oppression and fear they endure daily.)  In other words, the gigantic power asymmetry plus the drastic reprisal asymmetry translates to a corresponding culpability asymmetry.  RZ rhetoric assumes there is parity on all counts.  Insofar as one ignores such huge disparities, one obfuscates Reality.

To fail to see this obvious point is to abdicate all common sense.  Alas, aggressors since time immemorial have often pleaded that their victims were the “real” aggressors, and they were just defending themselves.  (Psychologists call this “Reaction Formation”.  Others call it “projection”.  Lewis Carroll had Alice going through the looking-glass.)  One must wonder: Who would be willing to swallow such hogwash?

Those who buy into this special pleading are those who have a vested interest in the aggressor (or want to curry favor with him)…and don’t care an iota about the plight of whoever the victim may be.  Why don’t right-wingers here in the U.S stand up for Palestinian rights?  Simply because they ask themselves a simple question: “What’s in it for me?”  They promptly answer: “Nothing.”

Meanwhile, Israel is extremely useful with respect to military / economic interests.  So a categorical endorsement for one side of the dispute is established based on that fact alone.  (One can’t help but wonder: What would Jesus say about such priorities?  Hillel?  Victor Frankl?  Sacrificing human rights for military strategy seems not to be in keeping with our highest ideals.)

A consistent application of salient criteria is not unreasonable to expect when assessing policy: If an ethical standard is relevant for X, then it’s relevant for Y—regardless of who X and Y may be.  Even ill-behaved children eventually learn the “Good if I do it but bad if you do it” approach is untenable.  A child usually recognizes hypocrisy by the time he is in grade-school.  When a national leader feigns an inability to recognize glaring hypocrisy, then, we know he’s either intelligent yet duplicitous or well-meaning yet a moron.

As children mature, they develop certain moral insights, such as: “Just because someone did something bad to me in the past doesn’t now give me the right to do it to someone else.”  Most children also eventually learn: “You can’t have something just because you want it” and “If someone else has something you think you’re entitled to, you can’t just take it from them.”  When foreign policy thwarts elementary moral insights acquired by most children, the world is in a sorry state.

Security can only subsist in fidelity to universal human rights.  An abiding peace is predicated on security for ALL.  Anything less is unacceptable to some, and thus the recipe for simmering resentment, shame, and eventually conflict.


One can’t talk about Israeli security without talking about Palestinian security, lest a disparity develop.  Such a disparity amounts to a perturbation of stability in the region.  Insecurity for ANYONE is a recipe for conflict.  Security for EVERYONE is the only valid aim of any negotiation.

RZ fails to recognize a simple insight: If one wants to protect oneself from X, one doesn’t oppress X.  If one aims to avoid reprisals from X, one doesn’t incessantly persecute X.  Why?  Doing so only creates festering resentment that ultimately precipitates the very hostility one purports to be trying to diffuse.  This is, of course, common sense to most level-headed people.  For RZ, pointing this out is deemed heresy: “If you criticize our oppression of the Palestinians, then you must be anti-Semitic.”  It’s like a KKK member responding to criticism of his racism against blacks, “Well, then, you must have something against white people.”  Anti-racism is not itself a kind of racism.

What if blacks in the pre-civil rights south had fought back against white bigotry with some violence of their own?  Could we have begrudged them entirely for retaliating when no other recourse was at their disposal?  Of course, two wrongs don’t make a right, but we shouldn’t pretend that people don’t have a breaking point.

To fuel antagonism with X by relentlessly treating X brutally…then to complain about retaliation from X…is, indeed, the sign of either duplicity or idiocy.  In other words, to engage in such shenanigans means one is either calculatedly promoting malfeasance or one is marginally sociopathic.  Which explanation accounts for RZ?  Tribal narcissism involves a bit of both, it seems.  Either way, the biggest threat to the security of both Palestinian AND Israeli civilians is RZ.

Shall the U.S. be the friend of the Israeli people?  Of course.  Here’s the rub, according to Ira Chernus: “Real friends don’t enable their friends to engage in self-destructive behavior.  Real friends wouldn’t let them get so drunk on a delusional story that they have no compunctions about driving what might otherwise be a peace process off a cliff.”  Don’t like Palestinian retaliation?  Blame RZ: the reason it keeps happening.

There are certain elementary moral axioms by which most reasonable people conduct their affairs:

Just because others have slighted you in the past doesn’t give you license to slight them with impunity as a countermeasure—nor is such a strategy even effective.  Put another way: That one has incurred harm due to iniquitous acts in the past doesn’t absolve one of moral culpability going forward.

Most of us in the civilized world recognize the fundamental principle that one doesn’t punish an entire demographic group for the transgressions of a few errant members. 

A regime can’t use a “You kill one of us, so we’ll kill twenty of you” policy year after year, and expect the other side to be the first to stop retaliating… especially when you are the one oppressing them and repeatedly stealing their land.  Antagonism often involves a positive feedback loop.  (See my essays on Reciprocal Radicalization [RR].) 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a prime case study in RR.  Volleying recriminations back and forth, ad infinitum, is the standard routine for tribal feuds (just as it is for feuds between individuals).  The mutual vilification fuels a vicious circle from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.  In such circumstances, neither party wants to be the first to extend an olive branch, as such a gesture is construed as “giving in” or “giving up” rather than as an exercise in magnanimity.  Each disputant digs in its heels—often out of false pride—the more the feud escalates.

The IG has made a sport out of incessantly traducing the Palestinians.  The IG viciously oppresses millions of innocent civilians under the auspices of its own “defense” and “security”…then, for good measure, relentlessly antagonizes them, harasses them, bullies them, berates them, harangues them, chastises them, and kills them—just to make sure they’re adequately demeaned and humiliated.  Even after doing these things year after year after year, the key—it seems—is to persist in castigating the Palestinians—upbraiding them for any retaliation.  (It’s almost as if the IG is following a “How To Radicalize & Inflame A Group Of People As Much As Possible” Guidebook.)

Though the culpability in this conflict is asymmetrical, there are no innocent parties.  In this tragic dispute, each “side” must own up to its own infractions if there is ever going to be an honest brokering of a just resolution.  While advocates for Palestine need to own up to their mistakes of the past, the IG needs to stop adhering to what is essentially a “How To Piss Millions of People Off By Relentlessly Oppressing Them & Steeling Their Land” Instruction Manual.  The approach here is quite simply: You make us feel insecure, so we will relentlessly oppress you, mercilessly humiliate you, and incessantly attack you, while perpetually demolishing your homes and stealing your land…which will incite a seething resentment that invariably impels you to retaliate…the prospect of which makes us feel insecure…and on and on.

This “vicious cycle” is fueled by RZ.  It is a self-perpetuating cycle of mutual antagonism and retributive vilification—abetted by back-and-forth recriminations.  In other words, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a self-reinforcing conflict.  As I have pointed out elsewhere, the consequence of this positive feedback loop is reciprocal radicalization (RR): a condition that feeds off of the conflict while exacerbating the conditions on which the conflict is predicated.  This is not a catch-22 because the back-and-forth is asymmetrical, both in terms of power and in terms of culpability.  Thus, the onus is on one side to arrest the cycle: the more powerful side, the side that has committed the lion’s share of the transgressions.

Want to talk about indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians?  The IG wins that contest handily—by orders of magnitude.  RZ rhetoric about Israeli civilians being killed is criticizing the mote in another’s eye when there’s a redwood tree in one’s own eye.  Point in case: Operation Cast Lead…1,400 Gazans slaughtered, 13 IDF soldiers killed.  (So much for the pretext, “defense”.)  Such an enormously disproportionate response is typical of most exchanges during the past four decades.  Enough is enough.

For too long, impresarios of the IG have pretended that they are seeking a two-state solution while the U.S. government pretends it believes them.  The IG delays agreeing to a cessation of the brutal occupation and inexcusable settlement expansions and vicious oppression and routine destruction of public infrastructure by pretending that they need to wait-wait-wait for some key figure or another in Palestine to “recognize” the Israeli State (which already exists)…even as they adamantly REFUSE to recognize—at the same time—the right of Palestinians to have a sovereign State.  This preposterous game only fools fools.

Such pathological mendacity is allowed to persist because RZ propaganda can always exploit the memory of any / all attacks on Israel to justify the continuation of the IG’s appalling policies.  It is the RZ’s wildcard: an eternal excuse to do whatever they see fit; a permanent license to persecute with impunity; a reservoir of handy recriminations that enables this charade to continue. 

RZ’s don’t tolerate any heresy: When Yitzhak Rabin questioned their sanctified agenda, they had him killed.  If a goy challenges their propaganda, he is branded Anti-Semitic.  If a Jew points out the hypocrisy, then he is labeled “self-hating” or some such thing.  RZ has no valid case to make, so it resorts to fatuous rhetorical maneuvers in an attempt to justify crimes against humanity.  Such rhetoric only seems to hold water because the Arab world refuses to acknowledge its own missteps.  As soon as the Palestinian leadership fesses up to its own transgressions, RZ sophistry will no longer be able to use past slights as an excuse to carry out its agenda.

Radicals on both “sides” of a feud typically feed off of the mutual vilification and resentment fueled by the on-going conflict.  Case in point: When asked by a New York Times reporter on Sept. 11, 2001 for his reaction to the terrorist attacks, Mr. Netanyahu replied, “It’s very good” for U.S. – Israel relations. In a speech at Bar-Ilan University, Netanyahu said about the 9/11 attacks: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” and that the attacks – “swung American public opinion in our favor.”  On that fateful morning, another useful pretense for AIPAC had been served on a silver platter. 

Exploit insecurity: This is the standard approach found in any bigotry-based enterprise.  Bigots rarely see that what they do is the mirror image of the very thing they denounce when others do it.  Such Orwellian Doublethink is an art form that has been mastered by RZ.  (“The Israeli right needs perpetual war,” noted the eminent Israeli scholar, Zeev Sternhell.  RZ thrives on the feud that lends credence to its ideology.)

Right-wing movements have always seen the utility of having an enemy, and so promoting an ongoing conflict.  “Our enemies have made us one, and, thus united, we suddenly discover our strength,” Theodore Herzl wrote in Zionism’s founding tract, The Jews’ State.  Reactionary politics is predicated on a Manichean worldview: a plight of us against them.  How else to rationalize militarism?  RZ, then, is based as much on super-patriotism as it is on racism.

What would hold RZs together if they had no common enemy?  That seems to be the defining question for right-wing regimes, as Orwell demonstrated in 1984.  The question was posed by Avraham Burg (former speaker of the Israeli Knesset): “Can we continue to exist without a perennial adversary, without being victims of persecution?”  According to RZ: no.  So the persecution of “the eternal enemy” continues in order to forever BE persecuted.

It is no secret that persecuted people often resort to acts of desperation when they have no other recourse.  Oppression breads radicalization.  Colonial powers learned this fact time after time from ill-treated indigenous populations.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the IG creates the very problem it claims to contravene when it perpetrates crimes against humanity in Palestine: incessantly kicking people off their land, constantly depriving them of basic rights, relentlessly harassing and degrading them, day in and day out, year after year after year.  To then wonder why there is an on-going problem is absurd.

It therefore comes as little surprise that the IG’s alleged efforts to mitigate hostility toward Israel only succeeds in exacerbating that hostility.  This could only possibly be one of two things: perfectly intentional or the result of astounding obliviousness.  Which is it?  (Hubris often involves a bit of both.)  Many people are unaware of the degree to which right-wing IG policy endangers Israeli civilians.  An Israeli child understandably asks, “Why are there terrorists?”  Why, indeed?  The short answer: the right-wing extremists on both sides of the wall.  Perhaps it will be explained to him that there is Palestinian terrorism because there is Israeli terrorist…and vice versa.  WHY have there been suicide bombers in Israel?  In large part, due to IG policies based on RZ.  Surely, if the young Israeli were to become aware of the IG’s treatment of Palestinians, the answer to his question would become quite clear.  “THAT is why they bomb us.”

Alas, according to the RZ narrative, it’s only the Palestinians who are engaged in “terrorism”.  What the IG does is called “defense” and “security” and other wonderful-sounding things.  The flagrant hypocrisy of RZ rhetoric is only rendered more vulgar by the tragic history of such tribalism when Jews were on the other side of the equation.  Meanwhile, even young children eventually learn: If you want to protect yourself, you don’t accost others.  Netanyahu must have been a nightmare on the school playground.  That he now leads a country is a tragedy for millions, not just for a few unfortunate classmates.  Schoolyard bullies are usually cowards; RZ apparatchiks are no different.

(See Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and The Bureaucracy of Evil: The History of the Israeli Occupation.  Also see  Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry for further insights into the matters discussed in this essay.  For general insights on tribal conflict, see Peter Scheff’s Bloody Revenge.)

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