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Israel’s Toxic Entitlement

June 1, 2010

I’ve been working for some time now on a long piece on Israel. The basic message was to have been that it has decayed into little more than a well-organized kleptocracy; that its foreign policy, which was initially predicated on post-traumatic stress disorder arising from the Holocaust but has now decayed into a cynical exploitation thereof; that the “f-you” mentality of many Israelis has divorced them from any respect or deference that the West might have once have owed them; and that the Israel that we see today has betrayed historic Jewish values such as following laws and the better part of the 10 Commandments (Thou shalt not: steal, kill, covet thy neighbor’s land, lie, and take the lord’s name in vain. The last one having to do with claiming biblical justification for “settling” lands which belong to other people). My conclusion was to have been that much Israel’s “struggle” turns out to be self-inflicted, the product of its having been hijacked by a group of radicals who are indifferent to causing World War III if it gets them a few more miles of land they can “settle.”

Today’s events in waters off Gaza, however, cry out for a more focused and forceful comment.

I’d like to say that I can’t remember an incident which better illustrates the decadence of the Israeli government, and, because we countenance such behavior, of American Jews. But, sadly, such incidents have become fairly regular. From the bombing of much of southern Lebanon a few years ago, to the rape of Gaza last year, to what has now evolved into little more than a modern-day siege (you can’t lay siege like they used to do in the good old days anymore, but the updated version is still pretty strangling), Israel looks more and more like Russia, or South Africa, or China, or any other regime that’s happy to trample on the rights of minorities to get what it wants than it does a modern, democratic state which deserves our support.

As horrifying and obnoxious it is that the Israeli navy feels free to commit bald acts of piracy on international waters, the lies which have followed it in the media today are downright insulting. Claiming “self-defense” as a rationale for firing on unarmed civilians who were trying to repel a boarding party – a boarding party made up of elite commandos no less, but which they stubbornly insist on claiming was a “police action”  – insults the world’s intelligence.

Israel’s claim that it acts in self-defense has become the smallest, most transparent fig leaf in the history of fig leaves. Nothing has even come close in recent history – not the Russians & Chinese labeling gulags as “re-education camps”, not ‘separate but equal’, not even BP’s “beyond petroleum” slogan. Nada.

But the truly frightening thing is how successful successive generations of Israeli governments have been in erecting that particular reality-warp. I’d like to call it cynical, but this reaches beyond cynicism. This is a self-serving political position so jacked up on steroids, and to which they have become so heavily committed, that it’s become something akin to a delusion.

The predicate for this delusion, the basis on which it rests, is a sense of entitlement that is so deep and so pervading that it’s become like the emperor’s clothes; nobody can see the disgusting crack of Netanyahu’s ass because to do so would be to admit that we’ve allowed him to grind it into our faces lo these many years.

I am deeply, deeply ashamed to be Jewish today.

The simple fact is that the Israeli government has no interest, and certainly no intention, in peace. All it cares about is land. It’s become so mired in this suicidal policy that all it’s capable of at this point is “staying the course.”

The US in general, and American Jews in particular, have absolutely no reason to continue to support such a criminal regime. We have no interest in supporting a regime which clashes with the values of justice and respect for individual rights that which made this country great.

Israel has worn out its welcome. It’s time for us to pat them on the back, congratulate them for their success at having grown up under such trying circumstances, and welcome them into the community of nations that gives a sh*t about the broader world. That means cutting off all aid, no longer giving them air cover in the UN Security Council, and making it clear to them that if they want to call us an ally, they have to start acting like one. It means no longer allowing them to behave like an entitled, spoiled little brat.

We Americans and American Jews are responsible for enabling Israel’s toxic entitlement. It’s damned well time we stopped.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    June 1, 2010 9:32 pm

    Oh but Thrasybulus…what would happen to all the US jobs and capitalist dollars raised from deals made with Israel via us supplying them with gazillions of weapons??

  2. Elaine Mosesian permalink
    June 1, 2010 10:49 pm

    Even I could not believe they went this far.

    Do not waste a second of energy being ashamed…
    I refuse to believe this has anything to do with real Judaism.

    Went to a Protest with many Palestinians and Jews today at the Israeli Consulate.. There was a Die-In!
    I held a sign that said… Israel Murders at Sea

    Great organizations to join..
    Jewish Voices for Peace
    US Campaign to End the Occupation.
    Get involved…
    Call the White House, etc

    Standing, holding a sign may not make much difference…but it makes me feel cleansed in some way…
    Rational American Jews have got to take back the reins of power in this country.

  3. Jen Evansmith permalink
    June 2, 2010 12:16 pm

    I just hid one of my facebook “friends” news feed because of this very issue! He (an American jew) has a long diatribe about how what is going on in Israel is self defense and then an anti-Palestine sentiment that I couldn’t help but react to as: racist! In psychiatry (my last exam), they define delusional as holding a fixed false belief that others don’t share (so it’s OK to be completely irrational so long as you find a bunch of like minded others). It amazes me how in all religions racism persists on the basis of ideology–especially since I expect religious organizations to be somewhat of a moral barometer.

    And then, to add insult to injury, I found it odd to that almost all of our mutual American Jews felt the need to comment in support of or “like” his status. . . Why is it that being Jewish in America necessitates some sort of allegiance to the motherland? Especially for those who have been living in America for so long (before Israel was even founded!) I am confused at how religion and national politics became so entrenched. . . Catholics feel no such allegiance to the Vatican–in fact they are the first to point out the current hypocritical nation of their pope! Or Greeks to Greek politics? Shouldn’t much of that be shed when you are a citizen of another nation?

    I don’t pretend to know enough about American politics to understand why we give aid to those we do. . . But I am very interested in American Judaism and Israel–why the visceral defense reaction?

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