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Sunday, November 19, 2006

 

Equality and Love For All, Not Just A Chosen Few

Indian animists who converted to Christianity in the early twentieth century and who were converted to Judaism recently hopped on a plane for their "promised" land. You see, two thousand seven hundred years ago their ancestors lived in Israel. Yeah, right. Like anyone knows where his or her ancestors lived two thousand seven hundred years ago.

But it's all good, as the kids say. Real good if you happen to be some poor Joe from a remote village in India. They will learn Judaism at government expense (remember the US taxpayers provide Israel with 15 million daily) for one year and will be settled in Nazareth and near Gaza.

I wish a government would subsidize me to visit dear ol' dad's hometown, Ramallah, and throw in a few free Arabic courses. I could probably brush up on the tenets of my Greek Orthodox faith, also, if the government would be so inclined. And I never did learn how to make knafi, my favorite desert; maybe I could get some free cooking classes at the government's expense to boot.

But chances are I may not even get in for a visit anymore, what with racist Israel's policy of turning away those of Palestinian ethnicity, even US passport holders, to the land of our ancestors, for which we can actually point to a five hundred years old Turkish census' to prove.

Israel's law says that every Jew in the world has a right to immigrate and become an instant citizen. This social engineering project has been going on for decades. That's how Avigdor Lieberman, the ex bouncer from Moldavia, got his racist self to Israel.

It is a hopeful development that stories are now appearing in the western press pointing out that there is very little difference between the "kill 'em and weep" variety of Zionist; i.e., David Grossman and Avigdor Lieberman, who, as Saree Makdisi, has noted in Avigdor Lieberman and the Substance of Israeli Politics, gives voice to how all Zionists think. Zionism, in any way, shape or form, is toxic, or as Ahdaf Soueif comments in the Guardian, "A Project of Dispossession Can Never Be A Noble Cause."

Zionism is rotten at its core. Any decent person should scorn the fact that a well off Jew, i.e., Ben Kurtzer, the brother of former US ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer, recently made "Aliyah," to occupied territory, while Palestinian children are traumatized and maimed in order to maintain a society in which Jews are privileged. Any decent person understands and seeks to rectify a situation in which Palestinians may not be buried in the land of their birth, but any one with even a bogus claim to Judaism may become an instant citizen.

The Latin Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, recently said to a visiting delegation representing Historic Black Churches:

"The conflict is not just the business of Palestinians and Israelis. It is the business of every Christian whose obligation is to witness justice, equality and love for all, not just for a chosen few."

Members of the delegation were moved and found parallels between the situation of the Paelstinians and that of African-Americans in an earlier era in the US, and vowed to work for change in the US, the provider of so much of the money that perpetuates the injustice.

"This crisis is different to me than any other one. I always thought that yes, there is a difference between the Palestinians and the Jews; yes, there is animosity. But now I realize that it is worse than racism and worse than apartheid. I don't really have a word for it," said Church World Service Board Representative Dr. Belletech Deressa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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