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Archive for June, 2007

Without Justice there can be no Peace

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 30, 2007


 

Justice, justice shall thou pursue!” (Devarim/Deut 16:20 – Parasha Shoftim)”By three things the world is preserved, by Justice, by Truth and by Peace, and these three are one: if Justice has been accomplished, so has Truth and so has Peace” (JT Taanit 4:2, after Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel and Rav Muna)

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said: there is truth, the truth of the truth, and peace. Truth is: a kid stole an apple. The truth of the truth is: the kid was hungry. Peace is: Nobody stole anything; give the kid an apple!” (Heard from Reb Shlomo Carlebach)

Justice – tzedek (righteousness) means that something is right or has been righted.
Truth – emet (truth) means the stability of facts. That the facts are reliable and accurate.
Peace – shalom (perfection), means that nothing is missing, that all is well.

When all that is wrong has been righted and there are no more needs, because all is well, then there is also Peace.

That is why Torah tells us to pursue Justice. We are obligated to seek out that which is wrong, imbalanced, unequal, and make it right, and when we do, we bring Peace.

Jewish Justice is not blind it is said that when G-d had just created the World He had a conversation with Torah:

“Nor is this world inhabited by man the first of things earthly created by G-d. He made several worlds before ours, but He destroyed them all, because He was pleased with none until He created ours. But even this last world would have had no permanence, if G-d had executed His original plan of ruling it according to the principle of strict justice. It was only when He saw that justice [tzedek] by itself would undermine the world that He associated mercy [chessed] with justice, and made them to rule jointly.” (Legends of the Jews – Creation)

Thus tzedek – righteousness was born. When applying Justice, setting things right, we, like G-d, must take into account ALL circumstances present before passing judgement, without consideration to anything but what is right AND compassionate.

When one considers the situation in Israel/Palestine, it becomes clear that both parties must practice Tzedek and Chessed (Righteousness and Mercy) Justice with Compassion.

Both must do away with lawlessness and consider the other with compassion and seek what is right for both. The only way to do that, in my mind, is to look for the Truth [emet] and the Truth of the Truth – i.e honestly state what is happening and acknowledge the causes for those events on both sides. That is hard, because it means putting stop to the blame game – on both sides. It means being responsible and accountable.

It pains me that Israel is failing to heed the words in Shoftim “Justice, justice shall you pursue!”, because by failing that she has failed to live up to Torah’s admonition:

I the L-RD have called thee in righteousness, and have taken hold of thy hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations; ” (Yisheyah/Isa 42:6)

Torah True Justice doesn’t mean letting criminals get away – it means making sure that all be brought to court and given an unbiased hearing. It doesn’t mean not defending oneself or those dependent on you from attack, it means going after the criminals AND showing compassion towards those that are not criminals.

Torah clearly teaches that in war, there are certain Laws that must be followed, and I don’t think anyone denies that Israel is in a state of War. Destroying land, trees or peoples’ livelihoods are not permitted. Peace must be offered and clearly be declined before any attack. Also in a war of defense there are Laws that must be followed:

One may not:

1] Kill an innocent third party to save a life;

2] Compel a person to risk his life to save the life of another;

3] Kill the pursuer after his evil act is over as a form of punishment.

4] Use more force than minimally needed.

More on Jewish Law and the matter of War

It doesn’t serve Israel to go after the Palestinian PEOPLE for the criminal actions of Palestinian terrorists – it would be more fruitful to try and get the Palestinian People’s co-operation through aiding them in achieving prosperity and well-being independently from the criminal terrorists, including the Palestinian Governmental branches that actively endorse terrorism.

In the end this would inspire the Palestinians to start policing themselves, because co-operating with Israel in good things, such as not harboring criminals, not accepting and encouraging violent attacks on Israel and not destroying what help they recieve from Israel and the International Community, is more profitable than the opposite.

Will taking out the criminals with one hand and helping the non-criminals with the other achieve Peace? In the end it will – Chicken Soup goes a long way in hungry hearts, minds and stomachs.

It irritates the drek out of me that there are religious Jews that shrug over this and “hide” behind “Moshiach will sort it out…!” The Jewish People have been charged with the task of being a Light to the Gentiles NOW, not shockling for the coming of the Moshiach. Moshiach will come when it is time, but Justice, Truth and Peace is for the now.

It also aggravates me enormously that some Jews seem to regard Gentiles as some sort of lower class of people, and therefore do not practice Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah in relations to non-Jews. Especially since Torah clearly states that the Law is the same for the Jew and the Gentile and that the Stranger must not be wronged. (Vayikra/Lev 24:22; Shemot/Ex. 22:21; 23:9; Vayikra/Lev 19:33 etc…)

It seems that the idea that Gentiles are lesser people, that reside with some, is connected to the idea of Israel’s Chosenness, that somehow, because we are Chosen we are also above the Law – it is the very opposite. We are Chosen because G-d decided to charge us with the obligation of the Law. G-d gave us the Law so we should LIVE it and pass it on in actions. This is our Holy Duty.

It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the L-RD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy G-d“. (Mic 6:8)

The fact that others do not live this way, does not free Israel from her Holy Obligation of pursuing Justice nor does it give Israel a mandate to disregard the plight of others, when there is a need or when there is an opportunity to practice Torah. How can Israel be a Light to the Nations if she does not Shine?

Justice, justice shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the L-RD thy G-d giveth thee.” (Deu 16:20)

In fact this pursuit of Justice [tzedek] guarantees that Israel (and Palestine) will eventually live in peace.

Dov

Posted in Jewish Law, Justice, Moshiach, Peace, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Righteousness and Mercy, Torah, Truth, Weekly Parasha | 3 Comments »

The Cost of Living and Wages

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 30, 2007


It is often reported in the news that someone living in this or that country earns this or that much in US$ or UK£ – and it often turns out that the sum is pitiful small – but is it really? Doesn’t the value of money in this sense depend on what you have to pay for the daily necessities? Is it then fair to make the comparison to US$ and UK$£?

Isn’t that a kind of discrimination? I think so.

Think about it: 1 USD = 2.00811 GBP = 40.5000 INR – why not compare to actual living costs in the country instead? By comparing Cost of Living Indexes, instead of the numbers on money.

Let’s look at the examples above from the point of Cost of Living – in the US, UK and India – US was at 77.6, the UK at 85.3 and India at 64. Now this puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? The science here is sound – the numbers represent an average of the cities in each of the example countries that made it to the World Cost of Living Rankings 2006 – a list of 144 cities.

It can certainly be argued that wages in India are lower than those in the US and UK – but that should be compared to the cost of living, no to the value of money in the US and UK for an idea of what the real relation is.

“Food is extremely cheap unless you need certain foods which must be imported which will cost you triple of what it cost in America. Generally speaking if you owly buy India products then what cost $10.00 in America will cost approx. $1.00 here. Over the last 6 months the cost of living in Indian has increased about 15% because the $ on the exchange market is decreasing daily. One year ago the exchange rate was 46rps = $1.00 US but today it is 40rps per $1.00.Gasoline is around $4.50US per gallon. Local transportation (bus, train, air travel is cheap compared to America). Electricity is extremely cheap compared to American prices.” (From Yahoo Answers.)

What I am trying say here is that while the wages in India are low, so is the cost of living. It is not as low as it could be in comparison with the wages, but those are not comparable to those in the US or the UK. And to claim that is not right, because it gives the wrong image of India and any other country that is compared in this manner.

Posted in Economy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Erradicating Poverty

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 29, 2007


Capitalism needs poverty. It is the poor who run the machinery. So there must be an end to capitalism. The best way to do this is to stop supporting corporations. We have to think more small business and more local production, especially of clothing and food.

Empowerment is making people know what is going on. An informed population is a dangerous one for the bourgeoisie. It is the ultimate cog breaker in the enormous capitalist chain.

Bartering and other money-alternate activities are also very essential, as is living a simple and sane lifestyle.

After people are able to alleviate poverty in their own communities, they will be so much more useful in global poverty eradication. Ted Kouretas in a discussion on Erradicating Poverty


My Reply to him:

When I read your post, Ted, I am reminded of the concept of Tzedakah – just distribution of societal resources to all. The simple and functioning base for Marxism.

Look at Grameen bank – it works. Indian women are slowly erdicating not just their own poverty, but others’ too – and why?

Because someone came up with the brilliant idea to accept the risk of loosing money by lending money without security. And for what? To start businesses that will make them both self-supporting and the producers of goods that is needed in their local community, as well as the inspiration for other to make similar ventures.

According to the Concept of Tzedakah, the highest level of Tzedakah is making someone self-supporting.

It strikes me that most large corporations today started out in someone’s garage with money from someone wealthy, that believed in the principle of Tzedakah.

What Grameen Bank does is believing in their customers’ ability to make something of the money they lend them, not their ability to pay those money back.

Same thing with Microsoft and the UN and the green computers for Africa – Knowledge is power, by educating teachers, so they can educate in Schools and providing functioning cheap computers they are empowering people.

This wouldn’t work if it hadn’t been for capitalism. It wouldn’t have worked if some had had their money seized in an attempt to erradicate capitalism.

It is far better to make people self-supportive and let them decide for themselves that passing that gift on to others will in the end create a society where we have not only financial, but also social justice – for all, also the capitalists.

To me this is all about ethics, about building a chain of “passing it forward”. Don’t thank me – pass it forward.

And this goes not only for monitary matters – it goes for everything. Each individual has something that is valuable to someone else, that is needed in the greater scheme of things. Even those that seemingly “take” are contributing something to the greater picture. Seeing that is all about ethics and the idea that we are all equals.

Some people don’t like my ideas about Tzedakah, because they believe that they are based in Judaic tradition – well they are, but they could just as well have been taken from Secular Humanism or Ethical Atheism.

Links:
Economic Justice, Tzedakah, Marx and where Marxism fails.

The Concept of Tzedakah

http://tinyurl.com/ypctx7

http://tinyurl.com/72pxn

http://tinyurl.com/2xq2cx

http://tinyurl.com/29dzez


“Capitalism needs the poverty”.

No. Capitalism in it’s purest and most unbridled form needs consumers – consumers come from both the rich and poor sections of Society. Without a continuum in the chain of supply and demand Capitalism would be pointless. If there is no demand, Capitalism must either create such a demand or lower the price on the supply of whatever product it is wishes to capitalize on in order to survive.

It is therefore up to us, the consumers, regardless of our economic status, to inform Capitalism what direction we want it to take in it’s production. We make the choices.

Refusing to buy products that have been produced in countries and areas where work and wages do not meet the needs of the workers or violate their human rights is the ethical choice.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said it this way: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” this should go for any nation and any corporation/business, not just the US and large corporations.

If a corporation cannot safe-guard the quality of the environment for it’s workers and pay them wages they can live and prosper from, because to do so would mean bankruptcy, that corporation has forfeited it’s right to stay in business.

“The best way to do this is to stop supporting corporations.”

No. The best way to do this is to make sure that corporations that do not follow ethical guidelines along the lines of what is Human Rights, Living Wages and Workers Rights are forced out of business and to reward those corporations that do produce their goods from an ethical stand-point.

An example of this is ecological farming vs non ecological farming. If ecological farming is rewarded through subsidies, so it can produce at a lower cost, and non ecological farming is penalized through taxation and limitations, non ecological farmers will switch to ecological farming.

“Empowerment is making people know what is going on.”

No. You empower people by giving them choices and information so they can make informed choices – knowledge is worthless if you cannot put it to use in your own life. Forcing people to see things your way is only going to make them resentful.

“After people are able to alleviate poverty in their own communities, they will be so much more useful in global poverty eradication.”

True, but only if they are allowed to choose for themselves how and what. People without choices – also to own their land and get an income from that land – are no more powerful or happy than a slave.

Posted in Economy | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Economic Justice, Tzedakah, Marx and where Marxism fails.

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 29, 2007


 

Tzedakah

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” (Karl Marx) also read my blog entry: The Concept of Tzedaka

Karl Marx was Jewish, though converted to Xianism, he had been raised in the Jewish Tradition, with it’s concepts and ideas. Nowhere is this better seen than in the quote above.

It is a sound idea, because from a Marxist perspective it suggests a collective responsibility for each individual in the collective. It has been criticized, and those who criticize it most strongly do so from the perspective that those who need might need too much or, as Ayn Rand suggested “that people should receive as much as they ask for, and they argue that the unproductive will ask for more than they produce, or more than they deserve“.

But the problem is not with the Marxist concept of the collective responsibility, but with the bits and pieces that are missing. The idea of Tzedakah is based firmly in the Ethical Monotheism of Judaism. Marx rightly or wrongly criticized organized religion as something that kept people from aspiring for more than to be just what they were at one specific moment, thus they would never rise and shake off the yoke of financial slavery. He attempted to replace Ethical Monotheism with Marxism as a system to build a society from, using concepts that had originally been rooted in the idea that a Higher Principle could, would and was governing people’s actions and interactions. The incentive for keeping the principle of Ethical Monotheism was the very survival of the people. No such incentive exists in Marxism. Although Marxism is still concerned with the collective responsibility for the individual as in the quote above, it fails to address the “Why?”.

Marxism works fine in a collective where the common goal is the same and where some basic principles are incorporated prior to it’s implementation. Marxism needs a Higher Ethical Principle that puts an incentive on both the individual and the collective to stay within the parameters of what is good for both. Without such an incentive Marxism is just Theory and nothing else.

Those that have taken Marx’ theories and run with them “as is” have sooner or later ended up in exactly the same place that their society were right before the implementation of Marxism. Corruption, financial slavery, injustice and limited personal Freedom. Those who have based their Marxism in some sort of Higher Principle, and have encouraged people to use their personal freedoms to develop new adaptation of Marxism within the parameters of the Higher principle have succeed.

Generally it seems that Marxism is suitable for smaller units of people, rather than larger units, such as Nations. This might be the case because as humans we are not capable of over viewing larger units than a Clan or a Village. It is simply not possible to connect the smaller units structurally unless you allow for “collective-individual” adaptations that takes into consideration the specific needs of each unit.

Posted in Karl Marx | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Chris Benoit – another victim of a gender role?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 28, 2007


Chris BenoitFAYETTEVILLE, Georgia (CNN) — The discovery of anabolic steroids in pro-wrestler Chris Benoit’s home has raised speculation that the performance-enhancing drugs may be linked to his death and the killings of his wife and young son.The 40-year-old champion strangled his wife, Nancy Benoit, and suffocated his 7-year-old son Daniel, authorities said, before he hanged himself on a portable weight machine inside his lavish home outside Atlanta. Police have said no motive has been determined. More…


Men are rewarded for being cool, calm and collected, strong, silent and superior. We build our image of what it means to be a man on those attributes. We cheer athletes for their successes and berate them for their failures, and when they no longer appeal to us with their IMAGE we leave them crushed beneath our feet.So is it any surprise if those same athletes will do just about anything to stay on top?I am not joining the choir singing the roid-rage song about Chris Benoit. I didn’t know him, so I couldn’t say. But IF, then who is at least partially responsible for his and half his family’s death? We are. For accepting a male gender role that put Chris and so many other male athletes in a catch 22 position. For demanding that male athletes be more than they are to satisfy our needs for spectacles.When the breaking point is reached – will we be there to support and encourage? No. That is one reason men so often loose the battle with their inner demons – they are taught to be the supporters not the supported – and somehow I doubt Chris Benoit was any different from other men. To me Chris Benoit is another tragic victim of an oppressive male gender role, that in the end didn’t just take Chris’ Life, but that of his wife and son.

Where will it stop?

Posted in Men, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Mental Hygiene – A Men’s Issue?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 27, 2007


Are men really less emotional than women?

Over the past decade or so the effects of emotional expression on health, and the differences between men and women in this regard, have become more widely understood. An increasing body of research shows the importance of emotional expression on emotional well-being and, while the exact mechanism between emotional expression and health is not entirely clear, the link appears to exist. Men are traditionally thought of as being less emotional than women but the evidence points more towards a situation where men tend to show emotions that are bad for them and the people around them. Here is a quick overview of some of the research findings about men, their emotional expressions and their health. More…


Big boys don’t cry. That is the first basic rule a boy is taught about being a man. I remember when my wife’s nephew, 5 y/o at that time fell and hurt himself. I rushed over to check that he was safe, and to comfort him. I could see in his face that he was both scared and in pain – yet he desperately sucked his lower lip to keep from crying. This was not something he had been taught at home, where boys and girls were taught that they are humans, people, not a gender. This was something he had learned in kindergarten – big boys don’t cry. All I could do was accept that he chose to be “a big boy” and tell him that crying is alright. Somewhere in his little soul he had already internalized the emotional abuse Society had subjected him to. Men are taught that emotional expression is unmanly. Unless it’s about sports or war.

Crying soldier

How are men supposed to handle emotions, if emotions are unmanly? Mental Hygiene is a necessity, without it you literally go mad. I think that is what happens to men in war. They are supposed to be these big, strong soldiers, yet they must constantly fear for their lives. A fear they cannot release, because it’s “unmanly”. It is no wonder that so many Veterans return home mentally shattered, they have seen and felt too much and have had no natural release for the emotions they have bottled up during the time of stress a war is.

While “Medical News Today” reports that there are few or no differences between the genders in terms of how male and female soldiers are effected by exposure to a war-zone, it is my guess that females are slightly better trained in dealing with those effects, as they are socialized differently than men.
However Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that

Research on women veterans poses a number of methodological challenges. Cross-sectional studies of veterans generally have small sample sizes of women or often are not designed to include detailed gender-related measures and therefore may lack the statistical power to detect gender differences. This may contribute to an erroneous assessment that access barriers and other factors affecting VA healthcare use for women veterans do not differ significantly from that of male veterans.”

Not that it matters. My point is that men are generally less educated in Self-Administered Mental Hygiene, apart from group-socializing, brawling and sports.

Mental Hygiene, in my opinion is made up of two elements: expression of feelings and techniques for recovering emotional balance. As it says in the initial article – men are more likely to brood on negative emotions, and brooding for a while is good – thinking things through, sort thing, but if it stops there, the risk that bits and pieces are never resolved, either because they are too painful or because they seem insignificant, is great.

This in turn may more often than not lead to the use of substances for relief (another way for men to deal with stress and emotions…), something that delays any attempts to take care of the issue behind the need for relief.

Men do not have the same social network structures women do – mens’ networks tend to focus more on activity than on peer-to-peer communication on an emotional level which means that while they very well get rid of physical stress through “goofing” and playing, they have few out-lets for emotional stress, other than those that are seen as traditionally male: Aggression and Joy. So what do you do, as a man, when there is nothing to be happy about? You either brawl or you bottle it up.

mental.jpg

Boys need to be seen as human beings, not as boys, so as they grow up, they can learn healthy expressions of feelings along the entire human emotional spectrum. Men need to learn to see themselves as human first, and men second, and validate that which is human, rather than “manly”.

Gender polarization has to go. It is doing no-one any good. Really. While women have made significant headway in traditionally male sectors of society, men have not done the same in traditionally female sectors of society. Whether we like it or not, in the end it will come back to bite both men and women in the @$$, in the form of increased substance abuse, violence and depression.

Posted in Men, War | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

What else could it be?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 26, 2007


“The Jews control the Media…”
“The Jews control the Diamond Trade…”
“The Jews created those Muhammad cartoons…”
“The Jews control the World’s Banks…”
“The Jews controlled the Slave trade…”
“The Jews cause the Black Plague…”
“The Jews control the UN…”
“The Jews control the Movie Industry…”
“The Jews…”Why is defining someone as “Jewish” important?What does someone being Jewish have to do with the media, the diamond trade, the Muhammad Cartoons, the slave trade, the black plague, the UN, the movie industry?

Why is that all other people in the world are defined as the country they live in, but a resident of Sweden or America or any other country, who also happens to be Jewish, is defined as “Jewish”?

Some have attempted to answer the question by claiming that people Jewish make a big thing out of being Jewish – or at least that is what they say they hear all the time – Jewish people talking about being Jewish. Some hide their slanted query in a little game called “blame the victim”: “that because Jews define themselves this way, which is magnified a zillion times by the actions of the Israeli government (which are propped up by Israeli voters), might have something to do with why others define Jews as Jews.”

A variation on this theme:”non-Jews feel like they are always having the holocaust and anti-semitism thrown in their faces all the time, and I think it makes them feel like Jews blame people who were not even alive at the time for what happened in the past, or that non-Jews don’t feel sorry enough for them.”

Ah, yes, of course – Israel must be the cause, why else would the Russians, the Polish, the Germans have tried to annihilate us? And of course it is all about the fact that we exist and the Holocaust happened – What else could it be?

The little old lady who is fearfully seeking out the Jewish Community, she has not dared seek out since she was released from Bergen-Belsen in 1945 because she has lived her entire life in fear that someone would find out that she is Jewish – so she can be sure to have a decent Jewish Funeral, she has of course made all sorts of advertizing about being Jewish, and that is the reason she will be labeled as Jewish, should she be seen entering the Synagogue. Naturally. What else could it be?

Or the preteen who walks five blocks more than he has to every Thursday afternoon after school, careful to make sure no-one follows him and sees him enter the Synagogue back-door for his weekly Bar Mitzvah Studies, because if his schoolmates saw him, he would be labeled Jewish and most likely be harassed in school the next day – he really must have boasted about being Jewish – Oh yes, what else could it be?

The middle-aged man, who in keeping with his faith wears a scull cap and fringes where-ever he goes, who is being waylaid on the way to the store, yelled at and threatened by mobs of youngsters. Whose dog is being kicked and stoned when it is left out-side that store – he must really have told it from the roof-tops that he is Jewish, after all he is wearing out-side signs of being Jewish, so what else could it be?

G-d forbid that it should be something within the non-Jews! G-d forbid that ordinary, decent, church-going people be asked to accept that they have anti-semitic tendencies hopping round in their minds, that have them note and magnify this rather irrelevant fact about their fellow human beings to a point where everything else becomes insignificant – so all they see is “Jewish”. G-d forbid.

Shalom!


Posted in Bigotry, Human Rights, Jewish People | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

How to Manipulate and Confuse People…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 25, 2007


into doing your dirty work.

  1. find a really juicy piece of gossip, “news”, and/or blog entry – look anywhere in the Net if you have to.
  2. find a discussion forum post that attempts to make a point through exaggerated violent and threatening language in which the author explains that the exaggeration is for illustration purposes only, and not intended to be anything else.
  3. find the biggest picture of the Blog Entry Author and use that as an illustration for a news post on a News Story about the two items you found in step 1 and 2 – make sure you post in Trebuchet 8pt, so it’s hard to read.
  4. send out email messages to all your friends and their friends in a site that has more than 6 million members telling them how the Blog Author and the Exaggerator is threatening their personal security. Make sure that you have your Martyr Cap on, so people will forget to separate the two issues from each other out of sympathy for you and your closest friend.
  5. conveniently edit out the explanation from the Exaggerator’s comment when you speak about it – so people get the impression that there really was a genuine threat expressed.
  6. as people gather to eat from your hand use the Chicken Little approach and fuel their fears.
  7. Used expressions such as “these people”, “gang”, “thugs” etc, so it seems that you’re speaking of MANY, and not just #1 and #2.
  8. This is guaranteed to make all who see your news so confused that they will note it or digg it out of pure misunderstanding.
  9. mix in large amounts of garbled conspiracy theories. Sit back and watch the chaos evolve and character assassinations run their course.

Posted in Bullying, Satire | 6 Comments »

The Difference of Words…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 23, 2007


There’s a clear difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and Anti-Semitism:

Clear criticisms of Israeli policy & its backers Antisemitic ideas often repeated by activists with no anti-Jewish intentions Lines emerging directly from neonazi & antisemitic organizations
Israel has a repeated & ongoing record of human rights offenses. “Israel is a worse humans rights violator than most or all other countries.” “Israel is the root of the world’s problems.”
Many Israeli soldiers justify their actions toward Palestinians by saying they’re ‘just following orders.’ “Israelis are just like Nazis.” “Israel is worse than the Nazis,” “This wouldn’t have happened if the Nazis were successful,” etc.
The Zionist movement has included elements of racism from its early days, such as the claim that Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without aland.” Major Zionist factions have implemented conscious, intentional racist policy. Regardless of individual Zionists’ intentions, Zionism as a whole has had racist & oppressive results for the Palestinian people. “Zionism is racism.” “The Zionist conspiracy is behind this,” “Zionism is the root of the world’s problems today,” etc.
AIPAC,* weapons lobbies & others give U.S. politicians incentives to push anti-Palestinian policies, & attempt to silence &intimidate both Jews & non-Jews who raise alternatives. “The ‘Israel Lobby’ is what is pushing America off track &away from its true interests,or caused us to go to war.” “Israel /The Zionists /The Jews /The Jewish Lobby…is controlling the U.S./ the world.”
In this issue, as in so many, the corporate media provide one-dimensional, sensationalized coverage, usually biased toward whatever side the U.S. government is backing – when they cover it at all. “The media, controlled by Zionists, never talks about the plight of the Palestinians.” “Zionist control of the media is part of a vast web of Zionist power over banks & world governments, in their conspiracy to rule over humanity.”
Lack of a resolution between Israel & Palestine is one of several major regional conflicts preventing justice & stability in the Middle East. Outside powers such as the U.S. & Europe have played & play a role in sparking & perpetuating these conflicts. “The Israel-Palestine conflict is the root of violence & instability in the Middle East / of America’s bad relationship with Arab countries.” “Everything would be better if Israel was destroyed,” etc.

I agree with most of the statements in the LEFT column – I am not sure about the role of the US in the media coverage in Europe – nor am I sure that the US and/or Europe as such have directly fuelled the conflict – to me it seems more like they have been opportunists and used the situation to their advantage after the fact. Any way – the above table is exactly what I have tried to convey in discussions with violent Anti-Semites and Anti-Semitic statements – criticism of Israel is ok – when it is warranted – but don’t cross the line into Anti-Semitism, knowingly or unknowingly.The above Table is from “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere,”

Posted in Human Rights, Israel, Jewish People, Nazis, US, Violence, War, Zionism | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Crap by any other name still stinks

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 23, 2007


paguinea-pigs.jpg“Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president’s chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hezbollah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith.

At a glance, things aren’t going well for Israel. But here’s a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it’s 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China’s?”

As if there’s something wrong with a growing economy…oh, but there is according to Naomi Klein, at least if it’s Israel’s – because the Academia is booming with intelligent, inventive and driven students that seem to be able to invent just about anything. It seems that it somehow eluded Klein that all scientists and businessmen have always tried to improve their local environment, not just Israelis.

Naomi Klein answers her own opening question at the end of her article:

“Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel’s homeland security sector, a topic I explore in greater detail in a forthcoming book (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism), it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians – whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling “Hamasistan” — are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.”

When the public is not buying the vocabulary of your propaganda – change the vocabulary. Preferably to something the refers to Nazi Germany by implication, and blame this alleged “industry” for the progress and success your “enemy”. That always works.

The Israelis are evil because they experiment on Palestinians like Hitler did on the Jews…</sardonic >

 

Posted in Israel, Palestine | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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