Is It an Anti-Semitic, Neo-Nazi, Pan-Arabist, Islamo-Fascist Terrorist Conspiracy . . .

August 1, 2014

. . . or raging humantiarianism–that has fired all over the world such massive protest of the latest Israeli atrocities in Gaza?

Some steps you can take to help end this horrible and detestable situation: “11 Brands You’ll Have To Let Go If You Want To Boycott Israel” at



You can hear the wind blowing over the rubble . . .

November 26, 2012

As the dust settles in Palestine.

The Gaza Strip

“. . . the killing of entire families and the destruction of government buildings and police stations, far from encouraging Palestinians to submit, will only fortify their resistance, something Israel might have learned by consulting the pages of recent Jewish history. The Palestinians understand that they are no longer facing Israel on their own: Israel, not Hamas, is the region’s pariah. The Arab world is changing, but Israel is not. Instead, it has retreated further behind Jabotinsky’s ‘iron wall’, deepening its hold on the Occupied Territories, thumbing its nose at a region that is at last acquiring a taste of its own power, exploding in spasms of high-tech violence that fail to conceal its lack of a political strategy to end the conflict.”

Why Israel Didn’t Win” by Adam Shatz, online only at the London Review of Books‘ website.

Contrasts in Approach

November 20, 2012

Gaza Under Attack

Barenboim in Gaza

Gaza-related material linked with the images above, and then there’s “Music for Peace in Gaza and Israel: Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Daniel Barenboim” blogged by Greg Mitchell at The Nation.

Inheriting the Wind Department:

November 18, 2012

I Am Jewish and I Want Israel to Stop Killing Palestinians

A Pillar Built on Sand” is John Mearsheimer’s careful and scrutinizing assessment of the current and ongoing–and characteristically cruel–devastation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip by Israel’s military, at the London Review of Books‘ website.

Poem of the Moment

April 11, 2012

Günter Grass’s “What Must Be Said” is not much of a poem, considered in literary terms, even in the original German, but a great kerfuffle has arisen over it, with Grass being banned from entering the state of Israel by the current Israeli regime, having his “Nazi past” resurrected as evidence of alleged antisemitism expressed somehow by the poem, even though his time serving in the German military in the Second World War consisted mainly of surviving basic training and then wandering about the country as a foot soldier barely out of adolescence amidst the wrack, ruin and chaos of the war’s closing days, virtually clueless about where he would wind up. Grass never participated in the organized murder of Jews or any other group in disfavor with the Nazis, and there has never been a shred of evidence–other than Grass’s own account, wherein he doesn’t attempt to conceal, despite his insignificant role in the atrocious activities of the Third Reich, what he still today regards as a moral stain–that he was involved in any of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis upon humanity in general and even, ultimately, upon the German people whom the Nazis led into bloodlust and bloodshed.

But you wouldn’t know it for all the fuming and foaming over Grass and his–to be frank–rather bad poem. Grass, for having committed the crime of criticizing Israel, is now officially regarded by the Israeli government as a monstrous, unrepentant Jew-hating Nazi.

As an ethnic Jew, I find nothing antisemitic or even vaguely pro-fascist or pro-Nazi in what the  poem has to say–about Iran, and Germany selling arms to Israel, and rash and intolerant talk of war–or in how it says it. And so while I wouldn’t teach it or study it alongside the poetry of Shakespeare or Dickinson or Pablo Neruda or County Cullen or even Woody Guthrie, what it has to say is important enough for me to point to it, not for its poetic value but for its ethical plangency and solicitude.

Get Your Peace On

January 10, 2010

“On December 10, 2009 at 2 AM, the Israeli military surrounded the Ramallah home of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher and the Coordinator of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, and arrested him. Abu Rahmah is among the leaders of the West Bank village of Bil’in’s nearly five-year nonviolent struggle of protests, lawsuits and boycotts aiming to save the village’s land from Israel’s wall and expanding settlements. Abdallah Abu Rahmah joins Mohammed Othman from the village of Jayyous, Adeeb Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and many other Palestinians who are currently jailed by Israel for working for justice.”

Here is a letter of support you can send to Abdallah Abu Rahmah, and here a letter to Obama and U.S. Consul in Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein demanding Abu Rahmah’s release.

Get Your Peace On

December 31, 2009

Gaza Freedom March.