Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963
Monday, September 1, 2014
Is Israel Bad for the Jews?
Israel’s new plan for appropriating nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land for more Jewish housing underscores the trend toward accelerated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, a strategy that is stirring revulsion in much of the world and tarnishing the noble principles of Judaism, as Lawrence Davidson observes.
By Lawrence Davidson
If you are over 50 and were raised in a Jewish household, you either heard the question — “but is it good for the Jews?” — explicitly asked numerous times or were subtly encouraged to think the question to yourself.
It reflects a group-centered concern born of the memory of anti-Semitic hostility and a seemingly unending vulnerability, and it can apply to almost any public action: federal or local legislation, cultural trends, foreign policy decisions, etc.
A scene from inside Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. (Photograph by Robert Parry)
I do not know how many of the younger generation of American Jews, known to be very secular and prone to religious intermarriage, still ask this question, but there can be no doubt that it is still there on the tips of almost every Jewish tongue of that generation for whom World War II is still well remembered.
After World War II, most Jews assumed that the Zionist movement and the Israeli state were good for the Jews. Indeed, they assumed that they were necessary goods — necessary for the very survival of the Jewish people. To that end, it was alleged, Israel would provide a haven from the anti-Semitism that so devastated the Jews of Europe.
There were those who took issue with this perspective, but they were few in number and without influence. Zionism triumphed and in 1948 the State of Israel was proclaimed.
Today we have 66 years of history to judge Zionism and Israeli nationalism. So, after these six-and-a=half decades, it is time we ask the question once more. Can we still assume that Zionism and Israel are good for the Jews?
Looking for the Answer
Here are some observations, given by thoughtful and knowledgeable people, both Jews and non-Jews, and some facts easily accessed, that help us answer the question:
–Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians has involved tactics of ethnic cleansing and mass murder, often justified as “self-defense.” In terms of the latest violence in Gaza, the United Nations estimates that at least 73% of the fatalities inflicted by Israel were civilians.
There is good evidence that Israel has been purposely targeting Gaza economic assets so as to impoverish its people. To this end Israel’s Deputy Interior Minister Eli Yishai proclaimed that the “goal of the operation [code-named Protective Edge by the Israeli military] is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.”
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