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Saturday, November 9, 2013

EXODUS 23:9, 2013 C.E.

Israel is on my mind for a number of reasons.
First, I have to ask myself, how much attention is the Obama administration, and especially Secretary Kerry, really paying to the peace process if they really believe Abbas and the PA are committed to nonviolence when it's plain to most eyes both unbiased and properly informed that they are not anything of the kind? They are still committed to the hope of the Shoah going on (I admit, pun intended) and our people should remember that!
On the other hand, I ask myself: if the embryo-stage deal with Iran taking shape is as bad a bargain as Bibi claims it to be, I must ask: How so? And why? If Iran agrees to turn all its uranium enriched more than 3.5% into harmless uranium oxide and to enrich no uranium further then that 3.5%, what's bad about that, so long as thorough outside inspections are part of the deal? If one batch of 3.5% enriched uranium's added to another, does the enrichment also double to 7%? Doesn't seem to make much sense to me. No, I suggest Bibi is 1) making plain he trusts none of the parties or the people making these negotiations and 2) trying to checkmate his loony-right coalition partners by trying for an Iranian 'unconditional surrender' to nail on the domestic wall.
Bibi's not stupid: surely he knows that there'll be no such thing from Iran absent open warfare; is that what he wants?! I'll allow he's not trying to pull the old Chiang Kai-shek 'let's you and him fight' scam on us--but only just. His actions and words have me frowning with concern lately.
But what worries me the most are growing signs of racism within Israel. Never mind that the Shoah was perpetrated by 'whites' who believed the Jews to be 'counterfeit whites', a 'negative race', a 'bastardy', to use H.S. Chamberlain's (one of the Nazis' precursors and benefactors) words. Never mind that too many Israelis like thinking of themselves, even after such an enormity, as 'whites'.
No, what troubles me the most is the signs of harassment of  (African) 'aliens', not to mention my own need to remind my readers of these words: "Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt." (Exodus 23:9, NIV)
In Egypt and nearly everywhere else except that little sliver of land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. I suggest Israel, and indeed all Jews, forget those words at their individual and collective peril. And what effect, if any, does this un-Jewish anti-refugee sentiment have on how fellow Jews from Africa--Ethiopians, Nigerians, Ghanaians, etc.--are seen by others? For instance, why were Israel's doors thrown open to Russians of scant observance and questionable lineage while observant and true-descended Ethiopians and Indians (Bnei Menashe) were put under magnifying glasses before they were cleared for return? Why were 100,000 ( or whatever the number was) Ethiopian Jewish women given contraception without being told what it was?
The Jewish (or should I use the broader term of 'Hebrew'?) state is named Israel--not Greater Anatevka!!! So let that sink in as (I hope) you give up thinking of yourselves as 'white' and embrace your darker brothers and sisters (hooray for Miss Israel!) as heartily--no more, no less--as you have the Russians and other Europeans.
Finally, a disclaimer of sorts: I'm not one of those 'liberals' who seem to need Jews to be better than the rest of us slobs. I know they're as human as the rest of us with the same failings most of us share. Nor do I support Israel any the less; no, not for a New York nanosecond.
But I leave us all with a question: should a people who have suffered, probably (although arguably) more than any other people from the combined evils of racism, xenophobia and religious bigotry give any mercy or quarter, any 'slack' at all, to any one of this trinity of hatred? Indeed, should any people who've suffered from any or all of these evils cut them any 'slack' when it's their brethren who now wield them as weapons?
I hope and pray that now, as the new millennium unfolds before us, the answer will be a firm and decisive, "No!"