Sunday, April 22, 2018

Narcissistic Nation

Much has been written lately by psychiatrist and mental health professionals about the “narcissistic mind-set.”  Defined as:[i]

            One – It is all about me.
            Two – Other people don’t matter because they are not me.
            Three – Regulations and laws are irrelevant because they restrict my being me.

Most of it has been applied to the actions of Donald Trump. And I certainly see the rationale for this concern. However, I wonder if there should not also be a concern for a “Narcissistic Nation,” namely Israel?

            One – It is all about Israel

                        From the bombing of the King David Hotel to massacre in Shebra and Shatilla refugee camps, to the air strikes on neighboring countries, US politicians, media, and the religious right, all give Israel a pass on atrocities. Even an attack on the USS Liberty, killing 34 American sailors, avoids accountability. The American attitude seems to be, if it’s Israel, no questions allowed, no public debate. If it’s Israel, it is sanctioned, (blessed) in the sense of approved, not punished.

Two – Other people don’t count.

In keeping with the narcissistic mindset, other nations and people don’t count. Just think of Gaza. Two million people crowded into an “open-air prison,” deprived of clean water, food, medicine, electricity and meaningful work to do. But, to Israel, they are not Jews, so what’s the problem?  Even the non-Jewish Arabs of Israel are treated as second class citizens in their own country. They are not Jews.
            Three – No restrictions on Israel recognized.

                        It is phrased as Israel’s “right to defend itself.”  But in reality, it is a cover for Israel’s violence against its neighbors. It is not by mistake that Israel has never declared its borders, nor subjected itself to a constitution. The core of Israel’s society is its military might which does not even stand on its own, but is guaranteed and financed by the US.  Israel shouts, “The world is out to get us, because we are Jewish.”

I would argue that the world condemns Israel, precisely because it is NOT Jewish. Israel’s ancient prophets, from whom Jesus got his message and mission, had much to say about caring for the poor, protecting the weak, defending the oppressed, releasing the prisoner and forgiving debts. These are the polar opposites of the “narcissistic nation” now called Israel.

Thomas Are
April 22, 2018

[i] Dr. Decker, Trump’s Brain, an FBI Profile of Donald Trump. And especially, Bandy Lee, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, 27 Psychiatrist and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.  (St. Martins Press, New York, 2017.)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Morals and Massacres

Israel claims to be the most moral nation on the globe with the most moral army.  I would settle for an “almost” moral nation but Israel is not even close.

I looked up “moral” in my dictionary:

Distinction between right and wrong, and the rule of right conduct.

I also looked up “massacre.”

The killing of a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty.

The history of Israel is much more identified with massacre than moral.:[i]

            1946. Zionists blew up the King David Hotel, killing 91 people.

1948. Zionists kill over 100 civilians in the village of Deir Yassin which frightened thousands of Palestinians to flee their own villages. The officer responsible for this massacre was Manachem Begin who was later rewarded by becoming Israel’s prime minister.

1948. More than 100 Palestinian men are rounded up in the City of Lydda and massacred.

1948. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the village of Al Dawayima, west of Hebron, killed in a barbarous manner.

1953. Israeli troops led by Ariel Sharon raided the village of Qibya in the West Bank killing 69  Palestinians, most of them women and children, in retaliation for a cross border raid that killed three Israelis. Sharon is called a hero.

1956. Israeli forces gun down farmers in Kfar Qasim returning from the fields who were unaware that Israel had ordered a curfew earlier that day. Forty-eight Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed including women and children.

1956. Israeli forces killed 275 Palestinians in Gaza..

1970. Israel killed 46 Egyptian children during a raid on a primary school in the village of Bahr el-Baqar, Egypt.

1982. The Sabra and Shatilla massacre of Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps while Israel Defense Forces controlled the area. Somewhere between several hundred to 3000 Palestinians are murdered under the control of Ariel Sharon, who was also rewarded by becoming Israel’s prime minister.

1996. The first Qana massacre too place when Israeli missiles struck a UN compound in Southern Lebanon in  a clash with Hezbollah killing over 100 civilians. Ten years later, in 
2006, another Qana massacre by Israeli missiles killed 36 civilians including 16 children.

2008-09. Israeli assault on Gaza killed 1400 Palestinians.

2012. Israel killed 160 Palestinians in Gaza. 2014. Israeli onslaught on Gaza killed upwards of 2200 Palestinians. This massacre is remembered for its “sniper killings” of unarmed people.

If you are like me and if you have read this far, you are sick of reading about the facts on the ground by the “most moral army on the globe.” That’s why it is hard, when reading today’s newspapers that Israel is simply defending itself when firing into unarmed Palestinians demonstrating at the border.

How much damage has been done to Israeli property? Zero. How many Israeli civilians threatened? Zero.  How many breaches in that precious security fence”? Zero.[ii] 

Don’t be fooled. Israeli violence has nothing to do with security. It is a basic lack of values that chooses massacre over morals and given Israel’s Zionist record, when forced to choose between morals and massacres, massacre will come out ahead every time.

Thomas Are
April 14, 2018

[i] This listing is gleaned from Mondoweiss, A Brief, Unhappy History of Israeli Massacres, April 1, 2018
[ii] Seven Things you need to Know about Israel’s latest Attack on Gaza.,  Mondoweiss, April 5, 2018.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What's New

I tried. I honestly to goodness really tried to quit. I was going to leave blogging to younger minds with sharper insights. But, I made a mistake. I kept reading
Like today, I read that Israel shot and killed fifteen Palestinians who were demonstrating against the siege on Gaza and wounded a thousand.  The only way that Israeli troops could have hit that many was to have randomly fired into an unarmed crowd.

According to today’s newspaper

Israeli troops opened fire from across the border, killing at least nine Palestinians and wounding 491orhers in the second mass border protest in eight days. The deaths brought to at least 31 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire since last week.[i]

Among those shot down was Yasser Murtaja, a well-known 30 year-old journalist, wearing a flak jacket marked “Press” while holding his camera. The IDF does not target journalists, Israel announced. No investigation will be allowed.  Hamas has declared that in spite of the risks, it will continue its protest until Nakba Day, May 15th,. the day Israel was declared a state and pushed 700,000 Palestinians into refugee camps.

“So,” my neighbor asks, “what does Hamas want that is worth the risking of their lives?”
They want a lifting if the siege, access to clean drinking water, electricity more than a few hours a day and the right to live in freedom without being bombarded by Israel every year or two among other freedoms that allow human dignity. All of which Israel remains determined to never allow.

So, what’s new?  The fact that this clash has been reported in the mainstream US media for a week now, that’s new.  And worth recognizing.

Thomas Are
April 8, 2018

[i] Hundreds Attend Funeral of Journalist, By Fares Akman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sunday, April 8, 2018. P. A-3.