Sometime in May 2018, the United States moved it’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, sparking protests from thousands of Gazans, who gathered at the border fence, screaming and throwing stones at the Israeli security personnel. In response the Israeli border guards opened fire, killing 60 Palestinians and injuring more than 1300.
Meanwhile, 60 miles away in an affluent neighbourhood of Jerusalem, the US President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, was celebrating the embassy opening with words of effusive praise for her father, while hundreds of Israeli and American VIPs cheered and clapped their hands.
When a day later the UNRWA, the agency that administers aid to the Palestinians condemned the killings, it was promptly labelled anti-semitic by Fox News. In solidarity with Israel, more than 20 Republican-controlled American states banned awarding public contracts to companies that boycotted Israel. Britain’s entire Labour Party was labelled anti-Semitic after it’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, criticized Israel for the killings. Human rights activists who stood up and raised alarms over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, were immediately condemned as being anti-Jew.
When the American Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, tweeted “Its all about the Benjamins, babe” in response to a vicious twitter attack from a pro-Israel journalist over one of her well-argued critiques of Israel, the then GOP House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, recommended that she be incarcerated.
Omar was forced to apologize by her own Democratic Party. Her point however was completely misunderstood. It was that most of the corruption in American politics stemmed from political donations from wealthy Israeli and American Jews. That must be true because Jewish sponsorship of American elections has been acknowledged by none other than Donald Trump himself. While Omar was apologizing, Trump was telling a room full of Jews from the Republican Jewish Coalition at a swanky Washington hotel in December 2015 “ You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. I know you want to control your politicians….”
And while the Israelis were gunning down unarmed protesters at Gaza and Ivanka Trump was lecturing the world about peace in Palestine, the paper tigers of the Muslim world who habitually spoke from opposite ends of their mouths – the Saudis, the Qataris, the Omanis, the Bahrainis and the Pakistanis – stood by and clicked their tongues in faux outrage.
Standing by mutely is now a trademark of those so-called leaders of the Muslim world who, given half a chance, like to hold forth on protecting the heritage of their precious Islamic “Umma” and yet the cat gets their tongues as their dear Chinese friends incarcerate millions of Chinese Muslim Uyghur citizens in Xinjiang prison camps for committing the crime of just being Muslims.
But let’s get back to Israel.
First, let’s understand what Israel really is…..
Israel is a bunch of entitled folks who have come a long long way since a bearded Yoda-like wise guy holding a pole, named Moses, said God had ordered him to tell them they were special, in much the same way as a Grand Dragon of the KKK will tell his white supremacist flock they are a superior race. Moses led them out of Egypt into freedom, in a mythical episode that is described in the Bible as the Exodus. The land that Moses led the Israelis to was Canaan, a region encompassing present-day Western Syria, western Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Sinai, with it’s ground zero where present-day Israel is situated. Moses told them God wanted them to have this land as their own because they were his ”chosen people”.
God’s ‘gift’ is notwithstanding the fact that there actually were other folks already living in Canaan at the time he magnanimously handed it to the Israelis. For simplicity’s sakes, let’s call those locals The Screwed.
Long story short, the Israelis have been in Canaan ever since. And the original inhabitants – The Screwed – they are the Palestinians.
So to recap, a nation named Israel, whose citizens firmly believe they are God’s chosen ones, was born from an appalling and yet divine act of extreme partisanship. Such a nation could never find peace. And it hasn’t. For some strange reason wherever they go, the chosen ones attract intense dislike from all they come in contact with. There is a term for that dislike and it’s called anti-Semitism.
In most western nations, anti-Semitism – just the act of expressing dislike of Jews – is against the law. You are not allowed to dislike folks, who just happen to be very dislikable. You could go to jail for it. You are allowed to express dislike of say, Hindus, in an op-ed stating tangible arguments as to why Hindu practices and ideology are appalling, but you are not allowed to critrique Judaism even in the most constructive and dispassionate terms.
Israel is the only western nation that has been continuously carrying out a military occupation of another people for the last 8 decades. Those other people are descendants of The Screwed.
Israel’s territory is ground zero to three of the world’s most prominent And most deeply flawed religions, the Abrahamics – Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Christianity, which forcibly tortured and converted millions, Judaism, which thought it had a silver spoon stuck in it’s mouth and Islam…do I even need to explain Islam’s flaws?
Israel is the world’s single largest recipient of military aid, from one single sponsor – the United States of America. In return for the millions that wealthy Jews funnel into the pockets of American politicians, ordinary American taxpayers – quite unwittingly – fund Israel’s military battering ram which helps to build settlements on Palestinian land by force.
I am concerned about the here and now. I know it is possible to criticize Israel without veering into anti-semitism and in this post, I’ll do just that. The term “anti-Semitism” is being used fallaciously. It is no longer about religious antagonism. Any criticism of Israel has now been given that name. Religion has nothing to do with it. Heck, there are more differences in ideology between the two main branches of Islam, Shia and Sunni, than there are between the ideologies of Islam and Judaism.
So, if you take my writing to be anti-Semitic, I’ll have to tell you to go fornicate with yourself. If your penis is long enough and if it can be bent the other way when erect, that is.
First, an analogy. Everyone knows that the American investment bank, Goldman Sachs, is the finishing school for honchos who want to be US Treasury or Commerce Secretary or Head of the US Federal Reserve. This is notwithstanding the fact that over the past few decades, these Goldman alumni have successfully managed to bring the US economy to its knees. In fact Goldman Sachs is joking referred to as “Government Sachs”.
There is another Goldman Sachs-like outfit which is a graduate school of a different kind. Its members go on to become Israel’s Prime Ministers, Defense Ministers and Chiefs of Military and Intelligence agencies. It’s alumni have been just as notoriously successful in bringing mayhem to the middle east as Goldman Sachs’ ex-CEOs have been, in making sure ordinary Americans can never retire.
Welcome to Sayeret Matkal, a clandestine special forces unit of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Created along the same lines as Britain’s Special Air Services(SAS), Sayeret Matkal‘s members are seconded to the unit from the elite in the Israeli establishment after selection through known connections and family relations within the establishment, with other unit members or senior commanders and politicians vouching and standing as guarantors for them.
In fact, the recruitment process of a Sayeret fighter works along similar lines as that of an Al Qaida suicide bomber or a ‘made’ member of the American Mafia – with a blood oath. To get in, you don’t watch out for internal job postings on a bulletin board and then apply. There are never any job ads for this outfit.
The Sayeret has a history of spectacularly successful clandestine operations under its belt, some of which were such legendary feats of audacity and daring that Hollywood movies have been made, based on them. The 1973 raid on the Black September safe-house in Beirut, where more than half of the Arab militant group, Black September‘s leadership was wiped out, was a Sayeret mission, code named ‘Operation Spring of life’. The raid was immortalized in the Steven Spielberg movie, “Munich”. The Sarayet Matkal commando who went in dressed as a woman, pretending to stagger drunkenly, her arms around two other Sareyet commandos while they felt ‘her’ up as they approached a Black September check-post, was none other than Ehud Barak, who later went on to become Israel’s Army Chief, Defense Minister and then Prime Minister.
Sayeret Matkal is also a for-profit business enterprise that literally pays for itself. With the Mossad acting as it’s marketing division, it charges millions to train members of commando units of friendly nations, though the word ‘friendly’ needs qualification. On one occasion, they were training both, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan commandos, at the same time and sometimes these two groups would pass within yards of each other while on their morning workout jogs, separated by just a thin partition.
Later, in the privacy of their own barracks, the Sayeret instructors would have a good laugh over the two groups of ‘black monkeys’ they were training, to fight each other. I understand that even the elite Indian Marine Commando unit, MARCOS, has had training from the Sayeret, as have commando units from many other third world nations. If you had any illusions about Israel being a nation where the colour of one’s skin doesn’t matter, just take a look at how the Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia are treated. And this is a nation that was formed out of persecution and discrimination!!!
Let’s get back to the Sayeret, shall we. The top positions within the Israeli political and military establishment are occupied by ex-Sayeret Matkal operatives. Every top official in Israel is hero of some battle. Ex-PM, Ehud Barak, is known as the hero of the 1967 six-day war, while another ex-PM, the late Ariel Sharon was the hero of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, led the Sayeret Matkal as its commander and is a hero of a Sareyet mission that shall remain classified as long as he is alive.
Israel has an impressive resumé as a militarily strong nation, one not to be trifled with. But at the same time it is just 250×70 miles in land area. A handful of Russian KH-55 cruise missiles with 200-kt warheads launched from Tu-95s flying off the Mediterranean coast, could wipe it off the face of the earth.
Israel is always an inch from annihilation and the reason why it still exists is because of the support of the United States. And yet it has repeatedly shown a kind of brazen arrogance toward all those who speak up against it’s aggression, even when it is an American President who criticizes it for building unnecessary settlements on Palestinian land. It was unfortunate that that American President happened to be a toothless black President who had botched the mid-terms horribly and lost all his leverage in Congress, within two years of his first term.
And then there’s that old tried and tested tear-jerker, the formula that has left the whole world feeling a weird sort of ‘survivors’ guilt’……..
There is no dispute that the holocaust was apalling. I am in no way minimizing it. But there have been many genocides, before and since, some far worse than the holocaust, like Stalin’s purges, the Armenian genocide and some equally atrocious though lesser in numbers, like the American massacres in Vietnam and Serb slaughter in Srebrenica. The world has moved on, leaving those memories behind. Even the victims have done so. Unfortunately for us, Israel hasn’t Learnt how to let go. It is still trapped inside its pathetic 80-year old self-pity.
Israel has to prep for the day when the world no longer remembers and that day is bound to happen. Do we still mourn Spartacus or the time when one in three residents of Rome was a slave and treated like an object? Does the world still decry the crusades when millions of Muslims died solely because they were Muslims? Does even the ordinary Vietnamese remember Mai Lai?
No matter how many holocaust museums (and local chapters of the B’nai B’rith and the Anti-Defamation League) Israel finances around the boulevards of the western world’s capitals, it will ultimately lose the battle to keep the collective memory of the holocaust alive and consequently the hasbara, the PR battle. If mankind could forget far more horrifying genocides the world over, it will forget this one too. It is only a matter of time before the world begins suffering from holocaust sympathy fatigue. I already do.
In fact, the world could even be on the brink of a massive anti-Semitic backlash similar to the one that blanketed all of Europe and Russia in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This time it might just begin in the US and spread to Europe (Russia is already rabidly anti-Semitic).
A 2019 survey, conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), to gauge the levels of discrimination and hate crimes against Jewish people in Europe, suggests that Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe, with 5500 of the 6000 Jews polled reporting an increase in the last five years and growing fears over online abuse and hate speech. 89% no longer felt safe living in Europe and worried about being verbally assaulted or harassed in public because they were Jewish. The vandalizing of Jewish cemeteries has become routine in the western world.
The situation in America is no better, thanks to the far-right hate-monger at the Oval Office. President Trump tells the world he is pro-Israel but is he? He is the same guy who said ”there were honourable men on both sides” when neo-Nazis in Charlottesville chanted “Jews will not replace us”. Does he really care about what happens to Israel? Was moving the embassy To Jerusalem based on conviction or simply a political stunt? Given the groundswell of anti-semitism in America, how long before American politics swings that way too?
Antisemitism in the US is rooted less in the contempt for the Jewish faith and more in the anger over the hidden power of Jewish wealth and influence. Robert Wuthrow, an American sociologist who is widely known for his work in the sociology of religions says, “Three large clusters of traits are part of the Jewish stereotyping. First, American Jews are seen as being powerful and manipulative. Second, they are accused of dividing their loyalties between the United States and Israel. A third set of traits concerns Jewish materialistic values, aggressiveness, clannishness.”
The clannishness referred to is very real. An American Jew, born in America, considers Israel as his primary home country, not America. It is this unique sense of brotherhood that the Israeli external intelligence agency, Mossad, has exploited repeatedly in the past.
Meet the Sayanim, Jews in countries outside Israel, who offer to help the Mossad in it’s clandestine operations, by providing logistics, safe houses, cash, etc. Sayanim can be from any walk of life – judges, prosecutors, police officers, politicians, university professors, intelligence officers, military officers, wealthy businessmen – anybody who is in a position to help spread Israel’s influence over the world, one who can be a sleeper agent cum force multiplier in case of conflict. They are the Israeli version of a “home-grown militant”.
The more adventurous among the Sayanim even carry out some clandestine operations like surveillance, theft and sabotage, on behalf of the Mossad, sometimes participating in operations against their own host country.
Don’t bother to search online encyclopedias like Wikipedia for the word “Sayanim”. You won’t find it, so secretive is this clandestine international brotherhood. If you google it, you’ll come across the name “Victor John Ostrovsky” a Canadian-born Israeli Mossad agent who’s memoir “By way of deception” introduces us to the world of the Sayanim.
Over the years, Israel has grown cocky. It has taken the US‘s unquestioning support for granted, sometimes conducting covert intelligence operations on US soil, directly in conflict with American foreign policy goals. Like the case of American intelligence analyst and traitor, Jonathan Pollard, a sayanim who passed on highly classified information to Mossad through the 1980s for cash as well as ideological grounds. When questioned, he simply said, “They needed my help and I feel that I did what I was expected to do – what my moral obligation was, as a Jew..”.
Jonathan Pollard was locked up in a minimum-security prison that resembled Club Med where he remained until he was paroled in 2015. Pollard considered Israel to be his country, not America. In return, thumbing it’s nose at the US, Israel made him a citizen in 1995.
I cannot say if US law makers will at some point in the future start to question why it is right for Jewish-Americans to put Israel ahead of the US and why it is worthwhile for America to place it’s friendship with Israel above all else.
All I know is that at some point…. something’s gotta give.