• Lillian Rosengarten

HOW CAN THIS BE?

It has has been difficult to write this week. So many troubles in the US as Trump dictates his Fascist, curiously hateful and bizarre style presidency.  He has a following as did Mussolini and Hitler. He is gross and  deeply disturbed. Those who celebrate hate, many who are disenfranchised  plus some of the very rich follow him with support. It is so deeply disturbing.

Last week I wrote an article that was critical of Bari Weiss’s article (NYT  9/6/2019, ) "How To Fight Anti-Semitism." I blindly referred to anti-Semites as those who hated Jews. What I failed to acknowledge is Palestinians are Semites as well. Yet it completely eluded me, did not fit in. It was also not mentioned in Gideon Levy’s latest wonderful article , “No OneIsrael Knew They Were Committing A Massacre And They Didn’t Care” (Nov 17, 2019, Haaretz)   Arabs and Palestinians are Semites and this adds to the complexity of the Zionist agenda where Palestinians are described as  haters of Jews. This is ludicrous. Some yes, but look at what has been done by a colonial  power engaged in apartheid that has systemically attempted to impoverish, kill, bomb, destroy homes, steal  land , imprison, torture and yet has the gross nerve to label itself as  the only democracy in the Middle East. It is a monstrosity of lies yet it is believed by many. As I think about this, I wonder over time whether  anti-Semitic has acquired some  meaning thru the trauma of history as it has applied to me, a refugee from Nazi Germany who by some miracle was able to escape the horror of the Nazi death machines. Again I ask, how do three generations of victims of such heinous, bloodcurdling racist crimes during the Nazi progroms of ethnic cleansing, live its present form of nationalism in Israel?   By what demonic twist of fate can Jews, who merely three generations ago suffered the cruelest racial bestiality as victims of Nazi anti-Semitism and racial purity law become so brutal? How does it justify destroying the Palestinian population by plowing through their land, driving out it’s inhabitants and by wielding power through military force to establish their ownership by “right.”  How can one justify the complicity of Israeli’s dehumanization of the Palestinian population by the American Jewish community including many scholars and camp survivors who have played a defining role in understanding the Holocaust experience. How can Jews, so collectively brutalized themselves, look the other way to justify another ghetto that is the largest prison camp in the world, Gaza? How do we still turn our faces away, swallow the lies, the myth of the Jewish state that must protect itself from destruction by the surrounding forces of evil. In the name of this fear, what insanity could possibly justify decades of brutalization, humiliation, the rape of land, the endless faces of the IDF with a mission to kill the other, to hate the other, to suppress ”the animals” who do not count as human beings. The young soldiers who have bought the racist lies follow orders and have lost their humanity. It is not beyond comprehension to understand aspects of the Israeli brutal and paranoid policies in light of the Jewish history perpetrated on them as victims of the Nazi progrom. Then, vitriolic anti Semitisms inflicted the most vile collective punishment and unspeakable brutality. Without question there had to be inflicted an extraordinary psychological impairment internalized in the surviving victims of such an irrational monstrous Nazi ideology. Left to fester from one generation to the next, the internalized hate is buried, yet ultimately the brutalized victims themselves find a target to project their hate so that the cycle of irrational paranoia and abuse continues on its destructive course. 

Salaam,

Lillian


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