Thursday, September 26, 2013

Zionism's religious imagination

Media reporting on the Palestine-Israel conflict is highly obscurantist; the average reader cannot make hide nor hair of what is going on over there. This presentation of the conflict as inscrutable & too complex for resolution is baloney. The Roman writer, Terence, once said “Nothing human is alien to me,” but our man hadn’t met the Zionist propaganda machine which confounds everything it touches, from religion to politics. Then he’d know what alien means!

Several times a year we read reports of conflict at the al-Asqa mosque in East Jerusalem, a district of the city illegally occupied by the Israeli military since 1967. You’ll be damn lucky if you find a single straight-forward explanation in the media of why the mosque is such a flashpoint of conflict between Palestinians, Zionist settlers, & the Israeli military.

Since there isn’t a shred of political legitimacy to Israel’s claims in Palestine, Zionism had to invent a narrative to justify colonialism, to their policy of forcibly & violently evicting the indigenous population of Palestinians & moving in Zionist settlers from all over Kingdom Come with no historical connections to the land. Since Zionism in Israel serves the geopolitical goals of the US & (along with the UK & other regimes), these regimes bankroll the project & turn a deaf ear to the idiocies of Zionist rationalizations--which are mostly found in the Pentateuch (the Torah). Even Yahweh would be aghast at how this religious tract is used by Zionists.

Since most Jews have lived outside Israel for 2,000 to 6,000 years they celebrate traditional religious holidays at synagogue services where they live. Sukkot is one of three pilgrimage festivals mandated in the Old Testament & goes back to ancient Israelites. In the expropriation of Palestine, Zionists had to invent a political history & re-imagine Judaism to render colonialism legitimate & even messianic. (They aren’t alone in using religion for such ignominious purpose. Christian missionaries elsewhere give them a run for their money.) Part of the re-imagining is cooking up ancient links between Judaism to religious sites sacred to Muslims. This would include the Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron & the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem. This mythic rendition serves Zionism but hasn’t a damn thing to do with Judaism.

It isn’t a coincidence that the ultra-right-wing Rabbi Shlomo Goren who was an officer in the Israeli military during the 1967 occupations & later served as Chief Rabbi of Israel was the guy who “liberated” both the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron & the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where al-Aqsa sits. What the extremists want is the destruction of al-Aqsa, not just Israeli control of the site. Rabbi Goren didn't beat around the bush about that but called for its destruction. Under the pretense of unearthing archeological evidence of Jewish religious history, Israel has been conducting extensive excavations under the mosque. They have not yet found a single artifact related to Jewish history but they have done considerable damage to the mosque, creating cracks in its walls, removing soil from beneath the structure which weaken its foundation & make it vulnerable to collapse.

It is presently the Sukkot holiday & Zionist pilgrims including thousands of Evangelical Christians poured into Hebron & Jerusalem, not to pray but to invade the place like born-again Knights Templar to reclaim the Holy Land. The Israeli military again put al-Aqsa off limits to Palestinian worshippers. On Tuesday, the military used stun guns, tear gas, mounted police, sound bombs, & blue-colored waste water shot from water cannons against Palestinians demanding access to their place of worship. There are dozens of photos of undercover Israeli cops beating Palestinian protestors or holding them in choke holds. Photos are worth a thousand lies which is why Israeli human rights groups report journalists are being targeted & attacked at the protests & their equipment destroyed. Here a Palestinian protestor stands off against Israeli soldiers at the protest on Tuesday.

Show your support for Palestinian religious freedom by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729), supporting the cultural boycott of Israel, & demanding “No US aid to Israel!”

(Photo by Marco Longari/AFP)

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