Walking on Eggs

The NY Times is a bountiful spring of instructions to perplexed mankind. Its editors appointed by Mr Sulzberger (apparently, God’s representative on earth) have an advice for everybody: what should the French do with their cheese (pasteurise and shove it you-know-where), Russians with their media (give it to Mr Gusinsky, a coreligionist of Mr Sulzberger), Chinese with their country (open it to Enron) and Palestinians with themselves (die, soonest). Now from their Mt Sinai on the 5th Avenue they conferred on grateful humanity a new commandment penned by Ian Buruma, directing us How to Talk about Israel.[1] Yes, it is delicate task. You may speak freely about Saudis and describe them as a medieval Kingdom of Evil, famous for their cruelty and barbarism (Norman Liebman) or their monstrous regime (Lenni Brenner), you may say that Swiss are mean and ugly, you may call French ‘froggies’; moreover, you may pour scorn and hate on the United States of America, as (justifiably) did Ms Roy in her recent epistle. But you have to be guided by Mr Sulzberger and his hacks if you dare to Talk about Israel.

What is so special about Israel? Our sweet Jaffa oranges? Our modest nuclear armed forces able to destroy every European capital? Our superb snipers who can kill a child at half a mile? Our wonderful torture equipment eagerly purchased by every Enemy of Terrorism? No, when Buruma writes ‘Israel’, he does not mean the State of Israel, a small but nasty piece of goods located somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. He means a much stronger entity.

Our friend, a gifted American writer Ghassan Ghraizi, whose novel, “Israel, by Any Other Name” I warmly recommend, was tricked by wily Buruma:

“I started reading Buruma, expecting an answer to how I can discuss Israel with some of my Jewish friends; but all I got was obfuscation and misdirection. Starting with the first three words, ‘the Jewish Problem’, Buruma exploits the symbols of historically European Jewish persecution to confuse the Palestinian grievances. Like a magician’s, Buruma’s misdirection of focus on ‘anti-Semitism’ blurs a reader’s understanding. The remaining text suffers from contradictions, omissions, and false comparisons.” (read full text of Ghraizi’s review below).

Innocent man, Ghraizi, did not understand that Buruma (and many other people) used ‘Israel’ as a euphemism for the ineffable J-word. There is nothing special about Israel but we are full of Mr Sulzberger’s nephews and Mr Wolfowitz’ cousins. Nothing special, but whatever passes for the American Mind is manufactured by the JINSA. Nothing special, but we get more American money than any part of the USA. Nothing special, but every American politician from the President down to last State Governor will say ‘uncle’ if asked by our Prime Minister. In plain words, our special position is nothing but an indicator of exalted, nay, unique position of the American Jews.

Witty Miriam Reik from New York City noted: “The fact that Ian Buruma wrote it as if walking on eggs, shows the depth of the problem.” (read her response below). Still, publication of Buruma’s essay (at the bottom of the email) is an important and encouraging event. Not because he says something new – he does not. Not because he is honest or sincere – he is not. But it is a sign that the elusive Enemy reels under the brunt of attack. It is a hurt cry, the first cry of Goliath hurt.

Two years ago, when this list departed into uncharted waters of checking the Jewish connection behind the developments in the US and the Middle East, such an essay would not be needed. One could talk about Israel with admiration, or at worst with regret that she lost her youthful idealism. One could not even notice the new American Jewish elite of the superpower who directed every bullet of Israeli snipers and every bomb dropped by the US planes on Iraq and Afghanistan. Things had changed.

Buruma admits that “the idea that Jewish interests are somehow at the center of American foreign policy in the Middle East is widely held, and not only outside the United States”. He tries to pooh-pooh it, but he is painfully aware of peeling Stealth cover of the American Judeocracy. Once revealed, this peculiar form of social organisation, akin to Brahmin predominance in India, became obvious to millions of spectators. The ever-watchful Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also noticed “hateful conspiracy theories about Jews continue to gather force around the world, despite two years of intensive efforts by watchdog groups and democratic governments to combat
them”[2] But “a “conspiracy theory” is not prima facie absurd, at any rate in Anglo-American jurisprudence. Indeed, “participation in a common plan or conspiracy” to commit aggression was the centrepiece of the prosecution’s indictment at the Nuremberg trial”, writes Norman Finkelstein[3]

The conspiracy of silence was undermined by the ‘Jewish’ dissidents: Norman Finkelstein, Miriam Reik, Jeff Blankfort, Michael Neumann, Gilad Atzmon, Edward Herman, Israel Shahak together with their ‘gentile’ comrades, for the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ works for the interests of the organised Jewish leadership, and against the true interests of ordinary folk of Jewish origin. More to the point, there is no Jew or Gentile but brotherhood of humanity for whoever accepts this brotherhood.

But their effort and self-sacrifice will be lost unless supported by others. Or, in words of Samuel Adams, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”

If Ian Buruma ‘walked on eggs’, wonderful Arundhati Roy in her ode to equally wonderful Noam Chomsky did not even come close to the eggs. She noticed “the mainstream media’s blatant performance as the U.S. government’s mouthpiece, its display of vengeful patriotism, its willingness to publish Pentagon press handouts as news, and its explicit censorship”. She noticed that the United States can commit horrible crimes and escape condemnation because “it has enlisted the services of the most powerful, most successful publicity firm in the world: Hollywood”. But she circumspectly does not notice the American Jews who are predominant in the media and Hollywood.

Out of two dozens of Media moguls she carefully mentions a non-Jewish one, although a friend of Israel, Berlusconi. She justly condemns ‘Neoliberal capitalism’ without referring to Milton Friedman and genocidal bombing of Cambodia without the name of Henry Kissinger. She writes of “the key role America has played in the conflict in the Middle East, in which thousands have died fighting Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory” but avoids the real reason behind this American role: the mighty power of the Jewish Lobby, as attended and duly described by Noam Chomsky’s co-author of Manufacturing Consent, fearless Edward Herman (alas, he remained unmentioned in her piece).

She speaks of the war and preceding “sanctions that have led directly, and indirectly, to the death of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq” but does not notice the [self-styled] Cabal, these 25 people, in words of Thomas Friedman to Ari Shavit ["Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.[4]“] who caused the war, and almost all of them Jewish disciples of Leo Strauss and their schoolmates.

Indeed, it is like talking of India’s policy in 19th century without mentioning the British rule. Could it be that for an Indian writer, the Brahmins’ leading role goes without saying? But our problem is exactly that: the huge monopoly of media causing lack of democracy in the US. The monopoly should receive the same treatment the giant Standard Oil received in the beginning of 20th century: it should be broken and democratised.

[1] HOW TO TALK ABOUT ISRAEL By Ian Buruma New York Times Magazine August 31, 2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/31/magazine/31ANTISEMITISM.html

[2] Conspiracy Theories about Jews, US Newswire Sept. 2

[3] in his new foreword to the German translation he quotes Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (New York: 2000), intro. by Robert Reich to such effect, while defending himself against such charges.

[4] http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=280279

From Miriam Reik:

The fact that the NY Times published “How to talk about Israel” (Aug. 31) shows that the American press, despite years of strongly pro-Israeli coverage, recognizes that a problem exists. The fact that Ian Buruma wrote it as if walking on eggs, shows the depth of the problem.

It is the reason the article failed to address the extent of AIPAC’s influence on Congress. AIPAC’s website proudly announces that an affiliate took a third of all Congressional representatives to Israel on “educational” trips so far this summer alone. None were taken to the Occupied Territories and it is doubtful that any even met a Palestinian. Our President has recognized that the Wall being built by Israel is a “problem”, yet 31 of those Congressmen immediately wrote a letter supporting it and a comparable Dear Colleague letter is circulating among Senators.

One of the most powerful men in America, Tom Delay, made a speech in Israel recently saying that he is “an Israeli at heart” and flew the Israeli flag on his website (until he received some irate letters), leading some to question his primary loyalty. Congress nearly unanimously passed $9 billion in loan guarantees to Israel, on top of the largely guaranteed $3 billion annual aid package, despite our starving state budgets and despite the fact that this entails selling large quantities of arms to Israel in
contravention of our own laws prohibiting such sales to countries violating human rights.

Finally, in addition to the humiliation of James Moran, there were the lessons taught to Earl Hilliard and Cynthia McKinney, legislators who wouldn’t line up entirely behind Israel and who consequently lost elections last year, largely due to money flowing to their opponents from mainstream American Jewish sources.

Miriam M. Reik, PhD

Courtesy Shamireaders