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Friday, January 11, 2008

I Still don't Get it....


I'll admit it -- I'm a flower child, a hippie, a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, a Feminist. I feel for the downtrodden (sometimes a bit too much -- when I'm not careful, I get totally wrapped up in sorrow and get to the point where I can't function). I believe it's important for people to cooperate rather than compete.

What I don't get is how the people who I "grew up with" -- the Liberals, the Feminists, the hippies, the flower children -- are now becoming hate-mongers. They are becoming the most virulent anti-Zionist (and, hence, the most virulent anti-Jewish people short of Osama Bin Laden and his ilk).

What happened to the people who questioned everything? Where are the fearless doubters of the media, the critics of evil? Did smoking grass and dropping acid (which was not part of my hippie-ism, but was a way of life for many hippies) lead to the melting of the center of the brain that defines "good" and "evil"?

I hate to say it, but lately the biggest supporters of Israel are the very same people who feel it is their job to "bring the good news" to the Jewish people. These people, while supporters of Israel, will never be totally happy until every Jew on this planet has accepted JC as his/her personal savior. These are also the same people who, in the US, are the supporters of "big business", "states rights" (a leftover buzz word from the antebellum South which used to mean "pro-slavery" but now means "lower taxes for the rich/less welfare/services/help for the poor") and welfare/services/help for the rich (as in lower taxes to big business, laxer anti-trust laws, subsidies for factory farms and non-organic farms, etc. which lead to higher prices for organically grown/sustainably grown produce).

Mind you, their current leader, Mr. Bush, has proven himself over and over again to not only NOT be a friend of Israel (and, by extension, the Jews) but to be an enemy of Israel. By his choice of and support of Condoleeza Rice he has shown his support for a Palestinian state that will only serve as a launching pad for more missiles at population centers around Israel. The Palestinians don't deserve a state -- they have proven in Gaza that they cannot govern themselves. When asked whose rule they prefer to live under, 2/3 to 3/4 of the people in areas like East Jerusalem (mind you, these people are some of the most vociferous critics of Israel and its government) state they prefer to live under Israel's rule. Some are so convinced of this, they say that if East Jerusalem or the West Bank becomes part of the Palestinian Authority they will move to areas that are part of Israel proper.

So, here I am, back in yet another US presidential election year with little hope of a candidate to call my own, so to speak. I'm leaning toward Hillary, but I'm concerned she may choose Barak Obama (who is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state) as her running mate. If I had my way, she would either choose Joseph Lieberman or Artur Davis. Artur Davis is a representative from Alabama. Generally, in my bubble in NJ, where I avoid the news like the plague, I wouldn't know thing one about a Senator from Alabama, much less a representative. But Artur Davis has shown himself to be a friend of Israel, something very rare these days among African Americans, l'da'voneinu (to our detriment) and among Liberals.

Artur Davis, in my opinion, would make the perfect running mate for Hillary Clinton. That is a ticket I could get behind. Are you reading this, Hillary????

(To see an article written by Artur Davis and a congressional colleague of his, see http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-cantor12jan12,0,6398482.story )

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Craziness and More Craziness

This week, I heard a couple of things that just made me scratch my head in disbelief. Both had to do with the word "rape" and both are just at a level of stupidity that are impossible to comprehend.

I'm on Naomi Ragen's mailing list. Naomi Ragen is an author (I've read most of her books and love them) and writer for the Jerusalem Post. She doesn't seem to be writing much for JP these days (at least most of what I get from her list is written by others, not her). [as an aside: I totally disagree with her position on American Politics and she's VERY sensitive about people even slightly disagreeing with her position of Bush as god of American Presidents -- as in anything bad Bush does is the fault of the "left" and by extension any Democrat elected to office in the entire United States.]

This week, I received from her an absolutely bizarre article. It was about a Master's student who wrote a paper stating that she has proof that Israeli soldiers are racist because they won't rape Palestinian women. Forgetting that, of course, most Israelis are the same race as Palestinians and, therefore, even if there was something wrong with the soldiers NOT raping Palestinians, it wouldn't be racist (since most Israeli soldiers are the same race as most Palestinians).

Now, I know everyone from politicians to journalists to the anti-Zionist on the street (or, should I say anti-Jewish person????) judges Israel to different standards (as in nothing Israel does is good including trying to defend itself and its citizens), but these are the same people who, if, Has V'Shalom, G-d forbid, any Israeli soldier raped any Palestinian woman, they would be the first to condemn this action (as well they should). So why are they complaining that our "boys" DON'T rape women????

The second use of the word rape that I heard about had to do with a publisher from Israeli newspaper HaAretz (which I call Am HaAretz) told Condoleezza Rice that Israel wanted the US to "rape [us] into a settlement".

Besides my feelings of mortification over this use of such a word for such a situation (shows a total lack of respect not only for Israel but for women everywhere) and my hopes that Ms. Rice, despite previous evidence to the contrary, will not attribute this sentiment to anyone other than this raving idiot, I am appalled that anyone would say this.

I am appalled that people criticize Israel (in this case for not raping women) about its treatment of women when Israel is surrounded by countries where "honor killing" (the murder of women, mostly young women, for supposed "crimes" including being raped, being outside of their houses unescorted by a male relative, doing things her father doesn't want her to do (like dating or learning to read, for example) etc. -- men who commit these crimes rarely get more than a "slap on the wrist") and female circumcision are part of their accepted way of life. I am appalled that women's rights groups (mind you, I am and have always considered myself a feminist, though at times, including/especially now, I often wonder about other feminists) condemn Israel (not, mind you, for its treatment of Israeli women, but for its treatment of Palestinian women -- women who Israelis treat considerably better than their own "government" and their own families). Feminist conferences of late seem to spend more time condemning Israel for non-existent human rights violations than they do condemning anyone else in the world for their treatment of their own women. High on the list of "condemnees" should be all 22 (or is it 23 now if you include areas under Palestinian Authority control???) of the Arab countries for their blatant violation of the rights of women within their countries, for "honor killings" and female circumcision, for keeping women down and illiterate, for punishing women for supposed crimes that only apply to women and not to men (including being raped) and a host of other human rights violations directed only to women.

Some might wonder why I still consider myself a feminist. A feminist is someone who believes that the rights of an individual should not be dependant on that individual's gender classification. It means the same thing even if people mislabel themselves as feminist when their only agenda is condemning one of the few civilized countries in this world. It still means the same thing even if people think it means something else, kind of like Liberal. Liberal still means someone who cares for others and isn't just concerned about the rich. Just because there are people out there who abuse the English language and coopt terminology doesn't mean that I can't use the words in their proper context. The only problem I have with this is that often people mistake my proper use of a word for the inproper definition others have.

As for the comments of Israel's top Am HaAretz, I can only scratch my head in disbelief. I can't imagine how anyone could say something not only that stupid from a political perspective but that inappropriate from a respect for women perspective. To use the word "rape" when talking to a female official of a foreign government is to show a total lack of any level of respect for women. To say that Israel "wants" to be raped shows a level of political flippancy that in any truly civilized world would lead to his forced resignation and his total condemnation.
One of the prophesies about the coming of Moshiah (the Messiah) is that the world will turn upside down -- right will be wrong and wrong will be right. I can only hope that what is happening today is in fulfillment of that prophesy.