Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In Which the Balabusta is Mean

In a charming column labeled "Israel, Stop! Just. Stop", Lorelei Kelly offers a little advice the State of Israel, who she apparently confuses with her self-destructive BFF.

Basically, the point is that violent military confrontations don't work, and that Israel is so much better than this, and I could have stood it except for this passage:

Like many Americans who grew up in the '70s, I became fascinated by Israel after
seeing "Holocaust" on television. In fact, I lived in Germany and traveled
Europe for years trying to understand how the Holocaust could have happened. I
am no scholar of history. But from Vilnius to East Berlin, I've found the old
synagogues. I've sat outside in the rain on dark cobbled streets listening to
ceremonies through open windows, I've seen where they used your ancestors'
headstones as pavement to walk upon. I've beheld the stolen art. I'm sitting
here now looking at a black and white photo of the Jewish cemetery in Prague
that I snapped before the end of the Cold War. The sadness there seemed to me to
reflect the entire continent. For years, I felt compelled to seek out these
places -- I suppose partly out of curiosity, but also out of horror and shame
that -- for whatever goddamned excuse -- we did not save the victims of the
Nazis. That the rest of us did not protect your families. I apologized for this
at every stop. I still do. I wept.

I bet you played Tsaytl in "Fiddler on the Roof" too, right? And I know you read "The Diary of Anne Frank" seven times. Also, Lorrie, sweetie, if they're holding services inside it makes more sense to go inside and get out of the rain, and maybe say a prayer.

I have just about reached a point where the next Gentile American woman who tells me how she cried and cried over the Shoah as a teenager as some kind of credential for demanding that the IDF take directions from her is going to get a tepid skinny latte poured over her head. Mit schlag, and a little cinnamon.

Lorrie, one or two more points here: the camps were finally liberated by armies, big ones, with massive force and guns. Since you like mini-series, suggest you try Band of Brothers.

And while I know you love the idea of a people who have been victimized and thus morally perfected, the State of Israel is founded on the idea of live fighting Jews, instead of saintly victims. I would say that I'm sorry if this offends you, but I'm not. If you want to argue that Israel's current actions are immoral or unwise, do so. But don't tell me about your Holocaust experience.


The back of the hill said...

Great post.

I'll confess: I have never seen the movie SHOAH. Nor is it on my to-do list.

Saintly victims are fine. I'm sorta okay with saintly victims - provided they are still alive and intend to remain so. They can even be a little less saintly if that makes them survive. Dead saints don't really do much for me.

The phrase "never again" seems to resonate only for the Jews. The world showed how much they valued that sentiment when they did nothing in Cambodia and in Rwanda.

Kai Jones said...

I tell people (including my friends) that it's biased discrimination to expect Israel and Jews to behave better just because they were victims. It punishes us further for having been punished!

Anonymous said...

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