William A. Cook
“Ladies and gentlemen, peace is Israel’s highest aspiration. I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbours — – a peace that would end a century of conflict and bloodshed. Peace would be good for us. Peace would be good for the Palestinians” : Bibi Netanyahu before the AIPAC conference earlier this month
There are those who stand in regal splendor in halls resplendent with brilliantly colored flags and emblems of rank testifying to their positions as leaders in the world, acknowledged with respectful applause, as the audience standing in adulation of that position, witness the entrance of the announced Lord of the realm as he ascends to the podium to declare his moral righteousness before the world spread out through the nations in the Temple of Television, and boldly, shamelessly lie before all humankind—they are the face of falsehood. Yesterday that face was George W. Bush addressing the joint sessions of Congress as he announced vengeance against an unknown enemy as lie after lie fell from his lips. Today it is Netanyahu declaring his love for peace when he speaks for a nation led by Zionist ideology that has never sought peace as that word is known to the entire world and thus masks truth in obfuscation, for “peace” to the Zionist has been and continues to be “greater Israel” achieved by power not by peace as we know it.
For all the years of my life, from 1936 when the Zionists began their efforts to fill Palestine with Jews to displace the existing people who lived there, as recorded in documents seized by the Mandate Police and acknowledged by many historians (see Ilan Pappe’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine), through the war Zionists declared against their British hosts in Palestine, and through their brutal Nakba against the defenseless Palestinian people as they invaded and massacred the inhabitants of more than 416 towns and villages on their way to declaring the existence of a new state called Israel, and then for 65 more years held out hope for a peaceful two states to exist in peace side by side, two doves joined by a laurel wreath, to today, this March when the two peace loving nations of Israel and the United States declare before the world once again that they want peace when there can be no peace when they shovel lies through deception masked as “peace negotiations.”
Zionism is a contagion that has infected the Jewish people in the last 100 years, a contagion emanating out of a minority of European Jews who manipulated their way to control of those in positions of power seeing opportunity for gain in land and wealth regardless of the truth they told about their motives or the faith of Judaism. True Torah Jews will speak to this as they find their faith distorted and used by deceivers. There is a tale that can illuminate the dichotomy represented by Zionism and true Judaism, a tale told by Herman Melville in Moby Dick.
Father Mapple’s sermon in Melville’s tale of the white whale teaches a lesson with the fable of Jonah, “a lesson to us all as sinful men…it is a story of the sin, hard-heartedness, suddenly awakened fears, the swift punishment, repentance, prayers, and finally the deliverance and joy of Jonah.” It is a story that bears repeating since we live in a world drowning in sin, the sins of deception, omission and outright lies, sins committed by those who pretend to lead the world like Puritan preachers of old, bathed in despair, guiding by fear, controlling by naked power, pretending to believe in a God of morals, rectitude and love when in reality they believe only in self and whatever they can amass from the resources that should be the shared goods of all.
Before setting sail for voyages that could last more than three years, sailors went to the Whaleman’s Chapel in New Bedford, and there in moody silence they prayed to their respective gods for a safe voyage, a safe return and safe from sin. Perhaps before America joins an unknown voyage captained by a madman, we should listen to Father Mapple that we might understand the dangers that lurk beneath the ocean of lies this Captain utters from his pulpit at AIPAC’s offices in Washington D.C.. He is no Father Mapple.
“As with all sinners among men, the sin of (Jonah) was in his wilful disobedience of the command of God …which he found a hard command.” What is the command of God? Love all, share God’s riches with all, respect all, dignify all, know thyself in all, give yourself to all, hard commands indeed and commands Zionism neither understands nor desires to hear much less abide by. It’s easier for Zionism to be the god that controls all, that commands all, that uses all for its ends. Hence the lies that drool from Netanyahu’s lips like drops of blood sucked from those he has destroyed as he feigns a moral stance on the right side of the “red” line he draws for himself:
My friends, I’ve come here to draw a clear line. You know that I like to draw lines — especially red ones. But the line I want to draw today is the line between life and death, between right and wrong, between the blessings of a brilliant future and the curses of a dark past.
Those Syrians discovered what you’ve always known to be true: In the Middle East, bludgeoned by butchery and barbarism, Israel is humane; Israel is compassionate; Israel is a force for good. That border, that runs a hundred yards east of that field hospital, is the dividing line between decency and depravity, between compassion and cruelty. On the one side stands Israel, animated by the values we cherish, values that move us to treat sick Palestinians, thousands of them, from Gaza. They come to our hospitals. We treat them despite the fact that terrorists from Gaza hurl thousands of rockets at our cities. (MWCNews, 3/4/14, Netanyahu’s Speech to AIPAC).
Needless to say, the life he chooses is life for his people in the Jewish State executed by him on his terms regardless of right or wrong regardless of the constant and calculated ethnic cleansing that he perpetrates on the Palestinian people, indeed on the very Syrians he declares he is helping. That red line he draws swipes across Syrian land that Israel occupies illegally and the field hospital he refers to sits in Syrian land that Israel has illegally bombed on three recent occasions when it determined what is right for Israel and not wrong for Israel though it defies International Law and is in fact an invasion of a sovereign state; so much for truth. Indeed, what the Syrians really discovered is what the world has always known to be true: In the Middle East, bludgeoned by butchery and barbarism, it is Israel that is the butcher and the barbarian; we need only recall the “Butcher of Beirut” Ariel Sharon as he watched his mercenaries slash and slaughter the defenceless women and children of Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon.
“That border,” Netanyahu proclaims, “that runs a hundred yards east of that field hospital, is the dividing line between decency and depravity, between compassion and cruelty.” Where is the decency and compassion in stealing the land of those Syrians displaced by an invading occupier whose responsibility under International Law requires compassion and care for those imprisoned by occupation and true settlement for return of the stolen land to those who own it? “On the one side stands Israel, animated by the values we cherish,” values that any civilized state would find repugnant, especially when the true facts reveal Israeli IDF forces preventing hundreds of Palestinians from getting to hospitals even to bring a child into this world or the record of intentional killings by sniper fire of children. We need only check the weekly reports of the PCHR that lists those murdered by name. How repulsive to proclaim civilized behaviour when you lead a nation so savagely.
But there he stands in his pin striped suit, Israeli star embossed on the US flag pin, glistening in the podium lights, smiling delightedly as he mouths lie after lie to the delighted listeners, including some 400 Congress members who find it a bit awkward as the klieg lights get brighter and brighter shining on them as stooges for this foreign government that commands them how to vote regardless of the desires of the American people, a slightly different picture than that of Jonah who knew his sin.
“See ye not then, shipmates, that Jonah sought to flee world-wide from God? Miserable man! Oh! most contemptible and worthy of all scorn; with slouched hat and guilty eye, skulking from his God; prowling among the shipping like a vile burglar hastening to cross the seas. So disordered, self-condemning is his look, that had there been policemen in those days, Jonah, on the mere suspicion of something wrong, had been arrested ere he touched a deck.” But there are still no policemen to arrest this “miserable man, most contemptible and worthy of scorn.”
Jonah’s shipmates knew of his evil, they sensed it and demanded to know of him. “What is thine occupation? Whence comest thou? Thy country? What people? He in repentance of his known crimes cries out, ‘I am a Hebrew,’ he cries—and then—’I fear the Lord the God of Heaven who hath made the sea and the dry land!’ Fear him, O Jonah? Aye, well mightest thou fear the Lord God THEN!” Where we might ask is the repentance of Netanyahu? Certainly his crimes are greater by far than those of poor Jonah, who sinned against his soul and his fellows by usury only while this man leads a state that defies the citizens of the world in assembly by mocking their councils and executing crimes against humanity.
But the man is blind to his crimes; he continues his babbling lies:
Ladies and gentlemen, peace is Israel’s highest aspiration. I’m prepared to make a historic peace with our Palestinian neighbors — – a peace that would end a century of conflict and bloodshed. Peace would be good for us. Peace would be good for the Palestinians. But peace would also open up the possibility of establishing formal ties between Israel and leading countries in the Arab world.
Without blinking an eye, he utters lies that defy the 65 years of Israeli intransigence against peace, against the possibility of a two state solution when they have confiscated all but 11 per cent of Palestinian land; when peace to Israel means no contiguous land for a state of Palestine, means no recognition of that state for years to come, means only their troops will protect their people and no protection is provided for the Palestinians even though they are the ones who are the victims, means peace can only be attained if Israel determines it is safe, not behind borders, but behind their tanks, machine guns, drones, F-16s and nuclear deterrents to be used at their whim.
A man cannot proclaim peace if he does not understand the word; he cannot be a man with morals if he does not know what morality means; he cannot offer peace if he’s not prepared to sit down with Palestinians and the communities of the world if he has predetermined that he will not and his nation has never determined that it will share Palestine with its indigenous people. Yet that is the reality; everything the man says is fabrication. This is not Jonah;
“…he drops seething into the yawning jaws awaiting him; and the whale shoots-to all his ivory teeth, like so many white bolts, upon his prison. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord out of the fish’s belly. But observe his prayer, and learn a weighty lesson. For sinful as he is, Jonah does not weep and wail for direct deliverance. He feels that his dreadful punishment is just. He leaves all his deliverance to God, contenting himself with this, that spite of all his pains and pangs, he will still look towards His holy temple. And here, shipmates, is true and faithful repentance; not clamorous for pardon, but grateful for punishment. And how pleasing to God was this conduct in Jonah, is shown in the eventual deliverance of him from the sea and the whale.”
This is the essential difference between Jonah and Netanyahu: the one is a human who understands his place in the community of peoples he must live with, the other is devoid of human sympathy even as he survives on cradling his own exclusive tribe to maintain his power, lies are but a means to his end. This is the dividing line between Zionism and true Judaism and would that Netanyahu would draw this line and cross to the true moral side!
“…when the whale grounded upon the ocean’s utmost bones, even then, God heard the engulphed, repenting prophet when he cried. Then God spake unto the fish; and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the sea, the whale came breeching up towards the warm and pleasant sun, and all the delights of air and earth; and ‘vomited out Jonah upon the dry land;’ when the word of the Lord came a second time; and Jonah, bruised and beaten—his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean—Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, shipmates? To preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood! That was it!”
Netanyahu cannot preach truth to falsehood, he is the very face of falsehood; he must find truth outside himself and seek redemption from those he has slaughtered, and know as Jonah knew that his punishment is justified and will be determined by God as it must be. And what is that God he must face? Listen to the eloquence of Father Mapple as he brings truth to falsehood from the lesson of Jonah:
“This, shipmates, this is that other lesson; and woe to that pilot of the living God who slights it. Woe to him whom this world charms from Gospel duty! Woe to him who seeks to pour oil upon the waters when God has brewed them into a gale! Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal! Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness! Woe to him who, in this world, courts not dishonour! Woe to him who would not be true, even though to be false were salvation! Yea, woe to him who, as the great Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway!”
But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight; …Delight is to him—a far, far upward, and inward delight—who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self. Delight is to him whose strong arms yet support him, when the ship of this base treacherous world has gone down beneath him. Delight is to him, who gives no quarter in the truth, and kills, burns, and destroys all sin though he pluck it out from under the robes of Senators and Judges. Delight,—top-gallant delight is to him, who acknowledges no law or lord, but the Lord his God, and is only a patriot to heaven. Delight is to him, whom all the waves of the billows of the seas of the boisterous mob can never shake from this sure Keel of the Ages. And eternal delight and deliciousness will be his, who coming to lay him down, can say with his final breath—O Father!—chiefly known to me by Thy rod—mortal or immortal, here I die. I have striven to be Thine, more than to be this world’s, or mine own. Yet this is nothing: I leave eternity to Thee; for what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?”
That God is all who live on this earth and rightfully share all that this earth has provided, for those who lived before us, those now living, and for our children and their children. That God is our desire to find love with all, to recognize the equity of all, to acknowledge our limitations and our potentials and aid all in fulfilling their promise. That God is understanding the finality of our being, our momentary existence, our need to comprehend the rights that must be passed on from generation to generation lest destruction and death be our gift to all children yet to come. None of us will outlive that God; existence of all things is the God we pass on but only if we have comprehended the totality of our responsibility to gift all to those yet to come in equal measure. Our ultimate responsibility is to Preach Truth to the Face of Falsehood; if we do perhaps Netanyahu will be preaching to an empty room.