RighteousJew.org’s Paul Eisen morally compasses Palestine and Jewish Power
Excerpt from longer article here, by Paul Eisen
Editor’s note: I keep wracking this my brain for how is it even conceivable that Israel con-tinues to commit open genocide on the people of Palestine and how is it anything but unspeak-ably outrageous that my federal legislators (and millions of oth-ers) continue to be complicit in these ongoing crimes against humanity—especially vs. the helpless elderly, women, and children. Then along comes Mr. Eisen with a brilliant article so explaining. Paul is a dear friend of one of the local activists in a group I jokingly refer to as the Ann Arbor GDL. This group, whom I have only joined so far in spirit, not on the ground, conducts a weekly vigil for humanity in general at Beth Israel Congregation.
What Israel and Zionism have done, and are doing, to the Palestinians is indefensible, yet so many Jews defend it. How and why do they do this? And why does the rest of the world seem complicit and unable to speak out?
The Original Sin
Many arguments can be advanced in favour of a Jewish state in Palestine, from the simple right of the Jewish people to national self-determination, the right of Jews to return to their ancestral homeland, and the need of a suffering and persecuted people for a haven where they can be safe and secure.
Jews can define themselves as they wish. If they feel themselves to be a nation, then they are a nation. But, in accordance with the dictum, that ‘your freedom to swing your arm ends where your finger touches my nose’, it is when this self-definition impinges on others that the problems begin. It is then that others may ask whether this Jewish sense of nationhood-often an emotional and religious matter based on a perceived sharing of history and even of destiny-can ever be realised politically. What it boils down to is this: Jews, like any other people, may have the right to establish and maintain a state of their own, but, do Jews have the right to establish and maintain a state of their own in Palestine, already the home of the Palestinians? All this may, and will be argued, but what is beyond dispute is that, for Jewish national self-determination and statehood, it is the Palestinians who have paid a terrible price.
By 1947-48, Palestinians had been reduced to a state of anxiety and insecurity, and in 1948, when the State of Israel was established, a traditional Palestinian society was no match for its democratic, egalitarian and fiercely ideological foe. As a consequence, an entire way of life was obliterated. At least 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes and into exile, more than 450 of their towns and villages were destroyed or pillaged and people who had lived a settled life for generations ended up either in tents in Lebanon, Syria or Jordan, or as a bereft and traumatised diaspora in every corner of the earth.
Nor was all this an unintended by-product of war. Although the idea that the Palestinians just ‘ran away’ has, in the main, been dispelled, we are still left with many stories, obfuscations and downright lies about where responsibility lies for this ethnic cleansing. The critical issue now centres on the question of intentionality. Continue reading