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Sayanim — Israeli Operatives in the U.S.

July 19, 2010: By Jeff Gates

Sayanim — Israeli Operatives in the U.S.

Americans know that something fundamental is amiss. They sense—rightly—that they are being misled no matter which political party does the leading.

A long misinformed public lacks the tools to grasp how they are being deceived. Without those tools, Americans will continue to be frustrated at being played for the fool.

When the “con” is clearly seen, “the mark” (that’s us) will see that all roads lead to the same duplicitous source: Israel and its operatives. The secret to Israel’s force-multiplier in the U.S. is its use of agents, assets and sayanim (Hebrew for volunteers).

When Israeli-American Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying in 1986, Tel Aviv assured us that he was not an Israeli agent but part of a “rogue” operation. That was a lie.

Only 12 years later did Tel Aviv concede that he was an Israeli spy the entire time he was stealing U.S. military secrets. That espionage—by a purported ally—damaged our national security more than any operation in U.S. history.

In short, Israel played us for the fool.

From 1981-1985, this U.S. Navy intelligence analyst provided Israel with 360 cubic feet of classified military documents on Soviet arms shipments, Pakistani nuclear weapons, Libyan air defense systems and other intelligence sought by Tel Aviv to advance its geopolitical agenda.

Agents differ from assets and sayanim.  Agents possess the requisite mental state to be convicted of treason, a capital crime. Under U.S. law, that internal state is what distinguishes premeditated murder from a lesser crime such as involuntary manslaughter. Though there’s a death in either case, the legal liabilities are different—for a reason.

Intent is the factor that determines personal culpability. That distinction traces its roots to a widely shared belief in free will as a key component that distinguishes humans from animals.

Agents operate with premeditation and “extreme malice” or what the law describes as an “evil mind.” Though that describes the mental state of Jonathan Pollard, Israeli leaders assured us otherwise—another example of an evil mind as the U.S. was played for the fool.

Played for the Fool, Again

Pollard took from his office more than one million documents for copying by his Israeli handler. When those classified materials were transferred to the Soviets, reportedly in exchange for the emigration of Russian Jews, this spy operation shifted the entire dynamics of the Cold War.

To put a price tag on this espionage, imagine $20 trillion in U.S. Cold War defense outlays from 1948-1989 (in 2010 dollars). The bulk of that investment in national security was negated by a spy working for a nation that pretended throughout to be a U.S. ally.

Pollard was sentenced to life in prison. Israel suffered no consequences. None. Zero. Nada. Not then. Not now. Then as now, we were played for the fool.

At trial, Pollard claimed he wasn’t stealing from the U.S.; he was stealing secrets for Israel—with whom the U.S. has long had a “special relationship.” He thought we should have shared our military secrets with them. That’s chutzpah. That also confirms we were played for the fool.

Looking back, it’s easy to see how seamlessly we segued from a global Cold War to a global War on Terrorism. In retrospect, the false intelligence used to induce our invasion of Iraq was traceable to Israelis, pro-Israelis or Israeli assets such as John McCain (see below).

Even while in prison, Pollard’s iconic status among Israelis played a strategic role. Was it just coincidence that Tel Aviv announced a $1 million grant to their master spy less than two weeks before 911? Is that how Israel signaled its operatives in the U.S.?

Did that grant have any relationship to the “dancing Israelis” who were found filming and celebrating that mass murder as both jets smashed into the World Trade Center?

Absent that provocation, would we now find ourselves at war in the Middle East? Surely no one still believes that America’s interests are being advanced in a quagmire that has now become the longest war in U.S. history.

“I know what America is,” Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of Israelis in 2001, apparently not knowing his words were being recorded. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”

Let’s face it: the U.S. was again played for the fool.

With oversight by Israeli case officers (katsas), Israeli operations proceed in the U.S. by using agents, assets and volunteers (sayanim). Let’s take a closer look at each.

The Sayanim System

Sayanim (singular sayan) are shielded from conventional legal culpability by being told only enough to perform their narrow role. Though their help may be essential to the success of an Israeli operation, these volunteers (sayanim also means helpers) could pass a polygraph test because their recruiters ensure they remain ignorant of the overall goals of an operation.

In other words, a sayan can operate as an accomplice but still not be legally liable due to a lack of the requisite intent regarding the broader goals—of which they are purposely kept ignorant. Does that intentional “ignorance” absolve them of liability under U.S. law? So far, yes.

Much like military reservists, sayanim are activated when needed to support an operation. By agreeing to be available to help Israel, they provide an on-call undercover corps and force-multiplier that can be deployed on short notice.

How are sayanim called to action? To date, there’s been no attempt by U.S. officials to clarify that key point. This may explain why Pollard was again in the news on July 13th with a high-profile Israeli commemoration of his 9000th day of incarceration.

To show solidarity with this Israeli-American traitor, the lights encircling Jerusalem were darkened while an appeal was projected onto the walls of the Old City urging that President Obama order Pollard’s release from federal prison.

Pollard has long been a rallying point for Jewish nationalists, Zionist extremists and ultra-orthodox ideologues. In short, just the sort of people who would be likely recruits as sayanim. The news coverage given this Day of Adoration may help explain how Israel signals its helpers that an operation is underway and in need of their help.

Are pro-Israelis once again playing Americans for the fool?

When not aiding an ongoing operation, sayanim gather and report intelligence useful to Israel. This volunteer corps is deeply imbedded in legislative bodies, particularly in the U.S.

Thus far, this Israeli operation has advanced with legal impunity as the Israel lobby—though acting as a foreign agent—continues even now to pose as a “domestic” operation.

Morris Amitay, former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, explains how this invisible cadre aids the Israel lobby in advancing its geopolitical agenda:

“There are a lot of guys at the working level up here [on Capitol Hill]…who happen to be Jewish, who are willing…to look at certain issues in terms of their Jewishness…These are all guys who are in a position to make the decision in these areas for those senators…You can get an awful lot done just at the staff level.”

What sayanim are not told by their katsas is that an Israeli operation may endanger not only Israel but also the broader Jewish community when these operations are linked to extremism, terrorism, organized crime, espionage and treason. Though sayanim “must be 100 percent Jewish,” Ostrovsky reports in By Way of Deception (1990):

“…the Mossad does not seem to care how devastating it could be to the status of the Jewish people in the Diaspora if it was known. The answer you get if you ask is: “So what’s the worst that could happen to those Jews? They’d all come to Israel. Great!” [Mossad is the intelligence and foreign operations directorate for Israel.]

Assets, Agents and Sayanim

Assets are people profiled in sufficient depth that they can be relied upon to perform consistent with their profile. Such people typically lack the state of mind required for criminal culpability because they lack the requisite intent to commit a crime.

Nevertheless, assets are critical to the success of Israeli operations in the U.S. They help simply by pursuing their profiled personal needs—typically for recognition, influence, money, sex, drugs or the greatest drug of all: ideology.

Thus the mission-critical task fulfilled by political assets that the Israel lobby “produces” for long-term service in the Congress—while appearing to represent their U.S. constituents.

Put a profiled asset in a pre-staged time, place and circumstance—over which the Israel lobby can exert considerable influence—and Israeli psy-ops specialists can be confident that, within an acceptable range of probabilities, an asset will act consistent with his or her profile.

Democrat or Republican is irrelevant; the strategic point remains the same: to ensure that lawmakers perform consistent with Israel’s interests. With the help of McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform,” the Israel lobby attained virtual control over the U.S. Congress.

The performance of assets in the political sphere can be anticipated with sufficient confidence that outcomes become foreseeable—within an acceptable range of probabilities. How difficult was it to predict the outcome when Bill Clinton, a classic asset, encountered White House intern Monica Lewinsky?

Senator John McCain has long been a predictable asset. His political career traces its origins to organized crime from the 1920s. It was organized crime that first drew him to Arizona to run for Congress four years before the 1986 retirement of Senator Barry Goldwater.

By marketing his “brand” as a Vietnam-era prisoner of war, he became a reliable spokesman for Tel Aviv while being portrayed as a “war hero.” No media outlet dares mention that Colonel Ted Guy, McCain’s commanding officer while a POW, sought his indictment for treason for his many broadcasts for the North Vietnamese that assured the death of many U.S. airmen.

As a typical asset, it came as no surprise to see McCain and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a self-professed Zionist, used to market the phony intelligence that took us to war in Iraq. McCain’s ongoing alliance with transnational organized crime spans three decades.

His 1980’s advocacy for S&L crook Charles Keating of “The Keating 5” finds a counterpart in his recent meetings with Russian-Israeli mobster Oleg Deripaska who at age 40 held $40 billion in wealth defrauded from his fellow Russians.

McCain conceded earlier this month in a town hall meeting in Tempe, Arizona that he met in a small dinner in Switzerland with mega-thief Deripaska and Lord Rothschild V.

For assets such as McCain to be indicted for treason, the American public must grasp the critical role that such pliable personalities play in political manipulations. McCain is a “poster boy” for how assets are deployed to shape decisions such as those that took our military to war. In the Information Age, if that’s not treason, what is?

The predictability of a politician’s conduct confirms his or her qualifications as an asset. They are routinely developed and “produced” over lengthy periods of time and then—as with John McCain—maintained in key positions to influence decision-making as key junctures.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was candid in his assessment four weeks after 911. He may have been thinking about John McCain when he made this revealing comment:

“I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.” [October 3, 2001]

Indictments for Treason

Are assets culpable? Do they have the requisite intent to indict them for treason? Does John McCain possess an evil mind? Did he betray this nation of his own free will or is he typical of those assets with personalities so weak and malleable that they can easily be manipulated?

As federal grand juries are impaneled to identify and indict participants in this trans-generational operation, how many sayanim should the Federal Bureau of Investigation expect to uncover in the U.S.? No one knows because this subtle form of treason is not yet well understood.

Victor Ostrovksy, a former Mossad katsa (case officer) wrote in 1990 that the Mossad had 7,000 sayanim in London alone. In London’s 1990 population of 6.8 million, Israel’s all-volunteer corps represented one-tenth of one percent of the residents of that capital city.

If Washington, DC is ten times more critical to Israel’s geopolitical goals (an understatement), does that mean the FBI should expect to find ten times more sayanim per capita in Washington?

What about sayanim in Manhattan, Miami, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Toledo?

No one knows. And Tel Aviv is unlikely to volunteer the information. This we know for certain: America has been played for the fool. And so has our military.

This duplicity dates back well before British Foreign Secretary Alfred Balfour wrote to an earlier Lord Rothschild in 1917 citing UK approval for a “Jewish homeland.” In practical effect, that “homeland” now ensures non-extradition for senior operatives in transnational organized crime.

To date, America has blinded itself even to the possibility of such a trans-generational operation inside our borders and imbedded inside our government. Instead the toxic charge of “anti-Semitism” is routinely hurled at those chronicling the “how” component of this systemic treason.

Making this treason transparent is essential to restore U.S. national security. That transparency may initially appear unfair to the many moderate and secular Jews who join others appalled at this systemic corruption of the U.S. political system.

Yet they are also concerned that somehow they may be portrayed as guilty by association due to a shared faith tradition. That would be not only unjust to them but also ineffective in identifying and indicting those complicit.

This much is certain: a Democrat as president offers no real alternative to a Republican on those issues affecting U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Today’s corruption predates the duplicity in 1948 that induced Harry Truman to extend recognition to this extremist enclave as a legitimate nation state. Our troubles date from then.

That fateful decision must be revisited in light of what can now be proven about the “how” of this ongoing duplicity—unless Americans want to continue to be played for the fool.

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Looking Back at the Lexicon of Resistance

March 30, 2009: By Gilad Atzmon

Lexicon of Resistance

The following is an attempt to present my own personal dictionary of what seems to be the most charged terminology and concepts attached to the Palestinian solidarity and anti-war discourse.

Palestine– a piece of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. For many years Palestine was the home of the Palestinian people: Muslims, Christians and Jews who lived in peace and harmony for hundred of years. In the late 19th century, in the light of emerging European nationalism, a few Jews had decided that Jews should not be left out. They then invented the notions of: “Jewish people”, “Jewish history” and “Jewish nationalism”.  They decided to settle the majority of world Jewry in Palestine. Throughout the years the Jewish national project, i.e., Zionism, had become more and more sinister and ruthless. In 1949 70% of the indigenous Palestinian population had already been ethnically cleansed. Nowadays the majority of Palestinians are living behind barbed wire in a state of terror guarded by Israeli soldiers.

Jews– the people who happen to identify themselves as Jews. Jews are not a race, they do not follow a single belief system either. I made myself a rule. I categorically refrain from dealing with “the Jews” as a collective or an ethnic group. Instead I restrict myself to criticism of Jewish politics, Jewish ideology and Jewish identity.

Judaism– one of the many religions practiced by the Jewish people (Jews for Jesus, Jews For Buddha, Jews For Allah and so on). Though Judaism contains some non-ethical aspects and teachings, the one and only peace-seeking collective amongst the Jewish people is actually a religious orthodox sect, namely Torah Jews. This fact is enough to make me very careful when criticising Judaism as a religion. When dealing with Judaism, I would restrict myself to criticism of interpretations of Talmudic racism and the biblically orientated Zionist genocidal plunder of Palestine.

Jewishness– Jewish ideology, the interpretations of the meaning of being a Jew by those who regard themselves as Jews. Jewishness is the core of Jewish identity, it is a dynamic notion. It is hard to pin down.  While refraining from criticising Jews (the people) and Judaism (the religion), elaborating on Jewishness is a must, especially considering the crimes committed by the Jewish state in the name of Jewish people. As long as the Jewish state is shelling civilians with white phosphorous, it is our ethical duty to question: Who are the Jews? What does Judaism stand for? What is Jewishness all about?

Palestine vs Israel– Palestine is a country, Israel is a state.

Palestinians– currently the longest lasting sufferers of racist colonial abuse and state terrorism. Palestinians are the only true indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.  4,300,000 Palestinian refugees are scattered in the Middle East.  There are Palestinians who managed to hold onto their land yet are denied equal civil rights, others live under military occupation.  The Palestinian cause is largely the ethically grounded demand of the Palestinian people to return to their own land. The land that belongs to them and to them alone. The Palestinian cause is the demand to dismantle the Jewish state and to form a State of its Citizens instead.

Zionism– the national colonial practical interpretation of Jewish ideology.  It asserts that Jews are entitled to a national home in Zion (Palestine) at the expense of the Palestinian people. Zionism is a colonial racist philosophy that practices genocidal tactics. It is a biblically orientated precept. Although Zionism portrayed itself initially as a secular movement, from the very beginning it transformed the Bible from a religious text into a land registry.

Israel– the Jewish state is a racist political concept. It is a place where Jewish supremacy is celebrated in an institutional manner.  Israel is a place where 94% of the population supports dropping white phosphorus on innocent civilians. Israel is the place where Jews can pour their vengeance on the Goyim.

Palestinian resistance– the exercise of the ethical right to resist an invader, an ethnic cleanser and a racist.

Demographic bomb– Israel possesses many bombs, cluster bombs, petrol bombs, atomic bombs, WMD bombs, etc. The Palestinians have only one bomb, the demographic bomb. The Palestinians are the majority of the people between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. This fact itself defines the temporal quality of the Idea of Jewish state in Palestine.

Zionism vs Jewishness– it is difficult or maybe even impossible to determine where Zionism stops and Jewishness begins. Zionism and Jewishness establish a continuum. As it seems, Zionism has become the symbolic identifier of the contemporary Jew. Every Jew is identified by himself and others in reference to the Zionist compass (Zionist, anti-Zionist, oblivious to Zionism, love Zionism but hate Israel, love Israel but hate falafel and so on).

Secular Judaism and Jewish Secular Fundamentalism– secularity has been a very popular precept amongst Jews in the last two centuries. The Jewish form of secularity is very similar to rabbinical Judaism. It is fundamentally monotheistic, it believes in one truth (God is dead until further notice). It is supremacist, it is extremely intolerant of others in general and Muslims in particular, it even promotes wars in the name of enlightenment, liberalism, democracy and even in the name of the victims to come.

Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder– the kind of mental state that leads 94% of the Israeli population to support air raids against civilians.  Within the condition of the Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Pre-TSD), the stress is the outcome of a phantasmic event, an imaginary episode set in the future; an event that has never taken place. Within Pre-TSD, an illusion pre-empts reality and the condition in which the fantasy of terror is itself becoming grave reality. If it is taken to extremes, even an agenda of total war against the rest of the world is not an unthinkable reaction. Unlike the case of paranoia, wherein the sufferer is subject to his own symptoms, in the case of Pre-TSD the sufferer actually celebrates his symptoms while others are left with the role of the audience or even victim. The sufferers of Pre-TSD within the press and media lobby for global conflict. Once they are in power they just spread death around. They manage to see a threat in almost anything. The Pre-TSD sufferer would call to flatten Iran, he would defend the IDF military campaign in Gaza for his own existential fears. The Pre-TSD sufferer is rather predictable and for one reason or other always to be found in the non-ethical cause.

Jihad– the struggle to improve one’s self and society. Jihad is the attempt to reach a harmony between the self and the world. It is there to bridge the gap between self loving, loving self and the love towards others. Jihad is the answer to chosenness.

Holocaust– an overwhelmingly devastating chapter in recent Jewish past. It would be difficult to imagine the formation of the Jewish state without the effect of the holocaust. Yet, it is impossible to deny the fact that Palestinians ended up paying the ultimate price for crimes that were committed against the Jews by other people (Europeans). Hence, it would make sense to argue that if Europeans feel guilty about the Holocaust, they better take extra care of its last victims, i.e., the Palestinians.

It must be mentioned that due to some legislation that restricts the scrutiny of the holocaust in an open academic manner, the holocaust is no longer treated as an historical chapter.  Instead it is regarded by many scholars as a religious narrative (namely, Holocaust Religion). Those who do not obey the religion or follow its restrictions are chased, excluded and jailed. The failure to maintain the holocaust as a vivid historic chapter turned Jewish history into a Pandora’s box sealed by prohibitions, legal restrictions and different forms of threats. In an ideal “free world”, we would be able to look into the holocaust, to regard it as an historical chapter and to draw some lessons out of it.  That would mean also questioning its meaning. In an ideal (free) world, we may as well be allowed to wonder how come, time after time, Jews ended up despised and detested by their neighbours. In an ideal (free) world Jews may have a chance to learn from their mistakes in the past. For the time being, as long as we want to keep free, we better avoid questioning the past.

The Meaning of the Holocaust– the Holocaust provides the Jews and others with two obvious lessons. One is universal and almost simplistic, it says: “NO to racism”. As some Jewish intellectuals predicted after the war, Jews were supposed to lead the fight against racism. Seemingly, it didn’t happen. Not only did it fail to happen, but the Jewish state had become the ultimate form of racist practice. Three years after the liberation of Auschwitz the newly formed Jewish state brutally ethnically cleansed the vast majority of indigenous Palestinians. As time goes by, the Jewish state doesn’t try to disguise its racist agenda, i.e., Jews only state.

The second lesson that can be drawn out of the holocaust is far less abstract, it is actually very pragmatic. It suggests to Jews “to be aware of their deed”. It suggests to Jews “to act ethically, or at least to pretend to do so”.  Seemingly, this lesson is totally ignored. In the Jewish state young IDF soldiers wear T-shirts depicting pregnant Palestinian women caught in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the disturbing caption “1 shot 2 kills”.  In the Jewish state, civilians had been caught picnicking watching their army dropping unconventional weapons on their Palestinian neighbours. The Israeli reality and the forceful Jewish lobbying around the world portray a complete dismissal of any ethical judgment or moral conduct. Whether it is the genocidal practice against the Palestinian people or the lobbying for more and more global conflicts. If the meaning of the holocaust would have been internalised, different appearances of such inhuman behaviour would have been addressed and tackled.

However, within the prohibition to re-visit our history we may still be entitled to reflect over Nazi brutality towards Jews in the light of the Jewish state’s crimes in Palestine. Seemingly, there is no legislation that prohibits us from doing that as yet.

Hamas– political party that was elected in 2006 by the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. Since then Israel has withheld payments owed to Gaza, causing the Palestinian economy to collapse. It has blockaded Gaza for months, starving the civilian population. And yet, Hamas proved once again that the Palestinian people are resilient. In spite of Israel’s genocidal tactics, in spite of the IDF targeting children, women and the elderly, Hamas’ popularity increases by the day and more so especially after the last Gaza conflict. It has now become clear that Israel does not possess the means of combating Islamic resistance. In other words. Israel’s days are numbered.

Gatekeepers– for many years the Palestinian solidarity discourse had been shattered by those who claimed to know what is right and what is wrong.  They also claimed to know what should be discussed and what subject must be dropped. Initially, gatekeepers tried to recruit the Palestinian movement to fight antisemitism. Another bizarre agenda was to use the Palestinian people as another Guinea pig in a dogmatic socialist exercise.

Due to the growing success of Palestinian and Islamic resistance, the power of Gatekeepers is now reduced to none. Though gatekeeping operators still insist upon exercising their powers, their influence is totally restricted to primarily Jewish cells.

Antisemites– in the old days, antisemites were those who didn’t like Jews, nowadays, antisemites are those the Jews don’t like. Considering the growing chasm between the Jewish state and its lobbies and the rest of humanity, we have good reason to believe that before not too long, the entirety of humanity will be denounced as antisemitic by one Jewish lobby or another.

Antisemitism– a misleading signifier. Though it refers largely to anti-Jewish feelings, it gives the impression that these feelings are racially motivated or orientated. It must be clear that Jews are not a race and do not establish a racial continuum. Thus, no one hates the Jews for their race or their racial identity.

Bearing in mind Israeli crimes and Jewish lobbying around the world, anti-Jewish feeling should be realised as a political, ideological and ethical reaction. It is a response to a criminal state and its institutional support amongst world Jewry. Though resentment to Zionism, Israel and Jewish lobbying is rather rational, the failure to distinguish between the “Jew”, and Zionism is indeed very problematic and dangerous especially considering the fact that many Jews have nothing to do with the Zionist crime. However, due to the extensive Jewish institutional support of Israel, it is far from easy to determine where the “Jew” ends and the Zionist starts. In fact, there is no such demarcation line or spot of transition. The outcome is clear, Jews are implicated collectively by the crimes of their national project. One obvious solution for the Jew is to oppose Zionism as an individual, another option is to oppose Zionism in the name of the Torah, it is also possible for the Jew to shun the tribal ideologist in himself.

Self loving– the belief that something about oneself is categorically and fundamentally right, moral and unique. This is the secular interpretation of being chosen.

Self Hatred– the belief that something about oneself is categorically and fundamentally wrong, immoral and ordinary. This state of being may also be a point of departure of a spiritual ethical quest.

Chicken Soup– is what is left once you strip Jewish identity of Judaism, racism, chauvinism, White Phosphorous, supremacy, cluster bombs, secularity, Zionism, Israel, intolerance, Nuclear reactor in Dimona, cosmopolitanism, genocidal tendency, etc. The Jew can always revert to chicken soup, the iconic symbolic identifier of Jewish cultural affiliation. The Jew is always more than welcome to say: “I am not religious nor am I a Zionist, I am not a banker, nor is my name Madoff. I am not a “Labour friend of Israel” nor I am a Lord or look like a cash machine.  I am just a little innocent Jew because my mama’le used to feed me with chicken soup when I was slightly unwell.”  Let’s face it once and for all, chicken soup is not that dangerous (unless you are a chicken). My grandmother taught me that it was very healthy. In fact I tried it once in winter 1978, I had the flu then. It helped, I feel better now.

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June 14, 2010: American Jews Challenge Zionism

Israel’s Unjust Gaza Blockade and Zionist Myths

By Ira Chernus

Activists on the Ship ‘Rachel Corrie’ Challenge Israel’s Unjust Gaza Blockade and Zionist Myths

The MV Rachel Corrie is steaming across the Mediterranean toward Gaza, flying the flag of Ireland, loaded with humanitarian supplies, and posing another impossible dilemma for the government of Israel.

The root of the dilemma is not the conflict between Israel and the Free Gaza Movement, nor even the conflict between Israel and Palestine. It’s ultimately a conflict between two visions of Zionism that go back to the origins of Zionism itself.

Israel’s government is caught in a debate between two factions, representing those two visions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is no doubt searching for a way to act upon both. But it’s an impossible task, like trying to square a circle, because the two visions contradict each other. So however the Israelis choose to meet the MV Rachel Corrie, they lose.

One side in the debate sees Israel rapidly losing its respect around the world, which was once quite considerable. Israel’s famous novelist Amoz Oz speaks for them: “We’re putting ourselves under international siege, which is much more dangerous to us than the blockade of Gaza is to Gazans. Israel is turning into Apartheid-era South Africa, a country that the nations of the world do not want among their ranks.”

This faction warns that if Israel repeats the kind of bloody attack it launched on the Mavi Marmara, it could well lose whatever shred remains of its international standing. And they say that Israel simply cannot survive in a world that condemns and isolates it.

The thinking of this side goes back to the very beginning of Zionism. We Jews have been persecuted outcasts long enough, the early Zionists said. If we respect ourselves enough to break out of our long exile and become a normal nation, like all the other nations, we will earn the world’s respect and be treated as equals in the family of nations.

These first Zionists assumed that if they built a successful state they would escape the constant anxiety that had plagued their ancestors. They worked in a spirit of confidence that Jews could not merely survive, but thrive, as their nation developed friendly relations with the other nations of the world.

Yet ultimately they could not escape anxiety. Their test of the success of Zionism was how well the Jewish state was received by the gentile world. Though they broke free of the grip of the gentiles, they always had to be watching over their shoulders to see how the gentiles were viewing them. They are watching still, as the MV Rachel Corrie approaches Gaza, still worrying about what it will take to insure that the Jewish state survives, still feeling like the victims of history.

The other side in the Israeli debate within the government takes a very different approach. Why bother even thinking about the world’s response, they ask. The world hates us anyway. Nothing we do now can make the gentiles hate us more. Since we are surrounded by eternal enemies, let’s forget about world opinion. The only way to insure our survival is to maintain our strength and dominance — by any means necessary.

This viewpoint, too, goes back to the very beginning of Zionism. The same Zionists who confidently pursued the goal of a normal nation also assumed that, as long as Jews lived among the gentiles, they would always be victims of persecution. For them, anti-semitism was an eternal fact of life, to be escaped only by taking refuge in a Jewish state.

Today’s Israeli hawks see the world in much the same way, except that they see no escape. We’ve discovered, they say, that even though we have our own nation we still live among the gentiles, and they still hate us so much they’d like to see us disappear. Our only option is to keep on fighting back, and let the blood fall where it may.

They are cheered when they hear Defense Minister Ehud Barak tell the commandos who attacked the Mavi Marmara: “We live in the Middle East, in a place where there is no mercy for the weak. … You were fighting for your lives.” They see every fight that Israel wages in the same simplistic light. Thus a top Israeli Navy commander warns that Israel will use even more aggressive force in the future to prevent ships from breaking the Gaza blockade: “We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war. We will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war.”

Though each side in this debate throws barrages of facts at the other to prove its point, no facts can ever prove either side right or wrong. Both sides let their chosen narratives decide what facts they can see and what can count as a fact for them. When narrative takes precedence over facts, we are dealing with myth. In that sense, the debate within the Israeli government about how to meet the MV Rachel Corrie is a debate between two versions of the Zionist myth.

Since each side’s view is so narrowed by its mythic vision, both (though especially the hawks) ignore the most critical facts: the daily suffering of the Palestinians, in the West Bank and even more so in Gaza; the total military domination that Israel already has, which guarantees its ability to overpower a Palestinian state indefinitely; the anger at Israel that grows around the world precisely because it poses as a weak victim, despite its display of overwhelming strength; the fact that Israel lashes out in bully-like fury because it is caught in the contradiction between myth and fact, which it cannot see.

These facts are ignored because they simply do not fit into either version of the Zionist narrative. Both versions see only a Jewish state struggling desperately to survive and gain self-respect — either by being accepted as a legitimate equal among other nations or by doing whatever it takes to fend off enemies in an anarchic international jungle, where only the strong live to see another day.

Netanyahu, like all Israeli leaders before him, is caught in the web of inherited myths, trying to act on both versions at the same time. He wants to lead a country that can get support from others and maintain good international relations. He also wants to lead a country that proves that it’s tough enough to overcome every threat by using excessive force.

He’s pursuing a self-defeating goal, for two reasons. First, it’s impossible, because the two views of Zionism contradict each other. The only point they agree on is that the Jewish state is imperiled and must survive. But no nation can expect to survive if it ignores reality and relies instead on its own mythic version of the facts. That’s the second reason Netanyahu’s aim is self-defeating. In trying to save his nation from imagined danger (the foolish notion that ships bringing humanitarian goods to Gaza could threaten Israel’s existence, for example) he is exposing Israel to very real dangers.

If the Israelis meet the MV Rachel Corrie with any kind of violence, they take another big step toward alienating their nation from the rest of the world, and especially from the European community, which is of critical importance to Israel. The Israelis are acutely aware that the Corrie is an Irish ship, and the head of Ireland’s government has warned them of “the most serious consequences” if any harm comes Irish citizens.

On the other hand, if Netanyahu allows the Corrie to dock at Gaza unimpeded, he can expect a stormy reaction and very possibly rejection from Israel’s powerful political right. They’ll say that he’s weak and shameful, because he lets Israel be pushed around by the gentiles. That charge could stick and move the nation much closer to political chaos.

Either choice will make it harder for Israel to gain the one thing it needs most to escape from danger: a peace settlement with Palestine. As long as there is no settlement, Israel remains caught in a cycle of conflict and insecurity that makes the Jewish state its own worst enemy.

As the MV Rachel Corrie approaches Gaza to confront the Israeli blockade, it forces the Israeli government to confront this dilemma. Perhaps at last, under this pressure, the Israelis will see that both of the dominant Zionist myths have reached a dead end. The effort to build a nation on imagined threat and constant fear of what outsiders will say or do was doomed from the start. Fear keeps a nation paralyzed, unable to see the facts clearly and respond to them creatively.

The voyage of the MV Rachel Corrie could give Israeli leaders a chance to awake from their paralysis and remember that they have another alternative. There is a third vision of Zionism, which is also rooted in the earliest days of the movement and can open the way to a future of genuine peace and security. It’s a vision of a Jewish state that embodies the highest moral values enshrined in the Hebrew Bible: the peace that comes only from justice.

There have always been Zionists committed to this approach. And they have always set out a clear test for the Jewish state: Will it act on those highest values in its treatment of the Arabs of Palestine? Anything less than fair, equitable, and peaceable relations with the Arabs would mean a failure of Zionism.

Sadly, these Zionists were always a minority in the movement. They still are. But their voice is still heard in the mainstream of Israeli life. And they understand the power of the mainstream myths that keep Israel locked in its self-destructive ways.

Listen, for example, to the famous Israeli writer David Grossman: “How insecure, confused and panicky a country must be, to act as Israel acted! … It killed and wounded civilians as if it were a band of pirates.”

The attack on the Mavi Marmara was the “natural continuation” of the blockade of Gaza, Grossman writes. And the blockade is “the all-too-natural consequence of a clumsy and calcified policy, which again and again resorts by default to the use of massive and exaggerated force, where wisdom and sensitivity and creative thinking are called for instead. Above all, this insane operation shows how far Israel has declined. … Already there are those here who seek to spin the natural and justified sense of Israeli guilt into a strident assertion that the whole world is to blame. Our shame, however, will be harder to live with.”

Or listen to Carlo Strenger, a regular columnist for Israel’s most respected newspaper, Ha’aretz, speaking to the faction that worries most about Israel’s image in the world:

“Israel’s policy of dispossession in Jerusalem and in the settlements is reactionary and repressive and cannot be justified by any security interest. Israel will have to decide: it cannot rebrand itself as a liberal, creative and progressive country without being one. Our business sector, our artists and academics are mostly progressive, liberal and creative. But their impact on how Israel is perceived will remain negligible as long as Israel’s politicians and emissaries keep harping on victimhood and survival and as long as its policies are repressive.”

Eloquent writers like Grossman, Strenger, and many others keep alive the vision of a truly moral Zionism, which was part of the movement from its birth. Since their voices do not yet prevail in Israel, we in the U.S. have a greater responsibility to make them heard. We must explain to our fellow Americans — and especially to our elected leaders — that Israel’s claims of victimization, persecution, and weakness arise not from facts, but from the Zionist myths that blind too many Jews, here as well as in Israel, to the facts.

Perhaps Barack Obama already knows this. If he does not, it is up to us to teach him. If he does, it is up to us to change American public opinion, to make it politically safe for Obama to act upon what he knows and push the Israelis toward the peace that they, as well as the Palestinians, so desperately need.

Ira Chernus is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Read more of his writing on Israel, Palestine, and American Jews on his blog: http://chernus.wordpress.com.

About Anti-Semitism

By Nahida

About Anti-Semitism

This letter was my response to a Jewish friend (supporter of Palestine), who got upset upon hearing severe criticism, disdain and sarcasm against “Israel” and “Israelis”

He felt that people as they criticise “Israel” should not forget the “humanity” of “Israelis”, he also felt that this was a typical behaviour of anti Semitism which caused him to feel angry and frightened

About anti Semitism

Talking about anti-Semitism, and the accusation of anti-Semitism, is to many people a very sensitive issue, nevertheless, I feel the need to highlight some points:

As a Palestinian and as a Muslim, with first hand experience of racism, whether here in UK or in occupied Palestine, I do understand what it means to be subjugated to it; thus, I deeply empathise with those who suffer from the menace of racism and discrimination, those who are abused verbally, physically, emotionally, or otherwise for no other reason than the fact that they are “different”

And I also do understand the awful feeling and dreadful sensation of being subjugated to subtle racist looks or remarks, only felt by you and not the people around you

However, I do see a huge difference between a racist remark directed at a person or a group for their beliefs, race, or whatever that which makes them different, and between a snarl, a sneer or sarcasm against an occupying criminal entity called “Israel” and its people, for their CRIMES

One must not fail to distinguish between the rage and fury caused by watching helplessly for decades the grim unstoppable crimes go unpunished year after year, and the racist blind hatred that might still exist among a tiny minority who, by nature, would be hating anything and anyone who is different anyway

Furthermore, this occupying entity called “Israel” (a word that I myself detest to even pronounce and generally avoid to use) is not a theoretical being, nor does it operate in a vacuum; it’s neither an abstract concept nor a conjectural void

It’s an entity run by PEOPLE

PEOPLE who make decisions,

PEOPLE who elect politicians

PEOPLE who ALL serve in a barbaric army

PEOPLE who foster racist beliefs, attitudes and actions

PEOPLE who invaded others’ land, dispossessed them, and forcibly occupied it

PEOPLE who imprison children and shoot babies hearts

PEOPLE who destroy world heritage

PEOPLE who steal water, land, sea and sky

PEOPLE who kill hope, life, beauty and smiles

PEOPLE who build their colonies on the blood and ruins of another people

It is an entity of PEOPLE, 94% of whom voted for the attack on Gaza

It is an entity of PEOPLE, 71% of whom want U.S. to strike Iran

It is an entity of PEOPLE who violated and assaulted ALL neighbouring countries

It is an entity of PEOPLE who live on a STOLEN land for over six decades, with no signs of shame, remorse, awakening of conscience, or willingness to neither admit nor right the wrongs they’ve committed

Every normal person with some compassion, would make a grimace of disgust and revulsion when hearing about such an entity or such a people who commit such despicable horrors

Now, I find it difficult to be persuaded that such a reaction to such horrific crimes -when hearing the name “Israel” or “Israeli”- is an act of racism (anti-Semitism)

On another note; we – Palestinians- do not have any responsibility whatsoever for the crime of the holocaust, nor do we carry the burden of European racism against Jewish people

Furthermore, I do not see a difference between any kind of racism including racism directed against Jewish people known as anti-Semitism. If we accept racism against Jewish people as being different, then it implies that we accept the racist absurdity of “Jewish exceptionalism”. Racism is racism, many causes same consequences

Thus, I do not see the suffering of Jewish people (horrible as it was) as a unique kind of suffering which must be revered and viewed as essentially and fundamentally different from other human suffering; the same way that I do not see our suffering as Palestinians as unique or different from any other

Questions come pounding:

Why is it that we – Palestinians- are constantly reminded of the horrors of the holocaust, when we had nothing to do with it?

Why is it that we Palestinians, are to suffer the same fate as the victims of the holocaust by the hands of those who brag worldwide to act for “never again”?

Why would the UN want to enforce the study of the history of our oppressors and occupiers -holocaust- upon our children who are languishing in refugee camps – who themselves along with their parents, and grandparents were victims of ethnic cleansing, planned and executed by those whom they are supposed to feel sympathy with?

Why is it that we are persistently bogged down by the fixation on anti-Semitism, while for sixty years (a century rather), we are the ones who are relentlessly suffering from a most vile evil racism (ethnic cleansing gradually becoming a form of “final solution”) perpetrated by a whole population of racist zionists?

(with all honesty, I must tell you that some times I imagine it would’ve been easier and less painful to us to be gassed and killed immediately rather than this policy of excruciating slow death that we have been going through for over a century)

How could the world keep asking us to recognise the “humanity” of a settler, who comes with his wife and children armed to his teeth, and at gun point evicts a Palestinian family, throws their entire belongings out, and moves in?

What kind of “humanity” is this?

And most importantly, why is it that we are continuously been asked to feel compassion towards our tormenters who relentlessly murder and humiliate us, who attempt to annihilate us and our history and why, to what purpose, are we asked to feel their “humanity”, while their knife still piercing deep in our hearts?

Finally, I cannot speak on behalf of all the Palestinians, but as for myself, I must admit, the recent assault on Gaza was the last straw that broke the camel’s back; before that, I used to think that there is hope, those PEOPLE would wake up to their “humanity” one day, and regret the evil that they’ve done, unfortunately, the more I see of them, the more I realise that this hope and dream was an illusion

Over the past few years, I have been reading and debating with many of those “soft” zionists in the so called “peace camps”, all I found is an extremely arrogant groups of people, who are incapable of recognising, admitting, or willing to rectify the crimes they’ve done.

They are only interested in “peace” to protect their interests and to further secure their grip hold on the stolen land

Moreover, very recently, and by sheer accident, I stumbled upon some honorific information that reveals the severity of decay of morality and lack of humanity amongst those RACIST zionists – whose ideological bigotry and chauvinism surpasses all other- that left me in a state of shock for days; crying, shaking, suffocating with palpitations and suffering from severe panic attacks.

Undoubtedly, the world community should leave it to the victims to decide how to deal with those criminals in the future. Only the victims can investigate the fragile alleys of forgiveness or punishment. The victims should have the last say irrespective of what their judgment might be, they should not be vilified, indicted or moralized with, for they have suffered more than enough

The emergence of forgiveness and reconciliation requires certain conditions:

1) Stopping the crime
2) Admitting of guilt
3) Asking for pardon
4) And rectifying the wrong

None of these conditions are ever considered as an option amongst that mighty sick racist zionist society

As for me, I have no authority to talk in the name of all Palestinians, but I can state with all honesty, I DO NOT wish the zionist murderers, those of whom were directly or indirectly involved in massacres, theft of land, subjugation and oppression, to remain in Palestine after its liberation from the occupier. – except of course for the very few good people amongst them, as no soul should carry the liability of another- I do not wish the invader, occupier and criminal racists to stay in Palestine, the land that they incessantly raped, destroyed and disfigured, nor do I desire them to be my neighbours

They have shown no respect, no appreciation, and no love to this land or to her people

They do not deserve to live there

But these are only my own feelings, and I know that the decision is not mine.

More on anti Semitism

There are some more points that I would like to draw attention to:

1. “Israel” calls itself a Jewish state, and claims to be acting for all Jewish people, by Jewish people. It is still enjoying the moral and financial support of the majority of Jewish communities world wide. The absence of a huge uproar of denunciation and disassociation by the majority of world Jewry, makes it hard for people not to blame zionist Jews who live outside occupied Palestine for their guilt of complicity, active alliance or passive complacency by either silence or aiding and sustaining the criminals

2. “Israel” still enjoys the protection of the “Security Council” with its US vetoes on any UN resolution sanctioning “Israel’s” endless list of ongoing crimes and infractions of international law, and the “Israeli” criminals still roam with impunity, free from prosecution by any jurisdiction . This intolerable situation inevitably foments further rage and fury against the double standard and special treatment granted to the “Jewish” state

3. The excessive use of the term “anti Semitism”:

a) by zionist Jews, accusing all non zionist

b) by soft zionists Jews, accusing anti zionists Jews

c) by anti zionists Jews, accusing fellow anti zionists Jews and also non Jews of anti-Semitism as soon as they dare to examine Judaism with critical eye, criticising some aspects of it, some beliefs, attitudes or behaviours

All this has participated in creating a sense of repression of freedom of expression, and undoubtedly also a sense of being subjected to what feels like intimidation and thought control

It has also diluted the meaning of the word Anti-Semitism, making it practically devoid of any signification. It is now used ad nauseam, ad absurdum, reduced to a simple rhetorical trick, slapped in the face of anything and anyone, as soon as there is the slightest inspection of facts. The word has lost its effectiveness to expose a form of racism, I am afraid. The more we hear it used inappropriately, the more indifference its further future usage will raise. Worse, it may even -God forbid- contribute to a form of blow-back …the story of the boy who cried wolf is only too familiar

So, a sincere advice from a heart that cares, to all my Jewish friends who are really interested in preventing the re-emergence of real “anti Semitism”, and to those “Israelis” with some humanity left; I would say:

1. Instead of wasting time searching for the “humanity” within “Israeli” criminals, focus your energy on fighting and revealing “Israeli” crimes and exposing its inhumanity

2. Disassociate your selves completely from such an entity and proclaim this annulment loud and clear

3. Let go of the idea that anti Semitism is a “special” case of racism; treat all racism with the same degree of unambiguous condemnation

4. Try to look at the situation from the standpoint of non Jewish people, who will not accept or understand the insistence on the uniqueness of the Jewish suffering, whereas the world has seen since the end of WW2 the massacres of millions and millions of non Jews. The world is now inflamed by hatred against Muslims, not against Jews.

5. With love in my heart, with sincere and pure feelings, I would appeal to you to look inwards and search for reasons, as to why you feel that the world should accept racism against you as somehow worse or different, and as to why you feel that your suffering is unique and unlike others’ , because this is not how the world sees it. All suffering has the same value to those who go through it, and all racism has the same consequences and must be ostracized with the same ferociousness

6. Those of us who are involved in the support of Palestinian cause are inevitably going to be accused of anti Semitism, that does not make us in any shape or form anti-Semites, for we know very well that we are not; hence, false labels, and bogus allegations should not frighten or deter us, distract us or hinder our determination of doing what we think is right

7. And finally, please, do not freak out when people point out to certain aspects of Judaism and the Jewish culture that they might not like or find incompatible with humanity, equality, or fairness, after all assessment and criticism have always been accepted by other religions, belief-systems and cultures, and this is what freedom of thought and freedom of speech are all about, people have the right to look at different ideologies, scrutinize them, criticise them and sieve out what appears to be hindering the human moral development, as long as all this is done in a non offensive manner, without slander or abuse, but rather in a respectful, academic, genuine and good-intentional search for truth

PS:

I know that what I have said might appear too strong, unfamiliar, or painful to hear, but I can only speak of what’s in my heart, as I believe that only through openness and honesty that trust can be built

We have a saying in Arabic; “sadeequka man sadaqak, wassaddaqak”

صديقك من صدَقك و صدّقك
“Your true friend is that who is honest with you and who believes you”

Arabic word for honesty: sidq

And for friend: sadeeq

Both friend and honesty share the same root: sa-da-qa= told the truth

My love as always

Nahida

After Religion Fizzles, We’re Stuck With Nietzsche

By Chris Hedges

After Religion Fizzles, We’re Stuck With Nietzsche

It is hard to muster much sympathy over the implosion of the Catholic Church, traditional Protestant denominations or Jewish synagogues. These institutions were passive as the Christian right, which peddles magical thinking and a Jesus-as-warrior philosophy, hijacked the language and iconography of traditional Christianity. They have busied themselves with the boutique activism of the culture wars. They have failed to unequivocally denounce unfettered capitalism, globalization and pre-emptive war. The obsession with personal piety and “How-is-it-with-me?” spirituality that permeates most congregations is narcissism. And while the Protestant church and reformed Judaism have not replicated the perfidiousness of the Catholic bishops, who protect child-molesting priests, they have little to say in an age when we desperately need moral guidance.

I grew up in the church and graduated from a seminary. It is an institution whose cruelty, inflicted on my father, who was a Presbyterian minister, I know intimately. I do not attend church. The cloying, feel-your-pain language of the average clergy member makes me run for the door. The debates in most churches—whether revolving around homosexuality or biblical interpretation—are a waste of energy. I have no desire to belong to any organization, religious or otherwise, which discriminates, nor will I spend my time trying to convince someone that the raw anti-Semitism in the Gospel of John might not be the word of God. It makes no difference to me if Jesus existed or not. There is no historical evidence that he did. Fairy tales about heaven and hell, angels, miracles, saints, divine intervention and God’s beneficent plan for us are repeatedly mocked in the brutality and indiscriminate killing in war zones, where I witnessed children murdered for sport and psychopathic gangsters elevated to demigods. The Bible works only as metaphor.

The institutional church, when it does speak, mutters pious non-statements that mean nothing. “Given the complexity of factors involved, many of which understandably remain confidential, it is altogether appropriate for members of our armed forces to presume the integrity of our leadership and its judgments, and therefore to carry out their military duties in good conscience,” Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, wrote about the Iraq war. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the eve of the invasion, told believers that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was a menace, and that reasonable people could disagree about the necessity of using force to overthrow him. It assured those who supported the war that God would not object. B’nai B’rith supported a congressional resolution to authorize the 2003 attack on Iraq. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which represents Reform Judaism, agreed it would back unilateral action, as long as Congress approved and the president sought support from other nations. The National Council of Churches, which represents 36 different faith groups, in a typical bromide, urged President George W. Bush to “do all possible” to avoid war with Iraq and to stop “demonizing adversaries or enemies” with good-versus-evil rhetoric, but, like the other liberal religious institutions, did not condemn the war.

A Gallup poll in 2006 found that “the more frequently an American attends church, the less likely he or she is to say the war was a mistake.” Given that Jesus was a pacifist, and given that all of us who graduated from seminary rigorously studied Just War doctrine, which was flagrantly violated by the invasion of Iraq, this is a rather startling statistic.

But I cannot rejoice in the collapse of these institutions. We are not going to be saved by faith in reason, science and technology, which the dead zone of oil forming in the Gulf of Mexico and our production of costly and redundant weapons systems illustrate. Frederick Nietzsche’s Übermensch, or “Superman”—our secular religion—is as fantasy-driven as religious magical thinking.

There remain, in spite of the leaders of these institutions, religiously motivated people toiling in the inner city and the slums of the developing world. They remain true to the core religious and moral values ignored by these institutions. The essential teachings of the monotheistic traditions are now lost in the muck of church dogma, hollow creeds and the banal bureaucracy of institutional religion. These teachings helped create the concept of the individual. The belief that we can exist as distinct beings from the tribe, or the crowd, and that we are called on as individuals to make moral decisions that can defy the clamor of the nation is one of the gifts of religious thought. This call for individual responsibility is coupled with the constant injunctions in Islam, Judaism and Christianity for compassion, especially for the weak, the impoverished, the sick and the outcast.

We are rapidly losing the capacity for the moral life. We reject the anxiety of individual responsibility that laid the foundations for the open society. We are enjoined, after all, to love our neighbor, not our tribe. This empowerment of individual conscience was the starting point of the great ethical systems of all civilizations. Those who championed this radical individualism, from Confucius to Socrates to Jesus, fostered not obedience and conformity, but dissent and self-criticism. They initiated the separation of individual responsibility from the demands of the state. They taught that culture and society were not the sole prerogative of the powerful, that freedom and indeed the religious and moral life required us to often oppose and challenge those in authority, even at great personal cost. Immanuel Kant built his ethics upon this radical individualism. And Kant’s injunction to “always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as mere means” runs in a direct line from the Socratic ideal and the Christian Gospels.

The great religions set free the critical powers of humankind. They broke with the older Greek and Roman traditions that gods and Destiny ruled human fate—a belief that, when challenged by Socrates, saw him condemned to death. They challenged the power of the tribe, the closed society. They offered up the possibility that human beings, although limited by circumstance and human weakness, could shape and give direction to society and their own lives. These religious thinkers were our first ethicists. And it is perhaps not accidental that the current pope, as well as the last one, drove out of the Catholic Church thousands of clergy and religious leaders who embodied these qualities, elevating the dregs to positions of leadership and leaving the pedophiles to run the Sunday schools.

These religious institutions are in irreversible decline. They are ruled by moral and intellectual trolls. They have become arrogant and self-absorbed. Their sins are many. They protected criminals. They pandered to the lowest common denominator and illusions of personal fulfillment and surrendered their moral authority. They did not fight the corporate tyrants who have impoverished us. They refused to denounce a caste of Christian heretics embodied by the Christian right and have, for their cowardice, been usurped by bizarre proto-fascists clutching the Christian cross. They have nothing left to say. And their aging congregants, who are fleeing the church in droves, know it. But don’t think the world will be a better place for their demise.

As we devolve into a commodity culture, in which celebrity, power and money reign, the older, dimming values of another era are being replaced. We are becoming objects, consumer products and marketable commodities. We have no intrinsic value. We are obsessed with self-presentation. We must remain youthful. We must achieve notoriety and money or the illusion of it. And it does not matter what we do to get there. Success, as Goldman Sachs illustrates, is its own morality. Other people’s humiliation, pain and weakness become the fodder for popular entertainment. Education, building community, honesty, transparency and sharing see contestants disappeared from any reality television show or laughed out of any Wall Street firm.

We live in the age of the Übermensch who rejects the sentimental tenets of traditional religion. The Übermensch creates his own morality based on human instincts, drive and will. We worship the “will to power” and think we have gone “beyond good and evil.” We spurn virtue. We think we have the moral fortitude and wisdom to create our own moral code. The high priests of our new religion run Wall Street, the Pentagon and the corporate state. They flood our airwaves with the tawdry and the salacious. They, too, promise a utopia. They redefine truth, beauty, morality, desire and goodness. And we imbibe their poison as blind followers once imbibed the poison of the medieval church.

Nietzsche had his doubts. He suspected that this new secular faith might prefigure an endless middle-class charade. Nietzsche feared the deadening effects of the constant search for material possessions and personal hedonism. Science and technology might rather bring about a new, distorted character Nietzsche called “the Last Man.” The Last Man, Nietzsche feared, would engage in the worst kinds of provincialism, believing he had nothing to learn from history. The Last Man would wallow and revel in his ignorance and quest for personal fulfillment. He would be satisfied with everything that he had done and become, and would seek to become nothing more. He would be intellectually and morally stagnant, incapable of growth, and become part of an easily manipulated herd. The Last Man would mistake cynicism for knowledge.

“The time is coming when man will give birth to no more stars,” Nietzsche wrote about the Last Man in the prologue of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” “Alas! The time of the most contemptible man is coming, the man who can no longer despise himself.”

“They are clever and know everything that has ever happened: so there is no end to their mockery.” The Last Men indulge in “their little pleasure for the day, and their little pleasure for the night.”

The consumer culture, as Nietzsche feared, has turned us into what Chalmers Johnson calls a “consumerist Sparta.” The immigrants and the poor, all but invisible to us, work as serfs in this new temple of greed and imperialism. Curtis White in “The Middle Mind” argues that most Americans are aware of the brutality and injustice used to maintain the excesses of their consumer society and empire. He suspects they do not care. They don’t want to see what is done in their name. They do not want to look at the rows of flag-draped coffins or the horribly maimed bodies and faces of veterans or the human suffering in the blighted and deserted former manufacturing centers. It is too upsetting. Government and corporate censorship is welcomed and appreciated. It ensures that we remain Last Men. And the death of religious institutions will only cement into place the new secular religion of the Last Man, the one that worships military power, personal advancement, hedonism and greed, the one that justifies our callousness toward the weak and the poor.

Copyright © 2010 Truthdig, L.L.C.

The Architects of Context

By Jon Bourn

Editor of Jericho Rendezvous BlogThe Architects of Context

The kleptocracy sure has revealed its omen lately. Just look at the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankhein, accused of needing a jury trail who is advocating the idea that his conviction would hurt America, and is politically motivated. Is there a way to describe his affliction. You bet.

It is defined as the cynic, or one who believes “all people” are motivated by selfishness. In many cases, the cynic is attempting to hide by telling others they are being too political. Here is a perfect example of the settler syndrome where the cynic reveals himself thanks to the editors of the article.

Basically it stands on the fact that someone is not willing to either admit they themselves are inferior, or that their country, heritage, organization, or other ideological stereotype is not positively valid. I can tell you for a fact that much of America is afflicted with various psychopathological abnormalities, and wouldn’t even think for a second that we as a nation are superior to any other, as most of us earthlings are quite similar emotionally, and our pathos is a major marker for identification, both good, and recently bad.

Currently, it is quite obvious that the influence of the US and Israel is highly questionable on a global scale. So I would have to tell you that I live behind enemy lines. That’s not saying I was born in this land and can do something about it, it simply makes the fact more reasonable.

So if we think about the cynic a bit more, we can see that our MIMIC system is rampart with this disorder. I wonder if psychotherapy will add this to their new list. There might be at least one emotion that would signal the absence of conscience and the ability to realize that we are all in the same boat, so to speak, no one is better than another for monetary accretion alone. To think in that manner would signify the absence of empathy as a form of evil.

Are there others who suffer from the distinct fact that “your land is our land” dysfunction? It seems to be tied to the evangelical movement and those such as Ted Hagarrd and the Christian right, and it consists mostly of the bazaar belief that if one can condemn others, one is born again. This is the fact that is often hidden and said to be too political. That should tell you what the tea party people think of the process. You cannot be saved unless others are lost is the context that does not come in on the text messaging system.

MIMIC, the military industrial media information complex will feed you trash, and mystify the political Obama story while alternative journalism drags out the dead omens on a daily basis. Until you have read and viewed the hounds of hell on a continuous basis, they only register as patsies and myths.

In a 2007 documentary entitled, “Constantine’s Sword”, Oren Jacoby examines the history of the dispute related to the Jews by labeling the video with the notion of discussing anti-Semitism. The history of the Jewish people has long suffered from prejudice when often in fact they had done nothing wrong. According to the documentary, there is a biblical link between the Jews and Christians where Jesus was crucified by the Jews and this is detailed at the beginning of the story at the Air Force Academy near where the scandalous Ted Hagarrd resides.

The author of the documentary attempts to connect the cross with a historical Constantine as an omen from the past. He also associates the Catholic Church with the Nazi regime. Overall, it contains good historical content in relation to Jewish prejudice that is not often seen, but the premise remains foggy. Jacoby did point out that an association to the James Carroll book “Constantine’s Sword” was the premise, but this seems more like the political way to mimic for profit, and, we all are susceptible to the system where we are seemingly forced to survive through its use.

So, the cynic will label others as anti-Semetic because he assumes they are being selfish at least in some instances, a simply absence of emotion. On the contrary, to be political is good and often labeled with metaphors to cover its significance especially today when corruption is obviously rampart.

Those that claim Zionism, and the continued illusion they are superior and must oppress others through political means while telling you that you are too political when pointing out they are literally insane represents some of the crust of the problem. What is going on today in Israel is much more than anti-Semitism. Once people get out of MIMIC for awhile and begin to connect and think with others, the stereotypical blob can be detected. They represent all that is corrupt, the assumption that a stone has been rolled away for them begins to reflect their true nature; the makings of a church in their own mind.

This may partially be described as deficits disproportionate to personal IQ and absence of a creative hobby or technical skill stipulated as a natural or humanistic talent. This is easily associated with the talking head who creates the fantasy of accretion. This may also be a distinction between the effects of teaching that becomes blurred. In one sense, someone who is truly educated and attempts to express this through the edges of MIMIC, may be prevented by minds that gathers from the outside, the other is prepared to grow like a flower. The first gatherer has no intention of sharing knowledge with others, its goal is to attain empathy out of thin air. In the second gatherer, the mind is based on empathy and want others to use the supreme power to think with others, something the first mind greatly fears. This is depicted by the different interpretation of the value of accretion thinking, as a narcissistic presence that is assumed for all which would never be the case.

One gathers good together inside and is prepared to share this with others. One gathers mist, brings nothing inside, and only shares with others when it benefits the mist that is seen as talent.

An attempt to destroy the essence of political activism is upon us, and truly if one studies this concept, you will see that it was intended for every one to be a part of, and to understand its detail in our lives. As we view the news that comes from the alternative journalists that is brought out from the cloud, this is enough to tell you that lady justice has been raped and a continued war machine is a top priority in violation of international law, and certainly not approved by the political culture and indigenous people who continue to lose the ability to have government and policy that represents true justice for all.

These various deficits hamper the overall ability of getting truth out while the dead omens pile up made available by the true architects of context.