Day 1 in the Thinking Chair – Mortification & Fascism

Whilst I’m suspended from our usual playground pending a complete exoneration, I’ve returned to my own patch to add thoughts and links which interest me. If folks stumble in, in search of their long lost mate, perhaps it’ll give them something to feast upon.

Here’s some shockers for today:

From the Defence of Children International [DCI] – Palestine submits 14 cases of sexual assault and threats to the UN for investigation

On 18 May 2010, DCI-Palestine submitted 14 cases to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture for investigation. The submission relates to the sexual assault, or threat of sexual assault, of Palestinian children at the hands of Israeli soldiers, interogators and police between January 2009 and April 2010. The ages of the children range from 13 to 16 years.

DCI-Palestine is becoming increasingly alarmed at reports contained in sworn affidavits received from children that they are being subjected to sexual assault, or threat of sexual assault, in order to obtain confessions.

DCI-Palestine has reviewed 100 sworn affidavits collected from children in 2009, and in four percent of cases, children report being sexually assaulted, whilst in 12 percent of cases, the children report being threatened with sexual assault. The sexual assault and threats of sexual assault documented by DCI-Palestine include grabbing boys by the testicles until they confess and threatening boys as young as 13 years with rape unless they confess to throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles in the occupied West Bank. DCI-Palestine suspects that these figures may understate the extent of the problem.

Finally the MSM is leeching from my fond analysis of the predominant sinister political ideology underpinning the ziocolony – views which do not subscribe to the absolute necessity of a specific form of economic relations nor a non-negotiable charismatic leader to name its putrid essence definitively.

Bradly Burston from Haaretz opines mournfully that

No one knows fascism better than Israelis. They are schooled, drilled in the history, the mechanics, the horrendous potential of fascist regimes. Israelis know fascism when they see it. In others.

Ironic that it’s the octogenarian iconoclast Chomsky whose banning from the West Bank precipated the latest Israeli flurry of angst.

Wrote Boaz Okun, the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronot’s legal affairs commentator and a retired Israeli judge, of Israel’s ban on Noam Chomsky: “The decision to shut up Professor Chomsky is a decision to shut down freedom in the state of Israel.

“I’m not speaking of the stupidity of supplying ammunition to those who claim that Israel is fascist,” Okun wrote, “rather, of our fear that we may actually be turning that way.”

Burston goes on to grasp at that which he perceives to be associated with the present pungent aroma which in line with the gas used on non-violent Palestinian protestors and in their homes, is markedly redolent of skunk.

Why should we be concerned by any of this? Perhaps because we have made our peace with a number of factors that can turn a society toward fascism as a solution.

1. Losing a War.

We’ve lost two in the space of less than three years. Our targets, Hezbollah and Hamas, are better armed and entrenched than ever. Our strategic and diplomatic standing is in decline. Iran and Syria are ascendant. And there is abundant reason to suspect that the Gaza War, a major factor in the loss of our international standing, may have been altogether avoidable, the huge civilian death toll indefensible and unconscionable. This has, in turn, led to

2. International quarantine, a sense of being scapegoated, and a search for an internal fifth column.

3. A radical redefinition of positive values.

Look no further than the name of Jerusalem’s obscene Museum of Tolerance project.

4. Olfactory fatigue

We have grown desensitized to the consequences of actively denying basic staples and construction supplies to 1.5 million people in Gaza, many of them still waiting to rebuild homes we destroyed.

We have grown inured to the appropriation of Palestinian-owned West Bank land, to abusive treatment of law-abiding Palestinians at checkpoints, to the ill-treatment and summary expulsion of foreign workers, to racist, anti-democratic and, yes, fascistic rulings by extreme rightist rabbis, especially some of those holding official positions in the West Bank.

5. Fascism by rubber stamp.

“There are a million reasons why someone would be denied entry into Israel,” Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said Monday, when asked about the ministry’s border policies in the wake of the Chomsky ban.

“There may be a million reasons, but try to find a single criterion for entry refusal and you’ll hit a blank wall,” said Association for Civil Rights in Israel attorney Oded Feller. “The Interior Ministry simply doesn’t publish them, despite a court ruling that ordered them to do so.”

6. The sense that despite everything, all is well.

There will be those who argue that the fact that I, or my Haaretz colleagues, are allowed to publish what we do, is proof that there is no fascism here, nor evidence of a police state.

The fact is that were we not Israeli Jews, and part of an establishment institution, any of us could find ourselves tossed out on the same pavement, and with the same lack of due process and due explanation, as Noam Chomsky.

7. The sense that there is a war on now, when there isn’t.

8. Selective enforcement of court rulings. Routine defiance of same, in particular by radical settlers

9. The 180-degree untruth that officials allow Israeli and Jerusalem Arabs to do what they want, while cracking down on their Jewish neighbors.

10. Equating criticism of the government with favoring the destruction of Israel.

This has become increasingly felt beyond Israel’s borders. In San Francisco, the canary in the coal mine of free discourse within the Jewish community, the Jewish Federation [JCF] recently revised and tightened the terms under which it agrees to grant funds to organizations.

“The JCF does not fund organizations that through their mission, activities or partnerships … advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in whole or in part.”

The guidelines go on to state that “Presentations by organizations or individuals that are critical of particular Israeli government policies but are supportive of Israel’s right to exist as a secure independent Jewish democratic state” are “generally in accord with the policy statement,” but “early JCRC [Jewish Community Relations Council] consultation is strongly encouraged and the programming should be presented within an overall program strategy that is consistent with JCF’s core values.”

Can all this have spread this far, this fast? Because of Israel, have Bay Area Jews who do not believe in a specifically Jewish state, now forfeited their right to be part of the Jewish community? Have Jews who love Israel but are seen as too critical, or who support a boycott to make their criticisms manifest, been effectively excommunicated?

It’s a free country, I guess.

There’s other symptoms to which Burston fails to flesh out sufficiently or relate to the political ideology of zionism – the State Histradut trade union abomination which steals Palestinian money; super-nationalism where individuality is suppressed and heroism engendered in youth military service into a reflexive, militaristic collective with exceptionalist double standards; collective and ideology are infallible, disagreement is treasonous – like individuals, unhealthy collectives cannot withstand criticism; the syncretistic ideology of zionism, a toxic alloy of religious myth and political mores, eugenics and racism, blut und boden, wrought and fed from irrationality, anti-semitism and flight, western colonial privilege, hubris and entitlement; the justifications of crimes against humanity – collective punishment, apartheid, ghettoes, bantustans, detentions without charge nor trial even of children – the hideous oppression of and contempt for the ‘Other’; the straitjacket bonds between the zionist financial elite, the military and security apparatus; the Other is eternal scapegoat for the hierachy above; the arbitrary borders, expansionism, theft of Palestinian water, land and mineral resources; in the absence of recognised and legislated equal rights and citizenship, instead blooms a convoluted, poisonous system of arbitrary unequal rights; the subversion of the sexual, the disempowerment of women in their most vulnerable, critical relationships and catharsis within permanent militarism, permanent war and permanent enemies on all sides regardless of treaties and entreaties, broken promises and forgotten road maps, raison d’etres for permanent victimhood and humiliation, permanent military largesse from the US, a permanent peace process, the permanent occupation which is never relinquished because the other side ‘doesn’t want peace’ or ‘we have no partner for peace’, the permanent fertilisers which sustain the praxis between ‘rebalancing’.

Fascism is a form of societal auto-immune disease – it stunts and eventually withers, unsustainable because rigid hierachies and ideal individuals fashioned to defend enclosed collectives are ultimately unattainable. These truths are suppressed – with reason numbed or short-circuited in panic, inflexible political ideology as surrogate is refreshed and the system is restabilised back to a reduced temporary homeostasis with awe – fear-inspiring spectacle – another war, another persecution, another killing, another repression, another ghetto, another land theft, another olive tree uprooted, another martyr, another genocide. In the end, debilitated by its own excesses, political zionism like other varieties of fascism before will fall.