Tuesday, June 28 , 2016, 12:03 pm | Fair with Haze 71º

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Letter to the Editor: Wielding the Whip


For generations, Jews have suffered persecution, discrimination and a variety of ugly biases. They were, so to speak, on the receiving end of whiplashes administered by every variety of nation, ethnicity and religion.

But as a result of courage, persistence, imagination, luck, the support of the United Nations, Britain and, perhaps most significantly, the United States, in 1948 they achieved for the first time in many generations a homeland, made possible by the displacement of thousands of Arabs in a part of the Middle East we know as Palestine.

After successfully resisting several military attacks, after having established themselves in their new land through discipline, hard work, being strengthened by an influx of Jews from all over the world and bolstered militarily by the mighty United States, Israelis gradually realized that, in their immediate area, it was they who now held the whip. It was they who now had power over others rather than the reverse. It was they who could now do the lashing.

And for decades this is what they have been doing.

With regard to Palestinians, Israelis have increasingly — and with growing enthusiasm from American Jews — subjugated, humiliated and exploited these people. Israelis made of Palestinian communities armed and occupied camps. Israelis stole their land, stifled their economic lives and at some point decided gradually but permanently to eliminate any possibility of Palestinians having a political entity of their own. While pretending in recent years (at the insistence of the United States) to negotiate a political agreement with Palestinians, Israelis have in fact annexed more and more Palestinian territory for their own “settlements” — a baldly obvious plan to leave Palestinians with nothing of worth.

Anyone who has read “Our Harsh Logic,” compiled by Breaking the Silence — 373 pages of Israeli soldiers’ testimony as to what they did and saw in the “Occupied Territories” — can have no illusions as to how Israelis have treated these subjugated people.

A similar about-face has occurred among Jews in the United States. Once suffering the usual biases and discrimination, they began, very properly, to establish “defense” organizations to protect their rights, uphold their dignity and preserve the memory of their Holocaust suffering.

But as has been the case in Israel — perhaps because of it — many of these organizations have now become attacking aggressors. They call those with whom they disagree “anti-Semites” or, should those also be Jews, “self-haters.” They try to have teachers and college professors fired or reprimanded for expressing (or even giving access to) opinions they don’t like and, in this community, have even concealed their affiliations in order to be put on “judging” committees of such professors; they seek to have educational institutions establish policies whereby they as students won’t be subjected to unwanted points of view. They have secretly monitored the communications of “enemies,” have paid police to spy on people, have been sued for it and settled.

An Israeli ambassador to the United States, when asked to describe his most significant success, said, “That’s easy. I’ve convinced Americans that being anti-Israel is anti-Semitic.”

There are some Jewish organizations, however, such as J Street and Jewbonics, who’ve not succumbed to the brain-washing.

Every powerfully armed nation that wants the territory of a weaker one uses the ploy of small attacks, real or feigned, by the latter to destroy and occupy it. If Palestinians had not been subjugated, abused, and made indentured servants by Israel they would have had little cause to launch rockets. But once they have done so, Israel will kill every man, woman and child in range of their weapons to wipe Palestinians from the face of the earth.

And the United States is giving them the wherewithal to do it.

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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