Monday
May232005

« Moral Superiority Over A Silverfish »

Okay, after watching the Roman Polanski film The Pianst only a week ago, the imagery was fresh in my mind. In the film, there is a scene in Warsaw where Nazi soldiers force a trio of Jewish musicians to play for them, and another old man to get up and do a little dance. The soldiers requested some "happy music" for the occasion. Polanski himself is a Polish Jew who lived as a child during the shoah. His film was made up of a number of his own memories that help bring to life the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a pianist and composer who somehow survives the war as a refugee, even within some of the worst hotspots of Nazi activity in Poland. He is helped along by his professional and familial connections which provided him the Jewish equivalent of the Underground Railroad. Finally his luck runs out and he is pressed into absolute survival, scaling bombed out buildings and living in attics, often scraping for any food he can possibly find. He is somewhat befriended by a Nazi officer who like his music and somehow developed a conscience in the end days of the war before the Russians took over. The officer kept him out of sight and somewhat fed until the Germans fell.

The movie is heavy. Very heavy.

But anyway, I was surfing a minute ago and stumbled on this article about Israeli soldiers forcing a Palestinian man to play violin for them in the streets. Hmm. Two generations and the shoe is already on the other foot? Have the Israelis forgotten the sort of abuse that was a centerpiece of the founding of their nation? Doesn't this fly in the face of Judaism's claim to being the first ethical monotheistic relgion?

But you know, I'm sure we'll keep investing in Israel despite this. We'll keep supporting them despite this. Because there is little or no soul in global politics and transnational business. You know, IBM helped the Nazis keep data on the death camps, and it was not a problem. You know, Prescott Bush moved a little money here and there to help the Nazi machine get up and running. Adolf Hitler idolized Henry Ford. Now we prop up the other team and help them become the oppressors. Membership in the club of aspiring fascists and totalitarian dictators is open to anyone with initiative and chutzpah. Maybe it won't get to be a massive genocidal campaign, but you know, the Nazis were wrong all along, not just when they killed their first million. Kristallnacht was wrong, and the national boycott of Jewish businesses was wrong years before that. But who cares about all that? So what's a little Palestinian death and humilation now that the oppressed have become the oppressors? Hey, at least it's not a genocide!

The group that still mourns the loss of six million of its own should know better, or they can relinquish their claims of being "ethical." Part of growing up is letting old wounds go enough so they don't keep working on the present day. I've heard it said that the Israelis should do something radical and feed the Palestinian children. Then maybe they'd be on to something. Instances like this little song and dance in the streets are exactly the things that are going to hold up the so-called peace process, and in turn will keep tempers flaring in the region for ages to come, and you can be sure that America will be affected by it too because we have our business in that part of the world, and it is provoking the ire among the residents there, ever more of whom call us the "Great Satan." Americans have maybe only two reasons for messing around in that part of the world: one is oil, and the other is the fucking nutcase "Christians" who want the eschaton (the end times) to come—an event being held up by the pesky notion of there being unconverted Jews in the world, a "problem" they have dispatched themselves to resolve, but one that will only backfire on us.

Man, religion is so fucked up. I would pay a dollar to see what Jesus would do about that violin incident. I think he'd lay some serious spiritual smackdown on their asses.

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