Saturday, October 27, 2007

A stinky Affair - II:

I received important feed back on my post from Ian Thal, an artist who used to participate in the Bread and Butter Puppet Theatre and broke with them after realizing that the show which they were rehearsing had anti-Semitic content.

Here's an excerpt from a long and thoroughly researched article by Thal:

Palestinian cause is so one-sided that one is forced to consider the hypothesis that it is an emotional stand-in for the Silesia he lost as a child.It is a failure of those who sympathize with the Palestinian cause when they engage in Holocaust denial of either soft core or "hard core" variety, often by crassly appropriating the very iconography of the Holocaust. Those who survived the genocide and mass murder committed by the Soviet Union and its client states, the People's Republic of China, the Khmer Rouge, Imperial Japan, Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist movement and other such regimes, do not need to appropriate the symbols of the Holocaust in order to educate the world about these histories, but anti-Zionists like the ones encountered and encouraged at the February 12, 2007 symposium are not interested in truth, healing, or reconciliation. They are interested in equating Jews with Nazis. Why?

To quote Hilberg:

Preventive attack, armed resistance, and revenge are almost completely absent in two thousand years of Jewish ghetto history. Instances of violent opposition, which may be found in one or another history book, are atypical and episdoic. The critical period of the 1930's and 1940's is marked by that same absence of physical opposition.

On the other hand, alleviation attempts are typical and instantaneous responses by the Jewish community. Under the heading of alleviation are included petitions, protection payments, ransom arrangements, anticipatory compliance, relief, rescue, salvage, reconstruction-- in short, all those activities which are designed to avert danger, or, in the event that force has already been used, to diminish its effects- Hilberg, p. 14.

While these stratagems had ensured the survival of Jewish communities over millennia despite having overwhelming force arrayed against them, they became completely dysfunctional when, as during the Holocaust, the oppressors' aims ceased to be conversion, segregation, humiliation, exploitation, scapegoating, and deportation, but a "final solution" of annihilation.

What outrages many who call themselves "anti-Zionists" is that Israel represents a Jewish people who no longer behave as "ghetto Jews" when threatened with violence. In the imagination of an "anti-Zionist" a "bad Jew" is a Jew willing and capable of defending both himself or herself and the community, while a "good Jew" is a pacified Jew, who will suffer under the yoke of tyranny or, if so commanded, die. This line of thought, in most cases, is probably only held on a sub-conscious level by "anti-Zionists" and serves as the conceit by which they deny being anti-Semitic; They simply do not grasp the anti-Semitic logic underlying their beliefs -- but this is because they have absorbed the status quo of the Christian-European and Islamic-Arabic worlds: That Jews are supposed to be a humiliated and weak people.


At 6:11 PM EDT, Blogger Ian Thal said...

Thanks for the link. Over the past year since I wrote the article you quoted, I have been drawn again and again into what has been an ongoing discussion about anti-Semitic content in Peter Schumann's recent work.

Most recently, it was a matter of censorship by an unscrupulous Wikipedia editor who put forth the myth that Schumann's family had been refugees from the Third Reich-- and thus he could not be anti-Semitic.


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