Sunday, June 6, 2010

Allah bless Israel, HaShem bless Palestine

I feel most comfortable in the middle...not first ( too much pressure) and not last - (too much opprobrium) but in the middle. And to paraphrase David ben Gurion " we must resist Jew hatred as if there was no Jewish unconsciousness, and we must fight Jewish unconsciousness as if there were no Jew hatred."

Headnote: I suppose there must be a reason the Bhuddists say all identification with name and form is the root cause of suffering - whether one identifies as Israeli/Palestinian/Jew/Moslem/Progressive/Conservative one immediately takes on an identity based on not being the other, with its automatic exclusion and delegitimisation of everything that is not I... I hope this post won't just be another addition to the great unconscious clouds swirling around this loveless debate, where people seek to justify mentally held positions and make the other wrong...if only riot control police could spray clouds of clarity and open hearted compassion over everyone...

I don't agree with the definition of Israel as the Jewish State, and with the Jewish fundamentalists who would turn it into that, I see Israel as the State of the Jews, not the Jewish State, i.e. a democratic pluralist state in which minorities are equal before the law and there is complete separation between synagogue and state - something which only partially exists at this point in time.

Perhaps the people who have accused Israelis and Jews of all sorts of "crimes" over the last week on forums around the world are really trying to repress the "Jew" within them (I'm not talking about level headed, blanced and rational criticism of Israeli policy, I'm talking about the mediaeval Jew hatred which many forums have descended into )...because, as Sylvia Plath intimated, we are all Jews.

So like the homophobe who must ruthlessly repress their own homo-erotiism by going out and bashing some gays ( what we ruthless repress in ourselves we cannot bear to see others owning or acting out) - think the end of the film American Beauty - the Jew is asigned the role, in some people's inner cosmology, of carrying the parts of themselves they can't bear to own... just as the white American South attributed an exagerated and fanciful sexuality to African Americans, as a displacement and projection of its own represssed sexual energy...this, I suspect, is the mechanics of much newspaper reportage, and I would like it to be exposed as such, so that people become more conscious about the unconscious agendas that shape opinion about, and preocupation with, a particular subject.

And yet I will resist Jewish / Israeli reactivity with every fibre of my being as well - from Jewish victimology which reduces our history to only a sorry tale of persecution and misses out on all our golden ages and creative symbioses with other cultures and traditions, to the triumphalist discourses of Israelis living in Beit El and Hevron and Schem whose discourse has no space for the other... the Palestinians are our brothers and sisters and we can and must look beyond the conflict to the time when we will be forced to work together to manage scarce resources such as water and arable land. To borrow an idea from Amos Oz, May HaShem and Allah bless Israel and Palestine with a Checkovian compromise rather than curse them with a Shakespearian tragedy


Rabbi Rami said...

About resisting Jewish / Israeli reactivity from Jewish victimology to Israeli triumphalism--amen to that. What surprised me this past week was how easily I fell into that reactive mode. Even as I tried to blog my way out of it, I still found myself with both feelings rising in me at different times.

Two weeks ago I was teaching in CA and one Jewish woman said to me that she wished Israel never existed. That's how tired and personally troubled she was by Jews with guns. Allah save us from surrender, and protect us from our own national psychoses.

. said...

Yes I find everything arises in me in turns, I don't even seem to need any external interlocutors

Goldy said...

We think very similarly about Israel! I guess some of your teaching rubbed off on me ;)

Here's a comment I made recently regarding Israel: I thought you might be interested.