Sunday, April 24, 2011


It seems to me that at a certain point in its evolution, rabbinic Judaism began to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the balance between finely tuned ritual and the spontaneous expression of joyous encounter with the divine was lost, or at least obscured.


When my stomach can't work in the morning (and I'm using breakfast cereal euphemisms here) because I have a meeting or birthday party or some other obligation to rush to, then, when I do eventually get to sit upon my royal throne later in the day, the resulting production is usually voluminous - in other words, the delay proves worthwhile, and if someone were posting the contents of my nappy in a gallery of contemporary art (as Anthony Lejeune complained about in one of his "London Letters", as we sat in the Valiant parked at the Wanderers club circa 1976 and one of the highveld's spectacular sunsets turned from gradated purples and blues and orange red indigoes into night, and listened to him on the "English Service" as it was named... ) I might certainly win critical acclaim for quantity as well as, hopefully quality.

In the same way my poetry colletion, which must be deferred again and again beause of our economic "realities" (i.e my self esteem needs to see my kids fed and clothed and housed and schooled at a level that matches - more or less - their peers) will hopefully eventually emerge rich and bounteous.


It seems to me that Jews have well developed pain bodies (Eckhart Tolle), a well developed special-case drama, a well developed victimology - all of which make us an incredibly reactive lot - and yet, despite this, or perhaps exactly because we have these all too human dramas - we too are worthy of unconditional love and respect just for being - and halevai that I will come to know this soon

The loose alliance whose commanality is to demonize Israel and Israelis will gain a certain foothold in Western countries, becaue so much of Western so called civilization is built opon repression, disassociation, splitting and projection, and all that unacknowledged psychic discontents - all the ruthless aggression of the West which manifested in colonialism and the slave trade and the crusades and world wars - has not dissapeared - and it must be projected outwards onto some other demonized other. Because if you're a green you can no longer make blacks or gays or woman or gypsies or whomever the despised other, and because it is still politically incorrect to do this overtly with the "the Jews", the Israelis serves as a more acceptable option on which to vomit "I-can't-own-this-as-my- own"contents.

Of course no one is immune from these mechanisms, and right wingers have similar projections, onto minorities or Moslems or Jews, but their projections onto Israel are often "positive", i.e the stereotype of Israel plays a positive rather than a negative role in their internal cosmology. The Islamic world also has these powerful projections, and there because political correctness is not a factor, much of the Islamic world has no problem with overt state sponsored predjuidice against Jews/Zionists/ Israel (the terms are used interchangeably - just look at the Chamas charter.)

Jews too have no immunity from this process, and project their own dicontents onto the other, but their projections are relatively small and weak, because of their small numbers, and so, like the Armenians (and to a lesser extent the Tutsi, where an umambiguous historical record has not fully emerged) usually don't manage to return the projections with the same force that they are thrust upon them.

However all victims, i.e people who belive and tell themelves they are victims, are terribly dangerous, as Byron Katie says, and this would include anyone who kills from a sense of victimhood, be it Palestinians or Israelis, Shia or Sunni, Basque or Kurd or Tibetan (how is it that there are no Tibetan suicide bombers if suicide bombing is a deterministic consequence of "the occupation?")


In my experience people who support very strident and hysterical and one sided* campaigns to boycott Israel in support of Palestinain rights, and who loudly and visibly declare their Jewishness, usually have no specific Jewish practices in their lives, have no lived Jewishness, no involvement in Jewish community as understood by the overwhelming majority of identifying Jews, and only label themselves Jewish / claim their Jewishness in the context of a campaign to attack and delegitimise other Jews.

Until the playing fields are equal, an criticism of Israel is not masively contaminated by a visceral and unconscious hatred which exists for its own sake, no identifying Jew can attach themselves to such a programme without turning their back on th collective to which they claim they are part of.

(* These campaigns show no concern, and don't even acknowledge that Israelis have an equal and equivalent right to life and freedom from terror, sudden maiming, kidnapping, rocket and mortar fire and the underlying systematic dehumanisation which props up the violence against them etc.)

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