People who know my ongoing critical attitude toward the country of Israel may be surprised by this...

About Arrogance

After all, I am a person who wrote a doggerel poem titled The Baal Shem Tov Bitch-slaps a Zionist and who ended a Passover seder in a relative's Marin County home by saying about the closing line "Next year in Jerusalem," "Well, if we have the right to take over Palestine because of history, we shouldn't complain when Pomo and Wintu native Californians show up at the front door to take back THEIR historical land."

Those specifics, along with others, have had me classified as an "Enemy of Israel,"and I have expressed my seriously negative opinions at being roughly dismissed  with such pretentious bullshit -- If you criticize US, you're an enemy of Israel and a self-hating Jew. In other words, if I think that YOU have done something shameful and counter-productive to your stated goals, I'm the one hurting the state of Israel? (That attitude is one more thing I detest and I truly believe that people who say that sort of thing -- people like Alan Dershowitz, for example --might actually find a great deal of benefit from an introspective session of trying on self-hating to see if important information might be derived from the exercise.)

But I believe Israel should exist -- actually, that it NEEDS to exist -- that it is vitally important to the mental and moral health of the world that it does. My criticism of Israel is of specific actions and attitudes.*

That said, there is an historical price a country will have to pay for arrogance, usually its collapse, since arrogance ALSO avoids any semblance of self-critical thought, any retrospective examination of one's actions -- such as "Is what I've just done helping my country's continued existence or undermining it>"

That said, I think Benny Netanyahu is the modern poster child for immature self-justifying thoughtless self-aggrandizing arrogance and cruelty.

He finds it so easy to gain power repeatedly by stirring up fear and panic in a population justifiably haunted by being only 50+ years away from a monstrously insane hysterically homicidal cruelty directed at them or others categorized as being like them.  (An era of hideous viciousness deriving energy and intensity at least in part from a total refusal to even ask if any of their own kampfen might have been connected to something they did.)

So my point is this -- Netanyahu and the rest of his ilk -- both currently and historically -- are the ones diminishing the prospects of their country being around for much longer. A man who can NOT say -- EVER -- "Oops -- I fucked up." A man who can't even apologize for the loss of life caused by his actions. A man whose ego and self-image is much more important to him than the safety of his people, that safety being the bell he rings over and over to justify his counter-productive actions.

--And, the news playing in my office I can hear -- synchronously -- another man who is a true co-religionist, a man who subscribes to the dogma of the religion both really believe in, i.e., "Anything I do is right and basks in the light of the lord"  -- Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, is saying how he wants this to be over, saying "I want my life back."

(How do people so incredibly clueless rise to such positions of power?)


* My point of view has been strongly influenced by -- among others -- the exceptionally brave and intelligent -- and admittedly still controversial -- Jacobo Timerman.   
For a less glowing remembrance, see also this article in The Tablet: A New Read on Jewish Life


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