Thursday, 20 September 2007



  Published on 11 Aug 2014

An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation, although this sense did not enter English until the 14th century.[1] In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden. In the Book of Revelation (Greek Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου, Apocalypsis Ioannou), the last book of the New Testament, the revelation which John receives is that of the ultimate victory of good over evil and the end of the present age, and that is the primary meaning of the term, one that dates to 1175.[1] Today, it is commonly used in reference to any prophetic revelation or so-called End Time scenario, or to the end of the world in general. (WIKIPEDIA)

APOCALYPSE, not to be mistaken with Ioann’s Revelation (Yohann, Jean, John or whatever. Europeans have the very bad habit of translating and corrupting names as if human blood lines meant nothing to them!).  In the state of world pollution and destruction and degeneration of all species including the one called humans, John’s Apocalypse is not very welcome as there can be no ultimate victory of good over evil, which does not mean that the fight (jihad) against evil has to stop.  One solution would be to sterilise the entire planet and prevent so-called humans to breed.  This is exactly what the satanic forces that rule over the planet have been searching hard and ‘scientifically’ (western science = total amorality) to achieve.  But, science means just knowledge and this primary definition of the term has been totally lost to the humans.      
Why apocalypse when there is indeed nothing to uncover or disclose as this knowledge has always existed and at the hands of the learned people of the earth?  Yes, but it catches the mind, especially of the stupid kind.  But, here, I need to remind the readers (entertainment seekers) that my Spiritual Sister “Adriana Evangelitz” issued an excellent ‘Biblical’ (Evangelical) perspective video series called Apocalypsis quite some time ago, and this title has not been taken from there nor from the so-called Bible.  It suits the perverted mind of the so-called Europeans or so-called Westerners to bring everything to Greece and Rome.  But, as I am using one of their barbaric languages forced on to my ancestors, parents and me by their warmongering warlords, I cannot escape that fate and use of barbarisms all throughout my writings in a foreign tongue and I will have neither time nor the knowledge to point them out to the lazy readers.    By the way, writing about barbarism, the other one, Marxists have preached Karl Marx’s religion: EUROPEAN SOCIALISM OR BARBARISM, and found themselves cornered and conquered by EUROPEAN CAPITALISM that built its societies on BARBARISM as a matter of policy, and that it is now implementing all over the globe with the help of the greatest army of assassins and destroyers of civilisations known in modern history: NATO!


La Messagère
On nait Poète... on ne le

 devient pas.

Et ce lourd sacerdoce fait de nous des Exilés... des exclus... des apatrides. Nous possédons comme Rimbaud des "semelles de vent"...
J'ai commencé à écrire à l'âge de dix ans. J'en ai aujourd'hui cinquante.
Que de chemins parcourus dans les méandres de l'humanité.
La Soif d'Absolu et le mal de vivre m'ont toujours taraudé.
Et très tôt, je me suis sentie étrangère dans ma propre famille.
D'où conflits... duel... guerre incessante.
Mais je n'ai jamais lâché un pouce de terrain à qui que ce soit pour affirmer mes prises de position et pénétrer dans le monde tragiquement merveilleux de ceux qui font de l'Écriture leur Chemin de Vie...
La cassure s'est donc opérée très tôt dans le milieu familial... un peu comme si cette famille-là n'était pas la mienne tant leur conception de la Vie différait de mes idéaux et tant je m'y sentais étrangère.
Et je sais aujourd'hui que j'ai fait le bon choix.
Avec l'Âge est venu le temps de la Sagesse.
J'ai compris que la souffrance poétique est nécessaire à la Création... qu'elle permet parfois de toucher ceux qui lisent de la Poésie et qu'elle les sensibilise peut-être aux souffrances de notre Monde...
Le poète n'œuvre pas pour rien.
Il est là pour dénoncer... accuser... lutter... c'est un Révolté et un Rebelle.
Mais sa Révolte et sa Rébellion sont au service de la plus noble des causes :  


Alors le Grand Architecte de l'Univers m'a dit :

"Oui, c'est vrai, Tu seras le plus mal loti de tous, le plus méprisé sans doute et le moins bien compris aussi.
Le chemin que j'ai tracé pour Toi est parsemé d'embûches mais Ta Mission est Sacrée.
Il te faudra lutter sans relâche contre la couardise des hommes, leurs mensonges et les injustices qu'ils prennent plaisir à commettre.
Te battre sans répit, jusqu'à ton dernier souffle, contre la malveillance et la stupidité humaines afin que de ton Inspiration naisse un monde meilleur.
Mais tu n'auras pour combattre tout cela qu'une seule arme : la plume acérée de la douleur trempée dans la rouge encre de ton cœur.
Et si ta lourde tâche te semble fastidieuse... que ta Conscience Eclairée n'oublie jamais que j'ai fait de toi le Messager des Dieux.
Tu seras poète mon enfant..." 
Adriana Evangelizt

Vendredi 21 septembre 6007

Je suis Née pour Être Libre” – I WAS BORN TO BE FREE!


Who destroyed your Vedanta-Israel-Christ-Islam civilisation?

-         I KNOW WHO! 

-         You know?  Basheer, you are lying!

-          Well, I must admit that I have the reputation of being a liar, but I always claim I am telling the truth as far and as much as truth can be known by factual verification and indisputable evidence.  But, I know bigger liars than me – Satan and his armies of racist warmongering perverts called western democracies!
-         Satan?  He does not exist!  Do you believe in God?
-         Satan, I saw him during my teens, and every day, every minute, every hour and every second of my adult life on earth, some 50 years or so.  If there is one entity that I know perfectly well, it is Satan.  As for God, my greatest wish is that He really exists as The Creator of all things, a Just and Merciful God, but I never stopped asking question after question about Him because He is blatantly missing in our different ways of life.  Yet, I know He exists because without Him I never saw and still do not see (I am not yet totally blind) any humanity or humanness (not to be confused with humanism of Satanic (Judeo secular creation) in any earthling, whether they are conscious of Him or not!
-         But, why on earth have you chosen Vedanta, Israel, Christ and Islam out of all that the Ancient Wisdom and Wise Humans this earth have produced?
-         The Ancients had great wisdom which is still very precious to this very day to millions of humans, but are not of a universal nature.  By the way not all living creatures calling themselves humans are really humans!  Out of the 7 billion of them, more than half are undeserving and most of their political or religious leaders belong to the breed of monsters at the service of Satan.  Israel is not universal anymore ever since “Biblical times”.  The reason why I have included it with Christ and Islam is because it is no more a religious way of life for the righteous, but a monstrous ideology of conquest, theft, death, crime, enslavement, perversion and deceit that is ruling over the followers of both Christ and Islam.  They call themselves Eretz Israel in flagrant opposition to Roman Catholic dogma.
-          Are you saying that Eretz Israel is responsible for all the evil on planet Earth?
-         No, not at all, but although this seems very obvious, the blame should lie with the followers of Christ and Islam first and foremost!  Both Christians and Muslims have failed in their mission to bring about a leading righteous way of life to humanity.  Perverted Israel has succeeded, but only in making the whole planet following an unrighteous way of life, one of sin and disobedience.
-         But, why is it that behind every single major calamity that befalls humankind and the Earth we find both Erezt Israel and Israel or those calling themselves Jews?
-         This is a very good question the answer to which will make everything clear and give earthlings an opportunity to save themselves from Satan.  But, it will not, as earthlings are no more interested in any kind of righteous behaviour that was once ordered to them by the Wise Men and Women of old, either by the legendary Christ or by historical Muhammad, but have chosen freely or not to follow a Hedonistic life-style of sin to which they are exposed 24 hours a day and from cradle to grave and where everything once forbidden is now allowed more and more.  The recent German suggested decriminalisation of incest between brothers and sisters or the French and other Western legalisation of homosexuality, homosexual marriage and baby or child adoption by homosexuals, the acceptance of incest between father and daughter where a daughter is made to feel happy to carry her father’s baby, following other western abominations like abortion, drugs, prostitution, pornography, gambling, are clear indications that the world as we knew it is doomed with no God to save it!    
-         Is Satan really real?
-         Well, Satan is not a person or a single entity, but only the symbol of the sum total of all evil we find in many earthlings daily deeds.  In that context Satan was and is very real.  In a similar way we can say God is very real when we see millions opposing Satan at the heavy costs of their freedom, personal material comfort and even lives.
-         Does Israel exist?
-         Israel of old was mythical and racist even if it promoted righteous behaviour as we can see in the Ten Commandments inherited from past wisdom, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and other.  But, even that myth exists no more even if the enslaved world never stops talking about it! The entity calling itself Eretz Israel is a usurper, an imposter.  The Jews and Zionists who support it are all liars, usurpers, imposters and criminals and slaves (willingly or not) of Satan.
-         What about Christ?
-         First Christ is not a historical figure.  According to legends he died two thousand years ago, but promised to return.  Ponce Pilate saved the real Son of the Father – Jesus Bar Abbas, and had the seditious rebel, the other Jesus claiming himself to be the King of the Jews was crucified instead.  Jesus (pronounced and transliterated differently by different tongues) was a very common name in those days.  Today those calling themselves Christians have little to do with even that legendary Christ Son of the Father.  Although there are more than a billion of them (what is left from the 2 billion or so Christians), most follow Satan, especially among the White Europeans and their descendants.  Yesterday, they were imposing Christ upon the world; today they are imposing Satan on all of us.
-         And Islam?
-         The person who brought Islam to the world in a perfected form was a historical figure, Muhammad by name. Those who surrendered to Islam (not to Muhammad as Christians do to Christ!) more than fourteen hundred years ago, the Arabs (a mixture of ‘races’ speaking a variety of languages) and others are called Muslims.  But, the Muslims soon were to betray Islam by going out to conquer the world militarily instead of through peaceful invitation.  They ruled Hindustan for nearly one thousand years and Spain for nearly eight hundred years and did not do the job for which they were commanded or advised to do – inviting humankind to Islam!  Today there are more practicing Muslims than Christians, but they too have fallen prey to a satanic way of life full of sin, although to a lesser extent, and to sectarianism.
-         What about Israel’s, Christ’s and Islamic civilisation?
-         They are not three civilisations, but one despite all the lies you can read in racist European history and theology books, and that was not built on Greco-Roman civilisation as most European historians would say, but on all the known and unknown ancient civilisations.  For example, without Egypt, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia (and others) there would never have been Israel.  Without Greece and Rome there would never have been a Christ.  Without Israel and Christ (Islam of old) there would never have been Islam in a perfected form.
-         But, what went wrong with Israel?
-         The very first thing that went wrong with Israel was its historical records.  All that we had several thousand years ago was mere fabrications and lies about Israel that created a racist and criminal ideology of a supremacist people chosen by God when in fact this was and could not be anything else than a satanic invention.  All the lies, racism and fabrications are right there in their own religious texts.
-         And with Christ?
-         Everything went wrong with Christ from day one!  No credible account exists of who he was, and what he did and said, not even about his family and Companions.  Rome fabricated everything from unreliable and heavily corrupted sources and their own additions.
-         What went wrong with Islam?
-          Nothing went wrong with Islam, but only with Muslims.  I would say that this is the most important question of all.  Because Islam is the only religion that has remained uncorrupted for more than 1400 years and is by far the most reliable record of all ancient existing religions, the answer to that question will make everything very clear about Vedanta, Israel, Christ and even God.
-         Do you know the answer?
-         Yes, of course I do, unfortunately.  
-         Why do you say unfortunately?
-         Remember I am a known liar!  Why should anybody trust what I say?  I wasted my whole life writing the truth and who really cared or cares?  Everybody holds to his or her own sects or beliefs, blindly, fanatically, and often criminally.  Truth is not truth anymore when blindness becomes a serious handicap to Believers.  The latest comes from the Pope of Atheism, the Monarch of Delusion, Pr Richard Dawkins who after refusing God as a delusion now (Exclusive “Revelations” to the Daily Mail of September 2014) claims he believes in “aliens”, extra-terrestrial entities that have all the answers about us and even “why humans have sex”!
-         So, we cannot guarantee that you are telling the truth now, can we?
-         Nope!
-         But, I would still like you to tell me who destroyed civilisation as we have known it. The readers (those dummies!) will see by themselves whether you are lying or not!
-         Israel’s civilisation is not what one may call a civilisation, it started by being racist, thieving and genocidal, but the “Jews” or the Bani Isra’il who lived under Muslim rule contributed to the greatest universal civilisation known to the world, and not Greece or Rome.
  When Rome and Christians conquered the Jewish and Muslim lands their first ambition was to destroy all traces of that civilisation after taking the best from it.  One example: Muslim Spain.
  Enriched by Israel-Christ-Islamic knowledge, the imperialist Christian leadership went out to conquer, exterminate, enslave and “civilise” the whole world.  They had much in common with Israel, but when they saw what the evil (like usury) Israel was doing in their own Christian lands they expelled them.
   But, Christians never stopped fighting among themselves and against Muslims, and at one point they had to call Israel back.  This time Israel would not get kicked out as they managed (because of decadent Christendom) to take over the entire of Christendom’s finances, their most precious lands and resources, utilities, factories, media, institutions, and even governments, at home as well as in their colonies, including all the conquered Muslim lands.
   So the stage was set for the total destruction of Christian-Islamic civilisation with a fabricated one called Judeo-Christian civilisation because by that time most of (or much of) “White” Christendom had stopped believing in Christ or in God.  Example: France.
  But, the worst was to happen.  The “Judeo-Christians” are neither of Israel nor of Christ, but of Satan.  Their goal: conquer the whole world, destroy the fabric of society, family, childhood, the sanctity of life and marriage, pervert the morals, degenerate the species, including the human species, plunder the world’s resources, manipulate the climate, exterminate undesirable nations, terrorise the entire planet, destroy all traces of the Islamic heritage, remove God from the daily lives of believers, mainly Christians (not Zionists) and Muslims, oppress, enslave, torture, persecute, rape, deceive, lie, and violate all God given rights on a daily basis, and make monsters of too many of us.
-         Wow!  Looks like the end of the world! 
-         You said it; it is the end of the Vedanta-Israel-Christ-Islam civilised world!  And the sad thing is that more and more de-Islamised and secularised Muslims and apostates of all kinds are joining those satanic forces destroying all our hopes for a better future for our children and descendants – unless a miracle!
-         But, you don’t believe in miracles, do you?
-         There are no miracles without efforts!   We need a TOTAL BOYCOTT during a popular REVOLUTION! 
-         And God in all this?
-         That ‘gentleman’ known as God (His name changes according to the country!), He made a fool of Himself, can’t you see?  Undisputedly a very poor Manager of His Own Creation, leading most of us to believe He does not or may not exist at all!  But as I said earlier, I know He exists because without Him I never saw and still do not see any humanity or humanness (not to be confused with humanism of Satanic and Freemasonic creation) left in any earthling, whether they are conscious of Him or not!  God is being replaced more and more by the New Age religion, Yogaism, Guruism, Buddhaism, Near-Death-Experiencism (NDEISM), Ufoism, and entities like the Galactics, Aliens, Archons, the Armies and Soldiers of Light from outer space, Infinite Lovism, Consciousnessim, and other fanatic isms (Zionism, etc.) as time goes by.
-         Do you know who is interviewing you, Basheer!
-         Of course I know, Satan himself, and he is the only one (almost) who allows me freedom of expression!  Am I wrong?
-          Yes, my good man, Satan the Great, the one and only ruler of this world of yours, and I promise worse to come! I promised this to God Himself because I knew there and then that He was creating monsters, fools and ingrates!

Updated Thursday 25th of September 2014       
Posted on:
Apocalypse est pour Demain 
(BAFS: Cela n'a aucun sens!)
Apocalypse only means REVELATION, not CATASTROPHE! 
Et les quatre anges qui étaient prêts pour l'heure, le jour, le mois et l'année, furent déliés afin qu'ils tuassent le tiers des hommes.
(Apocalypse 9, 15)

D'après le calcul des Anciens...
La Terre doit basculer de 180
de degrés le jour du Solstice d'hiver de l'an 2016 du calendrier des Anciens... ce qui représente la fin de l'Ère des Poissons.
Si les calculs des tables de pierre sont exacts...
La Terre doit basculer de 180° selon le Calendrier EGYPTIEN.

Le site de mes amis...  SPIRITUAL LAND. 
Le forum Spiritual Land 
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  The HyperTexts

Iqbal Tamimi

Iqbal Tamimi is a Palestinian poet, and the Editor in Exile of The HyperTexts. She also has an online magazine, Journomania, and was recently named one of the top fifty Tweeters among Arab women, and number one in the journalism category, by Birds on the Blog. You can get to know Iqbal by reading her poems about the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinian people and the plight and perils of being a Palestinian woman in exile . . .

by Iqbal Tamimi

She sketched him in the froth of her coffee,
Hoping he would never leave.
She could not turn off the siren
Or the storm that leapt
Inside her cup.
She saw soldiers
Chasing him down the track,
Ordering him to surrender.
The shackles howled;
There was no turning back.

Echoes died.
Raindrops fell.
Their hopes plummeted like autumn leaves.
Their shadow cracked,
Splitting into two.
Her reflection stood lonely on the wall
As he was dragged off to prison.
His hand turned into a handkerchief
Waving goodbye
Until her window stopped exhaling their song.

Her femininity exuded letters untamed by language.
She was his sails
And his port.
He used to tie a knot,
Hanging on for life,
Because she was at the end of that rope.
Whenever they met,
His body welcomed her perfume.
Her lips and breath bore the clemency of mint.
She furnished the street
With their dreams ...
Peeping out from the cloak of night,
Stealing through the cracks of doors
Like seeds of light.

From the ashes of his concessions
He made her a wreath
Worthy of an angel of jasmine.
It was hard for him to leave.
The flute was burning in his chest
While the wind snatched from her pillow
The messages of oranges.

He was forced to go.
She stood there
Raining him with her panic,
Leaving him her footsteps
And the trembling thoughts
attached to the soles of her feet.

Believe it or not, Palestinians still fall in love, and the most common problem facing couples today is forced separation. Since Israel began its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have been detained at least once, representing approximately twenty per cent of the current total Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories. This makes Palestinians the people with the highest percentage of detainees in the world. And these numbers exclude couples who can’t live together because Israel created racist laws which prevent Arabs from traveling in their own country to get married, or to be reunited with their spouses who have been banned and forced to live in exile. One can only imagine the number of broken hearts in my homeland! Still, many Palestinian women meet to have their coffee together, and to read each other’s fortunes after drinking their Turkish coffee, gazing hard inside their cups, hoping to make sense of the images formed by the coffee residues, hoping to catch a glimpse of what might be translated as good news, such as the release of a detained loved one. This poem is a translation of a poem I wrote in Arabic about a couple who were forced to split when the husband was dragged off by Israeli soldiers and jailed like so many Palestinian men.

A Poem for the Mothers of Gaza: Give Me Time
by Iqbal Tamimi

Gaza gave birth
Her pavements smiled with red roses.
Her children were shepherds of the morning dew
She became pregnant with hope
But the conspiracy targeted her womb
Now her mothers are terrified
Wrapping their children inside their sighs
With bleeding hands
They harvest the rockets' neighs
Their cries
Punctured the ear of hypocrisy
The shirt of justice was torn from behind
Tell me why?
Why does your sweeping hatred
Keep ordering the clouds of my eye to rain?
Tell me why?
Why does the hand of death steal every child I have?
Will I ever find a seed of light in this darkness?
Merciless men wearing shiny shoes are sipping tea
Discussing holiday destinations
Glancing at the screens of their TVs
Eating cakes, talking about sending more arms
To maintain the rivers of blood
While my family lies crucified
I want to know
Why the stains of blood refuse to dry?
How many more waves are left in your sea,
aiming at breaking my buoy?
There isn’t any sadness left
That did not find its home in me
My tired heart is a wreck,
My paddles are torments and sorrows
I am tired of swimming against the current,
Hoping to reach the shores of human kindness
The salt in the tears of sobbing mothers
Ignites my open wound,
The smells of gunpowder, white phosphorus and burning flesh
Occupy my lungs
We are the mothers
Hugging the shadows of our children,
Who are no more flying kites
Searching under heaps of dust
Scanning empty playgrounds,
Kissing vacant beds,
Making daily trips, towards what used to be school gates … alone
Give me time to clean up your mess
The Limbs of my children are mixed with the clutter
Give me time to plead again
Give me time to sign another condemning letter
Give me time to forget what I miss
Give me time to empty the morgue
Give me time to bury another child
Give me time to tidy my cell
Give me time to dismantle your hell
Give me time to grieve

The First Person
for Mariane Pearl
by Iqbal Tamimi

Freedom is a wild child
Cresting pandemonium,
Looting opportunities.
I’m unfolding myself in difficult-to-access pockets
Until the winds calm down.
Crucified many times under the sun,
I lack enough fingers to count
the many times I was blindfolded by pain.
Pain burrowed into my lungs
While I was sniffing the streets to find my way home.
Pain's wall was erected in my throat.
My songs used to wander in a land free of barriers,
Uninhibited by road blocks,
Until my kingdom was built against his chest.
Once, I was me
And my voice never bounced off walls.
But now it is hard to be detained
between the cell and the sea.
The bird of his eye
Was fluttering its wings
Whenever my dawn tore the shirt of his night.
Have I been falling intensely in love ... was it insecurity?
Or merely the masked face of slavery!

I had a discussion with the brave journalist Mariane Pearl about women, loss and journalism. This poem is the part of the conversation that we did not manage to finish when she kissed my cheek in a hurry while dragging her suitcase towards the lift to catch her plane. Please read about Mariane and the way she lost her husband while she was still pregnant.

by Iqbal Tamimi

At the first checkpoint
Between Jordan and Palestine
An Israeli soldier asked me
About my nationality.

I almost screamed:
"Look at me!
Tell me what you see!"
Out of my veins I pulled an olive tree.
Moved to fury,
I showed him my mother's dress, still
Embroidered with my grandfather’s blood.

For two days
We waited on the bridge . . .
Caged like cattle,
Crammed in a pen swarming with flies
who bathed in our sweat.
The weather was hell-hot.
Hungry and thirsty children cried,
Their throats parched, cracked dry.

Sipping a cold drink
A soldier, shorter than his gun,
Flicked through my documents.
His hand brushed his girlfriend’s military uniform,
Stroked her hair,
Kissed her mouth.

They looked so young
That I thought, "They ought to be in school!"
Instead they were having fun
Degrading an old Palestinian man,
Forcing him to strip
And wear a woman’s underslip.

They giggled,
Decided to take
Another break.
Time meant a great deal to us
but what did they care?

Morning departed . . . afternoon came . . .
At last they returned,
Eying me with disgust.
My passport was in his hand
but still he quizzed me about my homeland.

"Where are you from?" he asked,
Refusing to acknowledge my hometown’s Arabic name.
I told him: "Alkhaleel."
I do not barter its shadows.

He disappeared again
into the air-conditioned room.
We all knew
It was a humiliation game:
The occupiers make the rules.

Hours passed . . .
I was called to be searched.
It seemed
I might be caught
Smuggling a poem!

They passed a metal detector all over my body.
Then the strip-search began.
Their hands groped under my armpits.
I was instructed to take off my headscarf.
They did not even spare
Checking my underwear,
My blood-stained towel!

They strip-searched my little girls,
Then pointed at my baby with a stick,
Their faces wrinkling with disgust.
I was ordered to remove her diaper.
They even searched her milk!

"Take off your shoes!"
A soldier shouted at me.
My children clung to my dress.
Frightened and confused,
I took them off.

The hot platform baked my feet;
Probably they would find in my heels
A shooting star.
Fury… Fury… Fury!
They found nothing
but burning feet in silhouette shadows.

They confiscated my identity card.
What were they looking for?
My birth certificate and my family tree
are flowing in my bloodstream.

I stood there half naked,
Angry and ashamed,
My face turning red.
I started to pray:
"From my country’s thyme
And its hilltops’ sage
And from the fluff of its sparrows
May spring fall
To clothe my bare soul."

Dare not test my patience,
Or test it if you wish . . .
It does not matter to me at all.
Palestine is my homeland
And always will be.
Acknowledge or deny,
Still I will never crawl.

In Al-Khalil's mountains
My heart resides.
There I stand tall,
A neighbor of heaven.
I sat there
On one of the foothills,
Combing my hair,
The teeth of my comb
Catching the clouds.

Search me
As many times as you wish.
Erect more army checkpoints.
Build as many roadblocks as you can.
Invent more devious ways
Of creating time delays.
You fail to see:
I belong here.
You can’t uproot me like a tree;
I will keep coming back.
My voice will keep feeding the thunder
Until your foreheads
breed white flags.

Iqbal Tamimi explains: "Humiliation" is one of a series of six poems I wrote about being a Palestinian living in exile. This poem describes a journey I took to my home in Palestine across the Jordan River after the six day war that started on the 5th of June, 1967. It was a journey of degradation; many Palestinians were subjected to various humiliations by the Israeli occupation forces. Alkhaleel is the name of my hometown; in English is called Hebron. The following is a translation of one of my poems about what we, the Palestinians in exile, go through when the occupying forces of Israel grant us a permit to visit our homes: an experience of being humiliated at checkpoints erected by the Israeli occupiers.

Water aches
by Iqbal Tamimi

When I dozed off
locusts of darkness
invaded my arteries:
blocking the sun,
releasing my paralysis.

Rain-swept fields eroded;
thin, desiccate scraps of parchment thirst scattered;
silence fled to the graveyard.

You were content with
observing the signals flashing
between eyes of salt and
coquettish sugary confections.

Polished lips,
circles of hatred,
hovered like buzzards above them.

How could I curtain my window
where distances were separated from the joints of ecstasy
hiding its heavy shadow in suspicion's bed?

I squeezed the grapes of wild despair
but failed to produce a stream of wine;
nor did my feeble drops manage to wake those
who lay sleeping through the drought.

My cloud passes through each text
Pleading for rain through the cracked clay ...

O my poem!
defraud me!

I might be able to pass through a needle’s eye,
shielded by sand.

The word's giant keeps poking my patience
with his letters' crooked staff,
trying to dislodge the fortune-teller
from the shoulders of my prayer.

I have been burdened
carrying the pains of water;
this season has not miscarried its winter.
His palm, drenched with melting despair,
calloused by hunger,
informs me ...

How can I
redeem the sobbing seasons
and how can I scaffold my martyred sighs?

The painting above, "Thirst on the Way," is by the great Palestinian artist Ismael Shammout. His family was forced to flee from Palestine in 1948 during the Nakba (Arabic for "Catastrophe") after being attacked by Jews. They ended up refugees in Khan Yonis in Gaza Strip. On their way to Gaza his little brother Tawfeeq died of thirst, so he painted this wonderful, painful work of art in the memory of his brother.

Aching clay
by Iqbal Tamimi
for Ismael Shammout

I bridge two points with hesitation
It's a step back
The shoulders of memories
That used to jostle me in a crowd
Evade me

I slip in the bosom of surprise
Your eyes undressed
Exposing … silent cries

You were panicking
Frightened of shaking my hand
That is wet
With a culture of emergency
And signals you do not understand

I bear the pains of clay
You knead the sand
I am the bread of the strangers
You are my homeland of olive and palm trees
The groves I return to when I’m cold

Let’s hide our poem
In the evening’s silk
Tonight we will be a field
Until the trees yawn wearing their birds

As daylight returns from its night out
We have voiced
All the hopes of the faithful
Scaffolding our souls
Still we fear frequent defeats

You are a meteorite
Chased to earth while I sleep
and I am a tempest battering the streets

Our pulses give us away
Two poles you and I
Though my night
Adores perfuming the sleeves of your daylight

The picture above is by Yosef Katalo.

Leave your sin on my palm before you go

For Mahmoud Darwish, who left before my dream awoke, 10/8/2008.

We came from the same tribe of drifters
I left my head behind
Dangling in the well
Swinging with the horsing doors
Can you ... please ...
Leave your sin on my palm before you go
Or send me
An embarrassed tune
Written with your silent eyes
Since we have made a hole
In that ugly apartheid wall
And because I have left behind a poem
Sunbathing with your olive trees in the dunes
And because we
Have paved the way
For armies of wise shoes
Because the feet colluded with heads
Did not know how to choose
And because I ...
Have fallen between the letters
Got stuck between two commas
And because I was the shepherd of my wild dream
Declaring my fears to strangers
Rebelling against the snow
Shivering whenever I read a map
That did not lead home
Or whenever a nation of ignorance
Called my country by a pseudo name
Last night
I saw love sneaking from the crack of my dream
Rarely do I commit such follies
So ... if you don’t mind ..,
Leave your algae on my shirt
It might just bloom some peace

Take me home when I’m dead

Take me home
When I’m dead
I am crowded by corpses
Occupying me
A long queue of departed loved ones
Are still marching in
One after the other
Changing me from within
While one of my eyes
Is teasing the other
Hiding its despair
Behind my sleep
Take me home to my homeland
Where the houses that lost their doors
Are crouching at the borders,
Waiting to hug their orphaned keys
Take me home when I’m dead
To where the hills are waiting
To clothe me in the bush of thyme,
Or resurrect me an olive tree
Take me home when I’m dead
To where the stones of my demolished home
Became the toys of an angry child
Stripped of his right to fly a kite

Take me home when I’m dead
To where I will join the battalions of the freed oppressed
Abandoning their prisons at last
Death will set them free
A thousand years of exile
Will never issue a new birth certificate
For the occupiers’ lies
I might wear a hat
My tongue may forget its name
But my feet will still identify
With the soil
That found its refuge in me
Take me home when I’m dead
To where the houses will embrace their long lost windows
To where the skin of the soil will breathe
When I am reborn an apple tree
I dream of sleeping in the womb of my mother land
Take me home
I am cold
I need to wear my dignity

The picture above was painted by a young Palestinian boy refugee who wrote in Arabic "We have the right of return."

The striver's departure

I wrote this poem for George Habash, a Christian Palestinian hero who was exiled. He was a doctor and a fighter for his city, Lid. He had a tough time in exile, as he had to move from one place to another until he died brokenhearted before he could actualize his dream of returning home. He was nicknamed Al-Hakeem, which means "the Wise Man" in Arabic.

In Memory of a Real Man, the Palestinian Hero, Al-Hakeem ( the Wise Man), George Habash
UK 16/2/2008

He left us,
the dean of strivers.

As he departed us
the pleasure of harvest
was in his hands.

He wore the orange's wounds
to wash the blood of defeat
from his cross ...

A thousand resolutions
in its birth conspired,
for the victory of
feathered wings it sprouted.

Give tribute to the man,
for he paid the price
of amputating his own legs to fly ...

O sky ...

Decorate yourself with jeweled dewdrops
to welcome the free prisoner.

O sky ...

The Hakeem came to you
honor and identity ...

The harvesting season.
Pregnant with sorrow, the spikes were
hoping to miscarry the shame
they carried in their womb.

The lover of Palestine died.
Died ... like the sacred olive trees he represented
standing on his feet.
Died ... the man
who tore his voice's cry
to heal the harp's raucousness.
like autumn's browning leaves.

His pains fell
with the cause he was embracing;
from one trench to another
he decamped.
He was intoxicated
with life's longing
at half a glance
to see Al-Quds' braids
from a hole in the wall.

In our life's bread
Al-Lid's son left us a heritage.

In the almond tree's navel
was his bride's dowry:
a crescent and a cross,
a scalpel and an anthem,
patience and exile,
a handful of sugar and salt,
and a chain of pains
like a bracelet.

O sky ...

Al-Hakeem left us,
an aging cause awaiting its knight.

while stitching its wounds.
Praying ...
while cursing the sons of the dollar.

you have been
mending the sky's wounds
while your own wounds were
and blazing.

In your pockets
you gathered the stings of fire and gunpowder.
Rejoice ...
for you have joined the clouds' battalions.

Oh Sky ...

Rain now
on Palestine, blossoms
of violets ...
Rain sweet as the scent
on Al-Lid's scarf.

Oh Sky,
Oh Al-Hakeem!

On churches and on mosques' domes
mercy you pour.
from the sky.

Deir Yassin's babies' skulls.
And for the blood
of those buried under Jenin's debris.
And for the martyrs of Ibrahim Al-Khalil's house
whose blood
spilled while they knelt in prayer;
they were praying
mercy, happiness and relief ...
praying to God;
they were
praying for salvation,
from the assassins
who attacked from every door ...

Oh Sky ...

The killers dried up the sea,
fired up their swarming hatred
to put the clouds
under curfew.

They pulled up the ground
from under the young ones' feet.
They poisoned
every book's page.

Oh those with Mercy ...

Pray for mothers
who drift without their children.
Pray for stones resting in
our youngsters' hands.

And a dawn that tore its shirt.
on the long nights' doors
to announce his guiltlessness
from Joseph's blood.

for the eleven thousand
war prisoners
who are crucified
on anticipation's doors.

for eyes that never sleep.

Stones that sprouted legs

Written for the memory of my Iraqi colleague
Atwar Bahjat who was killed while reporting from Iraq.

The bed of defeat has always been feminine.
Ever since the sky was within reach
a woman fluffing a wombless vanilla pillow
has given birth to scandals.

The thorns took advantage,
climbing the shoulders of the bare peach,
stealing the bride
whose perfume never swirled in the wind.
The apple went mad,
glued in his grief
to the fingers of his land.

Stripping off his desire
He shouted, cried,
"I’ve perfected banging water drums
because my share of plight is exactly like yours,
although my teardrops
could quench hatred’s fire."

We all perfected the game
attacking the features of things.
We dallied with the nails of our jailer
who bought the East
sometimes with prayers,
at other times
with a convoy of female slaves.

The knight of the mountains
has been collecting our wounds
to sprinkle them on a heap of dew.

He waited a long time
until the stones sprouted legs,
chasing the mud groom
who tested the virginity of the heavens,
bearing his imported season
on the shoulders of winter.

I screamed into his shirt,
"Rescue me please, from this cold body.
My circle has been defeated by armies of frost,
chased by eagles of dust.
Toss your body
against the ink lorry,
Drown your sorrow in a cup of coffee or . . .
die standing up like a wall:
defend the hymen of the thyme;
defend a wagon
ready to load the victims of terror.
Fight for
honey-flavoured Poems,
document your defeat . . . if you choose
on a sobbing poem.
For a lilac became a naked martyr
in becoming a trembling pavement for a camera crew."

Murdered by my own ink

The ports of my papers,
are fields of uncertainties.
I plant my anchor
to secure my old face
while it ages toward oblivion.
My dream is stretching
between a place
under the umbrella of the wind,
an illusion under the rain.
The distance
is . . . too far
to arrest the dead man,
who crucified me
in a hideous, unthinkable moment.
I am just a number within an army
of unlucky ones,
killed by the poison of their own ink,
and the stupidity of their own fingers,
slaughtered by despair.
Our traps
race us in our sleep,
to attend a wedding
between the rain and the desert.
Our pains . . . twitter
While we assassinate ourselves,
hoping some one;
not one of us
will rise
to write a better dirge
while watching the skittering feet of the poor
following their own footprints,
forgetting the phantoms behind,
to the side,
on some other route,
swarming with the dust of honor,
as we abandon our bevy
to increase our number
by . . . one.

Shut the door behind you

Your absence creeps up on me,
Peeping through my sleepy eyes,
Yawning from the look of surprise.
Did you return .... to apologize?

My prides roars, rears back
in the face of my submission.

The clock has swallowed
the hands that danced through my tears.
My wounds have licked their salt.
I will never breathe your breath again.
My sadness is folded away
in the worn purse of memory.

The gulls' wings that weaved
spells beyond the window,
the rusty needle that once
stitched our photos back together
must be shattered beyond repair.

Stuff the sky in an envelope
if you must, stick on all the stamps.
Your letters will never be delivered.

See what remains from the harvest of slaves.
I have been drowned in dew.
Gather me up in a bottle
and like the nectar of pain
spray me on your arid heart.

My fingertip is plucking
on a string which yearns instead
for the touch of a lost legend.

Do not open the diary

Do not open the diary:
I'm afraid the birds
Carrying the sugar plantations under their wings
Will fly away.

My lie has put on its high heels.
I’m still sixteen and a half years old,
Walking on one hair stretched between
Your first promise

And your next one.

And I have never stumbled.

I still believe that silence is more eloquent than words—
But my high is jaded because of one letter.

I don't get drunk on poetry as I used to:
Deception doesn't hurt me any more.

I sleep deeply
And the sky complains:
I cover myself with its rainbows.

I no longer shed bitter tears:
The race of the lines of my face in the mirrors
Has stopped, and I have patched the dress
Of my achievements.

I no longer get a buzz from my persistence.

I no longer cry on a festive day
Because the dust has taken the shine
From my shoes.

I have given up my throne of illusions.

Now I understand the deathly cement crawling on the braids of the thyme,
crushing them beneath its corpselike weight.

Everything is going fine:
Chaos erupts regularly
And all my worries
Seem smaller in size.

I've stopped craving to play with water.

I've stopped watching the sun
Change its scarf behind
The evening’s curtains.

I beg you.
Do not open the diary.
The birds that keep the sugar plantations
Under their wings
Might fly away.

Armed with a prayer

Once upon a crime,
the night
hijacked the face of my homeland.
The next day,
the spring was pronounced dead.
My blood
lost its way rivuletting through sand.
I was not courageous enough
to declare
the theft of my skin;
It was stretched by loathsome hands
to create a new face for an old drum.
There . . .
sat my anxiety
on the banks of pain,
washing my punctured voice,
asking me
how would I . . .
fish for my poem’s crumbs in a mine field?
What could I say?
For . . .
I had lost the dawn in the market,
my mouth was stuffed
with the sweat of my exile,
nothing of me remained
my few half-living fingers
exhuming the guts of lines,
a nose . . .
striving hard to find its way home,
and a pair of eyes,
that looked but could not see
of the absent loved ones,
who used to be there for me.
My pulse was swinging,
documenting my name,
alongside others hanging
on the verge of plight.
My loaf was naked.
I was armed only with a prayer.
A child beneath the rubble
Screamed, calling my name
Mama . . . Please . . .
tell them not to execute my kite.

Iqbal Tamimi's Resume

Organizations and Titles:

Arab Women Media Watch Centre (UK)—Director
The Hypertexts (—Associate Editor ("Editor in Exile")
National Union of Journalists (UK & Ireland)—Member
Dubai Press Club (UAE)—Member
Bristol Multi Faith Forum (UK)- Volunteer
The European Journalism Centre-Member


She was shortlisted for The Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award of 2012 in Berlin and the 2010 UK Journalism Award for accurate and ethical reporting of Muslim World News, besides winning the first prize of Social Photography in 2008 in Birmingham, where her chosen subject was refugee communities.

She has spent 20 years campaigning for women's human rights, especially in the Middle East.
She was one of the first bloggers to publish in Arabic, starting in early 2005.
She campaigned for women’s freedom of choice when it comes to their appearance, education, choosing a partner, line of work.
She campaigned against men of faith who manipulate or misinterpret religious texts to oppress women.
She campaigned for female colleagues who were detained or smeared because of their work in journalism (her profession).
She highlighted the blight of women in minority groups such as the Roma women of Iraq.
She highlighted the lack of balance of male-dominated media organisations in the Middle East.
She reported Saudi the Sheiks' obsession with sex fatwas.
She highlighted the work of prominent women such as Professor Kulthum Odeh, Afifa Karam and other leading Arab women personalities to empower women.


• The impact of television programs on the formation of the awareness of children and youth in the Arab world. Available in Arabic at
• Women Story writers in the GCC and the Emirates: Writing Shifts and Morphologies. Alkhaleej Althaqafi, May 30, 2005 Issue 9507.
• TV Satellites and marketing an alleged culture, Shoun Adabia Journal of research, Writers Union of UAE, Issue No. 49, 2005.
• Palestinian Women Photojournalists Published at the European Journalism Centre.
• The Palestinian Kulthum Odeh (1892 -1965): The first woman professor in the Arab world, Palestine Think Tank, 2009.
• Arabic Drama, Politics & Palestine on TV during Ramadan, Uruknet Info, Art. 57349, 2009
• Muslim Women Cartoonists, (2009) Middle East Online, Art. 36107.
• Palestinian Women in Sport and Journalism: the History of creating the first women's football team, Emirates Tribune, Art. 289627 (2009)
• The Palestinian Refugees of Iraq, 2008, URUKNET Info, Article. 57349.
• Khulaa law in Islam (On women’s right to divorce men) Universal Academy- UK, 2005.
• Informal Mechanisms of Political Participation: Saudi Women’s Cyber Sphere: Democratizing Society from Home

Her articles and poems have appeared on Middle East Online, the London Progressive Journal, Palestine Think Tank, International News Safety Institute, The weekly Worker, Online Journal, EJN News, The Arab American Dialogue, Global Post, The HyperTexts, Muslim News, The Intelligence Daily, United Progressives, Alkhaleej, Alquds Alarabi, Alriyadh, Alrafid, Alrai, AlShaab, Aldustoor, Fact International, Tlaxcala, The Oslo Times and Women’s eNews.

Other Accomplishments:

She earned an MA degree in journalism from the University of West of England in 2010.

Her thesis was "The role of Internet and online Media in the segregated society of Saudi Arabia and women’s use of the Internet as a democratizing tool of communication."

She currently runs the online news website, where she oversees the publication and circulation of articles of interest to Arab and UK professionals interested in learning about media women’s work in the Middle East.

She researched and reported the effect of the internet as a campaigning tool for Saudi women, especially when they are living in a segregated society and interaction with men across borders becomes possible.

She has worked in various media establishments and newsrooms at the leading edge of societal change, helping to create a responsive communications and public affairs strategy for the past 20 years, while campaigning for women’s rights. During this service she attended and participated in a considerable number of media interviews, events and conferences.

She has worked on media campaigns and research on diverse projects such as refugees, women genital mutilation, media transparency, women’s rights, Interfaith efforts, and promoting professional journalism among journalists.

Workshops and Conferences:

The fourth Annual Conference / Arab Women working in the Media—Centre of Media for Women (September 6-9, 2005, Amman, Jordan)
Women in Leadership (December 12-15, 2004, Dubai, UAE)
Evaluation of the Arab Human Progress Report to establish the community of knowledge (January 6, 2004, The Studies Unit, Sharjha, UAE)
International conference of Sport Verses Crime—Dubai Police (November 22-24, 2004)
Reform and Democratic changes in the Arab world—AlKhaleej Centre for Research (May 9-10, 2006, Sharjha, UAE)
The Almanal, Conference / The Image of the Disabled in the Media (May 22-24, 2005, Sharjah UAE)
The Fifth annual conference / Arab Identity Versus Globalization (May 10-11, 2005, Sharjah UAE)
Working for a Better and more Effective Prevention of Drug Abuse—Mentor International (December 2-3, 2004, Dubai, UAE)
Challenges in meeting the mental health needs of asylum seekers and refugees (June 21, 2007, Centennial Centre, Birmingham UK)
Shariah Law in the UK: Theory and Practice held at the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture (April 25, 2007, Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham)

The HyperTexts  

Righteous Jews
Jewish Power

By Paul Eisen - (August 19, 2004)

The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons displaying Jewish religious symbols, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do.

The future is always open and nothing can ever be ruled out; but, for now, it's hard to see how Israel can be stopped. After over fifty years, it is clear that Israel will only relinquish its eliminationist attitude to Palestinians and Palestinian life when it has to. This need not be through military action but it is hard to see how anything else will do. The conventional wisdom - that if America turned off the tap, Israel would be brought to its knees - is far from proven. First, it's not going to happen. Second, those who believe it may well be underestimating both the cohesiveness of Israeli society and the force of Jewish history which permeates it. Even more unlikely is the military option. The only force on earth which could possibly confront Israel is the American military, and, again, that is not going to happen.

Palestinian resistance has been astonishing. After over fifty years of brutal assault by what may well one day be seen as one of the most ruthless and irrational powers of modern times, and with just about every power on earth ranged against them, Palestinians are still with us, still steadfast, still knowing who they are and where they come from. Nonetheless, for the time being effective resistance may be over (though the possibility of organised non-violent resistance can never be ruled out), and, for now, the only strategy open may be no more than one for survival.

For us it is so much easier to deny this reality than to accept it, and doubtless the struggle will continue. How fruitful this will be no-one can say. Although the present seems hopeless, survival is still vital and no-one knows when new opportunities may arise. Anyway, to struggle against injustice is always worth doing. But what if the struggle becomes so delusional that it inhibits rather than advances resistance? What if the struggle becomes a way of avoiding rather than confronting reality? Those slogans "End the Occupation!" and "Two States for Two Peoples!" are now joined by a new slogan, "The One-State Solution!" This is every bit as fantastic as its predecessors because, just as there never was going to be an end to the occupation, nor a real Palestinian state, so, for now, there is no possibility of any "one state" other than the state of Israel which now stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and the only "solution" is a final solution and even that cannot be ruled out.

"Zionism is not Judaism;
Judaism is not Zionism�."

The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons with Jewish religious symbols all over them, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do. The past is just too terrible. All of us know of the hatred and violence to which accusations against Jews have led in the past. Also, if we were to examine critically the role of Jews in this conflict, what would become of us and of our struggle? Would we be labelled anti-Semites and lose much of the support that we have worked so hard to gain?

The present, too, is full of ambiguities. Zionism is not Judaism; Judaism is not Zionism has become an article of faith, endlessly repeated, as is the assertion that Zionism is a secular ideology opposed, for much of its history, by the bulk of religious Jews and even now still opposed by true Torah Jews such as Neturei Karta. But Zionism is now at the heart of Jewish life with religious Jews amongst the most virulent of Zionists and Neturei Karta, despite their impeccable anti-Zionism, their beautiful words and the enthusiasm with which they are welcomed at solidarity rallies, etc., may well be just Jews in fancy dress, a million miles from the reality of Jewish life.

And even if Zionism can still be disentangled from Judaism, can it be distinguished from a broader Jewish identity or Jewishness? So often Zionism is proclaimed to be a modern add-on to Jewish identity, another, albeit anachronistic, settler-colonial ideology simply adopted by Jews in response to their predicament. But, could it be that our need to avoid the accusation of anti-Semitism and our own conflicted perceptions and feelings, our insistence that Zionism and Jewishness are separate, has led us seriously to misunderstand the situation? Has our refusal to look squarely at the very Jewishness of Zionism and its crimes caused us to fail to understand exactly what we are up against?

Jews, Judaism and Zionism

Jews are complex; Jewish identity is complex and the relationship between Judaism the religion, and a broader, often secular, Jewish identity or Jewishness is very complex indeed. Jewishness may be experienced a long way from synagogue, yeshiva or any other formal aspect of Jewish religious life, yet is often still inextricably bound to Judaism. That is why secular Jews are able to proclaim their secularity every bit as loudly as they proclaim their Jewishness. Marc Ellis, a religious Jew, says that when you look at those Jews who are in solidarity with Palestinians, the overwhelming majority of them are secular - but, from a religious point of view, the Covenant is with them. For Ellis, these secular Jews unknowingly and even unwillingly may be carrying with them the future of Jewish life.

Jewish identity, connecting Jews to other Jews, comes from deep within Jewish history. This is a shared history, both real and imagined, in that it is both literal and theological. Many Jews in the west share a real history of living together as a distinct people in Eastern, Central and then Western Europe and America. Others share a real history of settlement in Spain followed by expulsion and then settlement all over the world, particularly in Arab and Islamic lands. But this may not be what binds all Jews, because for all Jews it is not a real, but maybe a theological, history that is shared. Most Palestinians today probably have more Hebrew blood in their little fingers then most western Jews have in their whole bodies. And yet, the story of the Exodus from Egypt is as real to many of them, and most importantly was as real to them when they were children, as if they, along with all Jews, had stood with Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai.

And histories like that don't stop at the present. Even for secular Jews, though unacknowledged and even unrealized, there is a sense, not only of a shared history, but also of a shared destiny. Central to Jewish identity both religious and non-religious is the sense of mission centered on exile and return. How else to explain the extraordinary devotion of so many Jews, religious and secular, to the "return" to a land with which, in real terms, they have very little connection at all?

For many Jews, this history confers a 'specialness'. This is not unique to Jews - after all, who in their heart of hearts does not feel a little bit special? But for Jews this specialness is at the centre of their self-identification and much of the world seems to concur. For religious Jews, the specialness comes from the supposed covenant with God. But for secular Jews, the specialness comes from a special history. In either case this can be a good, even a beautiful, thing. In much of Jewish religious tradition this specialness is no more than a special moral obligation, a special responsibility to offer an example to the world, and for so many secular Jews it has led them to struggle for justice in many places around the world.

At the heart of this Jewish specialness is Jewish suffering and victimhood. Like the shared history itself, this suffering may, but need not, correspond to reality. Jews have certainly suffered but their suffering remains unexamined and unexplained. The Holocaust, now the paradigm of Jewish suffering, has long ceased to be a piece of history, and is now treated by religious and secular alike, as a piece of theology - a sacred text almost - and therefore beyond scrutiny. And the suffering never ends. No matter how much Jews have suffered they are certainly not suffering now, but for many Jews their history of suffering is not just an unchallengeable past but also a possible future. So, no matter how safe Jews may be, many feel just a hair's-breadth away from Auschwitz.

Zionism is at the heart of this. Zionism is also complex and also comes from deep within Jewish history with the same sense of exile and return. Zionism also confirms that Jews are special in their suffering and is explicit that Jews should 'return' to a land given to them, and only them - by God if they are religious, or by history if they are not - because they simply are not safe anywhere else on earth.

But so what? If Jews think that they are a people with a religious link to a land and have a deep wish to 'return', why should we care, so long as the land is not already populated by Palestinians? And if Jews feel that they are special and that God has made some kind of special arrangement with them, so what, so long as this does not lead them to demand preferential treatment and to discriminate against others? And if Jews feel that they have suffered like no-one else on the face of the earth, fine, so long as they do not use this suffering to justify the imposition of suffering on others and to blackmail morally the whole world into quiescent silence.

This is the problem with Zionism. It expresses Jewish identity but also empowers it. It tells Jews (and many others too) that Jews can do what Jews have always dreamed of doing. It takes the perfectly acceptable religious feelings of Jews, or if you prefer, the perfectly harmless delusions of Jews, and tries to turn them into a terrible reality. Jewish notions of specialness, choseness and even supremacism, are fine for a small, wandering people, but, when empowered with a state, an army and F16s become a concern for us all.

Zionism as Jewish empowerment in statehood changes everything. Israel is not just any state, it is a Jewish state and this means more than just a state for Jews. This Jewish state is built on traditions and modes of thought that have evolved amongst Jews for centuries - amongst which are the notions that Jews are special and that their suffering is special. By their own reckoning, Jews are "a nation that dwells alone" it is "us and them" and, in many cases, "us or them". And these tendencies are translated into the modern state of Israel. This is a state that knows no boundaries. It is a state that both believes, and uses as justification for its own aggression, the notion that its very survival is always at stake, so anything is justified to ensure that survival. Israel is a state that manifestly believes that the rules of both law and humanity, applicable to all other states, do not apply to it.

Their own worst nightmare

It is a terrible irony that this empowerment of Jews has come to most resemble those empowerments under which Jews have suffered the most. Empowered Christianity, also a marriage of faith and power, enforced its ideology and pursued its dissidents and enemies with no greater fervor than has empowered Judaism. In its zeal and self belief, Zionism has come to resemble the most brutal and relentless of modern ideologies. But unlike the brutal rationality of Stalinism, willing to sacrifice millions for political and economic revolution, this Jewish ideology, in its zealotry and irrationality, resembles more the National Socialism which condemned millions for the attainment of a nonsensical racial and ethnic supremacy.

Of course there are differences but there are also similarities. National Socialism, like Zionism, another blend of mysticism and power, gained credibility as a means to right wrongs done to a victimized people. National Socialism, like Zionism, also sought to maintain the racial/ethnic purity of one group and to maintain the rights of that ethnic group over others, and National Socialism, like Zionism, also proposed an almost mystical attachment of that group to a land. Also, both National Socialism and Zionism shared a common interest - to separate Jews from non-Jews, in this case to remove Jews from Europe - and actively co-operated in the attainment of this aim. And if the similarity between these two ideologies is simply too great and too bitter to accept, one may ask what National Socialism with its uniforms, flags and mobilized youth must have looked like to those Germans, desperate after Versailles and the ravages of post-First World War Germany. Perhaps not so different from how the uniforms, flags and marching youth of pre- and post-state Zionism must have looked to Jews after their history of suffering, and particularly after the Holocaust.

This is, for Jews, their own worst nightmare: the thing they love the most has become the thing they hate the most. And for those Jews and others, who shrink from the comparison, let them ask themselves this: What would an average German, an enthusiastic Nazi even, have said in, say, 1938 had they been confronted with the possibility of an Auschwitz? They would have thought that you were stark, staring mad.

American Jews and Jewish America

At the heart of the conflict is the relationship between Israel and America. The statistics - billions in aid and loans, UN vetoes, etc., etc. need not be repeated here - American support for Israel seems limitless. But what is the nature of this support? For many, perhaps most, the answer is relatively simple. Israel is a client state of America, serving American interests or, more particularly, the interests of its power elites. This view is underpinned by the obvious importance of oil, the huge strategic importance of the region and the fact that, if Israel did not further the interests of those who control America, then we can be sure America would not support Israel. Also, there is no doubt that, in the IDF, America has found a marvellously flexible and effective force, easily aroused and let loose whenever any group of Arabs get a little above themselves.

But is this the whole story? Does Israel really serve America's interests and is their relationship wholly based on the sharing of these interests? Consider how much in terms of goodwill from other nations America loses by its support for Israel, and consider the power and influence of the "Jewish", "Zionist" or "pro-Israel" lobby, as when many an otherwise responsible lawmaker, faced with the prospect of an intervention in their re-election campaign from the Jewish lobby, seems happy to put his or her re-election prospects way in front of what is good for America.

The details of the workings of AIPAC and others, and the mechanics by which these groups exert pressure on America's lawmakers and governors, have been dealt with elsewhere; we need only note that this interest group is undoubtedly extraordinarily effective and successful. Not just a small group of Jews supporting Israel, as its supporters would have us believe, these are powerful and committed ideologues: billionaires, media magnates, politicians, activists and religious leaders. In any event, the power of the Jewish lobby to make or break pretty well any public figure is legendary - not for nothing is it often referred to simply as "The Lobby".

But again, there may be far more to the Israel/U.S. relationship than just a commonality of interest and the effectiveness of certain interest groups. That support for Israel must be in the interests of those who control America is certainly true, but who controls America? Perhaps the real relationship is not between Israel and America but between Jews and America.

The overwhelming majority of Jews in America live their lives just like any other Americans. They've done well and are undoubtedly pleased that America supports their fellow Jews in Israel but that's as far as it goes. Nonetheless, an awful lot of Jews certainly do control an awful lot of America - not the industrial muscle of America - the steel, transport, etc., nor the oil and arms industries, those traditional money-spinners. No, if Jews have influence anywhere in America, it's not over its muscle and sinew but over its blood and its brain. It is in finance and the media that we find a great many Jews in very influential positions. Lists abound (though you have to go to some pretty unpopular websites to find them) of Jews, prominent in financial and cultural life: Jews in banks; Jews in Forbes Magazine's Richest Americans; Jews in Hollywood; Jews in TV; Jewish journalists, writers, critics, etc., etc.

Nor have Jews been slow in exploiting their position. Jews have not hesitated to use whatever resources they have to advance their interests as they see them. Nor does one need to subscribe to any conspiracy theory to note how natural it is for Jews in the media to promote Jews and their values as positive and worthy of emulation. When did anyone last see a Jew portrayed in anything other than a favourable light? Jews are clever, moral, interesting, intense, warm, witty, complex, ethical, contradictory, prophetic, infuriating, sometimes irritating, but always utterly engaging. Nor is it any wonder that Jews in influential positions are inclined to promote what they see as Jewish collective interests. Is it really all that incredible that Jewish advisers around the Presidency bear Israel's interests at heart when they advise the President on foreign affairs?

But so what? So there are a lot of Jews with a lot of money, and a lot of Jews with a lot to say and the means to say it. If Jews by virtue of their ability and use of resources (as honestly gained as by anyone else) promote what they perceive as their own collective interest, what's wrong with that? First, with some notable exceptions, the vast majority of Jews can, in good faith, lay hands on hearts and swear that they never take decisions or actions with collective Jewish interests in mind, certainly not consciously. And even if they did, they are acting no differently from anyone else. With a few exceptions, Jews have earned their advantageous positions. They came with nothing, played according to the rules and, if they use their influence to further what they perceive as Jewish interests, what's so special about that? Do not the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Gun lobby, the Christian Evangelicals also not work to further their group interests?

The difference between Jews and other groups is that they probably do it better. Jews are, by pretty well any criteria, easily the most successful ethnic group in America and, for whatever reason, have been extraordinarily successful in promoting themselves both individually and collectively. And there would probably be nothing wrong with this were it not for the fact that these same people who exert so much control and influence over American life also seem to refuse to be held accountable. It is the surreptitiousness with which Jews are perceived to have achieved their success which arouses suspicion. Jews certainly seem cagey about the influence they have. Just breathe the words "Jewish power" and wait for the reaction. They claim it's because this charge has so often been used as a precursor to discrimination and violence against them, but never consider the possibility that their own reluctance to discuss the power they wield arouses suspicion and even hostility.

But there is another claim, subtler and more worrying. This is that it doesn't exist; that Jews do not wield power, that there is no Jewish lobby; that Jews in America do not exert power and influence to advance Jewish interests, even that there are no such things as Jewish interests! There are no Jewish interests in the war in Iraq, there are no Jewish interests in America; most amazing, there are no Jewish interests even in Israel and Palestine. There is no Jewish collective. Jews do not act together to advance their aims. They even say that the pro-Israeli lobby has actually not all that much to do with Jews, that the Jewishness of Israel is irrelevant and the Public Affairs Committees (PACs) which lobby so hard for Israel are in fact doing no more than supporting an ally and thus looking after America's best interests even to the extent of concealing their true purpose behind names such as "American for Better Citizenship", "Citizen's Organised PAC" or the "National PAC" - none of which make one reference in their titles to Israel, Zionism or Jews. Similarly, Jews and Jewish organisations are said to be not so much furthering Jewish interests and values as American, or, even, universal interests and values. So, the major Holocaust Museum, styled as a "Museum of Tolerance", focuses not only on anti-Semitism, but on every kind of intolerance known to mankind (except that shown by Jews to non-Jews in Israel and Palestine). Similarly, the Anti-Defamation League is but an organisation for the promotion of universal principles of tolerance and justice, not just for Jews but for everyone.

This conflation of Jewish interests with American interests is nowhere more stark than in present American foreign policy. If ever an image was reminiscent of a Jewish world conspiracy, the spectacle of the Jewish neo-cons gathered around the current presidency and directing policy in the Middle East, this must be it. But we are told that the fact that the Jewish neo-cons, many with links with right wing political groups within Israel, are in the forefront of urging a pro-Israel policy, is but a coincidence, and any suggestion that these figures might be influenced by their Jewishness and their links with Israel is immediately marginalised as reviving old anti-Semitic myths about Jewish dual loyalty. The idea that American intervention in Iraq, the one viable military counterweight to Israeli hegemony in the Middle East and therefore an inspiration to Arab and Palestinian resistance, primarily serves Israeli rather than American interests has also been consigned to the nether world of mediaeval anti-Semitic myth. The suggestion that those Jews around the president act from motives other than those to promote the interests of all Americans is just anti-Semitic raving. And maybe they're right. Perhaps those who promote Jewish interests are in fact promoting American interests because, for now at least, they appear to be one and the same.

Jewish America

In Washington, D.C. is a memorial to a terrible tragedy. Not a memorial to a tragedy visited on Americans by a foreign power as at Pearl Harbour or 9/11, nor to a tragedy visited by Americans on Americans such the sacking of Atlanta. Nor is it a memorial of contrition to a tragedy inflicted by Americans onto another people, such as to slavery or to the history of racial injustice in America. It is to none of these. The Holocaust memorial is to a tragedy inflicted on people who were not Americans, by people who were not Americans, and in a place a very long way from America. And the co-religionists or, even, if you like, the co-nationals, of the people on whom the tragedy was visited and to whom the memorial is built make up around two percent of the American population. How is it that a group of people who make up such a tiny percentage of the overall American population can command such respect and regard that a memorial to them is built in the symbolic heart of American national life?

The Jewish narrative is now at the centre of American life, certainly that of its cultural and political elites. There is, anyway, much in the way that Americans choose to see themselves and their history which is quite naturally compatible with the way Jews see themselves and their history. What more fitting paradigm for a country founded on immigration, than the story of the mass immigration of Jews at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? For many Americans, the story of those Jews who came to their Goldenes Medina, their Golden Land, with nothing and, through hard work and perseverance, made it to the very top of American society, is also their story. And what could be more inspirational for a country, if not officially but still viscerally, deeply Christian than the story of the Jews, Jesus' own people and God's chosen people, returning to their ancient homeland and transforming it into a modern state. And for a nation which sees itself as a beacon of democracy in the world, what better international soul-mate than the state of Israel, widely held to be "the only democracy in the Middle-East"? Finally what greater validation for a country itself founded on a narrative of conquest and ethnic cleansing than the Biblical narrative of the conquest and ethnic cleansing of the Promised Land with the addition of the equally violent settlement of modern Palestine with its own ethnic cleansing and then "making the desert bloom"?

Most resonant, of course, is the notion of Jews as a suffering people. The fact that this "suffering people" is now enjoying a success beyond the dreams of any other ethnic group in America seems irrelevant. Also ignored is how American Jews have made it to the very top of American society whilst, every step of the way, complaining about how much they're being discriminated against. Nonetheless, to America, Jews have an enduring and ongoing history of suffering and victimhood. But this history has rarely been examined or even discussed.

A Suffering People

That Jews have suffered is undeniable, but Jewish suffering is claimed to have been so enduring, so intense and so particular that it is to be treated differently from other sufferings. The issue is complex and cannot be fully debated or decided here but the following points may stimulate thought and discussion.

  • During even the most terrible times of Jewish suffering such as the Crusades or the Chmielnitzky massacres of seventeenth century Ukraine, and even more so at other times in history, it has been said that the average peasant would have given his eye-teeth to be a Jew. The meaning is clear: generally speaking, and throughout most of their history, the condition of Jews was often far superior to the mass of the population.

  • The above-mentioned Ukrainian massacres took place in the context of a peasant uprising against the oppression of the Ukrainian peasantry by their Polish overlords. As has often been the case, Jews were seen as occupying a traditional position of being in alliance with the ruling class in their oppression of the peasantry. Chmielnitzky, the leader of this popular uprising, is today a Ukrainian national hero, not for his assaults on Jews (there are even references to his having offered poor Jews to join the uprising against their exploitative co-religionists - the Jews declined) but for his championing of the rights of the oppressed Ukrainians. Again, the inference is plain: outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence, though never justified, have often been responses to Jewish behaviour both real and imaginary.

  • In the Holocaust three million Polish Jews died, but so did three million non-Jewish Poles. Jews were targeted but so were Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs and Poles. Similarly, the Church burned Jews for their dissenting beliefs but then the church burned everyone for their dissenting beliefs. So again, the question must be asked: what's so special about Jewish suffering?
The Holocaust, the paradigm for all anti-Semitism and all Jewish suffering, is treated as being beyond examination and scrutiny. Questioning the Holocaust narrative is, at best, socially unacceptable, leading often to social exclusion and discrimination, and, at worst, in some places is illegal and subject to severe penalty. Holocaust revisionist scholars, named Holocaust deniers by their opponents, have challenged this. They do not deny a brutal and extensive assault on Jews by the Nazi regime but they do deny the Holocaust narrative as framed by present day establishments and elites. Specifically, their denial is limited to three main areas. First, they deny that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe; second, they deny that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers; third, they claim that the numbers of Jewish victims of the Nazi assault have been greatly exaggerated.

But none of this is the point. Whether those who question the Holocaust narrative are revisionist scholars striving to find the truth and shamelessly persecuted for opposing a powerful faction, or whether they are crazy Jew-haters denying a tragedy and defaming its victims, the fact is that one may question the Armenian genocide, one may freely discuss the Slave Trade, one can say that the murder of millions of Ibos, Kampucheans and Rwandans never took place and that the moon is but a piece of green cheese floating in space, but one may not question the Jewish Holocaust. Why? Because, like the rest of the Jewish history of suffering, the Holocaust underpins the narrative of Jewish innocence which is used to bewilder and befuddle any attempt to see and to comprehend Jewish power and responsibility in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere in the world.

Jewish Power

What is a Jew?

Israel Shamir, the Russian-born Israeli writer, advocates the right of all people, whatever their ethnicity or religion, to live together in complete equality between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Shamir condemns the behaviour of Israel and of Diaspora Jews and calls for an end to their preferential treatment, but he also proposes an opposition to Judaism itself for which he stands accused of being anti-Jewish - a charge he does not deny but actually embraces.

Shamir proposes the existence of a Jewish ideology, or "Jewish paradigm" as he puts it, and proposes that it is the voluntary adherence to this "spirit" which makes a Jew into a Jew. For him, Jewishness is neither race nor ethnicity - there is, for Shamir, no such thing as a Jewish 'tribe' or 'family' - no biological or ethnic body from which there can be no escape. Further, this ideology, based on notions of choseness, exclusivity and even supremacism is, at least when empowered, incompatible with peace, equality and justice in Palestine or anywhere else for that matter.

No-one wants to oppose any Jews simply for being Jews, or even for what they believe, but only because of what they do. The problem is that since, according to Shamir, what Jews believe and even do is precisely what makes them into Jews, so opposition to Jewishness as an ideology surely comes dangerously close to opposition to Jews simply for being Jews. But for Shamir, Jews are Jews because they choose to be Jews. Someone may be born of Jews and raised as a Jew but they can if they wish reject their Jewish upbringing and become a non-Jew. And many have done just that including such famous escapees as Karl Marx, St. Paul, Leon Trotsky (and Shamir himself), etc. Opposition to Jews is not, therefore, like opposition to Blacks or to Asians or to other common racist attitudes since the object of the opposition is perfectly able to relinquish the ideology in question.

Shamir has never in any way called for any harm to be done to Jews or anyone else, nor for Jews or anyone else to be discriminated against in any way. Adherence to this Jewish ideology is, for Shamir, regrettable, but not, in itself, a matter for active opposition. Nor does this mean that Shamir is opposed to any individual Jew just because he or she is a Jew. What Shamir actively opposes is not "Jews" but "Jewry". Analogous to say, the Catholic Church, Jewry consists of those organised Jews and their leaders who actively promote corrosive Jewish interests and values, particularly now in the oppression of the Palestinians.

One doesn't have to be in complete agreement with Shamir to understand what he is talking about. Why should Jews not have a "spirit"; after all, such a concept has been discussed with regard to other nations?

"It is dangerous, wrong, to speak about the "Germans," or any other people, as of a single undifferentiated entity, and include all individuals in one judgement. And yet I don't think I would deny that there exists a spirit of each people (otherwise it would not be a people) a Deutschtum, an italianitia, an hispanidad: they are the sums of traditions, customs, history, language, and culture. Whoever does not feel within himself this spirit, which is national in the best sense of the word, not only does not entirely belong to his own people but is not part of human civilization. Therefore, while I consider insensate the syllogism, 'All Italians are passionate; you are Italian; therefore you are passionate," I do however believe it legitimate, within certain limits, to expect from Italians taken as a whole, or from Germans, etc., one specific, collective behavior rather than another. There will certainly be individual exceptions, but a prudent, probabilistic forecast is in my opinion possible." Primo Levi

And for Jews it is, perhaps, even more appropriate. The place of Judaism as an ideology at the centre for all Jewish identity may be debated, but few would dispute that Judaism is at least at the historic heart of Jewishness and, whatever else may bind Jews together, it is certainly true that religion plays an important part. Second, for a group of people who have retained such a strong collective identity with no shared occupation of any land, language, nor even, in many cases, a culture, it is hard to see what else there could be that makes Jews into Jews. Surely for Jews, in the absence of other, more obvious factors, it is precisely such a spirit that has enabled them to retain their distinctive identity for so long and in the face of such opposition.

But if there is some kind of Jewish spirit or ideology, what is it? As far as Judaism, the religion, goes it seems fairly clear that there is an ideology based on the election of Israel by God, the special relationship Jews are supposed to have with God and the special mission allocated to Jews by God. So for observant Jews there is a special quality intrinsic to the covenant and to Judaism itself, though not all of them find it appealing:

"There is a strain in Jewish thought that says there is a special Godly something or other that is passed down in a certain genetic line which confers a special quality on people and Jewishness is a special quality. I call that metaphysical racism." Rabbi Mark Solomon

But whilst easy to see such a common spirit in religious Jews - after all it is precisely that which makes them religious - it is so much harder to define it in secular Jews, those Jews who reject, often quite vociferously, all aspects of Jewish faith. They often claim that they don't have an ideology, or that their ideology is one of, say, the left: not only not Jewish, but opposed to all religions including Judaism. Yet seemingly so free of all such ignorant superstition, these same people still call themselves Jews, still more often than not marry other Jews and still turn up to solidarity rallies only with other Jews and under Jewish banners. What is their ideology?

For my money it is much the same sense of specialness found in religious Jews but with a special reference to victimhood. "Yes, but only in the Hitlerian sense", answered philosopher Maxime Rodinson when asked if he still considered himself a Jew. For many of these Jews it is their identity as a threatened and victimized people that makes them Jews. "Hitler said I was a Jew, so I may as well be a Jew" is one response or "To be a Jew somehow denies all those who ever persecuted Jews a victory- so I'm a Jew". For these Jews, albeit estranged from Jewish religious and often community life as well, Emil Fackenheim's famous post-Holocaust 614th commandment (to add to the other 613): Thou shall survive! is an absolute imperative. But whatever the motive, this self-identity runs very deep indeed. Amongst these Jews, no matter how left or progressive they may be, one may criticise Israel to the nth degree, poke fun at the Jewish establishment and even shamefully denigrate Judaism as a religion, but depart one iota from the approved text on anti-Semitism and Jewish suffering, and you are in deep trouble. For these rational folk, Jewish suffering and anti-Semitism is every bit as inexplicable, mysterious and therefore, unchallengeable as for any religious Jew.

Jewish secularism is often offered as evidence that there is no such thing as a Jewish identity gathered around any shared ideology. After all, if all Jews subscribe to the same basic ideology, then how come so many Jews so obviously don't? And if all Jews essentially support the same interests, how come so many Jews so obviously don't? But is it that obvious? Not only do secular Jews very often seem to subscribe to Jewish notions of specialness and victimhood, but also, in their attitudes to non-Jews in general, and Palestinians in particular, they are by no means all that different from religious Jews.

It is often quoted how many Jews are in solidarity movements with Palestinians and how many of these are secular. And it's true: there are many Jews in sympathy with the Palestinians and the overwhelming majority are secular, and the main thrust of post-1967 virulent Zionism has come to be associated with the religious right. But this secular Jewish tradition, in fact, has been at the forefront of Zionism's assault on the Palestinians. It was secular Labour Zionists who created the Zionist ideology and the pre-state Jewish-only society. It was secular Zionists - good, humanistic, left-wing kibbutzniks - who directed and carried out the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians, and the destruction of their towns and villages. It was secular Zionists who established the present state with all its discriminatory practices; and it was a largely secular Labour government that held the Palestinian citizens of Israel under military government in their own land for eighteen years. Finally, it was a secular, Labour government which conquered the West Bank and Gaza, and first built the settlements, and embarked on the Oslo peace process, coolly designed to deceive the Palestinians into surrendering their rights.

And even those secular Jews who do support Palestinian rights, on so many occasions, the solidarity they offer is limited by self interest. That these people, at least as much as anyone else, act out of their highest motives may be true. Many have been lifelong activists for many causes and many find their activism springs, consciously or unconsciously, from what they see as the highest ideals of their Jewishness. But nonetheless for many of them, solidarity with Palestinians means above all, the protection of Jews. They call for a Palestinian state on 22 per cent of the Palestinian homeland, but only to keep and protect the 'Jewishness' of the Jewish state. The Palestinian state they call for would inevitably be weak, dominated by the Israeli economy and under the guns of the Israeli military - surely they must know what this would mean!

At rally after rally, in speeches and on leaflets and banners, these Jews denounce the occupation: "Down with the occupation�down with the occupation�down with the occupation�" but not a word of the inherent injustice of a state for Jews only; perhaps a mention of the ill-gotten gains of 1948, but nothing of the right of return of the refugees, no restitution merely 'a just solution' taking account, of course, of Israel's 'demographic concerns'. "We are with you�.we are with you�.we are with you" they say "...but...". Whether it be condemnation of some form of Palestinian resistance of which they disapprove, or some real or perceived occurrence of anti-Semitism, for these Jews there is always a "but."

They should take a leaf from Henry Herskovitz. He is part of an organisation called Jewish Witnesses for Peace, which holds silent vigils outside synagogues on shabbat. Of course, all the other Jewish activists are shrieking at him that you mustn't target Jews for protest, that you must draw a distinction between Jews, Israelis and Zionists, that you'll only alienate the people we want to engage.... but he doesn't care. He knows that support from the Jewish mainstream, as Tony Cliff the Trotskyite used to say, "�.is like honey on your elbow - you can see it, you can smell it but you can never quite taste it!" Henry also knows that to say that Jews in America individually and in their religious and community organisations should not be held accountable for what is happening is a lie and discredits all Jews before the non-Jewish world.

So these secular Jews often end up being just another round of Michael Neuman's "veritable shell game" of Jewish identity. "Look! We're a religion! No! a race! No! a cultural entity! Sorry--a religion!" Because this is the key to maintaining Jewish power - if it's indefinable, it's invisible. Like a Stealth Bomber (you can't see it on your radar but you sure know when you've been hit) Jewish power, with its blurred outlines and changing forms, becomes invisible. And if you can't see it you can't fight it. Meanwhile the assault on the Palestinians continues.

"The Jews"

The phrase is itself terrifying because of its past association with discrimination and violence against Jews, but Jews themselves have no problem with it. The notion of a Jewish People is at the centre of Jewish faith with Jews of all or no degrees of religious adherence over and over again affirming its existence. It is also at the heart of Zionism even in its most secular forms and is written into the foundational texts of the state of Israel. The concept even received international legal approval when the Jewish people were declared, by the West German state, to be the post-war residual heirs of intestate Jews. And yet it is an absolute article of faith for everyone, including those in the solidarity movement, that while we may criticize and confront Israel and Israelis, we may not criticize and confront the Jewish people and Jews. Unlike Israel and any other state, the Jewish People has no common policy and any attack on the Jewish people is, therefore, aimed at what they are and not at what they do.

But is speaking of the Jews doing this or doing that any more or less acceptable than speaking of, say, the Americans? If the American military lays waste a third world country, it is done by order of the government (a small group) with the full support of the ruling elites (another small group), the tacit support of a substantial segment of the population (a larger group), the silent denial of probably the majority of the population (a very large group) and the opposition of a tiny minority (a small group). Is it all that different with Jews?

It may be. Unlike the United States, 'the Jews' are not a legally constituted body and they do not have an obvious and defined common policy. 'The Jews' do not have an officially designated leadership, nor do they inhabit one area of land, nor do they speak a common language or even share a common culture. Theoretically at least there seem to be so many differences as to render any comparison untenable. In practice this may not be the whole story.

It is true that 'the Jews' do not constitute a legally recognized body, but Zionism, with its claim to represent all Jews, has increasingly confused the issue. It is also true that the Zionists do not represent all Jews but they do represent the views of very many Jews indeed, and certainly the most powerful and influential Jews. And there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of organized Jews are fully behind the Zionist project. That 'the Jews' do not have a formally designated leadership does not mean that they have no leadership - bodies again to which the overwhelming majority of organized Jews owe allegiance: the Israeli Government, the World Zionist Organization; numerous large and powerful Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, The Simon Wiesenthal Centre; lesser bodies such as the Board of Deputies of British Jews and similar organizations in every country in which Jews reside. Then there is the extensive network of Jewish bodies often linked, through synagogues to the whole spectrum of mainstream Jewish religious and community life. All these bodies with their vast and interconnected network do provide leadership; they do have clearly defined policies and they are all four-square behind Zionism and Israel in its assault on the Palestinians.

Does this constitute a definable Jewish collective engaged in advancing Jewish interests? Officially, perhaps not, but, effectively, when one notes the remarkable unanimity of intent of all these bodies, the answer may well be yes. They do not of course represent all Jews nor are all individual Jews responsible for their actions, but nonetheless 'the Jews' - organized, active and effective Jews - are as responsible for the pursuit of Jewish interests in Palestine and elsewhere as 'the Americans' in Vietnam, 'the French' in Algeria, and 'the British' in India.

So why should our response be different? Why should 'the Jews' not be as accountable as 'the Americans' and even ordinary Jews as accountable as ordinary Americans? Why do we not picket the offices of the Anti-Defamation League or The Conference of Presidents or the offices or even the homes of Abe Foxman, Edgar Bronfman and Mort Zuckerman in the U.S. and Neville Nagler in the U.K.? Why do we not heckle Alan Dershowitz in the U.S. and Melanie Phillips in the U.K.? What about the U.K. Chief Rabbi who in his time has had lots to say about Israel and Palestine? Why do we not take the struggle to every synagogue and Jewish community centre in the world? After all, every Shabbat a prayer is said for the state of Israel in every mainstream synagogue in the land, most of which are focal points for Zionist propagandizing and fundraising, so why should these Jews who choose to combine their prayers and their politics be immune while at prayer from our legitimate protests at their politics? And for those few Jews who are really prepared to stand up and be counted for their solidarity with Palestinians, why can we not still give to them due honour and regard as we did to those few Americans who opposed American imperialism and those white South Africans who opposed apartheid?

The answer is that we are frightened. Even knowing that Jews are responsible and should be held accountable, still we are frightened. We are frightened because criticism of Jews with its woeful history of violence and discrimination seems just too dangerous a position to take - it may open the flood-gates to a burst of Jew hatred. We are frightened that if we were to discuss the role of Jews in this conflict and in other areas and begin to hold Jews accountable, we might be labelled anti-Semites and lose support. And, perhaps most of all, we are frightened of the conflicted inner passions that confound us all whenever we come to look at these things.

Does speaking the truth about Jewish identity, power and history lead to Jews being led to concentration camps and ovens? Of course it doesn't! It is hatred, fear and the suppression of free thought and speech which leads to these things - whether the hatred, fear and suppression is directed against Jews or by Jews. Anyway, despite efforts to convince us to the contrary, we do not live in the thirteenth century. Californians are unlikely to pour out of their cinemas showing Mel Gibson's 'Passion' chanting "Death to the Jews!" And, at a time when Jews in Israel/Palestine, overwhelmingly backed by Jewish organisations in the west, are desecrating churches and mosques wholesale and brutally oppressing entire Christian and Muslim populations, we may be forgiven for finding it hard to get excited about graffiti daubed on some synagogue somewhere.

If we were to begin to engage with the role of Jews in this conflict, we may well be labelled anti-Semites and we may well, initially at least, lose support. The anti-Semite curse has long served as a frightener to silence all criticism of Jews, Israel and Zionism, and undoubtedly will be used to discredit our cause. But so what? They call us anti-Semites anyway so what's to lose? Edward Said spent a lifetime picking his way through the Israel/Zionism/Judaism minefield and never once criticised Jews, and he was called an anti-Semite his whole life, right up to and even after his death. As a movement we have probably spent as much time being nice to Jews as we have speaking up for Palestinians, and for what? Where has it got us? We are not racists and we are not anti-Semites, so let them do their worst. We shall speak our minds.

For so long now Jews have told the world that black is white and not only that, but also if anyone should dare to deny that black is white they will be denounced as anti-Semites with all the attendant penalties. We are held in a moral and intellectual lock, the intention of which has been to silence all criticism of Israeli and Jewish power. In saying the unsayable we may set ourselves and others free. And think how it will feel the next time you are called an anti-Semite to say "Well, I don't know about that, but I do have some very strong but legitimate criticisms to make of Jews and the way they are behaving�.and I intend to speak out"?

And you never know; we may be pleasantly surprised. Israel Shamir, who has no trouble whatsoever in calling a Jew a Jew, was cheered spontaneously recently when he introduced himself from the floor at a London solidarity meeting. I saw it with my own eyes. His first English-language book has just been published; he corresponds freely and reciprocally with many highly respected figures and is on the boards of advisers of The Association for One Democratic State in Palestine and of Deir Yassin Remembered. Perhaps it's all just a case of the Emperor's new clothes. Perhaps we're all just waiting for some innocent child to blow the whistle.

The situation facing the Palestinian people is truly terrible. Old political strategies have got us nowhere. We need a new and widened debate. It may be that a new and credible discourse which puts Jews and Jewishness at the critical centre of our discussions is part of that.

And one final point: In a previous piece, paraphrasing Marc Ellis I wrote:

"To the Christian and to the entire non-Jewish world, Jews say this: 'You will apologise for Jewish suffering again and again and again. And, when you have done apologising, you will then apologise some more. When you have apologised sufficiently we will forgive you ... provided that you let us do what we want in Palestine.'

Shamir took me to task, "Eisen is too optimistic", he said, "Palestine is not the ultimate goal of the Jews... ...the world is."

Well, I don't know about that, but, if as now seems likely, the conquest of Palestine is complete and the state of Israel stretches from Tel-Aviv to the Jordan River, what can we expect? Will the Jews of Israel, supported by Jews outside of Israel, now obey the law, live peaceably behind their borders and enjoy the fruits of their victory, or will they want more? Who's next?

Paul Eisen is a director of Deir Yassin Remembered
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