Middle East

Israel’s Messy Package (Part 2)

flickr/creative commons

flickr/creative commons

Yesterday, in Part 1, I told my personal family’s jewish history in an attempt to put the existence of Israel into a broader context. Earlier enough, I had dispensed with the myth of my youth, that Israel was simply the world’s and Palestine’s gift to the jewish culture, a safe harbor for Jews following the atrocities of WWII. In fact, Israel was conceived by a militant zionist movement begun in the late 1800s, so it is motive that has to be understood for anything to change.

(We use the word, zionists, as we use the word, christianists, to denote fundamentalists who purport to believe in their respective religious traditions but display none of the characteristics, quite the opposite.)

The early zionists set on their quest to establish a religious state, with eyes on the grand prize: the occupation of the geographical, historical, and religious epicenter of the Middle East. Its big mistake, and the mistake of the US and other countries that helped bring about the 1948 establishment of the state Israel, was that two other major world religions, Christianity and Islam, also lay claim on the same pile of sand, sharing reverence to the same Abraham.

Zionists, however, proceeded and proceed today according to their belief that they are the superior race and religion which has suffered injustices for centuries (more and worse than any other) making them singularly deserving of a special berth in the world, a completely new class of world citizen with complete dominion over their tribal enemies. For starters, that’s just a galling affront to all people and all religions. Logically, adherents to any theoretical superior religion would perforce never resort to violence, and never deny the beliefs or non-beliefs of their neighbors.

Upon arrival in the region, the zionists saw no wisdom in becoming the local peaceniks or diplomatic leaders to bring about world peace (in which case they might today be considered one of the most respected countries in the region and the world). Instead they began an unending and bloody campaign to expand, encroach, invade, disenfranchise, and discriminate against all non-jews in the way, in any way they could. Rather than justifying war as their need to secure their borders, they would do better to ask themselves what they have done to draw the ire of their sequestered and suffering neighbors.

Israel was founded on the basis of religious extremism and discrimination, and has rendered itself indefensible. Just yesterday, Navi’ Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called for an investigation into Israeli war crimes.

Israel’s failure to fully enfranchise the Palestinian people from the start, its commitment to stand in the way of any two-state solution, and their institutional religious discrimination set the course for failure. We are now living through the results of these failures, waiting for new, younger, progressive, and humane leaders to take the reins of the Israeli government, and waiting for America to wake up.

The zionists have steadily expanded their movement, now known as today’s Israel Lobby (greater than AIPAC), monolithic in scope, hiding in plain sight, and controlling practically every aspect throughout modern American life. It’s not just the $3 billion a year and technical/military assistance our tax dollars pay for. The Israel Lobby controls the election of congressmen and every presidential election, and, sadly, all media. Unquestioned loyalty to Israel has, unfortunately, always been viewed as being in America’s interests by guaranteeing a permanent base in the region to spread our own nationalistic, capitalistic religion. And, in case we forget, because the existence of Israel happens to coincide with christianist belief that it is necessary for Jesus Christ’s someday return.

The Israel Lobby reminds me of another group: the secretive christianist organization known as The Family (also as The Fellowship) with its 10,000 cells world wide that is also working for religious dominion over its perceived enemies.

So, today, I’m asking some starting questions. We’d like to hear what you think.

1. Why are activists, who are no longer hypnotized by the Israel Lobby rhetoric and working to solve the humanitarian crises underway, so roundly criticized, even from their left flank?

2. Why are so many vocal members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement still blinded by the Israel Lobby’s talking points, failing to recognize our innate solidarity with Israel’s victims?

3. When will America take down the veil and reveal to the world that today’s Israel has no intention of seeking a two-state solution under any circumstance and that’s why it is so ready to resort to untold violence that stifles more moderate Palestinan voices?

Israel has forgotten that diplomacy is a table from which you never get up and leave. No matter what you think about the inferiority of your neighbor, nothing, no thing, justifies violence. There is always a way. You simply need to keep talking until you get to the last word: peace.

I remember my daughter one day when she was 7 years of age exclaiming, “Mommy, mommy, I know what the opposite of war is! It’s creativity!”

It’s not too late to heed the prophetic wisdom of some of our greatest statesmen, such as Dean Acheson in 1947 warning that creating land already occupied by Palestinians would “imperil not just American but all Western interests in the Middle East.”

Also see: AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America’s Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy

Israel’s Messy Package (Part 1) here.


As you may have seen in VenusPlusX’s Manifesto and all over this site, we are dedicated to the end of nationalism (racist by nature) and the end of racism (the chief expression of sexual oppression) by fostering progress (universal human rights, global peace). We align with all others who see progress as the the elimination of useless, coercive, inhumane systems of governments, corporations, and religious hierarchy, salvaging parts of our human legacy worthy of respect, and adding new and human and largely voluntary associations.

Israel’s Messy Package (Part 1)

“Creating land already occupied by Palestinians would ‘imperil not just American but all Western interests in the Middle East.'”

Dean Acheson, 1947, statesman and foreign policy expert
for several presidential administrations,
including as
 Harry Truman’s Secretary of State

In the early 1900s, both sides of my Jewish family fled the Kiev countryside because of the militant anti-Jewish pogroms, leaving dead my paternal great grandfather and my grandmother’s infant sister killed by armed men on horseback who burned their farm to ground. Both my grandfathers were born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They didn’t know each other and didn’t know they would someday each meet and marry women, all four families strangers to each other but all springing from thriving family farms outside Kiev. My mother’s folks sought refuge in Glasgow, Scotland, before most of them came to the US after WWI. My paternal grandmother and her siblings, the oldest was 12-year-old Pincus, came alone in steerage and settled in Hartford, Connecticut. Growing up in this family, we all lived decidedly to the far left of Reform Judaism, anxious to not be so “jewish” as to be noticed, understandably so.

In 1967 I spent the summer in Durban, South Africa, getting to know some of my cousins, the half of the next generation of the Glasgow clan who chose to emigrate to South America instead of America. When I arrived in Durban, one cousin, a young woman close to my age of 19 at the time, was unexpectedly out of the country, much to her family’s consternation, joining the Israeli zionist army who that year expanded the chartered territory of Israel through violence and repression, into Gaza and parts of Syria and Egypt.

Photo by LeftMedia  Flickr/creative commons

Photo by LeftMedia
Flickr/creative commons

That summer, I came to realize that my childhood ideas about Israel were overly simplistic: My US born family were just plain Jews, explicitly not zionists, allowing themselves to adopt the modern myth that the establishment of a modern Israel was a gift from the world (and Palestinians) following the horrors of WWII death camps (rather than an unlawful occupation of another’s country).

Before going to South Africa, my personal radicalization was underway as a deeply embedded anti-Vietnam War activist, so this summertime visit to the shores of the Indian Ocean solidified my life long commitment to pacifism. My quest for world peace is a force within me that always questions why anyone goes to war. Israel is the case study, forcing the question, How could a group, a culture and religion combined, victims of hatred for 100 years, partially eradicated in concentration camps 70 years ago, themselves become purveyors of violence and oppression?

I came to understand that this militant campaign for a Jewish state, dominating control in the Middle East, and especially over Jerusalem’s ancient, holy geographic touchstones, had being going on since the beginning of the 20th century, around the same time as my relatives’ horrors and forced migration from what is now Urkaine. This scheme was doomed from the start because of its underlying motives, not to bring peace but to go to battle if necessary for what they perceived they were owed simply because they believed they represented a race of people who are the most pure and the highest expression of religious superiority. For these reasons only, however delusional, these militant Jews should always hold a deferential berth in the world. Since WWII, this battle has resulted in the displacement and disenfranchisement of an entire population who, ironically, itself shares the same legacy despite not being “jewish.”

Any attempts at forming a theocracy are fate-filled mistakes that only end badly, whether you are talking about Israel or other countries, including in the US where we are suffering under a nascent political theocracy that would enslave its citizens just as surely as those calling for Sharia Law.

The scheme to reign supreme began long before Israel formally declared it independence in 1948, and long before my young cousin risked her life in 1967 to further an expansion throughout ancient Palestine, displacing and killing everyone in the way.

Israel is a state founded and run on the basis of religious extremism and discrimination, and should be fairly dealt with on that basis.


Israel’s Messy Package (Part 2) which delves into the monolithic Israel Lobby that has long controlled our Congress and decides who can and cannot become President of the United States; and why those who escape Israel’s fancy hypnotism and stand up for the human rights of Israel’s victims — the Palestinians themselves joined by groups such as CodePink and activists worldwide, all the time forced to endure so much criticism, even from their left flank.

Inform yourself further with Alison Weir’s recent book, Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel, and websites such as www.ifamercansknew.org and www.popularresistance.org, and, of course, here at www.venusplusx, Facebook/venusplusx, and Twitter/venusplusx.


Our Horrible Days

How Do We Respond to This Really Horrible Day?

“It’s too late to reverse the death and destruction, but it’s never too early to advocate for peace and life.” — 

by Alfonso Flickr/creative commons

by Alfonso
Flickr/creative commons

Just 3 days ago, believing things are getting worse at a faster pace than ever before, we revisited Where Does of All This F*cking Evil Sh%t Come From? to offer up some explanation of why the world seems to be plummeting downward.

Yesterday, everything got much worse.

While the media was fixed on the passenger jet that was shot out of the sky by Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists, ground troops started rolling into Gaza with seeming impunity. Today, I am publishing in full Raushenbush’s thoughtful, 400-word call for action — we are fast losing our humanity but each of us must recognize that we are not impotent.


What a horrible day. Israel has begun a ground offensive in Gaza, the White House is on lockdown, and a plane has been shot down in Ukraine. Today’s news piles on an already shaking landscape of ISIS in Iraq, immigrant children suffering on the U.S. border, and still missing Nigerian girls. My Twitter feed has been raging with information and disinformation today, but underneath the diatribes I have been struck by a sense of despair and disbelief that the world can unravel this fast, and anger at our sense of impotence.

But we are not impotent, and this is not “happening to us.” We, the human race, are doing this to ourselves. These aren’t natural disasters, or “acts of God.” It’s just us, humans, having completely lost our humanity. We are warring, and hurting, and intentionally or unintentionally killing one another through direct assault or indifference and neglect.

We have forgotten that we belong to one another, that we are connected, that we are all sisters and brothers, that we need one another.

Today, right now, I want us to take back our power, and begin to mend together what has been ripped apart.

It is too late to bring back the innocent lives that have been lost so far in the Middle East, but it is not too late to stop the killing that is happening now.

It is too late to bring back the innocent plane passengers who died in Ukraine, but as a human race we can insist that this is unacceptable and not let the incident be a springboard for even more violence and hatred.

It’s too late to reverse the death and destruction, but it’s never too early to advocate for peace and life.

It is hard to know what to do, but, even within this dark day, we need to continue to insist on the possibility of peace — and to have that start with ourselves. If all I can do today is pray for peace and the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians and refuse to accept that war is inevitable or hate is natural, that will be a start. If I can pray for the people in that plane and try not to be swept into a rage calling for revenge, if I can make myself open to being an instrument of peace, then that will be a start. That is one, very small, way that I can respond to this horrible day.

Each person who loses their life for no reason represents a tragedy. What would each person have done to contribute to a better world? There were 100 experts heading to an AIDS conference in Malaysia, for example. When will it end? What can you do to make the world better today by advocating for peace and life?

Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer

(También en Español)

News of Note: Iran confirms death sentence for ‘porn site’ web programmer

Iran’s supreme court has upheld the death

sentence for a web programmer who faces imminent execution after being found guilty of developing and promoting porn websites.

Saeed Malekpour was picked up by plainclothes officers in October 2008 and taken to Evin prison in Tehran, where he spent a year in solitary confinement without access to lawyers and without charge.

A year after his arrest, the 35-year-old appeared in a state television programme confessing to a series of crimes in connection with a porn website. On the basis of his TV confessions, he was convicted of designing and moderating adult materials online by a court in Tehran, which handed down death penalty.

Malekpour later retracted his confessions in a letter sent from prison, in which he said they had been made under duress.

According to Malekpour’s family, he is a permanent resident of Canada and is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge.

Giving someone the death penalty is a big deal. Giving someone the death penalty for being related to a pornographic website is absurd. The fact that Saeed simply wrote image-uploading software and was not running or participating with actual pornography makes this incident absolutely insane.