That “Ancient Palestinian Refugee”
Just when you thought you’d seen it all…
British magazine The Independent, the one that revived a long-forgotten theme with its cover showing the flag of the United States of America with Magen Davids substituted for the normal stars, over the title, “United States of Israel?” (April 27, 2006), the one that featured a cover two months later with an IDF tank standing for “War” and the flag of Hamas standing for “Peace” (June 29, 2006), has now outdone itself for Christmas with an article, an “appeal”, called, “What would happen if the Virgin Mary came to Bethlehem today?”, by Johann Hari.
The subtitle for that article is, “Johann Hari on the plight of pregnant women in the West Bank, where babies are dying needlessly”. If the article were as described by the subtitle alone, then it would merit no more than the usual fact-correcting fisking that anyone on our side would give it: pointing out that all the security measures taken on the border by the IDF, including the “Apartheid Wall”, are for keeping terrorists from passing the border and blowing up Israeli Jewish women and children; that the women would not have to suffer from malnutrition and disease if their leaders, those leaders who have for ages waxed lyrical about “fulfilling the dream of a Palestinian homeland”, spent their money (including millions in foreign aid!) on self-constructive rather than Israel-destructive purposes; that the total lack of scruples by that same society, having no compunction about smuggling weapons and suicide bombers in ambulances, and other types of operating under the cover of humanitarian services—which they know that the Jews, like all non-Muslims in general, would hold sacred, untouchable—was what had led to this unfortunate turn of events; and that the fact that those women bear children for the sole purpose of raising them as suicide bombers has made the Israeli Jewish side a little less caring about the need to protect them. All in all, those are cries of the sort of one who has murdered his parents and claims he’s an orphan. Thus much for the surface of the article.
But there is the depth of the article, something appearing right at its beginning, and that is what has caused me to say The Independent has outdone itself, and indeed to write this post at all. There is here a deep ideological issue, and, as I have spared no effort in mentioning, I specialize in looking at the ideological roots of this regional and global conflict. Here is the first paragraph:
In two days, a third of humanity will gather to celebrate the birth pains of a Palestinian refugee in Bethlehem—but two millennia later, another mother in another glorified stable in this rubble-strewn, locked-down town is trying not to howl.
What are they saying here? What is it here that merits the deepest of our—specifically Zionist Jews’—attention?
They’re saying that Miryam (Maria, Mary etc.) the mother of Jesus was a Palestinian. A Palestinian refugee living under the occupation of a foreign power.
First a preliminary note about the Jewish view of Jesus. The non-Christian views of Jesus are legion (pun intended), ranging from the Islamic “stunt double on the cross” view through the New Age neopagan mystic-crystal-revelation view put forth in The Da Vinci Code to the view popular in secular humanist circles that Jesus was a myth and never really existed as a person at all. The Jewish view holds Jesus to have been a historical person and actually crucified; the difference from the Christian view is the rejection of his claim of being messiah, not to mention deity, as well as the rejection of the claim of the virgin birth. We believe Jesus to have been born as everyone was, by sexual intercourse between a man and a woman; the man is the subject of debate, often censored (especially from those copies of the Talmud used in Christian countries up until a few centuries ago), some saying Joseph, some saying it was a Roman soldier. But that doesn’t matter to this discussion, because the mother was Jewish, making Jesus a Jew. I go from here.
Mary and her son were Jews living in what is now called the West Bank. As far as I’m aware, Jews living in the West Bank today are called, “settlers” and they are the subject of constant, no-holds-barred demonization by the Western Left. It’s fast turning to a concensus that all Israeli Jews, even in Tel-Aviv, are “colonialists participating in a land-grab of Palestinian lands”, but we’re still not at the point of hearing it said out aloud everywhere—give it a little time. The Jewish settlers in the 1967 territories, however, are long held by concensus of the Left to be “stealers of others’ lands”. Mary and her son would be told by the writers of The Independent that they were an obstacle to world peace and should evacuate their homes for the good of all humanity. Also, as Jewish settlers in the West Bank they would be targets (G-d forbid) for the “Palestinian refugees” Johann Hari writes so tearfully about. As commenter The Other Les says on the thread on LGF (comments #7 and #8): “If Mary went to Bethlehem today she would be shot in the head by the Palestinians. And they would empty a 30-round mag into her abdomen just to be sure”. And none of the people at The Independent would, if they got to hear it all, shed a tear for her, for she deserved it for stealing an other people’s land—such, dear brothers and sisters, would be the reaction of the world to a Second Holocaust (G-d forbid), after decades of having been primed for it by the Leftist media.
But Hari does not call Mary a “Jewish settler”, he calls her a “Palestinian refugee”. I called her a Jewish settler because she was a Jew like me today and because she lived on lands taken by the state of Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. On what basis does Hari call her a Palestinian refugee? On the basis that she lived on lands taken by the state of Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and on the basis that she lived under the rule of a nation not her own. In other words, the location gives Hari the starting-point to make any comparison at all (the same thing I just did), but while I chose to base the comparison on Mary’s ethnicity, Hari chose to base it on her situation. It is indeed a case of that which Ramzy Baroud talks about in his lament I quoted on December 5: “[…] No other national struggle in the world has assimilated itself, or has been inadvertently assimilated, to symbolize so many things to so many different people, as has the Palestinian struggle”. I don’t know the exact nature of the ax Hari has to grind with his article, but this I do know, that, like so many others before him, he has taken the Israel/“Palestine” conflict as his launching ground. From such a source as The Independent I suspect a general “struggle against colonialism” motive; and what better way is there to further that goal than by taking the Christian “Birth of the Prince of Peace” narrative and tagging it onto the “oppressed Palestinians, suffering under the Israeli jackboot”? Even if it means turning the truth, the truth of both Mary and her son Jesus having been Jews, on its head.
So Mary was a Palestinian refugee, according to The Independent. Palestinian refugees, the Left has it, are suffering under Israeli occupation. We just have one more empty square to fill: what is Mary’s time’s equivalent of the Israeli occupation? Yep, you got that right: the Romans. If Mary was a Palestinian refugee, then Israel is Ancient Rome (or at least the doers of the command of Rome, which will be the United States of America—as you can see, I’m very well-trained at Left-think, after all those reads), and the Israeli Jews the Romans, Roman colonials keeping their oppressive on a land that belongs to another nation. It dovetails with the “Muslims are the new Jews” line that’s all the rage now.
Truth turned on its head again—so what else is new? But there’s more to it here than that. Ask yourself, gentle reader: What happened to the Romans? Right: they no longer exist as they did, their descendants now separate nations (Italians, French, Spaniards and so on), their original language likewise split into its derivatives and, most importantly, their empire, their state, no longer existent. Therein lies a subtle message: as the Roman political entity disappeared, so will the state of Israel (G-d forbid).
Think this is paranoid Jewish hyperbole? Well, think again, because no less a “man of peace” as former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, in 2002:
People are scared in this country [the US] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful. Well, so what? For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.
Look what company the good Archbishop has placed the Jewish state in. He, and most of the Left—more than we hear, for there is still reluctance about saying so publicly—are of the opinion that the state of Israel has no right to exist. Or he says the state of Israel can exist (why, thank you!), but as “the state of all its citizens” and not as a Jewish state—in other words, he doesn’t mind a non-Zionist Israel, an Israel where Jews could be subjected to the very anti-Jewish discrimination that the secular founders of Zionism intended to prevent. Just how is that different from what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens, that “the Zionist entity” would disappear from the face of the earth (G-d forbid) just as “other oppressive regimes before it” did?
The importance of this article from The Independent, and specifically its first paragraph, in its implicit positing of the Zionist state to be equivalent to the Roman Empire, is in the insinuation that Israel is an historical wrong initiated and perpetuated by brute force. The deep meaning of construing Mary as a “Palestinian refugee” is that, once again, the “Palestinian” issue has been used to make the Jewish people the oppressors, to say that we have become like those who once wronged us. The “Palestinians” are there for the Leftists to say to us, “You have become like the Nazis”, and now, “You have become like the Romans”, the common thread being: “As those oppressive, ill-conceived powers have disappeared from the face of the earth, so will you”. (Dust to those mouths who say that.)
Now I have reached the heart of the matter: the inherent Jew-hatred in the use of the term, “Palestinians”. I have belabored enough the point that they are a fake nation, a recently-invented “ancient people” disguising the Islamic intent of destroying Israel (G-d forbid) under the Left-friendly cover of an “anti-colonial nationalistic struggle”. Many sites on our side do the righteous work of refuting the accusations of Israeli oppression and intentional wrongdoing toward them. Their work is all-important, and may G-d shower His blessings upon them for it. But as for me, though I have not always stayed my hand from such fact-correcting activities, I am not of the best at them. They are exposés and treatments of the symptoms, while I fare better at exposing and (G-d willing) treating the causes. I say to you that, while showing to the world that we are not behaving like monsters toward the Palestinians is well and good, the very fact of using the term, “Palestinians” constitutes fighting abroad rather than as a home team. The mere fact that we recognize the nationhood of the “Palestinians” gives the enemy a big advantage.
All the Gentiles, including Leftists, know, in their heart of hearts, that without the claim of “the Palestinian nationhood”, all this land falls as per the rights of indigenous peoples (an important Leftist tenet, at least on paper) to us—to the Jews. Time and again I have written that the most ancient indigenous people of this land still in existence is us, bar none. For all the period between circa 135 CE (the end of Bar Kochba’s rebellion against Hadrian) and the 19th century, this land was without a people (again, for any Leftist reader: without a people, meaning without a nation—not without people meaning uninhabited). So it isn’t as if someone could say we have “lost the lease on the land” because someone else inhabited it while we were absent. But that’s what the Leftists are saying. In the view of my previous point, how can they say that? Answer: “the Palestinian nation”. Concoct an ancient nation with a history of inhabiting this land all along before we returned, and there you have the cause to justly and righteously evict (at best) us Jews out of it as “reparations of past wrongs”.
The lie of the “Palestinian nation”, a Big Lie on a scale that would make Goebbels proud, is more dangerous to the Jewish people than is any Holocaust Denial Conference. Such conferences deny only past history, while the Fakestinian Fiction denies not only the past but also the present and future for us Jews. It is the linchpin of the current form of Jew-hatred, namely anti-Zionism, which aims to rob us—and only us, no other nation—of our right to have our own sovereignty on our land and to inhabit the whole of it. This is the lie that makes possible the outrageous equation of Zionism with Nazism, with South African apartheid and, as we can now see, with ancient Roman imperialism. This is the lie that lulls to sleep any conscience that might balk at demonizing the Jews a mere 60 years after the end of the Holocaust.
We must use the name of that fictional nation in scare quotes or not at all. Any other use is a recognition of its legitimacy, and by extension the legitimacy of evicting the Jewish people from half their land at the very best case. We must hammer the point home, without fail, without cease, that we are the ones still here after the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Mongols, the Turks and the British, well over three thousand years of unbroken Jewish history, praise be to our mighty G-d, while those people claiming to be an ancient nation, the “Palestinians”, are just another in the line of invaders and usurpers of this land, this land which G-d has given to us and to none other, and the only land which G-d has given to us (so the entirety of the rest of the world is there for all non-Jews to squabble on; leave us and our land alone).
To the Christians who support the Jewish, Zionist state of Israel I send holiday greetings and a wish for your safety as you celebrate the birth, 2,000 years ago, of a Jewish baby to a Jewish woman in the Jewish town of Bethlehem. Although I do not believe about that baby what you do—and I am not ashamed to say so, for that is the truth and I am not among the politically correct—I am from the same nation as him, here in this same land, back after an exile of 2,000 years, as promised by G-d in the book we both believe in.