I'm beginning to get it. Gaza is producing an explosion under the American skin. The MSM can't handle it, can't express it, except at the edges, but the American street is alarmed. And one of the crucial shifts that has taken place is that Jewish Criticism of Israel is now so commonplace that it is breaking open the bolted doorways of the discourse. The Jewish voices on the blogosphere, the leadership provided by J Street and Dan Fleshler and MJ Rosenberg and Adam Horowitz– it is saying to America, You need not hold your tongue any more, the monolith is broken! The seals are broken. You know I'm a cockeyed optimist, but I think this thing is huge.
This epiphany brought to you by Jules Rabin of Vermont, who wrote the following letters, the first to a friend, the second to a local newspaper, invoking the Holocaust. I'm sure Rabin is a ringer (has spoken out before). All the same… Rabin:
what fellow Jews have seen fit to inflict on Gaza. There have been
public protests in our area, connected with the recent attacks on
Gaza. I'm tacking on below a Comment I've submitted to our local
newspaper, where for the first time I've made a kind of claim that I've
heretofore considered taboo, that Gaza, locked down, under attack, and
starving is beginning to have a certain resemblance to the Warsaw
GAZA ON MY MIND
When a certain Rabbi Perin said, in a funeral eulogy for an American-born
Israeli who had been beaten to death by a Palestinian mob, "A million Arabs are
not worth one Jewish fingernail," the world was shocked and the Israeli Prime
Minister himself denounced the statement. The murdered Israeli was , who on February 28, 1994, had stepped into a mosque carrying an
assault rifle, and killed 29 Palestinian men and boys before his gun jammed. He
was then beaten to death by surviving worshipers.
Now in Gaza, a more modest version of the stunning ratio suggested by Rabbi
Perin, the million and the one, is being enacted. The tally so far in the mutual
killing taking place in and around Gaza is 380 Palestinians dead and 6 Israelis
dead. The dead Palestinians include 5 sisters of one family, ages 4 to 17, and
two sisters of another family, ages 5 and 12.
The 6 Israelis were victims of the crude home-made rockets with notoriously
wild aim that this week have been fired every day from Gaza into nearby Israeli
communities: to teach Israel a lesson for its misdeeds. Such indiscriminate
attacks on civilian communities are prohibited by international law (Article 33,
Israel's retaliatory bombing of Gaza, one of the most crowded places on
earth, has produced fatalities 65 times greater, including children and
non-combatants, and was likewise intended "to teach a lesson." Such bombing
attacks are also a violation of Article 33 of the Geneva Convention,
notwithstanding Israel's claim that it targets only "the bad guys."
When the Hamas government of Gaza declared on December 24 that it would
withdraw from the it had agreed to, it could cite two justifications.
The first was the continuation of Israel's iron blockade of already impoverished
Gaza, which deprived it of even the minimum of supplies necessary for health and
survival. Israel had, secondly, itself broken the mutual cease fire on November
4, fifty days before Hamas formally declared an end to its observation of it,
when Israeli troops broke into Gaza, killing six Palestinians and carting off
The continuing blockade of Gaza, which is itself a grave violation of the
rules of war concerning , has had devastating consequences
for the 1 Â½ million people who live there â most of them refugees from the '67
war and their descendants. The shortages of food, medical supplies, and fuel for
electricity (for, among other things, providing water and pumping away sewage),
has produced incalculable suffering. 75% of Gazans are currently malnourished.
The children of Gaza, who number 58% of the population, have been the greatest
sufferers under the blockade: 46% suffer from acute anemia, 45% have an iron
deficiency, and 18% have been stunted in their growth. .
Under the blockade, the people of Gaza were reduced to destitution. Under the
heavy bombardments of this week, terror from the sky has been added to the
months-long physical privation they have been enduring.
So will the people of Gaza and the Hamas government that they elected now
"learn the lesson" that Israel seeks to teach them?
So far, not. Neither side wants to understand the "lesson" the other side is
Gaza, locked down, sealed in, half-starved, terrified, and overpowered as it
is now, is acquiring an eery resemblance to the Warsaw Ghetto of the 1940's: a
resemblance still faint, but developing.
Titus North, an American professor of political science, wrote just the other
day, in connection with the current bombing of Gaza, "A state founded by
Holocaust survivors should be a beacon of morality, not a black hole for
The terrible loop that history has taken â descendants of the historic
victims of the Holocaust now wearing the jackboots of the dominant warrior â is
a painful thing to contemplate.