This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.
My colonial self, our Jewish colonial minds, we have colonized the Palestinians and become victims of our own colonialism. We can’t get out of our own colonial bind. Even in exile. Even the prophetic. Color it colonial – but not only.
Everything is contextual – almost. All speech is limited. All action. Almost. The trick is to give everything you have to give and keep moving. Colonial smlonial – don’t look back, lest the past become your guiding light.
After we have gathered the light there is to gather, we see the limitations that were. As part of the journey. Know it: One day we will look back on the time we were looking back on. However, the past is past – obvious – and the present is present. How are we going to think/speak/act tomorrow?
Cleansing the colonial minds of Jews of Conscience. Leaving behind the Jewish Renewal stuff, the obvious other colonial stuff, focusing on ourselves. It can’t be that only a pack-it-in mentality, a One State vision, is the only (un)colonial option. No way. Don’t let International Law hem you in either.
There’s never only one option. Though it is also true, as I told my Israeli student yesterday, that certain arguments, say the fears that Israelis have, can no longer be argued. The One State option wouldn’t be the end of our colonialism. It’s not that cut and dried. Professing a belief that won’t come into being in our lifetime isn’t the end of our colonial complex. We will have gone on to other things.
Here my argument for Jewish particularity either resonates or doesn’t. Embracing one’s particularity is not a free-floating zone, as in, only if Jews – or Palestinians – are pure then we can embrace them.
Speaking of free-floaters, did you read the Reuters report about Germany wanting to deploy armed drones in its military operations in Afghanistan? “A drone is nothing more than a plane without a pilot,” Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the daily Die Welt. “Planes can be armed so why shouldn’t unmanned aircraft be allowed to be armed as well? I don’t understand that,” he added. The report points to the controversy about Germany’s use of unmanned weapons to bomb cities in Great Britain during World War II.
Here’s the kicker. Germany has been using three leased Israeli Heron drones for surveillance in Afghanistan. Germany is also considering buying U.S. Predator B drones, which carry weapons and also have surveillance systems.
Israel is a military weapons producer and an able competitor in the global arms bazaar that grows each year. Being a competitor on such a large scale is worth money and aids in Israel’s defense. It’s a warning on the foreign policy trail. However you speak about Israel in public make sure you leave it alone on the field of battle.
Yet the fascinating aspect of Germany’s use of Israeli drones is how far the German/Israel (arms) relationship has come. How far we are from the Holocaust years. Germany supplies Israel’s navy with nuclear submarines, Israel supplies Germany with drones. On the air and the sea, Germany and Israel have it all covered.
You see what friends can do for one another? As one famous columnist argued some time ago, democracies are great for everything and should spread around the world as a way of encouraging peace. You’ve never heard of a democracy attacking another democracy, have you? If memory serves his argument extended to something like this: Democracies don’t attack other countries. Perhaps I extended his argument, so one day when I’m not in the (historical) lands of the Third Reich, I’ll check if the extension was his or mine.
Regardless if it was him or me or some kind of remote connection, you can either laugh or cry when you think of Germany and Israel fighting the world on land and sea. But while we yuck it up, think, too, of Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Holocaust museum in Washington, D. C. a few days ago. She with other foreign policy experts gathered there to consider modern threats of genocide and how to prevent them. According to a report in the New York Times, the experts agreed that the risk of mass killings increases in places where resources are scarce and governments are fragile or autocratic. Rwanda and Bosnia were cited. Interestingly, the article mentions the scarcity of food, water and energy – and global warming – as danger zones for atrocity. It doesn’t mention the Congo being discussed – where the problem is indeed the amount of resources that others – including democracies – need to fuel their modern economy.
Clinton referred to the Atrocity Prevention Board, President Obama announced in a speech at the Holocaust museum last year. APB – another acronym – file it under – Useless. But give a hand for the Holocaust museum. It seems to have become a hub for policy speeches on genocide prevention. As Israel’s Star of David helicopter gunships patrol the Palestinian skies and their drones make it on the world global sales horizon. On the drones, should they have emblazoned “Never Again?”
Israeli “Never Again” drones on the prowl. With German democratic ownership rights to do what any decent Western nation does to defeat terrorism. After all, the (Nazi)German purgatory has to end one day, so why all the fuss?
Germany minus the Nazi insignia. They’re ready to rejoin the league of nations. What better way to make their comeback than with Israeli drones, since Israel, more or less, just joined the league of nations, too.
Yes I know, too easy. League of Nations. United Nations. Battling scarcity and atrocity on a genocidal scale. At the Holocaust museum. Best to teach those other violent types a lesson from the air. Drone-wise.