The New York Times headline screams empire: “Netanyahu Takes A Lonely Stance Denouncing Iran.” Then Israel’s Prime Minister treats us to his ultimate lament: “People have a historical memory that goes back to breakfast.”
Netanyahu’s historical memory is much longer. It goes back to Abraham, Jacob – and Nathan Milikovsky, his grandfather, being beaten by a mob in Europe.
Maybe next year he’ll include his symbolic beating in the international court of public opinion. Thus the ever-expanding Jewish historical narrative – Abraham, Isaac, Nathan and Benjamin.
With Netanyahu we have the mythical founding and the mythical return. Nathan is the stand-in for the founding of the state of Israel. Benjamin is Israel’s ancient shield reborn.
But just for Mr. Netanyahu to know that when I travel next week to speak at the World Council of Churches convention in Busan, South Korea, most people will initially pass me off as a representative of American and Israeli empire, i. e., read Jews more or less control the world.
Breaking through that glass ceiling isn’t easy.
Every time Jews of Conscience break through the “Jews control the world” glass ceiling, Netanyahu and his thugs construct another ceiling by abusing Palestinians or by characterizing Iranians as uncivilized.
Netanyahu’s dress code for a free Iran is much like his history lesson – short on facts and long on myths. It limits the Jewish ability and the ability of others to think and presents an image of Jews to the world that is irredentist.
Irredentism: “Any position of a state advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. It is often advocated by pan-nationalist movements and has been a repeated feature of identity politics, cultural and political geography. Because most borders have been moved and redrawn over time, a great many countries could theoretically present irredentist claims to their neighbors.”
Highlight actual or alleged, pan movements and identity politics. But don’t forget the claims of others – actual or alleged. Claims and counter claims, the cycle of cycles. The end result, a specific cycle, in shorthand, the cycle of violence and atrocity.
Netanyahu pins that cycle on Iran. How convenient.
Today it is he and Israel – with his American Jewish enablers – that continue the cycle of violence and atrocity. While constantly threatening to enlarge it.
Thus Netanyahu’s history lesson. The Jewish face presented to the world.