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“There’s nothing exceptional or heroic about a Jew standing against Zionism’

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Tariq Abu Khdeir and Lucas Koerner, two American victims of Israeli beatings
Tariq Abu Khdeir (l) and Lucas Koerner, two American victims of Israeli beatings, posted by Gus

Last June, I wrote a Mondoweiss article focusing on a Facebook post by Graham Hancock in which the respected author and journalist had an ayahuasca-induced vision that led him to beseech the Israelis – as “the most powerful player on the regional stage” – to act out of love and compassion towards their neighbors.

I wondered to myself if perhaps Hancock’s dream was just a passing epiphany or whether it had made a lasting impression on him. His current Facebook postings reveal that he remains deeply affected by the wrenching unrest in that area of the world. He shares his concerns with his constituency at the risk of losing some of his audience, as the comments section indicates.

Hancock wrote me recently to inquire about a gripping video — the arrest by the Israeli military of a young Jewish American man named Lucas Koerner, posted by Mondoweiss in 2011. This video has been resurrected and is circulating around the internet these days. I myself received the link from several sources, including a lawyer friend who, like so many others, apparently didn’t realize Lucas’ act of defiance happened several years ago. Hancock wanted to know what happened after Koerner was arrested.

We put Hancock in touch with Koerner and Hancock subsequently posted their email exchange on his Facebook. We learn that Lucas was held in jail for two days, then put under house arrest and flew back to the US the next day. Lucas wrote Hancock:

I do want to stress that, despite the enormous hype around my video, there is nothing extraordinary about what transpired that day. I simply did what I thought was right in the moment, perhaps with a naive ignorance of the potential consequences of my actions. There is nothing exceptional or heroic about a Jew standing against Zionism: many have come before me and many more will come after until Zionism and all other forms of oppression no longer exist.

Graham commented:

Lucas Koerner’s courageous stand in the face of massive social condemnation tells us that the warlike actions of the State of Israel, with its Zionist agenda, should not and MUST NOT be confused with the state of mind or feelings of the Jewish people. We are all one, we are all frail, fragile human beings. We all have our hopes, our dreams, our fears. We all desperately need, and wish to give, love. It is time to give love not hate, truth not lies, peace not war.

Graham encouraged his audience to sign this petition calling on the CEOs of corporations profiting off the Occupation to withdraw their investments there. Graham adds,

Please don’t get me wrong. I recognise the State of Israel, and its right to exist, just as I recognise the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to safety and security undivided by walls and unthreatened by settlers who claim divine sanction for their theft and appropriation of other people’s land. On both sides that monstrous entity called “God” needs to be taken out of the equation and our shared humanity needs to be brought back in.

 

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Massacring people in Gaza and trashing international law does not really tally with tikkun olam.
One of the interesting things I have noticed recently is that Zionism is closer to fascism and the extreme right eg the French front national comes out on the siee of zionism . American jews tend to support the Dems. Something isgoing to give.

“I recognise the State of Israel, and its right to exist, just as I recognise the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to safety and security”

I see, the State of Israel has a “right to exist” and the Palestinians the ones who were actually there have “aspirations”? Sounds like a complete inversion of the situation to me.

Two lovely boys-I wish them all the very best.

I remember the video with Lucas Koerner.

I recognise the State of Israel, and its right to exist

That’s an empty statement. The problem isn’t that a state called “Israel” exists. The problem is what kind of state it is, i.e. a Jewish (supremacist) state. Graham Hancock didn’t write that he recognises Israel as a Jewish state. I have no idea if he left out “as a Jewish state” intentionally or unintentionally.

It’s revealing how the police grab Koerner even though he has violated no formal law. No nonsense about freedom of speech in the region’s “only democracy”!

What Koerner did was perhaps not exceptional — there was a time though when it would have been — but it is still rather unusual.