Re: [sixties-l] teeny tiny protests on Sproul Steps

From: William M Mandel (
Date: 10/08/00

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    The founding of Israel was legitimate because no Western country had given the Jews
    open refuge or other succor. Roosevelt stalled for years, turning away one ship,
    and finally admitting a great big one thousand people. The one country that gave
    refuge to Jews en masse was the Soviet Union, moving those from the Baltic states
    and the Ukraine to Central Asia and accepting as many from Poland and Rumania as
    could make it. The problem in the USSR was that it was officially atheist and,
    further, that it did not permit private business, which had been the general
    occupation of most of the refugees. They found adaptation difficult, the living
    standard exceedingly low, and wanted to go home or to Palestine after the war.
        But Israel, once established, became a colonialist country in the very
    strictest sense of the term. I refer not only to the mass ouster of the
    Palestinians but to its joint invasion of Egypt with England and France in 1956 in
    order to take the Suez Canal. I was teaching at the New York Guild for the Jewish
    Blind the very day that occurred. My class, particularly nationalist both because
    of their isolation as blind people in the American culture of that day and because
    the Holocaust was only a dozen years in the past, asked me what should be done. I
    replied that Arabs vastly outnumbered Jews in the Near East, that some day the
    Arabs would be industrialized and educated, and that, UNLESS WE WERE RACISTS, it
    was impossible to think that Israel could forever be stronger than they. Therefore
    the only thing to do was to turn around and get out.
        To my amazement, President Eisenhower had exactly the same attitude, phoned
    British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, and used barracks-room language to tell him to
    withdraw from Egypt. Soviet leader Khrushchev threatened the U.S. of that brand-new
    weapon, the missile. So all three invaders went home.
        Today's papers report increasing opposition to Israel's actions in the Arab
    world outside Israel.
        Israel may yet be destroyed. If so, it will be by its own policies.
    John Johnson wrote:
    > Im obviously talking about public perceptions and why only 200 showed up at
    > a rally rather then the reality of the situation.
    > If there wasn't a link there is now.  Should Jews have their own country
    > would be answered yes by all but the most anti-Semitic.
    > There has been a long standing position in the opposition that Israel
    > should not exist at all, for some real reasons but that position will never
    > be viable.  There is also a long standing religious aspect to the
    > conflict.  Just as their is around the world today.  Of course most to do
    > not exist in isolation, there are usually  overlaying political and
    > economics behind such conflicts, but the religious ones add fuel and
    > divisions.
    > During anti-war campaigns during the bombing of Kosovo, the Albanians would
    > should up and have religious ceremonies, a hour later the Serbs would do
    > the same thing.  Most of the leftist there would be standing off, not
    > particularly wanted to disrespect or support either.
    > Because of and also despite of other aspects. the religious ones including
    > the claim of the hill by both is important at the moment.  Possession of
    > the  Temple Mount and the control of Jerusalem are the what are the center
    > of the current battles. In a better more democratic situation, such could
    > be negotiated but of course that has never existed there and what is has to
    > be dealt with.  I personally have no position on these issues themselves
    > and doubt many others not directly involved do either.
    > But a recent survive posted shows most are against Israeli soldiers using
    > live ammunition and are taken back by the violence.
    > >The Israelis now admit that the shooting of the 12-year-old was a "mistake."
    > >There is no basic link in our culture with Israel. This country was
    > >anti-Semitic
    > >as hell until it was discovered that Israel was willing to serve as our
    > >anchored
    > >aircraft carrier vs. the Soviet Union. I still have the issue of Collier's
    > >imagining World War III, with Lowell Thomas describing his trip on an American
    > >bomber out of Tel Aviv.
    > >     The U.S. propaganda machine went all-out to change the people's minds
    > > about
    > >Jews, exactly as it did the opposite at the same time about Our Great Soviet
    > >Ally.. Exactly as, when it was decided that the U.S. needed and could get
    > >Japan as
    > >an ally against the USSR, the former references to "Japs"disappeared from the
    > >mainstream press, radio, and TV. I think that the fact that you are
    > >resident in
    > >Los Angeles distorts your view, as would be the case if you lived in New York.
    > >     When I said on Pacifica'a air in 1967 that Israel did not necessarily
    > > have all
    > >justice on its side in that year's Six-Day War, KPFK and WBAI, which had
    > >carried
    > >me without interruption from the day the former was founded and, in the latter
    > >case, even before it was given to Pacifica, took me off the air. Listener
    > >protest
    > >got me back on again (which is why I haven't given up this time, after
    > >five years
    > >off KPFA).
    > >     For christ's sake, the issue is not the ownership of a hill, but of a
    > > country.
    > >Hezbollah and Hamas are significant because two generations of young
    > >people have
    > >grown up knowing nothing but occupation. And there is no worse political
    > >provocateur on earth than Ariel Sharon, who is responsible for the
    > >massacres at
    > >Sabra and Shatillah, and earlier ones, and went to that hill last week not
    > >as a
    > >private citizen but with a bodyguard of cops who forcibly cleared people away.
    > >
    > >William Mandel
    > >
    > >John Johnson wrote:
    > >
    > > > The main movements going on have been centered on anti-sweatshop campaigns,
    > > > local labor issues, the environmental movement.  They combined in the
    > > > WTO/INF campaigns.
    > > > Groups like Amnesty International have active chapters on many campuses.
    > > > This is a big advance since the money driven days of the Eighties.
    > > > Still no broader political movement.
    > > >
    > > > I think it will have hard to mount a campaign around Israel.  There is a
    > > > basic link our culture has with Israel.  The Palestinian movement can be
    > > > complicated to understand for many.  Hezbola and similar groups seem
    > > > centered on a very pro Muslim agenda, which doesn't resonate here.
    > > >
    > > > The current situation as reported is also a bit confusing.  Both claim
    > > > ownership of a hill, both with a long history.  Its not even up to us to
    > > > decide whos rights there.
    > > > The actors in a sense seem to be equally liable.  As the cameraman who took
    > > > the video of the 12 year old being shot said,  "both Palestinians and
    > > > Israelis bare responsibility for that.
    > > >
    > > > It will take a longer more detailed campaign to clarify the issues.
    > > >
    > > > >I too find it disheartening to hear of so few persons demonstrating on
    > > the UC
    > > > >campus.  I am not sure the rally's being re Israel accounts for the
    > > lack of
    > > > >response, especially, though.  In spite of the--very, very
    > > > >hopeful--activities the past year re WTO and re various ecological
    > > issues, in
    > > > >fact other than an occasional expressions of "Oh those dot.coms!" or "Hey,
    > > > >cool," very LITTLE political expression has come out of campuses, at least
    > > > >from what I've heard, recently.
    > > > >   But I'm not in the academic world.  What is the sense of you on
    > > this list
    > > > >who are, on student political consciousness or activity now?
    > > > >    Paula
    > > >
    > > > John Johnson
    > > > Change-Links Progressive Newspaper
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Subscribe to our list server. Email
    > > > (818) 982-1412
    > John Johnson
    > Change-Links Progressive Newspaper
    > Subscribe to our list server. Email
    > (818) 982-1412

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