12.8.06

God's Chosen People

By Jostein Gaarder (the author of 'Sophie's World') (Translated from the Norwegian by Sirocco)

There is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history.

We do not believe in the notion of God's chosen people. We laugh at this people's fancies and weep over its misdeeds. To act as God's chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.

Limits to tolerance
There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the God of flora, fauna, and galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it funny stone tablets, burning bushes, and a license to kill.

We call child murderers 'child murderers' and will never accept that such have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We say but this: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hizballah, or the state of Israel!

Unscrupulous art of war
We acknowledge and pay heed to Europe's deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms, and the Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for Jews to get their own home. However, the state of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions, and it can no longer expect protection from same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The time of trouble shall soon be over. The state of Israel has seen its Soweto.

We are now at the watershed. There is no turning back. The state of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.

Without defense, without skin
May spirit and word sweep away the apartheid walls of Israel. The state of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy on the civilian population. For it is not civilian individuals at whom our doomsaying is directed.

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but well, but we reserve the right not to eat Jaffa oranges as long as they taste foul and are poisonous. It was endurable to live some years without the blue grapes of apartheid.

They celebrate their triumphs
We do not believe that Israel mourns forty killed Lebanese children more than it for over three thousand years has lamented forty years in the desert. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs like they once cheered the scourges of the Lord as "fitting punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord, God of Israel, appears as an insatiable sadist.) We query whether most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.
For we have seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs to be dropped on the civilian population of Lebanon and Palestine. Little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at death and torment across the fronts.

The retribution of blood vengeance
We do not recognize the rhetoric of the state of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution of the blood vengeance with "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of one or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population-wide diets as political weapons. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

He said: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." We do not recognize a state founded on antihumanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and war religion. Or as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose."

Compassion and forgiveness
We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David, but that the Kingdom of God is within us and among us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.
Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.

Israel does not listen
For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel does not listen. It was not the Pharisee that helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. For we are human first of all -- then Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?" We do not accept the abduction of soldiers. But nor do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.
We recognize the state of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the state of Israel that fails to recognize, respect, or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. The Palestinians have so many other countries, certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.

The USA or the world?
Or as the highest protector of the state of Israel puts it: "May God continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he that wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God's chosen people. He personally liked to call himself a Muhammedan.

Calm and mercy
We do not recognize the state of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population have to flee the occupied areas into another diaspora, then we say: May the surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is forever a crime without mitigation to lay hand on refugees and stateless people.

Peace and free passage for the evacuating civilian population no longer protected by a state. Fire not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now like snails without shells, vulnerable like slow caravans of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless like women and children and the old in Qana, Gaza, Sabra, and Chatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter, give them milk and honey!

Let not one Israeli child be deprived of life. Far too many children and civilians have already been murdered.

5 Comments:

At Saturday, August 12, 2006 1:33:00 AM, Blogger Ghassan said...

The irony is that the above is just as strong of an indictment of radical islam where all infidels are second class citizens at best, That is equally true of some srist fundamentalist christian churches.

I interpret the essay in question as being a plea for reason, equality and secularism.

 
At Saturday, August 12, 2006 11:14:00 AM, Blogger sisselnor said...

PLEASE SIGN AND SEND TO YOURS


Demand an Immediate International Criminal Tribunal for Israel to Stop Global War!


http://www.petitiononline.com/un040806/petition.html

View Current Signatures - Sign the Petition

Please Sign Your Full Name!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To: The United Nations General Assembly
The brutal bombings and invasion of Lebanon and Gaza are acts of Israeli state terrorism. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the present U.S.-Israeli threat to Syria and Iran indicate their ruthless struggle for hegemony in the oil-rich Middle East, which would escalate into a global war.

At least 900 people have been killed in Lebanon, more than one-third children, and 3,000 wounded. The number of refugees in Lebanon has already exceeded one million. Whole residential areas, roads, bridges, ports, power stations, factories and other infra-structure have been destroyed by Israeli precision bombing. Lebanon’s economic and infrastructure damage tops $2.5B as of 4 August 2006.

In Gaza hundreds have been killed. Homes, greenhouses, bridges, water and sewerage treatment plants and electricity generators have been destroyed in the latest acts of Israeli genocide sadistically code-named ‘Operation Summer Rain,’ which began on 27 June 2006. Israel continues its brutal air strikes on the Gaza Strip almost daily.

Israel must be prosecuted immediately for its war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine to stop the war escalating into a global catastrophe. Frances A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois, has asserted the legal framework for The United Nations General Assembly to immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI).

“The United Nations General Assembly must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under U.N. Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council.

“The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY did for the victims of international crimes committed by Serbia and the Milosevic Regime throughout the Balkans.

“The establishment of ICTI would provide some small degree of justice to the victims of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine--just as the ICTY has done in the Balkans. Furthermore, the establishment of ICTI by the U.N. General Assembly would serve as a deterrent effect upon Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Peretz, Chief of Staff Halutz and Israel’s other top generals that they will be prosecuted for their further infliction of international crimes upon the Lebanese and the Palestinians.

“Without such a deterrent, Israel might be emboldened to attack Syria with the full support of the Likhudnik Bush Jr. Neoconservatives, who have always viewed Syria as ‘low-hanging fruit’ ready to be taken out by means of their joint aggression.

“The Israeli press has just reported that the Bush Jr administration is encouraging Israel to attack Syria. If Israel attacks Syria as it did when it invaded Lebanon in 1982, Iran has vowed to come to Syria’s defense.

“And of course Israel and the Bush Jr administration very much want a pretext to attack Iran. This scenario could readily degenerate into World War III.

“For the U.N. General Assembly to establish ICTI could stop the further development of this momentum towards a regional if not global catastrophe.”

We, the undersigned, demand that The United Nations General Assembly immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a ‘subsidiary organ’ under U.N. Charter Article 22 to prosecute the Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Peretz, Chief of Staff Halutz and Israel’s other top generals and war criminals for their infliction of international war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine.


Sincerely,

The Undersigned




View Current Signatures




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Demand an Immediate International Criminal Tribunal for Israel to Stop Global War! Petition to The United Nations General Assembly was created by Members of Creating A Sustainable Future (CASF) and written by Harry Saloor (ictinow@yahoo.com). This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors. For technical support please use our simple Petition Help form.

Send this to a friend
Send Petition to a Friend - Petition FAQ - Start a Petition - Contributions - Privacy - Media Kit - Comments and Suggestions
PetitionOnline - DesignCommunity - ArchitectureWeek - Great Buildings - Search
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/un040806/petition.html

 
At Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:54:00 AM, Blogger stevenwag said...

That's pretty strong language about Israel. Can anybody tell us what reaction there has been (in Norway, for example? or elsewhere in Europe?) to Gaarder's commentary?
SW

 
At Monday, August 14, 2006 11:03:00 AM, Blogger Atle said...

Hi

I live in Norway, and I can tell that Gaarder has been attacked back, and even fear for his life. There has been a lot of reactions, from symphaty to intellectual controversy (saying that Gaarder did wrong because he will eventually be misunderstood as "antisemit") to the more severe attacks on him saying his article was direct evil (from the Jewish society). Shimon Peres and others said this is the most evil written since Mein Kampf.

Greetings from Norway, lananga!

 
At Monday, August 14, 2006 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Atle said...

Heres a link on reactions in Norway

http://vyer.typepad.com/hereticsalmanac/2006/08/a_catalog_of_re.html

Atle

 

Post a Comment

<< Home