OCTOBER 7, 2009
Ramallah, West Bank
Hebron, West Bank
Israelis that support the settlement of the entire historical Palestine on religious pretenses represent a very small minority of the Israeli population. Many of them do not actually live in Israel and instead spend their lives in settlements or outposts in West Bank. Or so I thought.
Then I met Yezekiel.
I had agreed to meet Evan in the Jewish Quarter before our trip to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum), and upon turning the corner to the place at which we were supposed to rendezvous, I saw Evan engrossed in conversation. The other end? A burly old white-bearded man who reminded me a bit of an angry, animated version of Santa Claus. Evan and I exchanged a knowing look. “I see you’ve made a friend!” I said, cheerfully. I introduced myself. “Hey, I’m Laura!”
Yezekiel stopped for a moment to respond. “Oh….*ahem*… hi. Uh, what was I saying? Oh yes, that’s right…and THAT is the reason why Ahmedinajad is the son of Satan.”
Curiously, I asked, “So do you think Iran might attack Israel?” It had only been a few days since Iran revealed its secret nuclear site, sparking intense speculation regarding its nuclear ambitions. His oversized nostrils flared, and he glared at me like a Spanish bull ready to charge at any moment. “MIGHT?!?!?!” he howled. “Of course they will!! Any day now! You’d better find cover!” Yezekiel proceeded to explain how all Muslims are the spawn of Satan and their ultimate goal is to lead the “chosen people” astray. There were lots of Torah quotes involved, of course, none of them particularly convincing.
'Hashem (G-d) said that Jerusalem must not be bartered. That is exactly what Ariel Sharon did- he was going to barter Jerusalem to the Palestinians! Do you remember the Gaza disengagement plan in 2004? And look what happened to Sharon! That's right- he had that crippling stroke! *proceeds to act it out* And you know what else? That was Hashem’s way of saying "Hey Ariel, you really f*cked this one up”'
Yezekiel proceeded to explain how G-d likes to smite soft-hearted politicians who make concessions to the Palestinians, or in one way or another, have prevented the annexation of the Occupied Terrorities. Ehud Olmert, for example, joined Mahmoud Abbas (President of the Palestinian Authority) in the “prostate cancer club” after destroying a promising career of broken treaties and airstrikes with his corruption indictment last year. So I guess the real question is this: how did Barak get off so easily? Poor Tzipi might have been next if it hadn’t been for her latest public bashing of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)! (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1255694851574&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)
Muslims, according to Yezekiel, are not the ONLY sons of Satan. Satan has lots of sons: Christians, for example. Cleverly, Yezekiel pointed out the five-pointed star’s history as a “symbol of Satan’s son, Kain,” and its presence on the flag of almost every predominately Christian nation. Same goes for Muslim nations. Not that there are many other countries in the world, other than Israel, that are predominately anything else? Everyone is the son of Satan! Except the Jews. And the United States, now that’s a double-whammy…. FIFTY stars! And for bonus points: We have John McCain (Mc=Son of, according to Irish tradition), John son of Kain! Thank G-d he lost the last election- not that Obama, a secret Muslim, is much better.
Now of course, McDonalds, the son of G-d (Don=G-d), is a blessing to us all. G-d can't have a real flesh son, but he can have a representative food chain. Obviously, G-d wants us to be fat and have high cholesterol. No, really though. This is serious business! McDonalds represents the son of God, because it competes with all of the evil fast food chains that represent Satan. Jack in a Box, for example. Boxes, you see, are automatically evil because the Pharoah that enslaved the Jews in Egypt back in the day wore a square-shaped diadem. Oh and let's not forget Hardies: the gigantic five-pointed star with the misleading, manevolent and oh-so-enticing smile.
As G-d always prevails, so doth His son. McDonalds. Except for when Pontius Pilate/Michael Moore condemned it to death (an obvious parallel to the crucifixion) in his historical film "Supersize Me."
“Are you Jewish?!” demanded Yezekiel. “No.” I said. “So then, what are you…. Christian?” I nodded. “By heritage.” He looked like he was about to vomit.
Yes, I think it is safe to say that Yezekiel has a very unique perspective on things. As creative as his theories are, they unfortunately not conducive to any sort of solution to the ongoing violence.
Right-wing political party, Gush Emunim, advocates on behalf of settlers in West Bank and formerly, Gaza. Based heavily on the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Kook and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook. The Kook family taught that secular Zionists, through their conquests of Eretz Israel, had unwittingly brought about the beginning of the “messianic age”, which would end with the coming of the Jewish messiah. Supporters believe that the coming of the messiah can be hastened through Jewish settlement on land that they believe God has allotted to the Jewish people as outlined in the Hebrew Bible. Created out of the National Religious Party (NRP) in the 70's, Gush Emunim now has close ties to the Tehiya party and the Herut wing of Likud. Likud currently holds twenty-seven seats in the Knesset and leads the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While religious extremism may be the most difficult obstacle to overcome as it would require the parties involved to rethink their entire life ideology, extremists also represent only a tiny minority of the Israeli population. Most Israelis (some 66%, according to CBS Israel) are content to accept the pre-1967 borders, so long as they don’t have to worry about whether or not a Qassam rocket is going to wreck their house that day. Security is a legitimate concern.
There is also a point where one is forced to wonder whether all past Israeli military actions have genuinely been in the interest of “national security.” Many dispute whether Operation Cast Lead was in Israel's best interest. I’ll elaborate on that in a future blog.