Jews, Israelis and macrobiotics

Posted: 23/09/2012 by zandtao in Struggle, War
Tags: ,

On macrobiotics facebook groups I have recently been involved in two discussions concerning Israel. I used to belong to an excellent mailing list called vegan- macrobiotics, and there were a lot of people who helped me there. Also at the beginning of my macrobiotics I met a very helpful and knowledgeable lady, Klara Levine, and she also introduced me to Dottie Roseboom – a valued contact. Klara invited me to join her macrobiotics Jerusalem group – even though I was Buddhist. I remained in her group for a while, but gave up because mostly the group was about local mb happenings in Jerusalem – not contributing to my learning. I mention all of this because I will always be grateful to Klara for her generosity and advice.

Once I withdrew from mb-Jerusalem more of my learning took place through vegan macrobiotics. Then my political awareness began to re-emerge, and with that I became aware that Klara regularly posted political mailings that supported her political position; I did not consider this appropriate. In the end I contacted the moderator of the mailing list, and asked her if she would veto Klara’s political mailings. She refused, so I unsubscribed from the mailing list out of respect for all the help Klara had given me.

Later on Dottie invited me to join macrobiotic questions on facebook. At this stage I needed less teachings on mb and was able to contribute. Then Klara posted a political post, and I decided that this time I would confront it politely. On the facebook question Klara explained that she had misposted it and she felt it appropriate to a different question. However a member of the page promoted the posting, and I confronted him politely but firmly – I believe. What was clear throughout the interchange that the member would not back down, and I would not. He presented what I consider to be propaganda as facts, and I attempted to point out that I considered that they were not facts but propaganda – to no avail. This post went on.

I woke up the next day to find that two leading lights of the mb movement had been inappropriately scathing of the member – I felt they were playing their mb badge to tell him to shut up. Anyway he did, and the thread ended. For me the only thing I learnt was how deeply ingrained the propaganda is, but then that has to be expected. Israeli people are suffering much hardship as a result of the policies of their leaders and their divisive role within the 1% order. To endure this hardship Israeli media cannot tell the truth otherwise why would the Israeli people put up with it. Equally Israel requires support globally from the Jewish diaspora so these Jewish people also cannot be told the truth. The Jewish lobby in the US (and the UK for that matter) is very powerful, and needs to be to present the propaganda.

Now I have little knowledge of what Israeli people are taught, little knowledge of the daily cultural life of the Israeli people. I do remember teaching Israeli kids one time nearly 30 years ago. They were on a language school package in Brighton, and I needed cash. I approached the first lesson with trepidation, I was a political activist at the time and as such pro-Palestinian. As a professional I never discussed politics in a lesson unless asked, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the kids weren’t interested. Now they were not the best behaved of students, but better than I was used to in English schools.

On the last day they broached politics. They had sensed my political position but because I was professional and because they had learnt some English they gave me respect. Very mature. And then there was a discussion conducted very amicably but underlying the whole discussion was a deep tension, a tension that stemmed from deaths – my position was political but they had people in their families who had died. This did not make my position wrong but grief associated with family dieing has to be recognised. In the end I was sympathetic not with their views but that they were in a reprisal war – a war against the people who had killed their family.

As are the Palestinian Arabs – for whom there are far more deaths and much greater destruction. I knew there was no solution there, the solution lay in the politics of the West and now what is called the 1%.

Amongst the arguments these students presented was that of Israel as a Jewish homeland and how the Jewish people had been exiled. Despite the fact that this was 2000 years ago it was integral to their standpoint. I was surprised. In 2000 years life changes, one has to accept that. This is where global politics comes in. It suited western interests to have Israel as a destabilising influence in the Middle East so when public sympathy was with the Jews after the Nazi holocaust Israel was created.

My father was there as a British soldier and he said it was wrong. Palestinian people were displaced by British soldiers from their homes within 24 hours. As fate would have it I later worked in Oman as Head of Maths. We were having an end-of-term meal, and they invited me back to their flat afterwards. They raised the question of Palestine – two members of the department were Palestinian. One told me how his grandfather had been killed by the British in the 1930s, and the other told me how his family had been given 24 hours notice to leave their homes and they could take only what they could carry; he was still hoping for justice for his family. It was real to me although far more real to them.

The occupation of Palestine continues, and the strength of that occupation is founded on the propaganda accepted by Israelis and Jewish support. That propaganda I don’t understand but I know it is based on a homeland. There appears to be a whole process of education in Israel designed to propagate this homeland rationale, and according to this Israeli speaker much of that propaganda is groundless:-

It is interesting to me because it questions, but in truth I don’t know enough. Worth watching because it gives a feel of what’s going on.

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