Thomas L. Are: The Spear Head of Justice

The Spear Head of Justice

Gilad Atzmon writes:

The lack of capacity to reflect upon oneself from the futuristic perspective, explains the Israeli collective complicity in some of their horrendous war crimes. This should be enough to explain why the Israelis sliced up the Holy Land with separation walls and barbed wires. It explains why Israelis drop White Phosphorous on their next door neighbors as they seek shelter in a UN shelter. It also explains why Israeli Navy Seal commandos ended up executing peace activist on the Mavi Marmara on the high seas. It also explains why newly-born Israel was quick to expel the vast majority of the Palestinian indigenous population just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz… People who defy history never look in the mirror.[1]

I heard Gilad Aztmon speak in Atlanta just last week. (3/10/12) He shared with us how his grandfather had been a prominent commander of the Irgun, the terrorist gang involved in the massacre of Deir Yassin. Grandfather was also, according to Gilad, “pretty cross with the Palestinians for dwelling on the land he was sure belonged to him and his people, given to them by God.” Gilad grew up believing "it was only Jews who were associated with anything good.”[2] The greatest thing that he could do with his life was to become a martyr for Israel. Then in 1982, at 18 years old, he joined the army and was sent to Lebanon where he first encountered Palestinians. His illusions crumbled, “I knew that our leaders were lying, in fact, every Israeli soldier understood that this was a war of Israeli aggression.”

Atzmon is not very different from many other Jewish celebrities, (he is a world renowned saxophonist.) but the passion with which he spoke of justice for the Palestinians amazed me. He said something like, ‘The point of the spear for international justice is focused on how Israel treats the Palestinians.’

I sat there thinking, how right he is. If we can’t see the daily injustice inflicted on the Palestinians then what chance is there for justice anywhere? We might as well give up to a dog eat dog world, every man (and nation) for himself and to hell with the needs and pains of anyone else. The injustice in Palestine is so obvious:

Palestinian children face many obstacles:

*** 10 percent of children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip suffer from chronic malnutrition.
*** 19 percent of children under 5 are anemic
*** 23 percent of Palestinian families with children are in poverty ($2 a day or less.)
*** 25 percent of Palestinian children do not attend primary school.[3]

That’s not the worst of it.

In the last two days, Israeli forces have killed at least 15 residents of the Gaza Strip and wounded over 30. Among the dead are two young boys.[4]

If Gilad Atzmon has the moral courage to speak out against his own heritage, family and nation, can we not at least learn about the issue, speak out in our churches, inform our friends and write our politicians?

Thomas Are
March 16, 2012.


 The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics

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[1] Gilad Atzmon, The Wandering Who, (Zero Books) p. 181-182.
[2] Ibid., p.2
[3] Sources UN, PCBS, cited in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 2012. p.2
[4] Max Blumenthal, Israel’s Bogus Case for Bombing Gaza Obscures Political Motives, Mondowweiss, March 11, 2012.