Life’s Little Mysteries

Life’s little mysteries keep amazing me; all the decades I’ve spent on earth: And I am enjoying it enormously.

I find that I admire Israel mightily. I really do. I find that Israel is not to be pitied because Israel is a Survivor. That tiny country is like the proverbial Phoenix. It just won’t lie down and die(?) However, unlike the Phoenix, Israel does not know how to mend fences. It does not know that it no longer has a soul. That’s it! The no longer existing soul of Israel. There used to be a time when Israelis and their leaders shared some humanity: a human life is important. A human death is not just a statistic. It is death of a human being – one of our species. Sadly, for Jsrael, those sentiments have been thrown into the dustbin – like their souls!

Where’s Israel’s Soul?

I had as a child growing up in the beautiful, sparsely populated, peaceful, sleepy city( even then, it was city) of Jos,on the Plateau in Nigeria, wondered who the Jews were.In catechism class( every child in Jos attended catechism class and every child gathered at Angwan Sarki, to enjoy ileya), the white Reverend Fathers of St Theresa’s Catholic Church, bombarded us with Jewish tales of betrayal of Jesus Christ. And now, with benefit of hindsight, glowingly with the unimaginable beauty of the “land flowing with milk and honey”. Our young brains just couldn’t absorb how a people so blessed,could turn around and give their own anointed son to those infidels( to their credit, they never called the Romans that,but, implied).We never asked if the beautiful land God showed Moses ” flowing with milk and honey ” was virgin land. Empty. Unoccupied. Dropped from Heaven. After all , wasn’t Elias( or Elijah) taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire? After all, wasn’t Papa Abraham taken to Heaven via a long staircase – that disappeared into the clouds? I swear they showed us a book with that picture. Picture or painting, na you sabi !So, it wouldn’t have been out of place, for God to have dropped the land- in the middle of the desert! After all,in that same book, we saw God, with the longest, whitest ,well groomed beard. Of course, he was a white man. And that awe striking man, definitely could do anything! Alas! Now we know better! The Jews who have lived on and off various lands in the Middle East, Europe and even Africa, rewrote History AND the Bible. I don’t know if anyone dared tamper with the Torah- to suit their taste and justify Tomorrow. Not survival. The Jews, I grudgingly admit are Survivors.

In the opening lines, I admitted that I admire the Jews. In this post, I intend to call them Israelis. They are Israelis. They live in Israel. On a land, freely given to them by God( their narration) and Man( our narration).In 1948, David Ben Gurion, in connivance with the British, hoisted the flag of a new old Nation called Israel. That tale of how the British and Ben Gurion played a fast one on the Arabs and the rest of us,is for another day.

But, this Posted is not about Israel’s rich but fractious history. No. This Post is addressed to the Arabs of Palestine, the Arab- Israelis, the “accepted” but, not assimilated ;African-Israelis and all the other “accepted tribes” lost and now found,but not absorbed. And derisively called “mizrahim”. To them I write this consolatory post: Israel is about to implode.

The Implosion: How Israel will implode

Some annoyance are eternal. You anger Somebody so much that the IAAF famous #No human is Limited, becomes only a slogan. Could the Israelis have angered their God so much, then, recent then and now, that, (if they were Africans, we would have shouted ancestral curse) He has placed a cyclical curse on them? The way I see it, if nothing troubles them, they rush all over looking for Trouble to trouble them: That’s the Israeli Spirit – Trouble dey sleep, Yanga go wake am. After since and after and now, the Israelis beg trouble to afflict them. God has so made their genes, that only occasionally – that’s by way of mistaken identity – that the Israelis accept peace. Anyway, Poor Yitzhak Rabin, was the butt of many fireside jokes in many kibbutz – for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. For a moment, in those heady days of the Oslo Accords, everyone HOPED the jinx had been broken. That the world,especially, the Middle East would finally have peace. It was not to be. American meddlesomeness. American urge to always be in charge. Crass. Impulsive. Most times – Outright stupid. Not naive. Just Goddamn hairsplitting stupid. Some days, I ask myself: Are these Americans for real?

Notwithstanding, Israel will implode. Hopefully, prodded by American obfuscation and Israeli inbuilt self- destruct mechanism. Here are the reasons why Israel will implode and out of the ashes,we will celebrate the Two nation Dream in our lifetime. The hawks,in Israel and Palestine, will be disgraced; and this great promise will be fulfilled, when Israel implodes :

1. Racism in Israel

In 2018, the hush hush racism in Israel exploded,in full public view: Israelis and the world woke to an unusual sight- Israelis “protesting”! They were protesting against an Arab family moving into the affluent, exclusively white Israeli neighborhood, known as Yizrael Quarters. Arabs and African-Israelis,one can understand; but, white mizrahim, are also considered below the whiter Ashkenazim.Jews are divided also: Mizrahim- lower Jews, from Arab countries, African- Israelis, mostly Ethiopians and those ” small small whites( not black, but not white- Nigerian deep description of a difficult matter) from around the Mediterranean Sea,,including Portugal, Spain, also known as Sephardic Jews. Then, there are the Ashkenazim, ehen! accepted bloodline- from Central Europe. To be Caucasian, certainly is appealing. Remember the US and the Jim Crow and other racial laws; or South Africa and the Baas mentality of the Apartheid years? Points to one conclusion: Racial( read: white) supremacy. I know defenders of racism – here I mean Jewish Supremacy – use polemics to confuse us: Jewish Supremacy is different from white Supremacy. How? But, at least, they are united in agreeing that the State of Israel and the Zionist Idea were conceived on the basis of Jewish Supremacy. They argue that Israel was established as a Jewish Democratic state,in which the rights of Jews are anchored on a set of rules, which guarantees them privileges – Law of Return, Absentee Property Law, on and on. Reminds one of the paternalism and laws of the American South. Check this: “whiter” Jews, Ashkenazim, are granted more privileges and benefits than those from Arab, Mediterranean and of course, lower down, African Jews.One of such nauseating benefit is the law of non prosecution for kidnapping of Jewish babies of Mizrahim origin,given to childless Ashkenazi couples. Quaint. Reminds me again of Phillis Wheatley, the truly first poetess of the America. Sorry. That honour was not possible then and still not! She was black and a slave. She was ” adopted” by the white Wheatley, who forbade her from mixing with her own black people. It is related that Mrs Wheatley, the white mother, once saw Phillis sitting in the front seat with the chaise driver, a black slave. She exclaimed, “Do but look at that saucy varlet – if he hasn’t the impudence to sit upon the same seat with my Phillis!”. Other benefits for the Ashkenazim include the best lands in the newly demarcated settlements AND the creation of separate unequal educational systems.

Also waiting to explode,are the African Jews. Way back in Africa, in Ethiopia, they were called falasha(Amharic for stranger) and now, at home, united with the other tribes, they are bewildered, lost and strung up and called mizrahim ( a shade better than stranger,nonetheless, not complete absorption). Even though they have substantial evidence of being the fruit of King Solomon’s unfettered liaison with Queen Sheba, it is on record that until the late 1980s to early 1990s, rabbinic authorities are said to have (and secretly still) questioned their Jewishness. So, something has to give!

2.American Meddlesomeness

The yoyo stance of the US on the Israelis/Palestine issue hasn’t been helpful to a final solution. Each new American president comes with his own piece of wacky solution…and each one, makes Alexander the Great’s solution with the Gordian Knot, a poor one. At least, he didn’t cut the horse into two. The Americans have done worse. If Wikipedia is to believed, the UN has passed over 45 resolutions condemning Israel for Human rights violations. In fact, it is stated that since the creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006, “it has resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined”. Wow!

And Israel remains resolute. Because the mercantile America is behind her. Meanwhile, the US was an original signatory to Resolution 181(II) providing for an Arab State and a Jewish State , in the former Mandate Territory of Palestine. AND a special status for the Holy City of Jerusalem. And then to further undo everything, taking the world back to 1967, this Trump man , a person, who in normal climes, should be certified, defied the 1978 legal opinion of his State Department by even refusing to recognize any group called Palestinians. He told Israel that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the nation of Israel; then, told us to stuff it,by saying the question of the status of the West Bank should be ” resolved” by Israel and Palestine, through negotiations. Even his own State Department was outraged. It described Pompeo’s announcement as ” inconsistent with international law”. The world was stunned. So, Israel if you do not want to remain a hounded bear, avoid the US. An implosion is imminent.

3. Israel’s Internal Wranglings

Good. Very Good. For the first time, Israel’s secrecy of its internal turmoils have been exposed. That a sitting Prime Minister is indicted. Branded like a common criminal( Trump is one of his cosiest friends. Tells volumes!) More tellingly, Netanyahu, that’s his name, is parroting Trump. Since his indictment by the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit,( who tongue in cheek described it as a sad day for Israel), Mr Netanyahu, has struck out at the police and the AG, saying they have lost the trust of the people of Israel. Deja vu! The criminal charges are for fraud, bribery and breach of trust. Hmm. And there’s Trump shouting hoarse, “there’s no quid pro quo”.

And Israel totters.

So, why are the Arabs, the 2nd class mizrahim and the Palestinians, throwing stones and worrying themselves silly? Israel will push itself over the edge soon. The opposition parties are braying. The leash gets frayed ragged, very fast.

4. The Bomb

Israel has the Bomb. We know. Despite Israel’s opacity about its nuclear arsenal, it is a nuclear power. What justification does the US and Europe have to deny Iran the Bomb? If the fear is in the vaunted hot blood of the Arab, then, sir, you forget that Israel is in the Middle East – and the waters of the Mediteranean Sea- also cascades in their blood. To successfully ” urge”, “persuade” somebody to do as suggested, there must be a counter. I see the possession of nuclear capability by Iran, as such a bolster.

5. Fear

Not since the early days of Israel have I smelt such palpable fear. The Israeli Defence Forces see every Arab in jallabiya,as a terrorist. As the daily body searches continue, I understand the Mizrahim have now being included. After all, they are also as dark as the Arabs. Not quite long ago, the Defence Forces put scanners on the Mosque, in East Jerusalem. Fear becomes obsession. Obsession becomes suicidal.

Soon, Israel will implode.

The earlier the Israelis realise that Trump may not be quite alright, in the correct places, the better to stem the tide.

Conclusion

If Israel is not to implode faster and earlier than Divinely ordained, it must make moral decisions. Not only about finding accommodation for its Arab neighbours,by heeding the African proverb,” what a gentle word can accomplish, force cannot”.

In 2020, it will be 100 years of recorded violence between the Jews and the Arabs;since that dusty day in March 1920,that particular piece of near desert has not known peace. Inside Israel,things get stickier and stickier,as rumours have it that the influential Ashkenazim are pulling their children from the mandatory military service( so,it’s not only in Nigeria!)

What makes us different from the beast is that we have a soul. Yasser Arafat wept when he was told Yitzhak Rabin had been assassinated. So, should it be. Since the unnecessary, unexplained 2nd intifada, over 3000 souls have been lost – 2000 Palestinians and about 1000 Israelis. Mostly innocent souls. Who would have chosen peaceful accommodation to this unending,meaningless violence.

Israel should look and reclaim its soul.

In the words of Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Laurette,”…no self- respecting government or nation could knowingly violate the Biblical injunction ” Thou shall not stand idly by”…Surely when human lives are involved,indifference is not an answer. Not to choose is also a choice”. For as he notes, neutrality helps the aggressor, not his victims. So, here we are on the threshold of the third decade of the new century; still holding our breath,in fear. Which of the mad men, armed with the little red button, will annihilate us?

So, as 2019 draws tearfully to a close, Trump and his Secretary of State,Pompeo, rudely keep us awake:

Pompeo crazily tells the International Criminal Court, ICC, that it had no authority to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Palestinian territories. He added,”we firmly oppose this and other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly.” Then, he slapped the world fully in the face, “we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state,and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, etc.” Yet, in that strange, twisted logic, the US urges the world to accept “direct negotiations”. Who will Israel negotiate with? A non state? I am happy so many Americans see the danger ahead. Israel will implode, then ,the US will plunge the world into another world war. Influential people like Linda Ronstadt, John Legend and Robert de Niro are crying out. If nothing else, prevalent on your senator. The world made the mistake: And we paid with millions of our prime youth. We, who have crossed the half century and+, no longer fear death.But, sincerely I will not forgive myself if a lunatic causes the death of my children and grandchildren: I adore them all.

But, I leave the last word to Elie Wiesel: ” But a nation is great not because of its wealth or its military might; its greatness is measured by the way it uses or abuses its wealth and power. In other words: its greatness derives from its commitment to moral principles.” Elie Wiesel,reaching out to the future in 1999.(the full essay is in Newsweek, April,12,1999).

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