Am I an Anti-Semite now?

August 13, 2010

I joined a youth organization of the Austrian socialist party when I was fourteen. It was a logical thing to do, because I came from a working class family. My mother had just died and my father was a metal worker with a meager wage who could hardly provide the money to get me through grammar school. I experienced the class divide every day. My classmates spent their pocket money conspicuously and mocked me because I didn’t have money.

I was an outsider in the school, while cordially received and accepted in the youth organization. I felt at home there.

The organization had fully embraced the ideals of the anti-fascist resistance and I attended a lot of lectures, symposiums and conferences where survivors of the Nazi concentration camps gave testimony about the horrendous crimes against Jews and other minorities.

I was deeply moved by the stories that I heard. Those witnesses of the holocaust were true, one could see it in their faces and from their whole demeanor, that they had experienced and overcome tragedy and that they had a profound understanding of life. I often took the chance and spoke with them privately after the events had closed down and they were open and accessible and glad to widen my horizon and help me in my quest to understand life.

I grew up in post war Vienna, confronted with the great past of this town and a contrasting bleak present. The Jewish community, that existed before World War II is a significant part of Vienna’s history. This community was vibrant and cultural influential, relics of Jewish culture are everywhere. Before the war, Vienna was home to approximately 170,000 Jews. In mid 1939 around 100,000 Austrian Jews had emigrated, the ones who remained, were murdered in Mathausen, Theresienstadt, Belzec and other death camps. Only 700 Jews survived the Holocaust.

It is an interesting detail, that Chinese consul general Dr. Feng Shan Ho managed to rescue thousands of Jews by rapidly approving visas to China. In one particularly close call, Dr. Ho managed to hold back Gestapo agents at the door of a Jewish home where he had gone to deliver a visa. Dr. Feng Shan Ho is one of the great unsung heroes of World War II.

The Jewish community grew again after the war due to immigration from eastern Europe and in 1951 9000 Jews lived in Vienna though the population has slowly but steadily declined since then. Despite their small number Jews still are influential. There is also still considerable anti-Semitism in Austria.

When Bruno Kreisky, the later chancellor and the most famous Jew of post war Austria, became leader of the Socialist party, he applied a hard regime against the left wing. The leaders of the youth organization were various times summoned for a dressing down and I experienced Kreisky in this meetings as despotic and hard nosed. He especially opposed our Vietnam War protest actions. In the end the youth organization was expelled from the party.

This negative experience did not diminish my sympathies for Jews in general and for the state of Israel in particular. I can remember a hefty argument with two arabic students in one of Vienna’s pubs, the “Kleines Cafe”. I got very agitated and angry and called them all kind of names. It was another bad day of my life! I’m still ashamed as I recall this episode and I regret it and apologize to these students. Unfortunately they will never know about my apology….

It took some years to overcome my bias toward Israel. It was a painfully slow learning process and I had to force myself to even look at evidence that contradicted my views. (Several studies on cognition and engrams show the brains ability of filtering contradicting information. Facts, that don’t fit into deeply carved engrams in the brain (build from previous accumulated information) will not register. Though the information can be seen, heard or read, it will not stick, it will not make us change our minds.)

I had cheered the Six-Day War and never doubted Israeli claims that it responded to an attack by Egyptian forces. I dismissed the information about the preceding water disputes between Syria and Israel and viewed the occupation of the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the West Bank including East Jerusalem as a necessity to secure Israel’s existence. I heard about the 300,000 Palestinian and 90,000 Syrian refugees and I heard the reports about military executions of Arab civilians and POWs (Prisoners of War), but it didn’t change my mind.

It took several years and a constant stream of disturbing news about Israeli oppression and atrocities against Palestinians to make me observe the Middle East situation from a different angle. I started to look for alternative sources of information beyond the mainstream media and I discovered bewildering and disturbing discrepancies between these new informations and the official approved narrative.

First I was confused, but as the bits and pieces of the information puzzle suddenly formed a coherent picture it felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. It was like an epiphany and I suddenly understood!

We are brainwashed. We are lied to and dumped down. I knew that before and I should not have been astonished to find out that it holds true even more for an emotionally charged issue like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Looking back at all these years when I was unwavering and unquestioning defending Israel against any criticism is quite sobering and disillusioning. I considered myself to be open minded, tolerant, free from prejudices and intelligent enough to look behind the scenes and lift the curtains and sort out the lies.

I was not, I fell in a trap!

In the following paragraphs I need to write down some numbers and list some facts that I gathered and double checked and that I consider as plausible. I decided not to include any citations or footnotes as this would only bloat the text while not deter criticism and ridicule. Everybody can look around on the internet and search for keywords and make up her or his own mind about the validity of this numbers and facts:

  • Israel defies UN Security Resolution 242 and perpetuates the occupation indefinitely.
  • 4.2 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN in the Middle East.
  • Israel has 224 settlements with a population of 220,000 on confiscated Palestinian land.
  • 24,000 Palestinian homes have been annihilated.
  • 80 percent of the industrial infrastructure of Palestine is destroyed.
  • Unemployment is 42 percent in Gaza and 23 percent in the West Bank.
  • 7,400 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel.

Every Israeli citizen consumes five times more water than the Palestinians. Settlers in the West Bank consume 20 times more water than the Palestinians. 200 Palestinian communities have no access to a clean water supply. There is no water supply in Gaza that is fit for drinking.

Israel has built a 650 km long security barrier inside the West Bank, which breaks up the Palestinian territory (it includes 7 percent of West Bank territory on the Israeli side of the barrier). The wall is 8 meters high, twice the height of the former Berlin wall. The International court of Justice ruled 2004 that the barrier violates international law and must be torn down.

  • 1,100 Palestinians and 164 Israelis died in the first intifada 1987–1993.
  • 5,500 Palestinians and 1,100 Israelis died in the second intifada 2000 – 2005.
  • 400 Palestinians were assassinated by Israel since 2000.
  • 660 Palestinian children were killed and 9,000 wounded by Israel since 2000.

The overall death toll of Palestinians since 1948 is between 20,000 and 40,000.

A common excuse for the blatant and undeniable acts of Israeli oppression is Arab terrorism and every Israeli is able to recite a list of Palestinian terror acts. I acknowledge that there is Palestinian terror and I despise it and deeply regret it. I’m horrified by the reports of suicide missions and Kazaam rockets targeting indiscriminately Israeli territory.

I don’t have to document terror attacks by Palestinians here, because that is done in great detail by the mainstream media. Instead I want to present a list of Israeli terror acts, because Israeli terror is rarely reported in the media. The list is far from complete and trimmed to key words because otherwise it would be too long:

December 1947 Baldat al-Shaikh. 600 unarmed villagers killed by Haganah.

April 1948 Deir Yassin. 254 Palestinians, mainly women, old people and children are killed by Irgun.

July 1948 Lydda. Israelis tell the population through loudspeakers to gather in the Dahmash Mosque. 80 -100 men, women and children are massacred in the mosque (the mosque still stands abandoned today).

October 1956. Israel conquers the Gaza Strip, where it remains till March 1957. Israel kills some 400 civilians during the battle and the occupation.

September 1982 Lebanon. Lebanese Christians kill some 2,800 Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, while Israeli troops supervise the three-day killing spree.

October 1985 Tunis. Israel’s Operation Wooden Leg attempts to kill Arafat with an air raid. He survives, but 60 members of the PLO are killed.

May 1990 Oyon Qara. An Israeli soldier lines up Palestinian laborers and murders seven of them with a machine gun. 13 Palestinians are killed by Israel in the subsequent demonstrations.

October 1990 Jerusalem. Police opens fire on worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque killing 22.

February 1994 Hebron. Baruch Goldstein, an American-Israeli settler, enters the Cave of the Patriarchs and kills 29. 125 are injured.

April 1996 Lebanon. Israel bombes and kills 106 Lebanese civilians (almost all women, children and old men) who had taken refuge in an UN shelter in the village of Qana. 110 civilians are injured.

April 2002 Jenin. Israel invades a refugee camp in the West Bank, destroys 10 percent of the camp and massacres between 60 and 400 people. The occupation soldiers prevent ambulances and medical teams from entering the camp for 13 days.The death toll is disputed, an UN fact-finding mission is not allowed to enter Jenin.

December 2008. Israel attacks the Gaza Stripe. 1,400 Palestinians are killed, 3,000 injured. Most of the victims are civilians, including 288 children. Israel uses white phosphorus (banned by the Geneva Convention). UN facilities and aid caravans come under fire. UN and Red Cross employes are killed. Israelis fire tank shells into an UN school in which civilians are sheltering (40 are killed and 56 wounded). 2,700 buildings and 180 greenhouses are destroyed.

May 2010. Israel attacks a peaceful convoy of aid ships in international waters 90 miles from the Gaza coastline and kills nine volunteers aboard the main ship, the Mavi Marmara, Dozens more are wounded and all passengers are taken to prisons in Israel.

I would also consider the Israeli massacres of Arab civilians and captured soldiers in the wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, the killing of peace activists (Rachel Corrie, Thomas Hurndall), the killing of reporters, the drone strikes and assassinations by Mossad as terrorism.

As I said before, I’m aware, that there is Palestinian terror and I despise it and deeply regret it. I’m saddened by the senseless bloodshed and for me nothing justifies violence, death and destruction. But I don’t anymore accept the standard classification made by the mainstream media. I cannot anymore easily distinguish the villains in this tragedy from the heros. Why does it make a difference weather the killing is done by an AK-47 bullet or a F-16 missile strike? Why are the F-16 fighter pilots heros, when they trigger the missiles? Is the IDF soldier, who kills a pregnant Palestinian woman at a checkpoint a hero? Is the bulldozer driver, who crushes a child to death while leveling a Palestinian house a hero?

In 1946 Menachem Begin masterminded and carried out the bombing of the King David Hotel, 91 Arabs, Britons and Jews died. In 1953 Ariel Sharon commanded the massacre of Qibya. Forty-two houses as well as a school and a mosque were dynamited over their inhabitants. 75 women, men and children were killed.

Begin and Sharon are regarded as heros and as founding fathers of Israel and they both became later prime minister. Menachem Begin was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1978. (Nobel Peace Price laureate Obama, who defended the Afghan War in his acceptance speech is indeed in good company.)

Menachem Begin described the Palestinian resistance fighters to the Israeli Knesset as “animals that walk on two legs”. This quote pretty much sums up the attitude of most Israelis against the Palestinians. Israelis have dehumanized the Palestinians in their minds, they regard them as subhuman, as vermin, as lowlifes that are unworthy to be on this planet.

Prime Minister Golda Maier in 1969: “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed”. Raphael Eitan in 1983: “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir 1988: “The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” Israel Koenig (The Koenig Memorandum): “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” Arnon Sofer from Haifa University in 2004 about Gaza: “we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”

Palestinians are subject to constant oppression, humiliation and abuse. Israeli soldiers vandalize Palestinian homes, they write “death to the Arabs” on the walls, they take family pictures and spit on them. Thousands of homes are demolished by Caterpillar D9 bulldozers. The families have to leave on short notice, unable to save any of their possessions. Since 1967, Israeli authorities have conducted over 9000 demolitions of Palestinian homes; 2,000 houses in East Jerusalem alone.

15,000 buildings in East Jerusalem are declared illegal, demolition orders were sent out and the families live under the threat of becoming homeless. Israel has expropriated more than one-third of East Jerusalem territory since 1967. Historic buildings and other traces of Arab culture are systematically destroyed or vandalized. A “Museum of Tolerance” is built on the site of a medieval Muslim cemetery. When UNESCO organized the “Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture 2009” celebration Israel banned all activities, harassed and deported foreign visitors and the police raided cultural centers and shut them down.

Israel has set up 600 checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank, which limit access to schools and medical care and destroy the economy. Palestinians are subjected to humiliating body searches and long waits at the checkpoints. Pregnant women give birth at the checkpoints because they are not allowed to pass and to reach the near hospital. Many severely sick patience die at the checkpoints because they are not allowed to cross despite their critical condition.

Palestinian merchants cannot export their products and when they sell to Jews they are duped and not payed anything. Settlers harass their Palestinian neighbors and destroy their property, they uproot the olive trees and dump their waste onto the fields of Palestinian farmers. Settlers kill Palestinians with impunity in doubtful circumstances and the perpetrators are rarely identified and never prosecuted.

Israel has dumped both industrial toxic waste and radioactive waste from Dimona on Palestinian territory near Gaza City. Waste of all kind is dumped into landfills at Abu Dis, Tovlan and other sites in the West Bank. The waste dumps are polluting the soul and poisoning the groundwater. Israel has also moved its most polluting industries to the Occupied Territories (Geshuri Industries, Dixon industrial gas factory).

The Gaza Strip is completely isolated, the main goods crossings are shut. The economy has broken down and people live in unimaginable poverty. 1.5 million people live on 378 square kilometers in an open air prison.

This is racism! Gaza is the Warsaw ghetto of the 21th century.

How is it possible that the Jewish people who experienced the Holocaust now apply the same inhuman treatment to the Palestinians? Are humans really unable to learn from history and bound to make the same terrible mistakes over and over again?

I was born and grew up in Vienna and I also lived for ten years in Braunau, Hitlers birth pace. Antisemitism is deeply rooted in the Austrian psyche – I was confronted with this despicable sentiment throughout my life.

Any staunch defender of Israel’s actions will jump on my personal data and label my criticism of Israel as antisemitic. The defenders of Israel will yet not be able to brand the criticism by holocaust survivors as antisemitic. In the following paragraphs I want to quote three holocaust survivors, that speak out against Israel’s atrocities. I found many more examples in my research for this text, but there is not enough space to present their statements here.

Susan Kozma is a Hungarian holocaust survivor. She was sent to a concentration camp at the age of 18, but was lucky enough to leave alive a year later. Her parents and siblings did not survive the holocaust and she lost 34 family members. In her own words:

As a Jew, I know that Israel was established on the one hand because Europe was very guilty since no body did anything to stop the holocaust and the other thing is that Europe was happy to get rid of as many Jews as possible.

A homeland is important for the Jewish people, but I feel that what Israel is doing is digging its own grave and the existence of Israel can’t be based on what they are doing to the Palestinians. Israel can defend itself, but it does not have to kill others and demolish houses in order to do that. That is not self-defense.

Hedy Epstein was 14 when she escaped from Nazi persecution via the “Kindertransport” to England. In 2001 she founded the St. Louis chapter of the anti-war group “Women in Black” and she has actively advocated for Palestinian rights since visiting the West Bank in 2003. That is what Epstein told an interviewer in February 2010:

I was born in Germany, I’m Jewish – after Hitler came to power, my parents realized very quickly that Germany was not a good place to raise a family. They were willing to go anywhere in the world, but one place they were not willing to go to was Palestine – they were anti-Zionists. As a child I didn’t quite understand this, but if my parents were anti-Zionist, I was anti-Zionist. I came to the USA in 1948, around the same time Israel became a state, about which I had mixed feelings. On the one hand it was a place for Holocaust survivors to go to, those who could not or did not want to return to their homes, but on the other, I considered my parents’ ardent anti-Zionism. While I was new in the USA, Israel and Palestine remained on the back burner of my interests. In 1982, I heard about the massacres in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon — I wanted to know who was responsible for this and what had happened between 1948 and 1982. As I learned more, I became increasingly disturbed by the policies of Israel and its military. Fast forward to 2003 – I was in the West Bank for the first time, and have been there five times since then.

Suzanne Weiss escaped with her family from the ghetto in Piotrkow, Poland to Paris. Her parents were killed by the Nazis but she was saved by a brave peasant family in Auvergne, who hid her from the Nazis. She now lives in Canada. The following paragraphs are excerpts of a speech she gave in April 2010 on Holocaust Memorial Day:

I am a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust, the Nazis’ mass murder of Europe’s Jews. The tragic experience of my family and community under Hitler makes me alert to the suffering of other peoples denied their human rights today – including the Palestinians. The Palestinians are victims of ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Hitler started with that, but went on to extermination. In my family’s city in Poland, Piotrkow, where 99 percent of the Jews perished.

The Israeli government’s actions toward the Palestinians awaken horrific memories of my family’s experiences under Hitlerism: the inhuman walls, the checkpoints, the daily humiliations, killings, diseases, the systematic deprivation. There’s no escaping the fact that Israel has occupied the entire country of Palestine, and taken most of the land, while the Palestinians have been expelled, walled off, and deprived of human rights and human dignity.

The United Nations has defined apartheid as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”

The apartheid concept was found in North America when indigenous peoples were confined to reservations in remote corners of the lands stolen from them. The South African Dutch settlers and Israeli government further developed the concept.

Eliminating Israeli apartheid involves three simple measures:

  • The right of exiled Palestinians to return to their country.
  • An end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.
  • The right of Palestinians within Israel to full equality.

I recently discovered that my name is included in a website list of “7,000 self-hating Jews.” Why are Jewish supporters of Palestine labelled as “self-hating”? Because those who make this charge have redefined Judaism in terms of the present policies and character of the Israeli state. They see Judaism as nothing more than a rationale for oppressing Palestinians. What an insult to Jewish religion and culture!

As for the 7,000 self-haters, the critics need to add a couple of zeros to that total. In my experience, support of Palestine is stronger in the Jewish population than in society as a whole. And Jewish people work alongside their Palestinian brothers and sisters as a strong component of the Palestine solidarity movement.

Holocaust Awareness Week is an appropriate time to review our proud history as Jewish universalists, welcoming and encompassing humanity. We, as Jewish supporters of the Palestinians, stand on the finest traditions of Judaism, its great contributions to human religion, philosophy, science, and solidarity through the ages. The rights we expect for the Jewish people, we demand for all humanity — above all, for the Palestinians that the Israeli government oppresses in our name.

It feels good to hear from this people. Their words give hope and they show that humans are able to learn from history. Jewish people can be thoughtful and forgiving and wise. I met many Jews and my personal experiences over all were not different from my experiences with non-Jews (though it appeared to me, that Jews are on average quite intelligent). Despite the title of this text, despite my repulsion of Israel’s politic I’m not an anti-Semite. I respect and honor the significant contribution of Jews to world culture and many Jews are my heros:

I like to play songs of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, I like to listen to Mel Tormé, Donald Fagen, Johnny Clegg, I acknowledge the contribution of Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen, Marc Cohn, Paul Simon and many others to popular music.

Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Popper and Erich Fromm were big influences in my youth, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and Peter Singer are my influences now. I liked to listen to Studs Terkel and Daniel Schorr and I was sad, when they passed away.

I admire the courage of activists like Gisèle Halimi, Eva Cox, Shelley Davis, Alice Herz and Gerald Kaufman. Daniel Ellsberg revealed the Pentagon Papers, Mordechai Vanunu Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Ellsberg called Vanunu rightfully “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era”. Vanunu is my hero too.

I just heard, that the historianTony Judt died from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Judt made an interesting transformation from a Zionist to a critic of Israel and the USA. He was a fascinating personality, denounced by the Israel Lobby as another “self-hating Jew”. I have not read anything from him until now but I will look into his work as soon as my time allows. I will also have to go through the list of “7,000 self-hating Jews” (www.masada2000.org), I’m sure that I will find very interesting people there.

I would like to end this text with a hopeful outlook and some possible solutions but I don’t see any solutions. The obstacles to peace are massive and insurmountable. There is resentment and hatred, there is the myth of “Erez Israel” and the wish of 4.2 million Palestinian refugees to return home. There is religious fanaticism and intolerance on both sides.

And there is not enough water.

One significant obstacle to peace that is seldom mentioned in analysis of the middle east situation is the scarcity of water.

The Jordan River Basin, including parts of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank, is a bone-dry, arid region. The river originates in Lebanon and has an average flow of 1,200 million cubic meters per year. This river system consists of the Jordan and Yarmuk River, which flows from Syria. With the dry climate and low precipitation in this region, water has become the most valuable resource.

Israel uses the greatest amount of water available in the basin, and next is Jordan. The Israeli-occupied West Bank uses the smallest amount. The daily amount of water per person in the Jordan River Basin is the lowest in the world and the situation is constantly worsened by the population increase due to high Palestinian birthrates and Israeli immigration. Syria and Israel have taken over the water supplies. The construction of reservoirs on the Yarmuk River has caused a reduction of discharge into the Jordan River. The aquifers that supply Israel’s central area lie in the West Bank.

The Israel National Water Carrier pumps water from the Sea of Galilee and carries it to areas in the center and south of Israel as well as to Palestinian areas. The Mountain Aquifer underneath the West Bank is a point of contention, Israel is walling off access to water supplies and Palestinians are charged three times the cost for water than settlers and the population in Israel’s central area.

There is not enough water for two states of Israel and Palestine. A just distribution of water between Israel and Palestine would mean, that Israel would have to scale back the use of water significantly and dismantle many irrigation projects. Israel’s economy would crush and the living standard would decrease significantly. An independent Palestinian state would also mean, that Israel would have to find new dumping grounds for it’s waste. Israeli politicians know all that and therefore will never join any meaningful peace process.

If there is no peaceful solution, what is the likely outcome? I don’t want to be a doomsday prophet, but I only see looming disasters and catastrophic outcomes.

2.4 million Palestinians live in the West Bank, 1.5 million in the Gaza stripe. 40 percent of Palestinians are under 14 years old. That are some 1.6 million children under 14. These children grow up in a climate of fear, terror, humiliation. They see their classmates shot by Israeli snipers and bleeding to death. They experience the terror of missile strikes and bomb raids and see body parts laying around and blood everywhere. They loose their friends and relatives, they are sickened by malnutrition and polluted drinking water. Many are orphaned.

These children will be traumatized and disturbed and if they survive and grow up they will hate Israel with every peace of their heart till the end of their days. Revenge will be the guarding principle of their lives. 1.6 million new terrorists will do everything they can to kill Jews and Americans. They will not hesitate to sacrifice their lives if they get the chance to destroy Jewish and American lives too.

I have to mention and include US America in this considerations because Israel would not be able to pursue its policies without American support. Israel officially receives some three billion US$ every year and there are many additional hidden subsidies and costs. A recently published economic analysis by T. R. Stauffer concludes that support for Israel has cost American taxpayers nearly three trillion US$ until now. The APAC and people like Edgar Bronfman, Israel Singer and Elie Wiesel (Shoah-business) make sure, that US support is continuing. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said to Shimon Peres in 2001: “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”

Israel and the USA are aware of the growing danger of Arab revenge and they take precautionary measures. The USA is building a gigantic secret surveillance apparatus and uses high tech tools for counter terrorism. Israel increases its effort to infiltrate Palestinian society and to recruit collaborators. Palestinians are locked up or killed at the slightest suspicion. Jerusalem and other strategic places are surveilled by closed-circuit cameras, military observation posts and police patrols. Riot police is always on alert and plainclothes officers patrol the streets. All shopping malls and all restaurants employ security guards.

“Big Brother” surveillance would have been attempted in any way because the technology to control domestic dissent is now available, but the threat of terrorism makes it easier to mute the critics and accelerate the process. Terrorism is a convenient excuse for the rollback of civil liberties and the USA and Israel are developing into police states with a steadily increased restriction of citizen rights. This is the price the citizens have to pay for security. This is the price the citizens have to pay for a terribly wrong policy!

I asked the question already: Are humans really unable to learn from history and bound to make the same terrible mistakes over and over again? And I meant with this sentence, that Israel has not learned anything from the Holocaust. But maybe Israel is considering the lessons of history and has learned from the Holocaust and it only draws a different conclusions than I do, which could be:

Germany exterminated six million jews and is today a respected member of the world community. If Israel would exterminate three to four million Palestinians it would be an international pariah for a few years (which doesn’t count as long as the USA support is not waining). Israel would be a pariah for some years, but it would be one day again a respected member of the international community.

Maybe the bombing of the Gaza Stripe, which killed 1,400 Palestinians was only a test run. What will happen, if terrorists launch a successful strike which kills hundreds of Israelis? Will Israel firebomb the Gaza Stripe? Will Israel drop some nuclear bombs? 200 Israeli nuclear warheads are waiting to be deployed. Only two or three of them would solve the Gaza problem all and for once…

I don’t want to spin this idea any further, the imagination of nuclear destruction and the resulting horrendous suffering is too hard to bear. I feel helpless and hopeless. What can one do against 200 Israeli nuclear bombs? What can one do against 5100 USA nuclear bombs?

What can one do against the nuclear menace? What can one do against the biggest military force that ever existed on this planet? There is not much, what I personally can do against Israel and the USA. I can raise my voice and tell all my friends and my pupils. I can avoid buying Israeli and US American goods. Maybe it makes a difference if many, many people do this.

What I will avoid to buy in the future:

I use audio software from Waves Audio Ltd, a company that is based in Tel Aviv. Waves-plugins are a standard for recording and used in every studio. Fortunately there emerged some alternatives in the last month and I will not be forced to update or buy any other Waves product. I have several Apple Mac Mini computers and some iPods. These devices are great and fit perfectly my needs but I will not buy any other Apple products. I fetched two Mac Mini Server models when they were sold out after the newest iteration of Minis arrived. I will upgrade them with solid-state drives from Samsung (not Intel and not OCZ despite the technological advantages of the Indilinx controller). The upgrade should make this computers viable for many years. If I have to buy new hard disks for mass storage it will be for sure not Seagate or WD.

Fortunately I don’t have to buy much produce in the shop, I mostly rely on fruits and vegetables from our garden or from friends and from neighboring farms. In future I will be careful to read the labels and avoid GM food. I will not buy industrial processed food. I will buy local!

It is not easy to avoid American goods and one has to be always on guard and conduct a thorough research before shopping. My cats love food from Royal Canin, a French company. Unfortunately this company was bought by Mars and I really don’t want to support the Mars family! Another example: When I bought a nutritional supplement for my old cat Lizzy, I found out that it came from Pfizer. I would have made an exception for Lizzy, but Lizzy is dead now. My cats will eat more local in future (the mice from the neighboring forrest). I also ordered high quality cat food from various European companies so the cats can check, what would be acceptable as replacement for Royal Canin.

Fortunately I don’t need any medication and I don’t have to rely on Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson etc.

I want to end this text with the appeal to join the “Boycott Israel” movement (www.bigcampaign.org or bdsmovement.net or www.boycottisrael.org.uk). And again, I’m not an anti-Semite, I would be thrilled to meet Peter Singer or Noam Chomsky, I would love to jam with Avishai Cohen.


  1. 1.) Protecting your home…

    2.) […]every so often I come across a site that I actually like to read and this is one[…]…


  2. A great resource. Many thanks.


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