Alicia Keys’ decision to keep her performance date in Israel despite Alice Walker’s open letter and others asking that she reconsider has raised the issue that confronted Ray Charles who ‘notably supported the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1960s, [but was] criticized for performing at South Africa’s Sun City resort in 1981 during an international boycott of its apartheid policy, that led some to say that he had No Ears to Hear the Tears in Their Voices despite being a phenomenally soulful performer. Ray Charles refused to apologize in a letter from Billboard Magazine copied click here, as a ‘constructive engagement‘ with the assertion that his integrated performances may have been a step toward the willingness of white South Africans to abandon Apartheid.
Alicia Keys has an impressive history of philanthropy: Keep a Child Alive, “Don’t Give Up,” has promoted care for children affected by AIDS, donated to Frum tha Ground Up, Live 8 to raise awareness of poverty in Africa, raised money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, Live Earth concerts, a benefit concert following the September 11 attacks, recorded a theme song for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Sandy Relief, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, and EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the U.S. about HIV/AIDS as a partial list.
Tears in Their Voices
I made it up from Nothing that I can hear the tears in people’s voices. Timbre of the pain of still raw scars under a thin scab made up that floats around the edges in calm waters, blooming to a raging sea in passion. Icebergs of injustice flow through reincarnations in the tears in voices, tracks as histories recorded into souls from free will choices.
Anyone can learn to make a certain sound, Put some I-feel-your-pain ‘soul’ in it. But the Tears I’m talking about that are heard by the Soul are as different in character and tenor as the loud and nerve-crunching siren of the baby ready for reassurance spoiled by a mother to reassure herself of value, and the whimper of the mother who lost hers from too little to give of all she had if she could. Of a low moan and a valley-girl crying over missing a sale. When the sound of a voice resonates in my soul, I’m listening in the Spirit. It’s not a loud or soft, tremolo crystal-tone or growl, it’s something deeper than words, in the realm of the movement of the spirit, the shekhinah.
I’ve heard tears in the voices of all kinds of people. It’s not a genre of music, but the ensemble that relies on listening is that much closer to speaking a truth. I hear them across generations and cultures. A Susan Boyle can reach into my soul and pull my heart into my throat like Aretha. It’s not a ‘race,’ that’s just an invention of division, its my soul vibrating in a sound. Cultures have their own sounds, the alien keening in Asian music came home to an understanding when I heard it from the submissive among wolves, as an appeal for compassion. One day I was listening to David Horowitz and heard the voice of his proud father speaking from passion, the father from the left, the son over-correcting to the right into the camp of rejection of compassion. Both and at the same time speaking from the heart.
Everyone Suffers: We Remember Compassion
Everyone suffers, all life is suffering. Conservatism in the United States is predicated upon rejection of compassion for the suffering of the unequal as their apologist for slavery John C. Calhoun and its disciple Ayn Rand and its disciple Ronald Reagan. Ears closed to the suffering of the slave, but hearing the suffering of the old-South deprived of slavery. That justified the murder of Civil Rights workers in Neshoba County to hold onto Jim Crow in a duty to mitigate damages. That old-South ‘better for all involved’ has meaning in the realities of today’s massive inequality realized out of the godfather’s War Within the States in the Loyalist fantasy of ‘trickle-down.’ Reagan wanted to ‘reach out‘ and help the poor woman that was close enough to get its ear. Personally. Tone-deaf to the poor and huddled masses that it and its Bride of Frankenstein, Margaret Thatcher shepherded to the last thirty-year decimation of the American dream, predicated upon rejection of compassion. That was its own suffering the woman on welfare induced that it wanted to treat by having someone help her. Of course Ronald Reagan suffered as it forgot its name. Of course Lee Atwater suffered as it died of brain cancer. Of course Andrew Breitbart had a twinge as it was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. For these heroes of the old-South that pines for the next best thing to slavery, their ears closed to any suffering other than their own with No Ears to Hear will be their eternal and only memory, to be disremembered in the World to Come.
Heroes: Real and Imagined
My America grew up idolizing The Duke, is that a .. I see before me? Until we learned of its racist statements, that were as disappointing as Elvis’ who plagiarized everything from Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Before my generation, Al Jolson in Blackface was a standard. The Righteous Brothers were a curiosity. An arrogant Elvis Jr. Vanila Ice almost got on the beat and Eminem might be a ringer. The most damning whisper was the ‘can’t be trusted that’s of wooden-hearted nutcrackers, Elvis impersonators mimicking gyrations and emotions, mimicking anything you can imagine, but hollow. Tin men without a heart, from a Congenital Deficiency of compassion.
The sun shines and the rain falls on us all. We all have a soul that’s from Africa at some point in the course of affairs. The difference is that some have No Ears to Hear, are tone deaf to the suffering of others. Commonly we attribute their insensitivity to not having a Soul. It’s there without a soul willing to hear. Beasts have souls, and more compassion.
You can’t judge a book by its cover. People are people. And there’s no color sex or other differentiation beyond the Free Will choice to be Human. Humane. From the Soul within. So we have another Republican Mel Gibson, who Caryn Elaine Johnson defends as human despite its ill-considered outburst: That Jews caused it to get drunk and are arresting it as its addendum avatar, as it’s suffering it complains that I caused it to be what it is. Having been properly chaperoned and excepted at Mels’ Denny’s, Whoopi can sincerely attest that it’s a mensch. As Ronald Reagan with the welfare mother, it can accept the Whoopi that it sees before it, but that doesn’t change the underlying reality of having No Ears to Hear any tears but its own. Their compassion is always for themselves.
Sat There and Listened with No Ears to Hear
Then from an expectation of holiness, an opportunistic Republican Boteach ‘befriends‘ Michael Jackson as its almost-human Bubbles to betray with releasing confidential tapes, estranged after allegedly found with his hand in the children’s till — to cash in again, listening to the only suffering it will ever hear. With no care for benefactor or his cause for children — beyond its own. This tone-deaf Boteach sat there and listened to its celebrity ticket-to-ride to fame with No Ears to Hear.
Cynthia Mort, hearing its own suffering, may believe ‘touched‘ by Nina Simone while oblivious, missing the point of the still-smouldering scars of women of Aboriginal appearance that has expression to this day in American Idol reality. Going for eye-candy, Kelly Clarkson’s features more assymetrical and coarse can at least sing, both needing Blackface to play the part.
Jennifer Hudson lost as Melissa Dolittle lost to Jordan Sparks, because idolatry of aquiline features skintone and good hair is very much alive and well in the United States of proclivities for xenophobia. This isn’t the Lawrence Welk crowd, but the fourth generation. Republican Clint Eastwood could have listened to all the Charlie Parker, all the jazz in the world, but it’s never heard any blues but its own. Both of them made of tin with wooden hearts.
It ain’t Necessarily so that someone who plays a villain or the hero, is that in reality. Both are plying their craft, doing a job. Cynthia Mort may think she has some insight into Nina with the One-drop mulatto beauty queen the same as Kunta Kinte in her eyes. A Disney Pixar production would be more realistic.
In the heritage of Lena Horne or more to the reality of the story she’s telling of Dorothy Dandridge who had to be darkened for some roles to ensure that audiences would see the One-drop. Clint Eastwood imagined that he had something to say about Charlie Parker. But in a reality across universes, lawyers in church listening for faults in arguments just can’t get it, with No Ears to Hear the Tears in Their Voices.
Good Hair Features and Skin Tone
Momma was one of those One-drops that could pass for something other than a Negro if she wanted. The same was true of most of the wives of professionals at that time. She often talked about mean and spiteful things that the ‘black‘ Negroes did to her throughout her life. That pain has cut both ways within the Black community. If Cynthia Mort thought she needed to piddle on a Black woman’s story she can’t grasp, Dorothy Dandridge’s had it all.
I was too dark to fit into the light-skinned, and too fair to fit in with the dark-skinned, so I got it from both sides. By the old-South Cynthia Mort One-drop mentality, to pretend that Jordan Sparks looks as ‘Black’ as Melissa Dolittle while a clearly lesser singer. It has No Ears to Hear the suffering on every side within this ‘they all look alike,’ walking on Nina Simone’s grave. Tone deaf to why Nina Simone would have selected a Caryn Elaine Johnson, who can sing, or a litany of better choices, where the issue of the looks, the features, the nappy hair dark skin and coarse features, was what that pain was all about. Dorothy Dandridge could sing. It may imagine that it’s ‘we who don’t get it.’ As Clint’s ad-lib theater at the Republican convention was for their ears, not ours. An inside their head joke.
Clint Eastwood made believed a connection to Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker in making a movie about him as Cynthia Mort of Nina Simone. Our erstwhile hero, the ‘Good‘ of the Bad and Ugly, successor of the Duke, will stand Unforgiven into the depths of time for having No Ears to Hear. Listening to Charlie Parker’s minstrelsy, but hearing nothing but the bobbling of its own head. With No Ears to Hear the Tears in his Voice descended from Blues from Spirituals, a Jazz aficionado that Play Misty listens to Billie Holiday sing Strange Fruit and wouldn’t understand what the song is about without ‘Tonto ‘splain Great White Hunter.’ Lee Atwater of ‘niggerniggernigger‘ fame with its minstrel B. B. King, The Blues Legend, trying to help his jinky Kemosabe discover the promised land called The Beat of a compassionate heart with No Ears to Hear.
I have no doubt that Aboriginal bestiality may be a box-office negative, but if Nina Simone was successful with ‘bad hair’ dark skin and coarse features, it’s just disgustingly dumb-as to make a movie predicated upon acquiescence to the obstacles she overcame. Now Zoe Saldana gets to overcome Momma’s burden of ‘light skin with good hair and features’ that can’t even be an Eminem ringer as a singer.
The black and nappy, as with the Imus controversy strikes a still tender nerve. Even within families this was an issue. Until I learned of another reason for Momma’s daughter’s murderous heart while in medical school of Histrionic Personality Disorder in Separation Anxiety Syndrome, I attributed it to her quick and the dead nappy hair. Every time it got washed then straightened, the rafters above and the foundations below were shaking with her wails and protestations of this ‘not fair,’ naps as waves of Hate coming out of her head. These untouchables, unmentionables, were the real story to be told of a Nina Simone as a discounted Melissa Dolittle that decided to overcome her Aboriginal appearance, and Be. The scars of hair skin-tone and features are deep, and with us still.
Ethnic Nationalism and The Souls of Black Folk
In the rejection of the ‘black get back, brown stick around, and white you’re right,‘ the ‘I’m Black and I’m Proud‘ expressed itself as healing self-affirmation to then over-correct into Black Nationalism. That became a negative institutionalization of the ‘cant’ be trusted.’ Fighting back against the injuries-in-progress of One-drop racism in a pecking order of superficial valuations. Paint. Both the John C. Calhoun One-drop racism and reactionary Black Nationalism are predicated upon negative exceptionalism. Neither ‘race’ or ethnicity confers integrity and virtue nor the low soul with No Ears to Hear any suffering but their own.
Nationalism as a belief, creed or political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals. Particularly when on a superficial basis as ‘race’ or ethnicity is existentially separatist in a Unit Cohesion context of conflict management to be an against, by the elevation of a false distinction on a continuum toward idolatry. The United States of Coliseums has everybody picking their team in superficial pursuits that don’t matter, chasing balls for division.
Lena Horne, as may Alicia Keys turn out to be, was a Grand Dame in every respect. Left huge footprints for her successors to follow,
Horne was long involved with the Civil Rights movement. In 1941, she sang at Cafe Society and worked with Paul Robeson. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform “for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of African American servicemen”, according to her Kennedy Center biography. Because the U.S. Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she wound up putting on a show for a mixed audience of black U.S. soldiers and white German POWs. Seeing the black soldiers had been forced to sit in the back seats, she walked off the stage to the first row where the black troops were seated and performed with the Germans behind her. She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the weekend before Evers was assassinated. She also met President John F. Kennedy at the White House two days before he was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington and spoke and performed on behalf of the NAACP, SNCC, and the National Council of Negro Women. She also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws.
Advocacy in a Cause, doesn’t require a descent into hate-mongering. Rosa Parks and an almost endless list of others stood in principles. Demonstrated fortitude and a courage of convictions. Today, we have States’ Rights to vigilante laws to circumvent anti-lynching laws, Republicans and Democrats in pick-ups wearing plaid getting their entitlement to not so bad strange fruit back for their ever-suffering constituencies. Turning back time. To ‘unpopular things.‘
Ethnic Nationalism is Divisive
The old-South will cheer Alicia Keys’ decision as a victory for the John C. Calhoun philosophy of maximum inequality as ‘better for all involved,‘ in the United States that’s running neck and neck with Israel that has the highest poverty rate in the developed world in pursuit of Spartan militarism as safety. They’ll send gilded invitations to the ‘worked hard to get paid’ Ayn Rand fan club. Smug and happy, their suffering relieved by a good ‘life goes on‘ minstrelsy show.
Those with compassion for All suffering as Alice Walker exemplifies will groan to find another minstrel being pimped in fond memory of Ronald Reagan, godfather of the John C. Calhoun States’ Rights to not so bad strange fruit. The desert wilderness that elects an Ignorance-as-Virtue rankly hypocritical Jim Inhofe ‘Rain, Rain go away global warming;‘ making-believe that they, with No Ears to Hear, are Jazz aficionados. These Republicans couldn’t find The Beat if it came up and slapped them in the face. Without a Soul of compassion, can feel at most a pinprick to a broad rusty sword passing through a tender Soul slowly. The have compassion and the have-nots, in the deepest division possible, born from within.
The triumphal music of Richard Wagner is a reveling in causing my suffering, that bounce and step then sharp click of the heels of that unmentionable that’s like a crack of a whip across my soul. What matters today is that the weak poor and sick are being savagely ravaged with ever increasing glee by the old-South with No Ears to Hear the sound of any suffering but their own. Names and faces change through time, but it’s the role of the soul they choose from within, assuming those tracks of guilt of the ages on their souls today, by choice.
Ethnic Nationalism is Exceptionalism as Justification
The existential reality is that Israel by whatever terminology serves the exceptionalism as justification is at least partially, and that’s enough, predicated upon forced taking by power money might from people who have been in possession for hundreds of years. Forcibly taken Palestinian privately-owned areas around Tel Aviv have become a non-issue as the ball advances, as permanent as the permanent non-occupation that’s been Israeli policy at least since 1967 if not from the ‘little ethnic cleansing‘ 1948 Deir Yassin inception. The plethora of settlements blanketing Judea and Samaria as well as associated infrastructure were built over decades to be permanent, only shrublands up for negotiation, borders ‘to be discussed,’ never Right of Return. Until the next ‘defensive’ hike and advancement of the ball.
My heresy is that I don’t believe any sort of ‘race’ or ethnic nationalism is good for anybody but the men-as deities at the top of their pecking orders and the Loyalists willing to say-do-whatever to keep power money might. I don’t trust Jewish Black Palestinian Pat-Buchanan-white-supremacist, or any other sort of ‘race’ or ‘ethnic’ nationalists because of the inherent narcissism-in-a-fantasy that entails. The corruptions of nepotism and cronyism always follow the same Us over Them fault lines as habit. There’s no accident that the Human Rights abuses of the Palestinian Authoritarians exceed those of Israel. Scraping their plight into those would-be men-as deities is no more compassionate than as vassals under the thumbs of Feiglin Jewish-supremacists.
Repressive governments are toppling all over the world. Two-state with Palestinian Authoritarian repression is another wishful thinking as safety. The proponents of Two-state say that the helpless Palestinians can’t be infinitely drubbed under the Israeli thumb of power money might. Will it be infinite under the solipsist Arab thumb of power money might? And what of the light skin on dark within Israel as Ethiopian Jews are down on the pecking order from Sephardic Jews that are second class to Ashkenazi Jews, the former two being humiliated into leaving along with the Arabs who are to be disenfranchised and deported to the shrublands in the Livni-as-moderate Two-State Grand Bargain. That, in brief, will be a separate but equal before Brown v. Board of Education, with icebergs of hostilities smouldering in Hezbollah and Hamas. That peace will be a lie, with all scores left to be settled.
Japan and Korea are similarly ethno-narcissistic nation-states with the fundamental caveat that their lands, with some notable irredentist exceptions in contest, have been in direct possession throughout. The paradigm most applicable to Israel is the taking of Native American lands under the same racist cum ethnic banner of Manifest Destiny colonialism, biblical historiography not-withstanding. That, African slavery, and plenty of less-famous genocidal ‘defenses of liberty’ all over the world are permanent stains on American exceptionalism. That has two divergent meanings, for the old-South an entitlement from Calvinist power money might to Hold Dominion, and the other a Moshe defending the slave, the weak and poor, the widow and orphan from predations of power money might.
The Antipathy as Virtue old-South is in love with Israel because they see their Holding Dominion religion as having its ‘way of life,’ the guilty association with them injecting the explicit One-drop racism needed to prove that collectivization case. The old-South has the added thrill of seeing their nemesis in compassion and justice, the humans of The Divine Torah losing their souls. Being validated by seeing the Nation of Holy Priests falling into the gutter of Hate with them. Jews as a Nation is a reference to people in a time when religion and every other dimension of life was a coherent whole, not a physical old-South Holding Dominion in abominations of collectivization justifications of injustices.
Ethnic Narcissism for No Ears to Hear ‘Their‘ Suffering
Gordis’ Walking Away from Alice Walker is illustrative of the narcissism underpinned by exceptionalism that is wholly dismissive of any compassion for Palestinian suffering. In a John C. Calhoun proof of the righteousness of having No Ears to Hear, it conflates any criticism of Israeli ‘unpopular things‘ policy to Nazi-ism with:
…resist calling something evil even when there is no other way to describe it. Now we’re seeing it again – not with Germany, but with the United States. It’s reappeared not with Richard Wagner, but with Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple.’ by her ‘refus(al) to allow her novel to be translated into Hebrew.
Derisive of her explanation as a whole cloth fabrication of all involved, the petulant boy crying anti-Semitic wolf in the face of a depressing reality:
… last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.
To then give the standard swipes of ‘… not a matter of ignorance. It is a matter of hate.‘ Then the standard dismissive platitudes of
Everyone knows that the condition of Palestinians in the West Bank is far from ideal; we also know that Israel could, and must, do better. But Walker writes as though the Palestinians are identical to the blacks of South Africa; they suffer only because of the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, in this case), not because of anything they have done. She writes as though Israel is the only obstacle to their “freedom,” as though Israel is, as a matter of policy, committed to perpetuating their second-class status without end. But no reasonable reading of the Middle East justifies any such claim.
For the smug and self-righteous collectivizations, the same he accuses of her in the assertion that they all deserve his decades-long ‘unpopular things.‘ It refuses the validity of anyone hearing their suffering. That ‘little ethnic cleansing‘ in 1948? — they should have stayed so that there would be no issue of Right of Return. That a priori attempt to drive them out has nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands of Jews driven out of Arab countries. Then it’s all their fault the Arab countries didn’t take their Arabs as Israel took in Arab Jews, albeit to be second-class cannon-fodder. The contradictory premise of the first statement is that its necessary ‘unpopular things‘ except Israel from all culpability in the same relativism in exceptionalism way it says she excepts theirs. Then another insipid condescending pat with:
There is much to critique about Israeli policy; but the notion that the Palestinians are stateless solely because of Israel, or that they suffer at Israeli hands only because of their ethnicity, is obviously rubbish. Deep down, Alice Walker must know that.Lest we imagine that what Walker really objects to is the occupation, she even makes a point of saying that Israel is guilty of apartheid inside the Green Line as well.
When the premise of Israel is the necessity to be a Jewish state with an existentially exclusivist doublet modifier. As if it’s not ethnic when Israel doesn’t even recognize it’s Conservative addendum as Judaism. The ‘right’ secular Jews and rejectionists of religion Jews are valid when Arab Jews are less valid. There’s no religious consensus any more than there’s an ethnic consensus, and there are several Cultures of Jews. It habitually spits down on anybody that’s dubious of its ‘unpopular things’ with ‘haven’t thought enough,‘ or ‘disingenuous‘ in having any discomfort with a permanent military non-occupation that drubs the helpless natives while we also all know that within the Green Line Israel is the most naive and racist country in the West that practices Urban racial purity. That Sephardic Jews are self-deporting hand over fist by having resources lacking for those other Arabs being driven out.
This old-South insists on standing on the relativistic misdirecting justifications that’s as Freedom House shows Israel as free and Gaza and Judea and Samaria as not free. Because Israel is free, any criticism of the permanent non-occupation is ‘about her attitude to the Jews.’ That freedom as the old-South Holding Dominion justified by pointing North in those Dred Scott times of overlooking slavery. Jews should … cut their ties with Alice ‘Walker, who joined a failed flotilla’ to oppose the illegal Roman-siege Gaza blockade that was killing plenty of babies in Infant Mortality. Collectively deserved for the ‘uppity‘ apostasy not to elect a corrupt and purely self-concerned Palestinian Authority pecking order descended from tin-pot Arafat who purloined millions off the ‘Peace Process‘ while they suffered. It’s simply a matter of choosing collectivization sides, ‘our cause.’ With No Ears to Hear their suffering as human, it’s only ‘your hurting people‘ that matter as they promise to Lee Atwater old-South ‘hurt them more.‘ Alice Walker, and anyone with One-drop of compassion for Palestinian suffering is an anti-Semite analogous to Nazis, something evil.
Can we learn to stop coddling cultural geniuses, even though we revere their craft and talent, when they cross certain lines?’
That really gives me pause in my perspective about Alicia Keys, a ‘cultural genius’ and humanitarian’s decision to choose a side, if it’s true that’s all there is. Choosing sides. I can’t hypocritically condemn Alicia Keys’ decision to perform in Israel because I don’t boycott Israel or support BDS at all. However, I’m not a proponent of its ‘unpopular things,‘ either. That’s clearly been an Israeli national project that’s been running under the banner of ‘defense’ for decades. It’ absurd to boycott the settlements and not boycott the nation-state as a whole, and the United States and other complicit countries as well. All this vitriolic ‘choosing sides’ that’s totally dismissive of Palestinian suffering just reeks.
I don’t believe in any sort of ethnic or racial nationalism, Austrian Black Chinese Hungarian Japanese Jewish Korean Kurdish Palestinian or What ever sides. That there’s any magic in being a Jew beyond the responsibility to Do to Hear, to Be Holy, that has nothing whatsoever to do with Holding Dominion in any old-South physical sense. I doubt that I’d have bothered to read it were it not for the connection from Alicia Keys to Alice Walker to ….it. Consistently it’s collectivization choosing sides for permanent war ‘only good Indian is a dead Indian‘ paradigm, incensed that anyone both within or without might admit that ‘They‘ are human crosses certain lines to becoming an inhuman ‘it‘ in the process. Can’t be trusted by make-believe friend or foe, an empty except for Hate tin nutcracker with a wooden heart. Something evil.
Battle-Unit Cohesion Born from Conflict to Live by Conflict
Our ongoing attempt to assure a Jewish future by assuring a vibrant and secure Jewish state is a cause Alice Walker utterly rejects.
It’s always attacking, hate-mongering, from ‘choose sides,’ never any positive discourse on what can’t be actualized in an egalitarian secular democracy — unless Holding Dominion floats your flotilla. Nothing is ever articulated beyond narcissistic recursive and incessant tribal loyalty for battle-Unit Cohesion, ‘support your own, support us in our exclusivist supporting our own.‘ That, if not racism per se, operates on the same idolatrous premises as white-supremacism or Black Nationalism. Holler Fire! Fire! with this debased Us-Us dismissal of any qualms about militaristic conquest justified by alarmist falderal as No Jewish People Without Israel:
But this is precisely where we find ourselves. Young Jews today, discouraged by Israeli policies that they cannot abide, either explicitly or tacitly join those who condemn the Jewish State. But they do not recognize that the de-legitimization of Israel will affect them, too, that they, too, have a personal stake in Israel, no matter how discomfited they may be by some of its policies. What happens to Israel will affect not only Jews in Beersheva or Tel Aviv, but Jews in New York, Boston, London, and Buenos Aires. Why that is the case has to become part of the Zionist conversation, which can no longer be only about Palestinians and occupation, borders and war.
As though it’s just the young who are dubious. It needs the gullible young to be persuaded to its ‘Cause,’ the old are already religiously clear from the Elders of Blessed Memory on what abomination means.
Friends have been incredulous that with my own One-drop, I as adamantly as its condemnation of Alice Walker, reject the idea that there’s something inherently positive about ‘Blackness.’ Or any other paint-based identity-ness. The question is existentially framed in a context of an against ‘Them‘ (white). I’m then a life-long Traitor of the Race when I have Perfect Faith that specious fabrications for division are the last things in which we need to have faith. Beyond that is the issue of having faith in things. States races and ethnicities are things. Religion is a thing. Zionism isn’t Judaism unless the Holding Dominion ‘Religious Zionism’ is supposed to be some valid addendum to go along with the Trinitarian Pauline. If this Judaism its selling is to be a vehicle of justification of having faith in things, I’m not on that side, of things. Militaristic Zionism has endeavored to change the meaning of being a Jew from being in Awe of HaShem to a Birthright to be in awe of being a Jew. With no need to Be Holy beyond witlessly supporting ‘unpopular things.‘
Do they care about Jewish civil rights, too, or is it only other victims who arouse their sympathies?
The best case it makes isn’t for ‘cultural geniuses‘ to overlook our ‘unpopular things,‘ but for those who don’t want to lose their soul to reconsider before immigrating to its ‘neck of the woods.’ If Daniel Gordis, hate-monger and advocate extraordinaire of ‘unpopular things‘ — militaristic settlement enterprise Human Rights abuses Project Humiliation justified by particularism is what the exclusivist Jewish as a positive means, is the Jungian transformational über-mensch that justifies Jewish ethnic nationalism, I’ll rest my case.
Personal Choices as the World to Come Approaches
We’re all being confronted with personal choices as the World to Come approaches. Perhaps a good that’s already come of Alicia Keys’ decision to keep her word and perform for those who can afford to go to her concert in Tel Aviv is that it’s prompted a lot of soul-searching within me. The Liel Leibovitz ostensible coup de grâce of proof of why Alice Walker Is all wrong in a bottom line that’s a fatuous negative in a willful suspension of disbelief:
It has never, even in its most recalcitrant moments, categorically rejected the possibility of a negotiated resolution to its conflict.
Israel has never, even in its most amenable moments, categorically conceded the certainty of having non-negotiable nuclear weapons either.
They uniformly apply the same collectivization rationales they decry, as though the Palestinians in their village hovels were the Arabs that attacked and lost in 1967, that overreacted to a ‘little ethnic cleansing‘ by fleeing in 1948. For in inevitable chorus-in-consensus Why is Israel alone of all offending countries to be boycotted? Perhaps because it’s that offending country which also just happens to be Jewish? that isn’t a denial of the ‘unpopular things‘ offenses, but a relativistic why persecute us for our persecutions? It’s just anti-Semitic!
Stiff-arm any opposition to creating icebergs of injustices with Shoah and anti-Semitic cards the same way the old-South stiff-arms any twinges toward compassion for the weak poor and sick with their thirty-year-old One-drop Code-words–in-evolution race-cards. Were it not for the militaristic settlement enterprise Human Rights abuses and Project Humiliation to drive them all out, these relativistic defenses wouldn’t be more so indicative of future intent. The Two-state Game Over, the militaristic package is being defended to be maintained in the relativistically benign driving them all out to population exchange or Two-State with most Israeli Arabs that they hold up as posters of defense disenfranchised. In the same insulting everyone’s intelligence way the Republican Party Big Tent of Hate still tries to claim Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln while rewriting the Corwin amendment to nationalize the next best thing to slavery, ‘at will’ with no Labor Rights. No Right to life with ‘at will’ vigilantism,
Maybe I’m wrong that the John C. Calhoun old-South never intends to give up on Spartan militarism as their essence, their idea of peace as unconditional surrender to their entitlement to Hold Dominion, a breaking of the human will in an ideal of inequality that’s ‘better for all involved.‘ If not for Alice Walker’s or Alicia Keys’ but for my Soul, what exactly is this Peace with Honor that Israel is offering the Palestinians that proves Alice Walker is anti-Semitic, Alan Dershowitz being boo’d down for still advocating Two-state, Beinhart only saved from the self-hating hatchet by being a genuine religious Jew heretically talking Two-state — peace.
Bi-national is Still Nationalism
Bi-national is still nationalism, to both and either I object. The old-South conventional wisdom of an Us over Them is the premise of nationalism, as well as the underlying analogous Hungarian nationalists within the Austrian empire in 1867.
As with Zen Racism, we can both affirm our own identities without the 19th Century European necessity to rule that we need to rule over them. Rather than co-rule from an existential necessity to pretend that there’s something inherently virtuous in one ethnic nation or another, to eventually continue as though this fight is necessary, the radical, toward the World to Come is that we know in the Time and Motion of history, that people have multiple identities, and that remembrance of the one doesn’t require negation of the other. Inventing lines of division for Unit Cohesion is predicated upon the fight as the goal so that the necessity of Arab Jews to choose whether they are Arabs — Sephardic, and whether they are Jews is absurd on its face. Nevertheless, wholly consistent with the narcicisstic nationalistic mind-set.
What is this like? My musical training was Classical. Later, in the desire to learn to play Jazz, I had an extreme amount of difficulty getting the metronome out of my head with the note ‘this…long.’ I didn’t break free until I found the freedom of Rock to then trace back through those roots in the Blues to finally be able to play Jazz. In the ethos of Black Nationalism, my Classical roots required rejection in the necessity to reject my ‘white.’ Now, to say that my tastes in music are eclectic is dismissive of my roots being as Classical as Spiritual. Just as I don’t have to submit to the All or Nothing at All One-drop premise, I don’t need to reject the Classical to embrace the Spiritual, and I don’t need to pretend that all music that has its roots purportedly in Spiritual is inherently good, any more than I need to pretend that Akhnaten wasn’t the worst opera I suffered through. Judaism defines me, that isn’t a ‘race’ as some would pretend.
Human Identities Are No Longer Simplistic
My objections to nationalism are not a rejection of either ethnicity as the ‘choose sides’ contingent of history wants to demand as an affirmation of identity, but a willingness to appreciate the beauty, and reject the ugly in both that’s just people being people. Gordis et. al. desire to claim egalitarianism by the rare non-Jewish Arabs in positions within Israel while at the same time striving to drive Arabs, both Jewish and non out in an existential ethnic contest. That mainstream Feiglin can campaign on ‘Arabs are the problem‘ while there are Arab Jews would be staggering were it not so sublimely accepted in the debased as normalcy ethnic nationalist premise. The Jewish people carry the The Divine Torah in their hearts and minds. However, every Jew is not Being Holy, and the collectivizations of Gordis and Feiglin fly out of holiness into being of abominations. I made up from Nothing that this is what the Elders of Blessed Memory warned against, Jews who’ve lost their holy souls and are beckoning others to join them as though this is Judaism. Teachers? Please.
By Free Will, to this point, I didn’t believe there’s any point in constructive engagement, in expecting Spirituals Blues Jazz or any other music including Alicia Keys’ to be heard in compassion for All suffering by souls with No Ears to Hear any suffering other than their own. This long-held belief is what I’ve had to rethink by the cognitive dissonance of my Perfect Faith in the Jewish people of The Divine Torah. I still have to make a distinction in a follower and Pied Pipers of Hate. From someone who’s chosen to be a leader as an Eichmann or Demjanjuk, taking that extra measure of initiative that’s both irreversible and indicative along a continuum to go-along-to-get-along for which there may be value in continuing to engage.
The Negro ethos prior to the Civil Rights era was constructive engagement – supplication, that by seeing what good people we are, they’ll stop seeing us as less than human. That if we treat them as though they’re human, prayers answered, they will be. To the old-South, that’s just the happy-with-their-lot ‘looking up’ to Clint Eastwood while he’s talking down in every dimension during his senior moments at the 2012 Republican Big Tent of Hate Convention. Beyond having No Ears to Hear, the old-South isn’t worth hearing beyond reminding of what they are, that they routinely oblige whenever their forked-tongues flick. They can mimic empathy as anything else, but if people can change, they do so from within. Until consistently working to prevent the beating of the helpless slave, there’s nothing they can say that will matter. I have a Civil Right to live free in Judea and Samaria, but I categorically reject the predatory either-or Us-Them metareligious premise of the old-South Holding Dominion religion.
I believe Alice Walker may have done a great good by allowing her work to be translated into hebrew, but in not doing so, the stone into the water of bringing attention to the ‘unpopular things‘ situation is the power she chose to exercise. In a continuity to Alice Walker ‘times are a-changing,‘ President Obama’s bypassing the Knesset in a political boycott of Gordis’ den of ‘unpopular things‘ to speak directly to the remaining Souls in Israel was a message being sent in constructive engagement. Other than Filial affinity, regardless of the ethnic nationalist premise of Zionism, that has had less than nothing to do with Judaism from its inception, the freedoms within Israel have been her salvation. Ilan Pappé, Shlomo Sand, Israel Shahak, Ha’aretz, B’tselem. And many more swept under the rugs as the black sheep. Stephen Hawking is vitriolically attacked for declining to go while Noam Chomsky and Normal Finkelstein are hypocritically locked out for the heresy of realistic Two-state Zionist advocacy, shredding what littlecredibility they have left. Gordis et. al. are obviously nursing the permanent ‘unpopular things‘ non-occupation by pretenses of Two-state ‘to be discussed,’ sold on their own propaganda, making believe that what every Soul with Ears to Hear sees clearly is a matter of our ignorance, when it’s obviously a matter of their Hate.
Willing Hostages: Stockholm Syndrome
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors or abusers, sometimes to the point of defending them, and sometimes the feeling of love for the captor shows. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.
The Israeli cannon-fodder to bolster demographic majority are suffering in the greatest poverty rate in the developed world, whose tears are hardly heard more than that of the Palestinians. Both living in poverty under the guns of Hamas and Hezbollah being told that to be a good Jew, hate Arabs and anybody that looks like them or darker. The ‘Palestinians’ being told to Hate anybody that looks like a Jew or lighter. Both light and dark, good hair and bad, coarse features and aquiline, need as much rescuing from the Lost Boys Gordis and Feiglin John C. Calhoun old-South as the world of compassion for All suffering can muster.
I can’t abandon either, too close to close my ears to either of their suffering. I look at the old-South heart of darkness that isn’t a race or ethnicity, or a religion that has anything to do with The Divine Torah. That’s a choice not an accident of birth, but from free will in the image that defines. Alicia Keys can play for Gordis the Great White Hunter with No Ears to Hear as Clint Eastwood heard Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, Ronald Reagan Ray Charles, Boteach Michael Jackson, or Lee Atwater B. B. King, and it won’t matter a bit with No Ears to Hear. However, there are others, that are our hope.
At the end of this attempt as journey, I’m also glad Alicia Keys decided to go, both she and Alice Walker, as are we all, are playing our roles of the soul in bringing the light of The Divine Torah as world consciousness looms to a thundering deluge, ear-piercing. Her decision is a greater spotlight than had she decided not to go. As Macy Gray, a few condemnatory opinion pieces in the circuit I read every day, but nothing in the mainstream. The stakes will be off the charts next year — that soon. In the law of unintended consequences, Alicia Keys’ decision more so than putting her career at stake puts the militaristic settlement enterprise Human Rights abuses and Project Humiliation onto another world stage. As a ‘cultural genius,‘ she can’t validate Gordis’ ‘unpopular things‘ any more than Alice Walker can single-handed take the exclusivist ‘Jewish state‘ finger-in-the-eye moniker off of Israel. A world of outlets of discussion that give Israel less thought than the next American Idol will hear, and perhaps their souls of compassion for All suffering will hear the tears in all of our voices.
Alice Walker as Everyman
The Alice Walker-as-everyman reason, regardless of any relativistic exceptionalist excuses under the stiff-arming anti-Semitic accusation to leave us to our ‘unpopular things,‘ the underlying reality is the Baby Ruthless floater in the pool of ever-diminishing good will. Will be polarizing, urging everyone to ‘choose a side.‘ Thankfully, by no means is there a consensus within the actual Jewish people, in Israel or in the Diaspora that we can Win without Justice Compassion Mercy for Peace. Winning with No Ears to Hear the Tears in Their Voices.
Both women’s acts of loving kindness for those suffering under Stockholm Syndrome in Israel will highlight rather than legitimize or delegitimize the status quo and future intended ‘unpopular things‘ — militaristic settlement enterprise Human Rights abuses and Project Humiliation. For another step in the direction of world consciousness that may lead to more soul searching for personal choices for some to become real, not imaginary play-acting, heroes of doing the right thing with no Holding Dominion winner over a loser in an egalitarian democratic One-state Solution as a Unity without sides, the Good that’s neither-national. Israel, the word, the Nation, and the nation-state, can stand on it’s own without a separatist ‘Jewish state‘ doublet or separatist bi-national modifier.
As Amalekites at His end of these times, their deities of power money might cannot save. Nor will they have a voice by having No Ears to Hear the Tears in Their Voices in compassion for All suffering:
They cried, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but He answered them not.
in the World to Come.