Thursday, July 31, 2014

ZIONISM... Winning the battle, losing the war.

Israel is behaving like a nation drunk on the intoxicant of its presumed military might. Under the guise of its "right to self-defense " it has rumbled into Gaza creating a trail of death and destruction. The wail of innocent men, women, and children are totally ignored as the blood-thirsty Zionists act out their long held geo-political wet dreams. As in the past, what we are witnessing  here is a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population which is causing revulsion around the globe.

At this very moment International public opinion is mounting in opposition to the reasons for, and the continuation of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian peoples. It is clear to the world that there is NO military solution to this conflict. Informed and fair observers have declared that the Netanyahu government has not honestly or resolutely engaged with the leaders of the Palestinian people to address their just grievances. What they have done, and effectively so, is engaged in a pattern of propagandizing that is designed to marginalize their neighbors and bring Israel sympathy and economic/military support especially from their American political partners. But the American people are slowly but surely awakening from their religion-induced stupor, and the assumption that we must uncritically support "God's chosen people" is losing its hold on our cultural consciousness.

American support for Israel's actions against the Palestinians has declined and is currently almost evenly split, even though our career politicians find themselves in lock-step with  the desires of the Zionist lobby. Former President Jimmy Carter and others have noted the  well known threat to the political viability of any American politician who does otherwise. A recent Gallop Poll observes the following:
             "It is striking how evenly divided the public is on this question when there is total uniformity   among political leaders in the U.S. that Israel is justified in what it has been doing. There is always a significant gap between popular and elite views on foreign policy issues, but it is still fairly unusual for a view held by almost 40% of Americans to have virtually no representation in Congress."
The generational divisions on this question are almost as great

We fought a war for Independence based on our objection to "taxation without representation", but now find ourselves supporting Zionist ideological practices that 40% of us do not support to the tune of (conservative estimate) $121 billion between 1949 and 2014.

Israel is brutalizing its Palestinian neighbor, but it is fast losing the war for International moral support. The consequences of this are going to be tragic for Israel's own future. Their continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land may provide some satisfaction of their gross geo-political desires, but in the long run they will have no place to hide from their own sins.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THE ONGOING MIDDLE EAST CRISIS - Living And Dying In An Unsustainable Duality

“The central problem is this: How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation? Only as they discover themselves to be “hosts” of the oppressor can they contribute to the midwifery of their liberating pedagogy. As long as they live in the duality in which to be is to be like, and to be like is to be like the oppressor, this contribution is impossible.  --- Paulo Freire in ...The Pedagogy of the Oppressed

On Tuesday July 15 2014 an Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva published an op-ed written by Moshe Feiglin titled “ My Outline for a Solution in Gaza”. Feiglin who is head of the Manhigut Yehudit faction, is a leader in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party. He refers to his article as: “Clear and concise...”. Because it is in fact very clear and very concise in its intention, I will re-present the op-ed as published. These are Feiglin's “steps toward achieving quiet in Gaza”:

“Ultimatum – One warning from the Prime Minister of Israel to the enemy population, in which he announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. Hamas may unconditionally surrender and prevent the attack.

Attack – Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. It is enough that we are hitting exact targets and that we gave them advance warning.

Siege – Parallel to the above, a total siege on Gaza. Nothing will enter the area. Israel, however, will allow exit from Gaza. (Civilians may go to Sinai, fighters may surrender to IDF forces).

Defense – Any place from which Israel or Israel’s forces were attacked will be immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’.

Conquer – After the IDF completes the "softening" of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.

Elimination- The GSS and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.

Sovereignty – Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza.

According to polls, most of the Arabs in Gaza wish to leave. Those who were not involved in anti-Israel activity will be offered a generous international emigration package. Those who choose to 
remain will receive permanent resident status. After a number of years of living in Israel and becoming accustomed to it, contingent on appropriate legislation in the Knesset and the authorization of the Minister of Interior, those who personally accept upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land, will be offered Israeli citizenship”

One would be right to question the audacity of such a statement published for the civilized world to peruse. There is an obvious insanity that undergirds such audacity, and it is not the kind of madness that we can afford to ignore. The article reminds me of another “solution” that resulted in one of the most abhorred episodes in human history. The Holocaust Encyclopedia records the following:

“On July 17, 1941, four weeks after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler tasked SS chief Heinrich Himmler with responsibility for all security matters in the occupied Soviet Union. Hitler gave Himmler broad authority to physically eliminate any perceived threats to permanent German rule. Two weeks later, on July 31, 1941, Nazi leader Hermann Goering authorized SS General Reinhard Heydrich to make preparations for the implementation of a complete solution of the Jewish question." 

According to this same article:

German SS and police murdered nearly 2,700,000 Jews in the killing centers either by asphyxiation with poison gas or by shooting. In its entirety, the "Final Solution" called for the murder of all European Jews by gassing, shooting, and other means. Approximately six million Jewish men, women, and children were killed during the Holocaust -- two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe before World War II”.

With all due disrespect to euphemisms from the mouths of those we know as murderous villains in the course of human history, let me suggest that the word “solution” should never proceed from the mouth of a Jew toward Palestinians in the “occupied” territories. The article by Moshe Feiglin
expresses the crassness and inhumanity that has come to characterize Zionist behavior toward the Palestinian people.

According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia:

“After the September 1939 German invasion of Poland (the beginning of World War II), anti-Jewish policy escalated to the imprisonment and eventual murder of European Jewry. The Nazis first established ghettos (enclosed areas designed to isolate and control the Jews) in the Generalgouvernement (a territory in central and eastern Poland overseen by a German civilian government) and the Warthegau (an area of western Poland annexed to Germany). Polish and western European Jews were deported to these ghettos where they lived in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions with inadequate food.”

In the minds of Jews like Feiglin, Gaza is nothing but a “ghetto” and its inhabitants are nothing more than “vermin” that must be wiped out to make way for Zionist ambitions. The “elimination of terror from Gaza” is the same as the elimination of any man, woman, and child who dares be perceived as obstacles to such ambitions. Feiglin has seen the is him. He dwells in an unsustainable duality that has degraded his humanity. For him, to be is to be like, and to be like is to be like the Nazi that he has been conditioned to despise.

The Zionist is yet to realize that his own liberation is inextricably bound with the liberation of the Palestinian. He is numb to the glaring reality that his every expression are manifestations of his own dehumanization. He finds himself in a delusional state in which he actually believes that he can quarantine himself and his clan from the pandemic of violence that his inhumanity breeds.

Reasonable voices must prevail against the insanity of the rabid fundamentalism on both sides. Israel's right to exist and to defend itself should never be an excuse for the disproportionate use of force to accomplish patently inhumane ends. Reasonable people have laid the groundwork for two
states living side by side in civility. That work must bear fruit despite the objections rationalized on each side. The resolution of this conflict requires the engagement of truly liberated persons. People willing to let go, not forget, but willing to work in creative ways to establish Peace despite the horrors in their common memories. The process has not been and will not be easy, but it is critically necessary that it endures through completion.

The establishment of a comprehensive Peace in the Middle East is necessarily a work of persons dedicated to Justice for all involved. It is a work that requires the efforts of truly liberated participants. Paulo Freire aptly describes the peril and the promise of the work that must be done: "Liberation is thus a childbirth, and a painful one. The man or woman who emerges is a new person, viable only as the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is superseded by the humanization of all people. Or to put it another way the solution of this contradiction is born in the labor which brings into the world this new being: no longer oppressor nor longer oppressed, but human in the process of achieving freedom."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HOPE & DESPAIR in Palestine... A clash of aspirations

* “The tensions ripping us apart
Have their origin
In psyches of feuding yin and yang…
Unresolved quarrels in our souls
Now accepted as states of being
In our fragile existentialism…”

Neocons in the West love to talk about the "clash of civilizations”. This is how they visualize the outcome of the eventual irresolution of the portending confluence of opposing forces in a world in which the hopes of some breed despair among those who find themselves disadvantaged by the economic and cultural behavior of those who perceive themselves as “masters”. They may not now call themselves masters, but everything about their actions dictate that they be treated as such.

From the stake-holders in a once apartheid South Africa to the Zionists in Palestine, we have witnessed...and continue to witness the evolution of circumstances in which the power dynamics are undergirded by a volatility that threatens the peace and security of the neighborhood of nations. South Africa had Nelson Mandela and the ANC who for decades articulated in words and necessary action, the perils of a society in which the just demands of an oppressed people are ignored.

Instead of reasonably addressing the righteous demands of black South Africans, the Apartheid regime used every means available to them to demand compliance to the gross injustices of an unsustainable ideology. Mandela and the ANC were branded “terrorists” at home and by Western governments acting as pimps for the whore of oppression. These included the government of the USA.  History absolved Mandela and the justness of the struggle against Apartheid.

Today in Palestine the Hope of a Zionist regime  spurns a persistent Despair among a people constantly calling out to us from a desperate existential prison. In a part of the world whose civility Gandhi would seriously question, 1.8 million Gazans are denied the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No people can claim exclusive access to these rights. The clash between Israelis and Palestinians is not a clash of civilizations. It is more correctly a clash of aspirations. More specifically, it is what happens when the existential needs of one people are allowed to ruthlessly abrogate the human rights of  another. The hopelessness that generates violence deepens when the rest of the world is numbed into accepting the suffering of a displaced people as status quo.

The explosions over Israel and in Gaza will end when there is a fundamental reset of appropriate physical boundaries giving each a right to statehood. As in the case of the decline of Apartheid in South Africa the United Nations has a moral duty to insist through enforceable means, that this become reality. A just definition of such boundaries though, will be a function of something deeper than a right to a homeland. The resolution of the existential dilemma called the “Middle East Conflict” will necessarily demand a moral reset in the psyches of all involved in this unfortunate historical drama. It is time for the pool of hatred to give way to the fountain of mutuality. Without doubt, the tensions ripping apart these two peoples have their origins deep within the historical psyches of each. The dilemma they must deal with is the fragile existentialism that has come to be a state of being over the last sixty plus years. For the sake of their children and the world, this must end sooner than later. How about now?

*Excerpt from the poem “Self-Destructing”. From my book “In My Element”.


Bouquets from an enemy…
Someone once loved
Now sending messages featuring crossbones
And words prophesying doom…

Frightening…the spiritual variety of our existence…
Love flipped like a coin…revealing an ugly underside…
A spirit buoyant with the sparkling vibrancy of life
Now drifting above the weight of an anchor of malice
Threatening death…

The tensions ripping us apart
Have their origin in psyches of feuding yin and yang…
Unresolved quarrels in our souls
Now accepted as states of being
In our fragile existentialism…

The battle threatening between us is redundant…
Because the smoke proceeding from our feuding breaths
Is a signal of the destruction within…
And in our bowels…Bouquets
Of ashes

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spoilers of Eden

( I wrote this poem in November 1995 to mourn the murder /assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ) 

Creating gods in their own images
Fashioning revelations
After the likeness of their fantasies
Obsessed with changing a world they do not understand

Proselyte purveyors of myopic tragedies…
Prophets of doom
Preaching a vision colored in red fluidity…
Blind to the broader view…
Deaf to the words of others…
Unconvinced know-it-alls

Raving demi-gods
Delusional seers
Lusting for powers that none can have
Who has not come to know the incarnation of love
As the only true religion

Messengers of destruction
Harboring jealousies
Of those who know how to make honey
In a world oft void of sweetness…
Helpers of the Serpent…
Spoilers of Eden

From the book  “Of Paradise Despised... and lives that bought into a lie ” By Roy Alexander Graham

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Of Paradise Despised...

(An offering to those who are caught in the middle of the conflicts that consume us)

Shanty towns... Of heated browns…
Blighted spirits weighted down
On bended knees
To hierarchies
Of powers in conflict that compete
For the loyalties of those oppressed
By the hardened heart of wickedness
And their own sense of void…

That looks at life through blood-tainted eyes…
Rancid stench of wretchedness…
Dark arresting passions... Of a sinful nakedness... Raging red
Till death and hell... Confirm the dread-full truths
Of paradise despised
And lives that bought into a lie…

**** **** ****.             **** **** ****

And when we sorrow for the lives of our children 
Who indulge in the violence of their mutual despair
Will our tears yet quench the barrenness
Of this heated state in which we live…
And can we stop this crimson rain…
This predestined clash of conflicting loyalties…
If we replace the shanty towns
With fertile places unconfined…

**** **** ****.          **** **** ****

And on this rise
From which we survey
The woe-begotten aftermath
Of a Megiddo inspired conflagration
We retire to wipe our tears
And find a place... To build a house of hope
Through which flows... The eternal spring
Of that love... That softens hearts
Restoring hope
And heals the brokenness of every passionate soul

* From the book:“Of Paradise Despised... and lives that bought into a lie”  
by Roy Alexander Graham
                                    Available at Amazon, Apple, & Barnes & Noble

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sarah Palin... A mercenary tongue (Updated)

At the Iowa Freedom Summit this past weekend, the following piece of incomprehensibleness tumbled from Sarah Palin's mouth :

"Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed! It's too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo. Another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, ‘Man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride.’ That's status quo, and GOP leaders, by the way, y'know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent. So strengthen it. Then the man can't ride ya, America won't be taken for a ride, because so much is at stake and we can't afford politicians playing games like nothing more is at stake than, oh, maybe just the next standing of theirs in the next election."

If her teleprompter was broken she should have just stopped talking, or she should have scribbled the meanings of words she did not know on her hands ahead of time.  She knows that she is ignorant, but she does not care. She has dedicated herself to be the paid tool of the forces of reaction in the current political process. She hates the current Administration because during the campaign that led to this Presidency it shone a bright light on the existential ineptitude of a woman whose blind ambition led her to the precipice of intellectual and cultural ridicule. She subsequently became the hero of those whose ignorance is vehicularized by a hate deeply based in a historical…and a hysterical evil. She has become a driver for the interests of those whose vision of our world and our society is motivated by an unenlightened self interest.

The following is an excerpt from her speech at CPAC early last year:

“…, this is the guy who promised to provide for the sick, but there are more uninsured today than when Obama began this. He promised jobs for the jobless but fewer people work today than since the peanut farmer was our president, and the average family is bringing in $4,000 dollars less today than when Obama started all this. He promised us a safe peaceful world, promised he’s got al-Qaeda on the run, yeah, perhaps towards us. And safer? He would gut our arsenal, he allows others, enemies, to enrich theirs. Man, that’s just like a liberal on gun control. Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.” [big applause - inaudible].

The recurring phrase “when Obama started all this”, demonstrates the absence of a real historical context for her criticism. Let us ignore her economic analysis, if we can call it that, and her convenient disrespect for President Carter and for the current President of the United States. The impact of the Affordable Care Act is undeniable. More Americans now have health insurance than ever before as a result of this Act. Reactionary attempts to upend it have been and will remain unsuccessful. The unemployment rate is at a six year low. Her repetition of a statistic about the average household income lacks economic context, and reflects the kind of political sleight of tongue that is well practiced among those who would sacrifice truth for partisan applause.

Most troubling of all is the carelessness of her view on how we should address the prevalence of conflict in our world. The Palin wisdom is: “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke”. Here is one circumstance where we do not have the luxury of leaving the fool to her foolishness. Add to this her little nugget about water-boarding being “our way of baptizing terrorists”, and we have a good case for censoring her kind of political “speech”. She is dangerous. Her lack of intellectual curiosity is well demonstrated and documented. What is most curious is her penchant for celebrating those base instincts that are best left in the septic pit of our cultural and political reality.

Her dilemma… Salvation vs oblivion

We should not hate Sarah Palin. Ultimately she is another human being. She is a wife, a mother and grand-mother. Her dilemma is a shared one… How do we chart the course of our lives given the gifts we have acquired and the opportunities that life presents to us. The challenge we face is one that demands that we avail ourselves of a moral compass as we chart the course of our ambitions. This is where many fall down. This is where she has fallen. When we race ahead into the uncertain future blind-folded by a morally and ethically challenged perspective, we inevitably find ourselves unable to navigate away from the stumbling blocks in our path. Hence our almost certain down-fall.

There comes a point at which we are forced to stop and take stock. To not do so is to suffer an existential stumbling that is certain to force us down the slippery path of self-destruction. It is time for Sarah to stop and take stock. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows an overwhelming majority and plurality of the American public want her to find a quiet place and retreat there from our presence. That’s putting it as kindly as I care to. It would be advisable for her to avail herself of the implicit wisdom of such a recourse.

To be sure, Sarah Palin is no political, rhetorical, or philosophical tour de force. She brings nothing new or useful to the nation’s political discourse. No one has any doubt that picking her as a Vice-Presidential candidate was an error of epic proportions by the Republican establishment. If they refused to acknowledge this then, they now have no doubt given the record of her public utterances. Her abbreviated spell at Fox News is proof of this. Palin has shown herself to be nothing more than a ruthless prospector, mining away at the underground of our nation’s still present bigotry. Her specific appeal is to a fringe unflinchingly unenthusiastic about cultural progress in our still young democracy.

To continue as a mercenary tongue for the hateful and obstructive influences that keep her motor running, is to assure herself a place on the garbage heap of the American political and cultural consciousness. Her dilemma is a function of her self ordained destiny. For Sarah it is either salvation or oblivion. She has time to change course. And she should.

Like Lilies In Spring

There is a bulb buried deep inside us all that longs for the end of the season of dormancy. It contains, and is the symbol of all our ...