An Al-Quds Day
I am unapologetically pro Israel. The history of the Jewish state is one of them extending olive branches to be met with war and blood and hate. The 67 war was the watershed moment. A population once considered Egyptian and Jordanian became Palestinian. There was a certain myth that was created and weaponized to deligitimize the Jewish state. It was the Palestinian. The myth of the Palestinian has captured more Israeli territory and has spilled more Israeli blood than the Arab armies could have ever imagined. In as much as it is a myth, it requires a host of conveyance. And that host has been the western media, some of which was used here by our pal Mr. Hassan to distort reality in a way that cannot be morally justified. There is a criminality to this type of lie, one that allows evil to flourish and forces decency to hide.
I was recently at a Pro Israel rally in my hometown of Atlanta and I came to realize something. Our presence was occasioned by the visitation of the the pro Palestinian crowd. The had many posters. It was quite a sport for them; the women had tear drops of blood and the men wore keffiyah. One sign they were displaying proudly depicted the photo of the SS officer shooting a Jewish woman embracing her child in the Ukraine as a comparable event to that of Israel’s military action in Gaza and “Palestine” in general. This sign was flanked by others accusing Israel of genocide and of course the nearly anodyne symbolic interweaving of the swastika and the star of David.
I know a lot about this iconic though depressing photo of the woman and her child. It is a photo of an Einsatzgruppen SS operation in a small town in the Ukraine after the advancement of the Wehrmacht into the Soviet Union. The photo was sent home by an SS officer to his family with an almost hunting trophy style regard. On the back it just read “Jewish action” with the date. The photo was intercepted by polish resistance, who often times checked the mail of SS officers in order to gain intelligence. The history of the mass genocide of the Jewish people, the horror of it, the seemingly mechanical nature of it, to see it compared to Israel’s defense operation was enraging.
At one point I made lengthy eye contact with an Arab teenager on the other side of the protest barricades. He was listening to me talking , yelling really, as traffic was passing by at speed, about facts. I was giving him facts. I was entreating him to acknowledge them. He had at the time a look of absorption, as if something might have clicked. But then I glanced away for a moment and turned back to see him smiling at me, a grin of success, a grin of conquest. He began yelling erratically “Free Free Palestine!” He kept smiling. His friends were smiling. And that is when I realized that we were more angry about being accused of genocide than they were about it supposedly occurring. It was a game to them. A fun afternoon. A dress up Al Quds day. A human symbolic sculpture of self justified rage carved with the chisel of nearly seventy years of lies and distortions. That is the gap that no amount of reason can bridge between our two sides. They could have a state in a year if they wanted. But they instead want to Free Palestine!!! and grieve over genocide and historical fabrications, fabricated videos and doctored pictures of alleged Israeli atrocities, and pictures of the dead, and blood, and limbs; a condition where a series of fallacious symbols represent a series of fallacious symbol, it goes on and on and on. And thus the war shall continue. And we shall fight on and on and on.
The Al Quds marchers had a permit to march down the street. As they were leaving amidst the sounds of screeching and groaning, the smell of engine exhaust and the steady clack of metal on cement from the mounted police officer’s horse, two middle aged Arab men turned around and gave us the Nazi salute.