Thursday, June 5, 2014

Torossian Channels Zabotinsky and Dylan about Israel and the Jewish People

by oldschooltwentysix

Read today a post by Ronn Torossian at FrontPage entitled, "To Roger Waters of Pink Floyd & Other Israel Haters."  It's a post I highly recommend, especially for those who reflexively disparage FrontPage as extremist and not to be included in discussion. Yes, these people do exist.

Although Torossian directs his post to Roger Waters and the Israel haters, so many of whom profess allegiance to human rights, yet act like imposters, the message he relates through those he quotes, may have greater applicability to the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us. They, too, bear responsibility for the state of what has been, what is, and most importantly what will be.

Ze’ev Zabotinsky said that Jews have nothing to prove to our critics. If anyone needs to apologize for overt persecution and continued bigotry and discrimination still practiced, is it the Jews, and by extension Israel? The critics tolerate conduct by others that make Jewish misdeeds seem paltry. Can they explain why?

Bob Dylan is no firebrand like Zabotinsky, and universally recognized in the eyes of the the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us. Dylan cannot be demonized and therefore dismissed like Zabotinsky, even as he communicates a similar message, in his 1983 song "Neighborhood Bully," unknown to this writer until today. Using a poetic form that the indifferent, ignorant and apathetic among us can relate, he provides a context and reality where nothing has changed.


Dylan's lyrics are partially quoted by Torossian, but are worth reading in full.
Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
His enemies say he’s on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
He’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn
He’s always on trial for just being born
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
He’s the neighborhood bully

He got no allies to really speak of
What he gets he must pay for, he don’t get it out of love
He buys obsolete weapons and he won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by his side
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
He’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved him is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
He’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to him for?
Nothin’, they say. He just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
He’s the neighborhood bully

What has he done to wear so many scars?
Does he change the course of rivers? Does he pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully
Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music
Those who judge the Jews, and by extension Israel, and particularly the people who live by the double standard, like Waters and other imposters, should look at themselves and take accountability, first, by making full recognition that the non-Jewish world has, in fact, behaved far worse against the perceived "Neighborhood Bully" and telling us why they allowed this to happen.

11 comments:

  1. School,

    this is an important point:

    "Ze’ev Zabotinsky said that Jews have nothing to prove to our critics. If anyone needs to apologize for overt persecution and continued bigotry and discrimination still practiced, is it the Jews, and by extension Israel? The critics tolerate conduct by others that make Jewish misdeeds seem paltry. Can they explain why?"

    As you well know, there are many reasons that people give for the castigation of Israeli-Jews. The first, of course, is alleged Jewish persecution of the peace-loving indigenous, native population of Palestine who - so they tell us - want nothing more than to cultivate their olive groves in peace.

    What you seem not to understand, my friend, is that, despite the Holocaust, Jews have no right to simply march onto someone else's land and push farmers and children and midwives and orphans off of that land at the point of a rifle.

    What we are supposed to understand, apparently, is that fascistic and militaristic Holocaust surviviors, including their brutal women, marched into Palestine lookin' for blood.

    Good piece.

    I hope that people chew on it.

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    1. I would like for them to make their own case as to why they are entitled to practice a double standard here, and why Jews should be apologetic.

      Dylan says it way better than me.

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  2. And don't forget tax dollars.

    Progressives, for the most part, hate it when US bucks goes to defending the Jews.

    They didn't like the notion during WWII, either.

    Roosevelt certainly did not.

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    Replies
    1. Not exactly sure what you are saying here. But I will say that progressives are usually so keen to recognize their biases except toward Jews.

      This overlays the broader concept that Jews owe the word no explanation for their good behavior in light of the way the world has treated them.

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    2. What I am saying is that just as western progressives often complain about the allegation that Israel supposedly benefits from US tax dollars, so during WWII they were opposed to bombing the railroads into Auschwitz, because that, too, would have been a financial and military diversion.

      What I am saying is that the progressive-left is not a friend to the Jewish people, nor consistent with its own alleged values.

      The Jewish people have friends, but they are not within the western progressive-left.

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    3. The more active one is in progressivism, the more likely they are to be tolerant of those whose hate Israel, even as it extends to antisemitism. In such way they contradict alleged values to stand for human and minority rights and liberal values.

      The overall context, however, is that people of all political persuasions, in USA and elsewhere, should not be lecturing Jews or Israel on what is moral and right, but apologizing to Jews and thanking Jews for their contributions to mankind even as they have had to endure.

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    4. Heck, School,

      I don't think that we need an apology from the Left or from anyone else.

      Can you imagine the hysterical laughter at the very notion of it at places like dkos or the huffpost, not to mention the NYT or the Guardian?

      Apology? This will never happen.

      Y'know, Daniel Bielak used to constantly encourage us to just "speak the truth."

      I cannot even begin to tell you the number of hours that I have spent pondering the meaning of those words. And not just me, of course.

      (I am not an entire ego-maniac. It's is, after all, the very first notion of the entire western Canon, for Chrissake.)

      So, the question becomes, what are the pertinent truths that are historically accurate that are not being spoken?

      13 hundred years of dhimmitude is number one.

      We have got to put our conversations within that context.

      I am convinced of it.

      The length and severity of our persecution was far longer, and often much more extreme, then was the persecuton of the African-Americans under Jim Crow. This is not in any way to diminish what Black people endured, but to emphasize the fact that we cannot discuss the Arab-Israel conflict without te context of thirteen centuries of Arab-Muslim imperial dominance.

      We are now in a position to rethink the entire discussion around the conflict.

      And that is the best compliment that I can give the Obama administration.

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    5. Oh, and by the way, what happened to the 95 percent of Jews who seemed to have magically disappeared from Israel between the time of the Muslim Conquests of the seventh century and the end of the nineteenth century?

      This is another little pertinent fact that seems to have disappeared down the historical rat-hole.

      According to Efraim Karsh, who is none other then the founding director of the Department of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, London:

      "At the time of the Muslim occupation of Palestine in the seventh century, the country's Jewish population ranged in the hundreds of thousands at the very least; by the 1880s, Palestine's Jewish community had been reduced to about 24,000, or some 5 percent of the total population."

      (Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010, pg. 8.)

      In other words, according to the founding director of the Department of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, London, 95 percent of the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria somehow went away during those years and, yet, nonetheless...

      the Jews are guilty.

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    6. Did not say that we need an apology, but that it should be forthcoming, if these people really want to abide by the moralistic norms they espouse for Jews and Israel, yet not for themselves or other human rights abusers. That is why I call them imposters, illiberals, and the like.

      It goes beyond them, to ALL the dominant cultures that persecuted Jews. On the other hand, they helped created the conditions for Zionism to take hold and be realized in Israel.

      Yes, the ones you mention would never apologize, though they sould, but that should not be immune to being called out for their conduct, past, present and future.

      That is what the post here is about, to present the context in a way, courtesy of Dylan, Zabotinsky, and Torossian, that calls them out.

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  3. I came across that song a few years ago and wondered why it wasn't better known. The review I read wasn't even conclusive that the song was about Israel. Who else could it be? Fiji?

    Dylan is about to commence another tour of Australia this time picking smaller venues than usual so he can get closer to the audience. He has been here many times going back many years. I remember a tour in 1979 but there were tours before then. .

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    1. Hey, look what the cat drug in!

      Nice to see ya, man.

      "Who else could it be? Fiji?"

      Y'know, Geoff, I met with a Jewish graduate student on the SFSU campus and he seemed bewildered about just who these "colonizers" in need of killing might be.

      That is, he did not take the threat seriously in any manner and, in an off-the-cuff kidding remak, suggested that they might be Venusians, essentially.

      This all reminds me just a tad of the German Jewish response to the Shoah.

      Deny.

      Deny.

      Deny.

      Are we going to see a Holocaust in this generation? I very much doubt it, but it is clear that most diaspora Jews have simply not learned the key lesson of that generation.

      When they say they are coming to kill you. Believe them.

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