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View Diary: IDF leveled Gaza neighborhood killing scores all to kill its captured soldier & his Hamas captor (291 comments)

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  •  Well it isn't necessary (1+ / 0-)
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    Heart of the Rockies

    It isn't even creative.  There are plenty of other examples that convey the intended message without touching on Jewish sensitivities.  For example, the Israeli regime is a lot like ancient Sparta, with the Palestinians playing the part of Helots.  Over at Mondoweiss someone made this comparison  earlier this year. And the comparison has been embraced by some Zionists, which makes it a useful analogy:

    Finkelstein recalls Hannah Arendt writing in 1948 of the Zionists, in their ‘degeneracy’, becoming one of the ‘warrior tribes of whose possibilities and importance history has informed us since the days of Sparta’.  Her words too are conflicted, seeming to recognise that the Spartans are among the heroes of the West and that the Spartan way brings great allure as well as great danger.  Arendt in her turn alludes to Leo Strauss, who in his 1923 obituary/hatchet job on ‘The Zionism of Max Nordau’ reproaches Nordau for never quite admitting that, as more ‘manly’ principles replaced outdated idealism, Jewish sympathy for Sparta’s victims must give way to fellow-feeling for the Spartans themselves. There was much of the Hasmonean spirit in Strauss.
      In any event, there are certain patterns or motifs that emerge throughout history, and Israel is no exception.  It is actually a little more interesting in some ways, because it had to build a nation out of an international religious community, which is pretty unique.  And also explains its weird internal cultural dynamics over Jewish identity.  


    •  when Palestinian kids are being maimed & murdered (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not gonna wait to speak out until I can think of some way to say it without ruffling anybody's feathers and where my message drips with blog drops of originality, flair and wit.

      •  Pick your audience carefully (4+ / 0-)

        Your audience here is not the same as it will be elsewhere.  As I said,there's a reason that the comparison to the Spartans is used by critics of the Israeli regime:

        Some 2,600 years or so ago, the city-state Sparta conquered the people of Messenia and made them into a class of serfs, called helots. Because they were numerically outnumbered by as much as 10 to 1, the Spartans developed a code of behavior they believed would ensure their continued dominance over the helots. Male youths were conscripted at an early age and subjected to rigorous training that toughened them mentally and physically. These youths passed through many stages of preparation and instruction including indoctrination in hatred for the helots. The most accomplished were rewarded with a position in the murderous secret police. In this organization they were taught to identify and assassinate the most talented of the subjugated helots as a means of obviating the emergence of a class that would pose a threat to the Spartan state's supremacy.

        In the society that emerged, the Spartans were the only ones favored with citizenship and given shares in the allotment of captured lands. The helots had no legal or civil rights and were constantly terrorized and suppressed by the Spartan secret police. The Spartiates were mainly concerned with preserving the Spartan character of their state. It is not recorded whether the helots who resisted were called "terrorists."

         We also need to remember that the propaganda war against Palestinian rights depends on appeals to sympathy, and the invocation of the Holocaust and the Nazi repression and extermination of millions of Jews is an easy way to garner sympathy.  But that wasn't how it began, and there are ways of getting that point across without facile comparisons to the Nazi regime.  

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