Gandhis Got it Wrong…
By Gerald A.
And this doesn’t
include the original’s grandson, who also blew it.
has apparently joined the ranks of Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Alexander,
Michael Moore, Woody Allen, Richard Dreyfus and other Hollywood
Middle East "experts" and/or pathetically delusional
The star of
the movie, Gandhi (and a number of others where he played Jews
himself), has brought his Arabic-dubbed version about non-violent
resistance to occupation to Ramallah as a guest of Palestinian
Arab Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. He will also be bringing it
elsewhere throughout the region.
As a part of
the "Gandhi Project," the organizers claim their message
is non-political. And I’m in line to be the next pope.
Arabs who saw
the movie (as well as most others according to the polls) believe
that terrorism is the best way to end "occupation" and
of ingrained lessons and deliberately keeping people from the
truth have taken their tolls. Add to this an Arab view of political
justice which has no room for any but their own, and we get the
results we are living with today. That Arabs so indulge is regrettable,
yet understandable. That others, such as the supposedly objective
voices above, do so is a travesty. They have an obligation to
know better and not to prostrate themselves before the Arabs’
currently politically correct figments.
for the liberation of India from British imperial occupation,
Mohandas Gandhi opposed the partition of the Indian subcontinent
into a Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan in 1947. He believed
that people of all religious faiths should be able to get along
in the same nation. He was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist.
So much for getting along. Some places it works…some places
Zionism–the national liberation movement of the Jews–to the
very end; his major statement circulated as an editorial in the
Harijan of November 11, 1938. Among other things, while first
professing his supposed "sympathies" for perennially
persecuted Jews, he next claimed that…
of the biblical conception is not a geographical tract."
did get that one right. Palestine wasn’t…It represented a vague
geographical area according to the ancient Greeks.
The name itself
was bestowed on Judaea–the defined land of the Jews–by the
emperor, Hadrian, after the Jews’ second major war (133-135 C.E.)
for their freedom against the Romans. To squash their hopes once
and for all, he renamed the land itself after their historic
enemies, the Philistines (Syria Palaestina).
and Judaea were well-known nations/kingdoms peopled by Hebrews/Jews.
As just one of many examples, the Habiru/Apiru–Hebrews–were
written about throughout the extensive correspondence of ancient
Pharaohs, their vassals, and others as well. And these folks
evolved into a separate people with their own unique culture,
language, history–and, yes, Mr. Gandhi, religion too. Gandhi
saw the religious claims of Jews as their main,
if not only, leg to stand on in this conflict…which he rejected.
But the differences
which separated Jews from Arabs were not simply theological.
While Gandhi has plenty of company here in his booboo (including
academics), this doesn’t excuse it. If you don’t really know,
you shouldn’t really say…especially if you see yourself, or
are seen, as a major voice for justice and morality in this world.
about as much about Jews and their history as Jews knew about
the various Indian peoples. The difference is that Jews would
never have told the latter to remain forever victimized and at
the potential receiving end of those with a long history of persecuting
While it would
be nice if we all just really "got along" and there
was no need for nationalism, national borders, and such, the
reality is that this belief is too often fiction–and especially
when it comes to the millennial Jewish experience…something
Gandhi acknowledged himself when admitting "his sympathies."
What else is
new? People may grudgingly cry crocodile tears for dead Jews,
but have no room for empathy for live ones.
Listen to Gandi
sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice…why
should they (Jews) not, like other peoples…make that country
their home where they are born…?
I guess he
hadn’t heard of the Dreyfus Affair in "enlightened" France,
or had not seen pictures of Jews waving their medals from World
War I in front of the Nazis, or had not heard of General Grant’s
order of expulsion for the Jews of the South, or of the Damascus
Blood Libel in 19th century Arab Syria, etc., etc., and so forth.
one moment, that India–as massive as it is–underwent the experiences
that the Jews in their tiny state did in their fight for freedom
and independence against Rome, culminating in much of the population
massacred and most of the rest forcibly exiled in the great Diaspora.
that in almost everywhere that they eventually landed–the Muslim
East as well as the Christian West–they never knew what the
morrow would bring…massacres, forced conversions, expulsions,
ghettoization (the mellah in the Arab world), demonization, and
such culminating in a holocaust which wiped out one third of
all Indian people.
insist that Indians remain forever at someone else’s mercy and
give up on a resurrected national existence simply in order to
survive? I think not. Yet that’s what Gandhi expected of Jews.
Einstein had a famous disagreement with Gandhi over this. So
I’m in good company.
Jews were literally
forced into this above position and had earlier tried desperately
to be "accepted"…to no avail. And the one-sided,
double-standards Kingsley, Gere, & Co. apply towards the
Jew of the Nations–Israel–fall into this domain as well.
Is a victim
any less a victim because his victimization has been the longest
and most enduring?
have not wanted something better for their children? Should they
have continued to put their trust only in those who declared
them to be god-killers, children of the Devil, killers of Prophets,
and such with periodic and predictable consequences?
Take a look
below at how the ancient historians saw this identity issue.
Here’s a few quotes from Vol. II, Book V The Works Of Tacitus,
who was writing about the Jews’ first major revolt in 66-73 C.E.
for their freedom and independence against the Soviet Union–or
British Empire, Mr. Gandhi–of its day, Rome. There were others
who wrote about such things as well:
Vespasian’s resentment that the Jews were the only nation who
had not yet submitted…Titus was appointed by his father to
complete the subjugation of Judaea… he commanded three legions
in Judaea itself… To these he added the twelfth from Syria
and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria… amongst his
allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring
towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between
Gandi, Rome was not just referring to the Jews’ religious identity
here, but to a distinct nation and people. If Indians can have
a homeland, and Arabs, then why not Jews? Read those quotes,
message Ben Kingsley’s movie brings to the Arabs about non-violent
resistance to occupation only feeds into their pipedreams.
At the same
time the Indian subcontinent was undergoing partition in 1947
into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan ( Bangladesh would be created
later as well), Arabs were rejecting a similar partition which
would have given them roughly one half of the 20% of "Palestine" left
after Arab nationalism was already awarded the lion’s share–some
80%–of the total 1920 original territory when those same British
Gandhi had problems with chopped off all the land east of the
Jordan River in 1922 and gave it to their Arab allies. Thus the
modern state of Jordan was born. And thus the blatant lie that
the Jews got all of "Palestine."
The facts about
the negotiations at Camp David and Taba in 2000 are also well
known and have been repeated ad nauseam. Yet, we are forced to
recount such things over and over again, hoping that ignorance
is the only reason that they’re not considered by otherwise supposedly
ask the Arabs, for example, who commented about his movie, how
they can claim Israel has not sought a fair compromise with them
over the "occupied" territories given all the above?
Now, Ben is no dummy–but I wouldn’t bet against me on this.
As with their
previous rejectionism and belief that theirs’ was the only justice,
Arabs rejected offers in 2000 which would have given them some
97% of the disputed–not occupied–territories as well. So much
for the Arab claim that terrorism was the only way to get results.
The problem is that when Arabs speak of occupied territories
they really mean all of Israel, as a quick glimpse at websites
for both the good cop–Abbas’ boys–and the bad cop–the Hamas-type
Jews had historical
ties and owned property in those lands as well…until their
massacres by Arabs in the early 20th century. Also keep in mind
that most so-called "native Palestinians" arrived recently
from elsewhere in the region as recorded by the League of Nations’
Permanent Mandates Commission and other sources. UNRWA, set up
to deal exclusively with Arab refugees, had to virtually redefine
the very word refugee to deal with this issue.
end of the movie, there’s a telling scene. Numerous people are
seen walking in opposite directions, depicting the population
exchange involving tens of millions going on after the Indian
subcontinent’s partition. The same thing happened after the Arabs’
attack on a reborn Israel in 1948. For every Arab refugee created
as a result of this, there was a Jewish refugee fleeing Arab/Muslim
lands–where they were commonly known as kilab yahud…Jew dogs.
Unlike Arabs, however, the Jews didn’t have some two dozen other
states (most conquered from non-Arab peoples) to choose from.
for the two Gandhis, Michael Moores, Woody Allens, Richard Geres
and other like thinkers –is that Israel, the sole, miniscule
state of the Jewish people, should not be expected to forsake
minimal measures to give it some remote semblance of secure borders–not
a 1949 artificially-imposed, 9-mile wide armistice line existence–so
that Arabs may get all that they want in their 22nd state and
second, not first, one in "Palestine."
Hollywood Middle East expert who will tell the Arabs any of this?
demand another Muslim state on Gandhi’s Indian subcontinent?
Not that I agree with this, but there are Indians making the
same arguments today that Gandhi made earlier in terms of Israel
and Zionism. And there are, after all, about 150 million Muslims
in India…not to mention the dispute over Kashmir. If Indians,
the Gandhis, and others believe that this is what justice demands
regarding the Arabs in the disputed territories in the Arab-Israeli
conflict, then why not closer to home? Or for thirty million
truly stateless Kurds? When are these experts going to visit
the Sudan to demand that the Blacks of the south gain independence
from the Arabs up north who have killed, maimed, enslaved, and
turned them into refugees by the millions?
While one billion
Indians really don’t have an existential threat regarding any
of this, a relative handful of Jews, surrounded by 300 million
Arabs (and many other hostile Muslims as well) and whose state
consists of less than one quarter of one percent of the region’s
Does any thinking
human being really believe that the Arabs’ issue with the Jews
is simply about "territory?" Look at a map of the Middle
East and North Africa–or better yet, of the world. I dare you.
been how big Israel is that was the issue–but that Israel, in
fact, is. Unfortunately, the great Gandhi, himself, agreed.
his film to the Arabs, regardless of his own claims to the contrary,
Tinseltown’s Gandhi feeds into the same rejectionism that his
believes that his previous portrayal of victimized Jews on the
big screen renders him immune to such charges. And the same could
be said for his JCC (no, not Jewish Community Center…Jew Coward
Colleagues) in Hollywood and elsewhere who remain mum while Michael
Moore and crew unfairly vilify Israel. This is not legitimate
criticism of a nation’s policies that’s at issue here. The policies
are not the issue…Israel itself is.
is that this all makes my earlier point: sympathy for dead Jews
is fine…but empathy for live ones is pushing it. Hence all
the movies about the Holocaust. But has anyone noticed any Israeli
Independence Day celebrations by the Hollywood mishpacha lately?
How dare Israel demand something beyond its U.N.armistice-line
imposed, 9-mile wide, rump state status! Those Zionist extremists,
ya know…and the Hollywood michpacha runs with their collective
tail between their legs while other nations–including our own–conquer,
acquire, and manipulate lands thousands of miles away from home
in the name of their own national security. Where’s Spielberg
on all of this? Again, he’s another one great on films about
dead Jews…Don’t these folks get the big lesson here?
Arabs, whose predicament much of the world is obsessed with,
their own alleged victimization is mostly due to their own refusal
to grant any and all others in the region even a tiny fraction
of the rights they so forcefully demand for themselves. Had they
done so, their "plight" would have been resolved decades
Kingsley, Dreyfus, Moore, Redgrave, or whoever display what it
takes to explain to the Arabs that justice is a two-sided street
and that compromise involves concrete movement by both parties
in the Arab-Israeli conflict, then they’ll have a right to lecture
Israel and others about such matters. Until then, they need to
stick to films…and not about the Middle East.