CUNY Blocks Honor for Tony Kushner- NYT May 4, 2011
"In a rare move, the trustees of the City University of New York have voted to shelve an honorary degree that one of its campuses, John Jay College, planned to award to Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of “Angels in America.” The vote on Monday evening came after a CUNY trustee said that Mr. Kushner had disparaged the State of Israel in past comments, a characterization that the writer attacked on Wednesday". -by Patrick Healy for NYT
If there is a list of those who are making the greatest contribution to anti-Semitism in this country, the members of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York should top that list. The standard of purity in support of Israel-right-or-wrong, in this country that is used to bludgeon every politician literally from dogcatcher to the President of the United States, is intolerable.
I cannot imagine why any American or even the Reformed Jewish community puts up with it. If this defense of Israel was limited only to a support for Israel’s so-called right to react only to overt attack, I might not be so disturbed. Our support of this horrid government and its leaders also requires an ignorance of its human rights abuses, its genocide of the Palestinian people, and its defiance of a stack of UN sanctions and reprimands as long as your arm.
Our “only democracy in the region” could not even exist without a regular, massive, input of American dollars both from our beleaguered taxpayers and non-government fundraising organizations.
Israel is not and never has been a self-sustaining entity, either financially or militarily. Knowing they face no restraint from their powerful ally the US, they feel free to indulge in levels of atrocity that have perhaps only been exceeded by their original oppressors, the German Nazis.
If American were allowed any objectivity about the actions of this barbaric state, we might actually be able to temper and even deflect their bad behavior. Unfortunately the vice grip the AIPAC and American Jewry has on our government makes even modest attempts to reign in this monster impossible. This “tolerance” I believe is as bad for Israel as it is for America. For one thing it polarizes the whole Middle-east region, making the settlement of the Palestinian question insoluble any time—in even the far-flung future.
The two single greatest propaganda tools Islamist have in their arsenal of advertisements are our torture policies and our support for Israel’s Palestinian genocide. Our support for the bad behavior of Israel fans the flames not only strong anti-Semitic but also anti-Americanism.
As a result of the tide of revolution across the whole area, we may well see a confederation of Islamist states with the Muslim Brotherhood holding the balance of power. Israel and the US should see an increased Islamization of the region as no small reward for their scandalous actions over the years.
Not only has Zionist fanaticism irredeemably corrupted every aspect of our local and national political life, but Jewish “gatekeepers” keep a sharp eye on our media and cultural life as well. Just let an anchor raise an eyebrow while reading one of their latest disclaimers for the murder of activists running the Gaza blockade, or a playwright make a critical comment, and the American Jewish Nazi thought police jump into action with their lies and sanctions.
And should anyone attempt to criticize their Draconian actions they will be branded with the shrill cries of “Anti-Semite!” Forget Tony Kushner. Imagine how Shakespeare would fare under American Zionism. Perhaps this experience might prompt Kushner to write an update of Miller’s “The Crucible” about these latter-day pro-Israel devotees of Joe McCarthy.
I began the following argument as an exercise in hyperbole. Lately the idea has begun to sound more and more desirable, even if improbable. See if you agree. I believe Israel has forfeited the right to exist. If we really wanted peace in the Middle-east, we should bulldoze Israel into the sea. It is long past our asking politely, hat in hand, that Israel stop killing our citizens or anyone else they want with impunity and immunity.
We should give every resident and every institution and business in that despicable land three years in which to find alternate accommodations in any other country that will take them. Then, when the land is as deserted as they claimed it was when it was stolen in the first place, we should bulldoze every structure, every plant, every flagpole, fence and mailbox into the Mediterranean Sea.
I’m sure the Palestinians would find no objection. (And the Mosque on the Temple Mount would have to go too—collateral damage I’m afraid.) Then, when there is no stone standing, the soil should be salted and seeded with quicklime so no one would ever want to return to that Godforsaken place—ever again. I guarantee you that in one fell swoop we would guarantee peace in the region for our children, grandchildren and beyond.
Endnote: I can already hear the cries of “anti-Semite!” beginning to ring in my ears. Let me assure my detractors I am not anti-Semitic. If that were true, I would possess an animus toward any Israeli or any Jew. Actually some of the most outspoken critics of Israel’s conduct are both among the ranks of ethnic and religious Jews.
Unfortunately many otherwise intelligent, conservative American Jews have an unquestioning attachment to the fairy tale they have been taught in Hebrew school about the fiction of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, the Exodus, and the right of homeland that they imagine was given them by their stunted tribal sky-god long, long ago. Like most religious myths, none of these events ever happened as the kind of well-defined event with clearly delineated actors like Moses that the Bible would have us believe in. Add to these fictions the fear of another Holocaust at the hands of their aggrieved neighbors and this attachment rises to the level of hysteria.
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|Allen L. Jasson|