by James Dunn
Benjamin Netanyahu is thoroughly corrupt and he is dragging the policies and prestige of Israel through a gutter that may eventually destroy international support. He, like our own beloved Trump, must go.
I have watched Israel and its various conflicts with Palestine since I was old enough to watch the news. As soon as Lyndon Johnson was sworn in, he declared that he was the best friend that Israel ever had. This relationship seems to have been nothing but trouble ever since.
My personal feelings about the Palestinians and Israelis have been shaped by my own relationships with members of each group.
My mother died in August 2008. When she had called me in my classroom that April to tell me that she was terminally ill, I had a series of strokes. When my students came into my classroom from lunch, although I had been with them for nine months, suddenly I did not know who they were. Doctors told me that I would take about a year to heal. I resigned my job to work on me.
During the months and years that I dropped out of society, I began to take breakfasts and lunches frequently at the little diner inside of the corner gas station near my home. I made friends with the owner, a Palestinian immigrant who told me that the Israelis had come into a store that his grandfather had owned and operated for years in Palestine,and told his grandfather to get out; they were taking over the store. When the old man refused to give up his property, he was shot in the head. Soon, the Israelis had taken all of what had been nearby Palestinian properties through violence. When the Palestinians formed a resistance, Hamas, they were called terrorist. Does this remind you of the cowboy “settlers” and Indian “savages” that you learned about growing up? It should. John Wayne, anyone? So, after this story, I felt I needed to learn more about the history of this conflict.
I had spent years of my early life working in the affluent Preston/Royal area of North Dallas’ Preston Hollow. From the age of nine I mowed lawns for many Preston Royal residents, including many Jews. My relationship with these members of the Jewish faith shaped the perception I have of Jews today. Jack and Annie Robbins, Muriel and A. J. Prescott, Fred Silver, Shirley and Lawrence Pollock, Robert Pollock (see Pollock in D Magazine, The Jews that Built Dallas) and many more treated me like family. They cheered when I won a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin and were really wonderful people. I ate many a Sunday meal with the Prescotts, remember Annie Robbins actually crying when I got a DWI in my senior year, and drank many cases of coke thanks to Shirley. Shirley Pollock also always admonished me to take a nap in the pool house least I get too hot working. I can’t think of anything bad to say about Jews. In fact Dallas Morning columnist Robert Wilonsky saved my life in 2016.
But then there’s Israel. Netanyahu has constantly battled to steal more and more Palestinian lands, made new rules that make the lives of people of color in today’s Israel resemble those of Blacks in apartheid South Africa, just welcomed the Kahanists, a far-right, racist party into the next Knesset, welcomed an extremist party that includes supporters of the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane and the Zionist Hayehudi party. He is also booting many long-term residents of African descent from the country. (sound familiar? Trump)
And if I say one little bitty thing negative about Israel, I’m anti-Semitic??!! Bullshit.
I know Jews. I’m welcome in their homes. I’m not welcome in Netanyahu’s country. He has made that resoundingly clear.
(Great reading: “From Beirut to Jerusalem” a Pulitzer book that can help your understanding of the Israel-Palestinian situation)
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