Evan Tucker

Blame Bibi, not Israel

Look, we get it. We’re Zionists, we were used to distaste long before there was Israel. It’s only natural. Every group with demands gets mistrust. A lot of groups are stupid, and so are some of us.
But demands are demands, and we’ll only give you our backing, our money, our connections, our prestige, when you include us in your fight. Not just Jews, but Israel. We’re the same thing.
Israel is everything to us. Whether you know it, we know it’s the difference between life and death. Whether we like Israel, it’s worth dying for, it’s worth killing for. We’ve seen what it means to live in other houses. We know you’ll eventually kill us for staying.
You kill us when you’re pagans because we’re monotheists. You kill us when you’re Christians because we won’t let Jesus save us. You kill us when you’re Muslims because we won’t submit to Mohammed. You kill us when you’re fascists because we’re communists. You kill us when you’re communists because we’re capitalists. You even kill us when you’re atheists because we fathered Christianity and Islam.
We get it. When your house gets tough to live in, you get mad like we all do, and you lash out at the easiest person: an accountant or a lawyer or some middleman contractor…. but the best scapegoat is a guest who can’t go home.
You get us killed when you’re imperialists because we’re natives. Now you’ll get us killed when you’re anti-imperialists because we claim a strip of land the size of New Jersey after we were killed in our ‘temporary’ homeland of a millenium: 1/3rd of the world’s Jews. 2/3rds of European Jews. 6/7ths of Jews in Nazi Europe. Stalin would finish the job had he lived another year. We’re called perpetrators of genocide by grandchildren of our executioners, the world’s most imperialist nation by great-grandchildren of our landlords.
But we get it. You don’t like neoconservatism, and neither do those of us without a death wish. Your beef isn’t with us, it’s with Netanyahu, with Likud, with all the frummies and Republicans who prop him up; holding a knife to our throats and telling us it’s someone else’s hand.
From Bar Kochba, to Shabbetai Zevi, to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, antiliberal Jewish nationalism gets Jews killed. A Jewish state is one thing, a Jewish dictatorship another. We have limitations other people don’t. Gentiles don’t like when Jews are conspicuously powerful.
But what can we do? Bibi wants to rule us like a king, but he’s not killing us. Hamas knows that Bibi’s the best publicity they’ll ever get, so they fire rockets at Bibi’s weakest moment, knowing Israel has to respond. If Israel keeps winning, the refugee crisis continues and Israel keeps sliding from democracy. If Israel loses, millions die.
The zeitgeist talks about listening to marginalized voices. Ok, so listen to them, because every day they say ‘We are going to kill you.’ Not ‘we’re going to displace you’, not ‘our claim’s legitimate too’: ‘We are going to kill you.’ But our side’s the provocateurs…
Israel’s whole existence is a miracle, but we know Bibi’s signed a death warrant. Not tomorrow, not in ten years, but eventual, and inevitable without yet another miracle, and God provides those reluctantly. Bibi’s broken us from the Democratic party and made Israel a partisan American issue. This is Hamas’s moment; they timed it perfectly. The Palestinian cause is red meat to American culture wars. If this lasts more than a week, pressure on Biden to ditch us will be overwhelming. If Biden doesn’t, ‘Goodbye Left.’ Bipartisan American Zionism keeps Jews alive, other lives matter every bit as much, but ours apparently don’t. So one threat at a time please. Bibi can’t last forever.
Israel means ‘he who wrestles with God.’ Every moment of Jewish History’s a struggle. God only keeps Jews around to make our lives difficult. Jewish History is the history of history’s cracks. Jews show the greenlines of every ideology. So what do anti-racists/anti-imperialists do with a white people who’ve suffered from white people two thousand years before they knew what a white person was?
What is Likudism? What is Revisionist Zionism? It’s Jewish identity politics. It’s the peculiar radicalism of a minority so abnormal even other minorities don’t acknowledge them, and therefore sentenced to be an ideology of the Right rather than Left.
No ideology knows what to do with us because our existence defies rationality; so when Jews make necessity into ideology, we get killed because ideology and Judaism are enemies.
Judaism is not about belief, it’s a code of laws and customs that exist as practical accommodation to realities. The reality is this: Israel exists to keep us alive, not because God promised it. So when necessity turns into ideology, Jews get killed.
About the Author
Evan Tucker, alias A C Charlap, is a writer and musician residing in Baltimore. He is currently composing music for all 150 Biblical Tehillim. A Jewish Music Apollo Project - because "They have Messiah, we have I Have a Little Dreidel." He is currently on #17. Evan also has a podcast called 'It's Not Even Past - A History of the Distant Present' which is a way of relating current events to history and history to current events. Most importantly, he is also currently working on a podcast called Tales from the Old New Land, fictional stories from the whole of Jewish History. The podcast is currently being retooled, but it will return.
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