The Hanukkah Massacres

On the seventh day of Hanukkah, 2008, as Jews around the world were lighting the seventh candle on the menorah, commemorating the victorious rebellion of Judah Macabbee and the re-dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem 2200 years ago, a terrorist, Zionist entity, with the approval of the world’s last “Superpower” rained down death and destruction on men, women and children herded together on a sliver of the land they had once cultivated and shared with their fellow Semites.

Characteristically, a spokesman for the last Superpower blamed the herded people, the bombed and slaughtered, for their own miseries. It seems these herded Palestinians had had the effrontery to rebel against their Zionist masters in Tel Aviv, London, Jerusalem, New York and Washington.

Surely, one shoe-thrower protested, the world would see that they had as much right to rebel as Juddah Maccabee had to rebel against Hellenization—the alien creeds of Graeco-Romanism. Surely they had as much right to rebel as the Jews who rebelled against the emperor Tiberius; and, more recently, they had as much right to rebel as the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. Hadn’t the Superpower enshrined the right of rebellion in its own sacred document—its Declaration of Independence: all men (and women—they should have said!) are endowed with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Further, whenever any government became destructive of those rights, it was the duty of the people to alter or abolish it.

For more than 60 years the Palestinian people had seen their lands taken from them, their olive groves ransacked, their children killed, their young men imprisoned, their women humiliated and beaten. During the decades that the last Superpower had fought a Cold War with the next-to-last Superpower, these people and their Arab cousins had been played and sacrificed like so many pawns on the chessboard of the Great Powers. Promises had been made, resolutions (like # 242) passed in the world body of the UN—but time passed, years passed and it was discovered that the words didn’t mean what they were supposed to mean. The Anglo-Americans and the Zionists made treaties of the kind that had been made with the native peoples of Turtle Island/North America. Treaties good as long as grass would grow and wind would blow. And the “sand niggers” of Palestine would discover, as the red man had discovered before him, sometimes grass don’t grow and wind don’t blow.

During the Festival of Lights, 2008, the lights went out all over Gaza. In two days of unabated horrors, 300 people were massacred, 900 wounded and thousands of lives of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children and friends were forever despoiled. During the Festival of Lights, 2008, the Zionists shamed the ancient religion of Judaism and proved to the world that theirs is not the universal religion of high-minded Leviticus: “And if thy brother be waxen poor and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.” The Zionists have shown that they are the children of a lesser God—a schizoid God who blesses and curses in the same chapter of the same text: “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. … Of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.”

In the films of my childhood, the “big movies” about World War II, the Nazis were easily identifiable as evil incarnate. They were stiff and military in their pressed uniforms and high, polished boots. Their gestures were stiff salutes, forearm thrust from heart to all the world in front of them, proclaiming “Heil Hitler!” But the clearest sign of their brutishness was their notion of collective punishment. If one person in an occupied town was driven to madness by the occupiers’ savagery and inhumanity; if one person struck out for the inalienable right to liberty; if one among the hundreds or thousands of villagers or townsfolk struck a Nazi officer—or killed a Nazi soldier—then the men of the occupied territory were lined up and forced to count, 1 to 10, 1 to 10, over and over and the tenth man in each group was bid to step forward and then executed.

Collective punishment. Not a new idea of modern warfare. As old as Yahweh ordering the destruction of every man, woman, child, sheep, goat and parakeet in some village in Canaan. And when the Superpower wanted to test out it’s mad-scientist weapon, its “terrible, swift sword,” it did not hesitate to collectively punish hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because their leaders had had the effrontery to attack a naval station that was being prepped for war against them. How dare the occupied rebel? How dare the war-trodden resist?

Occupation. After the French and Indian War (really a side-show in the World War between France and Britain) the Brits believed they had the right to quarter their soldiers in the homes of the colonists whom they’d spent blood and treasure to “defend.” The colonists, on the other hand, thought they’d be a lot better off without the damned redcoats pinching their daughters and mucking up the place.

Have we become a species too stupid to learn? HUMAN BEINGS DON’T LIKE BEING OCCUPIED. THEY WILL REBEL. THEY WILL CAST STONES. Even against a Goliath, they will cast stones. A Goliath that has spent the last six months of a “peace treaty” closing borders through a stranglehold of checkpoints, obstructing the flow of food and medicine to a malnourished and sickened population of one and a half million imprisoned souls, is likely to get a few sling-shots and home-made rockets pointed in his direction!

A century ago, Zionist zealots hijacked the little religion of Judaism, got on the bandwagon of 19th Century nationalist movements and dreamed very big. They dreamed of a homeland for the wandering Jews. Good enough … but when they cast about to see where to plant New Jerusalem they failed to see, they failed to imagine—because they could not imagine the humanity!—that other people—Semites—were living in the land, some of whom could trace their origins back to before the time of the Hebrews. And the Great Powers—Britain and America, especially—nursed the deluded dreams of the Zionists because it was in the interests of the Great Powers to challenge the old empire of the Ottomans and the emerging power of Germany.

During the Festival of Lights, 2008, before the last candle of the menorah could be lit, while the children played with their dreidles and received their Hannukah gelt, their blind and deranged parents and grandparents rained terror upon a shackled people in an open-air prison, ensuring that the children in the Holy Land and elsewhere in our tortured world would know neither peace nor joy nor light for many years to come.

Gary Corseri's work has appeared at Dissident Voice, Common Dreams, CounterPunch, the New York Times, Village Voice and hundreds of other venues. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. His books include novels and poetry collections. He can be reached at: gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on December 29th, 2008 at 8:31am #

    corseri,
    interestingly, it’s not over yet. pals, who may be descendants of canaanites, hebrews, and arabs have not yet been defeated and the birds that flock together (gang w.o. pang) r concerned.

    the gangs w.o. pangs have been killing people for millennia. this may continue for centuries or even millennia. thnx

  2. farid bitar said on December 29th, 2008 at 3:57pm #

    I agree with a lot of points that Mr. Corsery has pointed to.
    I think Israel has a hang-up from it’s past history in Germany, it has this fear and complex that it needs to defend its security against all odds, against a civilian population. I am horrified as a Palestinian to watch what the IDF is committing atrocities of mass destruction with no one to stop it, the American government is fully backing this Goliath, and may I add I don’t have much faith in Obama.

    I just called home, in the West Bank and things are horrible, the Arab world is sleeping as usual. I hope that one day America will wake up and see the truth, all that money that goes to Israel is spent on destroying the Palestinian population, enough is enough, the poeple will resist and I salute my comrades, one day will come and Goliath will be defeated, as long as there is one fertile Palestinian woman, Israel will never rest in peace.

  3. The Angry Peasant said on December 29th, 2008 at 6:46pm #

    Farid Bitar,
    Fear not; many Americans do realize the truth about the evil that is Israel. But, as we all know, most do not. I hope that one day Palestine is a true state and that Israel is vanquished like their Nazi predecessors. Unfortunately, the evil U.S. Empire will have to be defeated for that to happen.

  4. bozh said on December 30th, 2008 at 9:42am #

    people in US wld care if they knew the truth. but amers, among many others, know 1% of what is going on now and close to zilch what went on.
    and of what they know, 99% is false to facts. thus, it wld seem, 95% care ab isr or blame pals. thnx

  5. Phil said on December 30th, 2008 at 9:43am #

    Unfortunately, the evil U.S. Empire will have to be defeated for that to happen.

    Don’t worry; the empire is already in the later stages of destroying itself.

  6. The Angry Peasant said on December 30th, 2008 at 10:01am #

    And thank Christ.

  7. mary said on December 30th, 2008 at 2:06pm #

    Can’t let Gary’s fine essay with its power and intensity of feeling disappear off the end of the archive page here without saying thanks for it. I found it especially moving – perhaps those Biblical references stirred up some memories from the past. He has the great imagination to understand the predicament of these oppressed people living under an Occupation and to convert that understanding into such awesome writing including some facts of the region’s political history. There has been such a marvellous wealth of new articles on this website on the subject of Israel and Gaza within the last few days (but I’m very sad that the ongoing tragedy has given cause to the authors to produce them), it has been quite difficult to keep up with all the reading and then to digest.

    And what’s with the ‘Mr Corsery’ and just ‘corseri’ Farid and Bozh- get his name right – a bit of respect – or perhaps they were typos. Is there a poet laureate in North America? There’s a vacancy coming up in the UK!!

  8. bozh said on December 30th, 2008 at 2:44pm #

    mary,
    u do have the right to use the titles and i have the right/duty not to use them.
    thus, i don’t approbate titles; main reason being, that if one puts another up,, one puts another dwn.
    i hate labels (not people) such as sir, earl, countess, king, your honor, mister, et al.
    i show my respect for other people w. how i talk w. them.
    i avoid as much as possible all labeling or even attacking what people say; i, instead, juxtapose my own facts, ideas, etc.
    when a business person calls s’mone “sir” or “mr” that person is just using u by making u believe he respects u; while in fact, the opposite is true
    we live in a classful society; where ‘educated’ people look dwn on ‘uneducated’; tho they may call u sir.
    and i had enough of that pretense/sham. thnx

  9. Max Shields said on December 30th, 2008 at 3:05pm #

    Stirring piece Gary.

  10. mary said on December 31st, 2008 at 3:43am #

    Bozh I did not mean to annoy you. When I first saw your comments on this site, I found your way of writing in shorthand a bit puzzling but I have got accustomed to it now and agree with most of what you say. You have my admiration too for looking after your ill wife. I have had experience of being a carer so know the scenario.

    I agree with your comments on titles and class. Have you ever seen this 60s sketch by three British comedians. Always make me laugh. The class system is not so rigid now in the UK – it is more or a meritocracy or was until it all went bust – but the vestiges of the monarchy and aristos are still there even in the heart of parliament.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=w0DUsGSMwZY

    Also I was actually trying to be a bit light hearted although I feel the very opposite. If you met Gary face to face you would call him by his first name and not his family name though wouldn’t you. In British schools like Eton and Harrow, the pupils are addressed by their surnames which was a way of diminishing their identity. I don’t know whether that practice has changed.