Sheket Bavakasha! Why Jews True to their Heritage, Cannot

Sheket”! My Hebrew school teacher, Mr. Gold, may his memory be a blessing, would tell me to “Shut Up!” now, as he did so many times nearly 50 years ago.

But I cannot. The siege and attack on the Palestine in Gaza is so fundamentally Anti-Jewish that I must speak out. To be silent is to stand with the millions who looked on while Jewish baby boys at precisely the time I was born into the world in Virginia , died at the hands of Nazis and their collaborators in Eastern Europe . I know this to be true because I have researched it at the Holocaust Museum . I know the dates, places and the events. Those crimes are part of my family history. Our souls are united; they died and I lived.

To be silent is to stand with Whites who watched and participated in race discrimination where I grew up or stood silently when I was called “Jew baby” and “Christ Killer” by older neighborhood kids.

After 9-11, I watched silently as a policeman at my SeaTac gate roughly interrogated an Arab professor and his wife on the way to Alaska in front of his children. My inaction haunts me.

For a lifetime, I have stood with indigenous peoples, told their stories, and assisted them when I could. How can I stand silent now and honor them and their histories?

I remember the moment when I learned the new words to the Hatikvah that came with the independence of the Jewish state. I was proud and remain proud to see this evolution from a millennia of Diaspora and persecution, ending with the modern industrialized massacre of six million.

But what I am now seeing is a version of that evil committed by my Landsmen.

So call me anti-Semitic or a self-hating Jew, if you wish. The men, women and children of Palestine are being butchered while the world stands, apparently afraid to be termed anti-Semitic, if it speaks out.

The humanitarian moral code that is profoundly Jewish is not happening in Gaza today. Rabbi Hillel would speak and then turn away in shame. Sorry, Mr. Gold, this is not the time to shut up. Too many souls were killed by silence.

Steve Conn is a retired professor of justice at the University of Alaska, and former director of Alaska Public Interest Research Group. He lived in Alaska from 1972 to 2007 and now lives in Point Roberts, Washington. He recently helped collect more than 5,900 signatures from Alaskan voters to put Ralph Nader on the 2008 Alaska Presidential ballot. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Steve, or visit Steve's website.

15 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Jeff said on December 30th, 2008 at 10:12am #

    And so it is. Does this provide evidence that there may not be a chosen race. We are all human beings after all. Welcome to the club. May the Almighty have mercy on us all.

  2. bozh said on December 30th, 2008 at 11:26am #

    steve conn,
    u tacitly posit the notion that the euroasians w. judaic faith r of judean ancestry.
    there may be only (MAYBE) only shards of evidence that u r descendant of jews of judea.
    evidence suggest that after roman defeat of jews, jews were either slain/dispersed, or fled for dear life.
    and they cldn’t have fled into the lands controled by romans but to areas not controled by rome; namely, arab lands.
    as for the israelites, none can be found.
    in add’n, arabs, canaanites, and hebrews spoke dialects of one language; ie, they were shemites; or, if one likes the coruption “semite”, it’s ok w. me.
    genetically, u’r not any volk but an admixture of many folks which may have caused ur people to be smarter than most other folk.
    u not, but most of ur people just worship a cult and behave as the cult commands.
    ur people cannot tolerate any other cult nor people. thnx

  3. Naftali said on December 30th, 2008 at 1:13pm #

    So Steve Conn prefers that Israelis play Russian Roulette with Hamas holding the gun. That every day 250,000 Israelis have to wonder every minute where they can go for protection in the 15 seconds of warning they might get. This is of course a luxury most did not have prior to the installation of the warning system. This is the number that is currently threatened and if Israel does nothing, then Tel Aviv is the next logical target. Mr. Conn also has a very short memory about Hamas terror which started way before they took over Gaza, all of it then directed at civilians as well. With Jews like Mr. Conn, Israel would have been exterminated a long time ago. Frankly, I prefer Jews like Ehud Barak who stated “There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting. Now is the time for fighting.”

  4. giorgio said on December 30th, 2008 at 2:30pm #

    There we have it!
    Just TOO predictable!
    As for your preferences for: a time for calm, a time for fighting…I would add: there is also a time to DEFECATE!

    Haaretz reported long ago that Israeli soldiers occupying Ramallah “destroyed children’s paintings”, “urinated and defecated everywhere” even “managing to defecate into a photocopier”- no doubt with “great pain and anguish” ….
    Referring to this incident, Amira Hass later raised the question: “Do they think that Jewish shit is holier than everybody elses?”

    Now, please, excuse me. It’s time for me to defecate, too!

  5. bozh said on December 30th, 2008 at 3:10pm #

    amira hass may be another closet ‘zionist’. i put the word “zionist” under single quotes tp point out the facts that “zionists” have nothing to do zion since they r not descendants of the judeans.
    as far as history teaches, that most judeans in 70 ad have not fled to europe but to n. africa and arab lands.
    why? because they spoke, as always before, a dialect of the shemitic language; that of arabs, canaanites, assyrians, chaldeans, and hebraic peoples.
    while assyrians, chaldeans, and akkadians may have not been shemitic at one time, shemites have migrated into mesopotamia and were either assimilated or have assimialeted host peoples. thnx

  6. giorgio said on December 30th, 2008 at 6:37pm #

    “amira hass may be another closet ‘zionist’”?
    The answer to that I don’t know nor care to know!

    But here is a far bettet answer by Paul C Roberts titled :

    in today’s

    Here some quotes:

    In 2006 the US insisted that the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank hold free elections. When free elections were held, Hamas won. This was unacceptable to the Americans and Israelis. In the West Bank, the Americans and Israelis imposed a puppet government, but Hamas held on in Gaza. After unheeded warnings to the Gazans to rid themselves of Hamas and accept a puppet government, Israel has decided to destroy the freely elected government with violence.

    For the US and UK governments, Israel can do no wrong. Israel doesn’t have to stop withholding food, medicine, water, and energy, but Hamas must stop protesting by firing off rockets. In violation of international law, Israel can drive West Bank Palestinians off their lands and out of their villages and give the stolen properties to “settlers.” Israel can delay Palestinians in need of emergency medical care at checkpoints until their lives ebb away. Israeli snipers can get their jollies murdering Palestinian children.

    The Great Moral Anglo-Americans couldn’t care less.

    In his 2005 Nobel Lecture, British playwright Harold Pinter held the United States and its British puppet state accountable for “the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought.” Everyone knows that such crimes occurred in the Soviet Union and in its East European empire, but “US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all,” this despite the fact that “the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.”

    Soviet crimes, like Nazi ones, are documented in gruesome detail, but America’s crimes “never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

    Pinter presents a long list of American crimes and comes to Iraq: “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was . . . an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading–as a last resort–all other justifications having failed to justify themselves–as liberation.” Americans and their British puppets “have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East.”

    “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?” Pinter’s question can also be asked of Israel.

    American evangelical Christians, who are degenerating into Zionists, are Israel’s greatest allies. Jesus is forsaken as Christians swallow whole the Israeli lies. A couple of years ago the US Presbyterian Church was so distressed by Israel’s immorality toward Palestinians that the church attempted to disinvest its investment portfolio from assets tainted with Israel. But the Israel Lobby was stronger. The Presbyterian Church was unable to stand up for Christian principles and knuckled under to the Israel Lobby’s pressure.

    Pinter sums it up in a speech he had dreams of writing for President George W. Bush:

    “God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.”

    If only our ears could hear, this is the speech we have been hearing from Israel for 60 years.


    Now this message mainly for Naftali:

    We barely less than 48 hrs from entering a New Year. I mean here the Christian one, of course. Why not use this momentous occasion to flush out the SLUDGE between your ears and replace it with REAL GREY MATTER, finely circuited, and step into 2009 with a BRAIN doing its job the way it was created to do?


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

    The United States has a long, sordid history of falsely supporting democracy. The United states, in actual fact, has never wanted democracy here or anywhere else. It is merely a tool they use to gain some degree of influence and control in other areas of the world under the completely phony notion of being on “the side of right.” The situation in Gaza is just one more move right out of the U.S. playbook. We shove our “democracy” down another nation’s throat, then if we don’t like who comes into power in that democracy; if it doesn’t suit our interests, we overthrow, assassinate, ethnically cleanse (as Israel is now doing with U.S. support) the new leadership. How unbelievably full of shit the United States is, and amazing how long the U.S. has gotten away with this horrifically hypocritical behavior. Hamas joins a long list of victims of this evil empire.

  8. Myles Hoenig said on December 30th, 2008 at 10:46pm #

    Steve Conn,
    I could not have said it any better.

    I would also posit that it would be fair to ask the question, “Is Gaza a modern day Warsaw Ghetto?”
    If that is so, then it is the right of every resident in Gaza to follow in the footsteps of Mordecai Anielewicz and others, as they led Jewish resistance against the Nazis.

    One is not a self-hating Jew to be for Palestine but one who epitomizes the Jewish ethos.

  9. bozh said on December 31st, 2008 at 10:33am #

    wld u explain please why u say that hamas must stop protesting by firing qassams?

    we need more input on the fact that presbetyrian church nuckled under zionist pressure.
    we need to know how it caved in and what were caustive factors for giving in.

  10. giorgio said on December 31st, 2008 at 12:37pm #

    “explain please why u say that hamas must stop protesting by firing qassams?” What? where did I say that?
    What I would like to have said to hamas is to pound them with better rocketing systems….they too crude.

    As for why ” presbetyrian church nuckled under zionist pressure.” is quite obvious from my original quote. Want more info? get it from the horse’s mouth: Paul C Roberts himself.
    email: moc.oohaynull@streboRgiarCluaP

  11. giorgio said on December 31st, 2008 at 12:58pm #

    But what’s the big deal? The Catholic Church has been relentlessly pressured by zionists. Why do you think Prof. Norman Finkelstein was booted out of DePaul University?
    The Pope himself buckled under their pressure without a wimper…
    Reason: Money talks OR better Silences!
    Zionism IS backed by huge cartel of financial power.
    They just bought the the 2009 prez-elect of the most powerful nation of the world on the CHEAP!
    Howz that for chutzpah?

  12. giorgio said on December 31st, 2008 at 1:43pm #

    Steve Conn,
    I see you in your cv you helped on Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign. Are you at all involved in helping Mordechai Vanunu out Israel and get his freedom ? He’s been kept there just for spite and revenge…I know he would love to get out of Israel for good!
    Thanks for your sincere article and for bravely SPEAKING OUT !!!
    As for those who call you ‘anti-Semitic’ or a ‘self-hating Jew’ they the real COWARDS found only under rocks like vipers and tarantulas…
    Wish you a good New Year. God Bless!

  13. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 7:22am #

    in rereading ur post, i now know that u were not saying “that hamas must first stop rocketeering”; instead isr/US is saying that.
    my apology; and i read that passage at least twice.

    itis a big deal, to me, giorgio as caving in may signify that also presbyterian church is minizionistic.
    i do not recognize state of isr.

    ab finkelstein. afaik, he also may be a mini zionist. ‘jews’ who criticize isr may still love isr. i do not. i hate isr. it has no moral nor leagl right to exist. thnx

  14. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 5:11pm #

    the hell w. god. let us worship devil but not in secret. i already have a devil of my own and he is very good to me.
    so get ur devil and not ur jesus. he’s dead; used be a mad priest.
    he was just like all the other priests plowing and plowing but never sowing. thnx

  15. giorgio said on January 1st, 2009 at 6:04pm #

    Hell! You really started the new year on the wrong footing….
    But since you chummies with the devil here is some good readings for you: The Synagogue of Satan by Andrew C Hitchcock.
    Free download at

    I’m half way thru it…gives me the creeps….

    have fun