We Have Met the Enemy and they are Other Democrats

Photo courtesy of Ross Rowley

The Israeli government is like the bad friend who only calls to ask for money or favors. For 75 years, Jewish supremacists beguiled our nation into believing their problems were America’s problems too. By using the tragedy of the Holocaust, they captured our sympathies and eventually played us for suckers — now democrats are angry.

Not all, but a growing number are once they find out the 260 billion dollars U.S. taxpayers have given the Israeli government since WWll is money down the rathole when measured next to their broken promises, outright lies and deplorable treatment of Palestinians. No wonder these dems are trying to put the kibosh on Israeli funding after learning that Israelis along with their apologists, have done everything they could for decades to surreptitiously steer U.S. foreign policy toward a favorable view of Israel. Netanyahu, the Israeli imperial wizard of deception, made this abundantly clear in his infamous 2001 comment “ America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

Biden, who sometimes resembles an ineffectual palace eunuch more than a wise king, confirms this every time he shakes a finger at Israeli leaders during their incursions or implores them to be more careful with their two and five-thousand pound bombs while they’re ethnically cleansing. His reluctance to call Netanyahu out for the genocidal slaughter in Gaza is beyond disappointing and embarrassing.

What can these democrats do when so many others only give lip service to a ceasefire? Congress hasn’t been much help — so far, less than 60 members have called for one. At a grassroots level, groups typically on the front lines in fights for equal rights and fair play like liberal artists, musicians, feminists and Jews are noticeably absent.

In early February this year, the Minneapolis City Counsel passed a ceasefire resolution after Jewish and Democratic Party mayor Jacob Frey vetoed it because he believed the proposal was “one-sided.” One might wonder what the other side of an unstopped genocidal war would be. According to the StarTribune “Frey said he is open to signing a “truly unifying ceasefire resolution,” but noted his office has not drafted its own version yet. He told reporters the veto was “not an easy decision” and that he made it after listening to “people in my family, my extended Jewish community, and people throughout the city.” There was no mention of him talking with Palestinians.

Just before the resolution passed, thirty-four Minnesota rabbis signed a statement supporting the mayor’s veto. To date, this city counsel resolution has the strongest language in the country because it calls for the U.S. to stop military funding to Israel. One of the signatories was a Senior Rabbi I wanted to interview for a local anti-war newsletter, but she turned me down a couple months ago. That makes five refusals from rabbis in less than a year.

Even those progressive artists who do publicly support a ceasefire can get wish-washy about it later. One recently qualified his online ceasefire statement with a call for lowering rhetorical tones and suggested that the U.S. facilitate discussions between Israel and surrounding Arab countries. Turning down the volume is one thing, but why anyone would still believe that an inveterate liar such as Netanyahu or his murderous gang of sociological mutants should be trusted again is beyond me. If there ever is an agreement, it would have to come with enforceable, ironclad guarantees from the outside.

Then there was a luminary folk singer/songwriter who shared a green room with Bob Dylan who soon removed his stop the genocide post and replaced it with a flower. He later posted the words to a lullaby-like song he wrote about poets, artists and doctors parachuting into war zones. When I commented on his FB page about the futility of airdropping poets and artists who have yet to condemn the Israeli government, he removed the post and blocked me.

One can only imagine the impact Bob Dylan might have if he called for sanctions and a ceasefire, but that might be too much to expect. According to a two-year old NWC/FORBES report, he has 70 cars, 15 mansions, 3 yachts, over 180 luxury watches and a nuclear bunker. Maybe he became one of the people he warned us about. On the other hand, Taylor Swift went to a comedy club last December that was raising money for Gazans. Bless her 1.1 billion dollar heart.

It can be especially irksome when artists with long histories of showing sympathy to Native Americans don’t use their personas and platforms to publicly damn the US for supporting the genocidal Israeli government. Perhaps that’s understandable given all the whispers about Zionist Jews holding so many purse strings in the arts and entertainment business. It might seem prudent then for artists to focus on fairness issues concerning women and the LGBT community instead of the beleaguered Palestinians After all — a show of support for Palestinians may reduce audience sizes or wreck chances for an audition, gig or a place on the arts-grants-gravy-train.

Artist Frank Big Bear combines early dreams from his childhood on the White Earth Reservation along with tribal and urban imagery in personal storytelling narratives told largely through surrealistic and cubistic traditions. He also drove a cab in Minneapolis for over thirty years to support his family.

I think maybe people are starting to speak out more about what’s happening in Gaza around the country — maybe not on my Facebook page, because most of them are democrats who voted for Biden. I still speak out on Facebook knowing that I might be blacklisted because of Jewish influences in the art market and other institutions. I know I was kinda ignored by museums and institutions that supported native art around the country before the war in Gaza, especially for shows and grants. I guess you have to play the game by their rules and be popular and know the juries. It was difficult for me to play the game when I was younger because I was raising six children and had a full time job. I didn’t have the money or time to fly around the country and promote my work. I had to rely on and trust art dealers who are not exactly trustworthy. But getting back to why some people are not saying anything, I think it’s because they’re afraid of losing their jobs which would devastate their livelihood, especially in this economy.

— Frank Big Bear

Feminists too have been slow to join the call for a ceasefire and ending support for Israel. Member of the European Parliament and Irish firebrand Clare Daly recently voiced a call for the United Nations to look into how war affects women: Particularly in Gaza where “70% of the victims are women and children” and those giving birth still go without anesthetics or professional help and use tent scraps sometimes to mop up postpartum bleeding. She went on at length about the horrific, war-related traumas mothers and kids experience and ended her talk with a scathing rebuke to feminists who have not shown any solidarity with Gazan women “that’s not feminism, that’s an abomination and I don’t know if God will forgive them, but I and millions of others certainly won’t.”

Meanwhile, the chatter classes drone on about how the Israel/Palestine dilemma is unsolvable, too complicated or how they have sympathy for both sides or feel so emotionally torn they can’t bring themselves to take a stand — perhaps they need some new material.

Craig Wood is a Minneapolis writer and member of Veterans For Peace. He can be reached at craig2mpls@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Craig.