Israel Shamir: Yoke of Zion
- The Yoke of Zion
By Israel Shamir
A small band of determined warriors takes on and fights off the
mightiest army of the region: this is the stuff history is made of.
Thermopylae, move over, Bint Jbeil comes in! Bishop Philip of Antioch
compared the levelling of this small Lebanese town with the
destruction of Stalingrad, but these cities are also comparable by
courage of their defenders. Not often, not every generation merits to
witness such a shining example of valour: for three long weeks a
handful of Hezbollah warriors two thousand by the most optimistic
count fought off to standstill ten, twenty, thirty times more
numerous Israeli troops. Forty years ago, Israelis defeated three
armies in one week, but now the invaders' charm wore off, or passed
over to the vanquished. In today's somewhat feminine victim-centred
narrative, suffering attracts more attention than masculine gallantry.
Thus Qana massacre had overshadowed a greater going-on, that is the
steadfast resistance of the Lebanese fighters. But Andromache's sorrow
should not obscure Hector's courage: Hezbollah's deeds deserve to be
immortalised by poets.
Why the war? Leave small details to a future Plutarch; this is another
round of battle for Palestine. Supported and supplied by their captive
empire, the US, the Jews had all the weapons, all the ammunition, all
the diplomatic support, when hubris-drunk they drove into disarmed and
starved Gaza to kill off its last resisters and impose the Yoke of
Zion. Their invasion was prepared by a year-long siege and incessant
shelling; they were cock-sure they can devour Gaza at will. And
indeed, all kept mum: the Egyptians traded the glory of the Ramadan
War for greenbacks, sons of Hejaz and Nejd were too busy serving at
the oil pump, and the princes of the Gulf cared but for their falcons.
The Jews felt secure as they stooped to kill off Gaza: who will
disturb the lion of Judah roaring at his prey? And a tiny force from
the Mount Lebanon said: we will. They attacked the all-powerful Jews;
thus the hobbit pierced the sinew of Nazgul when he stooped to kill.
Israeli army roused from his prey turned north and lashed with all its
might at the Hezbollah fighters. But they stood fast.
This was most unexpected. The Israelis were used to kill or disperse
- weaponless untrained Palestinians. Instead, the fighters of Sayyed
Nasrallah dug in their heels into the bare hills of Bint Jbeil and
gave battle. If they were destroyed quickly, Israeli generals would
lead their victorious troops to Damascus and Teheran before turning
back and despoiling Palestine of its priceless jewel, Haram al Sharif.
It still can happen, but chances were diminished by the steadfastness
More important, Hezbollah refused to cease fire as long as Israel
occupies the land of Lebanon. This daring step undermined the whole
strategy of Zionists. They planned to occupy the South and wait there
until the international (or NATO) force will enter and do their job
for them. Hezbollah's decision lacks one detail: cease fire must
extend to Palestine, as well. It is inconceivable that Lebanon will
lay arms down, while Gaza is besieged and Nablus is devoured.
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert said: "We have changed the Middle East". I do
not know whether all Middle East had changed, but in Israel we witness
a great change. Until now, only a few just men and women of Israel
called their government to desist in their aggression against Gaza and
Lebanon. But the Katyusha rain changed minds of many. At first carried
away by arrogance of their generals, now Israelis discovered the heavy
price of war. Their first complaints on the army's failure to deliver
gave place to critique of the policy. They began to understand that
time is not working for them.
The now-subservient regimes of neighbouring countries can fall any
minute or remove the Yoke of Zion. Their rulers were led to believe in
Jewish superiority, and that is why they chose to condemn `imprudent
Hezbollah'. But now their people see that even a small force of
determined fighters can beat the enemy, they find no justification for
cowardly behaviour of their rulers. It can lead to revolution, for
King Faruk was removed by young officers of Falujah fame disappointed
by his weakness in 1948.
Neil MacFarquhar reports in the NYT (28.7.06): "At the onset of the
Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed
Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United
States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.
Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against
the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of
public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the
organization, transforming the Shiite group's leader, Sheik Hassan
Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official
statements. The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who
were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran,
Hezbollah's main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from
The report sees the popular opinion, "the Arab street" as the vehicle
for change; but the change can come from above, too. The cruel
bombardment of Beirut and of all Lebanon was supposed to frighten the
Arab nations into obedience; instead, it convinced the rich and
powerful Arabs that as long as the Jews run the writ in the Middle
East, their riches and power can be taken from them anytime by will of
a Jewish general. Beirut was peaceful, Beirut agreed to expel Syrians,
Beirut was the most pro-Western state, and it did not save the city
from Jewish not even vengeance for there was nothing to avenge but
arbitrary heavy-handedness. The Arabs at power ask, whether the Jewish
state can be a peaceful neighbour at all, or is it (as the Iranian
President Ahmadinejad says) bellicose by its nature and had to be
dealt with as once the Crusader Kingdom was.
Indeed, the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem existed longer than the
Jewish state, and probably would last for centuries, but its innate
aggressiveness and preparedness to serve as bridgehead for European
invasions. The turning point in Crusaders' fortunes took place some
850 years ago, at the Second Crusade which bore an uncanny resemblance
to the Second Lebanese War. By that time, the Arab nations were inured
in invincibility of the Crusaders; sheer arrogance of power led the
Crusaders to march on Damascus, their peaceful, complacent and
hedonist neighbour, the least belligerent among small independent and
much-divided Arab states, a "Lebanon of 12th century". At first, the
Crusaders ran into guerrilla resistance of the then Hezbollah, and
lost a lot of soldiers. When they besieged the city, the ruler of
Damascus was forced to ask for help of his neighbour Nureddin,
"Ahmadinejad of his day"; an army of Nureddin drew close and the
Franks had to retreat in haste.
The Arab neighbours learned two things: (1) submission and complacency
can't guarantee their peace for the Crusader state is a Damocles'
Sword forever hanging above their heads; and (2) Crusaders can be
defeated. Out of the Second Crusade, came Saladin, a nephew of
Nureddin, who united Syria and Egypt and eventually defeated the
Crusaders at Qurn Hittin. Now the same two lessons were delivered to
the Arabs, by courtesy of IDF. Is a new Saladin on the way?
But the Jews may yet face another danger caused by their
assertiveness. They relate to themselves the fiery prophesy of Rev.
19: 15 "Out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, with it he should smite
the goyim, and he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron; and he is
crushing with his feet the grapes of God's wrath". They take it so
seriously that their massacre of Qana (120 butchered refugees) was
named "the Grapes of Wrath". These features are not the most
endearing; and not only the Arabs may object to be shepherded by an
The US pays heavily for the Jewish fun. A poor American may hate to
think that he has no medical insurance but his government pays tribute
to rich Israel. Average American filling his average car may dislike
to pay for support of the Jewish state because before the Neo-Cohns
got into power in the Administration, gas was much, much cheaper. A
wealthy and worldly American may feel vexed that he is not welcome
wherever he goes from Paris to Istanbul - as he was before the Yoke
An easy-going American may dislike that he can't cuss a Jewish cop
without reading about it in the New York Times. A believing American
may be upset that he can't mention Christ unless he is ready to be
summoned to a court hearing. An honest American or an European may
be annoyed by their hypocrisy. It is not enough that they push for
war, they also blame others for it. It is not enough that they kill
children in droves, they also preach on immense value of human life.
A religious Bible-thumping American may remember the prophecy of
Ezekiel, 22 who said to the princes of Israel in the name of the Lord:
"You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed; everyone
among you, putting out his full force to shed blood" that is the
blood of innocent Palestinians and Lebanese; Ezekiel also prophesied
the Zionist Gathering of Jews, and that it will lead to a major
disaster to Zionists: "the house of Israel has become dross to me;
therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem, and blow upon
you in the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst, and
you shall know that I, the Lord, have poured out my fury upon you. The
Israelis have used oppression, and committed robbery, and have wronged
the poor and needy; indeed, they have oppressed the gentiles
wrongfully, and therefore I have consumed them with the fire of my
wrath; their own way have I rewarded upon their heads, said the Lord God."
An American politician, maybe even an American president may get tired
by these people's endless need to demand sympathy or to protest an
outrage; by necessity to watch out, by ideological censorship and
party discipline, by their blackmailing habits, by their fat pockets
and media hold, by Damocles Sword they hanged above his head.
Moreover, an American or a European who calls himself today "a Jew"
may ponder whether he has much in common with the people whose poets
call upon their soldiers: "Storm on Lebanon and Gaza, and plow it and
sow it with salt, raze it down, let no human being remain alive/ Turn
them into a desert, rubble, a valley of mess, unpopulated/ Save your
nation and drop bombs / On villages and cities, their collapsing
houses do shell / Kill them, shed their blood, turn their lives into
living hell /".
He may give a thought whether he wishes to be a secret weapon of
Israel in words of Prime Minister Olmert who said: "Arab weapons, even
when they hurt us, are nothing like the powerful, secret weapon we
possess: The Jewish people across the world, and the special feeling
of love and mutual commitment that prevails between all Jews,
regardless of where they are". He may just stop to consider himself a
Jew and melt into general populace, as millions did before him.
A Jewish friend of mine wrote: "I have asked a number of my friends in
the US whether they think the Zionist mantra retains its power, and
they agree it does not. The lobby does not, I think, have a bright
future - that is why its agents have faced prosecution. Even if
their lock on Congress persists for some time, their hold on American
opinion must now diminish. I believe Lenny Brenner when he argues that
young Jews are deserting Judaism and Zionism in droves."
Israelis, i.e. dwellers of Palestine who consider themselves Jewish,
may also contemplate whether they want to fight and support the
ideological Yoke of Zion which brings them only hatred outside and
poverty within. Instead of living in economic prosperity and in
harmony with our neighbours, the Yoke of Zion turns us into
impoverished cannon fodder.
And after all, Americans and Europeans may just get bored of these
guys that endlessly preach to others and are never willing to hearken
to others' views. Even Germans may one day kick their masochist habit
of endless repentance. And then the Yoke of Zion will be gone, for
this Yoke is nothing but shared belief in Jewish superiority. And
then, the perfectly harmless Jews will have to learn and become usual
citizens of their countries, without a special access to presidents,
bank coffers and TV screens.
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