Show-down at the Kol Shofar Synagogue: An Expose on Jewish Racism
By Arthur Topham
January 16, 2009
The trouble with you
Is the trouble with me
You got two good eyes
But you still don’t see.
~ The Grateful Dead/Casey Jones
Yet we must also respect those who simply protest anything less than full immediate denouncement of openly-declared racism, as Zionism defines itself to be, and as practiced for decades by the ‘Jewish State’ constantly expanding the turf of its supremacy. In all other cases of openly-declared state-racism, the ordinary, moderate response is to give the racist policies primary emphasis and absolute Zero tolerance. Delaying that frankness does perpetuate the cover-up which has managed to keep the gory Elephant of Zionist racism the best-kept secret in our living-room of ostensible egalitarianism.
~ Dave Kirsting, concerned Marin County, California resident
One of the great joys and blessings of being a publisher is the opportunity it provides for connecting up with interesting people from around the world.
Whether it’s a short congratulatory note from Noam Chomsky; a friendly request for further info on Ricardo Warmouse from David Icke; a polite, personal invite from Jeff Rense for an interview; a gentle email from Layla Anwar; or a long, intensely humorous and perspicacious hand-written letter, replete with comic drawings!, from my dear American sister Carolyn Chute (author of The Beans of Egypt Maine and other exceptional books on the human condition), all of them and many more comprise a legacy of intimate contacts. It’s these brief interludes with companion souls in the seemingly endless struggle to achieve peace and justice for all that help to compensate for the otherwise interminable and at times exasperating amount of energy expended in the operation of a thus far free and alternative news media.
In some respects each new day is like Christmas morning for a child raised in the belief that gifts are a result of living in harmony with a loving God and treating each other as we would like to be treated. And there is no gift so precious as that of discovering new friendships and realizing one is not alone, either in their feelings, their perspective or in the physical world that we all share.
One such gift for me was an email on Christmas day from a cyber friend who lives in Marin County, California. His name is Dave Kirsting. Dave has been a part of my Radical Press List Serve for some time and receives the assorted articles and analysis of global political events that I pass on to subscribers. On this occasion Dave was writing in regards to a short article of Layla Anwar’s http://www.arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/ entitled, Jingle Bells and all that Stuff… which I had sent out on December 24th.
As this is an article about Dave and his personal experiences with political Zionism as they pertain to the Arab Jewish predicament in the Middle East and how such explosive events tend to spread out over the globe like ash from an active volcano only to settle in small communities everywhere where one finds the Zionist mindset, I will let him do most of the talking (so to speak). Dave is, in my humble opinion, a very articulate, caring and astute thinker, aware of certain basic truths that I feel need to be shared with a much greater audience.
His initial email:
‘Thank you Arthur, and Merry Christmas, and thanks for all your work.
Myself, I am so unusual as to see all discussions and arguments as pleasant gifts to me, regardless of how others may feel or how they often interpret kinds words in the fair game of dialogue. I recall once sending a comment to you regarding what I saw as perhaps a word-choice oversight, what could be called an ‘error’ and a ‘correction,’ and you responded so sensibly as to leave that lesser paradigm floating along somewhere below. This is why I always welcome emails from RadicalPress.
I am sitting here drinking my meticulously selected and brewed and consequently superb coffee on Christmas morning, waiting for my friends (including the most magically delightful woman I have ever met) to arrive in a few hours for our lascivious indulgence of lavish gift-giving, my Druidic solstice-tree all sparkling with lights and ornaments (alongside my lofty view of Mount Tamalpais, amid the blowing trees, swirling white clouds, and sparkling sunlight of Southern Marin’s characteristically colliding micro-climates), to celebrate the arrival of full consciousness, a couple thousand years ago, when East met West, the discovery of a loving universe, or ‘God,’ the primacy of self-honesty, the proffered escape from wrathful paradigms, denials, and conceits, as it was all voluntarily embraced by the best of the Celts, wherever this new dimension of ever-returning life was superimposed over the message already inherent in their sacred evergreens.
Ms. Anwar is fundamentally correct, though a few semantic adjustments should be made, so her meaning will be clear enough for anyone willing to understand
For one thing, the truth has always been almost 100% lost in human denial, as exploited through the concerted efforts of Zionist atheists.
The Christened one always said his perfect advice could be understood by all but would be honored by terribly few. The forces that killed him, with his consent, have always remained in power and continue to try and kill his message, but they cannot do so, any more than they could even retain possession of his body, after it was dead.
The blame can’t be placed on any ‘leadership,’ as those of us who have always struggled directly among the people can attest. Unwilling to recognize their errors and vanities, most people are willingly susceptible to the open violations of due process by which Zionists embedded in the various peace movements quash any germination of political understanding. This infects virtually everyone certainly every Arab and/or Palestinian discussion-list as ‘leading’ Zionists, like Jeff Blankfort, Jeffrey Halper, Richard Becker, and all the others pose themselves as the most ‘radical’ ‘critics of Israel with the added advantage of being ‘Jewish’ or ‘leftist’ and therefore more credible and firmly prevent any pithy understanding of the flaming racism which they consistently ‘overlook.’ We who have won the only recorded victories against Zionism, by using the same principles taught to all children in US public schools, have been kicked off every Palestinian and Arab discussion-lists for saying unflattering but meticulously logical and polite things about the (mis)leading Jewish defenders of Palestine. Saying that an argument that ends with ‘end the occupation’ and/or ‘two-state peace’ is an essentially Zionist argument is reduced to ‘How dare you call our brave, Jewish, media-connected hero a Zionist?!?!’
The front lines of the anti-Zionist effort are way deep inside the ‘peace movement’ and deep inside the ostensible ‘anti-Zionist effort,’ and Bush is the natural figurehead of this problem, nothing like its cause.
‘The leaders’ are not responsible; we get the only ‘leaders’ that can be elected while Zionism holds the swing votes in every contest and in every decision of every ‘peace and justice’ organization. Progress cannot begin anywhere until it begins in our dialogue with terminally distracted Palestinian and Arab leadership and in our efforts within the long-dormant ‘peace movement.’ All other blame is a mere distraction, far to the rear of the real front lines and often intentionally extracting attention from them. The worst disparagement of the real fighters comes from the ‘Palestinian’ and ‘anti-Zionist’ side of the struggle, and this is exactly what the most cynical Zionists mean when they laugh about how they ‘control both sides of the debate.’
But the point of Christmas is that freedom is an individual issue.; ‘Narrow is the way and strait the gate that leads unto life and few there be who find it.’ ‘Those who have ears, let them hear.’ And we who really do live at the actual center of world events and who make a good living by creating the most revolutionary changes in the way children are raised are also able to express the true meaning of Christmas in the sparkle and decadent pleasures of a God who truly loves all of us. It’s up to us. The full luck of this perfect situation is accessible only to those who care to see it all. The Whole Truth loves us and it won’t go away.’
The ‘illegality of the occupation’
Following this came another letter on December 30th regarding what Dave feels is the crux of the argument used by the Zionists to shift the focus of debate away from the fundamental problem onto a secondary issue, that of the ‘illegality of Israel’s brutal occupation’.
The Zionists love to make us think so. Because they can so easily say that they would love to ‘give the land back,’ and that they’ve been trying for decades to do so, but the bloodthirsty Palestinians aren’t happy unless they’re killing Jews. That’s why the most active ‘two-state peace’ Zionists energetically propagate the slogan ‘End the Occupation’ to make sure that the real core issue is not noticed. The real core issue is the one about the whole basic problem, from which ‘the occupation’ is merely an aspect. The real core issue is also the one argument that cannot be answered and the one argument that clarifies the entire situation for all ordinary Americans the one argument that shows the wrong of every Zionist policy, the dream argument of an anti-war lifetime and the only argument the Zionists don’t want to hear: THE ARGUMENT AGAINST OPENLY-DECLARED RACISM.
A Jewish state any Jewish state forced into multi-ethnic Palestine or perpetuated in any part of Palestine is violent state-racism as plain as it can ever get. All the violence the racist denial of Palestinian return, the racist creation of new ‘Jewish Only’ settlements, the ‘targeted executions,’ the sharpshooting of Palestinian children who throw stones at Israeli tanks, oh, and even ‘the occupation’ can all be AND CONSTANTLY IS explained away as a necessary response to Palestinian violence. But all of it, in all its varieties including ‘the [post-‘67] occupation’ is an inherent aspect of the openly-declared racist violence of forcing an ethnic-supremacist state into a multi-ethnic region.
Invoking this reality and never straying from it the actual core issue, in its full moral inexcusability is essential to winning any argument or conflict with Zionism.
Saying that the core problem is the occupation plays right into the Zionists’ desire to keep peace-talks stuck in the hopeless 65-year-old boondoggle of seeking peace through a ‘realistic’ two-state scenario. This just happens to perpetuate Jewish supremacy in most of Palestine, while making that racist violence feel more and more like a reasonable status-quo, even as the ‘negotiations’ toward an inherently unworkable racist ‘solution’ cannot begin to get off the ground, thus maintaining the perfect background for ever more ‘reactions’ in ‘self-defense’ against Palestinians, and an expanded occupation in ‘self-defense.’
Playing the ‘two-state peace’ charade has the added benefit, for Zionists, of seducing the various ‘peace movements’ into ‘discreetly’ avoiding any ‘radical’ or ‘rejectionist’ talk about simply ending the racism. That is why Israel’s openly-declared racism was not mentioned at all by any of the ‘anti-war’ organizations in the run-up to ‘the war’ on Afghanistan and ‘the war’ on Iraq despite the fact that the racist core of the entire Middle East conflict would have been the strongest argument against those spin-off ‘wars’. Protecting Zionist interests in ‘ending the occupation’ and ‘two-state peace’ required discreetly avoiding the anti-racist argument because it impinges against the whole ‘two-state’ concept: and avoiding that argument against the Zionists’ moral Achilles Heel neutered the entire anti-war effort, thus perfectly serving Zionist interests in annihilating the still-resisting nations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Zionist racism is the core issue; any other instance of openly-declared ethnic-supremacy would be treated as racism and would be given primary emphasis and zero-tolerance by all concerned; anyone who fails to do so in the case of Israel has already internalized some of the racist indoctrination. Overlooking or protecting the racist core issue in any of its aspects has the effect of nurturing it everywhere.
The ethnically-based Zionist violence began several decades before ‘the occupation.’ The REAL ‘occupation’ which must be addressed and which can be addressed to ordinary Americans very easily is the occupation of ANY PART OF PALESTINE by an openly-declared racist-supremacist Israel.
The obvious solution the one the Zionists succeed in keeping off of everyone’s minds and lips is to simply stop financing any and all policies of prejudice in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Every schoolchild in the US is taught the need to reject ethnic or religious prejudice. It is unconstitutional to finance it with our taxes. All we have to do is object to the RACISM, and all the derivative violence including the denial of Palestinian return, the Jewish-supremacist definition of Israel, the ‘Jewish Only’ settlements, and of course ‘the occupation’ dry up naturally.’
For Dave, ‘The question, combined with emphasis on ‘the occupation,’ shows confusion, but the answer is simple.; Israel will stop its racist violence against the Palestinians only when Israel’s OPENLY DECLARED RACISM is acknowledged for what it is the core of the problem and when international support for it, by people who do not mean to support racism, is correspondingly withdrawn. The ‘lands and freedom’ which the international community must force Israel to return must never be confined to the [post-‘67] ‘occupied territories.’ The violence will expand until the world frankly stops financing any and all Israeli policies of ethnic or religious prejudice: racism. Peace cannot begin unless it includes far more than just ‘ending the occupation.’ It must also include ending the racist violence which prevents Palestinian families from returning to their lands and homes, and it must also include ending every other policy of prejudice against the non-Jewish inhabitants of Israel-Palestine.
Thanks for all your great work Arthur.; Getting the exact argument organized is essential to success which derives only from grabbing the racist Achilles Heel and never letting go for a moment, as the Zionists will try to change the subject to ANYTHING else, particularly ‘the occupation.’’
Killing for votes
Following close on the heels of these comments in a subsequent response to Gilad Atzmon’s recent article, ‘How Israeli leaders kill for their people’s vote’ http://www.gilad.co.uk Dave continues:
I would add that everything he says about ‘Israelis’ applies also to American Zionists including those who are surprised to discover Israel’s essential racism and then find that this does not induce them to audibly oppose racist violence that was never really disguised in the first place.
The blindness of US Zionist support for Israel is not caused by an urgent need to support something which cannot be justified as it really is, in plain sight. That notion, like all excuses for Israel, requires ‘angry’ denial of reason. The cause and effect go the other way.; The luxurious chauvinistic approval Israel enjoys from US Zionists is the source of the unlimited financial support provided by all US taxpayers (over eight million dollars a day) wangled from us through our inability to believe the obvious truth our Zionist friends, neighbors, and mass-media want us to deny. That unlimited support, with no questions asked, is what causes Israeli policies to be determined by the psychopaths who inevitably rise to top Israeli leadership by getting the quickest, bloodiest results: the policies that take utmost advantage of unlimited money and no accountability.
The geographic distance and psychic disconnect between the complacent soccer-mom Zionists among us and the hideous results of their comfy support for Israel, is exactly the disconnect that allows unthinkable barbarism ‘the insanity of war’ to prevail in Palestine and all the spin-off wars in the Middle East, belying all our espoused beliefs. The pleasing congeniality of our Zionist friends turns to resentment and censorship if we mention the ethnic-cleansing of Palestine. And that hostile reaction, just inside the congenial surface, is the near end of the racist violence which, at the other end, slaughters perfectly innocent men, women, and children, as ‘regrettably required’ for the constant expansion of an officially ‘Jewish’ state in multi-ethnic Palestine.’
The Marin Peace Justice Coalition and the Kol Shofar Synagogue Show-down
The perspective thus far presented is the background gestalt to a culminating event which took place in the community of Tiburon, Marin County, California at the Kol Shofar Synagogue Monday, January 12th at 7:00 P.M.
The local ‘Marin Peace and Justice Coalition’ had issued an open invitation to all concerned residents to join the Marin Jewish community on this evening for ‘prayers for peace, remarks by community and faith leaders followed by an opportunity to discuss the crisis in Israel and Gaza.’ In addition, as the contact person, Suzan Berns Berns,firstname.lastname@example.org stated in the announcement, ‘I strongly encourage you to attend this gathering. This is the time to listen, to learn, to speak and to be changed.’
At the same time and place another contingent of protesters had also made plans to be outside the synagogue expressing their opposition to ‘Israel’s Gaza genocidal slaughter’ as organizer Bill Rothman stated.’The slaughter goes on. This is chance, right in our own backyard, to show that there is strong opposition to Israel’s ongoing Gaza slaughter of the Palestinians.’
These two initiatives prompted Dave to write the following to some of his associates:
‘Most interesting It’s a whole new dimension of activism, involving the ‘Marin Peace and Justice Coalition,’ which has been totally dominated and muzzled by its Zionist, apartheid ‘two-state peace’ activists ever since its creation, right after 9/11.
It seems there will be a ‘dialogue’ between peace activists and long-standing, hard-core Zionists, claiming to represent ‘the Marin Jewish Community,’ and there will also be a protest of the dialogue, both at the same time and place, this Monday, in Tiburon.
The protest is a whole new dimension of activism in Marin and in the anti-war movement.
The contact-person for the ‘protest’ is Bill Rothman who was one of the leaders suppressing honest dialogue about Zionism in the ‘peace movement’ eight years ago, when the crises of the past eight years were clearly beginning. Perhaps Rothman has actually changed. Many people have.; Or maybe this is yet another effort by Zionists to maintain control of anti-war energies that have been aroused more seriously than ever: by the full revelation of what Zionism has always meant, now seen all too clearly in the ongoing, extended ‘Christmas Massacre’ of Palestinians in Gaza.
My very well informed belief is that a friendly constructive dialogue with Jewish people and the ‘Jewish Community’ is exactly what is most needed: so that those in the Jewish community who are willing to audibly protest the patent racist violence of forcing an expressly Jewish state into Palestine or of perpetuating the ethnic-cleansing of the past can step forward and declare this commendable transformation.; And those who refuse this special opportunity now that there can be no possible excuse for further self-deception can be specifically identified as the violent racists their refusal proves them to be.
To a real ‘peace’ activist, protesting a long-overdue dialogue is seen as jumping the gun, particularly in a mini-community of recalcitrant ‘peace activists’ which has long been the primary obstacle to polite, valid, pro-peace dialogue thus playing a key role in assuring that the realities would go totally nuts, as they now have in Israel-Palestine.
Yet, there is good reason to doubt the sincerity of a ‘Jewish community’ dialogue when it is led by notorious Zionists. Still, I believe the offer should be accepted in good faith. Perhaps people are really changing. If this offer proves false, protests against the Zionist ‘Jewish Community’ and its stubbornly racist leaders at their community gathering-places should proceed in full confidence of having tried everything.
Yet we must also respect those who simply protest anything less than full immediate denouncement of openly-declared racism, as Zionism defines itself to be, and as practiced for decades by the ‘Jewish State’ constantly expanding the turf of its supremacy.; In all other cases of openly-declared state-racism, the ordinary, moderate response is to give the racist policies primary emphasis and absolute Zero tolerance. Delaying that frankness does perpetuate the cover-up which has managed to keep the gory Elephant of Zionist racism the best-kept secret in our living-room of ostensible egalitarianism.
So ‘dialogue’ or ‘protest’: it’s anyone’s choice, at the same time and place.
I urge everyone who can make it: come to either the dialogue or the protest of the dialogue. I myself will attend the dialogue with complete sympathy for the protesters and with equal hopes for understanding with the Jewish community and very interested to see how leading Zionists will respond to the no-longer-deniable truth: the perfectly patent racism and violence of forcing a ‘Jewish’ state into a multi-ethnic region.
Let’s all be perfectly polite to each other. What is demonstrably racist should be described as such politely. And it should politely receive no more of our massive tax-financing.
On January 14th I received the results of this ‘gathering’, one which Dave had called ‘the story of the decade’. His letter contained the details of his personal experiences plus his final ‘corrective letter’ to the Jewish Community Relations Council. As he said by way of introduction:
‘As always, when Zionism is involved, there was a gross misrepresentation.
But the significance of what transpired remains. The conflict between the realities of Zionism and the decent standards of the world and of our local neighborhoods becomes increasingly stark.
My corrective letter to the Jewish Community Relations Council (to whom the original nice-sounding announcement was attributed) is necessarily long, and I never ‘expect’ anyone to read anything I offer but this situation, the near-end of the wrongs we see in Palestine, is surely more significant than most of what is said on related subjects in the media.’
Here is what happened. [the following is directed to the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Ed.]
I live in Tiburon, just a few blocks from Kol Shofar. I have many dear friends all around here, including many Jewish friends of course. I attended the event with high expectations, based on a representation whose origin appears to be you [the JCRC Ed.] and local representatives of the ‘Jewish community.’ As I have sometimes attended events of this kind and have always found the Jewish community quite open to challenging ideas, for the sake of peace in Israel as well as the entire region, I came prepared with some written, one-page copies of the best position I know for full equality in Israel-Palestine, in furtherance of the belief that human equality is fundamental to peace: the case for ending all US funding for any and all policies of ethnic or religious discrimination, by any side, involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict what all American children are taught to expect of their communities and country.
The last time I attended an event of this kind at the Osher Marin JCC I found a very large and friendly group discussing my ideas with me, kindly and attentively, and a number of people had asked where they could get my ideas in written form, so I came prepared. The extensive security at the Kol Shofar event struck me as reasonable, in these times, underlined by the presence of some nearby ‘protesters,’ who had apparently deigned to bypass the announced opportunity for constructive dialogue. And when someone near the door asked to see what was in my (paper) folder, I was pleased to hand it to him. The exact content did not appear to matter. The person looked at the paper for no more than two seconds, apparently deemed the ideas inconsistent with his own, and immediately threatened me with violence and ordered me to leave. The man told me that ‘This is private property, and you will be arrested if you don’t leave immediately.’
Naturally floored at this vulgar expression of violent discourtesy from Kol Shofar, I asked ‘Because I possess these ideas?’ The answer was ‘Yes.’ I had not given any papers to anyone, nor would I have felt mistreated if someone had asked me to leave them at the door. Thinking of the genteel announcement from the JCRC, I tried to ask while turning away ‘Are you aware that this event has been advertised as a community discussion?’ Before I could finish the first three words, I was interrupted with ‘No more words. Just leave.’ Tiburon Police officers, correctly doing their duty on behalf of private-property laws, closed in to properly enforce this grotesque misuse of local law and subversion of our Constitutional free speech. The invading extremists clearly know how to misuse our society’s standards and law-enforcement as a means of mere, subjective violence.
The attitude expressed by these representatives of Kol Shofar was not professional firmness; it was brute contempt for anyone outside their very narrow ethnic profile quite eye-opening, coinciding as it does with the impressions we are getting from Zionist behavior in Gaza.
With wonderfully telling coincidence, I had just encountered a long-time friend of mine, a young man of the finest courtesy and reputation, who grew up three blocks from Kol Shofar and whom I have known since he was an eleven-year-old child in my kids’ program a member of Kol Shofar who had come to join his mother, an Israeli citizen, who was saving a seat for him inside. But, because he had been talking with me, he was threatened and ordered to leave too. His astonished ‘But why are you telling me to leave?’ was cut short by the same ‘No more words’ threat, which was directed at both of us and enforced with ominous encirclement by misused local police. Though my friend was utterly polite, quiet, and cooperative, as is his way, his dismay and severe disillusionment were perfectly obvious, so he was escorted all the way to his car by four police-officers, apparently trained in recognizing emotion. In contrast, I was trusted to walk to my car unescorted.
Another young friend of mine another of the best-loved and finest young men in Southern Marin, having also lived right here all his life arrived shortly after I left, expecting to see me at this ‘time to listen, to learn, to speak, and to be changed.’ Apparently my blonde young friend also failed to fit the preferred profile. Though cell-phones were used by various people at the event, my friend’s call to me, to see if I had changed my plans, brought the same threats and violent ejection from our sadly misrepresented ‘Jewish community.’; (I trust you realize that total control over another person, when imposed by convincing threats of immediate violence, is properly called ‘violence.’)
Apparently, my other friend’s Israeli mother fit the preferred profile, as she spoke on her cell-phone with her son when he failed to arrive as expected and she was not subjected to ethnic-cleansing.
This was clearly a case of an alien culture, with no concept of our constitutional principles, such as human equality and free speech, taking over a piece of local real-estate, and using our private-property laws and local police to enforce principles completely contradictory to American and local values.
Yet none of this was any inconvenience to my friends or me. As I said in my final words to the Kol Shofar people, ‘This is all the information I could want.’
Though my friends, especially the Kol Shofar member, were stunned at this behavior, they found this experience corresponding all too well with what they have been seeing in the news about Gaza, their personal distress mere droplets in the ocean of horror which is ethnic-cleansing.
We had come to learn and be changed, and we certainly learned! I hope you will share in this windfall of insight.
The foremost victims of the behavior we experienced are the Jewish people, from whom the glaring truths of Zionist ethnic-cleansing so unchecked and thus ever more virulent and so essential to understanding the natural reasons for the world’s increasing anger could not be hidden by anything less than the incredible behavior that was manifest at Kol Shofar.
As a secondary matter, if you and the JCRC were misrepresented in a false announcement, you might wish to take some action against the culprits. Or, if the horrific actuality of the Kol Shofar event belies your and the JCRC’s good intentions using your lovely depiction to historically camouflage what was in fact an invasive, racist war-rally you will probably want to contact everyone to whom your announcement was sent, correct the record, apologize, and explain what steps you and the JCRC will be taking to repair the damage.
As for my friends and I, we greatly appreciate the announcement attributed to you, as our experience has been essential to understanding the problem of unchecked Zionism: if we had not tried to attend this event, the horrific realities just under the local surface, the near-end of what is happening in Gaza, would not have established themselves as important local history.
That manifest reality now adds to the burden of the extremists’ growing and obviously desperate cover-up and must awaken those interested in peace for Israel and in service to the Jewish community and its relations with the general community.
The positive aspects of Zionism must not cause a blindness to its negative potentials or allow them to continue so unchecked as the world is seeing in Gaza and as we have now found violating our dear Tiburon neighborhood.
I hope you and the JCRC will take steps to represent the majority of the Jewish community, in its distance from very harmful misrepresentation by international Zionist extremism which manifested itself in Tiburon on Monday evening.’
Dave’s ‘Corrective Letter’
Dear Ms. Berns,
I think you would wish to know that a serious misrepresentation was made and attributed to you and the Jewish Community Relations Council regarding the gathering at Kol Shofar at 7:30, on Monday, January 12.
I have copied the text of the announcement I received through the Marin Peace and Justice Coalition. [see above. Ed.]
Perhaps those words were not authorized by you and/or the JCRC, or perhaps they expressed a misapprehension.
In any case, the actual event proved to be the diametric opposite of what was described, and the effect was to create a disaster for Jewish community relations the scope of this ‘disaster’ determined only by the number of people who learn the truth or by the effectiveness of corrective efforts, perhaps by the JCRC.
I should add that this ‘disaster for Jewish community relations’ was also a valuable windfall of discovery for everyone who is actually ‘praying for peace, working for justice.’ While the error in the announcement of the Kol Shofar event drew people who would not otherwise have attended, there was no mistaking what we found what is actually going on in our community and the unacceptable realities call for a reassessment of the situation by all decent people, including you and the JCRC.
It is not so much a question of correcting an announcement, but rather an urgent need to correct misapprehensions about an illness in Zionism itself. What we have discovered is precisely the hostile and violent behavior, intruding into our dear neighborhoods at this local end, which correspond to the worst interpretations of the hostile and violent behavior we see expressed by the same organizations at the far end, in Palestine: where people don’t enjoy the protections we still have here.
Within the event itself, one speaker said it was not intended as a dialogue or discussion (thus contradicting the announcement attributed to you), but merely as a gathering of a local ‘congregation’ at a time of crisis for the state of Israel.
The content of the speeches conspicuously overlooking the most obvious explanation: the extremist racism of forcing a ‘Jewish’ state and ‘Jewish’ dominion ever deeper into a multi-ethnic region was clearly meant to fool the local Jewish congregation into excessive fears of unjustified, insane violence and anti-Semitism. This deception would of course promote the alternate approach the extreme folly of seeking ‘security’ through ethnic supremacy, with all its intrinsic slaughter an approach which does, in the short run, produce enormous profits for opportunists calling themselves ‘Zionists’ and falsely posing as representatives of ‘all Jews everywhere’.
The real effect of the Kol Shofar event was to trick decent, peace-loving Jewish people into overlooking what might very well be the best means of protecting Israel:; encouraging reform toward Twentieth Century ideas of egalitarianism, instead of the time-dishonored strategy of ethnic dominion. The event organizers’ utterly hostile attitude even toward a Jewish member of the Kol Shofar Congregation (who evidently did not quite fit their ‘profile’) demonstrated a mission of promoting the most racist kind of Zionism, quite to the detriment of ordinary Jewish people as well as everyone else who would never knowingly approve any such thing.
To various local residents, who were impressed by the announcement attributed to you but who were summarily deemed unfit for attendance, what actually transpired at Kol Shofar conveyed an unmistakable message: an exceedingly hostile takeover of our neighborhood and community by an alien culture that treats everyone else as less than subhuman. (In our neighborhood, people treat animals with more courtesy than we found in these mis-representatives of ‘the Jewish community.’) It became clear that the slightest variance from a narrow ethnic or cultural profile was sufficient cause for immediate threats of violence, misrepresented as the Jewish community’s way of telling people they are not welcome.
This was not a question of ‘security,’ as perfectly polite local residents were shown no courtesy at all: there was no ‘I’m sorry but we have to observe some strict security requirements’: just terse orders to leave immediately, expressed with threats of immediate violent arrest if we hesitated or even said anything. The first impressions of thuggish, foreign-looking security-people in uniform dark suits and foreign accents could be brushed aside in our pluralistic society, but the natural premonitions proved unequal to the realities which soon appeared: a scene like a neighborhood house that has been taken over by mafia goons or crack-dealers who exhibit nothing but utter contempt for the surrounding community.
I, myself, have operated a children’s center in Southern Marin for fifteen years; I am known to nearly everyone in our community, having been entrusted with many thousands of the local children, and I certainly do not exaggerate about gross violations of our decent traditional values belligerent, arrogant, invasive violations, the most extreme I have ever encountered anywhere.
I take every experience in a positive light, as a chance to learn something, and this experience provided a stunning but beautifully telling insight into attitudes which shed disconcerting light on the problem we thought we would be able to discuss in a civilized way: the dynamics behind the slaughter of ‘non-Jewish’ Palestinians, for the ‘security’ of an expressly ‘Jewish’ state relentlessly forcing its Zionist supremacy into a multi-ethnic region much as we have now found Kol Shofar (inadvertently?) doing to our decent, friendly neighborhood in Tiburon. It was all too easy to see: if we perfectly respectable neighbors of Kol Shofar and even a member of the Congregation could be summarily ejected with no word other than convincing threats of instant violence simply because we did not suit an incredibly arrogant ethnic profile it is very easy to see how this alien behavior would be applied to the Palestinians who are similarly deemed unfit for human treatment and, unlike us, have no protection at all, in the areas controlled by the same international organizations that show such hostile contempt for American values and the local community, right here in Tiburon.
If the conduct of the event-organizers does not coincide with what is going on in Gaza, why would local supporters of Israel’s actions subject their negatively profiled neighbors to the most extreme version of such treatment that they can legally get away with? If we try to imagine what racist invaders of Palestine might look like, or what behavior we would expect of them, if any could be found here in Marin County, we would find our worst images precisely fitting the appearance and behavior that ruled at Kol Shofar on Monday evening.
It is very alarming that these people believe they can behave that way right here in Tiburon, in an incredibly arrogant sense of total impunity and perfect contempt for any concerns about the message this sends to everyone outside the preferred profile the vast majority of local residents.’
Final radical commentary
Although overly lengthy for a standard internet article the import of Dave Kirsting’s message is vital to gaining the required insight necessary for a full understanding of both the gravity of what has been occurring in Palestine over the past six decades and the reason why it has prevailed for such a disastrously and unacceptably long period.
Dave’s thesis gives both form and substance to the undeniable fact that in order to fully comprehend the dynamics of political Zionism’s imminent and deadly danger to the world at large we must frame it within its legitimate context that being the crucial recognition that political Zionism is, first and foremost, a racist ideology and a mindset or paradigm which can never peacefully co-exist with any other multi-ethnic, pluralistic society anywhere upon the face of the planet. As such it cannot be allowed to continue in present form. This demands the dismantling of its fundamental ideological infrastructure for the good of the rest of humanity. If such actions do not occur within a reasonable amount of time the result may be a terminal state of chaos and destruction well beyond the already unacceptable levels we’re now witnessing in war-ravaged Gaza.
As the suffering and dying continues and the horror and shock of the last twenty days of genocide casts its long and dark shadow over our world this issue of Jewish racism screams out, like the cries of the Gazan victims of Israeli genocide, for universal recognition and amelioration. For the sake of all mankind we must work to ensure the knowledge of what Dave tells us spreads across the net and into the hearts and minds of peace-loving people everywhere.
Thank you Dave Kirsting for bringing your perspective forth. Your contribution to Life and Peace is sincerely appreciated.