Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hershl - A Jewish success story

(How Jews who are vociferously against Israel appear from an Israeli perspective)
Harry Schweig, known in the Jewish faith as Tzvi or Hershl, was a failure at 33. He lived at home with his mother. He lectured in Political Science and Cultural Globalization at the University of Podunk on the Styx. He could talk for hours about Jungian themes in the post-structural analysis of the depletion of the ozone layer, and discourse at length about the metanarrative, without ever being able to define it. In brief, he was the modern day incarnation of the nerd, first immortalized perhaps by P.G. Wodehouse over 80 years ago in the timid person of Mr. Fink-Nottle. Instead of newts, Hershl had political science and cultural globalization.
Hershl's was a dull existence indeed. He was not the life of the party. He wasn't even the death of the party. When he entered or left a roomful of partygoers, it made no difference. He was transparent, invisible. Long haired coeds wearing tight jeans did not hang on his every word or stare admiringly at him with their large blue eyes. In fact, they shunned his company. He drifted from university to university, publishing desultory papers in obscure journals. Hershl longed for success, recognition, tenure, women, lecture invitations, but all these accolades went to other laborers in the vineyards of academia.
P.G. Wodehouse was the creator the memorable Bertram Wooster and his estimable valet, Jeeves. That pair were forever engaged in advancing the amatory and other careers of various people like Fink-Nottle and our unfortunate Mr. Schweig. For Schweig, there was no to be no Jeeves who would find a magic solution to his predicament. But Schweig rescued himself.
The Lord often helps those who are bereft of other hope, and sometimes inspiration comes from other quarters. Whatever the source, one day Hershl had an epiphany. Hershl's Jewishness was nominal. He knew less about Judaism than he did about Shintoism. Being Jewish was another bad card dealt him by the deck of fortune, like his thinning hair and his expanding waistline and receding chin. It was irksome. That Israel place kept coming up in the news and reminding him -- and others -- of his Jewishness. He became convinced that his Jewishness was a bothersome appendage that prevented his advancement. He toyed with the idea of changing his name to Harold Stanley, but decided on a better plan instead.
While reading the ancient book, "The Art of War," by the venerable Sun Tzu, it occurred to Hershl that a liability can be turned into an asset, a weakness into a strongpoint. He scrapped the fourth revision of "The politics of meaninglessness according to Lyotard and the post-structuralist metanarrative" and began writing:

"Israel is an apartheid state. As a Jew I must disociate myself from the evil policies of the well-poisoning and blood drinking Zionists. Israel is a historical mistake. Zionism is racism. Plan Daled was a Zionist plot for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine..."

And so on, in that vein. Hershl was not overburdened with any knowledge of the Middle East or Israel, but he had an abundant supply of periodicals containing politically correct articles that summarized the work of authors who had summarized the work of other authors, who sumarized the work of others who had invented history. These served as a never-failing source of inspiration.
When the work was done, Hershl spiced it up with references to globalization, metanarrative, colonialism and neo-conservatives, added a few war criminals here and there, and sent it off to a prominent journal. Hershl's article was published with the following lede:
A prominent Jewish intellectual, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, speaks out against Israeli policies and the oppressive colonialist warmonger Zionist occupation...

article became a classic, reprinted in anthologies entitled "Jews speak out against Israel" and "Jews for Justice in the Middle East," posted on the Web and linked from Web sites such as Radioislam, Stormfront and other bastions of liberal thought.
By reading reams of fashionable review articles, Hershl became a "Middle East Expert." He could explain to you why, if Hamas kill Fatah, that is the fault of Israel, and why, if Fatah steal from Palestinians, that is likewise Israel's fault. He could expound on colonialist themes in the Talmud, and he was a past-master at inventing quotes of David Ben-Gurion and Ariel Sharon. "David Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary, 'We will grind the bones of the Arabs of Palestine to make our bread.' Ariel Sharon said 'We will drink the blood of the Palestinian Arabs.'" Hershl could explain that suicide bombings were due to Israeli policy and the 9-11 attacks were a plot by the Mossad. Hershl could explain that the Duvdevani unit of the IDF was worse than the Tottenkopf SS. He had read it in a Counterpunch article, so it must be true. "Not in my name!" exclaimed Hershl.
Hershl expanded his article into a book, "How the Zionist conspiracy accomplished the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," and then another book, "Son of How the Zionist conspiracy accomplished the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" and "How the Zionist conspiracy accomplished the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine Returns." Zionist organizations branded him a traitor and an apostate, increasing his cachet among the connoisseurs of anti-Zionism. The Guardian and the New York Times defended him as a "Liberal."
Hershl visited Beirut and was photographed shaking hands with Hassan Nasrallah. He travelled to Iran and kissed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on both cheeks, declaring that the Holocaust never happened, and was all an invention of the Zionist conspiracy.
Success was his at last. The telephone did not stop ringing. Hershl's lecture calendar was full. Everywhere he went, Hershl told about the difficulties experienced by a Jew who speaks out against Israel. He explained that the Zionist establishment would not let him speak. He explained it in the Guardian, the Independent, the New York Times, and the New York Review of Books. He appeared on television and expatiated on the attempts of the Israel Lobby to ban him to oblivion. He was featured on the BBC, on 60 minutes and PBS. Thanks to Hershl, everyone, everywhere in the English speaking world, got to know that the Zionist lobby quashed dissent.
Lissome females in jeans willingly removed those garments and others in the service of intellectual inspiration for the courageous anti-Zionist don of Podunk on the Styx. He was offered tenure, but turned it down for a post at a more prestigious university.
You are looking for a moral? Comeuppance? Forget it. Look in the book of Job. Hershl the anti-Israel Jew lived happily ever after, enjoying the accolades of the wise and the fruits of his endeavors.
Ami Isseroff

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