Requiescat in pacem to a talented but tortured soul.
Archive for June, 2009
My Favorite Michael Jackson Song
June 29, 2009
That’s the title of a CNN article about the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum by an alleged Neo-Nazi, James von Brunn. Sel Hubert, 83, of Rye, New York, who was in the Holocaust Museum at the time of the shooting, had this to say about the incident:
“By doing this, he [James von Brunn] gives worldwide notoriety to himself and his ideals of hatred,” said Hubert, who at 13 escaped Germany on a transport to England just weeks before World War II erupted. “He chooses martyrdom to glorify his hatred, similar to a suicide bomber.”
That sounds nice, but there are a few problems with the above quote, not the least of which is the status of Mr. Sel Hubert himself. The title of the article describes Mr. Hubert as a “Holocaust Survivor,” but there’s one little problem with that classification. As noted in the above quote from the CNN article, Mr. Hubert escaped Germany on a transport to England just weeks before World War II erupted. So just exactly how does that qualify him as a Holocaust Survivor?
Which brings up an issue that is tangential to this essay, but one that needs to be clarified at some point. Just exactly what makes one a Holocaust Survivor anyway? Can gentiles who survived Hitler’s concentration camps also wear that moniker? If so, do they also collect checks from the German government provided largely by German taxpayers who weren’t alive at the time of the War? Or is the title “Holocaust Survivor” conferred solely upon Jews who happened to be alive anywhere on the planet between 1938 and 1945? I’m just askin’.
Seriously, I’m glad Mr. Hubert escaped the Holocaust, since he was clearly safely esconced in England during the War; but unfortunately, he seems to be completely tone deaf when it comes to sensing irony in his own words. Comparing Neo-Nazi James von Brunn with a Palestinian suicide bomber is a mixed metaphor at best, and at worst, a cynical attempt to exploit this tragedy to protect Israel from criticism. A Neo-Nazi cannot possibly be compared with a Palestinian suicide bomber, because the Nazis were the perpetrators of human rights abuses against Jews in Europe – but Zionist Jews are the perpetrators of human rights abuses against Palestinians in Israel. In other words, those who were once real victims of Nazi brutality have turned Nazi on the Palestinians, but they somehow fail to notice the hypocrisy.
This is not to justify Palestinians blowing themselves up and taking out innocent Israelis eating in pizza parlors in downtown Tel Aviv. I abhor and reject violence as a solution to anything, and encourage all victims of oppression to use peaceful, non-violent means of resistance (a la Martin Luther King and Ghandi). Because in resorting to violence you lose the moral highground. Not to mention give the Zionist-controlled media the opportunity to exploit Israeli tragedy while ignoring the many thousands of Palestinians the Israelis have killed over the years. Violence is not the answer.
Nevertheless. If a few Palestinians have gone nuts over the years, feeling totally hopeless and overwhelmed, and decided they have nothing to lose by blowing themselves up, then maybe we should ask ourselves what could drive a person to such an extreme. After all, suicide is the most unnatural of human behaviors, since survival is the strongest of all human instincts. So things must be pretty darned bad for young Palestinians to think suicide is their only option for justice. And what drove Jewish victims of Nazi injustice to revolt in the Warsaw Uprising? The same thing. That stinging sense of injustice of being deprived of their human rights and liberty and placed in concentration camps by the Nazis. Kind of like how the Palestinians were driven off their land in 1948 and placed in concentration camps by the Zionists. Mr. Hubert, the honorary Holocaust Survivor, obviously fails to see the hypocrisy of his own words. The only reason there are Palestinian suicide bombers in the first place is because of the injustices perpetrated against them by Israelis. (more…)
Koibumi (Love Letter)
June 8, 2009
Just the thought
of seeing you again
makes me feel
[Art by Soniei; poem by yours truly.]
June 7, 2009
Learning to forgive those who have caused us irreparable harm can be one of the hardest things to do in life. But with God’s grace, it can be done, even after many years of suffering. It’s liberating to let go of the hurt and anger, even if those who have hurt us refuse to recognize the harm they’ve caused. But in forgiving them, we reclaim our power and refuse to be victims any longer. And as the Good Book says: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those … you know the rest.
But learning to forgive yourself? Now that’s a different story. That’s a horse of a different color. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
But why shouldn’t we give ourselves the same gift we give to others when we forgive their trespasses against us? After all, what’s done is done. We can’t go back. If we could, we would all have done some things differently, but that is not an option. But we can grow spiritually from our mistakes, and become compassionate towards others who who fallen by the side of the road. Especially those who have made the same mistakes that we made. And we can even try to help others not to make those same mistakes. But if they do, as some inevitably will, we can be there for them to help them heal and grow, and learn to forgive themselves. We can reclaim our long lost innocence and become healing angels.
And best of all, we become less judgmental of our fellow human beings, knowing that we also needed God’s forgiveness. We recognize how easy it is to take a wrong turn in life and end up all alone, wounded and bleeding by the side of the road. But we’re really not all alone after all, since God is always with us. And in a special way, the masses of wounded souls who plod along with heavy crosses are also with us in spirit. We’re the ones Christ came to die for; we’re even the ones He hung out with. We’re the Magdelenes, ever grateful for that second chance.
And we will not be judged. Nor will we judge. We will only love and offer compassion. And empathy. And forgiveness.
We have forgiven ourselves.
We are free.