As promised, this shall be a downer blog. A downer is a dispiriting or depressing experience or factor: The antonym is up, how can one, with any sense of reality be upbeat in the world of today. No one is happy, not even the Israelis.
Upbeat is cheerful and optimistic. The synonyms remind us of the good old days: optimistic, cheerful, positive, confident, buoyant, look on the bright side, inclined to look through rose-colored spectacles, idealistic, always expecting the best, full of hope, Pollyannaish.
One would have to be utterly out of touch with reality to be Pollyannaish, full of hope, looking at the bright side. There ain’t no bright side.
First let us look backward to the speech of Gideon Levy. There is actually some positive, look at the bright side, situations which preceded its exposure on the blog. It was WhatsApped by one of the Olerio Hotel managers. He provides me with content not otherwise accessible, no idea what his sources are. He is the man that found the true identity of the Magazine Thief – the topic of the Quest for Life. At the outset is was impossible for me to download, then impossible for my Computer Guru Chris to download but success was achieved!! Miraculously, it seemed, Chris was able to upload it on the blog, for the world to see. I find listening to his explanation for the Israeli mind set encouraging because he was not avoiding reality, nor refusing to look the devil in the eye. He explained away the Israeli’s bizarre sense of reality, seeing how they got everybody and everything into such dire straits.
Levy’s point of view, Israeli’s are unique for the following reasons:
1) their belief that they are the chosen people.
2) they are both the occupier and the victim (moreover the ONLY victim).
3) they have systematically dehumanized the Palestinians. Levy provides a humorous example of the later. He once wrote Palestinians were treated like animals,. He received hordes of letters. Letters of protest from animal rights activists.
The truth, coupled with a sense of history does provide hope. We have been here before and, so far, the world has survived. It helps to be on the right side of history.
The right side of the truth is a branch of knowledge that dealing with past events, a continuance narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country period person etc. usually written as a chronological account, chronicle.
In contrast the wrong side of history is having policies or practices that are perceived as not progressive or enlightened; behaving in a manner that reflects out-of-date or disapproved opinions. To say the least Israel behaves in a manner that reflects disapproved ways. Do recall King Faisal’s speech to the United Nations on September 22, 1947: “But today the Arabs wish to repel the aggression of a political minority group, namely the Zionists, It is a group that does not represent the world of Jewry. It is a group that is more political than religious, a group whose ways and methods are not different than those of the Nazis.” (Please see 10/15/2023 blog).
A sense of history was found in Al Jazeera, Maywan Bishara’s October 20, 2023: The Biden Hug President Biden went all the way to Israel to give Prime Minister Netanyahu one of his famous hugs, but what has he accomplished?
Biden’s hug??? I can not imagine anything worse than hugging either of those two guys. If I were tortured, forced to choose one – I guess it would be Biden – but only under those conditions, Never would it be voluntary!
The trip was not an unqualified success, it was probably an unqualified failure . Basra contrasts the Ukraine visit with the Israel visit, ending with the very best of sentences
“The regional setbacks overshadowed Biden’s short journey, and highlighted the central difference between Ukraine and Israel. While both are US allies, Ukraine is occupied and brutalised by Russia, while Israel is an apartheid state and a decades-long occupier that brutalises the Palestinians. Lumping them together as victims, because they are US clients, is terribly hypocritical.”
“Lumping them together as victims because they are US clients is terribly hypocritical.”Dynamite statement.
Definitions are in order. Wikipedia speaks of hypocrisy extensively:
“Hypocrisy is the practice of feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not. The word “hypocrisy” entered the English language c. 1200 with the meaning “the sin of pretending to virtue or goodness”. Today, “hypocrisy” often refers to advocating behaviors that one does not practice. However, the term can also refer to other forms of pretense, such as engaging in pious or moral behaviors out of a desire for praise rather than out of genuinely pious or moral motivations.”
Wikipedia speaks of hypocrisy throughout time and in different countries, speaking of US proclivities.
“American historian Martin Jay in The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics (2012) explores how writers over the centuries have treated hypocrisy, deception, flattery, lying and cheating, slander, false pretenses, living on borrowed glory, masquerading, conventions of concealment, playacting before others and the arts of dissimulation. He assumes that politics is worthwhile, but since it is unavoidably linked to lying and hypocrisy, Jay concludes that lying must not be all that bad.”
But back to Biden. Anything that Biden might have said to ameliorate the situation made no difference whatsoever. Again the language succinct.
“To no avail. Alas, judging from the historical record, now that Netanyahu got all he wanted and more from the US president, he is unlikely to abide by any of his warnings, meaning he won’t hesitate to drag America into another Middle Eastern war, which underlines the shortcomings of the bear hug strategy.”
As usual Marwan Bishara goes out strong.
“Moreover, bear hugs give the impression that America is deep in Israel’s pocket, especially when US elected representatives compete in their love for Israel. Biden has probably put Trump to shame this week. Biden’s justification of the destruction of Gaza has enraged the Arabs and alienated even their pro-American leaders in the process. He may or may not speak to the Israelis in a more frank tone in private than he does in public, but then again, politics is perception.
All to say, over the years, the US appeasement of its junior ally failed to shape its policy and extract concessions; while ultimatums and threats produced better results. But in a speech the day he got back, Biden repeated his unconditional support to Israel, and promised to always have its back, without extracting a single concession. He also failed to point out a single significant accomplishment, as his strategy falters and the Middle East implodes, once again.”
So absolutely true, Biden failed to point our a single significant accomplishment. His strategy falters (yet again) the Middle East implodes (once again)
I exist in a bubble. Pilgrims worshipping Allah are not the least bit concerned with Israel. All trust in Allah (SWT). The staff at this hotel are kept busy, intent on serving the guests, making their stay as comfortable and stress free as possible.
That is not my mind set, unfortunately. I exist in a duality – at peace with Allah (SWT) but also involved in the temporary, in the dunya. This from Wikipedia:
“Dunya” is an Arabic word that means “lower or lowest”, or “nearer or nearest”, which is understood as a reference to the “lower world, this world here below”. The term “dunya” is employed to refer to the present world “as it is closest to one’s life as opposed to the life of the Hereafter” According to the Quran, humans and other communities have a limited time on earth before they pass on to the afterlife. In fact, the Quran teaches that everything that exists is temporary and will ultimately fade away. The pursuit of nearness to God is thus emphasized as the ultimate purpose in life, as only God’s Being and Essence endure forever.”
Found some comfort in my dunya yesterday. A tour guide took me to a new Medinah Art Museum. Incredibly inspirational. The art, the calligraphy, the Qurans were displayed in perfect order and symmetry. English speaking museum staff spoke of the objects with great knowledge and respect.
The photographs do not capture the grandeur of the art. Each piece is the artist’s vision of Allah (SWT). Therefore the finest elements are used. As you will see, the finest gold. More about the museum in the following blogs.
An amazing occurrence as we exited. Four women were leaving, we began talking. That inevitable question. The question and the answers:
They: Where are you from?
Me: I hate that question. I was born in Canada.
They: Where in Canada?
Me: Well, I last lived in Edmonton.
One said: I lived in Calgary.
I hugged her.
Me: What are two former Albertans doing in this place and this time. Being blessed by Allah (SWT) I guess.
By the way, the guide’s name is Muhammed. We laugh together.
He: My name is Muhammed.
Me: Not the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him)
In another conversation.
He: I do not think so! Because I am the One.
Me: No dear. Allah (SWT) is the One. I won that one (is to speak) I used to be a lawyer. I LOVE to win.
He: Good. I will have a lawyer with me today.
He did, he came up with a lawyer. We ate dinner at his Uncle’s restaurant. His cousin Ibraham was there. He is a lawyer. But we did not fight – we spoke of the Islamic Faith.