imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Straight Talk on Israel

by Stephen Lendman Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Israel

Straight Talk on Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Zygmunt Bauman is UK-based University of Leeds Emeritus Professor of Sociology. His work spans five decades. He's now aged 87.

His wide-ranging interests include consumerism, globalization, ethics, power, the status of workers, intellectuals in society, and nature of modern relationships.

He's best known for analyzing links between modernity and the Jewish holocaust, postmodern consumerism, and discussing broad moral/political perspectives.

He distinguishes between earlier modernity forms ("solid modernity") and what's commonplace today. It's characterized by fragile social relations, he believes. They're created and broken by neoliberal harshness.

His metaphorical use of "liquidity" captures the shifting character of individualized/globalized lives. His new book is titled "Culture in a Liquid Modern World."

Among other topics it discusses culture in a globalized world and what's happening in today's Europe. He describes utopia's end. In recent decades it's been privatized.

It once meant imagining well-designed societies. They guaranteed meaningful, dignified, gratifying lives. Today's world is inhospitable. It's beyond redemption, he believes.

In May 2012, he discussed today's Europe. After decades of rising expectations, he said, "present-day newcomers to adult life confront" them falling. "Individualized utopia coincides with the collapse and demise of the idea and hope for a 'good society.' "

It's happening "much too steeply and abruptly for any hope of a gentle and safe decent," he added.

Today's youth face "long-term unemployment and long stretches of 'rubbish jobs.' " They're "well below their skills and expectations."

"This is the first postwar generation facing the prospect of downward mobility."

Nothing prepared them for today's reality. Hopes are frustrated and stillborn. University degrees once "promised plum jobs." No longer. Once attainable dreams go unfulfilled.

What's true of Europe applies to Israel and much more. Bauman had his say. Haaretz discussed him.

He has family in Israel. He once lived there. He was briefly a citizen. He taught at Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa. Since then, he said, Israelis "expressed their approval of high-handedness over high-mindedness."

They "vot(ed) into power people who made sure that peaceful Israeli-Palestinian coexistence is not in the cards."

He last visited 20 years ago. He'll return briefly. He accepted an invitation from the Ruppin Academic Center (RAC) and Israel Sociological Society (ISS).

On February 18, he addressed ISS' annual conference. He discussed inequality in Israel. More on that below.

Sociologist Yehouda Shenhav said he wants "to return sociology to morality and morality to sociology." He "seeks the moral and political sociologist."

He's a "sociologist who does not frequent the corridors of power, who critiques war as immoral, who is not infected by the nationalist militancy that pervades his country, and who assails the disintegration of the welfare state, xenophobia, and the instrumentalization of the social discourse."

Bauman strongly criticizes neoliberal harshness. He disputes commonly held trickle down notions.

"One of the widely used moral justifications for free-market economics is that the pursuit of individual profits also provides the best mechanism for the pursuit of common good," he said.

"This has, however, been cast in doubt and all but belied by a rising tide of research findings and official statistics documenting the fast-growing distance that separates those at the top from those at the bottom of the social hierarchy."

"In jarring opposition to political pronouncements intended to be recycled into popular belief, the wealth amassed at the top of society has blatantly failed to 'trickle down' and make the rest of us richer, make us feel more secure and more optimistic about our and our children’s future, or make us happier."

"Almost everywhere in the world the rich, and particularly the very rich, are getting richer, whereas the poor, and particularly the very poor, are getting poorer - most certainly in relative, but in a growing number of cases, also in absolute terms."

"Moreover, people who are rich get richer just because they are rich. People who are poor get poorer just because they are poor."

"Nowadays, inequality continues to increase by its own logic and momentum. It needs no more help or kick from outside - no outside stimuli, pressures or blows."

"Social inequality seems ever closer to becoming the first perpetuum mobile, which after innumerable failed attempts humans have finally managed to invent and set in motion."

Israel mirrors the worst of Western societies. It's one of the most unequal OECD countries. Its privileged do extraordinarily well. Most others fall far behind. The gap between rich and poor expands exponentially.

"The number of people living below the poverty line rose rapidly - including among working people, whose wages stagnated or declined as pensions, unemployment benefits and income protection schemes, meant to defend them against falling into poverty, were all severely cut," said Bauman.

In 1971, he left Israel. He did so disillusioned and disappointed. He criticized Israel's conquest of Arab territories.

Before her death, his wife Janina called Israel a "nationalist country. We had just run away from nationalism," she said. "We didn't want to go from being victims of one nationalism to being perpetrators of another."

Bauman decries how Israel exploits the holocaust. It does so for political reasons. Jewish suffering isn't unique. Calling it special belittles many other human tragedies. Some far exceed what Jews endured.

Claiming Israel faces potential holocaust 2.0 leads to insularity and isolationism. It prevents reconciliation with Palestinians, other Arabs, and international community countries.

Bauman compared Israel's Separation Wall to how Nazi Germany ghettoized Warsaw. He did so in the context of separating one population from another.

He called building the Wall "Hitler's posthumous triumph." It's trying to accomplish what he failed to achieve - "to set Jews and the rest of the world at loggerheads and make their peaceful coexistence all but inconceivable or impossible."

"In our collective unconscious, the image of a wall is established as the archetype of exclusion, break of communication, degradation, denial of human rights."

"Were that not the case, it is doubtful whether the idea of building a wall around Israel and its settlements on the occupied land would occur to Israeli leaders as the means to deal with a vicinity of undesirables, and become an ultimate symbol of unilateral but irrevocable separation and refusal to communicate."

"The higher and tighter the wall, the slimmer the chance of talking to each other, empathizing with each other’s pains and sufferings, and coming to terms with each other - let alone working toward a mutually agreeable and beneficial mode of coexistence."

Bauman today feels much like he did decades earlier. Israel goes out of its way to spurn peace. Protracted occupation morally denigrates the occupier.

"Militarized political thought, debate and action" don't work. Israel lost its moral bearings. It lost the capacity to deal with social problems.

"It pains me, pains me tremendously, to watch the forgetting and abandoning of our collective mission and duty, imposed upon us by the tragic Jewish history: the duty to alert the world - lest it forget - to the evil endemic in all and any nationalist hatred, and to be in the forefront of the ongoing fight against its breeding."

"And of the ambition of the founders of Israel to serve as 'a light unto the nations.' " It never was and isn't now.

Bauman spoke out earlier on the holocaust, Zionism, and Israeli belligerence. Its leaders prioritize conflict, not peace, he said. They manipulate holocaust memories to justify occupation harshness.

They do unto others what they deplore having been done to them.

Bauman is a holocaust survivor. He escaped Nazi-occupied Poland. He managed to get into Soviet Russia's sector. He was forced out of Eastern Europe during Poland's 1968 anti-Semitic purges.

He calls today's Israel a "belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno-state." Peace is a non-starter. Advancing it never existed and doesn't now. "It did not die. It was killed." It was done so from inception.

Occupation harshness is "toxic" and "corrosive," he says. It corrupts the "ethics and moral scruples of the occupiers." Challenging fortress Israel is considered "criminal and treason."

War and readiness for it erode democratic freedoms. Israeli leaders fear peace. Without conflicts they "don't know how to govern." They exploit holocaust memories as "a get-out-jail card for their own depravity and absolution of their sins."

They do so for ones they've "already committed and (others) they are going to commit."

Bauman's "radically opposite way of 'commemorating' the holocaust can be summarized as follows: It is forbidden to stay silent in the face of Israeli crimes and their persecution of Palestinians exactly because the fate of Jews in Europe had similar beginnings -  discrimination, pogroms, ghettoes, concluding with the Shoah."

Holocaust survivors have a mission, he added. They're obligated "to prevent another disgracing of civilization."

Israeli leaders threaten one. It's ongoing in slow motion. "Hurting people debases and morally destroys those who are doing" it.

It initiates a process anthropologist Gregory Bateson called "schizmogenesis." It's a "sequence of action and reaction where each consecutive behavior" exaggerates another. Doing so causes "ever more deepening schism."

Israel's been shooting itself in the foot for decades. What can't go on forever won't. Bauman is one of many Jewish intellectuals speaking candidly on today's Israel.

He wants views he considers vital heard and understood. He was invited to Israel to express them. Advanced age didn't silence him. In November, he'll be 88.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/straight-talk-on-israel/
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S07 5:57PM

Nuclear Shudown News Aufust 2016 A30 3:46PM

WIKIpedia is not what we readers Thought nor is it even current about Pacifica or KPFK A24 3:10PM

"KPFK has a $500,000 deficit “ !! Can this be true? A19 6:10AM

Nuclear Shutdown News July 2016 A01 1:36PM

A 99-page report "Election fraud" from Election Justice USA A01 4:14AM

INDY's KPFK radio program being eliminated ? too ? J10 4:57PM

Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) 2 min J02 3:04PM

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Causes of Great Problems Faded Out in Elections S27 5:57AM

Final Shot Trucchi S27 5:04AM

Cost of not caring: THE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN TOLL FOR NEGLECTING THE MENTALLY ILL S26 9:39PM

USA's President Has Almost No Power Over fbi / cia assassins S26 9:14PM

Cuba Liberates „Miss Burqa“ From Guantanamo S26 7:10AM

Dennis Mahon and Auntie Racist S26 6:58AM

This is your country, your people, not mine S25 7:46PM

Castle Clash Tips & Tricks S25 8:45AM

Datologie S25 12:47AM

Counterintelligence Operations Against A Target Are Global S24 8:15AM

Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC S23 3:18PM

Paraphysique de l'aplasie S23 2:37AM

The Shortwave Report 09/23/16 Listen Globally! S22 5:34PM

Philippines: The Punisher's dirty war on drugs S21 11:50PM

Final Shot Astuce Gem Tricks S21 3:58PM

How to get rid of fleas by Robert George Tronge S21 11:52AM

SB Game Hacker is ready to work S21 10:06AM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal S21 9:24AM

KPFK :must VOTE by 9/30 to local board. S21 9:02AM

NBA 2K17 Prelude Download Australia/New Zealand on PS4 and Xbox One S21 5:29AM

Power Elites: On the Great Illusion of Pluralist Liberalism S21 5:05AM

Chronicité intempestive S21 2:04AM

USA: Inhumane S20 5:49PM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal as ADI make a stand for the African elephan S20 5:22PM

Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal as ADI make a stand for the African elephan S20 5:20PM

Dorothy Willetts Designs a Chair for Event to Benefit Illumination Foundation S19 4:26PM

KPFK & Pacifica's Archives seem oddly silent about transitions. Any ? S19 1:09PM

Modern Strike Online Hack - Get Unlimited Gold S19 4:34AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy