by C.A. Matthews
From time to time, we at The Revolution Continues blog like to get out in the community and see how people are coping and dealing with life in this challenging century. This week we stopped by a local park, and I had a chat on a park bench with a mother of two school-aged sons while her kids played on the playground. Our guest calls herself “an All-American Soccer Mom.” Meet Jennifer O’Syder or “Jen” for short.
TRC: Thanks for chatting with us today, Jen.
Jen: You’re welcome. I must admit when you walked over to me that I was intrigued by your t-shirt’s slogan. What does “Not in our name” mean?
TRC: This shirt was given to me at a peace demonstration held by JVP*. It means we don’t want Israel to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people from their land. We are against the genocide in Gaza and the attacks against Palestinians and others living in the West Bank. We demand that the bombing stop, especially the bombing of hospitals, places of worship, refugee camps, and schools.
Jen: (Wrinkling her nose up and looking rather perplexed.) But...um… I thought those Ay-rabs Philistines were the “bad guys”.
TRC: Do you mean the Palestinians? The are a Semitic people native to the region that is now called Israel. They were forced out of their homes and off their land by Zionist terrorists such as the Stern Gang in 1948.
Jen: Terrorists? The Palestinians have been terrorists for that long?
TRC: No, they have been victimized by Zionist terrorists for more than 80 years now. Some of Zionist terrorist actions against the natives of Palestine started during the time of the Ottoman Empire occupation before World War I. But in 1948 it got much worse. Zionists, mostly from Europe, forced over 700,000 Palestinians off their farms and olive groves and out of their homes and villages. These Israeli terrorists literally stole the natives’ houses and marched the Palestinians, the old and the young, men, women and children, into the desert at gun point.
Jen: But I thought the Israelites have always lived in Israel. Our Bible study teacher told us so.
TRC: The “Israelites” were an ancient Middle Eastern people who claimed that their patriarch Abraham migrated from the east, from the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley region or from what we would call modern-day Iraq. Abraham settled his family in the ancient land of Canaan, and it wasn’t exactly empty—it was full of many native peoples living there. There seems to have been a lot warring with the Israelites claiming God had given them Canaan, and that they had the right to slaughter all its original inhabitants.
Jen: The Israelites were Iraqis? Like that Saddam Hussein guy? (She sticks out her tongue.) Ugh.
TRC: Not quite, but yes, the Israelites were related to the Iraquis and the peoples they intermarried with in what would later become known as Palestine during the Roman Empire times. The Israelites as a group fought and lost a war against their Roman occupiers in the year 70 A.D. and were dispersed. Most migrated to others places within the Roman world and began to intermarry with the people in those lands.
Jen: But if they’re not living in Israel today, then why do we still have Israelites?
TRC: Technically we don’t. The “Israelis” of today are basically Caucasian European peoples who practice the religion of Judaism or those whose family members did, as many younger Israelis claim to be atheists. They started to migrate in numbers to what became the British Mandate of Palestine starting in the 1920s under the banner of Zionism, or the political viewpoint that persons of Jewish ancestry had the right to take back the land of their distant ancestors.
Jen: So a few Israelites, uh, Israelis, returned home? No problem.
TRC: It became a bigger problem after World War II when ever larger numbers of Jewish persons, who held to the tenets of Zionism, left war-torn Europe and settled in Palestine against the wishes of the British ruling the territory. The British tried their best to keep the peace between these colonizers and the native peoples, but the Zionist newcomers had a lot of weaponry and rich backers overseas. They blew up the King David Hotel in 1946 and killed at least 90 persons, including dozens of British diplomats. Then the Zionists launched a series of terrorist attacks against the Palestinians that built up to the 1948 Nakba, which translates to “catastrophe” or “holocaust,” forcing the Palestinians from their homes at the cost of many lives.
Jen: So, the Jews started their own holocaust against the Ay-rabs? Guess they’d be experts at that sort of thing, huh? (Snorting and chuckling.) But I thought they were all supposed to go and live in Israel anyways.
TRC: Uh, no, people who practice the religion of Judaism can and do live all over the world today. They aren’t confined to one country. Some even live in our town. For example, there’s a synagogue not too far from this park.
Jen: Yeah, I’ve driven past it, but it’s not a proper temple like the real Jews are supposed to worship in. Our preacher told us that the Jews are all supposed to go to Jerusalem to worship at the big temple there. Once they all get there and do that, then the End Times begin, and Jesus will come and take us, his chosen people, to heaven and send the rest of you to hell.
TRC: Okay… So, you’re saying that the fate of the world rests on one religious group moving to a particular city in the Middle East to perform a particular style of worship in order for your religious group to reach the afterlife?
Jen: No, not the afterlife—heaven. It’s really important that all those Jews who rejected Jesus be corralled together in one spot called Israel so he can zap them and send them to hell for having him crucified.
TRC: Hmm...Interesting. It was actually the Romans who had Jesus crucified. Does that mean all the citizens living in modern-day Rome will get “zapped” too?
Jen: (Shrugging.) Well, maybe. I don’t know. If they’re Jewish, they’ll all be in Israel anyway and can get zapped there. But what’s the big deal? We tell all the Jews in the world to go live in Israel. It’ll get them out our cities here where all they do is cheat people at banking and jewelry sales.
TRC: (Sighing) And open up more acting jobs and stand-up comedy gigs for non-Jewish persons?
Jen: Now you’re getting it!
TRC: But the Palestinian people also live in the modern state of Israel and deserve to have homes where their ancestors lived too, right? Some of them are Christian. The Israelis bombed the third oldest church in Christendom, St. Porphyrius, recently and destroyed it, killing and injuring many people. Don’t you as a practicing Christian find that upsetting?
Jen: Maybe if they were “real Christians” that didn’t worship Mary and their graven idols and paintings on the ceilings so much, I’d find it upsetting. But they’re fakes, so if they get bombed, then so be it. The Israelites—I mean Israelis have got to have more room to squish in all the Jews from around the world into one place so Jesus can come again to rule with grace and mercy.
TRC: How “merciful” is it to bomb hospitals, schools, and refugee camps where children and their families are located? Do little children who may or may not be “real Christians” deserve to die such horrible deaths?
Jen: Jesus did say something along the lines of “suffer the little children” so perhaps that’s what he meant. (Shrugging.) I don’t know. They’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time so they get to suffer. Besides, if they’re Ay-rabs they’re not going to amount to much in the long run really, are they? They’re not as smart as white people because they can’t make their letters right. Their writing looks like so many squiggles.
TRC: (Sighing.) Yeah, it’s not like they were smart enough to invent the Arabic numerals that we all use alongside the Roman alphabet, is it?
Jen: Huh? (A commotion draws her attention to the playground.) Hey! Jimmy! Get off that thing right now!
Jimmy: (Shouting back) But we’re swinging together! We can go faster and higher together!
Jen: Not with that wetback, you don’t! Billy—go get your brother off that swing pronto!
Billy: But Mom… They’re having fun. They ain’t doing anything wrong.
Jen: I don’t need to tell you that we don’t mess around with people with skin the color of mud. It might rub off on us. (Curling her hand into a fist.) Get your little brother off that swing right now before I make you regret the day you were born!
TRC: “Suffer the little children,” right Jen?
Jen: Hey, I don't mean to sound crass, but people die all the time. Some just get to die younger than others. If Israelis want to bomb a bunch of Ay-rabs kids into the dust and wipe them off the face of the earth, who am I to tell them they’re wrong? For Jews, they at least got the right idea about not mixing the races. If their ancestors hadn’t slept with all those filthy Canaanites, they probably wouldn’t have killed Jesus. Our preacher says there’s more than a grain of truth in that.
TRC: (Nodding.) I’m sure he or she does.
Jen: He, of course. Women shouldn’t be leading others in worship. They’re not good enough to in God’s eyes. Not smart enough to interpret scripture for themselves.
TRC: (Rising from the park bench.) I sort of figured you’d say that. It’s been interesting talking with you today, Jen O’Syder. Take care.
Jen: You’re welcome. Where you going now?
TRC: I’m going to go over to swing with that little boy who was enjoying his double swing with Jimmy. Maybe we can swing together high enough to reach a low Earth orbit. I feel like leaving the planet about now.
*JVP stands for “Jewish Voice for Peace,” an anti-war, pro-Palestinian group of Jewish persons and their allies. Learn more about them at: https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/
* * *
November 20 was World Children's Day.
World Children’s Day, celebrated annually on November 20, is a global initiative promoting children’s rights, safety, education, health and happiness.
It comes this year amid Israel’s war on Gaza. About half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people are children.
Since October 7, Israeli attacks have killed at least 5,500 children, according to Palestinian officials. That is one Palestinian child killed every 10 minutes, or about one out of every 200 children in the Gaza Strip.
An additional 1,800 children are missing under the rubble, most of them presumed dead. A further 9,000 children have been injured, many with life-changing consequences. Many of these children have lived through the trauma of multiple wars.
This infographic online at Al Jazeera lists the names and ages of less than half of those children killed over the past six weeks.
Related Articles and Other Interesting Links
Poll Shows American Support for Israel Is Cratering Amid Its Violent Siege https://truthout.org/articles/poll-shows-american-support-for-israel-is-cratering-amid-its-violent-siege/
Poll: Majority of Americans Support a Ceasefire in Gaza
***MUST READ: Don’t blame Israel, blame a “weak” Washington https://joebrunoli.substack.com/p/dont-blame-israel-blame-a-weak-washington
Panic as Gaza’s al-Shifa evacuates, Israel army denies ordering it to do so https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/18/israel-gives-gazas-al-shifa-hospital-one-hour-to-evacuate
Israel-Hamas war live: ‘At least 50’ dead in Israeli strike on Gaza school https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/11/18/israel-hamas-war-live-conditions-worsen-as-another-baby-dies-at-al-shifa
Is History Repeating Itself in Israel-Palestine? https://joebrunoli.substack.com/p/is-history-repeating-itself-in-israel
Probe Shows 126+ Civilians Killed by Israeli Airstrike Targeting 'Just One Guy' https://www.commondreams.org/news/israel-bomb-refugee-camp
The US Has A Standing Policy Of Ignoring The Human Rights Violations Of Its Allies https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-us-has-a-standing-policy-of-ignoring
Tone Policing Opposition To Genocide https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/tone-policing-opposition-to-genocide
PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Banality of Propaganda https://consortiumnews.com/2023/11/14/patrick-lawrence-the-banality-of-propaganda/
Israelis Keep Hurting Their Own PR Interests By Talking https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/israelis-keep-hurting-their-own-pr
They're Just Insulting Our Intelligence At This Point
My tense exchange on a train with Sen. Chris Coons over Gaza
Canada/US' quiet motive for backing Israel's genocide
Don’t be fooled. Biden is fully signed up to genocide in Gaza https://jonathancook.substack.com/p/dont-be-fooled-biden-is-fully-signed
Over 1,200 ‘Educators for Palestine’ Sign Open Letter Demanding Ceasefire https://scheerpost.com/2023/11/16/over-1200-educators-for-palestine-sign-open-letter-demanding-ceasefire/
GAZA ON THE BRINK - LIVE WITH LOWKEY AND AARON MATÉ https://chroniclesofhaiphong.substack.com/p/gaza-on-the-brink-live-with-lowkey
Criminalization of First Amendment-Protected Pro-Palestinian Speech Is Spreading https://truthout.org/articles/criminalization-of-first-amendment-protected-pro-palestinian-speech-is-spreading
With more than 10,000 Palestinians killed in the last month, Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of refugee camps, and an ever-widening ground invasion in Gaza, it’s critical that student activists and people at large can gather, protest and exercise their right to speak freely.
When political speech is criminalized, it renders the First Amendment meaningless. Collectively, we must demand that universities and colleges continue to honor student organizations’ right to freedom of expression, and we must demand the same from our elected officials and law enforcement. Now is not the time for silence.
Official Israeli Investigation Determines IDF Helicopters Killed Civilians on October 7 https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/1725958732113162579
America Inc. with Lee Camp: Top 11 Companies Supporting Israel’s Crimes https://youtu.be/Jvz5_yvfwLE?si=UR85uo7TtgWK0433
Israel Is Shutting Down Its Human Laboratory In Gaza https://popularresistance.org/israel-is-shutting-down-its-human-laboratory-in-gaza/
Palestinians File Emergency Motion to Block US Aid for Israel’s Genocide in Gaza https://truthout.org/articles/palestinians-file-emergency-motion-to-block-us-aid-for-israels-genocide-in-gaza/