Yes, Lady Gaga!  But If I Were You – I’m Not; I Know – But I Would Have Added One More Song

In her interview with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jered Kushner’s Grandmother Rae said that if there had been an Israel during Hitler’s reign of terror, perhaps 6 million Jews would not have been murdered.    I think she was right.  So did a lot of people.

After World War II, after the reality of the Holocaust hit the world’s nervous system, the stroke that signed Israel into existence was thought to be a blessing and an absolute necessity.  For the first time, in a long time, the Jews were no longer without representation, without refuge, with a nation.  And should it ever happen again, and Jews find themselves running for their lives, they will not wander the world, dying for want of few buckets of water, a slice of compassion, and a plank to shore.

Nationalism was the crime of the 1930s, perpetrated by the greedy and power-hungry.  It was foisted on an indiscriminating populace in Great Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Japan, and so many other nations.  But, after the war, nationalism never took the punch it deserved.  Nationalism never felt the blow to its spine that would cripple it forever.  Nationalism is back, cultivated, of course, by the greedy and power-hungry and served up, of course, as promise to those indiscriminating populace, those unwilling or unable to tell the truth from lies.

First and foremost in my mind is our US grown pumpkin which I can see winning a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair for his peculiarities but as a president he’s a blighted squash, surrounded by a bunch of rotten gourds, fit only for throwing at passing cars on Halloween.  I’m not suggesting we do that; we might scare someone or dent a car but what’s that when compared to terrorizing immigrant children;  threatening to “take names” if other countries don’t fall behind the line we draw;  silencing the news media…  Stop me!   Then there’s Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson who lied Brexit into being and left Great Britain holding the manure.  There’s Marine Le Pen in France who is promising a new world order which will not be new (see Nationalism, above) and by way of panic driven by hate-mongering is quite the opposite of order.  And then we have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who rushed home to Israel to vote in favor of legalizing illegally built homes constructed on privately-owned Palestinian land, promising the land owners compensation even if they haven’t agreed to sell.   Nationalism, as it has developed in Israel, is as cruel and blind and self-destructive as any.

We find our story has come full circle.  American Jews, who were once deeply devoted to freedom, knowledge, and second chances; who were once grounded in a morality of basic human rights; who once understood the meaning behind words like “we all do better when we all do better” and “do not unto others what you would not have them do to you,”… American Jews voted for a liar because he promised to support illegal settlements in Israel.  And because he’s hunting Muslims and Mexicans… for now.

Nothing, no nothing, is new under the sun.  Especially not knew is the human ability to forget.

So sing along with me:

This land is my land; this land is My land;

Get out of my land;  can’t help with your land.

Your children are starving when they aren’t being slaughtered.

But this land was made for me, just me, just me, Just ME.