Went to see Michael Moore's comedy thing (author Stupid White Men and director or whatever of Bowling for Columbine). It's hard to know how off-script he went that day but there was a bit of uncomfortable Jew stuff happening there. It began with members of the audience invited to come on stage. A contest was being played between a well-educated American and an average Brit. Those were the rules. The well-educated American turned out to be a fundraiser for the State of Israel. He was booed and hissed when he said his profession which Michael Moore addressed at the time but it still made me very uncomfortable. Why did the guy with the Jewish sounding name have to be related to Israel, I wondered? Why, in fact, did the American have to be Jewish in the first place?

When he came out on stage in the second half, Michael Moore decided to speak about Israel because of this guy. He started with a story that proved that he would defend Jewish people against the possibility of another Holocaust. He then also said that it was wrong to kill Palestinian children in refugee camps like Jenin, to mow them down in tanks, to shoot foreign journalists, etc and the place burst into applause. So he stopped. He said exactly. (paraphrasing:) You don't applaud my statement against a second Holocaust but you applaud my statement defending Palestinians. No wonder these people are fucked up! They're fucked up because they know no one will defend them if the time came. Later he said again that he would fight so there wasn't a second Holocaust and the applause came this time round.

But it was wierd to have him say outloud to a mixed audience, things that I believe but wouldn't say in that forum. I also believe that the Israeli government is continuing its human rights abuses and war crimes because they CAN NOT see what they do as bad. Jews, for them, are the ultimate victims. It means nothing they do to defend themselves can be bad. They can not see themselves as perpetrators of human rights abuses because they see themselves as the vitims of abuse. Yes we are fucked up. For as long as we live constantly reliving the real abuse that happened in our past, as long as we live as a victim of abuse, we will remain fucked up and act in fucked ways.

I had a funny set of emails a couple of weeks ago from members of my immediate family. It started from one of those internet forwarded emails about some guy who had saved Jewish people during the Holocaust but who hadn't been recognised for it. It was about the anti-Semitism of the day and the continued anti-Semitism in denying this man's amazing bravery in wanting to fight for justice for other people. One relative had forwarded it and another reacted to it angrily - partly from misreading the content. But, as she said, she still felt ok being angry about it once she understood because why was it being sent in the first place? The whole email, though a celebration of this man's bravery and achievement, in fact reiterated the Holocaust, put it at the centre of Jewish life, once again defining ourselves and the entire world through it. We need to remember, of course, and tell those who don't know but we also need to move on and stop defining ourselves soley through past abuses.

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