Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Holy Land Foundation (re)trial: the prosecution's narrative of HATE.

Mr. Jim Jacks, Assistant District Attorney for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas—not surprisingly—epitomizes those who accept without question the American narrative regarding the founding, buttressing, and expansion of the “Jewish” State of Israel. This well-known narrative (or is it well-known? how many Americans understand that this is not a “religious” or “cultural” struggle that has lasted for centuries?) begins with Jacob Herzl in the 1890s, agitating for a Jewish state—meeting with the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, holding the first international Zionist Congresses, and establishing ties with governments as disparate as Great Britain, Egypt, and Russia.

The narrative will reach its climax with the expansion of the “Jewish” State of Israel to encompass the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, from the Golan Heights to the Sinai. And perhaps even farther in any given direction. Israel will include what its Jewish citizens refer to as “Judea and Samaria,” what all other nations know are the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank.

This narrative has been conflated in the American consciousness with the narrative “fear of terrorism.” The two narratives are conflated for the purpose of making an (absurd) association in Americans’ minds between a perceived threat to the final solution of Israel’s expansionism and the (amorphous) “terrorism” threat to American society. This combined narrative is kept alive by the American “terrorism industry” (1).

Professor Mueller asserts that the first and most important membership of the “terrorism industry” are the Bureaucrats. In his closing argument of the Holy Land Foundation (re)Trial, Mr. Jacks proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is part of the “terrorism industry.” Indeed, Mr. Jacks is the consummate bureaucrat. Agents Burns and Miranda are also effective and valuable members of the same “terrorism” bureaucracy.

In his closing argument in the Holy Land Foundation (re)trial, his voice dripping with disdain, Mr. Jacks told the jury, “We have heard over and over again—all we’ve heard about—is the ‘Occupation.’” He then recited his worn out litany of the “terrorist” activities of Hamas, and, by extension, of all Palestinians whether in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza, Dallas, or Richardson. Chief of these are, of course, “suicide bombings.” Mr. Jacks asked the jury if this meant two or three bombings, reminding the jurors of the bogus American narrative that Hamas carries out a suicide bombing every day.

(Here is a meaningless statistic— meaningless because the death of any civilian is an atrocity. However, the Israeli Defense Force website itself contravenes Mr. Jacks’ attempt to harness this narrative—it lists 167 suicide bombings since 1993—the year of the first such attack in Israel. That’s an average of 11.83 per year, but almost half of those were perpetrated during the two to three years of the Second Intifada. I do not need or intend to get into a statistics battle here; all of the statistics anyone needs to support her or his particular narrative are at )

As part of the Terrorism Industry, Mr. Jacks can do nothing other than to conflate narratives, one on top of the other in order to obscure every thread of information that might lead to Truth. Mr. Jacks, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Rahm Emmanuel—even Barak Obama—or any other person in authority can try all they want (and succeed with the American people, perhaps including jurors, as the great American Tragedy of our time) to make obscurity into truth. But this conflation of narratives makes “terrorists” of those who resist the obliteration of their culture (to say nothing of their families) and rewards the oppressor with protection, investment, and permission to expand its state by destroying others. Because of the entrenchment of layers of narrative, all of the rhetorical devices are on the side of tyranny, both Israeli and American.

There is, however, one device that is not rhetorical. Even Mr. Jacks cannot obliterate the truth of one picture—a photograph of the Palestinian hillside across the valley from the Salesian Brothers Cremisan Winery at Beit Jala near Bethlehem, cradled in the hills between Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The winery itself would long since have been taken by Israeli expansionism were it not for its powerful friend in the Vatican City.

Stretched out from Bethlehem as far as the eye can see toward Jericho, arrogantly perched on hilltops for “protection” and for insult, are expansionist Israeli settlements. They were not there five years ago. Neither Mr. Jacks nor anyone else can argue the importance of the Occupation to the Palestinian people. It is not a mere "narrative."

Photo by Harold Knight, June, 2008

Yes, Mr. Jacks, that’s all we need to hear about: The Occupation. Because that’s all there is, and no narrative that you fabricate can excuse it or make it anything other than a monstrous affront to human decency.
(1) Mueller, John. “Fear Not: Notes from a Naysayer. Politicians, bureaucrats, and the media all have a vested interest in exaggerating the threat of terrorism—which is exactly what Al Qaeda wants.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 63.2 (Mar/Apr2007): 30-37.