Maurice Merleau Ponty: Progress is not so much a movement toward a homogenous or classless society as the quest… for a life which is not unlivable for the greatest number.” ( Rick Salutin, Toronto Star ) Certainly, in the case of Jerusalem, “unlivable” is almost the credo of a city of which “Jerusalem the golden” appears a desire of messianic proportions, given the almost incomprehensible history of religious ideological confrontation; an ideology which is indestructible and therefore stagnant, with a need for jarring disagreement in which fear and an absence of reassurance are the stock-in trade.
…that, in the end, we are never in a position to take stock of everything objectively or to think of progress in itself; and that the whole of human history is, in a certain sense, stationary: What, says the understanding, like Stendhal’s, Lamiel, is that all there is to it? Is this the highest point of reason, to realize that the soil beneath our feet is shifting, to pompously call “interrogation” what is only a persistent state of stupor, to call “research” or “quest” what is only trudging in a circle, to call “Being” that which never fully is? ( Merleau-Ponty )
Jerusalem has always been a metaphor for a simplistic dualism between antagonists. Now that Israel controls Jerusalem, the racism as ideology has been subsumed into more vague but equally toxic realms. The ideology proves Merleau-Ponty’s point about “stationary” within the confines of this now prevalent “clash of civilizations” a return to the “heart of darkness” with Western civilization swinging like a rotted door on a rusted hinge. These new similie for colonialism and cultural/economic apartheid has to crumble eventually though the reactionary forces seem willing to push all the usual buttons until the bitter end. The holocaust is over and done. But, it keeps getting perpetuated: Most Israelis insisting on their own rights even when it means trampling on those of others, such as Palestinians. But, eventually, the snake ends up eating its tail:
I often think, well okay, so he doesn’t do much to help the poor, but why make their lives more difficult, for heaven’s sake? Take his strategy: “deeper billing.” It’s a smart term, from the Hebrew language-launderette, a codename for gross and violent intrusion into citizens’ pockets. It’s a policy that sees a relentless pursuit of people, using legal threat and action. In a council meeting on Thursday, it was revealed that in 2010 alone, the municipality had liens on more than 90,000 bank accounts! …They don’t pay city tax not because they’re delinquents, but because month after month, they wrack their brains to find ways to pay the rent, the mortgage, dental treatment, winter coats for the kids. They don’t pay because they have nothing to pay with. Did he ever ask himself whose bank accounts are being seized? Could he look them in the eye? ( Meir Margalit ) Read More:http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?ID=223073&R=R1
…The Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE failed. Hezekiah’s throne was saved and Judaism which to that point had left the children of Israel pretty well indifferent to the value and demands of monotheism, began to take root. The Torah had not yet been written, but the repulsion of the invaders awakened a renewed commitment in the legacy of Moses. That new belief had about 115 years evolve , growing strong enough to allow the exiled Jews to retain their faith during the Babylonian exile and later return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.
Is it the fate of history, the flip of the coin. Heads or high-tails out of here. Historian Henry Aubin asserts that it was the approach of the Kushite-Nubian army, headed by Taharqa, king of Ethiopia, that made the Assyrians lose heart. Looking back, an honorable defeat with guaranteed safe passage might not have seemed such a bad lot:
The turn of events was arguably one of the most important moments in human history. Had Jerusalem been destroyed in 701 BCE, Judaism very well have disappeared before it really got underway. The other two monotheistic world religions, Christianity and Islam, might never have been born. It was the timely intervention of a black warrior that convinced an embattled tribe in the Judean hills that their god was so special that they would still pray to him 2,700 years later.( eric frey) Read More:http://www.forward.com/articles/13182/
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