Sunday, October 2, 2011

from AIPAC, with love

My mom gets all this AIPAC mail.

"Dear friend," it reads —

The word 'Nazi' doesn't appear until the third line, just before the word 'annihilation.'

The word 'Holocaust' doesn't appear until the next paragraph (a whole line further down from the above).

A tragedy is revealed. A tragedy, I suppose, that if enough people had been paying attention, if enough people had been donating money, perhaps, maybe, possibly — tragedy could have been averted.

But that's if you're reading the 'Dear Friend' missive, which is the most subtle part of AIPAC mail.

What hits you hard over the head every single time you open one of these mailings—are the maps.  Large enough to post on your bulletin board.  Sturdy enough to use for school.

Map One is titled: Israel and its Neighbors. Oh my, how shocking, the map screams out.  Poor little David to the Goliath that surrounds.  This is more effective visually in that the map starts with Morocco and goes all the way to Iran.  Look at all those Arabs, ouch!  Be paranoid, the map tells you. Be very very afraid.  The caption on the bottom reads:

Israel is surrounded by Arab nations and Iran. These countries outnumber Israel more than 650 to 1 in terms of land and 56 to 1 in terms of population.

Map Two is titled: The Iranian Missile Threat.  And it's another high-drama map, this time with looming Iran in the middle almost 3D on the page. In darker color is the range that Iran could strike if it just felt like it.  Gee whiz, all the way to India, though India's not the point.   This map's caption says:

Iran has ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear or chemical warhead a distance of 1,500 miles. Tehran is developing missiles that could reach the United States.

There are two more scary maps.  I'll spare you. But way at the bottom is the following disclaimer, which I think is hilarious:

These maps are for illustrative purposes only and do not imply any views regarding future agreements between Israel and its neighbors.

Is that a peace threat?  God forbid Israel should have good relations with the neighbors. I mean, what would AIPAC do then to raise big bucks?

When I was a kid, the approach was radically different.

Plant trees, we were told.  Plant trees in the Holy Land. Make it flourish, make it thrive.  We'd buy little leaf-stamps and put them on our own little poster trees. And when each leaf was paid for, we knew our tree would be planted. And that someday we'd see our tree.

It was a hopeful pitch. And I like it much better.

Even the neighbors can sit under my tree. And be shaded from the heat. And eat from its fruit.

That's planting trees. Not pulling ancient groves up from their roots. For security purposes.

Offer me to plant trees, AIPAC, and I'm happy to comply. Even the Occupied Territories could use more trees...

1 comment:

  1. From Facebook:

    April May and David Wiegleb like this.
    View 1 share reposted by Leigh Ann Hildebrand

    J. Todd Ormsbee: Thank you for this. It's one of the pieces of my nefesh y'hudi that is very very difficult and infuriating for me. I read the introduction to the new book by the guy who founded J-Street and now think it's probably time for me to read it. Also, if you have any suggestions for a good history of zionism, I'd love it.

    Mira Z. Amiras: I have a few shelves on Zionism and Palestinian history. You're welcome to peruse...