For God’s Sake

Disputes from the bank to an ancient friend
Arguments from the DVLA to Scottish Power.
Fraud in one bank
Then fraud in another.
In days of yore the family astrologer would have looked to see if Mars was in retrograde. We had a new moon the other night so maybe all this lunatic activity is because of La Lune.
But, it was a petition that caused a rift in an old relationship.
‘I can’t believe you won’t sign a petition about cuts to the Arts,’ said my friend. I think she’s still my friend, because she’s called for a two week embargo on conversations so, who knows, by June 1st I could be friendless. Not only did she berate me for not signing but concluded her correspondence with not one, not two but three fucking exclamation marks. Anybody who exclaims markedly three times cannot expect to get away with it – I did in fact sign the petition, although lockdown has caused petition fatigue. Apparently one of the side affects of the AstraZeneca jab is a frozen nervous system in the brain causing anger and irritation, so maybe my anger is caused not by overzealous friends but by the Oxford scientists..
And then Netanyahu raised his belligerent head, and the world watched as orthodox jews jumped up and down singing in delight as a tower block was blown to smithereens in front of their scholastic eyes. Full of people or not, that crumbing tower block revealed religious fervour at its worst. The ‘chosen’ people had forgotten that maybe all people, ‘chosen’ or not, are precious.
Hamas offered a truce but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed his troops were committed to a long operation.
‘Whatever we don’t do now, we will have to do in six months or a year from now.’ he said. WHY?
Plans for a ground invasion are being drafted
‘This it will not end in the next few days,’ the cabinet minister added. ‘Israel will not stop and has no interest in stopping. It is all moving in the right direction.’ WHY?
Of course I’ve edited this newspaper article to my advantage. But the truth remains. The occupiers are killing the occupied and condemnation reigns on both sides.
I am an ‘oven baked’ Jew, a Yid, a Yiddiot, a kike, a four-by-two, a big nose, a Jewbacca on account of my hair, and a Christ Killer on account of my tribe killing the son of God. But what I am not is a Jew hater or a Self-Hating Jew.
I identify as a female heterosexual woman born into the Jewish faith, whose parents were card carrying members of the Communist Party. Any attempt at understanding Jewish rituals or identity flies over my head. We took Jewish holidays off school because my father was an opportunist, and I cook Jewish-style because my grandmothers influenced our kitchen. I don’t eat milk and meat together, not because I am Kosher, because I’m not, but because I simply don’t eat meat and I don’t touch dairy. I have kept all my father’s neglected skull caps; they hang on the bedpost alongside the old git’s abandoned crucifixes and his flavourless chewing gum.
So, as disputes and conflicts go, the Israeli assault on Hamas and Hamas’ retaliation is just about as lunatic as it gets. I am appalled at what is happening not because I am Jewish but because the acts of intolerance offered up by the settler community is enough to make me retch into my chicken soup.
I hate sectarianism whether in Ireland or Sarajevo, Russia or Syria. Whilst working in Israel in the seventies I was afforded the treatment of an entitled Eastern European Jew. I was lorded and praised and given the keys of the city. Whilst wandering through old Jerusalem I happened upon a Palestinian courtyard where chickens wandered freely around a woman on her haunches. I experienced five star hotels in Tel Aviv whilst witnessing the the poverty of its Palestinian neighbours. I drove through the wilderness to Jericho where I was harassed by my Arab taxi driver. I drunk water from a glass sold by a one eyed man living in one room with a glass tumbler and a single bed. He poured crystal clear water out of a hose pipe, which he said came from the original spring somewhere in the mountains. I gave him a shekel for a glass of the icy cold liquid then bad him farewell.
I have two menorahs on the kitchen dresser and kosher candles in the drawer. I have my mother’s first cook book which she gifted me on my 29th birthday. The pages are yellow and the spine is stuck together with peeling sellotape. The invalid cooking is well thumbed – most Jews including me, are hypochondriacs – and the recipe for matzo balls and lochshen pudding are stained with melted butter.
My daughter wears an old family Star of David and I have a fantastic necklace which we bought in the original ghetto in Venice. It has a huge silver six pointed star in the middle of a green semi precious gem, It’s heavy in more ways than one. I have black and white photographs of my brothers Bar-Mitzvah and a black beaded bag which my mother held during fancy dinners and weddings, it smells of forgotten scents.
All my Jewish trappings do not make it easy for me to watch Israel rip the heart out of Gaza, any more than it does watching Assad rip the shit out of Baghdad. My Jewish trappings do not automatically make me a supporter of Hebrew actions. I HATE what is happening in the ‘chosen’ country by the ‘chosen’ people, I hate it because, of all people, Jews should know better. They were gassed, skinned, tortured and traumatised and yet, in the name of I know not what, they are prepared to traumatise their neighbours with a smile and a song.
I am not a Jew hater, I am not a self hating Jew I am an embarrassed Yid who has no way of defending what ‘My’ people are doing. I cannot support anybody who tries to wrestle people out of the homes they have lived in for over 70 years. I cannot support corrupt politicians who rejoice in their countryman rejoicing in the deaths of another.
The Nazis took photographs of soldiers smiling over noosed, naked jews. The orthodox scholars laugh as defenceless men, women and children, are killed in the name of WHAT?
I am an ashamed Jew.
I am a horrified Jew
I am a disgusted Jew.
I live with a catholic, I have black, brown, yellow friends. I go to midnight mass and I love a good Song of Praise hymnathon. I enjoy Gospel music and love to dance along to Arabian music when I wiggle to the dawters belly dancing video. I do Indian Yoga and dabble in Chinese Qi Gong. I eat French food and make a delicious Italian pasta. I adore stuffed vine leaves and tuck into Halal feasts. I am a global glutton.
What I cannot abide is my ‘chosen’ people defending a state that hates. in 1948 Israel became a place of sanctuary and peace for so many damaged Jews. Now it is the home of male warmongers.
I am not a Jew hater. I am a Jew-gooder trying to Jew good by all people.
Call me old fashioned, but I think everybody deserves a crack at having a good life, not just us ‘chosen’ people. Because, if God ‘chose’ us to be the people he chose then we ‘chosen people’ should be better at choosing good for everyone. Am I right or am I wrong? You choose.

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