Monday, July 14, 2014

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A few days ago, the rock band Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder digressed in the middle of a concert to rant on about “those who go across borders and take over land that doesn't belong to them.”
Logically and obviously, I thought that he was talking about Hamas's ongoing attempt to blow up Israeli towns, cities, and farms. Hamas leaders have said over the years that they want to take over Israel.
Mahmoud Al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, once stated that he dreamed "of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it".
The Hamas charter states that "our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious" and calls for the creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel, and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel.
Hamas cleric Wael Al-Zarad during a television program said that the Muslims will only stop killing Jews "with their [the Jews] annihilation, Allah willing, because they tried to kill our Prophet several times."

But, beyond all logic, Vedder apparently was referring to the Israeli defense of its citizens during the current Operation Protective Edge!

So, for his edification, I am reposting parts of a blog from 2012’s Operation Pillars of Defense with added emphasis.

"The land on which Kfar Darom was settled was purchased by Tuvia Miller in 1930. In 1946, he sold it to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and a religious kibbutz was established on the evening after Yom Kippur that year as part of an 11 point settlement drive. The other 10 settlements built on the same night were: Nirim, Urim, Hatzerim, Shuval, Mishmar-Hanegev, Be'eri, Tekuma and Nevatim in the Northern Negev, and Gal On and Kedma further south. The first eight are today all in range of Gaza’s missiles and most have sustained damage.

During the War of Independence, in 1948, Kfar Darom, along with Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and other settlements in the Northern Negev, was overrun by the Egyptian army. While Yad Mordechai and the others were retaken by Palmach forces during the winter of 1949, Kfar Darom was not, and the area – which later became known as the Gaza Strip – was lost to the Egyptian army.

In other words, land in what is known today as the ‘Gaza Strip’ but used to be known as part of Egypt and before that as part of the British Mandate of Palestine, was actually legally purchased by a Jew and sold to the JNF to be a kibbutz. To the best of my knowledge, the Egyptians never bought the land; legally, it still belongs to the JNF.

[The same, by the way, goes for Gush Etzion, areas of the city of Hebron  (the cave of Machpela in Hebron was, of course, purchased by Avraham Avinu) and much of what is erroneously named the West Bank.]

Could somebody please let Vedders know that history didn’t start last week, or even last month. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 to be rewarded not only with approximately 15,000 (no typo) missiles but also with imbecilic comments like his. I won’t take the easy way out and call him anti-Semitic.

He’s just ignorant.

I find it abhorrent that so many celebrities who are - and have every right to be - ignorant of a particular subject, talk anyway.

It would be like me talking about rocket science or veterinary medicine. Just because I know what a rocket or a elephant look like, doesn't make me want to stand up on a stage and shout that NASA should be doing more to put elephants on the moon.

Same nonsense.

I can understand anti-Semitism. Really, I can. Unwarranted and hatred you don't have to explain is easy, it’s common, and it’s cheap. Anti-Semitism seems to be in style now. It’s a thing. So why not lash out at Jews willy-nilly?



But why would anyone get up on a stage and show, for the entire world to witness, his own ignorance? Is ignorance a thing too?

To borrow a phrase from another ignorant musician: while nobody needs thought control, maybe you do need an education.

Just because someone doesn't know the facts, doesn't make them go away.

I was taught “Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid, than open it and prove it.”

In the meantime, Israel has been bombarded with over 600 missiles aimed at babies, grandparents, teachers, farmers, rabbis, doctors, and even elephants.

Ignorance is not a thing.