Science fiction is arguably the most powerful of literary genres because it allows an author to depict the real world and posit plausible futures without being limited by real-world conventions. A phrase from the tagline to Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone essentially defines the entire genre: “A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.”
“Wondrous land,” though, is not the same thing as “paradise.” Some of the most effective science fiction depicts nightmarish dystopias—totalitarian societies where dissent and independent thought are criminalized. For example the main players in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 are “firemen” but not firemen as you and I know them.
They don’t put out fires to save life and property; they hunt for books hidden in people’s houses and then burn them. Books, you see, inflame the passions and give people ideas, and in a conformist society such things are a threat to the peaceful, obedient social order. As such, they are a threat to national security.
The image of an enforcement agency entering our homes, ransacking it, destroying our property, and hauling us off to jail in the name of “national security” is, sadly, not limited to dystopic speculation—it is life in the 21st century. In the name of the all-purpose bogeyman “war on terrorism,” any act of official repression is justified, like the Canadian government’s use of “security certificates” to hold people (Arabs) in perpetual detention just because they’re Muslim, and might theoretically, in some bizarre, unsubstantiated paranoid scenario pose a terrorist threat.
In our 21st-century dystopia the media bear more than a passing similarity to the “firemen” in Fahrenheit 451—they do the opposite of what they’re supposed to do. Contrary to popular belief, newspapers, TV and radio do not inform their audiences, but disinform; do not report news, but sanitize and censor it so that nothing upsets the authorities.
Consequently, rants against Hizbullah for being a “terrorist organization,” and whines about Israel’s “right to self-defence” have become environmental white noise. We are bombarded with this nonsense because we, as a society, are told that we must equate Israel with Jews, and interpret Hizbullah’s actions as anti-Jewish aggression. We must do this because equating Zionism with Judaism is fundamental to Israel and to the pro-Israel interest groups responsible for our dystopia.
Fact is, the equation of Zionism with Judaism is a well-known lie, and zionist Jews who use it to justify Israel’s atrocities are finding themselves going up against increasing numbers of honourable Jews who are appalled at what is being done in the name of their religion. This schism must be suppressed at all costs, but if some mention of it manages to get out, it must be rubbished and its authors denounced as—you guessed it— “anti-Semites” or “self-hating Jews.” Ooooh!
For those intelligent enough not to buy into the official “Hizbullah is a terrorist group/Israel is the victim” group-think, here are some recent glimpses into what some honourable Jews have had to say about Israel, Lebanon and the Nazis:
“I am a Jew, and I am an American. I am in anguish over both identities right now.…No religious or political tradition worthy of the name justifies burning children to death in the hopes of ‘taking out’ a rocket launcher. Doing everything possible to avoid killing civilians (using antipersonnel bombs fails the test) is not only the right thing to do—it makes long-term strategic sense, as fewer surviving children will grow up swearing vengeance.” (“Better to Tell Truth Than Parrot Propaganda,” Minneapolis-St.Paul Star-Tribune, Aug. 2, 2006 at commondreams.org. Original article deleted from source.)
“Is it the supreme duty of American Jews to use our considerable influence to align U.S. policy with that of Israel? There is, the Jewish organizations tell us, no conflict of loyalties and responsibilities; the two nations have common values and common ends. The assertion is nonsensical, but its repetition does negate one stereotype about Jews, our supposed intelligence. It is often accompanied by the claim that there is no Israel lobby, only ordinary US citizens spontaneously expressing opinions to their elected representatives and government. The Israel lobby’s successful campaign, coordinated with the Israeli Embassy, persuade[d] Congress to back the White House decision to give Israel a free field of fire in Lebanon. (“Is Israel Good for the Jews?” www.thenation.com, Aug. 5, 2006).
Dr. Jacques Ravedovitch, head of the Union of Belgian Jewish Progressives:
“Resistance in Palestine and Lebanon is justified. Israel is an invader. I do not approve of Hamas killing innocent people, but if there are invaders there will be resistance at the same time. What Israel is doing in Lebanon is terror.” (Interview in Zaman, July 27, 2006)
Oren Ben-Dor, Professor of philosophy, University of Southampton:
Israel’s successful campaign to silence criticism of its initial and continuing dispossession of the indigenous Palestinians leaves the latter no option but to resort to violent resistance.… Israel was created through terror and it needs terror to cover-up its core immorality. Whenever there is a glimmer of stability, the state orders a targeted assassination, such as that in Sidon which preceded the current Lebanon crisis, knowing well that this brings not security but more violence. Israel’s unilateralism and the cycle of violence nourish one another. Amidst the violence and despite the conventional discourse which hides the root of this violence, actuality calls upon us to think. The more we silence its voice, the more violently actuality is sure to speak. (“Who are the real terrorists in the Middle East?” The Independent, July 26.)
“I am the woman letter writer Sacha Diab referred to whose placard at the Aug. 12 peace march read, ‘I am the child of Holocaust survivors. They taught me to never do the same to anyone, anywhere.’ It is with tremendous dismay that I watch how the terrible ignorance of history and of the present reality—an ignorance so clearly fuelled by the media—turns otherwise decent people into warmongers. If all those individuals, particularly my fellow Jews, would inform themselves of what really happened to create the state of Israel and of what is actually happening now, they would be unable to stomach, much less support, the American-led Israeli political and military machine.” (Letter, Toronto Star, Aug. 14, 2006.)
By far the most brilliant demonstration of Jewish morality came from Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, who equated Zionism with Nazism, condemned the destruction of Lebanon, exploded the fallacious equation of Zionism with Judaism, and essentially demolished every zionist fiction that underlies our zionist dystopia. (Fox News, at youtube.com, Aug. 4, 2006. Enter “Fox Rabbi” in the youtube search field)
Speaking of protests, peace marches and other collective Jewish expression against Israel, we have seen virtually no coverage, yet on Aug. 5, nearly 10,000 demonstrators from all over Israel clogged the heart of downtown Tel-Aviv.
• On July 10, 300 Jews in Great Britain took out a full-page ad in the London Times to denounce Israel’s aggression against Lebanon. (Detail):
• On Aug. 3, three Moroccan Jews delivered a petition to their country’s highest court to try Israel’s Defence Minister for war crimes: “The criminal terrorist, Zionist Amir Peretz, has retained his Moroccan citizenship and is still registered in Morocco’s census. Moroccan law allows the trial of any Moroccan national who has committed war crimes in or out of the country.” (“Moroccan Jews ask court to try Amir Peretz for war crimes,” Ha’aretz, via Associated Press, Aug. 4, 2006)
These events are in addition to regular expressions of outrage, like that of the Jewish Women’s Committee to End the Occupation in Toronto, which holds regular vigils.
The more that zionists alienate themselves from World Jewry the closer they are forced to align themselves with evangelical Christians—who are virulently anti-Jewish! As I wrote on July 7, 2005, zionists have a sordid history of sabotaging Jewish activism to prop up fascist regimes—first Nazi Germany, now Israel—so we shouldn’t be surprised by this corrupt marriage of convenience.
Our dystopia will continue so long as our “free press” perpetuates the false equivalence of Jews and zionists, demonizes the Arab resistance, and censors honourable Jews. Those looking for honest commentary are better off turning to literature.
By the way, the 2005 movie V for Vendetta is a brilliant successor of sorts to Fahrenheit 451 in the way it depicts a fascist Britain. It takes little imagination to see it as a direct indictment of British and U.S. politics. It is based on a comic book. How’s that for reality!