Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Hidden on page four of the Piedmont Middle School Parent Newsletter, January 2009:
"The eighth grade Language Arts classes are creating a memorial museum to Anne Frank and the Holocaust. It will be open all day on Monday, January 12th, 2009. Come by the Library to see the students' perspectives of a very important piece of world history."
While an Anne Frank and Holocaust museum is obviously not a prima facie endorsement of the predations of the Israeli state, reports from inside the Piedmont Middle School administration suggest that this memorializing gesture was rushed into production immediately following the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip on January 3rd. In other words, while the IDF was raining white phosphorus bombs on the residents of Gaza, the administration of the Piedmont Middle School, almost certainly under the direct orders of the city council, decided to signal their encouragement to hawks in the Israeli Defense Ministry by demanding of possibly innocent eighth graders the manufacture of popsicle stick gas chambers and cartoonish renderings of Anne Frank.
Futhermore, in the weeks that followed, while activists in the U.S. were considering campaigns of divestment from Israeli academic institutions, the Piedmontese responded with predictable bellicosity and invited music students from Tel Aviv University to perform. The American Friends of Tel Aviv University reports (scroll down) that on January 31st, the Gertler String Quartet performed "'American' and Israeli songs arranged for string quartets." (You'll note the quotation marks around "American" and the absence of those marks from "Israeli.") As Theodor Herzl foresaw, "The anti-Semites will become our most loyal friends; the anti-Semetic nations will become our allies." (Cited in Tom Segev's One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate, ).
(Israeli and Piedmontese diplomats enjoy a recital at the Piedmont home of Dr. Gary and Lisa Gershony)
How are we to interpret Piedmont's unwavering avowal of Israel's right to invade?
Are we to read in that support a sly assertion of Piedmont's own right to violate the sovereignty of its neighbors in the name of "defense"?
Given that Oakland is Piedmont's neighbor on every side, are we to understand that Piedmont reserves the right to invade and occupy Oakland?
Lord, it may be later than we think.
Assessment of Opportunities:
It's possible that in Piedmont's aggressive attempt to ally itself with Israel, it is attempting to conflate Israel's justifiable right to exist with Piedmont's clearly unjustifiable right to exist. If so, then we may see in Piedmont's strategic partnership not only a cynical political ploy, but a palpable existential crisis. We may be able to exploit this unease by drawing stark distinctions between Israel and Piedmont, and by going even further and associating Piedmont with the foreign policy of Iranian conservatives such as Ahmadinejad and Khomeini. (This must be done before the possible election of the moderate reformist Moussavi in June.) This approach will also have the likely benefit of seriously confusing the gray hairs of Piedmont's ruling junta.
Posted by J.B.Best at 7:48 PM