Justice in Gaza
Jerry and his girl hadn't found any time together for three weeks; his parents were up from Florida, staying with him, so he and his squeeze were missing, badly, the squeezing. They went to a movie where they couldn't help themselves and fell into a two-hour long fit of heavy breathing. Sadly, who was behind them in the theater but Newman, who gloried in the indelicacy of their thoughtless passions.
And used it to full advantage, letting slip to Jerry's parents--and the girl's parents--that the two of them were making love-starved adolescents out of themselves during the movie.
Newman wreaked havoc in Jerry's life, not simply because Jerry and his girl were making public whoopee, but because the film everyone was watching was Schindler's List. "How could you?" his parents asked, stupified, when they confronted their hormone-rich son. If Seinfeld and friends were Christian, not Jewish, he and his girl would have had to made out in a Christmas creche to trigger that level of horror.
All Seinfeld shows are hilarious, but I laughed last night as the fat guy Newman got in a good shot at his nemesis Jerry. It worked. His girlfriend's old man told him he was totally unwelcome at their house and he couldn't date his daughter. End of affair. Making out at Schindler's List?--what an outrage. What an abomination. In Dutch, we'd call it spotten.
But I thought of what's happening in Gaza when I saw the shame of Jerry's parents, because somehow there is a link. In 1995, I taught a class in the literature of the holocaust. Of my books, the holocaust memoir Things We Couldn't Say has sold the most. I think Schindler's List is one of the finest movies ever made. I know Israel is a democracy, and Hamas is dangerous, evil. I can't imagine living in a neighborhood where just across the border some fanatics are lobbing missles at you, one after another, despite treaties and peace accords. I'm not anti-Israel.
All that having been said, the death toll in Gaza will go over 1000 today, more than half of the dead are women and children.
One part of the equation--or so it seems to me--is the Holocaust, a story that haunts the soul. Does Israel, vastly superior in arms supplied by the U.S. of A, have the right to kill so many innocent people in their own quest for peace? Can anything ever be solved by more violence? Are they, in any way, shape, or form, forging a relationship that will yield peace?
One part of the answer goes like this: don't forget the Holocaust. Never again with the Jewish people get slaughtered without a fight. Never again. Never again. Never again.
And thus, today, Palestinians mourn hundreds who were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Is that justice or simply more mass murder?
Sometimes history is a blindfold--or worse, a weapon. At least it is in me. When I hear those numbers--a thousand dead--I flash to Dr. Mengele, standing on the wooden platform at Auschwitz, signaling right and left, making judgments about life and death. Step to the right to the shower, please.
But how long can that horror's price be paid in blood guilt? When does that awful, awful wound begin to heal? Ever?
Lord Jesus, come quickly.