Reading the Israeli discussion list I belong to is usually a depressing affair, for obvious reasons. Still, it is heartening to see many Israelis fighting against their government's ongoing abuse of the Palestinians, for they are on the front line, and their actions inspire abuse both at home and most especially from abroad, primarily here in the good ol' US of A.
One thing hard core American Zionists cannot stomach is an Israeli who doesn't follow the Party Line as laid down on this side of the water. Don't they know that it's their historical, tribal duty to smash what's left of those grubby Arabs who were squatting on their chosen turf before 1948? Don't they see that you cannot reason with these animals? Of course, most Americans who are Israeli Firsters choose not to live where the action is, but that doesn't stop them from telling those who do how to think and behave. Someone has to set the proper example, after all.
Yesterday, an Israeli list member announced that in "the near future," America's own Oprah Winfrey will visit the Holy Land in order to show her solidarity with Israel in its fight against terror. (Her early support for the invasion of Iraq seems to have withered -- perhaps this will boost her pro-war morale.) Oprah will travel to Israel with none other than Elie Wiesel, a man whose moral conscience is so pure, he cannot find a critical word to say about the state he reveres.
Think you've seen cynical displays? Just wait until the Oprah/Elie tour begins. (Seeing Israel with Wiesel is a bit like touring apartheid South Africa with P.W. Botha.) Oprah's cameras will capture every heart-tugging moment as she reaches out to those whose state is propped up by billions in annual US aid, and which possesses weapons of mass destruction, nuclear bombs among them. Should make for a great special, and later a two-disc DVD, stuffed with Oprah extras. She and Wiesel already visited Auschwitz together (also available on DVD for the low price of $29.95), so this tour will serve as the long-awaited sequel.
A few members of the discussion list were at first appalled by Oprah's travel plans, but then they saw opportunity in the upcoming spectacle. Why not press Oprah to tour the West Bank as well? Why not invite her to take part in a non-violent demonstration against The Wall? Against the occupation itself?
A long shot, to be sure. But it's worth a try. Here's Oprah's contact page, to which my Israeli comrades are sending polite invitations for Oprah to join them in their weekly demonstration in Bil'in, as well as other sites. Since we Americans finance the occupation and ongoing misery there, we should also encourage Oprah to link up with our friends who face the savage music on a daily basis. Who knows -- it may open doors to other tours.
Next up: Dr. Phil visits and analyzes Iraq!