Some of the luckier folks are born into renowned families. If sufficiently mercenary, they can cash in on their lineage and do quite well from a departed forefather’s fame. Arun and Rajmohan Gandhi, for instance, are the Mahatma’s grandsons and their genealogical good fortune presumably entitles them to profess unique moral authority.
Quite like them is Martin Luther King’s eldest son and namesake.
Ordinarily we couldn’t care less about them. But they came to our region, participated in propaganda forums and dispensed advice on how to overcome villainous Israel “nonviolently.” Arun was the trailblazer. He appeared here in 2004. Rajmohan and MLK III followed in his footsteps this month.
Inherited intuition and keen virtuous vision apparently led Arun to quickly conclude that Arabs are victims of racism, that what the Jews subject them to is “10 times worse than apartheid.” Presumably he had carefully weighed, measured and compared quantities of abuse and damage. Jews, he observed, were “dehumanizing” Palestinians, “grinding them to dust” and imprisoning them “within walls of hate.”
Adding insult to injury two years ago in an op-ed entitled “Jewish identity can’t depend on violence,” Arun asserted that “Israel and the Jews are the biggest players” in the “culture of violence that is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
By way of apology, he later explained that “Jewish identity in the past had been locked into the Holocaust experience,” which is “a very good example of how a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends.”
FAST-FORWARD to Rajmohan. Three weeks ago he shared with Palestinian mouthpieces his “deep depression” over “scenes of repression” he witnessed “in Palestinian lands,” adding that the security fence, settlements and bypass roads were “more horrific than what” he “imagined before visiting Palestine.”
The Israeli government, Rajmohan concluded, “treats Palestinians as second-class citizens and robs their land.”
Enter MLK III. Unsurprisingly he too identifies Israel as the malice to be defeated, albeit nonviolently. After advising young Israelis to dodge the draft, he blithely equated between the campaigns for equality his father led and the Arab war against Israel. Bil’in and Ni’lin stone-throwers remind him of sit-ins in the Deep South, where peaceful demonstrators “were arrested and beaten, but the struggle created an opportunity for them to live and work. The segregation ended eventually.”
He further likened boycotts against Israeli universities and products to what his father advocated half a century ago: “Black people boycotted buses, and the bus companies eventually gave in… When economy is everything, if people choose this type of resistance, there is power and success.”
Get it? Israel is the latter-day equivalent of the notorious KKK. None of this drivel is new. Had it originated from the lips of an unknown, it would hardly merit attention. But MLK III claims his father’s mantle and preaches compassion and nonviolence. His bogus civil rights prattle buttresses Arab pretexts to delegitimize Israel’s survival. His inane analogies inspire bloodshed, not coexistence.
Because of their surname, Arun’s and Rajmohan’s instant analyses and overnight Mideast expertise gain worldwide currency. Every lie they repeat, presumably with the noble force of the ancestral humanitarian icon, can be refuted. But this isn’t about facts. In all likelihood the cousins capitalize crassly on granddad’s hallowed reputation. However, the off-chance that they are sincerely the Mahatma’s devoted disciples offers little consolation.
Jews have particular reason not to be bamboozled by the Gandhi mystique. Chilling callousness hides behind the mask of the revered ascetic’s much-touted sanctity.
IN 1938 – several days after Kristallnacht – the great guardian of human conscience found nothing better to do than publish an open letter to Europe’s Jews in which he urged them to embrace the very passivity that would eventually lead six million to annihilation. With hard-heartedness in the guise of benevolence and all-seeing wisdom, Gandhi opined that despite the ferocious evil winds ominously raging around them, Jews should stay put where fate left them.
Palestine, he decreed omnisciently, “is Arab. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs.” If he were a Jew in Germany, the great guru expounded, “I would claim Germany as my home… I would challenge the German to shoot me and cast me in the dungeon… and for doing this, I should not wait for fellow Jews to join me in civil disobedience but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example.”
In Mahatma Gandhi’s defense it should be stressed that he didn’t single Jews out. He had equally asinine advice for invaded Czechs and attacked Brits. Indeed, had anyone listened to him, this would be a very different world today. There would be no Jews to encroach on Arab bliss and German would be the planet’s lingua franca. Third World moralizers like Gandhi’s grandsons would be enslaved and silenced. Unbound by the niceties of the British Raj, the Third Reich wouldn’t abide any civil disobedience.
Incorrigible Gandhi groupies, mesmerized hagiographers and intellectually indolent peaceniks sought to pooh-pooh this as well-meaning naiveté and idealism, expressed prior to the cataclysm of World War II and the industrialized genocide of the Holocaust.
But an amazingly indifferent and unrepentant Mahatma himself quashed the above excuses. In 1946, after the unprecedented then-recent horrors became known, the righteous pacifist showed that he had learned absolutely nothing. Worse yet, he didn’t really care.
“The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife,” he volunteered to his biographer Louis Fisher. Alternatively, “they should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.”
Not quite believing his ears, Fisher tried to make sure and asked: “You mean the Jews should have committed collective suicide?” Unmoved, Gandhi judged that “yes, that would have been heroism.”
After brief reflection, he added: “The Jews had been killed anyway and might as well have died significantly.”
Bottom line, Gandhi wanted us martyred. We insubordinate people refused to die. Not having availed ourselves of his counsel, we lost his sympathy.
If his offspring, whether or not impelled by filial piety, come peddling the same worn advice and love of extinct Jews, then they’ll probably also fail to find many buyers among obstinate Israelis, who cling to life in impudent defiance of the descendents of European murderers, collaborators and/or robbers, and of their avid Arab allies and terrorist Nazi torchbearers.
As for MLK III, he should recall that his father called Israel (on March 25, 1968, mere days before his assassination) “one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”
When a black Harvard student deprecated Zionism, King retorted: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews; you are talking anti-Semitism.”