You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.
by Merle Molofsky Regarding the Presbyopians — oops, I mean the Presbyterians — nope, I mean the Presbyopians. They strike me as severely afflicted with presbyopia — rigidity of vision, diminished ability to focus. Divestment. What is the Presbyopian divestment policy? How many specific nations have they chosen to focus on? When they choose to divest their holdings, do they choose a nation, then choose what kinds of businesses in that nation to divest from? Are they choosing to divest in any nations other than Israel? Oh my. Israel must be the most violent, immoral, evil nation on earth. Is it true that Israel recently massacred 800 Shiite soldiers who had surrendered? No? I’m mistaken? It was the Sunni militia in Iraq? Are you sure? Is it true that more than 1,000 people died in violent acts in the month of June in Israel? What? Really? In Iraq? And what is the Iraqi government doing to prevent this sort of thing from happening? The UN reports that more than 51 million people have been displaced by violence around the world. Is it true that Israel is behind all of this? It must be, since divestment in businesses doing business in Israel is a priority for the Presbyopia Church. More than 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced since the insurgency in Syria. Did Israel mastermind this? Are the Presbyopians divesting from businesses operating in Syria? Where did more than 150,000 — some say up to 230,000 — people die through violent conflict? Israel? No? Then where? Syria? Oh. I bet Israel is behind it, though. Right? Eighty Turks, including three children, were kidnapped by ISIS when ISIS seized Mosul. They still haven’t been released. Who should the Prebyopians divest from to address the horrors inflicted on people by ISIS? Oh, I know! Israel! In Myanmar, the peaceful Buddhists, the most peaceful of world religions — well, the Jains don’t count, there are only 4.2 million Jains worldwide, and 400 million Buddhists, Westerners aren’t trying to practice Jainism, they are trying to practice Buddhism, right? — are massacring Muslims, including women and children. The police do not intervene, the government does not intervene. Are the Presbyopians planning to divest in holdings of businesses doing business in Myanmar? The Nigerian government has proven to be inept and hapless in addressing the kidnapping of eighty Nigerian school girls. The girls are still missing. They were kidnapped because they were studying and reading books. Divest in businesses doing business in Nigeria, Presbyopians? Maybe the gender theorist Judith Butler might lend her fine mind and dauntless efforts to rescuing the Nigerian school girls. Or perhaps she is too busy working with the BDS Movement, a valiant activism urging boycotting of Israeli businesses, and Israeli academics and universities. In 1965, Hebrew National, manufacturer of kosher hot dogs, launched an advertising campaign touting the purity and cleanliness of its product, “We answer to a higher authority”. Clever. Well, it seems Israel has to answer to a standard set much higher for it than for any other nation. I guess my Presbyopia gag is getting a little old. Perhaps Clio needs a Council of Elders, a Synod, to determine when a rant from one of us gets old. I refer my rant to the General Assembly, to which the Synod is subject. Any old coots and old codgers want to comment? Merle Molofsky is a New York State-licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors of The International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education. A poet and playwright, in 2012, she was awarded the Gradiva Award in Poetry by the National Psychoanalytic Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.
The Trap of Palestinian Participation
An open letter considers the impossible choice facing Palestinians: Participate as a token in conversations premised on their oppression, or be branded rejectionists.
How a Giant of Responsible Investing Agreed to an Israel Exception
After a multi-year campaign by Jewish groups, Morningstar—a major firm known for socially responsible investing—is softening its approach to Israeli human rights abuses.