>Arun Gandhi is the fifth grandson of the famous Mahatma Gandhi, a public figure and an established and true man of peace. So what was he doing spreading nefarious ‘conspiracy theories’ about the Jews back in January 2008?
In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a project at the University of Mississippi. The project examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward the moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute was dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. In 2007, the institute moved to Rochester, New York, and is currently located on the University of Rochester River Campus.
Arun has given many speeches about non-violence in many countries. During his tour of Israel and Palestine in 2004, he urged the Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation peacefully to assure their freedom. He proposed to the Palestinian Parliament a peaceful march of 50,000 Palestinian refugees across the Jordan River to return to their homeland in Palestine, and said MPs should lead the way. Arun stated:
What would happen? Maybe the Israeli army would shoot and kill several. They may kill 100. They may kill 200 men, women and children. And that would shock the world. The world will get up and say, ‘What is going on?’
Given the brutal conditions under which the Palestinians are being forced to live, attacked and murdered on a daily basis, Arun’s proposal for the solution of the Palestinian question makes good sense. Rather than be picked off, one by one by the Israeli military and have their deaths ignored by the mainstream media, why not undertake such a march, and potential sacrifice, and increase the chances that the world would be forced to sit up and take notice? An act of this type is very probably what the ordinary Palestinian people, both in Palestine and elsewhere, would decide upon if ordinary Palestinians had any say in their future. But Palestinians today have no real voice, no true representation, their political leadership having been infiltrated and co-opted long ago by the forces of the state of Israel. Israel calls all the shots and carefully stage-manages both sides in its one-sided “war” against the Palestinian people.
In 2006 The Board of Governors of the BBC published an Independent Panel Report into the impartiality of BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The scope of the inquiry was “assess the impartiality of BBC news and current affairs coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with particular regard to accuracy, fairness, context, balance and bias, actual or perceived”.
The inquiry found that the BBC’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was “incomplete and misleading” and “failed to adequately report the hardships of Palestinians living under occupation.”
In 2006 the research group If Americans Knew released a study into the reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the Associated Press (AP) for the period Jan-Dec 2004. The study found “a significant correlation between the likelihood of a death receiving coverage and the nationality of the person killed.” In 2004, there were 141 reports in AP headlines or first paragraphs of Israeli deaths. During this time, there had actually been 108 Israelis killed (the discrepancy is due to the fact that a number of Israeli deaths were reported multiple times).
During the same period, 543 Palestinian deaths were reported in headlines or first paragraphs. During this time, 821 Palestinians had actually been killed. In other words, 131% of Israeli deaths and 66% of Palestinian deaths were reported in AP headlines or first paragraphs. That is, AP reported prominently on Israeli deaths at a rate 2.0 times greater than Palestinian deaths. In reality, 7.6 times more Palestinians were killed than Israelis in 2004.
Previous studies into the reporting of Palestinian versus Israeli deaths have shown newspaper coverage to be even more distorted than the pattern that was found for AP. For example a six-month study of the San Francisco Chronicle showed a 30:1 differential of Israeli children’s deaths to Palestinian children’s deaths; a six-month study of The Oregonian by AUPHR showed the paper’s headlines had reported Israeli children’s deaths to Palestinians children’s deaths at a rate 44:1.
We live in a world where truth and justice have been turned on their heads. While the daily murder of Palestinians by the forces of Israel goes unreported and therefore unrecognised by the rest of the world, any high-profile criticism of these crimes is immediately met with outrage and condemnation by (mainly Western) political leaders and the infamous Israel lobby in the US, and of course by the mainstream Western press.
In an episode with strong echoes of the Walt and Mearsheimer debacle, Arun Gandhi made the headlines in January 2008 because of comments he made about the state of Israel, the Palestinian people’s plight and the danger that the insane policies of what can loosely be termed “Zionism” pose to the entire world.
Gandhi wrote that Jewish identity “has been locked into the holocaust experience — a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of how a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends.
“The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. … The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on, the regret turns into anger.”
Describing Israel as “a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs,” Gandhi asked whether it would “not be better to befriend those who hate you?” He added:
“Apparently, in the modern world so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
Gandhi later apologized for his “poorly worded post,” saying he shouldn’t have implied that Israeli government policies reflected the views of all Jewish people.
Of course, Gandhi was wrong to blame ‘the Jews’, not merely because it is entirely inaccurate to suggest that all Jews support the policies of the state of Israel, but because it also left him and his otherwise reasonable and important message open to immediate dismissal as anti-Semitic, which is exactly what happened.
To his credit, Gandhi immediately recognised his error and asserted that he understood that not all Jewish people support Israel. The simple fact is that ‘the Jews’ are not to blame for the most extreme injustices being perpetrated throughout the world today, the spittle-flecked rants of some alternative news pundits notwithstanding. How can they be? Are we to believe that all 15 million Jews throughout the world regularly get together in secret and drive forward the political and economic policies of the major world governments?
Of course, certain Jewish politicians in Israel, the US the UK and elsewhere do wield inordinate power, this is a verifiable fact. If, as some would have it, the actions of these few make ‘all Jews’ responsible, then it follows that every American that supports the Obama government or the Republican or Democratic parties for that matter (i.e. significantly more than half of all Americans) is personally guilty of the murder of over 1 million Iraqis! So if it is ‘the Jews!’ then it is also ‘the Americans!’ (and ‘the British’!)
Clearly this is nonsense. To those who subscribe to such beliefs, it is worth remembering that Israeli policy makers and their policies thrive on the preponderance of such extremism. Why? Because such opinions are clearly illogical and it is extremely easy to use them as evidence to convince the world that anti-Semitism, or hatred of Jews, is ‘on the rise’, which in turn facilitates continued Israeli aggression against Palestinians and Arabs of the Middle East and the compounding of Israeli influence over Western governments (aka the Israel lobby).
Yet Ghandi was in error only on this point. His statement that “a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs,” and “would it not be better to befriend those who hate you?” is eminently rational.
Equally defensible is his comment:
“apparently, in the modern world so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.”
But we are still left with the problem of who to blame, because make no mistake, someone or some group is responsible for the horrors that have beset humanity for so long. The culprits do not belong to any organised religion, nor do they adhere to any political or social views, these are but distractions used to cement this controlling group’s domination of the masses of ordinary people.
There is a word for the people of which I speak, a word which does not rely on ideologically derived definitions or convoluted rhetorical formulae, a word which cuts to the root of this human problem in a scientific and psychologically precise manner, circumventing the infinite feedback loop of speculation which has enabled a lasting solution to evade us for so long.
The word is psychopath.
Estimated at up to 6% of any given population, they are human beings in appearance only. Lacking the ability to empathise with the feelings of another person, they therefore lack that which defines a person as truly human. Recent research by British scientists has shown that the brains of psychopaths are fundamentally different to the brains of ordinary humans. Such deviants not only possess a natural advantage over normal human beings in the ease and speed with which they rise to positions of power, once there, they are free of the constraints of conscience and driven only by their need to dominate, control and ultimately destroy others. It is not hard to imagine that a group of such deviants, having recognised kindred spirits in each other and joined forces, and subsequently attained to positions of near absolute power, would wreak havoc on the rest of humanity. Indeed, in his seminal work on the subject, Without Conscience, Canadian psychologist Dr Robert Hare estimates that psychopaths are responsible for up to 50% of crime committed in society.
But the crimes of the common or garden psychopath pale into insignificance when we consider the crimes of our psychopaths in power, aka our political leaders. George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and his White Hall civil servants, all of these men (and more) committed the supreme international war crime (as defined in the Nuremberg trials) when they lied to the public and ordered the invasion of a sovereign country in 2003 without due cause. The Iraq invasion (there was no ‘war’) resulted in the violent deaths of 1.3 million Iraqi citizens, and a further 1.2 million non-violent deaths, and some 6 million displaced and left homeless. On the direct orders of the office of the Vice President, the CIA ran a death squad operation out of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior which involved dozens of covert car bombings and massacres of Iraqi Shia and Sunni Muslims in an effort to create the ‘reality’ of a civil war in Iraq and thereby justify the continued US military and economic colonisation of the country. Today, those responsible for these massive crimes are not in jail but instead remain in positions of power and are lauded as ‘elder statesmen’.
Having identified the problem, the question then is what we can do about it.
A capacity to cheat, to compete and to lie has proven to be a stupendously successful adaptation for psychopaths, so the scope for saintliness to spontaneously spread throughout the world looks implausible in practice. Brotherly and sisterly love today is vanishingly rare, and the misery and suffering of those who are able to truly feel, who have a conscience, is all too common. The manipulations of psychopathic leaders, such as the promotion of torture as somehow justified, are designed to make psychopaths of us all. Nevertheless, a predisposition to conscience and ethics can prevail if and when it is able to make the enhancing of freedom and altruism in the abstract sense, for the sake of others, including our descendants, its primary goal.
So our first efforts must be focused on rejecting the black and white ‘us versus them’ thinking that has gained much ground over the past few decades. We must stop idiotically decrying the imminent dangers of the great ‘Jewish conspiracy’ or the Muslim hoard sweeping the world. It is not ‘the Jews’ ‘the Muslims, ‘the Christians’, ‘the Iranians’ or any other religious or ethnic group that we should be concerned about, but rather the existence of psychopaths in positions of power who use religious and cultural beliefs to divide and conquer the normal human population. In short, our “self-interest” ought to be vested in collectively ensuring that all others are happy and well-disposed too; and in ensuring that children we bring into the world have the option of being constitutionally happy and benevolent toward one another.
This means that if psychopathy threatens the well-being of the future of normal humanity – which it is doing – then it can be only be dealt with by widespread refusal to allow the self to be dominated by it on an individual, personal basis. Preserving freedom for the self in the practical sense, ultimately preserves freedom for others. Protection of our own rights as the rights of others, underwrites the free will position and potential for happiness and a peaceful future of all.
4 Psychophasia: The Unwritten Doctrine by R.R. Foster