The time to light a candle is when darkness has fallen and hope has evaporated like mist on scorching desert sands. Though it’s just a flicker pressing itself against a vast and fearsome force, the fragile light becomes everything. It ignites life and dreams, comfort and hope. It doesn’t stiffen in static containment, it dances. It can’t confine its own existence, it illuminates beyond itself. It cannot fully die when extinguished as it has already broken through and darkness now cannot be complete. Light has shone. It’s already won. This is what resistance is. It’s not an equitable tug-of-war between good and bad, light and darkness; it’s a desperate push against an imbalance to force equity. Like an elucidating shadow within a transposed world, the light of resistance imprints itself upon the negative and stains it with a merciful tear crying for justice.  So very chiaroscuro, this light.

Such a light needs to be put to the narrative. It’s narratives that drive injustice and narratives that need challenged. The open-ended tragedies of the Middle East are poignant examples of fabricated chronicles suffocating justice. From Palestine to Iraq, Afghanistan to Iran – reason and humanity are being crushed under the weight of a powerful tale of convoluted victimization and distorted blame. As is said of lies; those told first and loudest are those that stick. It is Israeli propaganda, the Hasbara narrative that is asphyxiating public discourse and poisoning otherwise charitable inclinations that are the true nature of man. It’s all so sobering mad, fantastically bizarre. An embellished horror fiction that has no ending, it’s a gloomy tale of perpetual suffering designed to illicit guilt-laden remorse from a world not guilty; but a world willing to cower. A tale beyond the pale – yet, told and retold. A tale of melodrama shared at Manhattan penthouse soirees and Santa Barbara golf clubs, it is an elitist woe, a tale of self-pity. Anti-semitism is everywhere waiting to erupt and keep us downtrodden. We suffer so. Written, mouthed, and accepted with hardly a whisper of doubt raised in any venue that might alter the course of devastation inflicted upon country after country, people after people. All in the name of a myth called “Jewish vulnerability.”

The Hasbara narrative draws its core, as all magnificent fallacies tend to do, from certain truths. In this case, the first truth is the Nazi persecution and genocide of millions of Europeans, the majority of them Jewish.  A great tragedy of ghastly cruelties, it has become a centerpiece of modern Jewish identity. From this, true though it is, has developed an explosive anthology of eternal exceptional victimization that necessitates hyper-entitlement to impunity and rationalization for universal protection in an illicit regional protectorate, and the poor little rich girl diaspora. Though menacingly cited as proof and justification of such a unique arrangement, the Zionist agenda for seizing Palestine predates the Nazi persecution by six decades and was pompously promised by British Machiavellian lords two decades prior to Hitler’s rise. Cause and effect appear somewhat dubious, especially so when the Zionist narrative, gleaning from a second truth, attaches to its claim of long inhabited Palestina a biblical deed – literally and figuratively. Here is where the Hasbara narrative becomes more dangerous in both its storyline and its plot. And here is where it cements its listeners’ irrational allegiance to the cause.

For brevity; Jews lay claim to land once promised by God to the Hebrew people who did inhabit, after wresting it from previous occupants, and did also self-exile following the final destruction of the Temple and the crushing suppression of their revolt under Roman occupation. 18 centuries later, eastern European Jews of eastern European ethnicity (defining Jewishness gets very tricky – is it cultural, ethnic, or religious?) conceive the idea of a Jewish homeland. This idea develops into a political ideology called Zionism. It is important to recall the original speculation for a homeland was not Palestine, and the founders of Zionism were not theists. Nonetheless, ill-fated Palestine became the coveted choice and God became the coveted precedent for such a claim. (And you will hear this even today from those who identify themselves as Jewish atheists – land given to them by God. As if God is their useful idiot.)

Literally on the heels of defeated Germany and the end of the Nazi Holocaust, another horror erupts against the Palestinian people who have inhabited Palestine for centuries. Nakba. Armed with western authority decreeing the Palestinian Territories to be partitioned to accommodate a Jewish State, an unleashing of terrorism (the Stern Gang must have its special recognition in this endeavor) and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian Semites of Palestine is begun. However, despite historical records, photographs, films, land deeds, and news accounts, the Hasbara narrative denies it. With malevolent effrontery to those whose lands they stole and whose relatives they murdered, to those whose homes and furniture and olive groves they took, to those who fought and died to liberate Jews in Nazi controlled Europe, the tale has been maliciously revised. While hunting down Nazis across the globe and seeking Hague indictments of war crimes against any person alleged to be a “Holocaust denier” the Zionist tale claims 1) there was no Nakba  2) there were no people in Palestine  3) there are no Palestinians.  It is astonishingly brazen and devilish, yet this is the narrative consumed by an American public who was long ago hijacked into the ranks of idolizing dupes convinced they must give their holy fidelity to a foreign country bleeding them dry.

Since 1947, the State of Israel has waged an escalating campaign of terror, apartheid, imprisonment of an entire population, ethnic cleansing, deliberate starvation and deprivation, torture, murder, dehumanization, administrative/indefinite detainment,  illegal settlement expansions, six wars, refusal to adhere to international treaties, disregard of human rights, international assassinations, espionage, murder of US servicemen and civilians, a massive build-up of weaponry including 400-500 nuclear weapons, chemical warfare against the civilian population in Gaza, destruction of livestock and agriculture, false flag ops, racist discrimination laws, and a clear intent to seize all of Palestine as a Palestinian-free Jewish state. All of this done under the banner “we have a right to defend ourselves.”  All of this done waving a never ending revised hit-list of countries posing an “existential threat to Israel.” All of this done while Israelis enjoy a higher standard of living than Americans, dual citizenship, free health care, free education, subsidized settlements, military protection against children, and a night life in Tel Aviv – boastfully dubbed the “gay capital of the world.” And all of it paid for by Americans. There is nothing historically to compare it to. It’s truly far stranger than fiction.

1,000 and one miles away … in every way; Iran, the Persia of antiquity and culture; the great civilization of Cyrus and of Alexander’s awe. Iran, the ancient Persia of literature, music, art, poetry, and cuisine that flavored the world with splendor and spices and fruits; with Tales of One Thousand and One Nights. Iran, home to 77 million people of diverse ethnicities, languages, and religions; a highly educated people who cherish their land, their history, their legends, and their historical importance within the diplomatic circles of the international community. Iran, a country with no wars of aggression to cite, no nuclear weapons to launch, and no desires to rule the world. Iran, a country one would want to engage if one sought peace. Iran, now dangerously threatened by the world superpower by instigative demand of a rogue country the size of New Jersey with the morals of King Herod’s court. (Herod was known to slaughter not a few children of the West Bank, too.)

I don’t know how to put to words the tragedy of this depraved path we are on. The beauty and antiquity of Persia; its 77 million people to be sacrificed in a hideous cold-blooded manner for the barbaric, narcissistic, foul pretenders in a country barely One Thousand and One Nights old? A nightmare for a dream? Not even Palestine alleviates this hunger. There will never be enough blood to quench zionism’s thirst for staging a vulnerability narrative. We must light a candle for Persia, for Palestine. We must change the narrative.