It happened over breakfast. A jubilant giddy post-war America had retired on a May evening in 1948 feeling pretty swell about the world and, justifiably, its knight in shining armor role. The war was over, the good life of domestic liberation was in the air, sliced bread was back, and women could turn their attention to bridge after popping a Duncan Hines cake mix into an electrifying easy oven. Television was in a million homes, the Levitts had rolled out the first ready-made suburban communities of sterile white, and Give’em hell Harry ruled the roost over first generation American consumerism. It was a baby boomer year of booming industrialized living. Planned and plotted into neat compartments, life was more convenient, more leisurely, and more securely packaged into low-risk phases designed as one-size-fits-all from birth to nest egg. All was grand in the grand scheme, it seemed. The American dream was still dreamy and Palestine was still Palestine. But while they were sleeping, dreams became inceptions and inceptions became reality. The world was about to convulse again and sleepy Levittown had no idea its pre-packaged lullabies were about to be revised into a fantastic fable. Post-war America served the usual breakfast; Nescafé with two lumps of sugar, poached eggs over toast, juice, the morning newspaper. Something new, as well. A side of lox that was to become as American as apple pie.
In 1948 America changed. It was changing subtly already, having endured a catastrophic depression sandwiched between two overseas wars of unimagined cruelty. The nation’s spirit was scarred, its people traumatized. It wasn’t that the young nation had a pristine past, rather it perceived it did and refused to allow the shattering events of the past 30 years to mar its resilient spirit or its sense of divine selection. An American public that was for the most part isolated from the world, brought up on legends of destiny, exceptionalism, and experimental liberty always spoken of as greatness, had a collective disconnect with the world. The world remained elsewhere and far away. It was encountered in text books and stories of the old countries retold by grandparents on lazy summer evenings. It was exotic in a curious way but it would never match the colossal grandness of America. A country whose people saw themselves as participants in an astoundingly great idea that surpassed all other ideas, Americans viewed everything through a prism of ‘how lucky we are to live in such a great country.’ Patriotism was feverish, infused into every aspect of life. Even first generation Americans were swept up in this exceptional spirit, rejecting language and customs of their immigrant parents in favor of homogenization, enlisting in record numbers to prove themselves worthy to be called Americans. It was an era of un-hyphenated Americanism and national pride was second only to the business of God-fearing protestantism. The combination of nationalism and religious identity was to be the fault line in the coming zionism of middle America and the historic amnesia that would supplant any cognizant identity of the American experience with a new identity of biblical role playing. This was the moment America lost her innocence. It happened over breakfast.
On May 14, 1948, rejecting sound advice and the collective wisdom of his cabinet in favor of Zionist whispers suggesting he was chosen to be a modern day Cyrus for a chosen people, President Truman signed the infamous document officially recognizing the nascent State of Israel violently thrust upon the people of Palestine. The ancient land that had a people was invaded by a people of other lands. On the heels of a holocaust, another was begun. May 15, 1948 marks the Palestinian Nakba and the beginning of a hasbaric hypnosis upon the American psyche that changed the course of US foreign policy and the public’s consciousness. A disastrous injustice, it has so deeply clouded Americans’ perception of the world and the US role within it the fiction proves to be a monumental task to unravel. The now deeply ingrained distortion of scriptural passages reinterpeted to fit a narrative of political theology is nothing short of heresy.