My whole life, to a certain age, I believed "Israelis good, Palestinians bad." That's because that's all I heard when I was growing up, either from my parents or from TV or from newspapers or from adults or from wherever. It was the meta-narrative: Israelis good, Palestinians bad. In 1967, when I was eleven, Israel's smashing victory in the Six Day War was a wonder to behold and a cause for celebration. The plucky little guys had won, and won resoundingly. Take that, you stupid camel jockeys!
I knew of the Holocaust, of course, and was repulsed by it. Who wouldn't be? I asked the standard question: How could something like that happen? How could an entire population stand by and watch as a megalomaniacal leadership ratcheted up the lunacy daily, until rights had been stripped, property stolen and myriads murdered?
I couldn't fathom it. Until, that is, the Bush/Cheney junta systematically used 9/11 to shred what little remained of the Constitution and sent the U.S. crashing fool-speed ahead down the path of neo-fascism. Then, fathoming commenced. But I digress.
Or do I?
Through no fault of the U.S. media or my formal education, I came to learn (truly) about Israel and its "special relationship" with the U.S. In dribs and drabs, I learned about Zionism. Over time, I learned about neoconservatives. (Often redundant.) I learned about AIPAC and the (not so) great influence these all have had on American foreign and domestic policies. I learned that what Israel's champions decided was best for Israel was often not best for Americans.