Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

“The Gardens of Light” by Amin Maalouf (Reviewed in April 19, 2007 and posted in 2008)

“The gardens of light” is translated from French. Amin  Maalouf is currently a French Academician from Lebanese origin who immigrated during the civil war. I read all his books

In the middle of 200 AC, Mani set about spreading his Message and he preached for over thirty years a new religion, a mixture of Christianity (Nazarene), Buddhism and Ahura Mazda (Zoroastrianism and whose priests were called Magi).

Mani was born around AD 216 in Mardinu (Mardin, a town east of present Turkey on the North of the Tigris River, a Syrian region that French mandated power offered to Turkey in 1937).

Mani called himself the “son of Babel“. He experienced the unyielding faith, the teachings and the rigorous life style of the White clad Brethren or monks of a Nazarene sect on the Euphrates River banks, where his father Patek was a member and who adopted the doctrines and teachings of this Christian Nazarene sect..

This sect was called “Halle Haware” or white garment in the Aramaic language.

The members of the sect did Not eat meat or drink wine or leavened bread; the disciples wore white from top to bottom.

This sect was scared of fire, a counter faith to the most common Zaradust faith in the region at the time, and thus would eat only raw fruits and vegetables grown by the community.

Food from outside the community was prohibited and considered “female” food because women were banished from the community and the female names in the scriptures were not mentioned unless the names represented calamities and bad augurs.

(I told my young nephew William, who insists on wearing white garment and who spent three weeks in India at a meditation center in Mount Abu, about this novel and he sounded interested but he claimed that his sect (which he would not give it this label as if it is a bad connotation like cult) is far ancient and going back many thousands of years. William is no longer into these “fashionable” trends)

Mani is now a very close advisor to the Divine King of Kings, the Sassanian monarch Shapur, and managed for 3 years to delay a resumption of war with the Roman Empire.

The Roman Emperor Philip the Arab (Born in Syria) had struck a deal with Shapur to cede Armenia to the Persian Empire and to deliver a tribute of 100,000 sacs of gold every year by a caravan of bedouins of his tribe. 

Philip needed badly a truce in order to celebrate the 1000 years of the creation of Rome.

After Philip was assassinated, his successor resumed paying the tribute but was assassinated two years later and four generals were vying for the throne of Rome and the tribute could not arrive.

Shapur succeeded his father Ardashir, the founder of the Sassanid Dynasty, who defeated the powerful Parthian king Artabanus in AD 226, who had previously defeated the Emperor Caracalla in AD 217.

The Parthian Empire was located in Northern Iran and was comprised of the current Kurdistan territory, part of Anatolia (in current Turkey) and the central Iraqi plains and including Babylon.

The Roman Empire had the Western parts of current Turkey with Cappadocia as the main city and all of Syria (Aram) and Egypt. 

The Sassanid Dynasty had Ctesiphon as its Capital, near Babylon, but on the Eastern shore of the Tigris and which used to be the Capital of the defeated Parthian Empire. The Sassanid Empire expanded to include Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Shapur could have installed his capital anywhere he wanted further to the East but he wanted to be close to the Roman Empire, his arch-enemy.  Shapur succeeded twice more in defeating the Romans and captured Emperor Valerian and made him prisoner in AD 259.

Shapur begged Mani to join him on one of his war expeditions so that he may promote his religion to the conquered territories but Mani declined the offer saying: “My words shall shed no blood. My hands shall bless no blade. My hands shall neither bless the knives of sacrificing priests, nor even a woodcutter’s axe.”

While the Magi were destroying the Gods in the conquered territories of Armenia, Cappadocia, and Syria Mani and his followers “The Sons of Lights” were preaching peace and contempt for all swords and the hands which wield them. 

Mani and his followers prayed at the tomb of his father Patek and his mother Mariam and he felt weak in the natural surrounding of his village.

Patek, the father of Mani, was from a Parthian warrior class and Sittai, and the leader of the White-clad sect had ordered him to go home and bring his son to live within the community after he is weaned.

Mani was 4 years old when he was baptized in the river and lived in the community without knowing who was his father or mother since Patek was not allowed or cared to show affection for his son.

Mani was used to isolate himself and discovered a favorite place for seclusion in a peninsula by the Tigris River surrounded by palm trees. By the age of twelve Mani must have gathered from bits of conversation how he was conceived and his origins and he liked to paint. 

It is at that age that he saw on the surface of the river the image of his “Twin” or “Double” who told him: “Draw what seems right to thee, Mani.  He who sends me knows no rival.  All beauty is the reflection of His beauty”. 

Mani told his close friend Malchos in the community: “Tread lightly on this earth, avoid sudden movements, and do not kill trees or flowers. Pretend to plow the soil, but do not wound it. When others scream and yell, move only your lips.”

When he was 24, Mani’s “twin” told him that it was time for him to get out to the world and spread the Message of tolerance to all religions and bring down the walls among casts and races. 

Mani shed his white garment and wore colorful cloth and walked to Ctesiphon to find his friend Malchos.  Malchos was originally from Tyre (south current Lebanon) and stayed in the community when his father drowned there and then was excommunicated at the age of fifteen.

Patek joined his son in order to bring him back to the community and ended up becoming his first disciple. 

Mani started teaching that every person or object is a mix of light and darkness and it is through the five senses that individuals need to differentiate the good and beautiful in the world and increase their knowledge, sense of beauty and tolerance.

Mani left for Deb by sea, on the estuary of the Indus River (in current Pakistan). This city was where all the ships from West to East stopped and the Kushan princes and kings were tolerant to all religious beliefs and it is said that Thomas, the twin brother of Jesus, was the apostle who spread Christ’s teachings there and in India.

It used to be a treacherous voyage and took a month under the best monsoon conditions around the month of May.

Deb is no more, and the emplacement of Karachi is very close; Ctesiphone is no more, but current Baghdad was built close by.

Hormisdas, the grandchild of Ardashir, had defeated the Kushan princes and was ready to enter Deb.  Mani met him with a delegation, saved Hormisdas favorite daughter from death, and saved Deb from destruction. 

Instead of gold, Mani asked Hormisdas to give him Denagh, a 13- year old daughter of a martyred officer that Hormisdas has taken under his protection. Denagh has stayed near Mani the whole night healing the little girl.

When later Patek wanted to know the kind of relationship Mani had with Denagh he replied: “Her garments trace the boundaries of my nomadic realm“. 

He indirectly answered the implicit question by stating: “What merit would there be in depriving oneself of a pleasure which one had never enjoyed?”

Back to Ctesiphon, Mani met the Divine King Shapur and secured permission to spread his Message under his protection.  Mani was 26 then and his speech was: “I respect all creeds. The religious sects do not want to listen to the good in the other sects but they assemble the flocks of the faithful around hatred because it is only in confrontation that they show their solidarity. 

When men are tired of rites, myths and curses, they will remember that, one day, during the reign of the great Shapur, a humble mortal sent a cry resounding across the world.”

Mani had a special relationship with King Shapur and the latter was ready to adopt Mani’s Message if he agreed to stay close to him at the court. 

Mani declined the deal and the Magi gave Mani hard times because his message was a threat to their cast.  Hormisdas, Shapur’s younger son and King of Armenia and a follower of Mani’s Message, succeeded in the throne for a short period because the Magi poisoned him.

The next king was Bahram who tortured Mani for 30 days and exposed him shackled for everyone in Beth-Lapat to see. Mani remains were hanged naked for three days at the entrance of the city and no one was to know where he was buried. But the wall became a place of pilgrimage.  

The disciples of Mani wrote everywhere “Mani Hayye” (Mani is alive) which was transformed into “Manichean“.

The Magi and the Catholic Church did their best to annihilate his books, paintings, and any icon of Mani.

The Western and Eastern religions succeeded in deforming Mani teachings and casting him as “The Devil”, the “lying demon” and the “pestilential heresy”. 

For a thousand years, he was called “The Apostle of Jesus” in Egypt and “The Buddha of Light” in China.

It is unfortunate that Shapur was dying when the Romans invaded Palmira (Tadmor) and captured Zenobia prisoner. Zenobia had managed to rule over Syria and Egypt from Tadmor.

Note: Mani message was the predominant religion in North Africa when St. Augustine lived in Tunisia

Civil war as a game for children in Lebanon: A book review

Playing war as children is natural. What if the horrors of war catch up with us as adult?

La guerre comme un jeu

Danielle Laurin offered this Sept. 20, 2014, a review of

Ghayas Hachem réussit à écrire un livre à propos de la guerre qui se démarque, dans un océan de titres sur le sujet.
Photo: Pedro Ruiz Le Devoir Ghayas Hachem réussit à écrire un livre à propos de la guerre qui se démarque, dans un océan de titres sur le sujet.

Play Boys
Ghayas Hachem
Montréal, 2014, 224 pages

Nous sommes à Beyrouth, dans les années 1980, en pleine guerre civile libanaise.

Mais du côté des enfants. Du côté de l’imaginaire comme échappatoire, du jeu comme porte de sortie. Au début, du moins.

Puis, la réalité finissait par prendre le dessus.

Play Boys, premier roman du Montréalais Ghayas Hachem, fait se confronter constamment le ludisme et la réalité, tout autant que l’enfance et l’âge adulte. Mais plus on avance, plus les cloisons s’éventrent, les repères s’égarent.

Jouer à la guerre comme un enfant, ou entrer de plain-pied dans l’horreur, comme un homme ?

C’est le dilemme devant lequel l’auteur, lui-même né au Liban en 1973, place son personnage principal, un garçon de 12 ans.

Dilemme qui se pose sans se poser d’une certaine façon, puisque tout se produit comme par enchantement, tout naturellement, par glissements successifs.

Comment en vient-on à commettre l’irréparable, à sombrer dans la barbarie ?

Est-ce que la guerre pardonne tout ?

Comment résister à l’appel du bourreau, de la vengeance ?

Qu’est-ce qu’un traître, pour qui ? Ce pourraient être les questions au centre de Play Boys.

Il y a aussi dans cette histoire à multiples tiroirs, qui n’est pas sans rappeler le percutant Parfum de poussière de Rawi Hage (Alto, 2007), une grande amitié entre deux jeunes garçons. Et la trahison qui entre en jeu.

Il y a la famille, sans tendresse aucune.

Cette famille qui, à cause de la guerre, vit depuis près d’un an dans un appartement qui n’est pas le sien : il appartient à de jeunes mariés émigrés en Australie.

La quête du père. La mère est aigrie. Le frère aîné lui est soumis, lui obéit en tout.

Et le père ? Pas de père, justement. Il est absent, parti. Mystère.

Mystère du père absent, qui traverse le récit. On ne comprendra qu’à la fin, tout comme le jeune héros, ce qu’il en est vraiment.

Au début, il n’en est pas trop question, du père. Des bribes, ici et là.

La mère interdit de toute façon qu’on en parle à la maison. À peine si elle consent à laisser entendre vaguement qu’il est en voyage, parti à l’extérieur… peut-être même pris en otage, qui sait.

Pour le garçon de 12 ans, il est primordial de savoir à quoi s’en tenir. Ça deviendra une obsession.

C’est la trame la plus forte du roman, cette recherche du père manquant, qui donne lieu à tous les égarements.

C’est la couche de fond qui ajoute un supplément d’âme à ce qui pourrait n’être qu’un autre roman sur la guerre mettant en scène des enfants.

C’est ce qui touche le plus. Et puis le punch final concernant la disparition du père, liée de façon intrinsèque au conflit qui balaie le pays, nous rentre dedans.

Entre-temps, nous nous sommes peut-être un peu perdus en route, avec le héros pris en étau, entre deux feux.

Entre son cousin, jusque-là son meilleur ami, et son frère aîné grincheux. Ces deux-là jouent à la guerre en tentant d’imiter les grands, chacun de leur côté. Mais ils prennent la chose tellement au sérieux.

Tout ce que veut notre jeune héros, lui, en dehors de retrouver son père, c’est la paix, la justice sociale.

La fin de la guerre une fois pour toutes, il en rêve. Jusqu’à quand pourra-t-il préserver son innocence, cultiver sa naïveté ?

Si on peut voir dans ces jeux de guerre enfantins une métaphore de la vraie guerre et de ses débordements, de ses enflures, de ses « oeil pour oeil, dent pour dent », de sa soif toujours plus grande de pouvoir, cette partie-là du roman semble un peu trop appuyée.

Elle donne lieu à tant de détails : elle s’éternise un peu. L’impatience risque de nous gagner. Surtout que les 70 premières pages coulaient de source.

La sexualité fantasmée

Dès le début, on est frappés par l’inventivité de l’auteur, par le côté cru de ses images, aussi.

Il tourne en drôlerie la situation du héros de 12 ans, celui qui devient le narrateur de l’histoire, après coup.

Rien de comique, pourtant, quand se font entendre des crissements de pneus, des cortèges de martyrs, des bombardements dans l’autre Beyrouth, des sirènes proches…


C’est pour éviter d’entendre tout cela et d’y chercher un sens que le garçon s’évade dans l’imaginaire, dans le fantasme. Avec son cousin de 11 ans.

Il suffit d’imaginer les voisines dévêtues, d’inventer toutes sortes d’ébats sexuels avec elles, en faisant durer le plaisir. Ce que les garçons feront à répétition.

Ils en viendront à investir la chambre interdite de l’appartement squatté. Celle des jeunes mariés qui ont fui la guerre. Elle est tapissée de photos d’eux.

Toutes les histoires sont possibles, derrière la porte close. On peut même substituer au corps de la mariée celui de filles nues sur papier glacé.

La sexualité, fantasmée, mais pas seulement, est omniprésente dans Play Boys. Comme exutoire. Comme récompense, aussi. Comme carburant.

La sexualité, face cachée de la guerre ?

Ce pourrait être par cet aspect de son roman, par la façon frontale dont il l’aborde, que Ghayas Hachem se démarque le plus, finalement.

Africa. Connecting the dots: Colonialism, Zionism and Blood Money. Part 1

Part one is a general review of the history of Africa and its written languages (with slight editing and rearrangement):

“Africa is almost four times the size of the United States of America in land size and in all kinds of riches, especially in raw materials such as platinum, cobalt, uranium, tantalum, gold, diamonds, oil…

There is hardly an agricultural product that cannot be grown in Africa. Africa’s arable land for food security is reported to be the largest in the world.

Africa’s riches including her human resources have been brutally looted by imperialist countries for centuries and still are, even under supposedly liberated Africa.

To this minute, Africa’s natural wealth are fuelling the economies of imperialist countries. 

Africans remain the land of the poorest people in the world, amidst their own riches in their own African Continent

Africa was destroyed by imperialist Europe and is still being destroyed by Europe. The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa.

Africa is maybe the Mother of Humanity. Ancestors of Africa built the pyramids which even in this 21st century no one can reproduce.

Africans built the city of Memphis in ancient Egypt in 3100 B.C.

Greeks built Athens in 1200 B.C.

The Romans built Rome in 1000 B.C.

Up to the 14th century A.D. Africa was ahead of Europe militarily and wealth. There were many vast and rich empires in western and eastern Africa and were connected to the world through caravans to Egypt and northern Africa, and maritime routes to India. And these empires were mostly Islamic, except the empire in actual South Africa.

The Romans used spears and Africans used spears in war.

Earlier educated Greeks received their education in Africa, to be precise in Mizraim (ancient Egypt).

Africans invented writing. It was Hieroglyphics before 3000 B.C. and Hieratic alphabet shortly after this. Demotic writing was developed about 6OO B.C., while a Kushite script was used in 300 B.C.

Other African scripts were Merotic, Coptic, Amharic, Sabean, G’eez, Nsibidi of Nigeria and Mende of Mali. There were many others such as the Twi alphabet of the Twi people of Ghana.

Africa remains the privileged source of the manifestations of intense human creativity.

The “Atlantic” Ocean was called the Ethiopian Sea as late as 1626, and the “Indian” Ocean the Azanian Sea.

The Azanian civilisation, has a long history. The people of Azania (colonialists called it “South Africa”) mined gold and copper in Mapungubwe as early as the 9th century. Azania like Kush, Mizraim, Egypt, Kemet, Ethiopia means Blackman’s country or continent.

In 1930, excavations at Mapungubwe in the area of Limpopo River revealed skeletal remains of people who became known as ancient Azanians. These Africans were also referred to as Kushites or descendants of Kush.

In 1990, Dr. Gert Viljoen who was F.W. de Klerk’s Minister of Constitutional Affairs gave reasons why his apartheid colonialist regime would not negotiate with those African revolutionaries who subscribed to the Azanian school of thought.

Africa has suffered the worst genocide at the hands of the architects of slavery and colonialism.

What is called “European Renaissance” was the worst darkness for Africa’s people.

Armed with the technology of the gun and the compass that it copied from China and the “Arab” empire, Europe became a menace for Africa against her spears.

The so-called “civilised” Europe also claiming to be “Christian” came up with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

There was massive loss of African population and skills. Some historians have estimated that the Gold Coast (today’s Ghana) alone, lost over 2 million of its people to slavery for in 4 hundred years.

What would have been Britain’s level of development had millions of her people been put to work as slaves out of their country over a period of four centuries?

As if slavery had not already done enough damage to Africa’s people, European leaders met in Germany from December 1884 to February 1885 at the imperialist Berlin Conference.

The Belgian King Leopold stated the purpose of the Berlin Conference as “How we should divide among ourselves this magnificent African cake.”

Africa was thus plunged into another human tragedy.

Through the Berlin Treaty of February 26, 1885, the European imperialists sliced Africa into “Portuguese Africa”, “British Africa”, “German Africa”, “Italian Africa,” “Spanish Africa”, “French Africa” and “Belgian Africa.”

There was no Africa left for Africans except Ethiopia (until Mussolini of Italy conquered it), encircled by paupers of land dispossessed people who were now the reservoir of cheap native labor for their dispossessors.

Part 2 will describe the colonial devastation of the African people

Note: The first part, out of four, was sent in reply to my post by Nalliah Thayahbaran under “Colonialism, Zionism and Africa”

Connecting a few dots.  Part 2. Posted in 2012.

You may start with part 1, if you wish

Part 2 concerns the consequences of Colonialism on the African people (with slight editing and rearrangement of the original source):

Africa is almost 4 times the size of the United States of America in land size and in all kinds of riches, especially in raw materials such as platinum, cobalt, uranium, tantalum, gold, diamonds and oil…

Africa was destroyed by imperialist Europe and is still being destroyed by Europe.

The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa.

Africa has suffered the worst genocide and holocaust at the hands of the architects of slavery and colonialism.

What is called “European Renaissance” was the worst darkness for Africa’s people.

Armed with the technology of the gun and the compass that it copied from China and the Arab Empire, Europe became a menace for Africa against her spears.

So-called “civilized” Europe and claiming to be “Christian” came up with the Transatlantic Slave Trade. There was massive loss of African population and skills.

A few historians have estimated that the Gold Coast (today’s Ghana) alone, lost over 2 million of its people to slavery over 4 hundred years.

What would have been Britain’s level of development had millions of her people been put to work as slaves out of their country over a period of four centuries?

As if slavery had not already done enough damage to Africa’s people, European leaders met in Germany from December 1884 to February 1885 at the imperialist Berlin Conference.

The Belgian King Leopold stated the purpose of the Berlin Conference as “How we should divide among ourselves this magnificent African cake.”

Africa was thus plunged into another human tragedy.

The Berlin Treaty of February 26, 1885, of the European imperialists sliced Africa into “Portuguese Africa”, “British Africa”, “German Africa”, “Italian Africa,” “Spanish Africa”, “French Africa” and “Belgian Africa.”

There was no Africa left for Africans except Ethiopia, encircled by paupers of land dispossessed people who were now the reservoir of cheap native labor for their dispossessory.

Somalia, a tiny African country, had the misfortune of becoming “British Somaliland”, “Italian Somaliland”, and “French Somaliland.”

Colonial brutality on the colonized Africans knew no bounds.

Here are a few examples of atrocities committed against Africans by colonialists.

A British philosopher, Bertrand Russell wrote about some of these colonial atrocities perpetrated by Belgium in the Congo in the name of “Western Christian Civilisation.

Russell wrote:

“Each village was ordered by the authorities to collect and bring in a certain amount of rubber – as much as the men could bring in by neglecting all work for their own maintenance.

If they failed to bring the required amount, their women were taken away and kept as hostages…in the harems of colonial government employees.

If this method failed…troops were sent to the village to spread terror, if necessary by killing some of the men…They were ordered to bring one right hand amputated from an African victim for every cartridge used.” (Introduction To African Civilisations, John G. Jackson 310-311)

The result of these atrocities according to Sir H.H. Johnston was the reduction of the population in the Congo from 20 million to 9 million people in fifteen years.

The worst genocide also occurred in Namibia in 1904.

Namibia was then a German colony. The Herero people resisted German colonialism. A well armed army under General Lothar von Trotha defeated the people in Herero at the Battle of Waterberg.

The German colonial aggressors drove these Africans from their land to the desert where there was no water. Over 70% of the Herero population died of dehydration in that desert.

In South Africa, the Khoisan people were exterminated by colonialists after being hunted like animals and dispossessed of their land.

Colonised Africans were treated not only as sub-humans, they were denied basic rights such as education and the right to land for decent housing, farming, mining and fishing.

Colonial functionaries were honoured for barbaric actions and atrocities.  For example:

The British government honoured its colonial officials such as “Sir Andries Stockkenstrom“. Stockkenstrom had earlier said:

“The question of robbing natives of their land is not whether it is right or wrong to plunder their land, massacre and exterminate the Hottentots, the Kaffirs…the simple question is will it PAY?

But if the Bible and the missionary stands in the way of this one thousand per cent profit…If in short, they cannot promote the great work of converting a nation of shopkeepers into a nation of millionaires,…gun powder will produce a more efficient gospel for the purpose of our system of civilization.” (R.U. Kenny, Piet Retief, Cape Town and Pretoria: Human and Reason, 1976 page 77)

When introducing inferior education for African mental enslavement in South Africa, Hendrik F. Verwoerd, that arch implementer of apartheid colonialism, said:

“There is no place for him (the African) in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour.

Until now, he (the African) has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from his community and misled him by showing him the green pastures of the European society where he is not allowed to graze.” (‘Apartheid: The Story Of A Dispossessed PeopleMotsoko Pheko page 150 Marram Books London 1984)

Slavery and colonialism enriched Europe and reduced Africa to abject poverty.

The riches of Africa and her raw materials fueled the economies of imperialist countries. The British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill bore testimony to this fact when he said:

“Our possession of the West Indies gave us the strength, the support, but especially the capital, the wealth, at the time when no other European nations possessed such reserve, which enabled us to come through the great struggles of the Napoleonic Wars.

The keen competition of commerce in the 18th and 19th centuries enabled us not only to acquire this appendage of possessions which we have, but also to lay the foundations of that commercial and financial leadership which when the world was young,…enabled us to make our great position in the world.” (‘The Long Road To Humanity’, by Stanton A. Coblentz page 325 and Introduction To African Civilizations John G. Jackson page 306)

It was against this background of genocide in the name of “European civilization”  that Africans in the Diaspora who had been shipped from Africa and enslaved in the West Indies and in the Americas realized that the solution to Africa’s people both at home and abroad was Pan-Africanism…To be followed on part 3

Note:  Part 2 is another section of a long reply letter by Nalliah Thayahbaran, in reply to my post

How the Lebanese Jews were pressured to vacate Lebanon, and many to transfer eventually to Palestine (to State of Israel)

  • Ahmad Ashqar published this piece in Sept.2017أحمد أشقر 
  • Source Mayadeen Net
  • A critical review of Nada Abed Samad “Wadi Abu Jamil” book that included 23 short stories on the Jews living in Lebanon.
  • Wadi Abu Jamil was and is the quarter in Beirut where many Jews resided for centuries. This is Not the only book that talked about the Jews of Lebanon where many acceded to high positions, even in the internal security institutions.
  • Mind you that France extended the French nationality to all Algerian Jews in 1870 and built network of schools “Alliance Francaise” that exclusively taught French curriculum and denied the teaching of the Arabic language and even punished students who spoke Arabic in school. Actually, I studied in a French school run by the “Brethren” and we were prohibited to speak Arabic and were passed the “Signal” for punishment.
  • One of the Brethren would tell stories in the first half hour about the holocaust and implicitly laud the State of Israel. During the 1967 war, he “predicted” that the war will be short with Israel victory.
  • This strategy was applied in all the French colonies, a method that alienated most Jews from the local societal fabric and pressured them to seek French colonial ideology, history and idiosyncrasies. The end result was Jews tended to betray their countries whenever the Israeli Mossad contacted them to the benefit of the State of Israel
  • I did read this book a few years ago and posted a few articles on that subject

تعتمد تقنيات اختراق الوعي وتدميره على إخفاء المعلومات المُحيطة بالأحداث و/أو تزويرها و/أو تشويهها.

في كتابها وادي أبو جميل: قصص عن يهود بيروت، الصادر عن دار النهار عام 2010 (ص 14- 15)، تقول الكاتبة ندى عبد الصمد: “غالبية القصص في هذا الكتاب تتوقّف عند الرحيل، من دون أن تكمل لتروي ما حلّ بهؤلاء منذ لحظة رحيلهم”.

أي أن الكاتبة تتعمّد سلفاً وضعنا في هذه الحلقة المليئة بالثغرات والنواقص والمواقف السياسية المُكثّفة. بكلمات أخرى تقول الكاتبة: إن أوضاع يهود لبنان (واليهود العرب عامة) قبل

فهم أناس مساكين اضطروا إلى الرحيل عن بلادهم بفعل أمور لا نعرفها بدقّة. ولا دخل للصهيونية وكيانها بتحوّلهم إلى مُعادين لمجتمعهم العربي الذي عاشوا فيه قروناً عديدة!

وبما أن الكتاب يتطرّق إلى اليهود الذين احتلوا بلادنا وتسبّبوا بنكبتنا واحتجزوا تطورنا ويطاردوننا في كل مكان على وجه الأرض، لذا لا بدّ من العودة إلى التاريخ عبر الوثائق والدراسات لسبْر غور “رحيل” يهود لبنان والنظر في قضية استجلاب كافة يهود العالمين العربي والإسلامي إلى فلسطين وفهم إسهامهم في المشروع الصهيوني.النكبة ودورهم في المشروع الصهيوني يجب ألا يهم أحداً بالمرّة.

صلاة ليهود في بيروت

يعتقد عبد الوهاب المسيري (1938- 2008) أن اليهود كانوا ضمن المجموعات الوظيفية التي أنتجها الاستعمار في الدولة العثمانية وتحديداً أثناء فترات ضعفها المعروفة بفترة التنظيمات. وبالتالي أصبحت هذه المجموعات خنجراً في خاصرة الدولة العثمانية والمجتمعات المحلية، لأن ولاءها أصبح لغير النظام الوطني وأبناء الوطن.

وبما أننا نتحدّث عن اليهود فقد أوكلت مهمة إنتاج اليهود كمجموعة وظيفية إلى أطر كثيرة وأهمها شبكة “مدارس الإليانس” و”نوادي مكابي”، وبالرغم من أهمية هذه الأطر في المشروع الصهيوني وترحيل يهود لبنان، إلا أن الكاتبة تحجم عن تعريفها.

لذا سنقوم باستنطاق المسيري لتعريفهما. يقول المسيري عن “الإليانس”: بأنها شبكة مدارس غربية في العالمين العربي والإسلامي كانت تدرّس طلبتها وفقاً للمناهج الفرنسية وباللغة الفرنسية ولغات أوروبية أخرى من دون أن تهتم بتدريس اللغة العربية،

“ما أدّى إلى صبغ معظم أعضاء الجماعة اليهودية بصبغة غربية فرنسية فاقعة، وإلى عزلهم عن بني أوطانهم وتهميشهم من الناحية الثقافية والاجتماعية والاقتصادية. وقد اكتسبت شريحة كبيرة من أعضاء الجماعات اليهودية الثقافة الغربية في مدارس الأليانس، واعتمدت عليهم سلطات الاحتلال البريطانية للخدمة في إدارتها الجديدة في أعقاب الحرب العالمية الأولى”.

وأما عن “نوادي مكابي” فيقول المسيري: “في العشرينات قامت الوكالة اليهودية بتكوين شبكة جاسوسية في العالم العربي، حيث لجأت إلى استخدام المؤسّسات والمنظمات اليهودية الشرعية (مثل نوادي المكابي) كواجهات تخفي عبرها نشاطها المُعادي وغير الشرعي”.

وبالنسبة لجمعية “قطرة الحليب”، تزعم الكاتبة أنها تأسّست بمبادرة من “نساء الطائفة من العائلات الغنية بغرض تأمين مواد غذائية للعائلات المُحتاجة” (ص 12- 13)، وهي، كما هو معروف، منظمة صحية صهيونية أسّسها الصهاينة في بداية العشرينات من القرن الماضي ولا تزال تعمل إلى الآن في مجال رعاية الأم والطفل.

وفي سياق النشاط الصهيوني في لبنان نقول: كان لهذا النشاط بيئة حاضنة  وداعِمة أو لا مبالية في المجتمع اللبناني، ألا وهو دعم الكنيسة المارونية التي أشار إليها الباحث أسعد أبو خليل وآخرون أكثر من مرّة.

وللتدليل إلى ذلك نقتبس هذا الخبر من صحيفة مرآة الشرق الصادرة في الثاني من شهر شباط 1935 بعنوان الصهيونية في لبنان- بيروت: “روت الصحف التصريحات الآتية وقد أفضى بها غبطة بطريرك الموارنة عن تعاون اللبنانيين واليهود ،

قال أنني أؤيّد التعاون مع الصهيونيين لأنهم سوف يأتوننا بشيئين نحن مسيس الحاجة إليها وهما الرأسمال والملكة الفنيّة أنا نفسي أدخلتهم في مشروع شكا للإسمنت، فبعتهم حصّتي ثلاثة آلاف سهم ثم اشتروا من بنك سويسرا 12 ألف سهم ، ودخول رؤوس أموال الصهيونية إلى لبنان من شأنه ترقية الصناعة وارتفاع أثمان الأراضي وتخفيف وطأة الأزمة” (نصّ الخبر كما ورد في المصدر).

أما البطريك المذكور فهو أنطون عريضة (1863- 1955) الذي ترأّس الكنيسة في الأعوام (1932- 1955). وتندرج زيارة البطريرك الماروني الكاردينال بشارة بطرس الراعي إلـى “إسرائيل” في 24- 26 أيار 2014 وتصريحه ضد حزب الله في التاسع من شهر آذار 2017 في سياق التعاون الماروني- الصهيوني.

وعن استجلاب اليهود العرب بالقوة من أوطانهم يشهد “شلومو هليل” المولود في بغداد عام 1923 ولا يزال حيّاً في كتابه رياح شرقية (1985) ، أنه قام بمهمة سرّية إلى البلاد العربية وقام بتفجير دور العبادة والمراكز اليهودية الأخرى وإلصاق التهمة بالعرب في ما بعد كي يوحي لليهود العراقيين أن وطنهم بات غير آمن وعليهم مغادرة البلاد فوراً.

وكذلك (فضيحة لافون عام 1954- 1955) في مصر الشبيهة بما فعله “هليل”. ولا تزال بعض الصفحات من سجّل الاستجلاب مطويّة. يبقى السؤال المطروح هنا: لماذا لم تأتِ الكاتبة بمثل هذه المقدّمة؟

فلو أوردت الكاتبة مقدّمة تشرح فيها هذه الأحداث، لاستقبل القرّاء كتابها بفهم ووعي وإدراك مختلف.  

صفّ في مدرسة الإليانس في بيروت

يحتوي كتاب عبد الصمد على 23 قصة سأختار منها خمساً للإشارة إلى ما أقوله:

القصة الأولى– سليم مزراحي وماري السمن: تتحدّث هذه القصة عن الشاب اليهودي العراقي الشيوعي سليم مزراحي الذي “[…] هرب من الاضطهاد الذي لحق باليهود بعد النكبة”. “هرب” سليم إلى لبنان وهناك تعرّف على فتاة لبنانية مسيحية وتزوّجها. ضاقت بهما السبل بعد عدوان عام 1967 لذا نصحه “حاخام” الطائفة بالهجرة إلى “إسرائيل”. أما ماري فقد قلقت على مصير زواج بناتها، لذا وافقت هي الأخرى على الهجرة إلى فلسطين: “إسرائيل”  عام 1967 (ص 17- 54).

وبما أننا نتحدّث عن هجرة مستعمرين إلى وطننا، فلا بدّ لنا من أن نطرح بعض الأسئلة الهامة: كيف يمكن لشيوعي أن يتحوّل فجأة إلى أداة في مشروع استعماري كولونيالي؟

ألم يكن بإمكانهما الهجرة إلى بلاد الله الواسعة كغيرهما!؟ أنَّى لنا أن نصدّق أن ماري المسيحية التي تزوّجت يهودياً قلقت على زواج بناتها بحجّة أن غير اليهود لن يتزوّجوا منهن!؟ وما هي الظروف التي أحاطت بهجرتهما؟ وماذا كان دورهما في المشروع الصهيوني في فلسطين؟

القصة الثانية- تتضمّن ثلاث روايات عن “جواسيس”: تنقل الكاتبة رواية اللبنانية سلمى التي تقص قصصاً حول ثلاثة جواسيس يهود وهم: نهى ب، وخواجة روبين وشيلا (ص 82- 109). الكاتبة التي لا تريد لنا أن نقبل بصدق روايات سلمى تجعل منها امرأة ثرثارة وغير أمينة في

قصصها. بالطبع، قد تكون السيّدة سلمى ثرثارة وقد تكون قد بهرّت القصص بعض الشيء، لكن جعلها غير أمينة بالمرّة هو أمرٌ مُثير للريبة. لأننا بتنا نعلم أن الصهيونية قد جنّدت مئات الآلاف في مشروعها الاستعماري ومنهم مَن تورّط في الجاسوسية،

لذا ما الضير لو تفكرّ ملياً بصدق قصص سلمى؟ نذكر قصة منها: مات في نهاية شهر كانون الأول 2016 “شاؤول بقاعي” الذي هاجر من حلب إلى فلسطين عام 1943 وانضم إلى عصابة الـ”بلماح” التي جنّدته جاسوساً وأرسلته إلى بيروت، وقام هناك بكل الأعمال القذرة من جمْع المعلومات وإرسالها إلى الكيان إلى تنفيذ عمليات القتل والاغتيال.

“شاؤول بقاعي” المولود عام 1927 غيّر إسم عائلته وأصبح “شاؤول كَرملي” (“هآرتس”: “المستعرب من البلماح الذي شرب القهوة مع القاوقجي”، 5. 1. 2017).

القصة الثالثة– أبو عمر سلمون من “قبضايات” بيروت- تتحدّث هذه القصة عن يهوديين: “يعقوب” وهو شاب هامشي يعمل على احتكار تذاكر السينما ثم يبيعها بسعر أعلى، و”سلمون” اليهودي المُثقّف الذي كان يعمل محرّراً في الإذاعة اللبنانية وفي يوم من الأيام قرّر الخواجا سلمون أن يهاجر إلى فلسطين من دون أن يخبر أصدقاءه (ص 124- 132)

والسؤال هو: إذا كان الأمر كما ظهر في الرواية وكان سلمون موظفاً في الدولة لم يضطهده أحد، فما الذي دفعه ليهاجر بسرّية تامة؟ هل كان عميلاً للمخابرات استزرعته في الإذاعة الوطنية من أجل تمرير مخطّطاتها ثم رحّلته إلى فلسطين بعد أن انتهى دوره المُحدّد؟

في سياق هذه القصة نضيف ما ذكره الدكتور محمود محارب من جامعة القدس العربية حول دسّ الحركة الصهيونية 280 مقالاً تحابي مشروعها في الصحافة اللبنانية والسورية. يقول محارب إن الذي نظّم هذا المشروع وأداره هو إلياس (إلياهو) ساسون المولود في دمشق عام 1902 والمتوفّى عام 1978 في القدس والذي دسّ نفسه لسنوات عدّة كجاسوس في حركة القوميين العرب.

قام ساسون بدسّ هذه المقالات على شكل مقالات رأي وتحليلات وتقارير صحفية بأسماء مستعارة في السنتين الأخيرتين من ثورة (1936- 1939) ، تحابي المشروع الصهيوني كي تُصبح مصدراً للقرّاء العرب ومُتّخذي القرار،

وذلك حين كان رئيس الدائرة العربية في الوكالة اليهودية في الأعوام (1933- 1948)، وتحوّل بعدها إلى دبلوماسي. بناء على ما تقدّم نتساءل: ألا يمكن الاعتقاد أن سلمون كان واحداً من الذين يعملون على دسّ هذه المقالات!؟ وماذا فعل سلمون في فلسطين؟ هل عمل مترجماً لدى المخابرات؟

هل هو الذي كان يشطب بعض العبارات من الرسائل التي كان يرسلها العرب إلى بعضهم البعض؟ هل كان يمزّق بعضها؟ نقول هذا، لأن نسبة لا بأس بها من اليهود العرب كانوا الأداة التنفيذية بأيدي السلطة ومخابراتها للتجسّس علينا وقمعنا. وعمليّاً هم الذين أقاموا وحدات التجسّس والتحقيق وتعذيب الأسرى. 

إلياس (إلياهو) ساسون (1902- 1978)

وفي هذا السياق نضيف أيضاً بأن المخابرات الصهيونية دسّت عملاءها بيننا، حتى أنها زرعت بعضهم كأئمة في المساجد!

نعم، يتضّح الآن أنها زرعت عشرات اليهود العرب أئمة في مساجد القرى العربية في فلسطين. وهؤلاء لم يُكشف أمرهم إلا بعد وفاتهم ودفنهم في مقابر اليهود! كشف هذه القضية أبناء هؤلاء العملاء الذين طالبوا الدولة بتعويضهم نتيجة المُعاناة التي يعيشونها كونهم من أب يهودي وأم عربية وما يساورهم من تناقض وصراعات نفسية إضافة لتعقيدات زواجهم زواجاً دينياً يهوديّاً.

القصة الرابعة– مروان وأليغرا: بعد خلاف شديد مع الأهل تزوّج مروان الشاب المسلم مع إليغرا الفتاة اليهودية. ومن كثرة ضغوط إخوانها الذين هاجروا إلى البرازيل استجابت لطلبهم وبدأت تزورهم لمدة شهر في كل سنة.

وفي إحدى زياراتها لهم قرّرت أليغرا الهجرة والبقاء هناك! إلا أنها استمرّت بمهاتفة مروان لكنها ظلّت ترفض إعطاءه رقم هاتفها كي لا يفتضح أمر زواجها من مسلم (ص 187- 196).

في هذا السياق يبقى السؤال المطروح: بما أن أليغرا لم يضطهدها أحد، وزوجها مروان يعشقها إلى درجة الجنون، لماذا قرّرت الهجرة من دون علمه؟ هل كانت بمهمة ما وسافرت بعد إتمامها؟ وماذا فعلت في البرازيل وهل هاجرت في ما بعد إلى فلسطين؟

القصة الخامسة– وحيدة وادي أبو جميل: تتحدّث هذه القصة عن ليزا اليهودية الوحيدة التي بقيت في الحيّ (ص 259- 274). قصتها تثير التقدير والتعاطف معاً، التقدير كونها بقيت رغم كل الضغوط التي تعرّضت لها، والتعاطف لأنها امرأة عجوز لا يوجد مَن يرعاها لا مؤسّسات دولة ولا أقارب.

والكاتبة التي لا تستهويها الطبقة التي تنتمي إليها ليزا، عمدت إلى وصفها بصورة منفرّة وكاريكاتورية قد تثير السخرية لدى أولئك غير الحسّاسين بمصائر الناس،

والغضب لدى الحسّاسين منهم. والسؤال الذي يتبادر إلى الذهن هنا هو: ما الذي يستدعي هذه السخرية من امرأة يهودية عجوز اختارت البقاء للعيش معنا رغم كل ضغوط الهجرة. هل كانت الكاتبة تفضّل لو أن ليزا اختارت كغيرها الذهاب مستعمرة إلى فلسطين كجزء من المشروع الصهيوني؟

الكنيس اليهودي في بيروت

هذا هو الكتاب الذي يضم 274 صفحة، وهو مثير إلى أبعد حدّ حين تتم قراءته في السياق التاريخي للصراع العربي- اليهودي، عندها ندرك دور المؤلّفة باختراق وعينا وحجْب تداعيات المشروع الصهيوني على أمتنا.

And what remains after we discard all these mythological craps?

Elias Kazan, the late famous movie director, published a book “Acts of Love”. I liked the story that is down to earth to ethnic idiosyncrasies, customs and way of life. this is about Greek islanders who immigrated to the USA and hanged on their “homeland” mythological habits of behaving in a fast changing society

This is a passage in the French translated version “Actes d’Amour”

“Finissons-en avec tout le fatras de mythologies et de ces conneries dont on entoure l’acte sexuel:

  1. L’amour et la sexualite’ sont deux emotions differentes. C’est une évidence que nous devons admettre sinon on accumule des problèmes de tension qui ne sont pas nécessaire a une vie heureuse et paisible.
  2. La nouveauté exerce toujours un attrait
  3. La conquête est un plaisir pour les deux sexes
  4. On a un besoin pressant de nous rassurer quant a la valeur sexuelle
  5. Que l’amour ne se conjugue pas au singulier
  6. Qu’une personne peut aimer plus d’une personne a la fois
  7. Qu’il n’y a aucun mal a coucher avec les amis
  8. La promiscuité est enrichissante
  9. Les femmes se marient pour l’argent facile
  10. Les hommes se marient par pure commodité
  11. Les mariés restent ensemblent pour ne pas avoir a mourire seules…”

Et Ethel de demander au psychologue Cambere:

“Dis-moi. Une fois qu’on laisse tomber toutes les conneries dont tu parlais, qu’est-ce-qui reste?

Cambere: “Quelque chose de tres bien”

Question: What is this great emotion that remains after we drop all these  mythological craps about sexuality and love?

Note 1: What should remain is this most powerful of emotion: Pity. Pity is the greatest of all true emotions, and it include all kinds of mammalian species:

  1. We need people to have pity on us and that is why we extend a bad connotation for pity and try to find alternative terms for it, like kindness, compassion, caring...
  2. We know deep inside us that we survive thanks to the hundreds of people who had pity on us during our harsh life. Most of these people are strangers to us, and many didn’t even wait for us to ask for aid.
  3. People extend their pity and do Not expect but that someone else will return the favor in kind (pity), when hard times tacke us.

Note 2: Elias Kazan is the famous movie director and he turned to writing novels after the movie industry sanctioned him for being forced to divulge to the “Maccarthy Commission” in 1965 the names of the supposed communists in the industry.

World Zionist Congress is meeting.

You might have the impression that ‘world Zionism’ is an antisemitic organization.

Or you have succumbed to the conspiracy theory…

While the World Zionist Congress is in session, with 720 delegates from over 30 countries.

by Alison Weir October 23, 2020

Menifee, CA (IAK) — I’m sometimes astounded at the fact that a major political movement over a century old is so little known among Americans – especially since it has had a momentous impact on the world in general and on the U.S. in particular, causing multiple wars, vast population displacement, and global instability.

In my travels around the US, I’ve found that most Americans know extremely little about Zionism.

I would guess that the vast majority of Americans could not define the term (that was certainly my situation for most of my life), and that a great many may Not have even heard of it.

And among those who have heard the term, many may think it refers to some antisemitic conspiracy theory.

The fact is that Zionism – according to the dictionary, “a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel and that now supports the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland” – is both very real and extremely significant.

Zionism succeeded in establishing the state of Israel in 1948 after decades of open and frequent covert efforts.

It promoted a successful, and extremely false, slogan – “a land without a people for a people without a land” – and succeeded in perpetrating one of the major hoaxes of the 20th century, in which victims (indigenous Palestinians) were designated aggressors while the aggressors (Zionist colonists) were portrayed as victims.

This hoax was documented by diverse authors, and perpetrated through the silencing of others.

And today this movement contains numerous powerful international entities (see the list below), while remaining largely invisible to millions of citizens of the country that gives Israel massive amounts of money, shields Israel apartheid system internationally, and has fought at many pre-emptive wars on Israel’s behalf of Israel, in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. (The rationale is to secure the existence of the State of Israel and its dominance on the region)

The dictionary definition captures only the simplest meaning of the word, but not its deep impact: how Israel was established and what supporting Israel today enables.

As numerous historians have documented, Israel was established through a war of ethnic cleansing, in the words of a major Israeli historian, in which approximately 750,000 men, women, and children were violently expelled. Hundreds of villages were destroyed and much of the indigenous population was displaced, their ancestral homes and land confiscated and the former owners made into penniless refugees.

Today, in its pursuit of the Jewish identity mentioned in the definition, Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land, discriminates against the remnants of the non-Jewish population that remain in the area, and holds the four and a half million people in the remaining portion of their land (the West Bank and Gaza), in two virtual prisons, their ability to leave and to return to their homes controlled by Israel.

Palestinian villages are invaded daily, people terrorized and abducted, homes and crops are regularly destroyed, youth administratively detained to “security reasons.”.

For over a year there was a weekly mass demonstration during which Israeli forces shot with live bullets unarmed demonstrators every week. More than a thousand Palestinians were handicapped from the snipers children, women, nurses, journalists…(To see these actions go here.)

Zionist movement in the US – a century of activism

As I describe in my book, the Zionist movement in the U.S. began in the late 1800s and played a significant role in the events that led to the establishment of Israel.

Today the pro-Israel lobby is probably the most powerful and pervasive special interest group in the U.S. Its members have diverse views and sometimes sharply disagree with one another on aspects of the issue, but all share one goal: support for Israel.

Israel partisans have become extremely influential in both political parties and have obtained numerous US policies of support for Israel.

Most recently, they are promoting bills to expend $19 million per day on behalf of Israel.

Altogether, 90 bills for Israel have been introduced in the current Congress alone.

In addition, there is also considerable evidence that Israel partisans were central in pushing the US into invading Iraq, and that many are similarly active in demonizing Iran. (See thisthisthis, and this.)

Conspiracy theory?

Since little of the above is known by the general American public (U.S. media rarely report any of this), some Americans are under the impression that even suggesting there is a “world zionist movement” is an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

(In fact, even discussing the Israel lobby in the U.S. can be dangerous to reputations and careers.

For example, respected professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were attacked as “antisemitic” for their scholarly work in detailing the power of the Israel lobby.)

Fact is that the World Zionist Organization has been in existence since the late 1800s, and this is just one of a number of international organizations that work on behalf of Israel.

All of these are very public – if one knows where to look.

Currently, the World Zionist Organization is holding its 38th Congress in an online format from Israel. The Congress is convened every five years.

World Zionist Organization

While US mainstream media have largely failed to even mention this organization and event, it has been big news in the Israeli and Jewish-American press, with numerous stories leading up to the event.

Below is an image from an article in the Jewish News of Northern California entitled “Your vote in Israel: Here are the Bay Area Jews running for the World Zionist Congress.”2017 World Zionist Organization

Image featured on March 3, 2020 in the Jewish News of Northern California about candidates running for the World Zionist Congress. The caption read: “2017 event in Jerusalem commemorating the 120th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded in 1897. It has an elaborate structure, including a World Zionist Congress, a Zionist General Council, a Zionist Executive, and a Zionist Supreme Court.

It also has a department devoted to “repatriation” – encouraging Jews to leave their birth countries and move to Israel – and lists numerous affiliates and partners around the world.

Currently, the WZO convened its 38th Congress, with 720 delegates and observers from over 30 countries participating in a 3-day conference.

Based in Israel as usual, this year’s event is being held online because of the pandemic, and sessions are being synchronized with time zones in Israel, North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.

The World Zionist Congress allocates about a billion dollars a year to various projects and is popularly known as the “parliament of the Jewish people.”

The Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that during the Congress “elections will take place for the leadership positions of the National Institutions – the World Zionist Organization, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (Jewish National Fund-JNF), and Keren Hayesod [aka United Israel Appeal:  

“the preeminent worldwide fundraising organization for Israel, which was established in London in 1920, to serve as the fundraising arm of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement]. Current issues on the world Jewish agenda will be deliberated…”

Among the issues to be deliberated will be how to “allocate nearly $5 billion to Jewish organizations and programs in Israel and around the world.”

The event is being live-streamed and can be viewed here.

Additional Zionist organizations:

The WZO is far from the only organization with “Zionist” in its title.

Among the others are:

Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO): founded in 1902, it currently has 250,000 members around the world.

Mizrachi, the global Religious Zionist movement: “Mizrachi is the global Religious Zionist movement, spreading Torat Eretz Yisrael across the world and strengthening the bond between the international Jewish community and the State of Israel.”

It was founded in 1902, is based in Jerusalem and has branches across the globe. It opposes the international movement supporting Palestinian rights known as BDS. It says the Mizrachi Global Summit was held on October 18th.

Zionist Organization of America: “Founded in 1897, the Zionist Organization of America (“ZOA”) is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States.” It has 25,000 members and chapters throughout the U.S.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America: Over a century old, it says its vision is to “strengthen a connection to Israel.” It says it is “the largest women’s Zionist membership organization in the United States. It inspires a passion for and a commitment to its partnership with the land and the People of Israel.”  (Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lifelong member.)

American Zionist Movement: “AZM works to promote and defend Zionism in the United States; to deepen and expand the active relationship of the American Jewish Community to Zionism in a contemporary context; to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among Zionist organizations through and with the AZM; and to be the central hub for Zionist resources in America.”

(An interesting bit of history is that “Zion” was one of the names Zionist leaders considered in 1948 for the new state, before they finally settled on the name “Israel.”

(Israel means the Land of God El, the Canaan all encompassing God in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and whom Jew considered their God too. The bedouin Jews created Jehovah as their God of war as Canaan hired them as mercenaries to fight along them. )

Still more Zionist organizations

There are also a number of other major international organizations that work for Israel. Virtually all of these organizations have large staffs, elaborate structures, and multi-million dollar budgets.

Their websites provide an abundance of information about their global reach and diverse activities. Many openly state that they work to oppose the international movement to boycott Israel, which has been organized because of Israel’s long documented human rights abuses.

Known as “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), the movement “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”

(BDS is demanding that countries boycott the product generated in the occupied land of West Bank by illegal settlers and settlements)

Below is a partial list:

• World Jewish Congress (WJC) is another international congress that supports Israel. According to its website, the WJC “represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world. It advocates on their behalf towards governments, parliaments, international organizations and other faiths.”

The WJC represents significant global wealth. Its annual gala held in New York last year was, as I wrote in a detailed article, attended by billionaires, Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian ambassadors, international financiers, the Rothschilds, and assorted other glitterati.

• World Holocaust Forum is another international entity that supports Israel. It is held in Israel and was founded and run by Russian-Israeli oligarch Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor.

Last year, at least 45 world leaders attended his fifth event. Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper called it “an airlift of presidents, prime ministers and royalty from around the world.” Kantor, a billionaire known for unscrupulous business practices, is president of the European Jewish Congress and heads up a network of pro-Israel international entities.

In an interview for a Zionist publication, Kantor was asked: “Why are you so interested in Holocaust education and in creating big events to memorialize the Holocaust?” Kantor answered:

The Holocaust was an essential tool used to bring about the establishment of the State of Israel. In 2006, it is the most effective tool we have to fight against anti-Semitism and to protect Israel.”

Holocaust Forum

Some of the world leaders from 49 Countries who came to Israel for Kantor’s World Holocaust Forum. Source | Israel Hayom

AJC member list

Source | AJC

• Jewish Agency for Israel has been in existence for 90 years, has branches around the world, and encourages people to move to Israel. It has a branch in the US where donations to it can be deducted from U.S. taxes. It states that it works to oppose BDS.

• B’nai B’rith International has been in existence for 175 years and had a connection to Israel from the state’s earliest years. Like many of the organizations, it periodically works to prevent events supporting Palestinian rights.

• Maccabi World Union, headquartered in Israel, spans five continents, is in 80 countries, has 450 clubs, and 450,000 members. Its website says it’s “a Zionist organization that utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel.”

It has a multitude of programs focused on Israel and works to “fight BDS.”

• Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 and played a major role in transferring Palestinian land to Israel. It is holding its national conference right now (video here).

Like many of these entities, it has a presence in the U.S. and has acquired tax deductible status.

• American Jewish Committee (AJC), despite its name, is yet another international organization. It has 30 offices around the world in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacifiic, and Israel. It also has numerous regional offices throughout the US.

Note: I posted many articles on How the State of Israel was established and which colonial powers and personalities actively worked toward that plan

The Art of Living:

How to Set Ourselves Free from the Chains of Our Culture.

Erich Fromm: from selfishness and egotism to solidarity and altruism.”

By Maria Popova

The Art of Living: The Great Humanistic Philosopher Erich Fromm on Having vs. Being and How to Set Ourselves Free from the Chains of Our Culture

A pioneer of what he called “radical-humanistic psychoanalysis,” the great German social psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) was one of the most luminous minds of the twentieth century and a fountain of salve for the most abiding struggles of being human.

In the mid-1970s, twenty years after his influential treatise on the art of loving and four decades after legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead turned to him for difficult advice, Fromm became interested in the most basic, most challenging art of human life — the art of being.

At the height of a new era that had begun prioritizing products over people and consumption over creativity, Fromm penned a short, potent book titled To Have or To Be? — an inquiry into how the great promise of progress, seeded by the Industrial Revolution, failed us in our most elemental search for meaning and well-being.

But the question proved far too complex to tackle in a single volume, so Fromm left out a significant portion of his manuscript.

Those pages, in many ways even richer and more insightful than the original book, were later published as The Art of Being (public library) — a sort of field guide, all the timelier today, to how we can shift from the having mode of existence, which is systematically syphoning our happiness, to a being mode.

Fromm frames the inquiry:

The full humanization of man requires the breakthrough from the possession-centered to the activity-centered orientation, from selfishness and egotism to solidarity and altruism.

But any effort to outline the steps of this breakthrough, Fromm cautions, must begin with the foundational question of what the goal of living is — that is, what we consider the meaning of life to be, beyond its biological purpose. He writes:

It seems that nature — or the process of evolution — has endowed every living being with the wish to live, and whatever he believes to be his reasons are only secondary thoughts by which he rationalizes this biologically given impulse.

That we want to live, that we like to live, are facts that require no explanation. (Still, experiments to confirm this given is still needed in our current times)

But if we ask how we want to live — what we seek from life, what makes life meaningful for us — then indeed we deal with questions (and they are more or less identical) to which people will give many different answers.

Some will say they want love, others will choose power, others security, others sensuous pleasure and comfort, others fame.

But most would probably agree in the statement that what they want is happiness. This is also what most philosophers and theologians have declared to be the aim of human striving.

If happiness covers such different, and mostly mutually exclusive, contents as the ones just mentioned, it becomes an abstraction and thus rather useless. What matters is to examine what the term “happiness” means… (Happiness is a new invented term)

Most definitions of happiness, Fromm observes, converge at some version of having our needs met and our wishes fulfilled — but this raises the question of what it is we actually want. (As Milan Kundera memorably wrote, “we can never know what to want.”)

It’s essentially a question about human nature — or, rather, about the interplay of nature and nurture mediated by norms. Adding to the vocabulary of gardening as a metaphor for understanding happiness and making sense of mastery.

Fromm illustrates his point:

This is indeed well understood by any gardener. The aim of the life of a rosebush is to be all that is inherent as potentiality in the rosebush: that its leaves are well developed and that its flower is the most perfect rose that can grow out of this seed.

The gardener knows, then, in order to reach this aim he must follow certain norms that have been empirically found. The rosebush needs a specific kind of soil, of moisture, of temperature, of sun and shade.

It is up to the gardener to provide these things if he wants to have beautiful roses. But even without his help the rosebush tries to provide itself with the optimum of needs.

It can do nothing about moisture and soil, but it can do something about sun and temperature by growing “crooked,” in the direction of the sun, provided there is such an opportunity. Why would not the same hold true for the human species?

Even if we had no theoretical knowledge about the reasons for the norms that are conducive to man’s optimal growth and functioning, experience tells us just as much as it tells the gardener.

Therein lies the reason that all great teachers of man have arrived at essentially the same norms for living, the essence of these norms being that the overcoming of greed, illusions, and hate, and the attainment of love and compassion, are the conditions for attaining optimal being.

Drawing conclusions from empirical evidence, even if we cannot explain the evidence theoretically, is a perfectly sound and by no means “unscientific” method, although the scientists’ ideal will remain, to discover the laws behind the empirical evidence.

(Confusing: empirical means performing experiments, which is the basis of sciences)

He distills the basic principle of life’s ultimate aim:

The goal of living [is] to grow optimally according to the conditions of human existence and thus to become fully what one potentially is; to let reason or experience guide us to the understanding of what norms are conducive to well-being, given the nature of man that reason enables us to understand.

But one of the essential ingredients of well-being, Fromm notes, has been gruesomely warped by capitalist industrial society — the idea of freedom and its attainment by the individual:

Liberation has been exclusively applied to liberation from outside forces; by the middle class from feudalism, by the working class from capitalism, by the peoples in Africa and Asia from imperialism.

Such external liberation, Fromm argues, is essentially political liberation — an inherently limiting pseudo-liberation, which can obscure the emergence of various forms of imprisonment and entrapment within the political system. He writes:

This is the case in Western democracy, where political liberation hides the fact of dependency in many disguises… Man can be a slave even without being put in chains

The outer chains have simply been put inside of man. The desires and thoughts that the suggestion apparatus of society fills him with, chain him more thoroughly than outer chains.

This is so because man can at least be aware of outer chains but be unaware of inner chains, carrying them with the illusion that he is free.

He can try to overthrow the outer chains, but how can he rid himself of chains of whose existence he is unaware?

Any attempt to overcome the possibly fatal crisis of the industrialized part of the world, and perhaps of the human race, must begin with the understanding of the nature of both outer and inner chains; it must be based on the liberation of man in the classic, humanist sense as well as in the modern, political and social sense…

The only realistic aim is total liberation, a goal that may well be called radical (or revolutionary) humanism.

The two most pernicious chains keeping us from liberation, Fromm observes, are our culture’s property-driven materialism and our individual intrinsic tendencies toward narcissism. He writes:

If “well-being” — [defined as] functioning well as a person, not as an instrument — is the supreme goal of one’s efforts, two specific ways stand out that lead to the attainment of this goal: Breaking through one’s narcissism and breaking through the property structure of one’s existence.

He offers the crispest definition of narcissism I’ve encountered (something that took Kafka47-page letter to articulate):

Narcissism is an orientation in which all one’s interest and passion are directed to one’s own person: one’s body, mind, feelings, interests…

For the narcissistic person, only he and what concerns him are fully real; what is outside, what concerns others, is real only in a superficial sense of perception; that is to say, it is real for one’s senses and for one’s intellect. But it is not real in a deeper sense, for our feeling or understanding.

He is, in fact, aware only of what is outside, inasmuch as it affects him. Hence, he has no love, no compassion, no rational, objective judgment. The narcissistic person has built an invisible wall around himself. He is everything, the world is nothing. Or rather: He is the world.

But because narcissism can come in many guises, Fromm cautions, it can be particularly challenging to detect in oneself in order to then eradicate — and yet without doing so, “the further way to self-completion is blocked.”

A parallel peril to well-being comes from the egotism and selfishness seeded by our ownership-driven society, a culture that prioritizes having over being by making property its primary mode of existence. Fromm writes:

A person living in this mode is not necessarily very narcissistic. He may have broken through the shell of his narcissism, have an adequate appreciation of reality outside himself, not necessarily be “in love with himself”; he knows who he is and who the others are, and can well distinguish between subjective experience and reality.

Nevertheless, he wants everything for himself; has no pleasure in giving, in sharing, in solidarity, in cooperation, in love. He is a closed fortress, suspicious of others, eager to take and most reluctant to give.

Growth, he argues, requires a dual breakthrough — of narcissism and of property-driven existence.

Although the first steps toward this breaking from bondage are bound to be anxiety-producing, this initial discomfort is but a paltry price for the larger rewards of well-being awaiting us on the other side of the trying transformation:

If a person has the will and the determination to loosen the bars of his prison of narcissism and selfishness, when he has the courage to tolerate the intermittent anxiety, he experiences the first glimpses of joy and strength that he sometimes attains. And only then a decisive new factor enters into the dynamics of the process.

This new experience becomes the decisive motivation for going ahead and following the path he has charted… [An] experience of well-being — fleeting and small as it may be — … becomes the most powerful motivation for further progress…

Awareness, will, practice, tolerance of fear and of new experience, they are all necessary if transformation of the individual is to succeed.

At a certain point the energy and direction of inner forces have changed to the point where an individual’s sense of identity has changed, too. In the property mode of existence the motto is: “I am what I have.

After the breakthrough it is “I am what I do (in the sense of unalienated activity); or simply, “I am what I am.”

In the remainder of The Art of Being, Fromm explores the subtleties and practicalities of enacting this transformation.

Complement it with legendary social scientist John W. Gardner, a contemporary of Fromm’s, on the art of self-renewal, then revisit Fromm’s abiding wisdom on what is keeping us from mastering the art of love.

How the western colonial powers rewrote the history of Jerusalem

Mahmoud Shrih reviewed the book of Bader Haj, published in English, “Jerusalem 1854: pictures, archeology and Colonialism”

Sept. 26, 2020

كتاب قيّم يضمّ صوراً توثّق المواقع الدينيّة في «زهرة المدائن»: بدر الحاج… هكذا زوّر الاستعمار تاريخ القدس

تحت عنوان «القدس 1854: التصوير والآثار والاستعمار» (دار الكتب – بيروت)،

أصدر البحاثة والمؤرخ اللبناني بدر الحاج كتاباً قيماً يضم مئات الصور لمدينة القدس التي التقطها أوغست سالزمان عام 1854 بهدف «البرهان على أصالة النصوص التوراتية».

الأمر بكل بساطة يتعلّق بتزوير علم الآثار وإخضاعه لخدمة بعث إمبراطوريات وسلالات قديمة بغرض طرد السكّان الأصليين من بلادهم، كما حدث في فلسطين!

بدر الحاج، البحّاثة الثقة والمؤرخ، رفيقي في «الجامعة الأميركية» هنا على مطلّ من المتوسّط، ورافع بيرق سعادة، من قبل، ومن بعد،
أصدر هذا الشهر بالإنكليزيّة «القدس 1854: التصوير والآثار والاستعمار» عن دار «كتب» في بيروت [Badr El Hage, Al Quds 1854: Photography, Archaeology, Colonisation, Beirut: Kutub, 2020]. يضمّ العمل مئات الصور لمدينة القدس التي التقطها أوغست
سالزمان Auguste Salzman لمدينة القدس في شتاء 1854 وهي صور نادرة. ولعلّها الأكثر توثيقاً للمواقع الدينيّة في مدينة القدس في كتابه الصادر عام 1854، وهي أساساً تندرِج تحت بحثه الرامي إلى البرهان على أصالة النصوص التوراتيّة وتأييد ادّعاء عالم الآثار Félicien de Saulcy في إرجاعه تاريخ الآثار المدوّنة تاريخيّاً في حقبة اليونان والرومان في القدس إلى فترة الحكم اليهودي القديم لها.
يرى الأستاذ الحاج أنّ القدس جذبت إليها على مرّ العصور فنّانين ورحّالة وحجّاجاً وعلماء من دول عديدة، إضافة إلى أُدباء سطّروا تاريخ
الحجّ إليها منذ الأيام الأولى لظهور المسيحيّة. إلّا أنّ المؤلّف بدر الحاج يلحّ ها هنا على أنّ الانجذاب إلى القدس لم يكن آنذاك فقط لقيمتها الدينيّة، بل أيضاً لموقعها الاستراتيجيّ ومكانتها الاقتصادية في سورية الكبرى،
فكان الدين غطاء ملائماً لخطط استعماريّة على مدى الألفيّة الأخيرة.
ففي السابع والعشرين من تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) عام 1095، أذاع البابا أوربان الثاني خطاباً تاريخيّاً دعا فيه مسيحيي أوروبا إلى حمل
السلاح في وجه المسلمين واحتلال الأراضي المقدّسة، فكانت الحملات الصليبيّة وآثارها المدمّرة.

مئذنة الغوانمة عند باب الغوانمة تعرف باسم مئذنة السلطان قلاوون الذي رممها مطلع القرن الرابع عشر (القدس 1854 ـ تصوير سالزمان)

سبيل طريق الواد. النافورة العربية في القدس، بناها السلطان سليمان القانوني عامي 1537 ـ 1536 (تصوير سالزمان ـ 1854)

إنّ الفظائع التي ارتكبها الصليبيّون في تمّوز (يوليو) 1099 كما أتى على وصفها وليم الصوري، أسقف المملكة الصليبية هناك، لهي مثال ساطع على التطهير العرقيّ. ووفق تأريخه،

أقرّ الأسقف أنّ الرحمة لم تلحَق بأحد وأنّ المكان بأسره تضرّج بدماء الضحايا. هذا التطهير العرقيّ الذي ارتكبه الصليبيّون يكرّره طبق الأصل المشروع الصهيونيّ في فلسطين منذ نهاية القرن التاسع عشر في خطّته الاستعماريّة باسم الدين.

إنّ هدف هؤلاء الاستعماريين الجدد كان ولا يزال تأسيس دولة يهوديّة بامتياز. إنّ الصلة الوثيقة بين المشروع الصهيونيّ الأصلي في سورية الكبرى والجهود الغربية للسيطرة على فلسطين جليّة، ليس فقط في الدعم اللامحدود الذي يوفّره الغرب منذ 1948 لإقامة النظام العنصريّ، بل كذلك في مدّ ذلك النظام بكلّ الوسائل اللازمة لإبقائه على قيد الحياة والاستمرار في تنفيذ برنامجه الرامي إلى الاحتلال التدريجيّ لما يسمّونه «أرض الميعاد».

يقرّ المؤلّف أنّ سردَ الأحداث التاريخية التي أدّت إلى قيام المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني ليس غرضه، فهذه الأحداث ليست ضمن نطاق البحث هنا، لكن من الضروري الإشارة إلى أنّ على الرغم من أنّ المشروع الاستيطاني الصهيوني يرتكز أساساً إلى العنصر الديني، فإنّ مقاومة هذا المشروع لم تكن دينيّة بالضرورة، إذ لم تكن المواجهة بين المُستعمِر وسكّان أهل البلاد النازحين عنها مواجهةً دينيةً كما زعم الغرب وصوّر النزاع على أنّه مواجهة بين اليهود والمسيحيين والمسلمين الغرض منها السيطرة على الأماكن المقدّسة.

هنا يرى بدر الحاج أنّه رغم الحججَ الدينيّة التي تخدمُ المشاريع الاستعمارية وتروّجها، فإنّ مقاومة تلك المشاريع لا تتّخذ إلّا صفة النضال القومي. وعليه، فإنّ القدس على مصاف واحد مع يافا وصفد وحيفا ومرتفعات الجولان.
ينتبه المؤلّف إلى حقيقة أساسيّة يختزلها بقوله إنّ لنشاط المتشدّدين المسيحيين المُغالين في تعصّبهم دوراً خطيراً خلال الحقبة الممتدّة

من الحملات الصليبية إلى بداية المشروع الصهيوني. وعليه، فإنّ صُوَر أوغست سالزمان لا تنفصل عن حُمّى الحماس الاستعماريّ الدينيّ الذي شاع في أوروبا وإلى حدّ ما في أميركا الشمالية.
يشير الحاج إلى أنه ليس في صدد مناقشة في ما إذا كانت صائبة وصحيحة القصص والمعجزات التوراتيّة التي يوردها سولسي وسالزمان، إذ يرى أنّ نقاش هذه الصور ليس ضمن إطار دراسته؛ ذلك أنّ المسألة الجوهريّة تكمن في كيفيّة استلهام علم الآثار وإخضاعه لخدمة بعث إمبراطوريات وسلالات قديمة بغرض طرد السكّان الأصليين من بلادهم، كما في فلسطين،

للبرهان على أنّ «النصّ المقدّس» على صواب، ولهو سياقٌ فاضح ومُهين. وباختصار، فإنّه استعمار تحت ستار الدين، ولفهم صُوَر سالزمان في إطارها التاريخي، يرى المؤلّف أنّ من الضروري فهم الأسباب الدينية لزيارة كلّ من سالزمان وسولسي إلى فلسطين، ومن هنا معالجته لكتابه في ثلاثة فصول.

مغارة البستان. قبر المسيح. تل وادي الجمجمة. تعرف أيضاً بمغارة ارميا (القدس 1854 ــ سالزمان)

«بركة حمام ستنا مريم» لأوغست سالزمان (خارج أسوار القدس)

يُسهب الفصل الأول في نقاش أنشطة سولسي في مواقع فلسطين الأثرية، وهي ما حفّز سالزمان على زيارة القدس وانكبابه على تصوير معالم المدينة المقدّسة؛ كان سولسي عالم آثار مهتمّاً بالبحث عن مواقع توراتيّة بغرض إلقاء الضوء على تاريخ فنّ العمارة اليهودي، فزعم أن بعض المعالم في القدس سابقة على العهد البيزنطيّ وتعود إلى زمن سليمان وداوود، لا بل إنّه مضى في ضلاله وعيّن سدوم وعمورة في موقعَين خاطئين.

وحيث إن أقرانه وجدوا مزاعمه لا تطابق الحقائق التاريخية، قرّر سالزمان الذهاب إلى القدس للدفاع عن مزاعم صديقه سولسي بلجوئه إلى التقاط صُوَر تؤيّد حجّة سولسي الواهية.
في الفصل الثاني من كتابه «القدس 1854»، يركّز المؤلّف بدر الحاج على دور صُوَر سالزمان في تأييد مزاعم سولسي وادّعائه بأنّ التصوير «يؤّدي خدمة للعلم وأن هذه الصُوَر لم تعُد سرداً بل حقائق ذات زخم دافع».

لكنّ المؤلّف يرى أنّ فشل سالزمان كان متوقّعاً. الفصل الثالث من «القدس 1854» يشتمل على صُوَر سالزمان للمدينة المقدّسة، فيجد أنّها صور فنيّة لمواقع المدينة الأثرية من حيث الإضاءة والظلال، وهذه تقنية لا سابقة لها في تصوير المدينة المقدّسة،

وفي الفصل هذا حشد من صُوَر القدس، سوى ثلاث منها، واحدة لبيت لحم واثنتان لفسيفساء كنيسة المهد في بيت لحم.

ارتكز الغرب إلى منهجيّة بحث تُعيد تركيب الشرق بغرض تطويعه والسيطرة عليه

يلحّ الأستاذ الحاج على أنّ دراسة الماضي أساسٌ لفهم الحاضر ومعياره أنّ الغرب سعى في القرنين التاسع عشر والعشرين لتصويب سهامه على فلسطين،

فالغرب ارتكز إلى منهجيّة بحث تُعيد تركيب الشرق بغرض تطويعه والسيطرة عليه. ومن هنا عمد سالزمان وسولسي إلى سرد إشارات الكتاب المقدّس بما يخدم دعوة الحركة الصهيونية إلى عودة اليهود إلى أرض الميعاد،

فاستعمار الشرق إذن من باب تمدينه عبر أدبيّات غلاة الإنجيليين، ومن هنا حركة بريطانيا باتّجاه تشريد السكان العرب الأصليين، وعليه كان تحالف السياسيين وعلماء الآثار والاجتماع تحت راية استعمارية تُلقي بظلالها حتى الآن مطلع الألفية الثالثة.
على هذا النحو، كتاب «القدس 1854» ضرورة لا بدّ منها، إذ سدّ فراغاً كان لا بُدّ له من سدّه من باب فهم الحاضر عبر استيعاب دروس الماضي.

Is it the less information the better in critical split-second decision cases?

ER of Cook County Hospital (Chicago) on West Harriston Street, close to downtown, was built at the turn of last century.

I was home of the world’s first blood bank, cobalt-beam therapy, surgeons attaching severed fingers, famous trauma center for gangs’ gunshot wounds and injuries…and most famous for the TV series ER, and George Clooney

In the mid 90’s. the ER welcomed 250,000 patients a year, mostly homeless and health non-insured patients…

Smart patients would come the first thing in the morning to the ER and pack a lunch and a dinner.  Long lines crowded the walls of the cavernous corridors…

There were no air-conditioners: During the summer heat waves, the heat index inside the hospital reached 120 degrees. 

An administrator didn’t last 8 seconds in the middle of one of the wards.

There were no private rooms and patients were separated by plywood dividers.

There were no cafeteria or private phones: The single public phone was at the end of the hall.

One bathroom served all that crowd of patients.

There was a single light switch: You wanted to light a room and the entire hospital had to light up…

The big air fans, the radios and TV that patients brought with them (to keep company), the nurses’ bell buzzing non-stop and no free nurses around… rendered the ER a crazy place to treat emergency cases

Asthma cases were numerous: Chicago was the world worst in patients suffering from asthma…

Protocols had to be created to efficiently treat asthma cases, chest pain cases, homeless patients…

About 30 patients a day converged to the ER complaining of chest pains (potential heart attack worries) and there were only 20 beds in two wards for these cases.

It cost $2,000 a night per bed for serious intensive care, and about $1,000 for the lesser care (nurses instead of cardiologists tending to the chest pain patient…)

A third ward was created as observation unit for half a day patients.  

Was there any rational protocol to decide in which ward the chest-pain patient should be allocated to?

It was the attending physician call, and most of the decisions were wrong, except for the most obvious heart attack cases…

In the 70’s, cardiologist Lee Goldman borrowed the statistical rules of a group of mathematicians for telling apart subatomic particles. Goldman fed a computer data of hundreds of files of heart attack cases and crunched the numbers into a “predictive equation” or model.

Four key risk factors emerged as the most critical telltale of a real heart attack case:

1. ECG (the ancient electrocardiogram graph) showing acute ischemia

2. unstable angina pain

3, fluid in the lungs

4. systolic blood pressure under 100…

decision tree was fine-tuned to decide on serious cases. For example:

1. ECG is normal but at least two key risk factors are positive

2. ECG is abnormal with at leat one risk factor positive…

These kinds of decision trees… (The early artificial programs)

The trouble was that physicians insisted on letting discriminating factors muddle their decisions. For example, statistics had shown that “normally” females do not suffer heart attack until old age, and thus a young female might be sent home (and die the same night) more often than middle-aged black or older white males patients…

Brendan Reilly, chairman of the hospital department of Medicine, decided to try Goldman decision tree.  Physicians were to try the tree and their own instincts for a period.  The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the Goldman algorithm…

It turned out that, if the physician was not bombarded with dozens of pieces of intelligence and just followed the decision tree, he was better off in the allocation to ward process…

For example, a nurse should record all the necessary information of the patients (smoker, age, gender, overweight, job stress, physical activities, high blood pressure, blood sugar content, family history for heart attacks, sweating tendencies, prior heart surgeries,…), but the attending physician must receive quickly the results of the 4 key risk factors to decide on…

Basically, the physician could allocate the patient to the proper ward without even seeing the individual and be influenced by extraneous pieces of intelligence that are not serious today, but could be potential hazards later on or even tomorrow…

Mind you that in order to save on medical malpractice suits, physicians and nurses treating a patient must Not send the patient any signals that can be captured as “contempt”, like feeling invisible and insignificant

Many factors are potential predictors for heart attack cases, but they are minor today, for quick decisions…

No need to overwhelm with irrelevant information at critical time.  Analytic reasoning and snap judgment are neither good or bad: Either method is bad at the inappropriate circumstances.

In the “battle field” the less the information coming in, the less the communication streams and the better the rapid cognition decisions of field commanders…

All you need to know is the “forecast” and not the numbers of temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure…

Note: post inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell




December 2020

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