If John Milton were constructing his epic, Paradise Lost, today Zionism would be his protagonist Lucifer
By Jamil I. Toubbeh
If John Milton were constructing his epic, Paradise Lost, today Zionism would be his protagonist Lucifer, Adam and Eve his US and its seven-member cherubic choir, the G8.
Dr. Ruth Webster was a Shakespearian scholar and an authority on John Milton (1608-1674). She was an outstanding lecturer and mentor. She was also a pre-Zionist era intellectual who believed that a fabricated truth is a lie, and she was not afraid to debate the point openly and without fear of being defrocked by a Campus Watch. Although she was aware of Zionism, she was not fully aware of the extent of Zionism’s destructive impact on Palestine and the Palestinian society. In the early 50’s, communism (or so we were told) was not only chipping away at the foundations of our democracy but also at our ideological and theological inclinations. Interestingly enough, Islam, and not any other established religion, was our firewall against Soviet intrusion in our then recently-inherited (from Britain and France) sphere of influence-the Middle East and its oil reserves.
Dr. Webster’s style of teaching was reminiscent of that of my high school teachers. In the Midwest where I attended undergraduate college, and in Jerusalem, Palestine, where I attended high school, sonority overpowered the senses, and teachers behind well-worn lecterns were reincarnations of the literary giants of centuries or millennia past. Surely, outstanding teachers can become as immutable as one’s mother land.
When I failed to understand Shakespeare (1564-1616) in Dr. Webster’s class, she invited me to register for a 2-credit elective course in Milton. Perhaps she felt that I would develop a deeper appreciation for Shakespeare through Milton. It didn’t work: Milton’s course was too demanding. It required weekly assistance from a mathematician-turned-minister friend and a biblical encyclopedia. (Eastern Christians have been described by Western evangelicals as “not bible-oriented”, pseudo-Christians, and dare I say, who have lost their biblical credentials and souls in the desert of Islam). While not a member of any congregation, the minister owed me some time for having lectured gratis on the subject of Palestine and Palestinians to his enlightened congregation. At the time, US media, was beginning to build the infrastructure for the Zionization and mental colonization of Israel’s eventual alter ego--its most intimate and constant companion, the USA. The Zionist octopus had yet to enfold Capitol Hill, focusing instead on covering up the initial phases of Zionism’s 1948 crimes against Palestinians, and on winning the hearts, minds and checkbooks of those who read history in biblical circumlocutions and myths. Some 58 years later, this topic would become the subject of an insightful Counterpunch article by Jean Bricmont titled, The De-Zionization of the American Mind, dated April 13, 2006. Today, the Z-Syndrome is so much part of US culture and psyche that, without it, we feel like the Athabascan mother who, 40 years ago, took her baby to a physician because his ears were not oozing pus and blood. Israel is not only the 51st state; it is the most privileged, especially in our laws.