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Published:March 11th, 2010 23:11 EST

Once More Israel's Fundamentalists Call The Shots, Grabbing More Land

By Djelloul (Del) Marbrook (Editor/Mentor)

Israel is like a rose. The scent of democracy is sweet, the appearance reassuring, but the thorns draw blood, and it needs more TLC from us than any other nation on earth.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden went to Israel to assure it of our undying friendship. He was rewarded by an announcement that Israel would build 1,600 new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem. The Israelis knew perfectly well this was a bloody flag, complicating peace negotiation and exacerbating relations with Palestinians. But baiting us and the Arabs was worth it to them.

Thanks, Israel, nothing like a slap upside the head to make us think straight. But we won`t. We`ll go on acting as if Israel`s interests are identical to our own. They`re not. We can`t afford Israel`s territorial appetite. We can`t afford its fundamentalist tendencies. Hell, we can`t afford our own.

But we revel in a lot of things we can`t afford, like unaffordable education for our poor and middle class, unaffordable health care, property taxes that provide a welfare system for developers, and a corrupt Congress in the service of a predator class.

Israel has bombed countries for being as intransigent as Israel. We have invaded countries for being as intransigent as Israel. The obvious fact that other countries in the region might just think it unfair for Israel and America to have atomic weapons while they`re forbidden to have them eludes us because in our hubris we think we are to be believed and they are not.

Israel`s hard-right fundamentalists and our own have been calling the shots out of their religious beliefs while the rest of us pay for it. They constitute an unholy alliance, if ever there was one, because they have little in common other than their uncommon fanaticism.

Our rapturists see Israel as an instrument of the apocalypse. Israel`s hard right sees our rapturists as convenient dupes who will help them grab more land.

If an Arab state had slapped our vice president around as Israel just did we`d be talking about terrorists and our right wing would be talking about bombing someone.

Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.

His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal Latté first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.

He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.

Del`s book, Far From Algiers:

New review of Far from Algiers:

Artists Hill, Literal Latté`s fiction first prize:

His blog:

His mother`s art:

His aunt`s art: