Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Israel:Join the Syrian Rebellion. Now, While the World Watches & Does Nothing!…by Robert M. Katzman

Filed under: Jewish Themes,Politics,Social Policy and Justice,Syrian Murder — Bob at 2:53 pm on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

© March 7, 2012

 The World talks and a Syrian Dies.

Israel, it could be you.  It has been you, at another time and another place.

Have you forgotten the despair, the injustice, the indifference, and the outrageousness of others turning away?

Who are you, as a nation, as a people, to allow this to happen to anyone else?

Israel, and yes, Jews: Take a stand.

Help the Syrians. 

Stop the killing of innocents.


But who am I?

Why give a damn what I think?

I’m not a diplomat.

Not a politician.

Not influential or wealthy.

Just a guy.


But also, long ago, a street fighter and always a Jew.

A person who has been outnumbered, overwhelmed and beaten badly while others stood by.

A person who fought back against crazy odds and won.

But also, a person whose life was saved from a mob by a man with a gun.  A cop.

Not a friend, but someone who was one against thirty in 1982 in Hyde Park.

He didn’t deliberate the risk while I was mauled or killed.  He acted.

He took a chance, took my side and I’m still here, and grateful.

Somehow, today, I feel like a Syrian.

And God help me, I hate a stacked deck.


The World talks and a Syrian dies.

 Jews and Israel are uniquely obligated to speak up for the powerless, the disposable, the unessential, the defenseless.  They are us.  They will always be us.  How dare we pick and choose and let others be murdered?

If Israel bombs Syrian army barracks, their anti-aircraft guns, their planes and make it very, very clear they are coming after Assad Hussein—and the world knows without question that Israel can get to Assad—the army will turn against him and it will be over.  Israel could blanket Damascus, Homs with leaflets by air and other major population centers and say the war is not against them, but for them and to rise up against whoever opposes them.  It would be a short battle because Assad is a coward who kills children to remain in power.

Assad is a second-generation, second-rate dictator who when personally under real pressure will collapse like a cheap suit.

Israel attacking would create panic and along with weapons provided to the rebels and overwhelming force, create an opposition impossible for the present regime to defend against.  No Syrian general  will be a ‘hero’ and would die for Assad.


His military is in it for the money and their collective protection.  Syria’s military’s actual religion is self-preservation and they’ll know when to turn against the losing side.  They already know.  They just need a little push, from Israel.

 Remember, that bone-chilling biblical phrase “writing on the wall” came exactly from this neighborhood a couple thousand years ago, and toppled another dictator.  You think anyone has forgotten that?   If anyone can still see the invisible Writing On The Wall, its the military and the politicians.   You don’t need special Jewish 3-D glasses to get what’s coming.

Israel is detested worldwide and will always be no matter whatever it does, but it won’t be in Syria.  Syria will have a friend in need and will never forget it.  Nor will the Arab-led nations surrounding it. Nor will Iran be able to ignore what happened next door to it. 

Israel will be condemned for unwarranted aggression and interfering in another country’s affairs.

Too damn bad.  Israel would be on the side of right and protecting the defenseless.  Condemn that, World.   In 1973, when I was 23 and there was a world-wide oil embargo by middle-eastern OPEC  members against any nation who traded with Israel, I remember too clearly long, long lines of cars waiting to buy a few gallons of gas at the gas station just south of my newsstand.   Those big American cars were filled with angry drivers and more than one had a stark bumper sticker on the backs of their cars saying,  “Burn Jews, Not Oil”.

I am what the world has made me and feel the way the world has trained me to feel.

 Overwhelmingly, Jews are alone, and right now, Syrians are even more alone.

Israel, so often so many there quote a document thousands of years old to justify what you say and do today.  How about creating a little NEW history you can be proud of and tell your children about in years to come?   In a more perfect world, maybe the Syrians will be telling their own kids about the same story.   But not if you sit safely across the border from Syria and watch those same children get slaughtered by the monster in Damascus.  Not a story you’ll be proudly telling in another thousand years, will it?


The World talks and a Syrian dies.

For God’s sake, people, and I mean Israel and Jews. Take a stand.

Protect the Syrians.

Not for political gain.

Not as a strategic move.

Not as a calculation that will never change world opinion whatever you do.

Do it because no one did it for you, when you didn’t have guns. 

Didn’t have rockets.

Didn’t have tanks and all your incredible power.

Do it because the Syrians are you and you don’t have to take it anymore.

If I was young, I would volunteer and fight for them myself.

But I am not, so I write because that is what I CAN still do.

What will you do, Israel?

What will you do, everyone else?

Readers, if you agree with me, please send this impassioned plea all over hell, will you?


The World talks and a Syrian dies.

The World talks and a Syrian dies.

The World talks and a Syrian dies…



About the writer and his other life in Skokie, Illinois:

My Store Twitter: @MagazineMuseum

My Stories Twitter: @ChicagoKatzman

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Katzman’s Publishing Company site: www.FightingWordsPubco.com
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Poetry? For me, writing poetry is not an option.
It’s a response to emotion. Like cigarette smoke,
it’s fast-flowing, shapeless and with little time to capture it.
Writing poetry in an imperative. I say what I feel compelled to say.

I sell my five published books via mail order and accept major credit cards.
I don’t use PayPal. I just talk to people on the phone.
Fast, reliable service. Read my stories and see what you think.
I’m also available for hire to read my true Chicago stories to organizations
and answer all questions. I autograph my books when I sell them.

I am currently seeking an agent to do more readings.
Feel free to call me at the number above.


Comment by Ami

March 7, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

Bob, we all feel the pain and our faces are red with anger.

Yet NOBODY lifts a finger, not the USA, neither Europe, nor even the rest of the Arab regimes…

WHY? See what happened in Egypt, see where Libya, and the Arab countries in North Africa (where it all began) are going: No Democracy, only Islamization. When there’s no viable opposition in those countries, the ONLY well-organized are the fanatical Muslims. If/when this butcher Assad falls — there will be a vacuum and chaos, into which the ONLY powerful entity that can fill in (or infiltrate in) — ARE THE ISLAMISTS to their many factions and tribes, including al-Qaeda elements….

The Arab/Islamic world is not built for Democracy, doesn’t have the culture of Democracy, can’t handle Democracy. Not in this generation they can.

Our ONLY salvage is another, powerful dictator there. A pro-Western dictator. Perfect. Otherwise it’s gonna be a LONG blood bath. Muslims slaughtering Muslims. What else is new?

Comment by Liliana Fargo

March 7, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

To All,

I believe every Human being is created by God, ultimately the same God, and all Humans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

The misconception that some races or cultures are fundamentally superior to others is the main reason that motivates the insanity of wars, and has caused the lost and suffering of millions of innocent and valuables lives.

I support Brave people like my friend Bob Katzman, who are capable to see beyond any cultural bias, and who are ready to stand against all cruelty towards Humanity.

Liliana N. Fargo.

” First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out,because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out , because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me ”

Martin Niemöller.

Comment by Gargi

March 8, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

Thank you, Robert Katzman!

Ditto, Lilliana…

Let’s admit finally to ourselves as a collective that this whole thing erupting on the world stage is not about “factions”. It is about all Life. Humanity as a whole, and where we want to go from here; further down the rabbit hole to hell with all these saber-rattling war-mongers who stand to profit oscenely from another war– whether they be from whatever nation– Israel, the Middle East, the good ol’ USofA, and I mean every other nation who plays the big club circuit in this world.

Know this humanity, by now: About the “so-called elite leaders at the top and the MONEY that directs their blood-lust”– the ones of all world nations– there is no loyalty to any nation anymore (if in fact there ever was). They only bow now,to the great nation of “Money-(Oil)-Power-World Control”. And all of this– all of this, is an attempt to start the BIG ONE– and Iran is in their sites.

But, what these war-mongers and weapons-dealers and fancy financiers look at with bemusement and not a care of or for– is US– People, Humanity. Yes, and the Syrians suffering right this second. And what they don’t get (because they are absent of hearts– they’re walking dead consciously, and/or they’re insane)is that people–human consciousness IS going to change. And it IS changing! And for the better. Out of their monstrous grips forever.

While this might not seem so now,if you look beneath that “writing on the wall” Bob brings up, you will see the postscript: Humanity IS going to make it– BUT…a P.P.S. is there too: Only if we stand up and speak up as a body of humanity of individuals (as Bob and Lilliana are saying so rightly here). To say NO! to this hellish wrong, this insanity, that has hi-jacked our world by a minority of way-laid other so-called humans who consider themselves gods by now.

This is way past time to vote on or to politicize about. It is going to take a full intent of human hearts and minds that want balance, want evolution, want sanity; acting with utter compassion, and courage, and clear-mindedness and moral integrity. Are we ready? We better be…!

Comment by Gargi

March 20, 2012 @ 9:59 am

I was very surprised to be only one of three (and of three women by the way) who had the courage (and more importantly felt this reality of Syria–and ALL our world reality– was important enough to acknowledge publicly on his blog, and to address Bob directly– in support or otherwise, publically… since he too took the courage to publish it publicly…in this blog he co-created.

Then, I was more surprised (not so much by receiving the slew of emails– which, by the way– after satisfying my curiosity and opening one or two– I SPAMMED all the rest and will continue to do so until they finally stop), but, by the days that have gone by since Bob’s post, that those 3 lonely initial comments are the only ones still posted…publicly (if you don’t count new ones just added from Rick, Don David, and Tom, about ’email proceedings & politics and the tumult over the Israel topic’ that have been addressed to Bob following his “Dobie…’ entry.

Surely, that slurry of unopened and spammed emails I received in my mailbox and dealt with accordingly, contained something substantial and worthy to join all of us in a public forum and not just remain lurking behind the scenes and behind the back of private emails? So, hold that thought,
because I want you to read what I emailed to Bob, when I discovered no one else had the courage to reply to Bob’s “Israel…” entreaty, initially:

(from email to Bob):
“Obviously, your speaking out has caused the bees to buzz–(and there were
more than three)…
So I feel you ought to ask permission from these other emailers if you
could post their comments/opinions publicly on your blog.
This issue and growing problem needs venting– the
air needs to reach human minds that only see the fault of one faction in the
Middle East–and cannot hear over the din of politico-corporate-militarty
saber-ratttling that we are on an extreme danger course here to BIGGER war.

I hope you do.”

I GOT that Bob has since said his peace…again (and that’s our Bob). I respect this…and him. And, I now know that he is NOT going to ask those who did not initially reply here publicly –(about this topic) but did ‘somewhere’ else, and some unfairly so– to now do so.

But, I am inviting those same people to post publicly what they had to say (and NO, I am not asking because Bob asked me todo this–and I’m embarassed to have to even clarify this point, but it has to be for all the sore ears out there to hear and know). I speak for myself. Bob knows this and respects me in turn. I am not a Jew (but I have the right to speak out about Israel or any damn thing I please). I am a human being (and there is no mistake in the fact that human and humane and humanity come from the same rootword)….

I always have a lot more to say, but will end this with…I stand by Bob on this, and am willing to say so…publicly.

Comment by Anonymous

March 20, 2012 @ 10:01 am

Comment by Gargi

March 29, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

Having revisited this posting, I’m adding my two cents to the register: CHING!

I enjoyed your reflections, Bob, your story about Dobie, and his replying. From a ‘writerly’ point of view, there are a few stand-outs:

“There was a weirdness to it. The Dobe-Bob-Doc connection didn’t exist prior to our handshake.”

“Friendship can be very light with you, most of the time.”

“Welcome, Anonymity. I know you so well. But it seems like even you don’t know me.”

“The capitol of the ocuntry of Reciprocity is Character. Dobie lives there. I want to think I do too.”

Pearls, all!

A shout-out to Rick for coming to the rescue with clear-eyed, sound advice to the ReaderS of this, your (too) blog. Thanks. (I can see there are no chinks in the chain of friendship that links you and Bob– over years or over oceans).

As to my response (and, of course I responded!) to the attendant brouhaha– it was stated after that said story (will say no more as I want this entry
to stand as a response to this particular posting by Bob).

One last thing, I KNOW Dobie didn’t plan it this way, but, I cannot help think about that other poor Dobby, the enslaved House Elf (of Harry Potter fame) who later became a Free Elf– and of whom it is quoted of here:

“Dobby was often ostracised for having no “proper shame” about being out of work, the way most house-elves…acted. Dobby was generally pleased to be free, although he did enjoy working (as more of a hobby than a career). He was ecstatic to be out of the abusive hands of….”(…,fill in the blanks)

Yes Dobie and Dobby managed to eek out a happy ending’ after all their struggles…so can us all!

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