Robin Williams: His Astrological Drama

Spiritual Company Newsletter

By Steffan Vanel • Astrologer • Tarot  Reader

August 13, 2014

Robin Williams: His Astrological Drama

Looking at the Astrology Chart of Robin Williams after hearing of his death by suicide yesterday is both sad and frustrating.

Astrology Chart of Robin Williams

It brings to my mind comments made by psychologist Carl Jung:

Since you want to know my opinion about astrology I can tell you that I’ve been interested in this particular activity of the human mind since more than 30 years. As a psychologist I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in the character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis I usually get a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that the astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand.

Elsewhere, however, I remember Jung stating that curing the psychological problems of the creative/artistic person bears an additional consideration because healing their neuroses can actually have an effect on their creativity.

What has also sprung to my mind upon hearing the sad news of Robin Williams’ suicide is in relation to the fact that I have been working on the production of an EBook version of the Hilarion Book ‘More Answers,’ where Hilarion answers questions on a huge variety of topics. There are two rather somber commentaries about suicide in this book, which I will paste in at the end of this article.

Robin Williams’ Astrological chart does reveal the complexity of who he really was. To start with, he was a Cancer, who thought he was a Scorpio, pretended to be a Leo, and in his childhood he had to be a Pisces. This gives us the general ‘lay of the land,’ as it were, but not the really glaring, obvious, traumatic, and yet, genius-creating tensions within his soul and psyche.

As far as this general ‘lay of the land,’ his Sun was in Cancer, which was evident in his capacity to portray authentic caring and nurturing in his roles, and his personal and civic life.

His self-image, his Ascendant, was Scorpio, evident in his rather intense moody, broody attunement to sexuality, and to those intense Scorpio eagle eyes with x-ray vision which can look right through you.

He pretended he was a Leo, with his Leo Midheaven, his projected image to the world. What Hilarion has to say about Leo on the Midheaven is already a clear sign that there was ‘more than meets the eye’ with this man:

Leo
With Leo at the Midheaven, the image projected to the world has elements of magnanimity, pridefulness, generosity and occasionally arrogance. This picture may not conform to the inner picture and it may not be very close to the real complex of qualities in the individual, but it is given primarily to allow him to overcome feelings of inferiority which are inevitably carried over from a previous existence. In this case, even if the individual has a shaky inner self-image, the prompting to put a brave face forward, which Leo at the M.C. gives, may eventually cause the inferior inner picture to change. This is due to the great power of action in the world, not only in its effect on the physical level but on the emotional and mental levels as well.

I think we all could easily sense his dichotomy between a pride and confidence to be out there like he was, and the insecurities that lay behind it all. The stories of problems with alcohol, drugs and depression, at first so surprising, and then, at second look, not so surprising….

Of course we Astrologers, when we are witnessing alcohol, drugs, depression and now suicide, we immediately look for the Astrological signatures of the sign Pisces, and/or its ruling planet Neptune.

And yes, Robin Williams had these energies prominent in his chart, ‘in spades.’

First his Pisces Moon which he had with both positive and difficult aspects.

The positive aspects would generally indicate a childhood which has a deep emotional sensitivity and perhaps a quality of spirituality, attunement to Nature, and/or creativity and imagination.

The difficult aspects will likely bring in qualities of confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom in the childhood. I often observe a difficulty aspected Pisces Moon as having ‘grown up in a fog,’ emotionally.

As Robin’s Moon had both kinds of aspects and, from what I can ascertain from the very limited biographical details I could find online, his childhood had both components as well.

His father was known to be a Ford Motors executive and an Episcopalian Protestant. His mother was a model as well as one of those much more otherworldly, Piscean/Neptunian faith dependent adherents to the beliefs of Christian Science.

Robin also spent a significant portion of his childhood in a large old mansion outside of Detroit described in this way in this interview in the Detroit Free Press:

Listen tight, as Robin Williams might say when in his John Wayne mode, because this could explain a lot: They tore Robin’s playhouse down.

“It’s gone; it doesn’t exist anymore, ” says Williams, the winsome memory of his childhood sanctuary written all over his face. Of course, everything is written on Williams’ face: He might as well have a sign in his hair that says, “Post bills here.”

Williams plays an overgrown — and I mean way overgrown — 10-year-old child in “Jack, ” which opens Friday. He’s recalling his own childhood in Bloomfield Hills in a home at the corner of Woodward and Long Lake, which, in his memory, was little short of a fairyland.

“It was a giant, beautiful old mansion, with a gatehouse, an empty garage with room for 25 cars, barns, and there was a very wonderful old English man, Mr. Williams, who looked after the gardens, ” Williams says. He is looking out the balcony window of his Los Angeles hotel suite onto a busy street, but Williams clearly is visualizing the past.

“We didn’t own it; we just rented it, ” says Williams, whose father was an auto executive. “Then we moved to Chicago, and when we came back to Detroit a few years later, we just lived in an apartment. And it was very different, you know. But the first house, it was so wonderful, so peaceful. There was no one for miles around. Only this giant golf course with people named Tad whacking the old ball.”

With that, Williams shakes off the wistfulness and becomes Tad, whacking the old ball and muttering upper-class inanities between clenched teeth.

Williams, at least in public, is nobody for very long.

Yes, Robin Williams was ‘nobody’ for very long.

But: “in his memory, little short of a fairyland.’ This is very Pisces Moonish.

The planet Neptune, as it is transiting above us in the sky right now, was two degrees away from being in exact conjunction to his Pisces Moon. It would have been exact next April, but he would definitely be feeling the desire for that Neptunian sense of surrender and release, which may have been resonant with his recent relapse into alcoholism after 20 years of sobriety, although there are additional, more intense factors to recognize here.

The Pisces Moon is not the really obvious, deepest component of his suffering, or of his creative, expressive brilliance, a brilliance which could bring that Piscean imaginative, fantasyland into roles that are now being etched into our psyches as cultural mythologies.

There is another configuration in Robin Williams’ chart which is most obviously the deeper reality of his being, and the configuration which was experiencing the most intense Astrological ‘exams’ by transiting planets in his chart in this time period.

As usual, there are many layers and levels of this configuration, some of which I would have to ask Robin my 30 – 45 minutes of questions I normally pose with a client before I launch into my Astrological interpretations. But there is plenty here which is quite obvious.

Starting with the aforementioned Neptune. In Robin Williams’ natal chart he had Neptune in his 12th House of the deeper unconscious, in difficult aspect to Mars/Uranus conjunct in Cancer in the 9th House of philosophy, religion, and belief system.

The Neptune was also opposite to Jupiter in Aries in the 6th House of work, service, activity in the world. I will return to these factors.

On the positive side, his Neptune was in positive aspect, sextiling, his Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Leo in the 10th house of work, career, ‘role’ in the world. This would be another indicator of his being able to confidently (Leo), express (Mercury) imaginative, sensitive, deeply felt (Neptune) energies into roles in the world (10th House) which are incredibly transformative in the lives of others and in his own experience of himself (Pluto).

Robin Williams’ incredible energy and what could be called his ‘manic genius’ is more evident by the Jupiter in Aries, an abundance of energy which thinks it can ‘do anything,’ playing out in his 6th House, house of the way he spent his day, along with a ‘pumping up’ of a 9th House morally courageous and feisty Mars, combined with a Uranian eccentric, unorthodox, impulsive, highly intuitive element of spontaneous genius.

The deeper source which really drove or triggered these pumped-up, actively expressed energies, however, was their square and oppositional tensions with the Neptune in the 12th House of the deeper unconscious.

Neptune in such difficult aspects is, again, going to create themes of confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom, and/or problems with drugs and alcohol.

Robin Williams was an only child. And in his early years he was very serious and quite shy. He was certainly not the boisterous showman we know today.

He was also attacked by bullies for being overweight.

I would say that, quite likely, as a child, Robin was Neptune, alone, shy, living in his own isolated fantasy world, and these kids who victimized him were the exaggerated, over-the-top, righteous Jupiter in Aries, Mars/Uranus components of his chart. The Mars/Uranus conjunction is in Cancer indicating the likelihood of conflict and aggression being experienced in childhood.

There would quite likely have been some other components of his relationship with his parents, and/or their relationship with each other, which would also fit into this ‘T-Square’ of Neptune vs. Mars/Uranus, vs. Jupiter pattern as well. I don’t, however, have enough specific reliable details to confidently plug them in here.

We do know that his father was a Ford Motor Company executive who traveled a lot for his work. This would resonate with Jupiter (ruling travel) in the 6th House (work, service, activity in the world), in Aries (a propensity to over-do things). This couldn’t have been so great for his Mother or for young Robin.

Later Williams said, in regard to the bullying he experienced, that he saw that he could make people laugh, and that doing that freed him from being victimized by their abuse and was thereby more socially accepted.

It is interesting to note, however, that when he was in high school he again felt not very accepted by the majority of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant boys there, and preferred to hang out with, and make friends with, the Jewish boys who were also treated as outcasts or victims.

The thing I would have told Robin Williams is: Just because he was able to be a workaholic, enthusiastic, genius, showman doesn’t mean that that sad, vulnerable, suffering, victim/martyr Neptune little boy…. – He didn’t go away.

According to Liz Greene: Until we heal both ends of a difficult aspect the tendency is to project one end or another on someone else in relationships. Williams does seem to have made victims of some of the women he had been in relationship with.

As he said: ‘I was shameful, did stuff that caused disgust – that’s hard to recover from’, and he called one of his comedy routines: “Weapons of Self-destruction.”

This configuration is relatable to what I call the ‘victim/victimizer’ program where you feel that you have to be one or the other, and the only way out of this program is the positive side of the planet Neptune. That being unconditional love, for yourself and for others, total forgiveness, for yourself and for others, and spiritual faith, trust and surrender, to where there are no victims or victimizers but just all of us little boys and girls doing the best we can.

The thing is, if we bring in a unique interpretation of the 12th House, according to Hilarion, we can see that Robin Williams was carrying this difficult complex pattern of energies within his soul before he was born or as we say: ‘a gleam in his daddy’s eye.’

This is what Hilarion says about planets in the 12th House:

Twelfth House The twelfth sector of a birth chart is a complex and very revealing signpost in terms of the traits and characteristics which an individual brings over with him from the most recent life. We emphasize that this house points directly to the most recent life in sequence, and not to the “most important” life in terms of the present experience. As such, since much of the residue of the most recent life is stored in one’s subconscious, the twelfth sector also indicates certain subconscious recollections, biases and preferences.

Clearly, for those of us who believe in reincarnation everyone has had whatever was their most recent past life. Not everyone, however, has planets in the 12th House. Those who do are carrying a complex of memory from that life, and the nature of the planets and the nature of the aspects to those planets will reveal the nature of that life.

Neptune in positive aspect, to his Mercury/Pluto would indicate an opening to spirituality, healing, creativity or imagination (Neptune) in relation to a deeply transformative (Pluto) expression or communication (Mercury).

The opposition to Jupiter, however, would show him having suffered from some exaggerated, fanatical, ‘over-the-top’ kind of energies, and the square to Mars/Uranus would indicate the likelihood of violent (Mars) surprise, sudden, crazy, revolutionary (Uranus) energies being the causes of Neptunian victimhood and suffering in that life. To repeat, Robin Williams was carrying this complex of energies before he was born.

In light of what Hilarion says about suicide, which is pretty heavy, it makes me wonder if suicide may have been a theme somehow related to this past-life memory.

It is interesting to note that it was while Robin Williams was working on a film set in Alaska, more or less alone and isolated in nature (Neptune) that he gave in to the urge and started to drink again.

In this present time period transiting Uranus in the sky had been squaring Williams’ Mars and his Uranus, and was conjuncting his Jupiter, and was about to oppose his Neptune.

Transiting Pluto had been opposing his Mars and his Uranus, and was squaring his Jupiter and was staring to square his Neptune.

These would have been the most intense simultaneous ‘exams’ on these components of his ‘curriculum’ that he would have faced in this lifetime.

Unfortunately, it was so intense for him that he decided to try to escape it all. Unfortunately, according to the following commentaries by Hilarion, suicide is no escape at all:

What happens when people commit suicide? Do they go into a state of limbo?

The question of suicide is a complex one. Generally speaking, the suicide is taking his own life in order to end the pain of existence – or at least what he perceives as pain.

Usually this is emotional or mental pain, rather than physical. When the life is cast away for such a selfish reason, the law requires that the post-life experiences be somewhat more limited than is usually the case, and generally, the soul will be allowed less option in determining the nature and circumstances of the next incarnation. Also, there is an unavoidable requirement for the soul that has taken its own life while in incarnation, to be presented with precisely the same test in the next life – i.e. the same temptation to commit suicide. In the next life, that temptation will be even stronger, and the forces impelling him to take his own life will be even more difficult to resist. At the same time, the incarnated personality who must endure this harder test will also be given more “weapons” with which to fight the temptation, which usually means being on the receiving end of more love and support during the childhood phase.

The idea that such souls go into a kind of limbo has some validity, but it must be realized that always such limbo experiences are of the personality’s own making. The experience of being in a “fog” without anything substantial around one arises simply from the expectation of the individual that, after death, there will be nothing. Since the astral realms always conform themselves to the mental expectations, the person will be presented with exactly what he expects: nothing. In time, since the individual is in his astral body – which he can feel – he will ultimately realize that he must in fact be existing. When this happens, he can be contacted by rescuers who specialize in such work, and can be coaxed out of his self-imposed fog or limbo. If only the person had realized before death that he would survive the killing of the body, such a limbo state would not arise. And in all probability, the person would not have taken his own life. Most suicides believe that death is the end of consciousness, and it is this “obliteration” which they are seeking in their desperate act.

Is the abnormally high suicide rate in Seattle the result of the excessively cloudy and wet weather in that city?

The suicide rate is partly due to the oppressive nature of the weather patterns of that city, but there is another side to the story. Indeed, those who are drawn to Seattle as a birthplace are in many cases souls who have yielded to the temptation of suicide in past lives, and now must again be put through the temptation – in the hope that they will prove stronger this time. Here is an opportunity for us to explain the true nature of suicide, and the karmic consequences which it brings in its wake. Suicide is almost never a positive act. Almost without exception it is an act of desperation, resorted to by one who wishes merely to end the pain of life. In most cases, the person attempting to take his own life does not understand the spiritual realities surrounding his earthly existence, else he would not allow such a temptation to sway him . For the truth of the matter is simply that anyone who attempts or succeeds in committing suicide must inevitably be presented with similar circumstances in a later phase of his earth experience, with the proviso that the test must be a little bit harder the next time. Thus, not only is the person not solving his problem through suicide, but he is guaranteeing that he will have to go through the same pain again which he tried to end before, and that the choice against self-destruction will be even harder to make. This notion should give serious pause to any contemplating the ending of their physical lives.

Now, since a previous suicide must inevitably be drawn back into incarnation at a location and in a life-pattern which will again present him with the choice of self-destruction, it can be understood that, with its oppressive and gloomy weather, Seattle is an ideal location for enacting the drama this time around. Indeed, in a large portion of Seattle’s population there is at least a distant history of self-destruction in past lives, even though most have more recently passed the same test as once they failed. However, because the germ of self-destruction is still faintly alive within them, they have been drawn back to that city for an incarnation in order to give themselves the opportunity to transmute that negative fragment into something positive – for by living most of an incarnation under an oppressive weather pattern, such persons are able to develop an attitude of acceptance and insularity which allows them to withstand the pressures which the depressing weather exerts.

It is more complicated than that. Such persons – those who have turned themselves around, so to speak – are able to pass along a certain suicidal tendency genetically to their children. This then makes them ideal parents for a soul who has recently failed the suicide test, and has taken his own life: firstly the parents pass along the genetic imperfection which prompts the depressive attitude that leads often to thoughts of suicide, but secondly the parents are ones who have passed that same test themselves, and thus can show the new soul, by example and by teaching, how one goes about resisting the negative pressures of a suicidal tendency.

I know this is kind of heavy information to share after losing someone we all knew and loved to suicide. I do feel, however, that if this information was more widely known, then those who face the temptation of suicide would be better able to make a better and more conscious choice in their lives.

With the intense Astrological karma Robin Williams was dealing with I can understand how it could drive him over the edge like this. I feel that he needed some really profound spiritual/psychological transformational experience to cope with the intense energies that he was dealing with. The kind that comes from things like deep, intensive, silent meditation retreats, or perhaps drinking the visionary drug Ayahuasca.

I feel that we should all pray and psychically support Robin Williams in whatever space he finds himself in now, with the prayer that he can find the faith, and self-forgiveness, healing and surrender which he couldn’t master in this life.

And yet, who knows, maybe his was a very advanced soul who volunteered to, on some level, take on this particular karma, to knowingly leave in this manner, to forever etch into our psyches the mythology of what Robin Williams brought into our lives in all his various roles.

The role which stands out the most poignantly to me now is his performance in: “The Fisher King,” where he portrays a traumatized soul, who is inspired by that trauma to reach for the Holy Grail, to reach for a Higher Goodness, Beauty and Purity, and in that traumatized aspiration, he leads others to profound, deep healing of themselves.

Thank you Robin for this,

Love and Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Nightmare in Gaza

Spiritual Company Newsletter

By Steffan Vanel • Astrologer • Tarot  Reader

August 4, 2014

Dear Friends and Clients,

I have been asked to share some comments about the conflict in Gaza. In that regard I’ve decided to relay three documents.

  • The first is the section in my book where I spoke about the Arab/Israeli Conflict.
  • The second is MIT professor Noam Chomsky’s assessment of the present conflict.
  • The third is a rather chilling article by an American Jew named Yochanan Gordon entitled: “When Genocide is Permissible.”

I do hope and pray that all parties can find some kind of positive, peaceful resolution and that the suffering can be alleviated.
Sincerely,
Steffan Vanel

But first I want to share with you a conversation with a Middle Eastern Terrorist bomber:

First Speaker: When you attack it’s just to spread terror….I think these bombings and these killings hurt us with the United Nations…When they read about us, it’s nothing but terror and violence.

Terrorist: It’s not the first time this happens in history. I don’t know of one nation, whether existing now or in the past……that was not born in violence. Terror, violence, death. They are the midwives who bring free nations into this world….justice itself is an abstraction……completely devoid of reality.

We will continue to bomb them out.

Reading the above I would imagine that it would be an easy conclusion that the terrorist is a Palestinian bomber.

Actually, it is dialogue coming from a Jewish terrorist in the movie Exodus, who had been imprisoned for the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem:

The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out on Monday July 22, 1946 by the militant right-wing Zionist underground organization, the Irgun, on the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wing[1] of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.[2][3][4] 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured.[5] -Wikipedia

Interesting when the tables are turned?

The Arab/Israeli Conflict

According to Hilarion, the Middle East is the place to watch. He says that the oil deposits which ring the State of Israel were purposely arranged to be there to serve as the catalyst for what Hilarion calls the casus belli for the final war. The Spiritual Hierarchy understood that the nations of the Earth would fight for ownership of the oil deposits. I must admit that during the Gulf War I thought, ‘This is it.’

In the book, Nations, Hilarion has a specific pronouncement regarding Israel. Before I present that information, I would like to share some Astrological insight into the Arab/Israeli conflict. In his book, Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology, the author contends that Astrologically speaking the Israelis are related to the sign Aries while the Arabs are related to the sign Scorpio. Aries and Scorpio are the two signs which are ruled by Mars, the God of War. This gives insight into why both sides exhibit seemingly irrepressible, aggressive, and violent tendencies, However, the Aries and Scorpio ‘styles’ are totally different. The Aries related Israelis express their aggression in blustering ‘Six Days Wars’ campaigns with helicopter gunships and tanks. In contrast, the Scorpio related Arabs express their aggression in smaller secretive, terrorist attacks and suicide bombers. Each side totally hates and resents the other’s ‘style.’

I have traveled to Israel. I made a spiritual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, as a Christian. I also made a pilgrimage to the northern Israeli town of Zefat, as a devoted student of the Jewish Kabbalah. In the 16th century there was a great flowering of Kabbalistic teaching and knowledge in Zefat. The hillside there is dotted with numerous grave sites, many painted blue to indicate the resting place of a tzadikim or holy person.

While in Israel I also visited with Israeli friends. These were largely European Jews, friends and family of my Jewish friends in Europe. They told me that, at one time, they had great hope and faith in the future of their country. During the 1960’s and 70’s there was a lot of positive optimism for the future of their nation. That was the time when a lot of kibbultzim and other communal efforts flourished. My friends then told me that their optimism is gone. They have little faith in their future. I was told this in early 1987, long before the present intifada. At that same time, these friends of European descent also told me that the most aggressive, anti-Palestinian, and militant Israelis tended to be Jews who came from Arabic countries such as Morocco and Yemen. These Jews already had developed a long history of tension with Muslims. My friends noted that the other group of Israelis who were equally aggressive and militaristic in their attitude toward the Palestinians were Jews who had emigrated from America.

Here, I am venturing onto tricky ground, in relation to my many Jewish-American friends. Nonetheless, I say what I say now because it is my observation, and I offer it only to further awareness and consciousness and healing. My Jewish-American friends are generally very liberal, abhor racist discrimination, and are firm advocates of Civil Rights. Yet among many of them, once the subject of Israel is mentioned, a whole different demeanor descends over them. They become aggressive and militaristic in their attitude towards the Palestinians. Of course the sad history of anti-Semitism and the horrors the Holocaust arc a large and understandable cause for Jewish protectiveness. However, why would American Jews be more militant in their defense of Israel than European Jews, who are actually more connected to the historical areas where those horrors took place? My conclusion is that the American Jews are likely subject to the elements of the American Astrological character. These Astrological influences would include the Sagittarian tendency to see oneself as ‘upright, honest and morally strong. whether true or not; the Mars in the Seventh House ‘tendency to rush into battle when opposed’; and the Neptune/Mars square leading to the ‘victim /victimizer program.’ These are all American birthchart characteristics which could lead American Jews to dismiss or downplay Israelis who support peace and a less aggressive approach to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Before I quote Hilarion’s comments on Israel, 1 would like to repeat what Hilarion has said regarding prophecy. He stated that the best prophet was the false prophet, he whose prophecy has failed to come true. By delivering his prophecy he has encouraged people to change sufficiently so that the prophecy no longer needs to occur. The material for the book Nations was originally channeled from Hilarion in 1979. Much has changed in the fate of nations since that time. For example, the information regarding Iran references 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power. Hilarion’s predictions for Iran then were quite dire, but the possibilities arc always in flux. Today with reformist forces gaining political power there is cause for greater hope in Iran. People and nations always have the opportunity to change and thus alter their destiny. Here are Hilarion’s comments on Israel:

ISRAEL has lost her Master.

She has forgotten the god who guided her people through the long centuries of affliction and persecution. Because she has forgotten her god, she will be tested in the very center of the crucible when the bitter years are upon the earth. This trial will bring the nation back to god, but only after much has been suffered.

Israel has been the repository of a burning faith and devotion for many centuries. She was meant to carry that flame aloft so that in the Tribulation years new fires could be lighted from it, to bring the world back to a true faith.

Those of her people who remained in other countries have still that intensity of dedication to their religion which can fulfill the stated purpose during the Last Days. But among the people of the new state of Israel there is only a mockery of faith. They do not believe any more. And because of their unbelief they will be forced to drink the bitter cup to the dregs in the years of trouble ahead.

Hilarion’s observations on Israel echo the lack of faith admitted by my Israeli friends. In reading Hilarion’s Nations, it is clear that it is no accident what nation you are born into, or choose to live in. It is also clear that the Tribulation is going to come down more forcefully in certain parts of the planet than in others. Historians have looked back to World War II and we can now see clearly what could have been done by various nations to avoid or lessen the horrors that ensued. If and when the Middle East conflagration fully ignites, historians will look back at the role which the U.S. played in that eruption, both in terms of what we did and didn’t do. Personally, I think that the many flaws in the American character are leading us to fail to live up to what this country does and should truly stand for. In addition to the flaws of Sagittarian self-righteousness and Martial aggression, there is our Saturnian Tenth House ‘sloth and inattention’ in relation to our role in the world. This negligent attitude coupled with our Saturn square Sun’s resentment of any kind of authority, explains why we do not support the only body of authority which could bring peace to the Middle East. The U.S. is the key player in denying that body of authority its true potential role and mission. That body would be of course, a fully empowered and functioning United Nations. In an interview with Retired Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll relative to non-military solutions to conflict in the world were the following comments:

Admiral Carroll: We had leaders who helped found the United Nations and make it reflect our objectives, interests and values. The Charter is an American document and yet we have been among the least supportive in the last 50 years of any nation in the world.

Weekday host: If there was one thing you could do, if you could wave your magic wand to make the United Nations stronger, what would it be?

Admiral Carroll: The U.S. taking it more seriously, its responsibility seriously, paying its dues and supporting the changes in the U.N. which are absolutely essential to make it effective as an institution.

Weekday host : But it still has hope for you as an institution? Admiral Carroll: I know of no other game in town that has any promise whatever. The Charter is magnificent. It has all of the authority in writing that it needs. It doesn’t have the support and leadership of the United States to translate the authority into capabilities.

It was dismaying to me when I learned that a proposal to put U.N. peace monitors on the Israel/ Palestine border had been accepted by the entire body of U.N. nations, except for two – the U.S. and Israel. Of course the U.S. exercised its Security Council veto and the proposal was killed.

I am happy to read in Hilarion’s Nations that “in an agony of soul, America will again stand forth with her love, to rescue and nurture the peoples of the world”. How long it takes for the present ‘blindness’ to be removed will determine how much good we can do. It will also determine how much guilt we must carry, collectively, for what we could have done if we had awakened sooner. It is partly with that in mind that I am writing this book.

Nightmare in Gaza by Noam Chomsky

Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel’s goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.

For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence.

For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.

The latest Israeli rampage was set off by the brutal murder of three Israeli boys from a settler community in the occupied West Bank. A month before, two Palestinian boys were shot dead in the West Bank city of Ramallah. That elicited little attention, which is understandable, since it is routine.

“The institutionalized disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence,” Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani reports, “but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip.”

In an interview, human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, who has remained in Gaza through years of Israeli brutality and terror, said, “The most common sentence I heard when people began to talk about cease-fire: Everybody says it’s better for all of us to die and not go back to the situation we used to have before this war. We don’t want that again. We have no dignity, no pride; we are just soft targets, and we are very cheap. Either this situation really improves or it is better to just die. I am talking about intellectuals, academics, ordinary people: Everybody is saying that.”

In January 2006, Palestinians committed a major crime: They voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of Parliament to Hamas. The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In reality, Hamas leaders have repeatedly made it clear that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the U.S. and Israel for 40 years.

In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.

The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The U.S. and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence.

The U.S. and Israel quickly initiated plans for a military coup to overthrow the elected government. When Hamas had the effrontery to foil the plans, the Israeli assaults and the siege became far more severe.

There should be no need to review again the dismal record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of “mowing the lawn,” to borrow Israel’s cheery expression for its periodic exercises in shooting fish in a pond as part of what it calls a “war of defense.”

Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to rebuild somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. The most recent cease-fire was established after Israel’s October 2012 assault, called Operation Pillar of Defense.

Though Israel maintained its siege, Hamas observed the cease-fire, as Israel concedes. Matters changed in April of this year when Fatah and Hamas forged a unity agreement that established a new government of technocrats unaffiliated with either party.

Israel was naturally furious, all the more so when even the Obama administration joined the West in signaling approval. The unity agreement not only undercuts Israel’s claim that it cannot negotiate with a divided Palestine but also threatens the long-term goal of dividing Gaza from the West Bank and pursuing its destructive policies in both regions.

Something had to be done, and an occasion arose on June 12, when the three Israeli boys were murdered in the West Bank. Early on, the Netanyahu government knew that they were dead, but pretended otherwise, which provided the opportunity to launch a rampage in the West Bank, targeting Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have certain knowledge that Hamas was responsible. That too was a lie.

One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.”

The 18-day rampage after the kidnapping, however, succeeded in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing five Hamas members on July 7.

Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.

By July 31, around 1,400 Palestinians had been killed, mostly civilians, including hundreds of women and children. And three Israeli civilians. Large areas of Gaza had been turned into rubble. Four hospitals had been attacked, each another war crime.

Israeli officials laud the humanity of what it calls “the most moral army in the world,” which informs residents that their homes will be bombed. The practice is “sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy,” in the words of Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.”

In fact, there is no place in the prison of Gaza safe from Israeli sadism, which may even exceed the terrible crimes of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

The hideous revelations elicited the usual reaction from the most moral president in the world, Barack Obama: great sympathy for Israelis, bitter condemnation of Hamas and calls for moderation on both sides.

When the current attacks are called off, Israel hopes to be free to pursue its criminal policies in the occupied territories without interference, and with the U.S. support it has enjoyed in the past.

Gazans will be free to return to the norm in their Israeli-run prison, while in the West Bank, Palestinians can watch in peace as Israel dismantles what remains of their possessions.

That is the likely outcome if the U.S. maintains its decisive and virtually unilateral support for Israeli crimes and its rejection of the long-standing international consensus on diplomatic settlement. But the future will be quite different if the U.S. withdraws that support.

In that case it would be possible to move toward the “enduring solution” in Gaza that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for, eliciting hysterical condemnation in Israel because the phrase could be interpreted as calling for an end to Israel’s siege and regular attacks. And – horror of horrors – the phrase might even be interpreted as calling for implementation of international law in the rest of the occupied territories.

Forty years ago Israel made the fateful decision to choose expansion over security, rejecting a full peace treaty offered by Egypt in return for evacuation from the occupied Egyptian Sinai, where Israel was initiating extensive settlement and development projects. Israel has adhered to that policy ever since.

If the U.S. decided to join the world, the impact would be great. Over and over, Israel has abandoned cherished planswhen Washington has so demanded. Such are the relations of power between them.

Furthermore, Israel by now has little recourse, after having adopted policies that turned it from a country that was greatly admired to one that is feared and despised, policies it is pursuing with blind determination today in its march toward moral deterioration and possible ultimate destruction.

Could U.S. policy change? It’s not impossible. Public opinion has shifted considerably in recent years, particularly among the young, and it cannot be completely ignored.

For some years there has been a good basis for public demands that Washington observe its own laws and cut off military aid to Israel. U.S. law requires that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

Israel most certainly is guilty of this consistent pattern, and has been for many years.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, author of this provision of the law, has brought up its potential applicability to Israel in specific cases, and with a well-conducted educational, organizational and activist effort such initiatives could be pursued successively.

That could have a very significant impact in itself, while also providing a springboard for further actions to compel Washington to become part of “the international community” and to observe international law and norms.

Nothing could be more significant for the tragic Palestinian victims of many years of violence and repression.

© 2014 Noam Chomsky Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate

Earlier today the Times of Israel published the article “When Genocide is Permissible” by Yochanan Gordon. They have since taken it down but we are republishing it here as representative of part of the discourse in the American Jewish community. According to Gordon’s bio at the Times of Israel his father is the founder of The Five Towns Jewish Times in Nassau County, NY which is “committed to showing the best of our Orthodox Jewish community, while reflecting reality.” The article is still posted there.

Update:

The article has been taken off the The Five Towns Jewish Times website with this explanation:

An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.

The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.

Gordon has reportedly ended his twitter account, citing security concerns. He has now also issued an apology for the article, but he doesn’t seem to get it:

I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on 5TJT.com, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over.

I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.

With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.

When Genocide is Permissible by Yochanan Gordon

Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.

I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.

The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.

Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.

Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?

News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.

Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.

I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel