I had planned to write on the struggle in the US congress in which the Israel Lobby seeks to override the president’s veto. This is likely to cause a new war in the Middle East, send out a new wave of refugees, and destroy the cradle of our faith and civilization. However, the most dangerous trend we are facing springs from our arrogant desire to override the natural order of birth, life and death.
On the streets of Tel Aviv, young Filipinos or strong Sudanese push trolleys with old Jewish people. They cling to life, these old ladies. Age and race are juxtaposed: it is fine to be old, if you belong to the right race or ethnicity. Taking care of the old is a job for immigrants, refugees, and guest workers of the wrong race. Whenever I see such a trolley, I do not exult in our good care of the elderly and in our humane attitudes; I lament the fate of the Philippines and Sudan, for if these states hadn’t been devastated by us, the young women would be taking care of their own children instead of flying to the end of the world to change diapers for old Jewish ladies.
Once, the slavers had to go to Africa, hunt and seize prospective slaves and ship them to plantations. We destroyed their societies, and now the slaves are paying their own fare and competing to live in Uncle Tom’s cabin. They became indispensable for the care of old people, and we have a lot of old folks in our developed countries. This is the case where both means and purpose, the modern slave trade and the preservation of exhausted life, are equally reprehensible.
We try to live longer and longer, as if year after year of loneliness in institutions is such a wonderful benefit. Medicine can dull the Grim Reaper’s scythe, and old people seem to live forever. Our late Prime Minister, Gen. Ariel Sharon, died for all practical purposes in 2006, but his life was “saved” in a way and he lingered on in limbo until 2014. For eight long years the doctors reported: “He responds to pain”, until he was allowed to depart for his permanent abode wherever it might be.
Another Jew of renown, Lubavitscher Rebbe Schneerson, was been kept “alive” for many years, until his followers despaired of his return. Their example shines for others. My friend, a poet, fumed about why the medical system did not hospitalize his 85-year old mother right away, change her heart and other parts, make her functioning again. He did not care about the cost – a humane society should do it. Or shouldn’t it?
Taking care of the elderly has huge social costs and not all of these can be outsourced to the Sudanese. My old schoolmate deserted his wife and daughter in order to take care of his elderly mother. A good son? I wonder. Within five years, his neglected daughter got hooked on drugs and committed suicide, his forlorn wife divorced him, while his mother was still alive, still bedridden and about ninety.
We spend too much effort on preserving life, and people (or should I say we, as I approach 70) live much longer than ever before. Thanks to medicine, infants who would never survive otherwise, are kept alive. They need daily treatment and expensive drugs and operations, to carry on their sad lives, for their parents and society are convinced that life should be preserved at all cost. Aren’t we wonderful?
Not really. Our societies kill perfectly healthy children, whether by abortion or by bombing their populous countries. Five hundred thousand Iraqi children were killed by Madeleine Albright, to her satisfaction. Nearer to home, I never could understand why a Jewish child with Down’s syndrome should be kept alive at considerable expense and effort, while a healthy Palestinian child may be killed for free.
In less prosperous countries, magazines carry ads asking for help to postpone death. People with ill children, parents, spouses ask for the contribution they need to take their sick to the place of a magic cure, or to buy a deadly expensive medicine not covered by insurance. Their ads show a sweet kid or a peaceful old man, and describe his maladies and the miraculous treatment able to restore his brain, grow him a new heart or new legs for a tiny cost of so many dollars. This money could feed thousands of healthy children, or provide elementary and inexpensive medical care for many.
People of wealth do not ask for our contribution, but they also spend a lot on cures. The very rich spend enormous sums to gain immortality. They die anyway. There are rumors that the hundred-year-old billionaire David Rockefeller had had a few heart transplants. Perhaps the rumours are not true, but anyway his longevity was achieved at cost of other younger lives. Such people do consume other lives, for they make ordinary medicine for ordinary people unavailable.
Human resources are limited. A vast investment in expensive medicines and devices means less money for treating everyone with less exotic illnesses. Preserving and extending the existence of those unable to live without help (be it elderly or children or terminally ill) means less resources for everybody else. Sanctity of life for a few means death for others. There is no way to sustain unlimited medical spending for a few unless the majority is robbed of their chance to live.
This system had been denounced by Ivan Illich in his Medical Nemesis many years ago, but it has become worse since then. The root of the problem is our worship of life and fear of death. Far from being natural, this is a relatively new tendency. Previous generations knew that there are many things more important than life. They valued their soul, their honor, their integrity above the life of their body. They accepted death as an unavoidable event in one’s life, nothing to run away from. They saw flowers and trees and wild animals and learned from them.
Their world was God-centered, and in such a world, life and death of a man is a normal occurrence. They would pray for their life to last longer, but they would add, as the Orthodox Christians do even now at every Sunday service: grant me a Christian death, peaceful, without pain and shame. The Christian asks for a short time to prepare himself, to repent and to receive last rites, and if this wish is granted, he dies contented, for his death is just a transition to life eternal. People who worship life are heathens – or animals, from the Christian point of view.
Fear of death should be removed from our world. We should accept death as we accept life: with gratitude, as St. Simon the Elder did as he said: “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace”.
While ridding us of fear of death, we should also eliminate organ transplants, the modern form of cannibalism. Like in the days of Captain Cook, rich men consume the kidneys or the livers of their fellow men. Sometimes these organs are ripped from a dead person, disturbing his peace. Often kidneys are ripped out of the bodies of unfortunate debtors who are forced into this sacrifice by their creditors, or from people reduced to poverty who need to feed their children.
In Israel, body parts have been taken from Palestinians for the benefit of Jews, as we learned from the confessions of Yehuda Liss. Organs were harvested by the Kosovo Albanians from live Serbs, said Carla del Ponte, the prosecutor in the Hague. Why are we shocked by cannibalism which occurred in Papua New Guinea? We are worse.
The medieval world knew the desire to save one’s life at cost of another’s life or injury. This was done by warlocks and witches who drew a bath of innocent children’s blood for the beneficiary who wanted to preserve his or her youth beyond the allotted years. That’s why the Bible called for them to be put them to death. Modern harvesters are not any better.
We might roll medicine back to its Cuban level, where simple medical treatment is available to everyone for free, while complicated ones are just not available for anybody, including David Rockefeller. Equality of medical treatment will remind us that we all equal before death, and this is good news.
Fear of God is healthy. Fear of death is sickness; it is denial of God and of Man’s privileged place in the Universe. Our departure will suit our life. Evil people do evil things because they are certain that there is nothing after. The spiritual father of the Neo-Cons, Leo Strauss, entered acrimonious arguments (with Martin Buber inter alia) denying God. It was important for him to claim there is no reward, no punishment for our deeds. And his disciples took over the Pentagon and ignited the Middle East, sending the great wave of refugees toward Europe. Only people who deny Christ are likely to do such things.
Many people dislike the concept of human rights because it was used for the “humanitarian interventions” in Libya and Iraq. Others would argue that the concept was misused by Bush and Blair. But I reject the idea of human rights because human duties are more important, love is more important, while love of God is still more important. Human rights should not have priority before duty, love and piety.
Nowhere is this concept more misleading than in the sphere of reproductive politics. No, a woman has no right over her body, neither does a man, nor a child. Our body is on loan from God. We are not free to do with it whatever we will. Mutilation, suicide and abortion are equally evil before God.
We have no right to have children. It is a grace of God that we have them. People engaged in the surrogate motherhood business try to get children by force or by theft. Surrogate motherhood is not different from slavery in its worst form: the slave owner could beget a child with a slave girl, but he normally would not steal the child and take him away from his mother. This is what is done by the father of the surrogate child.
The traditional society had an institution of “bearing on the knees” as in the case of Jacob, Rachel and Bilhah (Genesis 30), but there the child’s real mother was not deprived of her child.
The correct question is not “should surrogate mothers be allowed to carry a child in their body for other people?” as it is sometimes presented. It is similar to a question “should one be allowed to feed one’s body to crocodiles?” Naturally, no woman would give her child away unless being forced. She can be forced by hunger or by poverty or by force.
Israel, with its huge gay community, is a big buyer of women in poor countries for their own reproduction. At first, they went to India, until the Indians decided to stop this form of slavery and child kidnapping. Then, they went to Nepal. An earthquake devastated that country, and even this disaster did not tell the people of Nepal and Israel that their behavior was utterly sinful and criminal, earning such a divine punishment.
Not only gays are buying children. Many normal couples in Israel are unable to have children, and they go to the slave trading agencies. Instead, they should ponder their own behavior and pray for forgiveness. Children are a blessing, and not everyone deserves a blessing. The Bible has many stories of barren women who repented, prayed and their prayer was answered. The Israelis should cease starving Gaza, open its harbours and borders, and God will open the wombs of their womenfolk.
They try to cheat God, but God is not a sucker. All the technical devices will not bring happiness a real, normally-born child is likely to produce.
Maria Poumier, a French scholar of surrogacy, thinks the buyers of slave children are due for a lot of unhappiness. “A purchased son is not loved in the same way as a natural one, but in the same way one loves a cat or a dog, chosen for the best pedigree; it can be sold again if unpleasant; that is called “rehoming” in the case of adopted children. International adoption is over, because too many cases of stolen children have been proven, and adopted children become unbearable with their adoptive parents when grown up, even in the best loving families”.
However, she is optimistic, hoping the slave children educated in wealthy homes will rise against those who purchased them and stole them from their enslaved “surrogate” mothers.
In her view, the surrogate agencies are making a lot of money and spend it to enlarge their base to make more money. The recent surge of gay interest has been caused by these agencies, as they consider the gays their potential clients. As surrogacy is a modern form of slave trade, Jews are the leaders in the business as they were in slaving, writes Maria Poumier.
Infertility is a very good business, she says quoting Sebastien Renault’s investigation. “That is why there is such seducing propaganda for the gay way of life, in order to make them feel the natural infertility of sodomy as a social injustice. The gays are considered as new consumers, bringing more income for the agencies”.
I think that behind their desire to make money there is a much more malicious reason: the drive for total subjugation of man, as I wrote at length elsewhere. This should be fought. There is a law in the books against kidnapping and the slave trade, and this law should be employed against the reproductive agencies.
We should take birth, life and death as they come, as was done by our ancestors. If we won’t stop this plague now, we shall see our children and grandchildren stripped for organ transplants to the rich bankers who want to live forever, if not bought and sold for the amusement of gay couples. We shall see children being manufactured and mass-produced for transplants, for war, for labour, as Aldous Huxley prophesied in his too-prescient book. God’s plans can be overridden only at a huge cost, a cost that will dwarf the override of Obama’s Iran Treaty.
Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]