How can any group, bound together based on race, nationality, or religion, who have been subjected to the oppression, repression, and, as happened to the Jews, annihilation, become a mirror image of the hated oppressor and vilified monster from which the allied forces of WWII eventually liberated them?

In its illegal expansion into territories that once belonged to the Palestinians, the Israelis appear to be hellbent on erasing the Palestinian people from the Middle East. They kill them, harass them during funerals, bulldoze their homes, and treat them like prisoners of war, which they are. They have forced them into smaller and smaller plots of ground the way the Germans created ghettos for the Jews. The Jews seem to want to claim the whole of the ancient territories once populated by tribes before there even was a God.

I'm going to make a point that may piss some folks off, but I think it has to be made. There was no "land of Israel" before some old men wrote stories about having talked to God and being given permission to claim territory. There were tribes all over the region that Israel now occupies and claims as their own; until the religion of Judaism came about, there were no Jews; they were all indigenous tribes believing in a raft of gods in what we think of generally as Arabia. The "land of Israel" is a tiny sliver of what, in ancient times, was the tribes of Arabia. Here's a map that hopefully gives a sense of what I'm saying.

You will find words and writings that state the following as justification for Israel's absconding with Palestinian lands.

"The 12 Tribes of Israel descended from Abraham through Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher; they became the patriarchs of the 12 original Tribes of Israel (Gen. 35:22-26). Reuben lost his rights as firstborn, as he had defiled his father's bed (Gen. 35:22 - 49:3-4). His inheritance was divided between the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh, and they became tribes (Gen. 48:5-6). After the Egyptian bondage and the years spent in the wilderness, the Israelites went back to the Holy Land and conquered it. The Land of Israel was then divided into the 12 Tribes."

Do understand that, notwithstanding the claims of having God on speed-dial, this is all the imaginings of some significantly older, flat-earth men 3,000 years ago. I have looked at maps until my damn eyes dried out. Remember that 3,000 years ago, roughly the time the single-God theory was gaining traction, there were no surveyors or people drawing maps and filing land claims with the Office of Ancient Lands. It was one tribe and then another getting uppity and kicking someone's ass because they wanted more territory or water rights. Humans believed in multiple gods for tens of thousands of years and still did when the Jews gathered around Yahweh.

In my opinion, there are some telling details in all this myth-historical babble. First, there is the title, "The God of Israel." Really? And who decided that?  Uh, the Israelis did.  "God chose the Israelites (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) for a special purpose. He offered them an opportunity to become the model nation of His way of life for all nations so that all people could have His blessings. He blessed Israel because of the faith and obedience of Abraham, but He made it clear it wasn't because they were great or righteous (Deuteronomy 7:7-8; 9:6). And,  "Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 44:1).

So, who or what is Deuteronomy? Without getting too preachy here (pun intended), it's a Greek word, Deuteronomium, meaning "second law," and it is part of the Torah, which is the basis for the Israelite law. Deuteronomy is a collection of short stories, including the Ten Commandments, ending with the death of Moses. Interestingly, it includes the Deuteronomic Code, which bears a striking resemblance to The Code of Hammurabi, the ruler of Ur in Abraham's day and who preceded Moses by about 1,000 years. Hey, kids! Can you say plagiarism?

Okay, so who was Isaiah? Isaiah, whose name means "Yahweh is salvation," wrote the book that bears his name in the Old Testament. His writings are especially significant for the prophecies he made about the coming Messiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born (Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-7, 11:2-4; 53:4-7, 9, 12). Little is written about Isaiah, the man. We know that he was the son of Amoz and that he married and had sons of his own. Though Isaiah's recognition as a great prophet is indicated in the books of the Kings and Chronicles, it is also probable that he was a priest, as his calling from God took place in the temple, an area reserved only for priests. Yes, there were Jewish priests back in the day. Oh, and he was a prophet; we all know how those prophets have screwed things up over the millennia.

Finally, there is Abraham, considered the father of all God-based religions. Here's a take on Abraham: "There the childless septuagenarian receives repeated promises and a covenant from God that his "seed" will inherit the land and become a numerous nation. Eventually, he not only has a son, Ishmael, by his wife's maidservant Hagar but has, at 100 years of age, by Sarah, a legitimate son, Isaac, who is to be the heir of the promise. Yet Abraham is ready to obey God's command to sacrifice Isaac, a test of his faith, which he is not required to consummate in the end because God substitutes a ram. At Sarah's death, he purchases the cave of Machpelah near Hebron, together with the adjoining ground, as a family burying place. It is the first clear ownership of a piece of the promised land by Abraham and his posterity. Toward the end of his life, he sees to it that his son Isaac marries a girl from his own people back in Mesopotamia rather than a Canaanite woman. Abraham dies at the age of 175 and is buried next to Sarah in the cave of Machpelah." If this doesn't sound like a script for something out of Harry Potter, I don't know what does.

One last comment before I move on. Does anyone else find it strange that God seemed to be especially chatty two-to-three thousand years ago, talking to all manner of people? He has clammed up for the last couple of thousand years, talking to only a few people like Pat Robertson and David Koresh; you do light a candle to those two clowns every night, don't you?

Maybe, just maybe, the folks back in the days of Moses were a little less sophisticated and highly vulnerable to fairy tales and mysterious voices. Today, they might draw a few sideways glances and a prescription for anti-psychotic medication talking like that.

I could go on and on about the origins of religions and the myths and tales they are built upon, but that's not my goal.

Let's see, what the hell was my goal? Oh, yes, discussing the godawful behavior of the State of Israel against the Palestinians. The Israeli invasion and occupation of Palestinian lands bear an uncanny and uncomfortable resemblance to the European ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the Americas. It resembles Hitler's determination to eliminate the Jews. And, more recently, Putin's insistence that the country of Ukraine doesn't exist and that he sees it as his personal and perhaps a holy mission to wipe the Ukrainian people off the map and out of everyone's minds. These situations all have the odor of genocide.

In the Americas, and particularly what we now call the United States (as opposed to the Ethnically Cleansed States), we used God as an excuse to try to wipe out an entire ethnicity of people, the Native Americans. We ginned up something called Manifest Destiny that posited that it was God's will that we occupy this land and kill anyone that stood in our way. We labeled the Indian a savage, and for those we didn't kill, we whisked them off to retraining camps and began to brainwash them into thinking and worshiping as we did.

I'm a son-of-a-bitch if I see a big difference between what we did to the Indians and what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians.