Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shame On You, Frank

Guest-posted by Nice Jewish Guy:

Last night, a couple of friends and I watched the classic 1973 Sidney Lumet film Serpico, starring Al Pacino. I had never seen it, so when I noticed it while browsing Netflix, I put it in my queue.

The film was as great as they said; Pacino was amazing as Frank Serpico, an honest cop who faced widespread corruption in the New York City Police Department. He refused to take graft being skimmed off of the drug dealers and gamblers, and as a result no one trusted him; he was shunned by brother officers everywhere he went and got no support from his superiors. Over a 13 year career, mostly in plainclothes, he transferred from one command to the next in the hopes of escaping his hostile colleagues and finding an honest, corruption-free precinct. Fellow officers openly threatened his life. Finally, with no place else to turn, he went to the New York Times, which embarrassed the NYPD and the Mayor and forced the Mayor to convene the Knapp Commission. Before he could testify, though, he was shot in the face during a drug bust in Williamsburg, while his partners stood idly by and let it happen, leaving him to die in the hallway of a crappy tenement.

Here's that final climax of the film (warning: graphic).

He eventually testified, was promoted to detective, and retired to live a nomadic existence in Switzerland for ten years. He now lives in upstate New York.

Naturally, after seeing this film I was intrigued by this man and wondered what had become of him. We're all inspired by those who have stood up to higher powers and faced seemingly insurmountable odds, and prevailed. It's also heartening to see that there are, apparently, some genuinely honest people in this world, people who are able to recognize in black and white the dichotomy between good and evil, and choose the good, even under enormous pressure not to.

I checked out Serpico's Wikipedia page- a lot of it seemingly lifted from his website, which I checked out as well. So far, he seems like a smart and well-meaning, if a little bit hippie-ish, ethical activist. Okay. Then I clicked a link to his blog.

Imagine my utter dismay and anger when I noticed that his most recent postings were about the current was in Gaza. Here's what Frank has to say:


While racist isranazis continue their genocidal holocaust doing unto others as was done unto their innocent ancestors.
A variety of vermin continue "BUSINESS" as usual, hiding behind overused and outdated terms such as Religion; Race, antisemitism etc.
History repeats itself and at the hands of the wealthy and powerful it is business as usual at the expense of poor and helpless individuals.
The only change will come when these individuals of the world unite as one voice against their oppressor.

The powerful continue to control the media so they are free to propagate their lies.

The powerful have all the weapons of mass destruction so they continue to slaughter the innocent.

Billionaire Bloomberg supports the Isranazis but he does not speak for all Israelis and New Yorkers.

The Palistinians are the "blacks" of the 1950's and Hamas is the Black Panther Party fighting for the liberation of it's people.

Oh, Frank. I don't know if that bullet you took to the face, whose fragments are still lodged in your brain, has addled your mind, or if the traumatic experience you went through has so polarized your world that you can't be objective. But I would have thought that you of all people would be able to clearly recognize pure evil when you see it. Are you so focused on who you think is the "underdog" that you can't recognize evil? Maybe living in Switzerland, those Nazi collaborators, has warped your sense of history. Hamas is in full control of Gaza. Gaza is crawling with terrorists who use their own people as human shields. Their "charter" calls for the destruction of Israel. Even The New York Times, the very newspaper that was instrumental in your redemption and salvation, is grudgingly recognizing that Israel has been left with no choice. Don't take my word for it; go on YouTube and watch the videos of booby-trapped schools, weapons being fired from civilian areas, toddlers dressed in explosive vests. This is what Israel is dealing with.

I get it-- your trust in the establishment, in governments, in authority, has been shattered a long time ago. But you're not doing anyone any favors by equating the Israelis with Nazis. That's just breathless rhetoric. Why don't you come up with a solution? Or go visit Sderot, and Ashdod, talk to some Israelis about the situation there. Learn some history. Israel dosn't want to be fighting this war; they left Gaza over 3 years ago. Hamas promptly staged a coup, took over, and started lobbing rockets into Israel.

Two axioms come to mind: "There will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel" (Golda Meir); and "if Hamas laid down their weapons today, there would be no war, but if Israel laid down its weapons today, there would be no more Israel."

So shame on you, Frank. Shame on you for reflexively spouting knee-jerk leftist rhetoric. Your stand against corruption in the NYPD was heroic. But you were in the NYPD for 13 years. You don't know a fig about what's going on in Israel. Your nobility in 1971 doesn't grant you expertise or authority to pontificate about every world affair. Pick another battle-- there are plenty: Darfur, Rwanda, Congo, or any other country's problems. But leave Israel alone.

1 comment:

WebGirl said...

One of the tragedies of this sort of misguided sympathy is that it comes from a good place. That's a common thread in misplaced, misguided causes. Good people latch on to well-placed propaganda and believe that they are fighting for a noble reason (i.e. the oppressed Palestinians, whose children are being slaughtered by the Zionist occupiers...if you didn't know the truth of the situation, who wouldn't feel something upon hearing that?).

It's the job of those who know better to keep educating, to keep putting out the message, so that good, well-meaning people whose hearts are in the right place will understand where truth lies.