At AIPAC, Wieseltier Seems Sad, Admitting the ‘Harsh’ Responsibility of Standing Up for Zionism as Intellectuals Flock to One-State Solution

The place I’m staying in Washington is filled with books, and I went to bed Sunday night reading Tony Judt’s collection of essays, Reappraisals. It includes his 2002 review of Michael Oren’s book on the Six Day war, and Judt’s statement that it was the last piece he wrote for the New Republic, where he was then a contributing writer. In its next issue the New Republic ran a letter from Oren, complaining, and then a year later, Judt published his famous piece in the NYRBooks calling for one state in Palestine. And after that his name was removed from the masthead of the New Republic. There’s some sadness in that; for it caused a rupture with TNR literary editor Leon Wieseltier, with whom Judt exchanged bitter words last year during the time when Judt was disinvited to speak by the Polish Embassy in New York under pressure from the Israel lobby.

Bedfellows: Last night at the Aipac convention, Leon Wieseltier and Michael Oren were on a panel together, on Israel, the next 60 years.

There was a defensive grim air about the panel. As most of the panelists admitted, Israel is suffering in world opinion. Yet it cannot care about this. The responsibility of standing up for Israel is a “harsh” one, Wieseltier said. And our enemies have made it harsh. Everyone on the panel was of course for taking up Israel’s side in this war. And former member of Knesset Natan Sharansky said the war wasn’t just with terrorist Islam, wasn’t just with Hamas, it was a war on behalf of religious nationalists against the godless and hypocritical west. At a time when the world is becoming “post national, we have to insist on being a Jewish state in spite of all the pressure.” The synagogues and churches in Europe are empty, he said, only the mosques are full. But the churches and the synagogues in U.S. and Israel are full, and that is why we are in this war together, as religious democracies. (Yes and what about Obama’s rainbow coalition, what does that signal?)

This is a theme that Michael Oren has also sounded in his book, Power Faith and Fantasy. Oren’s thinking has never impressed me, and he was unimpressive on the AIPAC stage. He has a martial propagandistic air. He was a military guy, he acts like one. He lacks subtlety. His book is simplistic and, I believe, misguided, suggesting that the founding fathers were somehow Zionists. We’ve come a long way since our founding fathers’ ideas about religion. We have come all the way to Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama with a Muslim father, and the Arabists and Chuck Hagel; and Israel might be coming a little ways itself too. So it struck me as a comedown that Wieseltier, having lost his association with Judt, is reduced to this sort of intelligence as a traveling companion. And now—over the Times Op-Ed attack on AIPAC–he may also be upset with its author Jeffrey Goldberg too…

I should be journalistic. Wieseltier has a first-rate mind, he’s sensitive. And a great character, dressed as usual in black, with cowboy boots. It was a great opportunity for me to hear him speak directly about Israel and Zionism. His book Kaddish is rarely intimate on these matters, rarely direct. And here is what Wieseltier said. The deepest meaning of Zionism is a commitment to the idea of Jews as historical agents. “Jews decided they would take their fate into their own hands.” And by the laws and customs of nations, Israel has been a “spectacular success.” That said, let’s not be utopian: “utopian mentalities… are traps.” Zionists have created a society of great vitality, but its character is not completely in Jewish hands. I.e., the Arab world is determining how Israel must be. “The absence of peace does not constitute the failure of Zionism. I’m one of those Jews for whom Zionism remains a beautiful word.”

He knows that this view is not widely shared in the west. That is the “ominous” new development. Many intellectuals in the U.S. and Europe have embraced the one-state solution. And that means the end of the Jewish state. Others on the panel said the same thing. The interesting thing was that they did not talk about the annihilation of the Jewish people, which Zionists usually do when they speak of the delegitimization of Zionism. Though Sharansky repeatedly baited the American crowd about assimilation—saying that in 60 years most of the Jews in the world will live in Israel, because most of the Jews here will become assimilated.

Wieseltier seemed to endorsed many of Sharansky’s ideas. He is the son of a former Jabotinskyite Jew, and there was ethnocentrism in his comments, never an appeal to Palestinian human rights, or Arab self determination. He got a little tripped up in this. He said that the Palestinians had many times rejected the state “that the whole world has been trying to give them for 60 years.” Then later he said that the interest in the one state solution has eclipsed the fight inside the Jewish community over “whether Palestinians should have a state or not.” And so thereby he acknowledged the crux of the matter, that this world that has been allegedly trying to give Palestinians a state for 60 years did not include Jewish leadership. So do Zionists and Jewish leadership also bear some responsibility for the fact that the lefty intellectuals are moving on to a new idea, a binational state?

The demographic numbers in historical Palestine–the old birth rate in the Occupied Territories stuff–is what has helped convince Wieseltier that it is now urgent to work hard for a peaceful resolution with the Palestinians. For it is “an essential imperative to maintain the Jewishness of the state.” And what that means now is “whatever the bitterness of our debate,” whatever the pressures Sharansky referred to that Israel is under to make a deal, Jews have a clear purpose. There is a “historical and moral responsibility we have—I say we–“ he corrected himself—that Israel has, “not to do anything to foreclose the possibility” of a two-state solution. (That old dual loyalty problem.)

The other panelists struck me as more defiant about the future. Oren is a propagandist. He only sees the happy story. He doesn’t really seem to see the problem. A law professor at the Hebrew university on the panel, Ruth Gavison, did see the problem, but she said that it just meant that Israel must continue to fight. To stay democratic and Jewish and sovereign. By contrast to the others, I heard real sadness in Wieseltier’s voice. He was the most sophisticated intellectually of the panelists, the most worldly. “Whereas I have almost a mystical faith in the survival of Israel, I find myself deeply anxious about it,” he said. The “larger Jewish questions” are about the U.S. “I worry a lot more about the American Jewish community than I do about Israel—about which I have grave doubts.” A weird locution: I thought he was saying that his grave doubts are about Americans. There was an inkling in his remarks of the impossibility of signing young Jewish Americans up for Zionism  in the age of Obama, young Americans without the Holocaust consciousness, steeped in news of the human rights abuses and in Norman Finkelstein, and enthralled in this beautiful America by Jewish power and assimiliation. Those must be the grave concerns that Wieseltier has. He has lost Judt, he is losing Goldberg. And he is stuck with Israeli belligerents.

  1. Once again there is no talk of what is best for the vast majority of Americans, or for the United States as a nation. When will it end?

  2. Funny thing, I'm reading Tony Judt's Reappraisals this week as well. Great book so far.

  3. Todd, the answer to your question lies here:

    "Though Sharansky repeatedly baited the American crowd about assimilation—saying that in 60 years most of the Jews in the world will live in Israel, because most of the Jews here will become assimilated."

    Now, if they do, would you be willing to help make sure that no ethnic group will ever be used as a scapegoat–even in harder times of change–will ever get troubles like the Jews got in Europe?

    I'd like to see America make it. …

    And would you be willing to recognize Israel as born out of very specific circumstances, if it opened up to dialog?

  4. Leander, I raelize that my opinions will have absolutely no affect on anything that happens, but my point is that my nation's future should not hinge on Israel, or Jewish interests at all. These people have to realize that they make some of their own trouble.

    The concern for minority rights may just sink the United States. As I see it, I am now caught between a radical Afro-centrist in camo, and Jewish interests that are nothing but hostile towards the majority. At this point, I am concerned with my own well-being.

    There has to be some middle ground between giving the nation away and sending people to gas chambers.

    Also, it think it is the responsibility of every group to be honest and not scapegoat others. My own group gets scapegoated quite a bit.

    I see no evidence that any ethnic group has ever really assimilated. Some fit in better than others, but all change the nation. I just happen to believe that the nation has changed far to much since its founding.

  5. "My own group gets scapegoated quite a bit."

    That would be what group?

    "I see no evidence that any ethnic group has ever really assimilated. Some fit in better than others, but all change the nation. I just happen to believe that the nation has changed far to much since its founding."

    I don't see any problem with not adopting to mainstream, apart from accepting a few basics that are beyond ethnicity, whatever that may be.

  6. I'm not sure what difference my ethnicity makes. I could easily argue my point, but the fact remains that it is not the responsibility of any one group alone to respect other groups.

    The possibility that my nation's future lies in the hands of competing hostile(towards the majority) minority groups is not good. I don't think that that point can be argued.

    Do I believe that everyone should conform to the same standards? No. But we are far beyond tolerating eccentrics, misfits and the occasional refugee. It seems that we are expected to tolerate traitors, and those who wish to tear apart the nation and change it to their liking, without consent, or even stating what they want.

  7. What is the American mainstream today? Ethnicity is the noisy political legal tender, cashed in everday at the branch bank of diversity. The old Main St Bank is gone. It's customers have empty cultural pockets.

  8. "The old Main St Bank is gone. It's customers have empty cultural pockets."

    I'd say that the bank just refuses our money.

  9. in addition to higher postal fees, passport fees, fuel prices, deaths, injuries, and more, the below just another cost of israel, jewry and its aipac wing to america:

    Returning to the U.S. From Beirut Via Syria

    The Color of Randomness
    By MALINI JOHAR SCHUELLER at counterpunch.org

    As I chatted with the personable young immigration officer at Atlanta airport on May 11th, I felt I had finally arrived as an ‘American.’ Here I was, a brown-skinned woman, a former Indian citizen, born in Pakistan, returning from Beirut via Syria, who was being playfully teased by the immigration official over the quintessential American identity marker–football affiliation.

    If only I was from Florida State instead of the University of Florida, I could be let into the country. I exulted at this recognition of my over twenty years of affiliation with the University of Florida and made mental note that my years of being asked when I became a U.S. citizen, what I taught at the University (American Studies), why I left the country so often were over. I had earned white privilege.

    My daydream ended when the officer followed the reassuring stamp on the passport with directions for me to go to a special security room and my huffy demand to know why I was being detained was met with the predictable response of a ‘random security check.’ As I sat in the interrogation room, my temporary Americanness having been deflated, I looked around and discovered, predictably, that the color of randomness was brown. All around me, sat brown men of possibly Middle Eastern or South Asian lineage. No doubt my special entry into the room had been facilitated by my trip to Lebanon where I had given a talk at the American University of Beirut, and had hustled to get out of the country via Damascus when hostilities in Lebanon forced the closure of Beirut airport.

  10. in addition to higher postal fees, passport fees, fuel prices, deaths, injuries, and more, the below just another cost of israel, jewry and its aipac wing to america:

    Returning to the U.S. From Beirut Via Syria

    The Color of Randomness
    By MALINI JOHAR SCHUELLER at counterpunch.org

    As I chatted with the personable young immigration officer at Atlanta airport on May 11th, I felt I had finally arrived as an ‘American.’ Here I was, a brown-skinned woman, a former Indian citizen, born in Pakistan, returning from Beirut via Syria, who was being playfully teased by the immigration official over the quintessential American identity marker–football affiliation.

    If only I was from Florida State instead of the University of Florida, I could be let into the country. I exulted at this recognition of my over twenty years of affiliation with the University of Florida and made mental note that my years of being asked when I became a U.S. citizen, what I taught at the University (American Studies), why I left the country so often were over. I had earned white privilege.

    My daydream ended when the officer followed the reassuring stamp on the passport with directions for me to go to a special security room and my huffy demand to know why I was being detained was met with the predictable response of a ‘random security check.’ As I sat in the interrogation room, my temporary Americanness having been deflated, I looked around and discovered, predictably, that the color of randomness was brown. All around me, sat brown men of possibly Middle Eastern or South Asian lineage. No doubt my special entry into the room had been facilitated by my trip to Lebanon where I had given a talk at the American University of Beirut, and had hustled to get out of the country via Damascus when hostilities in Lebanon forced the closure of Beirut airport.

  11. Let the Jewish State fade into a stronger homeland for Jews and Palestinians, or else the fragmentation won't stop with just 2 pieces. We've got at least four now, and more to come as time marches on. Which will the US support? Does it matter?

  12. "He said that the Palestinians had many times rejected the state “that the whole world has been trying to give them for 60 years.” "

    "He was the most sophisticated intellectually of the panelists, the most worldly."

    Well, yes he might be. But in my book he doesn't score very highly for honesty.

    That is the enduring problem with Zionists. In order to defend their stance they have to have recourse to fantasies that the world is increasingly unwilling to have shoved down its throat.

  13. "And would you be willing to recognize Israel as born out of very specific circumstances, if it opened up to dialog?"

    To accept Israel as legitimate because of special circumstances is to accept racism or genocide as legitimate because of special circumstances.

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for Hitlerism, but popular German consciousness about the Hitler period and WW2 is simply wrong.

    Hitler is in many ways a figure in German history comparable to Ronald Reagan in America. There was a lot evil in 1930s Germany, but we Americans are evil for supporting Israel and pushing Friedmanism.

    Viewing Hitlerism as something so uniquely evil that nothing compares is dangerous because there is no ideology in the world more similar to German Nazism than Zionism,

    In truth Labor Zionism is quite similar to the German Nazi leftist Strasser faction while Jabotinskian Zionism is very close to the rightist Nazi faction.

    It is interesting and probably part of the similarity that the rightists won out in both cases.

    Unfortunately, until Germans stop talking about the unique evil of German Nazism, talking rationally about the politics of the first half of the twentieth century is difficult just as Zionists prefer.

  14. Wieseltier is a racist second-rater. He possesses a level of pseudo-erudition less interesting than that of Ezra Pound, except that Pound actually contributed something positive to this world if only it was serving as a mentor to T.S. Eliot. To Wieseltier – all Gentiles are but 'filthy goyim", all Palestinians "filthy shvatz goyim". This is a man you characterize as a "sensitive, first-rate mind"? NOT. The guy's a narrow-minded neurotic Jew, and a particularly oddball ugly one at that. If he tripped and fell and died tomorrow on a banana peel – no one would miss him in the slightest. He's a vuntz, dreck. At least, Hitler – you could understand. But, this putz?

  15. "We’ve come a long way since our founding fathers’ ideas about religion."

    That is correct.

    The founding fathers were, many of them, ATHEISTS, and made sure that no state religion could be established in the USA.

    Look up the Tripoli peace treaty:
    " Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

    link to stephenjaygould.org

    The sad part is, the founding fathers vision was corrupted and twisted into what we have today – a religious nation.

  16. It is an overstatement to say that the founding fathers were anti-Christian, because many were Christians. The West at the time was viewed as Christian, whether or not the founders wanted a theocracy.

    You could rightly argue that the founders didn't call for a melting pot, or for a Jewish or Zionist nation.

  17. Phil, thanks for mondoweissian report on the AIPACs, but you do sound muted and beat down in the presence of so much Israel love.

    I've stated this before, but the all-of-a-sudden urge to 'give' the Palestinians their own State is too little and too late to stop the inevitable One State. The Jews got what they wished for, from the sea to the river Jordan, and only now realized like a python that they've swallowed something bad.
    Trying to spit it up while at the same time eating more of it in East Jerusalem is schizo.
    The more that Israel beats up Arabs in their minority neighborhoods, the more ludicrous a two-state solution becomes.
    The Jets had a hit song in the 80's called You've Got it All. The Jews Got it All. Now they have nothing to give the Palestinians except human rights and citizenship [and the descrimination against non-Jews which is the hallmark of the Jewish State].

  18. "Unfortunately, until Germans stop talking about the unique evil of German Nazism, talking rationally about the politics of the first half of the twentieth century is difficult just as Zionists prefer."

    As German it is my "unique evil". Not something that happened elsewhere.

    As someone born post WWII and to parents old enough to experience the reign of terror and the war, I grew up with the mindset still very much about in many ways.

    I wasn't born and didn't grow up in Cambodia, China, Russia or Ruanda but right here. So yes, the Nazis will remain my problem much more than Pol Pot.

    Basically I would have liked to grow up in a society that deals with it's past, something that never happens, if too many were ensnarled with the regime.

    I don't like the postwar Wirtschaftswunder lecture either: As long as you swim with the mass, you are relatively save.

    Strasser couldn't play a big part in Nazi society. Since he was dead in 1934.

    link to en.wikipedia.org
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    So please don't confuse matters via the larger Zeitgeist.

  19. By the end of chapter five of "origins of totalitarianism," arendt has already dealt with this entire dialectic of nations (though like the good little petit-bourgeois intellectual she aspires to be, she avoids the word 'dialectic'), and she hasn't even started on racism proper, which comes in the next chapter.

  20. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;)

    Rowan, I share an obsession with Hannah Arendt: the paradox and a heroine: Rosa Luxemburg. But strictly the "meta" philosophy of her study of totalitarianism, is a society that learns. Not one that is caught in circles, that may differ on the outside but resemble each other at the core; like the new staging of an old play.

    I am no historian, but after 911 for the first time in my personal history, I could understand the idea of historical circles, instead of waves, as if humans in the ethical vs economic et al fields were unable to learn the deepest lectures history taught them.

    Hannah Arendt: "[i]f one is attacked as a Jew, one must defend oneself as a Jew. Not as a German, not as a world-citizen, not as upholder of the Rights of man or whatever."

    Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954, New York 1994, p.12

    "That 'origins' itself was constituted by three separate, at times tenuously related, sections reflects her view that totalitarianism by no means flowed inevitably from what had come before it. But by rejecting historical inevitability, Arendt also seems to question the validity of cause linkages altogether. As a result, it is hard, at times to distinguish causes from foreshadowings and comparisons from prefigurations in 'Origins'. … for instance, Arendt is claiming a causal connection between the enslavement and mass murder of Africans by Europeans (English, French, Germans and Belgians) in the late nineteenth and early twenty century and the emergence of the concentration/extermination system in Europe; or whether she intends the African experience to serve as a foreshadowing of the Holocaust, a hint of what was to come, but without a causal link to it.

    If history is not the narrative of causally linked forces, events, or ideas, what is it?"

    Richard H. King, Race, Culture and the Intellectuals 1940-1970, 2004

  21. I was aware that the Strassers were murdered in 1934. I was simply pointing out that German Nazism at one time had factions comparable to those within Zionism.

    [Jabotinskians might have taken over the Zionist state much sooner except for the antipathy of wealthy German American Zionists toward Jabotinsky and his allies.]

    I had the discussion of unique evil with an "historian" from the USHMM a few years. It was called the "Fighting the Fires of Hate" link to ushmm.org .

    I pointed out that the exhibit gives a false impression of the 30s.

    While the German Nazis were burning books, the Soviets were shooting the authors (and most of the shooters seem to have been Jewish).

    Without the context both German behavior and the reaction of other states to Nazi Germany are inexplicable.

    When we look at the context, we find that the evil empire of the 30s was not Nazi Germany but the Soviet Union and that the quintessential Soviet class (as Slezkine describes the situation) consisted of Soviet Jews.

    By the standards of the time period, it is hard to refer to German non-Jews as suffering a reign of terror. Many socialists and Marxists were imprisoned, but the German Nazis unlike Soviet Communists preferred coopting to killing (non-Jewish) opponents. The Nazis were fairly successful in the endeavor.

    At the local level Germany remained relatively democratic, and thanks to the leadership of Hjalmar Schacht Germany exited from the Worldwide Depression by 1936. In contrast entry into WW2 finally brought the US out of the Great Depression, and some economist argue that the US economy did not leave the Depression until 1946.

  22. palestinians, iraqis, lebanese do not need someone's personal baggage to enter into the conflict when that baggage virtually inquires: will you swear allegiance to israel? especially when one is ignorant of history. one side does not history make.

  23. LeaNder, I'm not a Jew, but I admit to having been moved by that statement, and many like it, when I read them in her earlier work, the material that is now republished as "The Jewish Writings".

    In fact, I began "Origins of Totalitarianism" with the highest expectations, but by about chapter 3, I started to feel that she was being superficial in her treatment of European history, and I am now starting on chapter 6, as I said. Nevertheless, when I think she is right, as here about what I call "the dialectic of nations", I shall try to say so. Serious marxian economists take issue with Luxemburg on the mechanism of capitalist instability, but the issue here is not so much economic as philosophical, to do with the instability of the political idea of the idea of the nation.

    Incidentally, despite all my fury with Jewish politics, I remain very open to Jewish friendships. They just don't seem to come my way too often, especially since my fiasco with the hebrew teacher here in London who framed me as an "anti-Semite" when she needed a way to get rid of me, having been informed by the London leaderships of both Orthodox and Reform that I was not considered a suitable convert – although I hadn't been looking for conversion, just for hebrew lessons. My blog is full of this kind of twisted would-be Jewish identity stuff.

  24. "leadership of Hjalmar Schacht Germany exited from the Worldwide Depression by 1936."

    Much of getting Germany out of the depression was in fact preparation for the war, e.g. building the Autobahn, with the idea of moving troops faster, expansion …

    And please let's not count victims on both sides, I won't follow you into the scenario of turning things upside down. And no I won't go into the Historikerstreit, which you basically seem to repeat, taking Nolte's side. "Camps weren't that bad, some even had flower boxes". Your desire to scapegoat the other side, trumps evidence in many ways.

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    You can always pick up simple items and blow them out of proportions.

    If you think, the Nazis were ultimately good forces and the left of whatever hue was bad, then in a way you may well suffer from cold war propaganda, and maybe find that the US communist witch hunt, as Justin Raimondo, once suggested, was ultimately something that had to be done.

    I beg to differ. I was never a friend of any communist regime, but then most of them are in fact: red fascists, or left fascists if you prefer; with East Germany a special "petit bourgeois variant", I had the chance to study extensively. The reasons for this lies much deeper. Look at what happened during the English or French revolution. the problem seems human nature and power. … Killing the kingto create a new dynasty.

  25. "although I hadn't been looking for conversion, just for hebrew lessons. My blog is full of this kind of twisted would-be Jewish identity stuff."

    Don't bother too much about it. I was irritated when I kept encountering the suspicious expressions over here, studying certain issues. People judge easily and far too fast. And it has always a standard setting: I am good, the one out there might be vicious.

    If you really want to learn it, you'll find a way.

    And yes, Hannah has flaws too, I prefer not to list them. We are all humans.

  26. My only real criticism of Hannah Arendt – and I have blogged this in some detail, but my blog grows fast and it's hard to find things again in it – is that she airily says in chapter three :

    "Excluded as it is from society and political representation, the mob turns of necessity to extraparliamentary action. Moreover, it is inclined to seek the real forces of political life in those movements and influences which are hidden from view and work behind the scenes. There can be no doubt that during the nineteenth century Jewry fell into this category, as did Freemasonry (especially in the Latin countries) and the Jesuits. It is, of course, utterly untrue that any of these groups really constituted a secret society bent on dominating the world by means of a gigantic conspiracy … "

    whereas I have collected a lot of evidence that Freemasonry was a major force in first English history, then European history, and finally American history, from the end of the seventeenth century onwards. I accept that 'the Jews' as such played a minimal role in history almost until the present, though, which is her essential point. As to the Jesuits, I really don't know one way or the other.

  27. a thought while littering:

    seeing the world through someone else's eyes through someone else's words using someone else's thoughts without opening my own eyes not doing my own thinking begs the question: "do i really exist?"

  28. a thought while littering:

    seeing the world through someone else's eyes through someone else's words using someone else's thoughts without opening my own eyes not doing my own thinking begs the question: "do i really exist?"

  29. Yes, Todd, look at LeaNder and you have a glimpse of the future american and his captive mind.

  30. p.s. – I have the means of learning basic hebrew at my fingertips, leaNder, I have a complete set of audio files originally made for the families of state dept. staff being posted there, dozens of hours of them, with accompanying phonetic and hebrew texts – that isn't the problem.

    the problem is, I have run out of steam, emotionally. It's too lonely, doing this by myself.

    however, I have lots of audio files of hebrew pop songs I enjoy, that I really would like to understand better, such as dafna arad's "ima sheli ratzha et ha punk" (my mom killed the punk) which seems to go on intriguingly to suggest that one of the reasons may have been that 'the punk' wasn't even jewish…

  31. "'leadership of Hjalmar Schacht Germany exited from the Worldwide Depression by 1936.'

    Much of getting Germany out of the depression was in fact preparation for the war, e.g. building the Autobahn, with the idea of moving troops faster, expansion …"

    I am not taking Nolte's side.

    I am just pointing out that for most German non-Jews the Nazi period was a fairly good time — at least until the Germans permanently lost the initiative at the Battle of Kursk.

    As Guenter Grass has pointed out, for the vast majority of German non-Jews the defeat of Nazi Germany was a tragedy and not a liberation, and the feeling was completely understandable.

    The evil of German Nazism lies in its politicized ethnic fundamentalism, to wit, the idea that right or wrong is judged by benefit to the race.

    Practically identical politicized ethnic fundamentalism (with the obvious ethnic substitutions) lies at the core of Zionism.

    We have to be clear why we hate German Nazism. It is exactly the same reason why any decent person should hate Zionism and the State of Israel.

    As for bringing Germany out of the Great Depression, Schacht was one of the great practical economists of the 20th century, and German economic policy, especially with regard to raising worker standard of living, was generally on-mark while the US government and the Federal Reserve floundered.

    The USA built roads just like Nazi Germany, but German government sponsored projects were usually much better for various reasons at generating real growth than comparable WPA programs, and the claim that Germany came out of the Depression because war preparations does not stand up to careful economic analysis.

  32. Rowan, I don't want to dive too deeply in masonry, I visited a Lodge for some time, when I discovered that many of the German writers of the 18the I studied (among them my favorite) had been masons. I was simply curious.

    Much of the historical lore has his source in this little fact:

    "Furthermore, a candidate is given his choice of religious text for his Obligation, according to his beliefs."

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    The early anti-Masonic literature, that were bestsellers just as today were written by Catholic priests, who found this a very dangerous idea.

    Why don't you visit a lodge? Most have programs open to all. And if you are more interested you can even become a member. Be prepared to be bored though, if you are attracted only to the adventure lore. And be prepared for very conservative circles.

  33. "I am just pointing out that for most German non-Jews the Nazi period was a fairly good time — at least until the Germans permanently lost the initiative at the Battle of Kursk."

    My parents especially my mother would contradict you very much.

    "As Guenter Grass has pointed out, for the vast majority of German non-Jews the defeat of Nazi Germany was a tragedy and not a liberation, and the feeling was completely understandable."

    I somehow doubt he said this. Are you inspired by the German Axis of the Good, member Hendryk M. Broder?

    Were did he say this?

  34. "I have no sympathy whatsoever for Hitlerism, but popular German consciousness about the Hitler period and WW2 is simply wrong."

    I would think that the popular consciousness about the Hitler Period is wrong in general everywhere, and I agree that a better understanding of the crimes of National Socialism would make it more difficult for a perverted view to continually manipulate for dishonest and destructive means.

    I read Mein Kampf years ago, and it seemed to me that Adolf Hitler was anti-everyone rather than being only an anti-Semite. Hitler actually praised Jews a fair amount, which is something that he didn't do for Poles, Gypsies and other groups that were treated to Nazi brutality.

    I found the writing style agonizing, and probably missed some points due to a lack of interest in the assignment, but I believe that Hitler's views are often exaggerated as much as the crimes of the Nazis are.

    Plenty of groups were persecuted and brutalized by the Nazis, but a nationless minority group that wasn't that well-liked to begin with was an easier target than people who were actively engaged in fighting for their homelands- and still died in large numbers at the hands of the Nazis. And isn't that what really drives the Zionists in doing anything to keep Palestine?

    The funny thing is that the crimes of National Socialism are inflated and downplayed, depending upon the victim.

  35. LeaNder, the official Masonic orders despise me just as much as the official Jews do. This may have something to do with my exploits in pseudo-Masonic Aleister Crowley organisation, the Ordo Templi Orientis, but more generally it has to do with the fact that I am a drop-out, not a category approved of by either group:
    link to niqnaq.wordpress.com

  36. um… when I say "I am a drop-out," that really should be in the past tense. I WAS a drop-out, and I HAVE BEEN a drop-out for the last thirty years or so, but my govt. has determined that I should cease to be one. Hence, if anybody can imagine this, I need a job, or maybe a research grant. I have written an application to the Open Society Institute, to be funded in a study of Israeli Jewish youth culture, which would give me a chance to finish learning hebrew, but I need three respectable sponsors (not necessarily academics).

  37. "LeaNder, the official Masonic orders despise me just as much as the official Jews do."

    Without any doubt I have such firm convictions myself; there is one problem, they keep us from learning something new. The are self-fulfilling shutters.

    When I went there the ladies, mainly the wifes of the masons were in a process to join the French female lodge. It is some time ago. In spite being a "drop out" myself, I never felt any hostility.

    Crowley: That is a very special figure, I looked into some of his writings, after I learned that he had disrupted the Golden Dawn. Again my interest was based on the fact that William Butler Yeats was a member:

    link to golden-dawn.org

    What attracts you to Crowley. Have you ever looked into this strange book: The great beast? in which he records the his sexual adventures? More precisely exact amount of his sperm ejaculation, as an empirical test to his attraction magick. But I am no expert and I have strong suspicions about Blavatsky as well.

    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

    Everything? We know that Blavatsky tricked people with staged wonders. And while I can understand some of his actions as rebellion in a specific time, I think people are attracted to him, since they want to learn about secret ways of magic and power. Strictly there are better ways than Magick! I think.

  38. "I accept that 'the Jews' as such played a minimal role in history almost until the present, though, which is her essential point."

    That's very wrong over the centuries. All depends from time and place.

    But let's stop here.

  39. Good article thank you.

    Let's go back: "As Guenter Grass has pointed out, for the vast majority of German non-Jews the defeat of Nazi Germany was a tragedy and not a liberation, and the feeling was completely understandable."

    No he doesn't. I read the article for evidence of this statement. This is the closest:

    "*I* was a naïve 17-year-old who had believed in the ultimate victory right to the end. Those who had survived the mass murder in the German concentration camps could regard themselves as liberated, although they were in no physical condition to enjoy their freedom. But for me it was not the hour of liberation; rather, *I* was beset by the empty feeling of humiliation following total defeat."

    He tells us about what *HE* felt and thought. I invite you to give me the citation on your mind. I may have missed it.

    Two things you have to keep in mind, reading the article. Grass is from Gdansk, that explains the prominence of German refugees on his mind, he was one himself. Let's look closer into the specific place he grew up in (born in 1927):

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    "The majority of the Free City of Danzig's population favored reincorporation into Germany. In the early 1930s the local Nazi Party capitalized on these pro-German sentiments and in 1933 garnered 38% of vote in the parliament. Thereafter, the Nazis under Gauleiter Albert Forster achieved dominance in the city government, which was still nominally overseen by the League of Nations' High Commissioner. The Nazis demanded the return of Danzig to Germany along with an exterritorial highway for land-based access to the Third Reich through the area of the Polish Corridor.[13] However, when the German Nazi Government secured Soviet approval for aggression against Poland, a decision was made to launch a full-out offensive regardless of any Polish willingness to negotiate successions.[14] On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany attacked Poland, triggering the outbreak of World War II."

    Doesn't this put a special "extra" light on the fact why one wanted to get rid of the Krauts; and that he or especially his parents may have been shaped by Nazi thought earlier than in other parts of Germany?

    This is the money quote from post war times: "Even then there were spokesmen for the rhetoric of liberation. So many self-appointed anti-fascists suddenly set the tone, so much so that one was entitled to ask: how had Hitler been able to make headway against such strong resistance? Dirty linen was quickly washed clean, with people being absolved of all responsibility. Counterfeiters were busy coining new expressions and putting them into circulation. "Unconditional surrender" was changed to "collapse." Although in business, law and in the rapidly re-emerging schools and universities, even the diplomatic service, many former National Socialists maintained their hereditary wealth, stayed in office, continued to hold onto their university chairs and eventually continued their careers in politics, it was claimed that we were starting from "zero hour" or square one."

    My father taught me a basic lecture about his generation (also born in 1927). And believe me, we had hard clashes when I was a child or young adult. He repeated: There was a steady stream of propaganda everywhere, no real information in the papers, and the radios at one point had the waves blocked that allowed you to listen to foreign broadcasts,especially the cheaper kind "the poeople's receiver"/Volksempfänger. AND this is something he insisted on, it turned absolutely overbearing if your family were or turned into hardcore supporters at a special age. He saw his best friends change, even the ones that had joined the jokes earlier about the yearly task to write an essay about Hitler on his birthday in school.

    Yes, I would have wished Grass had spoken about his SS times earlier, but than look at the quote above, how could he have in a sea of false dissidents. He would have sticked out like a … choose your metaphor.

    Still show me a passage were he says ALL or the majority felt like that. How could he? He perfectly records precisely the opportunistic change on the surface. Before the majority had cheered and suddenly almost no one of these was left? My parents report it was a very ugly Machiavellian scene, with a black market for "Persilscheine" and the best utterly silent. [Often only found out much later. Would you trust a kid, under these circumstances?]

    Old Nazi networks everywhere:

    Let me take a personal example. My headmaster a hardcore authoritarian, who did his very best to break me, had gotten his job after the former had to leave. Something came to the surface. He was not a simple Nazi member, as the vast majority (75 % in the South) of the teachers had been, partly maybe even out of fear to loose their jobs. In turn my headmaster brought him back into the high school as a teacher. Old networks.

    Everywhere: The German equivalent to the FBI was built up by them.

    … Foreign office was a place they occupied extensively …

    That's the really funny story about the hard attacks on Guenther Grass. What influence did these kids have in Nazi times, other than be shaped by it? It's ultimately a scapegoat ritual, lets blame it all on one, so that the rest can safely sleep their dreams of no responsibility.

    Let's stop this now.

  40. "But the churches and the synagogues in U.S. and Israel are full, and that is why we are in this war together, as religious democracies."

    The synangogues in Israel are mostly full, yes. But churches…in Israel? Uhhhh…no.

    Last I heard they were burning big piles of the New Testament over there, and conversion to Christianity by Jewish Israelis was illegal.

  41. Website [ADC] to easily send emails re ship to Gaza ” target=”_blank”>http://capwiz.com/adc/home/ See 1st item under "Take Action!": Call on Congress to Condemn Israel’s Seizure of Humanitarian Aid Ship on Route to Gaza, Call for End to Siege [Send emails to US govt officials] ___ Subject: Tell Israel to Release Human Rights Activists, End the Siege of Gaza Required text: (This text will be included in your message) As your constituent I am asking you to condemn the state of Israel's commandeering a ship carrying humanitarian supplies to the besieged territory of Gaza and demand their immediate release and an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip. The ship, which left from the Cypirot port of Larnaca, was approximately 20 miles off the coast of Gaza when it was board by Israeli Navy personnel and redirected to the city of Ashdod. The ship was flying a Greek flag and traveled through international waters but was stopped during their approach to the occupied Gaza Strip. The “Spirit of Humanity” is crewed by a number of humanitarian activists from across the globe including former Congresswoman Cynthia Mckinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire. Reports indicate that all of the ships 21 crew members have been taken into custody by Israel. The siege of the Gaza strip has continued unabated for over two years and badly needed reconstruction aid has been prevented from entering the strip after the 22-day war on Gaza this past winter. Recently, President Obama called for humanitarian supplies to be permitted to enter the Gaza Strip and a number of members of congress have traveled to the strip and remarked on the dire circumstance facing the civilian population.