Is Zionism racist? Foxman: ‘You bet it is. Every nationalism is’

Tonight the 92d Street Y held a panel on "Why Zionism has become a dirty word," with four Zionists on stage and some non-Zionists demonstrating out in Lexington Avenue. The hall was less than half full, and the panel itself had a confounded feeling. The token liberal, documentarian Oren Rudavsky, said Zionism has become a dirty word because of Israel’s actions. Neocon Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal said it’s because the anti-Semitic left has captured public opinion and is practicing "Stockholm syndrome" on it. And Abe Foxman insisted it's all because of anti-Semitism.

Foxman seemed somewhat fulfilled by this, as if he continually needs to find fresh evidence that the Holocaust, which he survived, is a living reality. It seemed out of time.

I am going to dispense with Rudavsky right at the start because he was very good and restrained, for instance, saying that everyone loved Israel after '67 and now opinion is reversed and–well, look what Israel did in Gaza. But the event wasn’t about Rudavsky. It was about Foxman and Stephens.

Stephens was very impressive. Attractive, fluid, articulate, a little crazed yes– but he deflected that by saying he was a "lunatic neoconservative." I liked that; and I need to take Stephens on here. But before I get to him: the entertainment section, a portrait of a vaudeville character, crowdpleaser Abe Foxman.

Foxman truly is larger than life and he has grown to fill the role. He is portly, and breathes heavily, and has obviously said his stock lines so many times that he verges on self parody. I’ve never really seen the performance in a big hall and I was struck by how loose the thinking was – Gaza was a model of restraint, Israel didn’t kill 44 at the school, it only killed 14, Zionism is Judaism and Jewish identity. I was also struck by the Holocaust worldview. When Rudavsky said a mild word about Gaza, Foxman angrily defended Gaza as a situation where Jews finally stood up and defended Jews, as if it was the Warsaw ghetto. Also, a lot of his material was very stale. I recall him referring to three major figures: Abba Eban, Martin Luther King, Golda Meir, and maybe Yasser Arafat. Well they're all dead. And it all happened a long time ago. The arguments are tired. He said that the only way for Arabs to have peace is, quoting Golda Meir, for them to begin to love their children more than they hate Jews, and even Bret Stephens, who said that he agreed with 99 percent of what Foxman said, had to step in: No, Palestinian mothers love their children, it's evil people who coerce other people's children to be suicide bombers.

Foxman's manner is over-the-top. Here is the speech from which I've taken my headline:

“Can you be anti-Zionist and not be an anti-Semite? Almost never. Unless you can prove to me you're against nationalism. If you're one of those unique individuals in this world that's opposed to American nationalism, French nationalism, Palestinian nationalism, then you can be opposed to Jewish nationalism. Is it racist? You bet it is. Every nationalism is racist. It sets its laws of citizenship, it sets its own capital… It sets its songs, it sets its values. It is, if you will, exclusive, and you can even call it racist. But if the only nationalism in the world that is racist is Jewish nationalism, then you're an anti-Semite.. I don't want to make any apologies for it. ”

Breathtaking. But not good for business. Hey I voted for Obama. Earlier in the night Foxman said in frustration that it has become impossible to sell Zionism in the west, even to Jews who are happy to march on the U.N. and say, We support Israel! And when he gives that speech about racism, well now you know.

Now let me get to Stephens and then go to bed!

Stephens also took the They’re singling Israel out because they're anti-Semites view, but unlike Foxman, who would seem willing to wash his hands of the entire world because he always knew the world was anti-Semitic, Stephens recognizes that attitude as a scary form of visualization/prophecy that is leading to international delegitimization. Stephens blamed the left. The left has operated like a cancer where it counts, elite opinion.

The left changed. This is the basic problem. Sabras used to be plucky Israelis in the eyes of the international left; now it’s completely different. “What basically changed was polite society, or the intelligentsia changed, or the academy changed. The world as we know it.” International antisemitism had gotten to some Jews, in a form of Stockholm syndrome, he said. And anti-Zionism exists because Jews themselves have given it the permission to exist; Walt and Mearsheimer had gained influence because of Haaretz. "Many Israelis have walked away from the Zionist enterprise." And the Israeli critics of Israel had found "an echo chamber" in the "Walt and Mearsheimer world."

So anti-Semites could always say, well I’m only quoting Amira Hass or Gideon Levy!

Stephens says his side must aggressively make "the liberal case for Israel.” He then made a number of forceful arguments to counter the leftwing (my) view of Israel. Syria occupied Lebanon; you never heard about that occupation. In the Congo 5 million have died, the left never talks about them. Israel did in Gaza all that Britain did in northern Ireland and France did in Algeria– don't you see, this is what western democracies do with insurgency. Stephens saw a poster in Europe, Queers for Palestine. Well you can’t be queer in Palestine. You can’t have women’s rights in Arab countries. Let alone homosexuality.

Some answers. I’ve been in Lebanon during the Syrian occupation. I didn’t see any checkpoints, let alone separate roadways on a religious/ethnic basis. There is not much I can do about Syria, we don’t give billions to Syria. I can do a lot about Israel, which as Stephens said, is speaking for me as a Jew. (No thanks). Yes it is true I don’t talk about the Congo. Are Palestinian lives worth more than Congolese lives? I am told that Noam Chomsky explained this to neonate neocon David Frum in 1988. Of course we weigh lives differently: We are deeply implicated in Israeli crimes, we have to weigh those lives differently. Congolese don’t fly airplanes into our buildings. I/P is an international flashpoint because it is obnoxious to the Arab world; and myself, I got into foreign policy not out of leftist reasons, but realist ones, because of 9/11 and the neocon Iraq war. I don’t even know the sides in the Congo.
But Stephens is right; I promise you I will become more engaged, some day. Not that Stephens cares about the Congolese. 

As to the civil rights of gays and women, true. I think my greatest influence over these norms will be by removing the beam in my eye, to quote Jesus Christ: the utter denial of human rights to Palestinians. That’s the problem. The occupation has become grotesque and outrageous. 10 Palestinians killed in the West Bank during peaceful protests of the Gaza slaughter.

I left the hall gratified, for two reasons. Foxman is irrelevant. He is a loud man with reality issues. Abe, take a walk, pick up some modern names, don't celebrate racism.

Stephens is more formidable but he is out of touch, too. How strange that he would invoke Algeria, a colonial situation that the French withdrew from more than 40 years ago, giving an Arab people independence. His strongest argument was the liberal one about gay and women's rights, which I have been hearing from the Israel Project for a long time. So the neoconservative project is reconstructed as "liberal." Having destroyed an Arab society, Iraq, he does not defend militarism, he is trying to talk to us: polite society, the intelligentsia–"the world as we know it." He knows we are winning, and he takes the fight to our ground.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Gaza, Israel Lobby, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 50 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Dan Kelly says:

    Stephens is completely wrong about the left and Congo. Leftist peace sites have much information on the Congo. There has always been much more attention paid to every other atrocity in the world on leftist peace sites, EXCEPT for Israel's brutal, illegal occupation of Palestine. It's only very recently that the issue has begun to see light in the "peace" camp.

    This is standard operating procedure for Zionists and Israel apologists. They make it seem like Israel is always singled out, when in fact the exact opposite is true: Israel gets the best treatment in the world (I am talking about in mainstream news sources, of course).

  2. Rowan says:

    (1) Lebanon was part of Syria until it was carved off byt he French to create a puppet Christian enclave;

    (2) I thought "Stockholm syndrome" referred to a condition in which hostages fall in love with, or otherwise emotionally identify with, their kidnappers. If I am right, then what the hell is the comparison saying? That 'the West' has been shanghaied by oil sheikhs? Give us a break already.

    (3)0 Stertorous breathing, red face, etc.; i wonder if Foxman's an alcoholic.

  3. Shirazi says:

    I have to agree with Stephens in that we Jews have become our own worst enemy, as its been for centuries (best example would be the sectarian infighting just prior to and during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 71-73 AD).

    The fact that Phil and others can even make a claim for supporting the Palestinian position is more a direct result of leftists/liberals/dissenters/whatever-you-want-to-call-them in Israel than of Israel's conduct. Of course, you all will disagree. Fine. But it is these "Ha'aretz Jews" who have given your cause a voice, and without them, Phil wouldn't have all those Jews to cite in support of his views, and you all wouldn't have Phil to cite for yours.

    It's hard to find another "people," a segment of which is so committed to their own destruction. God's will, I suppose….

  4. Shirazi says:

    I don't see what Foxman's physical appearance has anything to do with his message. Kind of a shallow cheap shot, if you ask me.

    @Dan Kelly: Perhaps both are true — Israel gets favorable treatment and, at the same time and perhaps as a result, is always singled out.

  5. John says:

    Foxman and Stephens should follow the injunction:
    'Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"{Micah 6:8}.

    It is simple, they must stop supporting those stealing the properety of their neighbour.

    John

  6. MRW. says:

    I don't see what Foxman's physical appearance has anything to do with his message. Kind of a shallow cheap shot, if you ask me.

    Do you read books? Writing teachers force students to use physical details to create character and amplify what they say. Physical appearance is paramount.

    I remember Foxman from my NYC days. Judging from what I just read about him above, he's got to fight fast and furious everyday to keep the threat alive or he wont get the donations that justify his occupation of the ADL.

  7. bar_kochba132 says:

    Phil has Rudavsky saying:
    ———————————————————————-
    I am going to dispense with Rudavsky right at the start because he was very good and restrained, for instance, saying that everyone loved Israel after '67 and now everyone despises it
    ——————————————————————–

    Now, Phil, you know that it isn't true that "everyone despises it". Who is "everyone"? Are you using the old Marxist notion that "the masses" that you talk about are really "the people whose opinion counts…i.e. those who agree with us"? Recent polls taken AFTER the Gaza war say that something like 70% of Americans support Israel 17% support the Palestinians. So who is "everybody"? "Everybody" it turns out is Phil, the 10 members of his fan club who regularly post comments here agreeing with him, some other "progressives" like Tony Karon, MJ Rosenberg and Richard Silverstein, and people of Arab or Muslim origin whom I don't expect to love Israel.

  8. David F. says:

    I would like to ask Foxman, that if Judaism is Zionism, Zionism is Israeli Nationalism, and Jews are therefore by definition Israeli Nationalists, does he think that it is impossible for a Jew to be a loyal American? Should these Israeli Nationalists (all non-self-hating Jews) be legally encouraged to return to their "homeland"? Should they be forced to register as foreign agents?

    I recall that the Nazis did not supress Zionist publications and advocates, in part because Goebbels found it so useful to quote them.

  9. David F. says:

    Give Foxman some credit for finally admitting that Zionism, like other nationalist movements, is "racist" (at least according to the typical left-wing usage of this nebulous term).

    Now I expect him to quit pestering Vdare, American Renaissance, FAIR, and Kevin MacDonald. We're nationalists, okay? Just like you!

  10. Craig says:

    I actually almost agree with Foxman about nationalism. What the Zionists have done over the last sixty years (actually more than that, if we count the earlier work of the Stern Gang and others) really isn't that different from what white Europeans did in America and Australia. It's people arriving in a foreign land and saying to its pre-existing population, "This is our land now. You get lost." There is usually a mythology about it too; just as Mafiosi (according to the movies, at least) prefer to think of themselves as "businessmen" rather than gangsters, conquerors have their myths of divine right, manifest destiny, or what have you — in Israel's case, the notion that God gave this land to the Jews forever, so it doesn't matter how long it's been or how long these Arabs have been living here, the land is still ours and we're taking it back, every last bit of it.

    What the Israelis are doing isn't any different from what conquering peoples have done to conquered peoples throughout history; it's just that the world has (for the most part) decided that that's no longer acceptable. We now have ideas of universal human rights and international law, we have the United Nations, and so on. This leaves Israel and its supporters with a time problem; the world has passed their ideas by and they can't recognize or accept that. Just as Israel wants to pretend that pre-Diaspora Jewish possession of Palestine is still relevant, Foxman wants to pretend that the pre-20th-century moral perspective that supported imperialism and colonialism is still applicable.

  11. Richard Witty says:

    "Unless you can prove to me you're against nationalism. If you're one of those unique individuals in this world that's opposed to American nationalism, French nationalism, Palestinian nationalism, then you can be opposed to Jewish nationalism. Is it racist? You bet it is. Every nationalism is racist. It sets its laws of citizenship, it sets its own capital… It sets its songs, it sets its values. It is, if you will, exclusive, and you can even call it racist. But if the only nationalism in the world that is racist is Jewish nationalism, then you're an anti-Semite.. I don't want to make any apologies for it."

    I agree with Foxman about this.

    In discussing "anti-Semitism", you consistently discuss ONLY one element of what is a phenomena with two elements. The two elements are:

    1. Hating Jews for their birth ethnicity (Hitler's genocide)
    2. Hating Jews for their continuing self-definition and association.

    That Foxman mingles the two is his mistake.

    You ONLY weigh the question "is this anti-semitic" against the first definition, when you enable and possibly harbor the second.

    "Foxman and Stephens should follow the injunction:
    'Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God"{Micah 6:8}.

    It is simple, they must stop supporting those stealing the properety of their neighbour.

    John"

    Good advice. It supports my proposal to distinguish between optimal sovereignty and clarification of title. (There is currently a great deal of ambiguity as to what land belongs to who, and to what extent, and how that can be perfected/remedied.)

  12. otto says:

    "everyone loved Israel after '67"

    Of course that wasn't true either.

    Some should have asked Stephens if the French should have kept their Algerian colony until the Algerians came around to gay marriage.

  13. Margaret says:

    Richard – Would you explain further the definition of anti-semitism as
    2. Hating Jews for their continuing self-definition and association.

  14. Citizen says:

    Perhaps it's that heavily disproportionate amount of Homeland Security tax funds being given to Temples and Hebrew schools for protection of their continuing self-definition and association? Or maybe the heavily disproportionate amount of foreign policy tax funds annually going to Israel no strings attached?

    ——–

    We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do
    We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too.

  15. littlehorn says:

    Interesting comment, by Foxman. That's pretty much what I always thought; nationalists are either racists, or breeders of racism. He's completely wrong on one point though. He seems to take the existence of nations as proof that people are nationalists. In my view, this is false. The concept of nation is still alive, but that is more out of habit than out of conviction; the current trend in America/France/GB is intervention and universalism.

    Nations are ideological constructs. Someone imposes one language through a state, puts a special name here and there to quell dissent, like Napoleon did to French regions. And there you go, a 'nation'. It's fake. In truth we have clusters of communities, who learn to live together. Big deal. Not enough a deal to suppress resistance through murder though.

  16. LeaNder says:

    Fine. But it is these "Ha'aretz Jews" who have given your cause a voice, and without them, Phil wouldn't have all those Jews to cite in support of his views, and you all wouldn't have Phil to cite for yours.

    This is exactly what I mean, when I wrote somewhere else that ironically the Israel hawk's support often seems to feed into the deepest antisemitic thought. A people apart. Not part of a larger humanity.

  17. Richard Witty says:

    There are many people that love/accept Jews that look like them, speak like them, have the same goals and lifestyle as them, Jews that basically desire to assimilate.

    But, many of those same people hate those that continue to self-identify as Jews, dress differently, speak differently, live primarily in relation to their own community.

    They may accept assimilating Jews, but hate self-affirming Jews.

    If Zionism (a Jewish state) is necessary to retain coherent Jewish community that desires to be Jewish community in Israel, in the present, rather than assimilated, then to condemn Zionism is to engage in a form of anti-semitism.

    Condemning Israel for existing, is a DIFFERENT effort than criticizing or recommending policies, practises, behaviors.

  18. BLG says:

    Dan K This is standard operating procedure for Zionists and Israel apologists. They make it seem like Israel is always singled out, when in fact the exact opposite is true: Israel gets the best treatment in the world (I am talking about in mainstream news sources, of course).

    Its always going to be a collective victim narrative.
    • Insiders that do not fit/ rail against the narrative will be described as 'fringe.'
    • Grossly neglegent actions will ultimately be described as prompted as a response to an action (thereby placing the aggressors ultimately as victims). Ex. 'The IDF was forced to bomb _____ because of ______."

  19. Julian says:

    "Recent polls taken AFTER the Gaza war say that something like 70% of Americans support Israel 17% support the Palestinians."

    Interesing article about J Street's poll.
    "J Street's survey is a joke, again"
    link to cgis.jpost.com

  20. LD says:

    American public opinion surveying during the past two Presidential (pre-Obamamania) elections on issue awareness was sad and funny.

    People in this country are uninformed. So it's not surprising that they'd support Israel.

    Superficially, Israel 'appears' Western and the Zionist narrative constantly tries to draw parallels between it's conflict w/ the Palestinian people (not Hamas/etc.) with the US's conflict w/ Al Qaeda/Taliban.

    That's the silver lining. Numbers are not everything and you have to be able to provide context.

    For example, the JPost article adds a certain spin. Richard Silverstein adds a wholly different spin. One negative, one optimistic.

    So while we can get some concrete data from these opinion polls we need to apply context when drawing conclusions from them.

  21. littlehorn says:

    Nice one. Zionists who cannot stand the existence of non-Zionist Jewish communities are now lecturing us on the need to let others live differently. Thank you man. Next you're gonna tell us about how Zionists dealt with Nazis in Germany. I'm sure they showed their will to have their otherness 'accepted.'

  22. dadanarchist says:

    Stephens' reference to Algeria seems to me to be apropos, though not in the context that Stephens proposes it. More on that in a minute.

    First, to counter his strawmen arguments about "the Left." The "Left" (who? which? what groups? I'll use his terms here nonetheless) did oppose and protest many of the events and injustices that he raises as examples of the Left's myopia when it comes to other injustices in the world (is he conceding that Israeli crimes are analogous to what happened in Northern Ireland or Algeria?)

    Algeria: It was the French Left that formed the core of the resistance to the continued occupation of Algeria. While it took a few years for the Communist Party to come around, Leftist intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre were at the forefront of the opposition to the war. Sartre's friend Francis Jeanson organized a network that helped smuggle money for the FLN. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, a Leftist, a Holocaust survivor and later in his life of principle, a critic of Israel, risked prison and his life to denounce the use of torture by the French army. The French Socialist Party split between pro- and anti-occupation groups.

    Northern Ireland: Sinn Fein was a Leftist group. The left wing of the British Labour Party, the British Communist Party, and various British leftist groupuscules were the main opponents of the occupation of Northern Ireland. It also seems Stephens has selective memory block – if I remember correctly, didn't elements of the IRA train together with elements of the PLO? Didn't the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) train with the PFLP, Red Army Faction and the Japanese Red Army? One hates to hold up terrorist groups of old to make a point, but the old Leninist terrorists of the 1970's actually formed a united front, and understood (correctly or not) the occupation of Palestine and Northern Ireland to be manifestations of the same phenomenon: imperialism.

    The Congo: if Stephens can tell me what's going on there, I'd like to hear it, because I have no idea. Once again, however, in 1960, it was the Left that protested the illegal coup and murder of Lumumba, the signal event that sent the Congo into its long downward slide.

    Funny, too, that Stephens leaves out South Africa, no?

    It seems to me that rather than the Left changing, Israel has changed. The Left seems to me to have been principled and consistent in its anti-imperialism, its efforts to fight injustice anywhere, its belief in the right to freedom, equality and dignity for all peoples. It seems to me that it is Israel, which began a long, immoral, illegal occupation after 1967, which has changed. In fact, if one were to track left-wing opinion vis-a-vis Israel, you can pinpoint the date at which the sea change began: 1967.

    Back to Algeria: I highly recommend that everyone pick up Alistair Horne's "A Savage War of Peace", now back in print thanks to the New York Review of Books. While more recent scholarship has challenged and improved upon this book, it remains the best overarching narrative account of the Algerian War.

    I think there are definite analogies and lessons to be learned from the book. First, it demonstrates how a nation, in the name of secularism, the nation and rights, can in fact violate human rights in reaction to an insurgency, including torture and extrajudicial murder. Second, and more importantly for those who want Israel to survive, it points to the risks of such a situation: civil war on top of an insurgency. After 1958, France was essentially involved in a civil war. Elements of the army mutinied against the government and threatened to overthrow the 4th Republic; settlers formed their own military units and attacked indigenous Algerians, settlers who favored a peaceful solution and, eventually, the army itself, becoming the infamous OAS terrorist group by 1960; elements of the army continued to work against the will of the elected government of France and refused to implement its policies; by 1961, the situation cascaded into a hellish three-way war between the Army, the OAS with some Army support, and the Algerian FLN. 1961 and 1962 were marked by massacres of civilians, police units, government officials, and so on. The OAS tried to assassinate de Gaulle, Andre Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and other critics of their activities and of "French" Algeria.

    Any of that sound familiar?

  23. LeaNder says:

    They may accept assimilating Jews, but hate self-affirming Jews.

    I think, I often enough by now expressed my uneasy feelings concerning Jewish assimilation in the historical German context. But the biggest irony is that the Prussian king at one point tried to make Jewish Prussians (Germans) recognizable via the names, when they weren't visually recognizable anymore otherwise. His civil servants mostly ignored his writs, since the vast majority of Jewish names were not much different from German ones. So in a way they simply couldn't do what the king and interested circles behind him demanded.

    But, many of those same people hate those that continue to self-identify as Jews, dress differently, speak differently, live primarily in relation to their own community.

    This was hardly the reason in Germany or Austria for antisemitism when it was turned into a political weapon towards the end of the 19th century via a few simplistic slogans, like: the social question, is the Jewish question. This didn't happen since Jews dressed differently, spoke differently or had no relations to their neighbors. Remember the earliest boycott of Jewish shops by the Nazis failed. People didn't obey. Their relationship to these shops had been established over many decades. The Nazis learned from that.

    Apart from that we have a completely different situation now. The story that puzzled me most was when a respected Jewish German survivor ranted really viciously against the planned mosque here in Cologne. He wrote in the Cologne daily that the head-scarves of Muslim women were revolting to him, insulted his eyes, he didn't want to be forced to see them.

    Now how do you integrate this phenomenon into your perspective? What is his motivation? If it is really simply because he would like to dress up traditionally Jewish, maybe I could understand. The argument would be something like: I can't do that, since I would be in danger. But they can.

    The problem is I doubt very much Ralph Giordano would ever want to. So what is this about? I find this enormously hard to fathom.

  24. LeaNder says:

    He wrote in the Cologne daily

    Actually it was an interview, I think. So "he told the" would have been more correct.

  25. Harry Fenton says:

    MRW says: "Do you read books? Writing teachers force students to use physical details to create character and amplify what they say. Physical appearance is paramount."

    So, according to MRW, skin color, physical handicap, aged appearance, height, weight, nose size, etc. are "paramount" to whether you can accept someone's views or not.

    So don't listen to Stephen Hawking, or read any of his books – according to MSW, they can't be right because Hawking's "physical appearance is paramount", not his ideas.

  26. Rowan says:

    The real point about Foxman, who is a talentless, charmless apparatchik and proud of the fact, is that he is the public face of B'nai Brith, whose members pay not only his wages and his enormous office budget, but also pay for all his pronouncements to be syndicated throughout the so-called 'global media'. They don't have any option about this; B'nai Brith is not a 'democratic' organisation, though some might describe it as 'fraternal'. The full title of the ADL is 'The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith'. It speaks for itself, doesn't it?

  27. Dan Kelly says:

    The concept of nation is still alive, but that is more out of habit than out of conviction; the current trend in America/France/GB is intervention and universalism.

    Nations are ideological constructs. Someone imposes one language through a state, puts a special name here and there to quell dissent, like Napoleon did to French regions. And there you go, a 'nation'. It's fake. In truth we have clusters of communities, who learn to live together. Big deal. Not enough a deal to suppress resistance through murder though.

    Great post, littlehorn. Thank you.

  28. LeaNder says:

    "J Street's survey is a joke, again"

    Well given that this is Shmuel Rosner no big surprise.

    I trust the J Street survey's much more than any others that feel like pure perception management. J Street's are clearly strategical. Exactly something missing in the ADL polls. I love empirical social sciences and consider them very important and interesting. ADL's must be a joke for everybody that knows the basics. And yes, unfortunately there are not many explanations, why this could be so. They seem to have one basic reason only, getting the issue into the press.

    Admittedly I was very disappointed that Eric Alterman, in the video of the panel Phil posted, cited this ADL poll in support.

    I have huge problem concerning the ADL polls for quite some time now, but I won't go into details here.

  29. LeaNder says:

    Hawking's "physical appearance is paramount", not his ideas.

    Hawking's physical appearance is a huge part of his success story. Don't you think it is amazing, too?

    So, according to MRW, skin color, physical handicap, aged appearance, height, weight, nose size, etc. are "paramount" to whether you can accept someone's views or not.

    Yes, all this is important. They are many ways to tell it without being abusive. Ignoring it would show much more bias than simply talk about it in a nice way. Not all "aged people" have face-lifts. Age is nothing to be ashame of. We all will die. An old face tells you much about a person. No matter what physical appearance you are born with, the older you get the more responsible you are for your mime, your face. I love old faces, already as a kid I loved old actresses, apart from the fact that the had more interesting parts at the time. Their characters compared to the stereotypical young lover.

  30. Dan Kelly says:

    @Dan Kelly: Perhaps both are true — Israel gets favorable treatment and, at the same time and perhaps as a result, is always singled out.

    Shirazi, it's singled out FOR favorable treatment in the mainstream (with some exceptions slowly starting to creep in).

    The knowledge and awareness of this exceedingly preferential treatment is what has led to sites such as this in the "non-mainstream", where we can sort through the propaganda and tell the history of the indigenous peoples of Palestine (which is still NEVER told in the mainstream, even by those now coming around to offering at least some due criticism of Israel).

    The assertion that "leftist" groups have concentrated solely, or primarily, on Israel is patently absurd. The reason I began investigating this issue more in depth a few years ago is precisely because I used to be involved with the leftist antiwar/peace camps, and I began to notice that an exception was almost always made, among the vast majority of participants, for Israel's barbaric behavior.

    In fact, Libertarian/PaleoConservative groups have done more to bring this issue to light, and "single out" Israel, than did leftist antiwar groups – which is why so many of them have been branded as "anti-semites" by Israeli apologists from both the right and the left (this had the assuredly intended consequence of not allowing the two groups, Libertarian/PaleoConservatives and Leftist peace advocates, to see how much they really have in common).

    Fortunately, the "left" has recently begun to include the Palestine/Israel issue in its agenda, though there is still much resistance to it within the various factions.

  31. LeaNder says:

    sorry many typos. It tells something about my antipathy against the statement.

    Who was that. Ah, Harry Fenton.

  32. Dan Kelly says:

    here are many people that love/accept Jews that look like them, speak like them, have the same goals and lifestyle as them, Jews that basically desire to assimilate.

    But, many of those same people hate those that continue to self-identify as Jews, dress differently, speak differently, live primarily in relation to their own community.

    They may accept assimilating Jews, but hate self-affirming Jews.

    That's not true of only Jews, Richard. That's true of any person or group that doesn't "fit in" with society at large. To make it a solely "Jewish" issue is dishonest. It's an unfortunate symptom of mass society, not of "anti-semitism".

  33. Dan Kelly says:

    My previous comment should have read: "that's not true of only non-assimilated Jews, Richard."

  34. 5ds says:

    from angry arab:

    Orwell in the holy land:
    "George Orwell's 1945 satiric novel Animal Farm was performed with a distinctively Palestinian flavor in a debut production this week at the Freedom Theater in the Jenin refugee camp, taking aim at internal politics and the alliance between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    In scene one of the play, Farmer Jones assassinates the animals' leader. In scene two, the animals – a few horses, a donkey, a crow, a chicken and some pigs – rally around a revolutionary sow named Snowball, who leads an uprising against their oppressive master. "Intifada!" the animals scream, using the Arabic word for uprising. Strobe lights flash and heavy metal music blares as they chase Jones from the farm."

  35. Dan Kelly says:

    Incidentally, did anyone watch the presidential press conference last night? The last question asked was about the Israeli/Palestinian issue (it was the only time it was addressed). The questioner was from Agence France Press, which does a slightly better job presenting the issue than the mainstream American press, which of course isn't saying much.

    Anyway, the questioner asked about working towards peace, and Obama gave a cookie-cutter answer, and then proceeded to launch into just about every other issue under the sun, assuring us that he was going to be persistent on all of them, just as he would be on Middle East peace.

    Then the time was up. No follow-up question (follow-up questions were allowed this time, as opposed to Obama's initial press conference).

    This was the only time Obama didn't stick to the immediate issue at hand, and was surely intended to not allow for any follow-ups (I think that, more often than not, the President is aware of the initial questions that the reporters are going to ask, so he probably knew the AFP guy was going to ask about Middle East peace. He would not be aware of follow-up questions, and thus his meandering off-subject may well have been intended to avoid any follow-ups).

    It was interesting too that, during Obama's "answer" to this question, the camera panned to Rahm Emmanuel watching the president with a smirk on his face (does Emmanuel always seem to have a smirk on his face?) Fascinating…

  36. Richard Witty says:

    Dan,
    The point isn't that others aren't also subject to bigotry, often disguised as dissent, but that in MANY respects there is anti-semitism in the second form expressed widely.

  37. Harry Fenton says:

    Leandler – Rowan wrote "Stertorous breathing, red face, etc.; i wonder if Foxman's an alcoholic."

    You responded to my critique of Rowan's statement: "Yes, all this is important. They are many ways to tell it without being abusive. Ignoring it would show much more bias than simply talk about it in a nice way."

    Please tell me how this is not "abusive". Rowan is dismissing 69-year old Foxman by saying, without any evidence other than Foxman's difficulty breathing and his ruddy complexion, that he's an alcoholic. That would be like dismissing Hawking's ideas by saying he's an alcoholic because his face is also red, he has difficulty breathing, and he's so blotto that he can't even talk or stand up.

    If you truly believe that physical appearance determines character and the value of one's ideas, then you better be one big Nordic goddess to carry any weight with the anti-Jewish racists on this site.

  38. Harry Fenton says:

    Leandler -

    You also wrote: "Hawking's physical appearance is a huge part of his success story. Don't you think it is amazing, too?"

    Of course it is "amazing" what Hawking has been able to do given his physical handicap. But, his physical appearance is not part of his "success story". ALS is an impediment to his success – he would have been much more productive and influential without it. His ideas are what made him a success – not his Lou Gehrig's disease. Frankly, it is incredibly patronizing to say that he is "amazing" because he is wheelchair bound and it is telling that the broader journalistic non-scientific world might not be interested in his ideas if he had the power of non-computerized speech.

  39. LeaNder says:

    Richard, could you explain? I don't understand.

  40. Madoff's helper says:

    What do words like assimilation, zionism, anti-semitism, self-hating jew, kosher, etc mean in a context such
    as Postville, Iowa, USA? What do you think the locals think?

    And what do they mean to a Palestinian family booted from their land in 1947-48, now living in Gaza?

  41. Citizen says:

    "But it is these "Ha'aretz Jews" who have given your cause a voice, and without them, Phil wouldn't have all those Jews to cite in support of his views, and you all wouldn't have Phil to cite for yours."

    The green somehow grows up through the thick and pervasive concrete here and there–remember The White Rose? The righteous goys?

    The quoted material here certainly announces the reality of the strangle hold around the neck of the US government and MSM. I propose the next edition of W & M's book obtain the copyright for this material
    and it be placed in the new Forward. Or at least, as a blurb on the cover slip.

  42. Craiglover says:

    "Just as Israel wants to pretend that pre-Diaspora Jewish possession of Palestine is still relevant, Foxman wants to pretend that the pre-20th-century moral perspective that supported imperialism and colonialism is still applicable."–Craig

    That's called having your time cake and eating it too. It's on a par with total Holocaust denial. In fact, it's its mirror image.

    National socialist German Worker's Party/National socialist Jewish Worker's Party (aka Zionism).

  43. Gert says:

    It's what someone aptly called the Everything sucks-defence.

    But it isn't even true: most modern nationalisms in fact go out of their way to avoid, suppress even, racism. Not so Zionism: discrimination lies at its core.

  44. Eurosabra says:

    Dadaanarchist,

    And of course you look forward to the deportation of the indigenous Jews of Eretz Israel the same way the "Algerian brothers" took care of the indigenous Algerian Jews of the M'zab, taking them from dhimmis to exiles without the way-station of citizenship and homeland, until in 1962 the French were obligated to step in and offer them asylum in France. Maghribi Jews in Israel know all the history you do not, and they will not go quietly.

    French Algeria was dependent on a centralized Jacobin overseas metropole, and Arab labor. Neither of those obtain in Israel, as one "patron" after another has sold Israel out (Britain, France, USSR) and Israel is still here, and the Palestinian resistance has never developed the effectiveness of the FLN, despite support and subsidy by the USSR in the PLO days and Iran today that dwarfs that extended to the FLN by Egypt by several orders of magnitude.

    Israeli "civil wars" tend to be quick, clean, and quickly centralize the power that can be brought to bear against Arabs, because both sides know where the real threat lies. In fact, overarching state structures tend to absorb the "losers", simply because everyone is needed.

  45. 5 dancing shlomos says:

    from lawrence of cyberia but well known though unspoken and what foxman protects:

    After the Israelis left [Beirut in 1982], we began to hear of the most extraordinary aspect of the occupation. Arrests, harassments, shootings, even the obligatory looting: These were what everyone expected, and indeed, they had occurred. But the thing that no one expected, and indeed, they had occurred. But the thing that no one expected was what we, on hearing about it for the first time, greeted with hesitant laughs. Gradually, we discovered that what had seemed like a single incident had become, in fact, a trademark and taken on far more serious dimensions.

    “The Israeli soldiers, wherever they had been, had defecated in choice places. On books, furniture, clothes, and carpets; on bedroom floors; near toilet seats and in bathtubs; on school desks; and in shop windows, people found the rotting feces. Someone swore she knew of one house near the airport where the distraught housewife had discovered feces in her washing machine and dishwasher. One man, we heard, went to his office and saw on every single desk except his own the offensive, stinking pile. Triumphantly, he sat at his desk and gloated over his unhappy colleagues. Then he opened his drawer, and there, neatly lying among the files, was his bequest from the Israeli army.

    “And so, after all the ruin and tragedy, after the destruction and pain, the dead and the dying, the lacerated bodies and blinded eyes, the burned and disfigured faces, the windows and orphans—after all this there was left only a great heap of excrement. The fires had died, snuffed out in a mound of dung. A ghastly joke, symbol of an overriding contempt, a cosmic stink had become the memorial to those months of agony.” they, jewish savages, do this often inside churches and mosques.

  46. 5 dancing shlomos says:

    appropriate. shitty people of the shitty entity.

  47. Mooser says:

    They hate "Self-affirming Jews"

    Margaret, Richard Witty is talking about me. I'm a self-affirming Jew.

    Zionist supporters, on the other hand, are affirmed by their emotional connection with Zionism. They may even give money, anything is possible. But self-affirming, in any reasonable definition of the word, no. State affirming, yes, but it's important to realise their Jewish State exists nowhere but their imagination.

  48. Mooser says:

    Self-affirmation by vicarious brutal experience and social pressure, now there's a hot one!

    Jesus Christ, Witty, just say "I'm a better Jew" and have done with it. Leave the psycho-babble to the hippies.

  49. Richard Witty says:

    Leander,
    What don't you understand?

    You get that there are two forms of anti-semitism, that are each important criteria of whether one's dissent harbors bigotry, or is merely well-meaning dissent.