Obama kids they are not

More about that poll we mentioned on the site earlier today:

Ardent supporters of Israel never tire of telling us that Israel is the only "democracy" in the Middle East. If a poll released yesterday is any indication, Israeli high school kids want to see their country be more like the rest of the Middle East.

Discussing a survey of 536 Jewish and Arab respondents between the ages of 15-18, Ha’aretz reports,

"Nearly half [49.5%] of Israel’s high school students do not believe that Israeli-Arabs are entitled to the same rights as Jews in Israel…. The same poll revealed that more than half [56%] of the students would deny Arabs the right to be elected to the Knesset."

Reading the results, Professor Daniel Bar-Tel of the Tel Aviv University’s School of Education concludes that "Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values." 

While "39 percent of secular students" opposed granting Arab citizens equal rights to Jews, an incredible "82 percent of religious students" were opposed. So much for the moderating influence of religious practice.

An equal percentage of religious students, 82 percent, opposed letting Arabs "run for office in the Knesset." Secular students split with 47 percent agreeing that there should be no Arab representation.

While the ADL and other Jewish organizations in the West consider graffiti such as "Death to the Jews" to be serious manifestations of anti-Semitism, "50% of the Jewish youngsters who defined themselves as religious [in the poll] said they believe the “Death to Arabs” slogan was legitimate."

According to the Jerusalem Post, "the survey further showed that nearly 70% of Arab youngsters living in Israel defined themselves as being ‘Palestinian patriots,’ and that 20% don’t feel a part of the country."

Military discipline also takes a blow, as "48 percent said that they would refuse orders to evacuate outposts and settlements in the Palestinian territories," even though 91 percent "expressed a desire to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces."

Not all is lost: "31 percent said they would refuse military service beyond the Green Line," implying there is still a residue of opposition to the occupation.

Had one of us said the following, Alan Dershowitz would be on our asses within seconds, but Professor Bar-Tel observes

"The differences in positions between secular and religious youth, which are only growing sharper from a demographic standpoint, need to be of concern to all of us because this will be the face of the state in another 20-30 years.There is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth."

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Citizen says:

    Hey, hey; see how the Israeli youth shares the same values as the USA youth? Beiden says there’s no space at all between the USA and Israel. We share the same values. Isn’t it about time to rewrite the USA Declaration of Independence and Constitution as amended? Time to interpret US Law the way the prophets of Israel would?

    • MHughes976 says:

      Are you interpreting Biden as a Teutonic von Beiden?
      There were prophets who wanted justice and mercy, as I recall.

      • Citizen says:

        Well, I guess the question is which Jewish prophets have been selected over the years, let’s just limit it to the years since 1967, for starters.

  2. Chaos4700 says:

    “[Israeli] Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values.”

    Not that Israeli Jewish elders are altogether better, I’d say.

    You know, this is actually really nice, today’s blogging. While we have articles with factual data, testimonies, credible academic analysis from Israelis themselves… the Zionists have all fled to their dark holes. Every last one of them. Apparently.

  3. marc b. says:

    Chaos, Mr. Witty isn’t available to respond personally, but as the self-designated heart and soul of liberal Zionism, he requested that I post this in his absence:

    These polls are consequential, and that there are/were likely other alternatives for each community within the poll to adopt a partisan approach. One might question the integrity of these polls, although I wouldn’t, but I have a different definition of integrity. Its not either/or. Its a commitment to mutual decency that makes both peace and justice. Polls such as this must be used to seek out be good people in their individual and collective relations with others that are willing to have good relations with them, and their concern about the goal of actual reconciliation, and in a form that allows Israel to remain as Israel, which I consider a jewel.

    /s/
    Richard Witty, CPA (retired)

    • Citizen says:

      Oh yes and PS: Let’s drop BDS; we all know it’s just a cover for the extermination of Israel–basically, just an anti-semetic movement. The case of apartheid S Africa was entirely different, as was the case of Jim Crow.

    • MRW says:

      marc b., :-)
      ==========

    • Shingo says:

      Yes Witty’s beautiful jewel is looking rather tarnished these days. He must be busy restoring it’s luster.

      As he always tells us, “keep your eye on the prize”. Now we know what he meant.

    • Aref says:

      marc b. I think you left something out: there is no mention of Hamas and how it just wants to annihilate Israel with its Qassam rockets. I am sure that Mr. Witty in his crystal clear and infallible logic found a way to squeeze it in but unfortunately got left out :)))

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Sniff. Almost brought a tear to my eye. Oh the memories. :)

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  6. MRW says:

    “Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values.” Because hey watched and learned from their parents.

  7. Keith says:

    When Israel was established, it was determined that it should be conceived as both Jewish and democratic. Democracy (in the formal sense) was felt to be necessary because Israel was also conceived as an outpost of empire, dependent upon imperial sponsorship, first Britain then the U.S., for its survival. To be a legally defined apartheid state (as opposed to a de facto apartheid state) was not considered a viable option in view of Israel’s need for Western support and sponsorship. On the other hand, a democracy with an Arab majority (circa 1948) would obviously not be a Jewish state, and would represent an abandonment of Zionist ideology. To be both Jewish and democratic (Ben-Gurion felt that the Arabs could be no more than 20% of the population) required the Zionists to ethnically cleanse (a war crime) the vast majority of Arabs living in Israel/Palestine prior to statehood. In essence, the Nakba was intrinsic to the internal logic of Zionism and a Jewish and democratic state.

    In view of the higher birthrate for Palestinian Arabs, the internal logic of “Jewish and democratic” required both the aggressive recruitment of Jews to immigrate to Israel and the ongoing harsh abuse of the Palestinian Arabs, both inside Israel and in the occupied territories, to encourage them to emigrate from Israel. In this regard, the Israeli popular media has long been fixated on the Arab demographic problem, and on plans to “transfer” (ethnically cleanse) them. In view of all of this, it must be kept in mind that extolling Israeli “democracy” is a de facto extolling of ethnic cleansing in Israel/Palestine. Zionism is rotten to the core, and putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders.

    • Citizen says:

      Keith, your logic is impeccable, and feels right in the weighing too.

    • marc b. says:

      required [] the aggressive recruitment of Jews to immigrate

      And by ‘recruitment’ you presumably mean the psychological projection of the inherently annihilistic tendencies of gentile populations in ‘host’ countries. And if that doesn’t work, you threaten to bomb the ‘host’ country, as in the case of Iran for example. Killing two to get one immigrant isn’t such a bad calculus.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Sometimes it wasn’t merely psychological projection. Sometimes, the bombs Zionists planted among Jews were real.

      • Keith says:

        By “recruitment” I am referring primarily to the semi-forced conscription of Jews to make Aliyah to Israel. Prior to World War II, U.S. immigration restrictions (supported by the Zionists) left Jews fleeing Europe no choice but to go to Israel. Immediately after World War II, Jews in refugee camps were subjected to beatings and the withholding of provisions if they didn’t agree to go to Israel. The huge Russian Aliyah was consummated by the fact that the Russians, like others in the past, couldn’t go to their preferred destination. All totaled, the vast majority of Jewish immigrants to Israel would have preferred to immigrate to the U.S. or Britain if given the choice, but were effectively “Shanghaied” to Israel to provide the human fodder necessary to implement the Zionist dream.

        • Bruce says:

          You mention “U.S. immigration restrictions left Jews fleeing Europe no choice but to go to Israel.” Those restrictions were hardly in place because Zionists supported them. They were adopted for quite different reasons. Had the United States accepted the Jews persecuted by the Nazis either before the war or after, then there would be no Israel today and Zionism would have been a failed project. Had the Allies carved out a state for European Jewish refugees out of Germany, we would not be arguing today about land stolen by the Zionists.

          You attribute an agency to the Zionists, which they simply did not possess in 1948.

          This does not excuse the subsequent treatment of the Palestinians, but people that have “no choice” at one point often set in motion a series of bad choices later. Witness the genocide of the American Indian.

          You provide some useful historical insights, but what is the point of rhetoric such as, “Zionism is rotten to the core, and putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders,” besides arousing some of the crowd here? All -isms turn out to have internal contradictions, which become incontrovertibly apparent after attempts to actualize them. Is Zionism so different in this respect from nationalism, capitalism, socialism, communism, Islamism, American exceptionalism, monarchism, republicanism, globalism, communitarianism, etc.

          Portraying Zionism as the original sin may be theological satisfying, but I suggest it plays right into the hands of those that want to portray anti-Zionists as extremists or anti-Semitic.

        • Shingo says:

          “Those restrictions were hardly in place because Zionists supported them. ”

          Who are you trying to fool? Jewish groups in the US were vigorously lobbying to limit Jewish immigration to the US so that Jewish immigrants would be forced to move to Palestine.

          Ben Gurion himself was famously quoted as saying that if he’d beengiven a choice between creating Israel and saving half of the children in Germany , he would choose Israel.

          That tells us all we need to know about Zuonism, and there’s no point in being polite about it for Joe Public.

        • Shingo says:

          “Portraying Zionism as the original sin may be theological satisfying, but I suggest it plays right into the hands of those that want to portray anti-Zionists as extremists or anti-Semitic.”

          Being labelled as extremists by those defending an extremist ideology is hardly cause for concern.

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo,

          You can’t fool a fool. Your history is fucking nuts. Who are your sources?

          The Zionists in the United States were a minority of the American Jewish community before WWII, and hardly the more powerful and resourceful part of the community at that. Jewish organizations lobbied for more immigration. To the extent they didn’t lobby more was there own fears of stirring anti-Semitism in the US.

          Are you really arguing that the United States limited Jewish immigration in the Thirties because that was what Ben Gurion wanted? Nice quote. I use it myself sometimes, but it has no relevance to your argument.

          Even after the establishment of Israel, American Jews continued to play a role in immigration reform. They were instrumental in passage of the 1965 Reform Act.

          While Israel has tried to direct all Jewish emigrants to Israel, they have had limited success with stopping Jewish immigration to the United States. They can’t even stop Israeli emigration to the United States.

          But then if the above is all you need to know about Zionism and you see no point in being polite about it for Joe Public, what else is there to be said?

        • Shingo says:

          Bruce,

          So let me get this straight.

          In one sentence you claim that “Jewish organizations lobbied for more immigration and then in another you admit that “While Israel has tried to direct all Jewish emigrants to Israel, they have had limited success with stopping Jewish immigration to the United States.”

          So which is Bruce?

          And yes, this is a nice quote:

          “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.” — David Ben-Gurion

          “They can’t even stop Israeli emigration to the United States.”

          It’s not through lack of trying.

          First of all, Israle is now established, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem have been stolen and the majority of the Palestinian population has been ethncially cleansed.

          Furthermore, Israel is reaching a point where it will be economically unsustainable, so preventing Jewish emigration is futile.

          And if you want to get into further details about the sickenss and fraud that is Zionism, there is much we can discuss, but I am stil awaiting your defensse for the racism, ethnic exclusivity and violence on which Zionism is founded. I guess that’s a topic you’d rather avoid?

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo,

          First, there is this dimension called time. Second, there is this group called Jewish Americans and then this group called Israelis.

          Jewish Americans lobbied for more Jewish immigration to the United States and anywhere else during the Thirties and Second World War. Zionists in Palestine lobbied for more immigration to Palestine. Where is the contradiction? Most Jews just wanted to get other Jews out, independent of where they went.

          Show me where Ben Gurion’s view predominated, or ever succeeded in stopping immigration anywhere else no matter what his desires were. In case you are unaware, half of the Jewish children of Germany ended up neither in England or Palestine.

          And not that the issue is so important, but show us how Israel has made a major effort to stop Israeli emigration to the United States now that you’ve made the claim.

          It may be possible, but please explain how “Israel is reaching a point where it will be economically unsustainable.” If, anything, the Israeli economy is stronger than ever. At the moment, it is doing much better than the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Unless the rest of the world cuts Israel off, and there is no evidence that is happening, quite the opposite, it is hard to see how its economy is reaching a point of unsustainability.

          And I will not avoid your question on Zionism, but I like to prepare my answers.

        • marc b. says:

          Shingo, my favorite example of Zionists’ concern for their fellow Jews during WWII is the bombing of the SS Patria in Haifa harbor by Haganah. Apparently these brother’s keepers didn’t like the British plan to send European Jewish refugees to camps in Mauritius for the duration of the war. A couple hundred were killed so the terrorists could make the point that Jewish victims of the Holocaust were better off dead in Eretz Israel, than alive in Mauritius.

        • Shingo says:

          Thanks for reminding me of that example Marc B.

        • Shingo says:

          It may be possible, but please explain how “Israel is reaching a point where it will be economically unsustainable”.

          Demographically, Israel is reaching a point of usustainability. Not only are skilled workers deserting Israel in droves, but as Haaretz recently reported, the growth rate of the Haredi school system is 39 times greater than that of the state secular schools, and that of the Arab school system is 13 times greater.

          The Arabs want to work, but are finding it difficult to break the walls of isolation and discrimination erected by the Jewish majority. Among the Haredim, a social norm has taken root that prefers Torah study to work.

          This is a time bomb for Israel, because simply put, Israel is headed for a future where the workforce will be grossly inadequate to susptain the economy.
          link to haaretz.com

        • Chaos4700 says:

          And don’t forget — Israel has taken to expelling foreign workers from elsewhere in the world as well.

          They’re heading for a similar sort of collapse as the United States is — a vital component of the economic engine (in our case, the places of employment and means of production; in Israel’s, skilled labor) has been dismantled, and it’s just a matter of time before the engine shakes itself apart.

          All economic bubbles burst, eventually.

        • Shingo says:

          Strong and self sustaining economies don’t typically rely on the largest foreign aid cheques in the world and demand weapons for free. Like Israel irself, it’s economy is an entirely artificial construct.

        • Keith says:

          BRUCE- I don’t have the time to dig through all of my books trying to locate numerous quotes to buttress my assertion that the Zionists did all in their power to encourage Jewish immigration away from the U.S. and Britain and toward Israel. Suffice to say that it is a common theme for those who write on the topic from a factual, rather than hasbara, perspective. However, because this is an important topic, I have located just a few quotes to give you a flavor of what transpired.

          “This is the same Rabbi Wise who, in 1938, in his capacity as leader of the American Jewish Congress, wrote a letter in which he opposed any change in U.S. immigration laws which would enable Jews to find refuge. He stated: ‘It may interest you to know that some weeks ago the representatives of all the leading Jewish organizations met in conference. …It was decided that no Jewish organization would, at this time, sponsor a bill which would in any way alter the immigration laws.” (Ralph Schoenman)

          “Yet on the Stratton bill (1944), which would have opened America’s doors to 400,000 displaced persons, the powerful Zionist Washington lobby, otherwise most articulate, was virtually silent.” (Alfred Lilienthal) He then goes on to quote the President of the Zionist Organization of America: ‘I am happy that our movement has finally veered around to the point where we are all, or nearly all, talking about a Jewish state. That was always classical Zionism….But I ask…are we again, in moments of desperation, going to confuse Zionism with refugeeism, which is likely to defeat Zionism?’ Lilienthal further states “The generous admission of Jewish displaced persons to the U.S. and other countries would have eradicated the necessity for a ‘Jewish state.’ Yet the human flotsam in former concentration camps impressed the Zionists in only two respects: as manpower and as justification for Jewish statehood.”

          “Later I learned from someone who ran a displaced persons camp in Germany that the large majority of Jews wanted to go anywhere but Palestine. They were compelled to state Palestine or risk receiving no aid.” (Gabriel Kolko)

          Zionism, like colonialism and imperialism, is, in fact, rotten to the core. Exploitation, injustice, denial of the inalienable human rights and dignity of the subject population is built into the system and the ideology which justifies it. Any system based upon systemic injustice putrefies all it comes in contact with, including its apologists.

        • Shingo says:

          That was beautiful Keith, excellent post.

        • Bruce says:

          Well Keith I would like to know – not really – the books on your shelf that lead you to conclude “that the Zionists did all in their power to encourage Jewish immigration away from the U.S. and Britain and toward Israel.”

          I notice that you refuse to mention a timeframe for even this accusation, although two of the examples you give are in 1938 and 1944, and Kolko’s remark I assume is just after the war.

          You mention a letter from Rabbi Wise in 1938, providing a quote and no context at all. Even a minimum of research, the kind I did this morning Googling, would have revealed the situation at the time. Some were suggesting that Roosevelt request that the U.S. Congress take up raising the immigration quotas.

          “In fact, the Democratic congressional leaders, including Rep. Samuel Dickstein, who chaired the House subcommittee on immigration, warned him [Roosevelt] that reactionary forces in Congress might well use any attempt to increase the quotas as an opportunity to reduce them. In 1939 Congressman Emanuel Celler of Brooklyn, an outspoken defender of Jewish interests, gave a speech in which he warned that “it would be dangerous at this time because of public opinion in the South and West to press for the passage in Congress of [his own] bills to give asylum in the United States to refugees and to reallot for refugees the unused quotas of various countries.” Congressman Celler said he had been warned by representatives from other parts of the country that if he pressed his proposals, other bills “to cut the quotas in half or to stop all immigration would be introduced and probably passed.” Nor were the Jews the only refugees Congress was determined to bar. A few days later the Reverend Joseph Ostermann, executive director of the Committee for Catholic Refugees from Germany, said that there were five hundred thousand actual or potential Catholic refugees whom “Goebbels and Rosenberg in Germany have attempted to identify with communism.”

          Understanding the hostility of the American public and elements in Congress to increasing the immigration quotas, not to mention the anti-Semitism in the country at the time, might provide some light on why Rabbi Wise and Jewish organizations decided not to lobby for an increase in quotas from Congress. Your quote doesn’t even say to whom the letter was written and in response to what.

          It is just as hard to discern the context of the Stratton Bill quotes and there seems to be a discrepancy in dates. Al-bushra, a Christian Arab web site which is hardly pro-Zionist, provides the following research:

          “On April 1 [1947] Representative William Stratton of Illinois introduced a bill to admit 400,000 DPs into America over the next four years. The mail response to Congress and the White House was 88 percent against his bill. The postwar housing shortage, lack of jobs, anti-Semitism, fear of Communist infiltration among DPs, and the threat to the “American way of life” were frequently cited motives. Truman urged Congress to pass some type of bill to help DPs, but he did not endorse the Stratton bill, which he thought unrealistic in asking for 400,000 DPs. He estimated Congress at most would approve only 100,000.”
          ….
          “By mid-1947 Stratton’s immigration bill was gaining support among prominent Americans, including religious leaders. With Palestine before the UN, State promoted easing U.S. quotas in order to weaken Zionist arguments for the need for a Jewish state. Assistant Secretary of State John Hildring developed two proposals for Truman to submit to Congress. One provided that 150,000 DPs be admitted to the U.S. as its “fair share.” The other would have given DPs all of the 571,000 unused wartime U.S. immigration certificates. Truman did not use either proposal.

          Many DPs had resettled by mid-1947. Of the Jews in camps on December 22, 1945, the date of Truman’s DP immigration di-rective, ten thousand remained unresettled. The rest had gone to Palestine, America or elsewhere. Of the Jews in camps in mid-1947, more than 100,000 had fled either from Russia in early 1946 or from Poland. The camps’ population by mid-1947 was composed more of postwar, east European refugees than of war refugees. The new total was some 850,000: 250,000 Jews and 600,000 Gentiles, mostly from eastern Europe, with nearly 1,660,000 refugees – many outside camps – eligible for DP status. In the fall of 1947 the Stratton bill was still far from becoming law. Few Jewish groups testified in its favor – and only briefly. If the bill had passed at that time it would have weakened Zionists’ argument that opening Palestine was necessary to solve the refugee problem. Yet the AJC, which then had not yet fully embraced Zionism, seems to have sincerely tried to open America to more Jewish refugees. Meanwhile, the Fulton Committee, a subcommittee of the House Foreign Relations Committee, agreeing with the Zionist position, stated: “If the Jewish facet of the problem could be cleared up, the solution of the remainder of the problem would be greatly facilitated. The opening up of Palestine to the resettlement of Jewish displaced persons would break the log jam.”

          And David McBride,/a>, hardly a Zionist, concluded,

          “For the United States and its leaders, when Jewish immigration posed problems on the home front, Palestine offered overwhelmingly the best pragmatic solution. It eased the burden of altering immigration quotas and avoided causing possible domestic unrest. Yet it also provided a speedy answer to the practical situation of the refugees. As many Americans looked unfavorably upon the Arabs, few were concerned with Arab unrest over the issue and most believed that something positive had to be done for the displaced persons. Criticism of Zionist actions remains a delicate subject, but often with regards to the displaced persons, the best interests of the Holocaust survivors remained secondary to the creation of a Jewish state. Yet this criticism needs to be viewed in context of what was occurring at the time. Few countries offered the refugees shelter until after 1948 and it was clearly the primary concern of the refugees to be free from the camps. There was a universal failure amongst all of the countries of the world to act humanely, and thus an environment was created in which the Zionists could use the displaced persons to achieve their aims. In choosing the creation of a Jewish state over the welfare of the displaced persons, the Zionists believed themselves to be preserving Jewish interests in the future because they claimed that only in their own state could Jews be free from anti-Semitism. This thinking is certainly justifiable following the Holocaust, but the fact that many displaced persons did not accept Zionism and eventually chose to immigrate elsewhere shows that that the Zionist argument was not always unanimously accepted.”

          Why the Zionists, who already had concluded that massive immigration to the United States and other countries was not a realistic alternative, should have faith in the Stratton bill passing is something you leave unexplained.

          Your attempts to put the ban on Jewish immigration in the Thirties on the Zionists is purely historical revisionism of the David Irving kind. Whether this is out of ignorance or design I don’t know, but I am rather certain that Phil and Adam are not running Mondoweiss as a site for such discussions. I suggest you take this debate elsewhere.

        • Bruce says:

          Sorry, I forgot a bracket after McBride.

        • Shingo says:

          That’s an excellent attemptat spin Bruce, but none of your arguments was even referenced by Rabbi Wise or any other member of the American Jewish Congress.

          It is predictable, and rather lame that you would dredge up comparisons with David Irving (thogh no one on this blgo has ever challenged the reality of the Holocaust), but when your plastform is to precarious, any hyperbole and conflation will suffice.

          In any case, you manged to get yourself compltely entangled in your own thesis, while denying. One one have you are claiming that the American Jews were keeping a low profile in the climate of anti Semtism that boiled beneath the surface at the time, while simultansously arguing that ïf the bill had passed at that time it would have weakened Zionists’ argument that opening Palestine was necessary to solve the refugee proble”.

          As luck wold have it Bruce, you can;t have it both ways. Either the American Jews, or ratehr those that represented them were lobbying for increased immigration quotes of Jews or they weren’t.

          You seem to be utterly confused and confounded.

          If the bill had passed at that time it would have weakened Zionists’ argument that opening Palestine was necessary to solve the refugee problem.

        • Shingo says:

          A handful of more quotes for Bruce, in case you are wondering if Ben Gurion’s sentiments were simply unique to him:

          1. “If I am asked, “Could you give from the UJA moneys to rescue Jews, ‘I say, NO! and I say again NO!”
          Izaak Greenbaum — head of Jewish Agency Rescue Committee
          February 18, 1943
          Addressed to the Zionist Executive Council.

          2. “One Cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Poland”
          ….Izaak Greenbaum

          3. Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, made this Zionist policy very explicit:
          The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: “Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?” I replied, “No.” … From the depths of the tragedy I want to save … young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it.

          Chaim Weizmann reporting to the Zionist Congress in 1937 on his testimony before the Peel Commission in London, July 1937. Cited in Yahya, p. 55.

        • Keith says:

          BRUCE- I found your response to my last post interesting on multiple levels, however, one thing in particular jumped out. “…I am rather certain that Phil and Adam are not running Mondoweiss as a site for such discussions.” How interesting. You feel that Modoweiss, which is dedicated to “The War of Ideas in the Middle East,” where Phil relentlessly attacks the power of the Zionist Lobby, is an inappropriate place to discuss Zionism and its impact on hope for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine? My, what a unique perspective.

          And how did I deserve the honor of being singled-out from the other Mondoweissers who debated you on this thread? Could it have been related to your comment “…what is the point of rhetoric such as ‘Zionism is rotten to the core, and putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders,’ besides arousing some of the crowd here?” I think we may be on to something. You are attacking the discussion of the historical reality that Zionism, far from being a refuge for worldwide Jewry, exploited the Holocaust (before, during, and after), as a means of achieving its nationalistic objectives.

          “Zionism, in short, won its blitzkrieg over American Jewry simply because it was permitted to put the label ‘humanitarianism’ on the power politics of Jewish nationalism….Zionism did not waste time or energy on proving its extreme program to be morally and historically sound. All it had to do was equate it with man’s compassion for the victims of history’s most cruel pogrom.” (Alfred Lilienthal)

          Without the Holocaust, I suspect that Zionism would not have been successful and that Israel would not have come into being as a Jewish state. Throughout, Zionism has misrepresented itself and Israel. Israel has always required imperial sponsorship, and has had the ethnic cleansing of the native population as an operational imperative in order to be “Jewish and democratic.” Furthermore, Zionism stands in the way of any meaningful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict, which was initiated by the Zionists. Hence, Zionism is rotten to the core (as is imperialism).

          Bruce says: “I suggest you take this debate elsewhere.” I disagree, I think the Mondoweiss website is a very appropriate place to discuss this and other issues concerning peace and justice in the Middle East. I noticed that your first comment on this thread occurred after my post. I am pleased that I may have encouraged you to actively participate in the discussion, and hope to read some of your future comments.

        • Donald says:

          I think Bruce’s argument is fairly simple and convincing to me at least. Zionist leaders might have been cynical opportunists, but whatever one thinks of them, Zionists did not have the political clout in the 30′s and 40′s to control America’s immigration policy and anyone who thinks they did is wrong. You can’t refute this argument by citing Zionists making stupid or callous comments.

        • tree says:

          I just noticed this comment from Bruce, and need to respond because, although perhaps merely written in error or haste it contains a major falsehood.

          Your attempts to put the ban on Jewish immigration in the Thirties on the Zionists is purely historical revisionism of the David Irving kind.

          There was no US ban on “Jewish” immigration. There was no “ban” on immigration, period. What occurred in the the Twenties, after WWI and the upsurge in anti-communism in the US, was a reworking of the quotas on immigration from Germany and Eastern European countries which greatly decreased the numbers allowed from those countries in favor of immigration from the more Western European countries. This was attributable to anti-German feelings, as well as fear of Eastern Europeans bringing communistic ideas to the US (during the period of the birth of US labor unions). To call this a “ban on Jewish immigration” is sloppy thought.

          And Bruce, I would recommend you read “In the Shadow of the Holocaust” by Israeli academic Grodzinsky, if you would like some illustration of what Keith is talking about. Also Lenni Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of Dictators is apropos reading.

          Also this:

          Jewish Americans lobbied for more Jewish immigration to the United States and anywhere else during the Thirties and Second World War.

          You’ve lumped ALL Jewish Americans together as if they all spoke as one. This is clearly not the case (and a stereotype also) and if you read any of the histories of the American Jewish Congress and the American Council on Judaism you would understand that there was considerable disagreement on where European Jewish refugees should go. Much credit for the passage of immigration reform after the war can go to one tireless individual, Lessing Rosenwald, with the ACJ, who was openly opposed by the declared Zionist Stephen Wise, as head of the AJC. You might want to glance through “Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-48″ by Kolsky, which is available in part on Google Books.

          To my mind, Zionism is akin to white supremacy, and as such is in fact “rotten in its core”, just as white supremacy. There may have been many otherwise admirable people who were white supremacists, but that does not mean that the ideology itself is not fatally flawed and repulsive. Likewise with Zionists and Zionism.

        • Shingo says:

          “Zionist leaders might have been cynical opportunists, but whatever one thinks of them, Zionists did not have the political clout in the 30’s and 40’s to control America’s immigration policy and anyone who thinks they did is wrong. ”

          That’s not what we are disputing. Bruce denies that there was any effort by Zionists to curtail the immigratnt intake of Jews, whether they had the clout or otherwise.

        • Keith says:

          TREE- Thanks for the post

        • tree says:

          Donald, we will never know if they could have had a positive influence on the US immigration policy before or after the War, because before the war they did not seek to overturn the US immigration policy, and after the war, they aligned themselves against allowing more refugees into the US, prior to the creation of the state of Israel.

          Lessing Rosenwald, an American Jew and anti-Zionist, was opposed by American Zionist Wise and others in his tireless bid to open up the US to more Jewish refugees. He was only able to attain success after the creation of the state of Israel, and after the vocal opposition of Wise and others like him ended with that creation.

          Again, I would suggest reading about the ACJ, Lessing Rosenwald, and Rabbi Elmer Berger.

          And there is this from Morris Ernst, founder of the ACLU and close friend of Franklin D Roosevelt:

          “What if Canada, Australia, South America, England and the United States were all to open a door to some migration? Even today [written in 1947] it is my judgement, and I have been in Germany since the war, that only a minority of the Jewish DP’s [displaced persons] would choose Palestine…

          “[Roosevelt] proposed a world budget for the easy migration of the 500,000 beaten people of Europe. Each nation should open its doors for some thousands of refugees…So he suggested that during my trips for him to England during the war I sound out in a general, unofficial manner the leaders of British public opinion, in and out of the government…The simple answer: Great Britain will match the United States, man for man, in admissions from Europe…It seemed all settled. With the rest of the world probably ready to give haven to 200,000, there was a sound reason for the President to press Congress to take in at least 150,000 immigrants after the war…

          “It would free us from the hypocrisy of closing our own doors while making sanctimonious demands on the Arabs…But it did not work out…The failure of the leading Jewish organizations to support with zeal this immigration programme may have caused the President not to push forward with it at that time…

          “I talked to many people active in Jewish organizations. I suggested the plan…I was amazed and even felt insulted when active Jewish leaders decried, sneered, and then attacked me as if I were a traitor…I think I know the reason for much of the opposition. There is a deep, genuine, often fanatical emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement [Zionism]. Men like Ben Hecht are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” Morris Ernst, “So Far, So Good.”

          Ernst was, of course, an American Jew, and was asked by Roosevelt to help gain support for Roosevelt’s plan as outlined above in Ernst’s quote. Perhaps the opposition to the plan from anti-semites or nativists or others might have killed the plan regardless, but with strong opposition from within the American Jewish community, it was doomed from the start.

          Zionist were strong enought in the Jewish communtiy at that time to prevent the idea from getting off the ground in the first place. To pretend that opposition was of no consequence is also wrong, as is it wrong to pretend that everyone in the US Jewish community at that time had only the interests of European Jewish refugees at heart, which appeared to be Bruce’s point.

        • tree says:

          Keith,

          De nada… I’ve read extensively on a lot of this, although my memory for the particulars is a bit rusty. When I studied Zionism more closely I found that it wasn’t particularly “good for the Jews” either. It goes without saying that it was a disaster for the Palestinians, and Israel’s neighbors.

        • tree says:

          That’s not what we are disputing. Bruce denies that there was any effort by Zionists to curtail the immigratnt intake of Jews, whether they had the clout or otherwise.

          Actually, Bruce went even further than that. He implied that any discussion of those Zionist efforts makes one akin to David Irving. In other words he dropped the A-bomb. (“A” for “anti-semite”.)

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo, I have no interest in spinning or parroting an ideological line. Getting to the historical truth is sufficient for me.

          You on the other hand are dishonest in your methods.

          You wrote, “none of your arguments was even referenced by Rabbi Wise or any other member of the American Jewish Congress.” First, I was not making arguments about Rabbi Wise’s letter. I was pointing out that Keith’s argument was not justified by the quote he gave. Then I gave other historians’ arguments which counter Keith’s conclusion.

          Second, how would you even know that none of those counter- arguments were not reference by Wise? Did you do any research or did you simply parrot Schoenman, who according to Keith is just expressing “a common theme for those who write on the topic from a factual, rather than hasbara, perspective”? Schoenman and his methods have no standing among actual historians, so who are the serious historians which back up his theses?

          But even worse, Keith’s Schoenman reference actually comes from the work of Lenni Brenner, “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators,” and if you go to the entire quote in this anti-Zionist history, it reads

          “However, there is no doubt that the letter is genuine and it gives a clear indication of the mood of the Zionist movement.

          I wish I thought that it were possible for this measure to be passed without repercussions upon the Jewish community in this country. I have every reason to believe, unfortunately, that any effort that is made at this time to waive the immigration laws, however humanitarian the purpose, will result in serious accentuation of what we know to be a rising wave of anti-Semitic feelings in the country … It may interest you to know that some weeks ago the representatives of all the leading Jewish organisations met in conference to discuss the President’s proposal and other proposals which have been made to waive the immigration barrier. It was the consensus of opinion that such bills at this moment in the light of present unemployment in this country and in the light of the inspired propaganda directed against the Jewish people, and circulated throughout the country, would be injurious to the purposes which all of us would like to serve. For that reason it was decided that no Jewish organisation would at this time, sponsor a bill which would in any way alter the present immigration laws.”

          So the original source of Keith’s argument, when not selectively edited by
          Schoenman, references one of the arguments that you claim Wise never proffered.

          I never claimed that you, Keith or even Schoenman were Holocaust deniers. I asserted that the attempt of you, Keith and Schoenman “to put the ban on Jewish immigration in the Thirties on the Zionists is purely historical revisionism of the David Irving kind.” And I will stick with that conclusion. It is shoddy and dishonest history.

          And I didn’t mention it before – and perhaps it is just a coincidence – but most of your quotes from Schoenman are also available in an excerpt under his name at the 7th Fire website. At the end of his Part 1, you can also link to such informative pages as, The Holocaust: Let’s hear both sides, The Auschwitz Swimming Pool, What is ‘Holocaust denial’ really?, The ‘Problem of the Gas Chambers’, Nazis and Jews, and the World of the Jewish Media. And if these topics interest you, they also have free books to download which include, David Irving: Hitler’s War and a bunch of other biographies of Nazi leaders.

          As for getting entangled in my own thesis, you are a very confused bunny. Keith wrote, “the Zionists did all in their power to encourage Jewish immigration away from the U.S. and Britain and toward Israel,” and he gave two quotes to back up his point. My assertion was that neither quote did in
          fact “give a flavor of what transpired” in his words.

          The first quote isn’t even accurate as I have shown. The second quote doesn’t clearly indicate anything. I presented several other historical theses which do not agree with Keith’s conclusion and are at odds with his second quote. If Keith and you want to continue to maintain the thesis, then you guys are the ones that have to clear up the inconsistencies. It is not sufficient to throw out a bunch of isolated quotes. Unlike Schoenman I didn’t splice out my quotes to fit a particular argument. That is the reason there are ambiguities, which remain to be resolved.

          You remark, “Either the American Jews, or rather those that represented them were lobbying for increased immigration quotes of Jews or they weren’t.” Have you ever even considered the possibility that at some points in time some American Jews lobbied for increased immigrations quotas and at other times they decided not to lobby for specific reasons? Have you ever considered that even at the same time different groups of American Jews had different attitudes towards lobbying on immigration? You elide from American Jews to Zionists as if they were one united monolith. And of course, any reading of the history of the time shows that American Jews were divided in their views in a number of ways, and that only a minority were pro-Zionist during the Thirties.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Bruce is responsible when it comes to reporting facts, but in analysis, he reminds me of Goldstone. Goldstone was sent by the UN specifically to investigate Israeli war crimes. Goldstone, of course, is still a Zionist and so he was compelled to dig into and find a reason to “equally” condemn Hamas.

          The both of them are to be commended for their honesty and integrity, but… sadly, both of them will still cling to whatever purchase for the sake of Israel (in Bruce’s case, I suspect out of a distorted sense of “fairness” that actually requires him and us to indulge in a faulty sort of moral equivocation between crude rockets aimed in Israel’s general direction and laser-guided bombs dropped on hospitals) that doesn’t require them to lie outright.

          And as we see, as you pointed out tree, that inevitably leads to slinging around the “A-bomb” when all else fails. And that’s the trap that this line of reasoning always falls into.

        • Donald says:

          ” I suspect out of a distorted sense of “fairness” that actually requires him and us to indulge in a faulty sort of moral equivocation between crude rockets aimed in Israel’s general direction and laser-guided bombs dropped on hospitals”

          Did Bruce do this? Maybe so–I don’t read all the threads and probably miss things even in the threads I read, but I haven’t seen him doing this. As best I can tell, the substantive argument is about immigration policy in the US in the 30′s and 40′s and who to blame. Tree makes the best argument–in some alternative universe, maybe if all Jews had united in demanding a more liberal immigration policy it would have had a better chance. Possibly so, so go ahead and put some of the blame on those Zionists who opposed it. But the bulk of the blame goes to anti-semitic Americans, surely.

          Bruce is also objecting to some rhetoric–as a compromise I’d suggest we call all forms of nationalism a “disease”. At best nationalism is harmless-at worst it provides excuses for ethnic cleansing and genocide.

          Rhetoric aside, I wouldn’t see the harm in Zionism so long as the adherents wanted to live alongside the Arabs in complete equality and I gather some did. But it all went sour very quickly, as one might expect in the racist colonial era of the late 1800′s and early 1900′s and much of today’s Zionism looks like some century-old throwback to that period.

        • Bruce says:

          Chaos,
          You really ought to take your suspicions and turn them on yourself.

          I have made no comments on Mondoweiss that suggest or require that either you or me “indulge in a faulty sort of moral equivocation between crude rockets aimed in Israel’s general direction and laser-guided bombs dropped on hospitals.”

          This just reflects some need of yours to make things up. Not sure what triggers it.

          Last year, I wrote some stuff about “how each side has the right to defend itself,” and in my opinion that certainly includes the Palestinians. I also discussed how both Israel and Hamas are involved in a strategy of deterrence, with Israel as the much stronger party enforcing the rules of the game. I wrote that the morality of each sides actions has to be seen in light of the chosen strategic playing field. Using this framework, the accuracy of the weapons do not determine their morality or reasonableness. It is the targets and the actual number of deaths which matter.

          So stop putting words in my mouth. It really is authoritarian.

        • Shingo says:

          “Rhetoric aside, I wouldn’t see the harm in Zionism so long as the adherents wanted to live alongside the Arabs in complete equality and I gather some did.  But it all went sour very quickly, as one might expect in the racist colonial era of the late 1800′s and early 1900′s and much of today’s Zionism looks like some century-old throwback to that period.”

          That’s a rather bizarre argument Donald. The founding ethos of Zionism rejected the idea of living alonside Gentiles, so what you’re ultimately arguing is that Zionism is acceptable so long as it is curtailed.

          Zionism didn’t turn sour, it simply confronted reality. It’s a bit like arguing that white supremacy only came unstuck because of the existence of other races.

        • Keith says:

          TREE- “When I studied Zionism more closely I found that it wasn’t particularly “good for the Jews” either.” Exactly! Zionism has never been about what’s “good for the Jews” per se, but about what is good for the Zionist elites, including U.S. Zionist elites that have benefited from Zionist solidarity. The Zionist goal was the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, the grim fate of European Jews in WWII was an opportunity to be exploited. Arguing that the Zionists lacked “agency” to impact immigration policy as a justification for their lack of interest and counterproductive actions is a crock. Somehow, these impotent Zionists managed a few years later to run roughshod over the opposition to create a Jewish state. Also, Zionist cooperation with the Nazis (and other notorious anti-Semites) before, during, and after the Holocaust is a matter of record for those who care to look.

        • Donald says:

          Shingo–

          Zionism is a collection of beliefs, some very different from each other. I’m no expert, but my understanding is that some Zionists, such as Judah Magnes, wanted Jews to migrate to Palestine and establish a vibrant Jewish culture. One could want this without necessarily aspiring to establish a “Jewish state”–it’s the latter which leads to human rights violations when Zionists try to establish their state in a land mainly inhabited by Muslims and Christians (with a small minority of Jews).

          It’s not my ideology and not my dream, but I don’t see anything wrong with the Judah Magnes version of it. Saying that it’s all equivalent to white supremacy is wrong–a religious group might try to live in a given region practicing their faith in a certain way without acting like white supremacists. Think of the Amish. There’s no reason why one couldn’t be a Zionist in that live and let live sort of way and there were some Zionists like that.

          For the most part, obviously, that’s not the brand of Zionism that ended up making history.

        • tree says:

          You elide from American Jews to Zionists as if they were one united monolith. You did the same thing, Bruce, when it was stated that Zionists fought against increased immigration to the US, you replied that American Jews lobbied for immigration rights anywhere that would have the European Jews, thus managing to lump all Jews with Zionists as well as all American Jews as having the same desires. And again, you insist on using the sloppy and incorrect term, “ban on Jewish immigration” There was no specific ban on Jewish immigration, and you should know this. (There was a ban on Asian immigration at that time.) The immigration quotas that were revised to lessen the numbers allowed from Germany and and Southern andEastern European countries, in favor of Northern and Western ones, happened in the 1920′s. See here and here .

          The new restrictions were the result of nativistic concerns in the US, anti-German feelings, and concern that foreign immigrants were negatively impacting wages for US workers. Adolph Hitler hadn’t even written Mein Kampf in prison at the time of these new quotas. I

          Donald,

          But the bulk of the blame goes to anti-semitic Americans, surely.

          The bulk of the blame goes to racist and isolationist attitudes in the US. To single out anti-semitism is to diminish the racism inherent in the total ban on Asian immigration, and the attitudes that considered non-Northern Europeans as lesser humans regardless of their religion.

          From a report on the US Immigration LAws of 1921 and 1924:

          In 1907 the USA had received the staggering total of 1,285,349 immigrants. In that same year an Immigration Act was passed which prohibited the entry of aliens who were over sixteen years of age’and were illiterate. The Literacy Test was aimed at non-European immigrants as it was then becoming fashionable to welcome certain races and bar others. Americans and Imperialist Europeans spoke menacingly about the Yellow Peril threatening to swamp the world with millions of hungry Orientals. Theodore Roosevelt, President of the USA, urged japan not to issue passports to those Japanese who intended to emigrate to California.

          Since 1894 opponents of unrestricted and non-selective immigration had banded themselves together in an influential Immigration Restriction league which clamoured for a policy based on racial selection. According to the people behind the League, the only acceptable types of immigrants were those originating from Great Britain, Scandinavia, Germany and North-Western Europe. European Latins and others were a threat the American nation because of their physical appearance, their language, culture and manners. Such foreigners were a potential danger to American democracy because they were unable to become respectable citizens. It was hard for such inferior people to respect private business and industry because many of them had been tainted with radical ideas. Particular antipathy was expressed towards immigrants from the Southern parts of Catholic Europe who were supposed to tain true Americanism with Romanism and Revolution.

          The First Quota Law of May 19, 1921, was a capitulation to such bigotry. President Warren G. Harding gave in to pressure from the Immigration Restriction League when he limited the annual number of immigrants to 3% of the number of foreign-born persons of most nationalities living in the USA in 1910.

          Eventually the League pressed for even stricter controls and in 1924 the Johnson-Reed Act was passed with the approval of President Calvin Coolidge. This Act drastically limited the intake of aliens. The Act also showed that America now sanctioned racial discrimination as it officially accepted the principle that not all nationalities were equal.

          According to the Johnson-Reed Act only 150,000 were to be allowed in one year. A nationality was permitted to send 2% of the number of immigrants present in the USA in 1890. This was planned to allow most of the quota to go to nationalities from North and Western Europe. The South and the East of Europe were only allowed to send 20,000 immigrants per year. Only 4,000 non-Europeans were to he allowed entry. Naturalisation was denied to Orientals.

          It was obvious that the Act had pushed the key census year from 1910 to 1890 because up to 1890 America still had a largely homogenous population, but after that year up to 1914 some 15,000,000 immigrants had entered the USA from the Middle East and from the South and the East of Europe. The Johnson-Reed Act deliberately chose 1890 as the key year in order to exclude the undesirable types of inferior immigrants.

          link to maltamigration.com

          I would agree that even if the American Zionists had pushed for a revamping of the immigration laws in the 1930′s they probably would have had little success, mostly due to the Depression and fear of Communism. After the war is a different story, and I think that they (American Zionists) were a significant factor in the delay in allowing more refugees into the US.

          Also, as an aside, since this is something you have mentioned before:

          , I wouldn’t see the harm in Zionism so long as the adherents wanted to live alongside the Arabs in complete equality and I gather some did. But it all went sour very quickly

          I think you are confusing Political Zionism with Cultural Zionism. Political Zionism was never for living “alongside the Arabs in complete equality”. That is its base, inherent problem. Cultural Zionism, of which Judah Magnes and others were adherents, is a different thing, with the possibility of accepting equality, and was never the driving force in the creation of the state of Israel.

        • Shingo says:


          And I didn’t mention it before – and perhaps it is just a coincidence – but most of your quotes from Schoenman are also available in an excerpt under his name at the 7th Fire website. At the end of his Part 1, you can  also link to such informative pages as, The Holocaust: Let’s hear both sides, The Auschwitz Swimming Pool, What is ‘Holocaust denial’ really?, The ‘Problem of  the Gas Chambers’, Nazis and Jews, and the World of the Jewish Media. And if these topics interest you, they also have free books to download which include, David Irving: Hitler’s War and a bunch of other biographies of Nazi leaders. ”

          Bruce, you must know how blatantly dishonest and spurious this argument is. The same strategy was used to attack Walt and Meareshimer. The fact that arguments presented here have been seized by anti semitic web sites, does not suggest they are anti sitic in origin. It is at best, a lazy argument, at worst deliberate deception.

          That aside, you have prsented a strong case to explain why the Majority of American Jews were restrained about influencing Jewish immigration, though you have not convinced me that Zionists were ruthless and single minded in pursuing their goals. Furthermore, as Keith cleverly points out, it appears paradoxical to suggest the Zionistmovement was weak in light of the fact they managed to manipulate world opinion to achive the creation of a Zionist state.

        • tree says:

          Donald,

          Since I didn’t address this until the end of my way too long post above, I’ll mention it again. You are confusing Political Zionism, which is what Be-Gurion and the Jewish Agency were all about, and cultural Zionsism, of which Judah Magnes was an adherent. The origin of the state of Israel is based in Political Zionism. When Zionism is mentioned today, in Israel or here, it is Political Zionism that is meant, and political Zionism never entertained nor believed in living equally alongside the Arabs.

        • Donald says:

          Tree–

          I accept your correction regarding racism as opposed to just anti-semitism being to blame for anti-immigration sentiment. On cultural vs. political Zionism, I wasn’t confusing them. I’m saying that cultural Zionism was fine, but political Zionism was not. In the real world the two were likely to be confused, both by Arabs (Tom Segev points to the distrust Palestinians felt for Judah Magnes) and probably by others.

        • Shingo says:

          “Saying that it’s all equivalent to white supremacy is wrong–a religious group might try to live in a given region practicing their faith in a certain way without acting like white supremacists. Think of the Amish. There’s no reason why one couldn’t be a Zionist in that live and let live sort of way and there were some Zionists like that.”

          That argument doesn’t hold water due to the simple fact that there was a vibrant Jewish community in Palestine that largely opposed Zionism, while still being able to practice their faith and express their culture.

        • tree says:

          Donald, as a suggestion. you might want to be clear about your distinction. Israel is the result of Political Zionism and when it is discussed as a political ideology that is what people mean by Zionism. Otherwise, your suggestion that some Zionism is OK sounds like, as Shingo said, the equivalent of saying that some white supremacy is OK.

          I gotta go. See you all next week.

        • Donald says:

          Shingo, there were also Jews from other parts of the world who wanted to move to Palestine and live there because of their Zionist beliefs and not all of them wanted to transform it into a Jewish state. Those people were cultural Zionists.

          I’m ditching this thread–it’s getting frustrating. Here, though, is a link to a Lawrence of Cyberia post (just came out) which is worth reading and is indirectly related to this argument. It’s a long quote from Isaac Asimov supporting much of what Phil says. It’s interesting to see him criticizing Wiesel for the same reasons we do (though he doesn’t actually mention the Palestinians).

          link

        • Bruce says:

          tree,

          I accept your correction that there was not a ban on immigration, but a significant reduction in quotas in the 1924 act. By ban, I meant a ban on increasing immigration [from the legal quotas]. However, I disagree that the change in quotas was not directed against Jewish immigration. Anti-Semitism was not the only reason for the 1924 act, but it played a role. The act reduced the number of Jewish immigrants from around 140,000 per year to 350,000 over the next 36 years.

          I have not read Grodzinsky, but I did spend quit of my time today looking at Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. Brenner’s work is packed with facts, but I’m afraid its Trotskyite structure and analysis would have to be de-constructed and compared with other works before I would know how much weight to give to its claims. I actually found Brenner’s work refuting Keith’s claims, which are either very general or specifically inaccurate as I’ve shown in a follow-up posting.

          I did lump all Jewish Americans together in one sentence, but I believe I’ve corrected in subsequent remarks. Of course, there was considerable disagreement among American Jews and Zionists on immigration and Zionism itself. That was the basis for my objection to Keith and Shingo’s remarks.

          What I’ve been trying to call for is more of an effort to criticize Israel for what it has become than trying to go back to the origins of Zionism and demonstrate that it was “rotten to the core from its inception.” I don’t see how you can separate Zionism from its historical context. Trying to sell European Jews on universalism and assimilation during the first half of the Twentieth Century seems to me like a tough sell. There were takers but many ended up dead.

          And nobody has yet answered my question, but what -isms ruling (or actualized) in the world today do not have contradictions and fatal flaws? Zionism has not evolved in a positive manner and has not resolved its contradictions, but I’d like to hear some examples of -isms which the critics here do consider as successful role models.

        • Shingo says:

          ”And nobody has yet answered my question, but what -isms ruling (or actualized) in the world today do not have contradictions and fatal flaws? Zionism has not evolved in a positive manner and has not resolved its contradictions, but I’d like to hear some examples of -isms which the critics here do consider as successful role models. ”

          The unique and fatal flaw of Zionism, is that it is intrinsically tied to territory that belonged to someone else, yet rejects that anyone but it’s chosen religion has legitimate rights to that territory.

          Even cultural Zionism is flawed because of this ideology. After all, even the idea that one is prepared to share land that belongs or in inhabited by another culture presumes that the inhabitants have no objection to such an arrangement, and that has never been the case.

        • Bruce says:

          Keith,

          At this point Phil and Adam should speak for themselves about whether in a posting on the views of Israeli High School kids, the comments section should turn into a discussion of what role Rabbi Weiss played in the Thirties determining US immigration policy towards the Jews. Or what was the true fate of the 1944 Stratton Immigration bill.

          If Mondoweiss readers and Phil and Adam want to debate the various analyses in Ralph Schoenman’s “Hidden History of Zionism,” or even Lenni Brenner’s “Zionism in the Age of Dictators” (which at least is a serious attempt at history), then by all means go ahead. I’m sure that will get us closer to a political program for bringing peace and justice in the Middle East. Myself, I believe the Unhidden Results of Zionism are more than enough to take on.

          People come to the site for the postings that Phil and Adam write and attract. Most viewers don’t come to read the commenters. Frankly, I believe some of the best commenters have been chased away. Initially, I spent a great deal of time responding to commenters on my posts. Lately, not so much. It takes too much time away from writing postings.

          I jumped in this time because Wondering Jew offered a reasonable comment, and then Saleema and Shingo jumped all over him, making some off-the-wall remarks that leads you to wonder what their reading comprehension levels are. aparisian, who can be quite outspoken himself, came to WJ’s defense even if he doesn’t agree with him, and then Aref and WJ had what to me was an informative discussion. But there are just too few of these constructive interchanges on this site.

          I certainly believe that Mondoweiss “is an appropriate place to discuss Zionism and its impact on hope for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine.” I just don’t think that was what your comment was about.

          I singled your comment out because I thought your assertion was false and your quotes were meaningless, while you assured us they were based on a bookshelf of valuable reference works. (Still waiting for the booklist, by the way.) Your poor historical methodology offended me.

          But to be honest, it was Shingo’s “That was beautiful Keith, excellent post,” that got under my skin and had me actually go out and research your claims and sources.

          I do find comments such as, “_____ is rotten to the core, and putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders,’ offensive. And it doesn’t matter what is in the blank space. Whether it is you or Israeli leaders speaking about Palestinians or Islam, I find the imagery to be Goebbelsistic.

          And although I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, yeah, you are on to something. I am attacking your framing of what you call is “a discussion of the historical reality that Zionism, far from being a refuge for worldwide Jewry, exploited the Holocaust (before, during, and after), as a means of achieving its nationalistic objectives.” First of all, Zionism doesn’t have agency nor is it a place, so I don’t understand your mixed metaphors. So I will rephrase your claims to “the historical reality that Israel, far from being a refuge for worldwide Jewry…” and “Zionists exploited the Holocaust (…) as a means of achieving their nationalistic objectives.”

          I have already renounced my right-of-return so for me, Israel is not a refuge. But Jews have undergone the biggest migration in their history, and currently about 40% of the Jews live in Israel and another 40% live in the United States. If we look at what happened in the previous 80 years before the founding of Israel, I would say that the Jews have done okay with Israel as a refuge. What is your better alternative, as seen from the perspective of 1948? Until now, Israel has had a positive effect on the situation of Jews in the United States. That might change in the future, but this is the current situation.

          As for Zionists exploiting the Holocaust as a means of achieving their nationalistic objectives, what good is having 6 million of your fellow Jews dying if you can’t get a tiny state out of it? What did you expect them to do? What nationalist movement would have done differently? But that doesn’t mean that the Zionists caused or collaborated with the Holocaust to achieve its objectives. And sometimes it seems that is what you are implying.

          Now before you freak, let me add that all of the above came at a tremendous price for the Palestinians, who didn’t deserve to pay this price. So the situation needs to be corrected as it was unfair to the Palestinians, not necessarily cause it was not in the interest of the Jews. The latter may be true, but you need to show some concrete realistic historical alternatives for the Jews of the time before you get away with such sweeping statements.

          Finally, we agree on something. “Without the Holocaust, I suspect that Zionism would not have been successful and that Israel would not have come into being as a Jewish state.” I said the same thing a few postings back and was criticized for it.

          As for the Lilienthal quote, I think it is a gross oversimplification. It required many years for a majority of American Jews – including many religious Jews – to get comfortable with Israel.

          So I’ve responded this time, but don’t expect my participation in the future. As I said, I think this discussion is too off the mark.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Seriously? If you guys are having fun having Bruce talk at you, go nuts. I’m done with him.

        • Bruce says:

          Yes tree, where was the Zionist efforts, and which Zionists are we talking about, to curtail the immigrant intake of Jews to the United States during the Thirties? The number of Jews to the US during the period was twice that of Palestine.

          Actually, tree, I didn’t imply anything. I directly said was that “to put the ban on [increased] Jewish immigration in the Thirties on the Zionists is purely historical revisionism of the David Irving kind.”

        • Bruce says:

          Blatantly dishonest? How so? I would say below the belt. But that has been the whole tenor of this exchange.

          But it doesn’t bother you at all that you and Nazi enthusiasts are so attracted to the same Schoenman one-liners?

          Did you check this Schoenman guy out before accepting all his quotes?

        • Bruce says:

          That’s all nice to know Shingo, but you still haven’t answered my question.

        • Shingo says:

          With all due respects Bruce, your posts smack of arrogance and inherent superiority. You have no hesitation making assumptions about what is acceptable content of the debate, what motivates people to visit this site or who are the best commenters.

          While I admire Phil and Adam’s writings, I find the comments just as interesting, and sometimes more so and learn more from the commenter in general than I do from Phil and Adam. This is not because Phil and Adam don’t have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal, but because they don’t assume to be instructors on matters of history.

          I would be curious to know who the best commenters are that you refer to, that have been chased away, simply because anyone with any intellectual acumen would have no reason to feel threatened, especialy if like you, they are sincere in their beliefs. WJ has not been chansed away, and in fact, has everyone’s respoct on this forum.

          Those that are chased away are almost always trolls or propagandists who cant stand the heat.

          There are times when some of us are off base, and that is inevitable given the passions this topic raises. It’s difficult to be objective when over a thousand peopel are massacred in the name of an ideology that you are denending on the grounds that it as once respectable.

          Speaking from my own personal grievances, studying this topic has caused me to question everything, especially conventional wisdom as to history of Zionism and Israel. If Israelis propagandists can convince themselves that Hamas started the 2008 war, and that Israel was “attacked’’ in 1967, you can hardly blame critics of Israel, like myself for refusing to accept official history at face value.

          I am sorry that you are offended by the suggestions that ‘’Zionism is rotten to the core, putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders’’, but I make no apolgies for these statements. That is the reality that Zionism has become, even if the original goals were egalitarian. As someone said, you deal with the Zionism you have.

          I would challenge your assertion that Israel has had a positive effect on the situation of Jews in the United States. What examples can you cite that back up this claim?

          ‘’As for Zionists exploiting the Holocaust as a means of achieving their nationalistic objectives, what good is having 6 million of your fellow Jews dying if you can’t get a tiny state out of it?’’

          I find this statement incredibly myopic, even given your subsequent caveat. How can the reality of the state be discussed in the absence of the price Palestinians were for the crimes perpetrated at the hands of Europeans? These two historical realities cannot be discussed in isolation.
          I would argue that Israel has been a liability for Jews everywhere, because whether they have been in favor or opposed to the Zionist state, their allegiance and unconditional support has been forced upon them. Many believe they are unable to speak out or speak their mind for fear of being ostracized by their community.

        • Bruce says:

          Is that a promise?

          I thought you were were going to stay away from my posts several posts ago.

        • Shingo says:

          Bruce,

          I’d like to add that I was oblivious to the fact that you were the poster of this topic and I wish to aplogise for not showing greater respect to you in my comments.

          You deserved better.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Really? He does, Shingo?

        • I sincerely hope these exchanges don’t stop Bruce from posting and commenting on Mondoweiss.

          Having disagreements is normal, especially considering the topic at hand.

          In fact I honestly believe that Mondoweiss is at its best when we have these discussions, discussions that cut to the chase and skip the zionut propaganda mythology.

        • Bruce says:

          With all due respect, Shingo, my “arrogant reaction and inherent superiority” is an attempt to put a mirror to you and some others here. If you go back and read comments to my earlier posts, I believe you will find that I was much more patient and non-confrontational, except with maybe Witty who irritated me from the beginning.

          While I make remarks about the boundaries of reasonable content for comments on a posting, you guys are always telling people what is the acceptable attitude or belief or moral position, and if you don’t like what a person says about one thing, you jump to attribute all kinds of other beliefs to the person even though they have said no such thing, as Chaos4700 did with his Goldstone remark today.

          Usually, I give people the chance to explain themselves further before getting on their case, but were your remarks and Saleema’s to WJ showing respect? I only became involved in the comments on this post because I thought your behavior to WJ was atrocious. You and Saleema did nothing to keep WJ in a dialogue. It was only aparisian and aref that overturned the situation.

          I wrote a reasonable comment on Keith’s poor scholarship and you replied, “Who are you trying to fool?”

          I spent four hours researching that scholarship, and you replied, “That’s an excellent attempt at spin Bruce, but none of your arguments was even referenced by Rabbi Wise or any other member of the American Jewish Congress.” Assuming you actually had some facts to back your statement, I spent another few hours checking to find the source of what you wrote, only to find out that you had no evidence to back your statement and that the quote showed the opposite. You wasted a number of hours of my time when I was suppose to be writing about a possible strategy for the Palestinians floating around. So who has the arrogant and superior attitude here?

          I have some idea what motivates people to visit the site, as I do make an effort to write stuff that people will read. Success or failure in that respect gives you some insight.

          I imagine you do find the comments interesting considering how many you write, but have you noticed how small a circle of commenters there is? And how a certain subset of readers comment on every posting often multiple times? And how often the subject of the comments gets away from the posting?

          If I understand you correctly, you like the comments because Phil and Adam don’t assume to be instructors on matters of history, and that some of the commenters do act as instructors on matter of history. That is a genuine difference between us. I thought the exchange with Donald was extremely didactic. It reminded me of Witty. I’m not sure why Donald wanted to abandon the thread, but I know why I did. Put stuff up and see what sticks, but don’t lecture people. I kick myself every time I found myself doing that. But once somebody starts it is hard not to respond in kind.

          I’m not offended if you write, “Zionism is rotten to the core, putrefies everything it comes in contact with, including it’s defenders,’’ but it is going to offend some people that might agree with and even work for justice for the Palestinians if you put your message in a less off-putting way.

          I’m not one, but a majority of American Jews are very proud of Israel. The fact that it can defend itself after what happened during the Holocaust is a very powerful message. I don’t understand how you can’t see that. As much as they may go on about anti-Semitism, American Jews are no longer fearful as they were even in the fifties. The success of Israel up until now has increased self-confidence. American Jews are doing very well and most do not see Israel as a liability, especially since Israel still receives high marks in any poll.

          You ask, “How can the reality of the state be discussed in the absence of the price Palestinians were for the crimes perpetrated at the hands of Europeans?” Do you ever forget about Israel and Palestine for a minute and look at the rest of the world? The planet is filled with nations that have paid the price for the misdeeds of other nations. Denial is a very powerful force in group psychology.

          You are way overestimating coercion as the means by which Israel gains allegiance and unconditional support from Jews. Only a small minority “believe they are unable to speak out or speak their mind for fear of being ostracized by their community.”

          In my opinion if change comes it is going to be from pressure outside, not from the Jewish community. But let me remind you that there is not a single state in the World doing jack to bring justice to the Palestinians. If no other country is willing to put themselves out, how do you expect Israel to convince itself to do so?

        • Bruce says:

          I wrote my previous post before seeing your apology.

          I accept your apology, and I’m moving on beyond this posting.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          LOL! Well that was cute. Really, it was, Bruce.

        • Shingo says:

          Bruce,

          I don’t mean to sound patronising, but I sense that you are conflicted. You vascilate between acute insight and propagating mind numbing platitudes.

          If you recall, my question to you about “Who are you trying to fool?”, was in response to your denial that you are a Zionist or defending Zionism. While I accept you are not a Zionist, I can’t help but feel you are still struggling to let go of a relationship you once had with it.

          I fail to see why anyone would take pride in the fact that Israel ”defend itself”, when Israel has been armed to the teeth and has gurantee of support from the US should it find itself with it’s back to the wall. As for denfending itself, I’m no sure if you were being sarcastic, seeing as Israel has initiated every war since 1948. What’s the achievement in having military superiority when you’ve been given weapons your oponent doesn’t have and know that America is there to clean up after you?

          And why would American Jews be less fearful over what takes place in a state they refuse to live in? I would also be curious to know what polls Israel scores so well in, given that support among Amerian Jews
          has fallen steadily since 2002.

          You’re suggestion that we should take it easy on Israel, given that there are worse follies taking place elsewhere, strikes me as incongruous given the fact Mondoweiss is primarly focused on the Israeli/Palestine conflict. There are plenty of other blogs that deal with other topics, but precious few like Phil and Adam’s, that address the I/P conflict without descending into irrelevance or anti Semitism. Also, given that Israel is itching for a war with Lebanon and especially Iran, I’d say that Israel remains of utomost internest and relevance to all of us. It’s no accindent that Israel is regarded as a greter threat to international peace than just abaout any other country in the world.

          Pointing out that no state is doing much to resolve the I/P conflict is stating the obvious, but how can you deny the consequence of the massive influence Israel has via it’s benefactor? US lawmakers lie prostrate before the lobby, declaring that Congress indulge Israel’s every wish. We’ve just watched as Israel has not only overtly defed it’s greatest enabler, but forced it’s highjest officials to humiliate themselves publicly. If America refuses to do anything about Israel, and refuss to allow any other state to adjudicate in the matter, then how can any state take the initiative without risking a great deal?

        • Taxi says:

          Keith,

          “You feel that Modoweiss… is an inappropriate place to discuss Zionism and its impact on hope for peace and justice…”

          It’s a pattern with Bruce – he always tries to tell us, like we’re small children, what the rules and boundaries are. He’s ALWAYS trying to correct someone’s behavior.

          So fucking pompous.

        • Taxi says:

          There is no separation between ‘cultural’ zionism and ‘political’ zionism. Give it up, donald

          It’s like saying there is such a thing as cultural nazism, as opposed to political nazism.

          And please help me out on this one if you can: Why can’t jews who get discriminated against just call this discrimination ‘racism’, like we call all other forms of ethnic discrimination simply ‘racism’?

        • Taxi says:

          I’d say Bruce was on a particularly angular and long-winded expo tonight.

          If he would only make his points simply and succinctly and just stop his neurotic one-upmanship ramble that goes on and on and on and goodness gracious great balls of bore!

  8. Citizen says:

    What, you are comparing them to some crackers living in a Geogria shack, rebel battle flag draped over the rickety porch rail? I’d like to see a new Jerry Springer show; where
    the participants are Israeli settlers.

  9. Taxi says:

    What a totally failed and disasterous colonial experiment Israel has been.

    In twenty years time, they’re all gonna be like Natanyahu and Leiberman but on zonky twenty-first century steriods. Note: we never discuss the radicalization of Israelis, only Palestinians.

    Doesn’t look like the Palestinians really need to do much any more. They should just wait it out. Cause it doesn’t look like Israel’s got a bright future ahead. We are all watching Israeli society disintegrating from within – due of course, to depravity of greed as well as permeations of high and complex levels of prejudice.

    No there is no cure for this malady. The host has no future.

    Me I hope for the love of butter and jam zionism goes out with a sleazy whimper. Just like nazism did, just like the apartheid regime of South Africa did.

    Otherwise it’s dragging us down to the pits of a hell-hole right along with it.

    And who the fuck’s gonna clean up our mess in the aftermath?

    Bibi Natanyahu? Leiberman? Biden? O-effing-bama?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      We will, Taxi. Yeah… it’s not our mess, really, those of us on this blog for the most part tried to prevent it, but when the children have made a mess and pitched their fit, ultimately it’s the adults who have to straighten things out again.

    • Shingo says:

      I have been thinking the same thing Taxi, but the scenario has me wondering.

      First, I suspect that Zionism will not go away with a sleazy whimper, because this ideology is such a sickness that it’s devotees will want the world to pay for allowing it to implode.  Sadly, I suspect it will be witnessing more of a scorched earth policy, the likes of which we have never seen.

      And even if it does end with a whimper, where are these sociopaths gong to go?  Can you imagine these extremists re-integrating into Western society and having to accept their status as equals among the Goy?  Can you imagine these people having to let go of their belief in their superiority and sense of entitlement?  Imagine the racism and bigotry they would bring back with them, their demand that society cough up restore their status as the elite. Imagine the hostility they would instigate, while insisting that the reactions they incite are based on anti Semitism?

      Imagine the settler youth, like that charming drunkard who boasted about killing Jesus, and teh resentment and biggotry they would harbor as they witness Christians

      It’s really sad when you think about it.

      • Taxi says:

        If Israel chooses the bang option (highly-likely), knowing very well it would bring us down too, which would in turn also bring the world economy down – not to mention the causalities both ecological and human/animal – if Israeli choose all this, then they are no different to the terrorists that flew the 9/11 planes.

        And where’s the preemptive plans and maps for such a plausible eventuality?

        Looks like we got none.

        Now that’s sad.

        Oh yeah and so very scary.

  10. The lack of faith/loss of faith of Jewish youth in Israel in democracy is very disturbing. Certainly segregation worsens these trends. Segregation is encouraged by laws against intermarriage which will not change soon. Segregation is also encouraged by (perceived or actual) support from Palestinian Israeli youth for Palestinian radicalism. But one trend that helped integration in America was integration of the schools and the separate school system that exists for those who speak Arabic as their first language doesn’t help matters. Religious and Mizrahi Jewish Israelis are less inclined towards democracy than the secular Ashkenazi youth.

    • Saleema says:

      Wondering Jew blames the lack of democratic values on those Arab Jews, not the real ones, you know called Ashkenzi Jews, the ones more like WJ–oh they all are so much more inclined to democracy because they are white and their grandparents migrated from Europe and Russia.

      And of course it’s also the fault of Palestinians that the Jewish youth haven’t internalized democratic values. Palestinian radicalism is such a negative influence on Jewish youth.

      So WJ, can you tell us why exactly are Mizrahi Jews, the darker skinned brethren of yours are less inclined towards democracy? It probably isn’t the air or the water, cuz that’s what you are breathing and drinking too. It must be the lack of good white Jewish genes!

      • Shingo says:

        It never ceases to amaze me how even otherwise sensible and moderate Zionists (if that’s not a contradiction) seem to have the capacity for advocating such racist and bigoted notions, and be so oblivious to how offensive they sound.  WJ will probably argue that it’s a Jewish thing and beyond our understanding, but just imagine if someone were to replace Ashkenzi with white and Mizrahi with black and repeat his thesis in public?

        Can anyone deny that Zionism is a disease?

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo,

          So what kind of disease is Zionism? Maybe you have explained this somewhere else, but I haven’t seen it.

          I get Mooser’s Ziocaine, Zionism as an addiction.

          But I would need to know more to understand the usefulness of your metaphor.

        • Shingo says:

          “So what kind of disease is Zionism”

          It is an ideology based on racism, enthnic, and moral superiority, and paradoxically, they are justified on the basis that any objection to these is somehow racist and immoral. Which of these components are you prepared to defend?

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo,

          You still haven’t explained what kind of disease Zionism is? Is it contagious? Carried by vermin? A plague? What qualifies an ideology to be labeled a disease?

          I am not a Zionist, so I am not going to defend the ideology.

          As Tony Judt pointed out in his NYRB article of 2003, Zionism originated at the end of the nineteenth century as a nationalist movement, one of many movements that grew out of the crumbling European empires.

          According to Judt, an European historian,

          “Europe’s subject peoples dreamed of forming “nation-states,” territorial homelands where Poles, Czechs, Serbs, Armenians, and others might live free, masters of their own fate. When the Habsburg and Romanov empires collapsed after World War I, their leaders seized the opportunity. A flurry of new states emerged; and the first thing they did was set about privileging their national, “ethnic” majority—defined by language, or religion, or antiquity, or all three—at the expense of inconvenient local minorities, who were consigned to second-class status: permanently resident strangers in their own home.”

          In light of anti-Semitism, some European Jews saw the establishment of a Jewish nation-state as a solution to the Jewish Question. Although the Ashkenzi Jews had many of the characteristics of a “nation,” what they didn’t have was residence in a contiguous territory sufficient to claim a state. Without a territory, they would be consigned to permanent status as one of these second-class minorities. Hence, the Zion in Zionism.

          Many European Jews opposed the Zionists, arguing that a Jewish state would undermine their ability to assimilate in their host countries. Hitler changed the perspective of most of those he didn’t manage to kill. When European countries after the war did not welcome or accept the remaining Europe’s displaced Jews, a Jewish homeland had its attractions. For some it seemed like the only choice.

          To what extent Zionism was originally more racist, ethnic or of the view that it was morally superior to all these other nationalist-ethnic movements of the time is not clear to me. Some of these movements have evolved, others are still enmeshed in these issues, as are most of the Mideast countries. Since it was a settler movement, it is hardly surprising that Israelis would end up looking upon the native population in the same way that happened in the United States, Canada and Australia, also settler nations.

        • Bruce says:

          (cont).

          Whether Zionism could have evolved, as other ideologies have, once its contradictions became apparent is a disputed question. I have my doubts and that is the reason I am not a Zionist.

          Israel today displays racism, ethnic discrimination and moral chauvinism towards the Palestinians and Arabs.

          If Zionism is a disease, however, there are many other dangerous microbes in the global atmosphere.

      • Bruce says:

        “Blame” and “fault” are your words Saleema not Wondering Jew.

        It is hard to see how WJ was making a racial argument, since religious Jews are just as likely to be white as some other color. He might have been more accurate if he distinguished recent Russian immigrants, mostly white, who are on average as right-wing authoritarian as the Mizrahi Jews.

        No doubt the initial Ashkenazi Israelis became the country’s elite, and their treatment of newer immigrants helps to explain some of these differences toward “democratic values”.

        What’s your explanation?

        • Shingo says:

          “What’s your explanation? ”

          Evidently you have gone out of your way to address the fact that the newer immigrants have invariably been of darker complection.

        • Bruce says:

          Shingo,

          Actually what I said is that the newest immigrants, the wave of Russian immigrants, almost 1 million, are more likely to tend to right-wing authoritarian views. Their current leader is Avigdor Lieberman. These people mostly do not have darker complexions in your words.

          WJ brought up that the religious also are more likely to share non-democratic values, and they are just as likely to be Ashkenazi as Mizrahi.

          So, my point is race per se does not explain non-democratic viewpoints. The opposite of what you keep trying to claim I am saying.

        • Shingo says:

          “Their current leader is Avigdor Lieberman. “‘

          Correction. Lieberman is part fo the Israeli government, which happens to be leading all of Israel.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Certainly segregation worsens these trends.

      Yeah thanks, Captain Obvious. Most of us figured that out FORTY YEARS AGO (which for some of us, was actually before we were born).

      Religious and Mizrahi Jewish Israelis are less inclined towards democracy than the secular Ashkenazi youth.

      Yeah well, according to those numbers up there, Cochise, that’s about as relevant as saying, “Getting shot in the kidney is less inclined to cause death than getting a piano dropped squarely on your skull from four stories up.”

    • The voting pattern of Mizrahi Jews is more right wing than the voting pattern of Ashkenazi Jews. First is this factual or not? If it is not factual then you can dismiss he who asserts it as racist, but if it is factual, how is it racist?

      Mizrahi Jews as a rule come from more traditional families. That can be a cause, there are other causes (but first we’ll deal with factuality and then we can speculate on causes.)

    • Aref says:

      WJ
      The word Arab in Israel is a dirty word and not only relative to the Palestinians. Have you seen the film “Forget Baghdad”? It is about Iraqi Jews. In the movie the children of one of them mocks his father because he speaks Hebrew “Like an Arab”. The now famous comment of Rahm Emanuel’s father “he is not going to mop the floor of the White House… what do you think he is an Arab?” is also characteristic of how the Arabs are viewed by most Israelis and Zionists. It couldn’t be any other way because it it would be much harder to depict the Palestinian Arabs as enemy and undeserving of self rule, self-governance and self-determination if they were equal.
      Your characterization of Mizrahi Jews derives from this view of the Arab which is an extension of the colonialist western view of all of those peoples who are “western” or who have not adopted western ideas and ideals as barbarian and backward. This is what Zionism is: an extension of European settler colonialism with the same tendency and the same attitude toward indigenous peoples and particularly the Palestinian Arabs (but also all Arabs) as other European colonialists.
      Mizrahis have always been viewed by Ashkenazis as backward and frankly an embarrassment but a necessary one. An effort to “de-Arabize” them was carried out since day one and especially targeting school children to put pressure on their parents to reject their Arabic culture and heritage and adopt and appropriate the Ashkenazi ones including the myths of age old persecution and pogroms. Mizrahis were a little better than non-Jewish Arabs simply because they were Jews. I remember the Black Panthers in Jerusalem in the 70s and their agitation and demand for equality. I have seen the ghettos where they lived.
      In the US integration was achieved because there is a constitution which stipulates the equality of citizenship, a principle which does not exist in Israel which is continuously described as a “Jewish State”. This designation by itself is discrimination against non-Jews who can never hope to achieve full equality so long as this characterization of Israel continues.

      • Aref says:

        Oops!!! The statement “those peoples who are “western” or who have not adopted ”
        should read “those peoples who are not “western” ….”

      • Aref,
        I don’t question your general statements regarding Ashkenazi attitudes towards Mizrahi Jews. (By the way, I generally use the term Sephardic Jews and I only use the term Mizrahi Jews to avoid controversy and to avoid inaccuracy for Sephardic refers to origins in Spain and Mizrahi means eastern. Even though the Ukraine is to the east of Morocco the term Mizrahi Jews is used. Also, Mizrahi is a term that was originally used for the religious Zionist parties. They were called Mizrahi because of their devotions to the Mizrach or the east, even though Ukraine is to the east of I/P.)

        I was making a simple assertion regarding the tendencies of Jews of Arab origins to vote for the right wing parties and assuming that the finding of high school students would reflect their parents voting patterns. I assume that right wing parties are less devoted to democracy than left wing parties and that children reflect their parents’ voting patterns in their attitudes. But the voting patterns of Jews of Arab origins I believe is well established. (I will now surf the net in attempt to back up my beliefs regarding the voting patterns.) If you have proof regarding voting patterns to the contrary, enlighten me.

        It is true that Jews of Arab origins rebelled against the Labor party and voted Likud due to the mistreatment they faced by the Labor party and the establishment. But I don’t think they are voting Likud despite their devotion to leftist ideas regarding the peace process. They are voting for Likud because of Likud’s “realism” regarding the peace process.

        • Aref says:

          WJ,
          You are correct in stating that Mizrahi vote tends to be more toward the right. There are several complex reasons for this phenomenon which find their roots in the history of the Mizrahim in Israel. The Labor or so called socialists in Israeli politics were dominated by European (Ashkenazi) elite with the typical condescending colonialist European attitude toward non-westerners. The Mizrahim were marginalized and excluded from power and were seen only as numbers in the battle to achieve the establishment of the “Jewish State” with all power being in the hands of the Ashkenazi elite. This in turn pushed many of the Mizrahim toward the opposition or the”right” (many Communist Iraqi Jews remained committed to their ideas but did not join the Labor socialists).
          The phenomenon of victims of abuse and of persecution becoming abusers and persecutors is well known and documented. Being fed nationalist mythology and being brainwashed throughout the school years as well as by the religious establishment, the persecuted Mizrahim overcorrect and become themselves persecutors (to show and affirm loyalty maybe?–I am not a sociologist nor a psychologist). This pattern can be observed in many such instances.
          A similar phenomenon exists in the US with certain segments of the population voting for either Republican or Democrat because of historical positions of either party with regards to slavery not necessarily because of ideological commitment or current policies. I do question the assertion that the Mizrahim vote Likud because of its “realism” toward the “Peace Process”. I think the reason is because of how the Mizrahim have been treated by Labor and possibly religious reasons (I am not quite sure about this religious angle and need to do more research).

        • Aref,

          A quick surf of the web seems to indicate that most info regarding attitudes of Mizrahi Jews to the peace process is in journals unavailable to nonsubscribers.

          I would think that the peace process question is too important for “mere” anger at Labor to be sufficient reason for Mizrahim to vote against their “peace process” views. But since I lack the raw data to back up these initial thoughts we will have to wait for the raw data at another time.

          As far as theories on the reasons Mizrahi Jews reject the dovish peace process views, I will wait until the premise is established before theorizing.

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