Rabbi who went after Helen Thomas has supported ethnic cleansing

on 11 Comments

Sorry I can’t use this contributor’s name but he/she makes some good points, to the rabbi who exposed Helen Thomas.

Dear Rabbi Nesenoff,

Helen Thomas has been rightfully criticized for her comments to you.  Yet you are on record at your website supporting the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians without a word of criticism from any journalist I’ve read.  You wrote:

"So after the Holocaust in the late 1940s it was a (sic) natural for the Jews to go back there– to their land and reclaim it again. And with the world feeling really guilty right after the Holocaust it made it that much easier to get the land back and kick out hundreds of thousands of Arabs who were living there and dwelling peacefully with their families and loved ones. But it was ours first as it was promised to us by G-d in the Torah so we have a claim to it. And that’s why we have a Jewish Homeland and so I went there this summer with my family for my son’s Bar Mitzvah."

You seem to think this argumentation is acceptable for some people, but insufficient to convince a wider audience and yet in making a broader case you compound the problem: "In the final analysis, the Arabs of Palestine ended up with nearly 85% of the original territory of that area, and it’s called Jordan, or in reality, their ARAB Palestinian state!"

So you’re on record regarding Jordan being the Palestinian state.  This is very similar to the language used by Helen Thomas, but when it comes to Palestinians losing homes and land no (or few) journalists stand up for them and do the research into your own viewpoints. Since there are still millions of Palestinians living between the river and the sea, what rights do you see them as having? Should they be "transferred" to Jordan as some in the Knesset propose and as the ZOA seems to support?  Should they have their own independent state comprising the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip?  Or should they have full equal rights with Israel’s Jewish citizens — one person, one vote — in one state?  (According to the human rights organization Adalah there are over 30 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel so it isn’t reality-based to say there are equal rights now for Palestinian citizens of Israel. And clearly Palestinians in the territories have even fewer rights with the dual standard of law that exists there — one for Jewish settlers and one for Palestinians.)

Please elaborate your position, and do you repudiate your previous position of support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians or do you think Israel should extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with no Palestinians present?

Do Palestinians expelled from Ashkelon (as late as 1950), where you studied for a year at age 14 according to your website, have a right of return to Ashkelon (what they called Al-Majdal)?  If not, why not? 

Finally, you write, "The truth is that 70% of the Arabs who left in 1948 – perhaps 300,000 to 400,000 of them – never saw an Israeli soldier! They did not flee because they feared Jewish soldiers or Jewish thugs…." Do you deny the massacres of Palestinians that took place in some Palestinian villages, most infamously in Deir Yassin in April 1948 before the establishment of the state of Israel and the entry into war by several Arab states?

I would appreciate answers to all of these questions as I am deeply troubled by the views you have spelled out. Helen Thomas has apologized. Will you apologize for the viewpoints you have spelled out on your website?

11 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    June 21, 2010, 9:23 am

    Where’s Witty? I can’t think of a better article on which for him to flex his hypocrisy than here.

  2. Howard
    June 21, 2010, 10:35 am

    After reading the Rabbi’s posting in full, I find that it really could serve one useful purpose. It is a compendium of all the demonstrably false arguments that have been used to defend Zionist abuses and injustices over the years and to defense the indefensible. If you expect to argue/discuss this topic with pro Israel folks, it would behoove you to familiarize yourself with what the rabbi writes. It is exactly the argument I get from my pro Israel friends, both Jewish and gentile, all good people, who are often horribly misinformed on the subject. In fairness, so was I for most of my life. This is what I use to believe. The only thing not in it is “the only democracy” and “our greatest ally” talking points.

    It seems to me that the only book the “learned” rabbi appears to have read on this subject, given his demographic references, is Joan Peter’s “From Time Immemorial.” As readers of this site know, the book has been thoroughly discredited. When a “teacher” is so misinformed on one of his primary subjects, I can only think he is being willfully ignorant. That’s what I find most repugnant. I would implore the good Rabbi to improve his understanding of Israel’s history by reading something more recent and credible such as Victor Katten’s excellent book “From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” However, I doubt that he will or even cares.

  3. Les
    June 21, 2010, 11:14 am

    Rabbi Nesenoff did not dream up the Judas Brigade, but he is what the brigade organizers are looking for, Americans willing to betray their country by keeping out of our military and enlisting in Israel’s where, as General Petraeus has pointed out, they do what they can to put American soldiers in harm’s way.

    link to independent.co.uk

  4. Leper Colonialist
    June 21, 2010, 12:15 pm

    Yep, the pot calling the kettle black, or however that old saw goes.

    This double-standard is so deeply entrenched in the MSM, and it appears so deeply internalized by many of the august personages in the MSM, that one barely bats an eye when it’s exposed.

  5. Mountainaires
    June 21, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Hi, new hereabouts, but just wanted to say, I wrote to the good Rabbi as well; but this letter is excellent, and I thank the writer for sending it, just as a reminder that we see the lies, and the Rabbi’s rank hypocrisy.

    • Psychopathic god
      June 21, 2010, 4:11 pm

      welcome Mountainaires.

      fasten your seat belt; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

      but truth is the destination so it’s worth a few jolts

  6. Les
    June 21, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Whereas Roseanne Barr’s experience has touched her heart, the rabbi’s experience has touched him in the head. He is a reminder that racism is a mental illness, which, often includes voices in the head from God telling me to do this terrible thing.

  7. Donald
    June 21, 2010, 2:41 pm

    What’s also interesting is how the NYT portrayed Nesenoff as “shocked and hurt” by Thomas’s remarks, letting him get away with this. Then you go to his website, read the essay cited here, and you realize this isn’t some sweet old rabbi filled with human kindness whose feelings were hurt by Thomas’s remark, but a racist jerk repeating every propaganda line you’ve ever heard about Israel’s history. Somehow the NYT forgot to tell its readers what sort of person Nesenoff is.

  8. Richard Parker
    June 21, 2010, 5:29 pm

    Well sice Nesenoff tells us all what sort of a person he is, on his severely biased website, perhaps the NYT could be expected to leave it out. Shame that Helen Thomas didn’t know his character before her throwaway lines, though.

  9. traintosiberia
    June 21, 2010, 7:17 pm

    For Gazan and for West bankers it would be freedom and future to have a peaceful space of their own . But for Israel any thing remotely peaceful will ignite two problems 1-ethnic infights among the Jewish
    2-loss of the excuses to pilferage economic and trade and military secrets of the US/Germany and loss of the aids that keep that countrys’ population away from starvation.

  10. piotr
    June 22, 2010, 2:07 am

    About Nesenoff’s arguments: “The only thing not in it is “the only democracy” and “our greatest ally” talking points.”

    I guess he belongs to those who view any democracy in Israel as a shameful demerit. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did what seemed right to him.” (To those less familiar with the Book of Judges, the verse is preceded with a particularly grisly story starting with a gang rape and ending with massive kidnapping of maiden.)

Leave a Reply