Beinart says he was silent for years out of deference to friends

Israel/Palestine
on 87 Comments

Haaretz has a too-long interview of Peter Beinart on a visit to Israel that reminds us how important his NYRB piece was that attacked the American Jewish leadership for supporting Israel blindly.

Beinart is having a huge effect inside the Jewish community, but the meaning/nonmeaning of this shift is the issue. I’ve excerpted some interesting bits below. A few comments: Beinart is really a Zionist, almost as "gooey-eyed" as David Brooks. Wants his kids to wave the Israeli flag. No wonder he worked for AIPAC in ’08. Note that he has relatives there and was afraid of speaking out because of his friends in the U.S., surely including Marty Peretz and Leon Wieseltier but not limited to them, but to garden-variety parochialists. I.e., on this issue even an independent intellectual is not independent; opinion about Israel is socially-ordained in the Jewish community. Yes, that’s changing.

Finally, note Beinart’s unbelievable complacence about a Palestinian state emerging in a few years. These people are deluding themselves if they think that denying half of a population political representation on an ongoing basis is a recipe for anything but disaster. There’s one state right now, folks, and half the people are oppressed. Haaretz:

At 38, this is Beinart’s fifth visit to Israel, where he also has relatives. “This is the first time I’ve come since I had children, so I think a lot about what it would be like to have my kids come here.” With some emotion, he relates how his 4-year-old son, Ezra, “made an Israeli flag at his preschool and wanted to carry it around with him because he knew I was going to Israel. For an Israeli, that might seem very silly. But in the United States I think it’s important, valuable. And you have to work at it.”..

In Israeli intellectual life, there are very important voices who really are where the Sheikh Jarrah people are, and Americans could support those voices, even if they are politically quite weak. I myself find very valuable the reports of [the human rights organizations] B’Tselem, Gisha and others.”…

If we look at your past writings, you seem to have undergone a transformation in regard to Israel.

“First of all, I had not been writing that much about Israel. Like many people, I was hesitant to write about it too much because I think I was conflicted internally about being very publicly critical of Israel. I was also concerned about how some of my friends would feel about it. There’s also a feeling that our lives are very easy, and that we sit there in America, and our children don’t go into the army. But I think a couple of things happened. For me, I think the rise of [Avigdor] Lieberman was a significant moment. What upset me was that, the minute he emerged and people in America started to hear about him, the reaction from most American Jews was that there’s no problem here: he’s misunderstood. They would always say, ‘He’s for civil marriage’ − as though that had anything to do with his views on the Arabs. I thought it was like the frog in boiling water. At a certain point, you have to have the capacity to be outraged.”…

“I don’t want Israel to foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state. I can see that you could have an argument about whether it’s realistic to have a Palestinian state in two years or whether it will take five years, or what the Palestinian state would be like. I understand that. But it seems to me, I think the only vision I can see of a better future is a Palestinian state that’s contiguous and, I think, should have a capital in East Jerusalem. And so it seems to me at the very least there’s an obligation to not do things that make that impossible.”

87 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    July 10, 2010, 10:52 am

    A rational article by Beinart.

  2. Susie Kneedler
    July 10, 2010, 10:58 am

    Beinart admits, “Like many people, I was hesitant to write about it [Israel’s ‘pernicious, very destructive policies’] too much because I think I was conflicted internally about being very publicly critical of Israel. I was also concerned about how some of my friends would feel about it.”

    Just highlights how brave you’ve been, Phil and Adam. Thanks.

    • annie
      July 10, 2010, 11:05 am

      Just highlights how brave you’ve been, Phil and Adam. Thanks.

      hear ye hear ye

    • Avi
      July 10, 2010, 1:35 pm

      Susie,

      Absolutely. I also think it highlights another important issue; when a person looks at certain policies and actions that are immoral — actions that would normally conflict with one’s conscience — but decides to suppress those feelings in favor of feelings of love and admiration — and for a state, to boot — then that is unhealthy. A relationship of that kind with an entire nation, an abstract concept as far as I’m concerned, highlights the deeply flawed role Israel has played in the identity formation of Jews everywhere. It goes beyond the usual sense of patriotism one often finds in many a country around the world. Am I pointing out the obvious in my comment here?

      • Susie Kneedler
        July 10, 2010, 3:11 pm

        Avi,
        Thanks: I agree, and wonder why hearing you say what ought to be “obvious” feels so refreshing. For that contradiction between conscience and loyalty is infinitely mysterious, because it’s so self-destructive–especially when we choose allegiance to the clan over integrity. Or perhaps I should say “soul-destructive.”

        I too grew up wondering about such ties, when the “Irish” quarter of my ancestors–none of whom had ever been to Ireland–considered themselves as much Irish as American. But in Ireland, of course, they were just American tourists.

    • wondering jew
      July 10, 2010, 3:23 pm

      Peter Beinart seems to be involved in the Jewish community. He attends an Orthodox synagogue for example. Adam Horowitz and Phil have told us very little about their involvement in the Jewish community. Phil’s mother has a friend who made aliya. Phil’s father’s scientific community was primarily Jewish. Other than that, the information given is pretty scarce. Phil married a Christian and has a Christmas tree in his home (however reluctant the tinsel). His involvement in the Jewish community is part mystery and the other part- minimal. For an assimilated Jew to come out against Israel is different than for an involved Jew to come out against Israel.

      • Richard Witty
        July 10, 2010, 3:46 pm

        I don’t think that Phil has been clear whether he is against Israel, or loves Israel and wants it to be the best that it can be. (I don’t think he’s gone that far to use the word “I care”, like Chomsky has.)

        My sense is now that he is reporting on the various dissenting movements that he has had contact with.

        I’ve been to one seder that I remember with Phil, in the mid 70’s (a long time ago).

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2010, 4:55 pm

        “I’ve been to one seder that I remember with Phil, in the mid 70’s (a long time ago).”

        Oh how nice, Witty chimes in with the exculpatory evidence!

      • Justice Please
        July 11, 2010, 3:41 am

        Zionists are crazy, Richard.

        Why should a Catholic in San Diego be concerned about Catholic Poland or about the State of Vatican City, a political entity which proclaims to represent “his” religion?

        Why should he give up his critical stance toward any political entity, just because this one entity claims to follow the same religion as he does?

        A good citizen “loves” no country but the one he lives in, pays taxes to, and is required to defend should it be attacked. And even then, this “love” is not aimed at the government, but at the people living with him.

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:36 am

        “Why should he give up his critical stance toward any political entity, just because this one entity claims to follow the same religion as he does? A good citizen ‘loves’ no country but the one he lives in, pays taxes to, and is required to defend should it be attacked. And even then, this ‘love’ is not aimed at the govt, but at the people living with him”! [Justice Please]

        • Alert people I think recognise how ugly such a phenomenon can get. Obviously, racially prejudiced demeanour is a very dangerous style to adopt. Particularly when that violates the fundamentals of civic loyalty and the citizenship in the sovereign country.

        So while there was a clear understanding to support the multi-ethnic and multi-religious way of life, all together alike those locally born and the naturalised citizens must function as one nation!

      • radii
        July 10, 2010, 4:17 pm

        comments like this always kind of baffle me …

        at 4 I realized religion was a lie (I was forced to go to Sunday school and didn’t buy a word of what was being said and looked around at the other boys and saw some being indoctrinated before my eyes before I knew what the word meant) and have been a lifelong atheist

        when any adherent to any religion parses about degrees of belief or loyalty and devotion, etc. it just makes my eyes roll … it’s like arguing over how white is the fur on the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, or if you pronounce Superman’s Kryptonian name Kal-El as Kall-Ell or Kohl-Ale or if those girls in Fatima, Portugal really saw anything … it is all subjective and based on conformity and is ultimately political : the politics of community

        we have evolved brains, more people need to start using them

        fuck what other people think

        why are so many educated and bright people so spineless?

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2010, 4:54 pm

        Oh Jesus, what a pair of jokers! Naturally, since you call yourself Wondering JEW, you are qualified to judge Phil’s Jewishness.
        Look, idiot, you are the one who is always telling us how dangerous it is to be a Jew, how everyone hates us. By calling himself a Jew, Phil is laying his life on the line, betting it won’t end up in a death camp and a puff of smoke from the crematorium. But of course, Wondering Jew, if there are too many Jews for your comfort, you will no doubt find lots of allies in reducing their number. Or you could write to the head Jew and have him 86’d from the premises.
        PS, that Christmas tree really bothers you doesn’t it. This is like the fifth time you’ve mentioned it.
        Man, you could make me lose my gentle, kindly, avuncular nature.

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2010, 4:59 pm

        “He attends an Orthodox synagogue for example.”

        Several times a week, without fail, as my Orthodox relatives used to do. Way to go Peter! That makes up for a couple of self haters, anyway.

      • azythos
        July 10, 2010, 5:15 pm

        Wondering J – “For an assimilated Jew to come out against Israel is different than for an involved Jew to come out against Israel”

        How so? That sounds like looking for an excuse. All it takes is brains and conscience.

        My brother-in-law (who by the way occasionally writes here) and I grew up in the same neighborhood, with the same languages and the same biological group origin. He grew up fully Jewish, having a Bar-Mitzvah and going to funny rituals. I grew up fully Greek, without any sense of kinship with the Jewish and a rabid enemy of any religion. Now, he has been antizionist from the start just as much as or more than truly yours, campaigning against the 67 war in the teeth of all the official propaganda and the characters who surrounded him, and campaigning inside the synagogue, too. I’m not saying it was easy for him (I wouldn’t know, never having felt connected) but he did it and he knew how to choose his side.

        I’m sure all it takes is an environment conducive to critical thought, as opposed to justificative lawyering, and some equipment to think with. And, of course, absence of personal financial interest.

        Anyway, good job, Phil!

      • annie
        July 10, 2010, 6:05 pm

        WJ, it’s seems odd you think phil’s told us little about his involvement w/the jewish community when he has a post up today about it, maybe you don’t think those jews count.

      • wondering jew
        July 10, 2010, 10:14 pm

        Let Phil have a Christmas tree. But he shouldn’t think that he’s offering alternatives to Zionism as a basis of American Jewish identity, when his emphasis (at least at Christmas time) is in diluting the American Jewish identity. And you his followers, should not confuse his type of Jewish identity with Peter Beinart’s Jewish identity. Peter Beinart and Phil are both Jews, but purely based upon their nonIsrael related behavior, Beinart is engaged in preserving his Jewish identity and passing it on to his Jewish children and Phil Weiss is engaged in diluting his Jewish identity.

        Beinart states that there are two groups of Jews, Orthodox and non Orthodox and the Orthodox are tending to Zionism and the non Orthodox are tending to liberalism. And liberalism and Zionism amongst young American Jews are tending to separate ways. Beinart belongs to the Orthodox, but raises questions regarding liberalism that he would like to see also included in the Zionist identity. Phil belongs to the nonOrthodox.

        I am not saying that Phil does not count as a Jew. He does count as a Jew. But an assimilating Jew, who naturally tends towards the “who gives a shit” attitude towards Zionism. As an American he has abandoned his “who gives a shit” attitude to adopt a negative attitude: Zionism is fucking up my America. No problem there. Just we shouldn’t confuse his attitude with Peter Beinart’s which is sociologically very distinct from Phil’s.

        Here are some sociological type questions that Phil might answer.
        Were your parents born in America? When did your grandparents or great grandparents move to America? Have your parents ever visited Israel? What was the closest relative of yours to get killed in the Holocaust? (Nazi genocide of European Jews, if you prefer a less loaded terminology.) How often did you attend synagogue or temple as a kid? How many siblings do you have? How many of them intermarried? Have any of them ever visited Israel? Do any of them emphasize Jewish education in raising their kids?

        If it’s clarity about who Phil is as a Jew, then an answer to these questions would help more than a Jewish friend of his parents who eats messy and doesn’t like being called a nailer.

      • Avi
        July 11, 2010, 12:30 am

        Here are some sociological type questions that Phil might answer.

        Ahhh, so once again you’re revealing yourself to be a hypocrite and a coward.

        These are not sociological questions, as you characterize them. These are the prerequisites that YOU look for in a “real” Jew. So, you’re too much of a coward to outright say so. But, hiding behind the “sociological” euphemism is just pathetic, even for you.

        Were your parents born in America?

        What if they weren’t? Are you going to call him a self-hating Jew since he doesn’t “embrace” his “heritage”, whatever your definitions of these two concepts happen to be?

        When did your grandparents or great grandparents move to America?

        Why don’t you start by telling us when YOUR great grand parents immigrated to Israel? (Incidentally, You have yet to utter one word of Hebrew on this website, even though you claim to be Israeli).

        Have your parents ever visited Israel?

        Is this like some kind of initiation ceremony every ‘real’ American Jew must go through?

        What was the closest relative of yours to get killed in the Holocaust? (Nazi genocide of European Jews, if you prefer a less loaded terminology.)

        Ahhh, I see. Thanks for reaffirming the point that the Holocaust is central to Jewish identity. Bonus points if one has relatives who were survivors, eh?

        How often did you attend synagogue or temple as a kid?

        You’re starting to sound like a Jewish Taliban.

        How many siblings do you have?

        Why don’t just ask Phil for a saliva swab? That way you could trace his genetic lineage as far as you want.

        How many of them intermarried?

        Don’t you mean “How many of them betrayed the tribe”?

        Have any of them ever visited Israel?

        I think you know that Phil has, but that’s besides the point here. Perhaps you could tell us when you’re going to make your pilgrimage to Mecca…errr I mean, to Israel.

        Do any of them emphasize Jewish education in raising their kids?

        Like going to Brandies and such? Or do you mean “Do they attend Sunday school at the local synagogue?

        Don’t you mean to ask, “How many of them are brainwashed into thinking that they are special?” You know, in touch with their inner Jew.

      • azythos
        July 11, 2010, 10:03 am

        “an assimilating Jew, who naturally tends towards the “who gives a shit” attitude towards Zionism”

        What, for the thousandth time, has Zionism to do in any way or wise, even at a huge distance, with “being a Jew”? There is no such nation. There is no common vernacular, there is no common culture if not liturgical or liturgy-related, and the so-called biological basis myth is way shakier than the Aryan myth. Also no discussion that Zionism is definitely not limited to religious people only, who would have something in common. The height of the absurdity in your message was “How often did you attend synagogue or temple”, in howling contradiction with all basic tenets of Zionism.

        The only thing that, in your cobwebbed, kinky, nationalist brain stem would justify this abomination called Zionism is, well, kinky nationalism. Narrow Ashkenazi nationalism, by the way, as given away by your measuring old-country-new country-grandparents bullshit. If you have to do all that navel-gauging to know who is how much percent of “Jew” you are totally devoid of any self-identification to the human race. As much as the most despicable of any Aryan or Turanian or Panslavic nationalist. More, because on foreign land.

        “As an American he has abandoned his “who gives a shit” attitude to adopt a negative attitude: Zionism is fucking up my America.” No shit. The limit of your understanding seems narrower than what you show. Did Philip’s writing strike you as nationalist, my-country-right-or-wrong? Pathologic thinking to the point where one has to attribute nationalist or racist motives to whoever clearly and avowedly moves from anti-racist and anti-nationalist conviction… a deadly disease, Sir. Unfortunately no one can do anything for you.

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 12:02 pm

        Avi, I Googled “Wondering Jew” and there is no such person. Oh there are a couple of “W. Jew”s, but they are all Chinese.
        I don’t think Wondering is realyy a Jew himself. If he was, why wouldn’t he proudly proclaim his Zionism under his real name?

        But don’t you just love it? It sure show that Wondering feels there are indeed too many Jews and we need to get rid of the dead weight.
        I was always taught that if a man was willing to identify himself as a Jew (with his real name, Wondering), willing to take the risks that came with that affirmation, I should accept him as a Jew.
        But Wondering, of course, knows different. He knows that ultimately, the fate of Judaism depends on how exclusive we make Judaism, so as to get a higher class of Jew.

      • Avi
        July 11, 2010, 12:47 pm

        He knows that ultimately, the fate of Judaism depends on how exclusive we make Judaism, so as to get a higher class of Jew.

        Like rare earth metals.

      • annie
        July 11, 2010, 8:52 pm

        gee wondering jew, your whole shpeel sounds anti semitic to me. jews come in all colors and all walks of life. they don’t walk in lockstep. i never heard any BS about a jew being less or more jewish depending on how often he visited israel or how many relatives died in the holocaust. you sound twisted and contorted. lighten up. evolve. if you listen more maybe you can even learn something about being jewish from phil and adam, they aren’t any less jewish than you are, assuming you are a jew and not an imposter.

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:28 am

        “I am not saying that Phil does not count as a Jew. He does count as a Jew. But an assimilating Jew, who naturally tends towards the ‘who gives a shit‘ attitude towards Zionism”! [Wondering Jew]

        • Luckily, Hannah Arendt survived to point out that: “During its first few years Hitler’s rise to power appeared to the Zionists chiefly as a decisive defeat of assimilationism. Hence, the Zionists could engage at least for the time in a certain amount of ‘non-criminal’ cooperation with the Nazi Reich. The Zionists also believed that dissimilation, combined with the Jew youngsters emigration to Palestine (they hoped Jew capitalists) could be a mutually fair solution. At the time many German [Jew] officials held this opinion, and this kind of talk seems to have been quite common up to the end”!

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:43 am

        “Don’t you mean to ask, ‘How many of them are brainwashed into thinking that they are special’? You know, in touch with their inner Jew”! [Avi]

        • Of course such sensation has been experienced by many, due to the innate affinity felt by the Jews worldwide, even though being invariably cowed by the Jew peers of the realm. Who belonged to the same spiecies. Yet our casteless Jews descended via “inferior” lineage. Hence being exploited as a collateral human shield. Where instead of zionism being the hope of the Jews, our blood has been the political salvation of the atrocious zionism!

        So much for the authentic source, Jewish people’s innate connection, inherited naturally at birth. Unfortunately exploited for the wrong reasons by the crypto-Jew rulers worldwide. Those, with with a prima-facie case to answer for the diabolical Pale of Settlement plot.

        Denoting burning stake (pale) of the final solution (settlement). What meant to culminate with the six millions burnt offering to the insatiable Yahweh, purportedly obligatory before aliyah to proceed. No wonder religiously indoctrinated fanatics were deeply divided as to the scriptural legitimacy in a treyf creation Jewish utopia in Palestine. In the meantime gigantic internment several millions casteless Jews lasted for 130 years, during 1791-1917 period, in anticipation of the sacrificial inferno to come (hence the immense significance attributed to the holocaust).

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:50 am

        “Thanks for reaffirming the point that the Holocaust is central to Jewish identity. Bonus points if one has relatives who were survivors, eh”? [Avi]

        Apparently, Jewish prophecies in the Torah require that 6 million Jews must vanish before the state of Israel can be formed: “You shall return minus 6 million”! Tom Segev, an Israeli historian declared that the 6 million is an attempt to transform the Holocaust story into state religion. Those six million, according to prophecy, had to disappear in “burning ovens”, which the judicial version of the Holocaust now authenticates. As a matter of fact, Robert B Goldmann writes: “Without the Holocaust, there would be no Jewish State”!

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:54 am

        “Pathologic thinking to the point where one has to attribute nationalist or racist motives to whoever clearly and avowedly moves from anti-racist and anti-nationalist conviction … a deadly disease”! [Azythos]

        • How else fascist zionists to enforce a blind-leading-blind dill-flock’s adherence in commandeered kehilot?

        Ariel Sharon’s view when he said: “French Jews should leave France and go to Israel”, was that the “diaspora is unsafe”, so “Jews must only live in Israel”! This goes further than saying that the purpose of Jews is to support zionist junta in Israel, as it says in fact that a Jew cannot live anywhere but in the exclusive Jewish state!

        Indicative of the prima facie affirmation of the racist nationalism, straight out of 19th century Europe and an attack on the basic principle of the multi-ethnicity, that Western states now operate on.

  3. annie
    July 10, 2010, 11:44 am

    “Prime Minister Netanyahu maybe thinks, ‘Why do we need all these left-wing Jews in the United States? They’re going to be Episcopalian by the next generation − they’re intermarrying, and who needs them? We have the Orthodox and we have Sarah Palin and the Christian Evangelicals.’ Even if you ignore the moral aspect, politically I think that’s a stupid approach, because the strength of Israel-United States ties has always been its bipartisan character. Now, support for Israel is becoming a partisan issue, a Republican issue. That’s why Netanyahu is such a problematic figure in the United States.

    thus far that isn’t reflected in congress but i believe it’s reflected in public opinion.

    • Dan Kelly
      July 10, 2010, 12:18 pm

      Speaking of religions and such, Jewish organizations were able to water down the Presbyterian Church’s criticism’s of Israel. No BDS, no use of the word “apartheid,” etc. Yet that still wasn’t enough for some Jewish organizations.

      link to latimes.com

      link to news.yahoo.com

      I’m not religious, but the double standard evident in these events is appalling. When is the last time a Christian organization monitored a Jewish organization and told them how to conduct their business?

      Everywhere we turn, people and organizations are having to compromise with Israel and its apologists, yet the Zionists maintain the appearance of having to compromise, while quietly moving their agenda (Eretz Israel) forward.

      • Avi
        July 10, 2010, 1:40 pm

        Everywhere we turn, people and organizations are having to compromise with Israel and its apologists, yet the Zionists maintain the appearance of having to compromise, while quietly moving their agenda (Eretz Israel) forward.

        That has been one of my major pet peeves with this entire issue. The duplicity and the subversive tactics repulse me.

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 12:58 am

        “I’m not religious, but the double standard evident in these events is appalling. When is the last time a Christian organization monitored a Jewish organization and told them how to conduct their business”? [Dan Kelly]

        • How about the crucial specifics: What kind of Jews we’re talking about? Since the deeper analysis of this issue in question to attest that it’s wrong to lump all the Jews together with the neurotic psychopaths savagery. What supremacist zionism has come to represent. It insults scores of the sane raised Jews and deflects crucial debate evolution on the life vital issues.

        Bear in mind that the casteless Jews, marginalised lot in the 18th century Europe, were obliged to wear yellow bonnet and star-of-david arm band for the “community sake“. As a warning sign for others, not to get too close and thus contaminated.

        At the time when Rothschilds (the highly revered Jewish dynasty) within the “rule by the best“, held apparently a key to the soul of the Roman Catholic Church. Encyclopedia Judaica having depicted Rothschilds as “Guardians of the Vatican Treasury”!

        No wonder a fleeting demise in Judeo Papacy in 1809, resulted in the Holy Land to be chosen as the viable alternative to erect there Zionist Vatican upon Haram al-Sharif.

    • potsherd
      July 10, 2010, 12:35 pm

      Congress needs to catch up with public opinion or it will leave them all behind. And good riddance to them!

      • annie
        July 10, 2010, 6:09 pm

        agreed, i’m ready to have an election where loyalty to israel will be a deterrent to keeping your seat.

    • sherbrsi
      July 10, 2010, 8:00 pm

      the strength of Israel-United States ties has always been its bipartisan character. Now, support for Israel is becoming a partisan issue, a Republican issue.

      There’s been nothing bipartisan about the so-called special relationship. The right has always been enamored by Israel and ideologically inclined to align itself with it. Being the party of the Christian Zionists and neo-cons it has supported Israel blindly and fervently, either out of religious subservience and/or Muslim/Arab hatred. The liberals (despite having ideals that are breached thoroughly by any strain of Zionism) have had their loyalties bought by the Zionist elites such as Saban, and the Zionist intellectual base that monopolizes the media discourse on the conflict who create and destroy political careers by the pen. Don’t think that Obama wasn’t concerned that his antagonism of Israel and Netanyahu re settlements would be paid in kindness by the leading newspapers and media, especially concerning his impending healthcare reform policies. There’s little wonder then that Obama went on his much publicized escapade called the “charm offensive,” or the groveling of the supposed leader of the free world to leaders of a domestic community that forms less than 5% of the total population of America. Obama learned that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and he was very much made an example of by the lobby for stepping outside his bounds. Beinart could not be possibly more wrong about Israel becoming a partisan issue. The Republicans are becoming more vocal with their support, opportunistically riding on the Democrats displaying the slightest hint of “anti-Israel” policies, as perceived by American Zionists who demand nothing less than undying allegiance. It’s all for show. Realistically both parties are reliably in the pockets of the American Jewish Zionist base.

      What else explains the imbalanced nature of the decisive Jewish donor base who contribute heavily to the Democrat party? Contrary to popular notion, if American Jews had “donated” to liberals due to their own mythical liberal and progressive nature, AIPAC and the Zionist leadership in America would not have scrambled to neutralize Obama after he made the slightest objection to the settlement enterprise. American Jewish concern is primarily that the US-Israel remain strong allies publicly, and any US concerns are voiced privately, where they are sure to be quashed by the threat of strong Zionist lobbying, and are exempt from public scrutiny.

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 12:05 pm

        It is perfectly possible for a right-wing American to be simultaneously a Zionist-supporter and an anti-Semite. I see that quite often. In fact, you can count on it; the more Zionist a non-Jew is, the more misconceptions and prejudices they have towards Jews. Never fails.

  4. eljay
    July 10, 2010, 12:24 pm

    >> Everywhere we turn, people and organizations are having to compromise with Israel and its apologists …

    If people and organizations weren’t compromising with Israel and its apologists, it would be tantamount to asking the Israelis “to grovel”, something RW has made abundantly clear he WILL NOT DO!!!

    • Avi
      July 10, 2010, 1:47 pm

      Along the same lines, bob, I came across an article today that stated that Netanyahu was voicing his concerns over Iraq to the US. He fears, so he claims, that Iraq will become the eastern front and wants assurances from the US that once it withdraws, that the anti-Israel sentiments will not endanger Israel.

      Nothing is ever good enough. Israel considered Saddam to be a menace, so the US removed him. Now, the “sectarian rift” scares Israel. What’s next? Israel is like a spoiled child who runs to mommy everytime the wind blows in his direction.

  5. Terianne
    July 10, 2010, 1:06 pm

    But isn’t [Avigdor] Lieberman only saying what all Israelis leaders have said behind closed doors?

    Which reminds me of a quote from a book {discussing the “wars of the west” on indigenous people},
    an “absurdity of an abstract idealism”.

    Is this not what Zionism has always been, just an “absurdity of an abstract idealism”?

    • azythos
      July 10, 2010, 5:24 pm

      Terianne – “Lieberman only saying what all Israelis leaders have said behind closed doors”

      Bingo!
      In fact, he doesn’t appear to have said anything that hasn’t been already stated by, not Jabotinsky and company, but Ben Gurion already by 1938 or so.
      So the program is unchanged, it is being implemented without a hitch ever, and what’s new?

      Good catch.

    • Mooser
      July 10, 2010, 5:53 pm

      “Is this not what Zionism has always been, just an “absurdity of an abstract idealism”?

      Whatever Israel has become, there’s no denying that among the leaders of the early Zionists were people with some kind of genius for turning the “absurdity of an abstract idealism” into concrete results. The Zionists ended up getting what they wanted, on their terms, pretty much.

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 1:04 am

        “Is this not what Zionism has always been, just an ‘absurdity of an abstract idealism'”? [Terianne]

        • Yeah, thanks to the elders of zion ingenuity knack evidently nazis found a final solution to their nagging problem while the imperialist zionists succeeded in skewing the demographics of the ravaged Palestine towards the Jewish majority. Not before vicious rounding-up of the targeted German Jews became viable due to the distinctive Jew physiognomies. As the Haganah commander Feivel Polkes dispatched to Berlin his proficient head-hunters on the mission to spot a Jew in exchange for the nazi resources release towards the colonisation of Palestine.

        Exposing thus diabolical relationship where zionists didn’t merely fail to lead towards any resistance or ever defend our Jew lesser brethren, they in fact effectively sabotaged all the efforts made by the rival Jew groups, while plotting with their fascist counterparts towards the Third Reich sponsorship — not merely because it appeared to be powerful enough to impose the zionist colony in Palestine but — because nazi practices were consonant with the racist zionists weirdomania!

        Sealed by the Zion-Nazi Pact of HaAvara, the keystone of the Nazi Reich fiscal triumph. What grew to become a banking trading house with 137 specialists in Jerusalem’s office. No wonder, renown nazi Jew propagandist Dr Goebbels ordered a historic medallion to be struck with the swastika encircled by the “Ein Nazi faehrt nach Palestina” inscription (A Nazi Trip To Palestine) on one side and a star-of-david on the other!

        A very significant gesture (wouldn’t you agree) for the predominant Jew elite officers cadre in the black uniforms within the exclusive Nazi Waffen SS hierarchy. Who outperformed each other towards the final solution campaign, according to the zionist prescribed recipe of the brutal coercion against the assimilationism, adhered by the obstinate to their roots, casteless Jews of Europe (whose youngsters were prime candidates for Palestine deportation).

  6. Berthe
    July 10, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Beinart is in effect admitting that news organizations with integrity would not have Jewish commentators or reporters covering the Middle East above a certain low percentage in order to proactively cull this deference to personal feelings of friends and relatives.

    Mondoweiss posts some pieces on the lack of Palestinian voice in the news media but how about the lack of non-Jewish American voice? I find this Jewish nationalism on the part of other Americans like Beinart personally offensive. I don’t see country other than the US as “my” country. I don’t have any nationalistic pride about any of the half dozen countries I used to hear my ancestors came from; they’re just foreign countries. The idea that any of those countries might be a refuge for me and mine is weird. Do American Jews need a possible refuge from the rest of us? And if something terrible happens and we’re invaded, can only Jews go to that Israel refuge, even though the rest of us have had to pay for it for all these years?

    • Psychopathic god
      July 10, 2010, 1:48 pm

      thank you Berthe.

      now excuse me, I need to help my children make Italian flags and wave them to display their loyalty.

    • Avi
      July 10, 2010, 1:49 pm

      I don’t have any nationalistic pride about any of the half dozen countries I used to hear my ancestors came from; they’re just foreign countries. The idea that any of those countries might be a refuge for me and mine is weird.

      I know what you mean.

    • Mooser
      July 10, 2010, 1:53 pm

      “And if something terrible happens and we’re invaded…”

      The first thing the invaders will do is issue first-cless tickets to all Jews, and give free passage to them, their belongings, reimburse them for their real estate assets (at top-market value, natch!), return all the money in their accounts and allow them to take all of that out of the country, along with their pets. No exit tariffs, of course.
      That whole Israel-as-a-Jewish-refuge is such a pathetic joke.

    • Dan Kelly
      July 10, 2010, 1:55 pm

      And if something terrible happens and we’re invaded, can only Jews go to that Israel refuge, even though the rest of us have had to pay for it for all these years?

      That’s an interesting question. Sort of a reverse of the “would you have hidden a Jew during WWII” question. Would a Jewish American help a non-Jewish American get to Israel for refuge if it became necessary? Fascinating.

      • Dan Kelly
        July 10, 2010, 1:57 pm

        And the answer, I imagine: some would, some wouldn’t.

        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • eljay
      July 10, 2010, 5:42 pm

      >> I don’t see country other than the US as “my” country. I don’t have any nationalistic pride about any of the half dozen countries I used to hear my ancestors came from; they’re just foreign countries.

      This is because you are not one of the self-proclaimed “Chosen People” and you haven’t suffered a mythical “long-term exile”. If you had – and in spite of all evidence to the fact that you’re actually American or French or German or Polish or Australian – you would believe that you’re actually an Israelite, entitled – by gawd hisself – to land in the Middle East.

      Then, being scared because of self-inflicted “generation to generation” fearmongering, you would feel justified in oppressing people and stealing their land and – as you’re doing this – demanding a hug from them. If anyone were to suggest that you halt your oppression and adhere to principles of international law and human rights, you would be fully justified in stating that you – and RW – simply WILL NOT BE MADE TO GROVEL!

      Me, I’m just waiting for the Roman Empire to rise again. Then, as a son of the Roman Empire, I can once again live among “my people”, free from the day-to-day fears of being an ordinary Canadian.

      • Mooser
        July 10, 2010, 6:00 pm

        “Then, being scared because of self-inflicted “generation to generation” fearmongering, you would feel justified in oppressing people and stealing their land and….”

        During the active time of Zionism, the persecution wasn’t a generation to generation type legend, it was actual, culminating with the Holacaust.
        More than enough to provoke a solution like Zionism. Unfortunately, it was not a good solution, nor has its working out been good.

      • RoHa
        July 10, 2010, 8:28 pm

        The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was that time of the persecutions that led to Jews becoming Members of Parliament in Britain, and the promotion of John Monash to commander of the Australian armed forces.

      • eljay
        July 10, 2010, 10:59 pm

        >> During the active time of Zionism, the persecution wasn’t a generation to generation type legend, it was actual, culminating with the Holacaust. More than enough to provoke a solution like Zionism.

        Agreed. But it’s no more a basis for justification of oppression than is the mythical “long-term exile”.

        >> Unfortunately, it was not a good solution, nor has its working out been good.

        Agreed again. Zionism, like all ideologies, is great in theory but shitty in practice. Unfortunately, too many people stand behind the shitty-in-practice theories because they continue to view them from the theoretical perspective.

      • wondering jew
        July 10, 2010, 11:15 pm

        eljay- “mythical long term exile”. The loss of sovereignty was not mythical. And with a loss of sovereignty comes certain situations that can make staying on the land difficult leading to a diaspora with a minimal population staying on the land. This too is not mythical.

      • eljay
        July 10, 2010, 11:37 pm

        eljay- “mythical long term exile”. The loss of sovereignty was not mythical. And with a loss of sovereignty comes certain situations that can make staying on the land difficult leading to a diaspora with a minimal population staying on the land. This too is not mythical.

        Loss of sovereignty happens. If it happened 2,000 years ago, get over it. More importantly, there are no Israelites anymore – there haven’t been for a very long time. And, no, an American (or a Frenchman or a Polish person or an Australian) is not an Israelite, any more than I’m a son of the Roman Empire. And his claim that he is entitled to someone else’s land in the Middle East, because gawd said it belongs to him, is beyond foolish.

      • Schwartzman
        July 10, 2010, 11:47 pm

        There may not be Israelites, but there are Israelis, get over it.

      • eljay
        July 11, 2010, 8:44 am

        >> There may not be Israelites, but there are Israelis, get over it.

        Get over what? I support the right of all Israelis of all faiths to continue living in a well-defined (i.e., ’67 borders), egalitarian and democratic Israel. And I support the right of all Palestinians of all faiths to a fully-independent and sovereign Palestinian state. And I support reparations (return of/to land, money in lieu of land) to the Palestinians as agreed upon through sincere negotiations w/ mediation by an objective third party or parties.

        None of this changes the fact that practitioners of the Jewish faith both within and without Israel are not “long-term exile” Israelites. They – and you – should “get over it”.

      • LeoBraun
        July 19, 2010, 1:16 am

        “Zionism, like all ideologies, is great in theory but shitty in practice”! [ELJAY]

        Zionism is a real witches’ brew of xeno-phobia, racism, ultra-nationalism, and militarism that places it way outside of a “mere” nationalist context — for example in Ireland (both parts) no indication whatsoever that the PIRAs or anyone else pressing for a united Ireland had a shred of design on shoving Protestants into camps or out of the country, although there may well have been a handful who thought that way — and goes far beyond the misery for others professed by the Nazis!

      • RoHa
        July 10, 2010, 11:46 pm

        eljay, I am waiting for the return of the British Empire. I, then, would be not just an Australian/British citizen, but a citizen of the Empire. (So would you.) Johnny Foreigner would know his place, and the Royal Navy would keep him in it.

      • eljay
        July 11, 2010, 8:45 am

        >> Johnny Foreigner would know his place, and the Royal Navy would keep him in it.

        Hip-hip, and God Save the Queen! ;-)

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 12:19 pm

        “Johnny Foreigner would know his place, and the Royal Navy would keep him in it.”

        I am reading a biography of the “unfortunate Col. Despard” right now. Actually, in many cases, Britain, which did not have racial discrimination laws, were on the side of Johnny Foreigner, but had to defer to the racial discrimination (slavery) that English colonialists depended on as the bulwark of their economic systems.
        In fact, one could even go as far to say that the American Revolution was fought in defense of slavery by the American Colonists, against the British. (One could, but I’m not saying one should!)

      • lysias
        July 11, 2010, 12:52 pm

        Alfred and Ruth Blumrosen make a powerful case in Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies & Sparked the American Revolution that the American Revolution was fought to defend slavery.

        My own belief is that this was not the sole cause of the Revolution, but that it was one of the major causes of it.

      • RoHa
        July 12, 2010, 6:23 am

        Mooser, the slaves were black people. They didn’t count as foreigners. They were classed as natives. Natives were really quite decent types. Bit of a tendency to stick a bloody great assegai up your jaxy, regardless of your Gatling gun, but teach them cricket to ameliorate their basic savagery and they made good servants and damn fine soldiers.

        Johnny Foreigner was the Frogs and the Wops, the Dagoes and the Russians and the Turks – greasy characters smelling of garlic, with unpronounceable names, uneatable food, and unspeakable habits.

    • lysias
      July 11, 2010, 9:14 am

      What’s really annoying is that we Americans are compelled to pay for a refuge from us. Talk about adding insult to injury.

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 12:10 pm

        “What’s really annoying is that we Americans are compelled to pay for a refuge from us.

        A refuge which none of our Zio-trolls will go to, of course.

        It should be Israel’s motto: “The food here tastes like poison, and the portions are so small!”

  7. Colin Murray
    July 10, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Beinart says he was silent for years out of deference to friends

    Was it deference, or fear of social and economic ostracization?

  8. VR
    July 10, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I guess the real point is how badly suckered you are into a national or religious stance, because both are the province of control by a given elite in any part of the world. The same goes for race, ethnicity, or gender. Government is their franchise, and religion is a tool of control, as well as race, ethnicity, gender – and those given to these are consummate suckers. When they are combined they are doubly deadly, and when you talk about the history of the USA or Israel I think that is amply clear (unless you are a blockhead).

    Whatever region or continent you happen to inhabit, if you have not learned to reduce your affiliation down to common humanity you are a mark. If you have not learned any of this from history, the divisions and the death and the consequent enrichment of the few, you have learned precious little.

  9. Debonnaire
    July 10, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Anyone involved with the Jewish community is a coward and a worm to begin with. I’ve never met an orthodox Jew who wasn’t a louse and a bum. If you ever watch People’s Court the slimiest frauds are always the ones wearing the knitted yarmulkes. They come in thinking the Judge will see their kippa and treat them deferentially but the opposite happens every time and they walk out sputtering and shocked. It’s hysterical. Beinart is typical.

    • Schwartzman
      July 10, 2010, 10:53 pm

      Anyone involved with the Jewish community is a coward and a worm to begin with

      Classy Debonnaire, would you include Phil and Adam in this assumption?

      I don’t understand why this type of shit is allowed on here. It is ridiculous. How is this any different than saying all Muslims are terrorists? You don’t even generalize, you flat out say all Jews are cowards and worms.

      Unbelievable….

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 12:25 pm

        . “How is this any different than saying all Muslims are terrorists?

        Shwartzman, congratulations! You are starting to get the point. Well, you guys find that all-Muslims-are-terrorists schtick useful, well some people like to generalise about Jews. You gotta admit, Shwartzman, we are learning from the best.

        But then again, I know how 2000 years persecution will convince you that as soon as somebody says something you don’t like, all you have to do is kvetch a bit and authorities will quash them, possibly even prosecute, such stuff shouldn’t be “allowed”.
        Awful, isn’t it, to see how anti-Semitism has crushed the Jewish soul, and made the Jew a fearful and timid creature?

      • Donald
        July 11, 2010, 1:12 pm

        You’re right, Schwartzman. It’s exactly like saying all Muslims are terrorists and there’s a small contingent who seem to have difficulties understanding that bigotry is wrong no matter who it is aimed at. Phil is pretty lenient–someone has to go very very far before he’ll ban him or her. I don’t know if this will cross the line for him.

      • Donald
        July 11, 2010, 1:16 pm

        Ah, just read further into the thread. This is extreme self-criticism–not the same as an outsider attacking the group, though still not healthy IMO. I could say a few unkind things about white southerners or evangelicals (my background), but it’d be stupid to make sweeping statements about every single one.

      • Mooser
        July 11, 2010, 4:35 pm

        “I don’t understand why this type of shit is allowed on here. “

        I can’t stand this, Shwartzman, you are always right! Damn it, we need some standards around this chazzerai and pronto, Tonto!
        So I propose that anyone who talks worse about anyone than the Ashkenazim in Israel talk about the Sephardi’s should be banned! No if, ands or buts!

      • Cliff
        July 11, 2010, 9:29 pm

        yonira, Phil has been much harsher on commentators like Debonnaire.

        Don’t even try to deny that.

        Phil has even said ‘jihadi’. The context was that, people in the Jewish community (Zionists) had the ‘jihadi’ vibe or something. So not only was Phil using neocon lingo but disassociating the radicalism (which is what I interpret ‘jihadi’ as) in the Jewish community from itself.

        It’s like a non-apology, apology.

        Or that lame phrase ‘saving Israel from itself’. Or ‘shoot and cry’. Etc.

        Debonnaire should be moderated or banned for the blatantly antisemitic comments he’s been writing as of late.

        You never learn yonira. The same histrionics over and over. Anytime you see some antisemitism, you cry Holocaust on this blog.

        We had to basically petition Phil, to finally do something about the rampant anti-Islamic/intellectually dishonest Zionist trolls on the blog. Did YOU say anything to those guys? No.

        It goes both ways at the least. We may not notice Debonnaire. You may not notice the crazies in your camp. So stop trying to parse people. Just report the comment to Phil and let that be the end of it.

        If a truly hateful comment (no matter the context) exists – then report it.

        Simple.

    • Mooser
      July 11, 2010, 12:14 pm

      “If you ever watch People’s Court the slimiest frauds are always the ones wearing the knitted yarmulkes.”

      Oh, thanks, I needed that! First Lea and now this. I’m just going to tell myself that never happened, and look for the slivovitz bottle.

    • Mooser
      July 11, 2010, 12:37 pm

      “I’ve never met an orthodox Jew who wasn’t a louse and a bum.”

      You should have known my Orthodox relatives, they were very, very pious, and gentle people, and most of all, there was a great deal of humility. They subordinated all their economic aspirations to their piety, and the Jewish religion was the center of their lives, in a very real way. They were not louses or bums, that was my job. This was pre-’67.
      Perhaps you are thinking of Conservatives?
      Anyway, you must get me (try and stop me!) from telling you the story of Aunt Hannah, Uncle Jack, their son Ira, and his Playboy Magazine collection, and the visit of a much too curious Reform cousin (me) with his family one fine Shabbos day. It may be the reason Ira ended up paying alimony to two or three different Catholic women, but I can’t know that for sure.

    • Shmuel
      July 11, 2010, 12:55 pm

      I’ve never met an orthodox Jew who wasn’t a louse and a bum

      You should get out more.

  10. RoHa
    July 10, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Friends don’t let friends justify war crimes.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 11, 2010, 12:07 am

      I agree even if you run the risk of losing them.. Friends are meant to be lost and made every now and then.. One has to elevate the standards when making or having a friend. Being a Zionist or a pro Israeli is an ABSOLUTE no-no in my book.

  11. Debonnaire
    July 10, 2010, 11:55 pm

    Schwartzman, *class (or lack thereof) has no connection to what I said. I could lie but it’s been my experience that Jews heavily involved in the Jewish community are not good people. My Aunt Harriet goes to temple and she’s one of the best people I’ve ever met. But, “involved”? No. Maybe there are some wonderful ones. But I’ve just never met them. And I had as normal a middle-class Jewish upbringing as anyone. Look at the Coen bros. movie A SERIOUS MAN. Not a very flattering portrait of Jews, Jewish wisd6, Jewish culture – wouldn’t you say?

    • Mooser
      July 11, 2010, 12:42 pm

      Debonnaire, I can’t seem to get through to you how much damage anti-Semitism and persecution has done to us Jews. Shwartzman is a perfect example. 2000 years of persecution by, well everybody has convinced him that all he has to do is complain about someone’s speech patterns, and they will be prosecuted! Terrible, how persecution has crushed our spirits, and stolen our faith in authority!

    • annie
      July 11, 2010, 9:10 pm

      it’s been my experience that Jews heavily involved in the Jewish community are not good people

      Debonnaire, you’re a freak.

  12. Debonnaire
    July 11, 2010, 1:44 am

    Beinart’s excuse says a lot about him and nothing good. True Story: I had a trust fund friend named David Feldman who changed his name to Barry and we shared an SF place together. Once two guys from Jersey that he knew and I didn’t were in town for a visit and he wouldn’t accompany them to dinner because according to him they were “too Jewish”. So I joined them for dinner and a good time was had by all. Years later I wrote an op-ed that got some play attacking the neocons for their deplorable ethnocentrism and this pisant shrieks that I’m “Hitler” and that was the end of the friendship. That’s the kind of class act (NOT) that Beinart took pains not to offend. Oh and btw this Feldman\Barry who despite his trust fund has been a failure his whole life is now “involved” with the Jewish community in Princeton. A coward and a worm.

  13. Mooser
    July 11, 2010, 12:45 pm

    “Feldman\Barry who despite his trust fund has been a failure his whole life is now “involved” with the Jewish community in Princeton.”

    So can you imagine how much damage he could cause if he ran amok among the Gentiles? Thank God, say I, that neurotic, sociopathic, disturbed, or downright criminal Jews can be accommodated within our own community!

  14. LeoBraun
    July 19, 2010, 1:43 am

    “We have evolved brains, more people need to start using them’…’why are so many educated and bright people so spineless”? [Radii]

    • Well, unless a Jew was jolted by the calamity on the receiving end, there is actually no panacea for the brainwashed category, at long last to come out of their shell. Hence no rational deliberation eventuated as yet, to figure out the cause of our wretched existence under fanatical tribe hegemony.

    Where since the beginning “us versus them” mentality was sewn. No wonder bewitched Jew hearts swelled with pride: “Our land is the homeland”, gullible suckers thought. Whereas all other places simply were a foreign land. “We are the chosen people”, zionist demagogues insisted. The only ones worthy of our nation’s concern; if bombs fall on Afghanistan, Iraq, Beirut or Gaza, and their human rights are violated but it makes our lives better, it’s of little concern to us!

  15. LeoBraun
    July 19, 2010, 1:53 am

    “The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was that time of the persecutions that led to [the self-confessed] Jews becoming Members of Parliament in Britain [crypto-Jew occupied as norm], and the promotion of [the self-confessed Jew] John Monash to commander of the Australian armed forces”! [RoHa]

    • Well, manifestly there are none so blind as those who refuse to see the reality. Pertaining to the brainwashed category, who know not what they are unable to know, yet incessantly toying at collecting items of the ignorant intellect. Ever expanding the darkness of their cave!

    No wonder for a dismal failure to catch a sight of the astounding treachery in the Ghetto Australis, noted for casualties zionist era of universal deceit. Courtesy of the jellyback spiteful pollies flair to corral public opinion. Even duped casteless Jews, driven always into unthinking conformity for a sole purpose to deflect focus from the actual evildoers totalitarian ideology consequences!

    So how about to have a glimpse at the contours of the zionist seat of power? Prominent of the Senate and Legislative Assembly benches array, resembling Ü shaped silhouette. Moulded into significant menorah image (with a shamash – House Speaker’s throne placed at the helm). When such a candlestick symbol was quoted as given by God to the children of Israel.

    No wonder zionist state of Israel in its search for the legitimacy symbol, had chosen precisely such a “sacrosanct insignia”! Incorporated as a “corner stone” for some peculiar reason (of course to pamper elitist Jew egos) in the new Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Obvious to the lesser extent in many other places, including surely Yid Parliament in Britain.

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