My daughter begs me not to go to Gaza

Late last month, Lillian Rosengarten, a New Yorker born in Hitler’s Germany, explained why she is getting on the Jewish boat to Gaza, which is to depart from Europe one of these days. Today she has some more pre-trip thoughts re family and religion:

As I prepare to leave at a moment’s notice, I know this is exactly what I need to do and am not sure why the force that guides me in this decision is so strong. My daughter  begs me not to go. “There are so many other things you can do from here,” she pleads. Her agitated self is afraid. “You put yourself at risk mom, you could die.” My son  has accepted my decision more or less as I shower him with articles to try to persuade him. My beloved grand girls emulate their mom’s fears. When the 7 year old  asks, “Omi are you happy you are going on the ship?” and I respond “very happy,” she gives me  permission, “okay Omi you can go.”

My 16 year old  accepts me despite reservations. Close friends worry. I understand but am not deterred.

So why the German Jewish ship? For it could have been any ship or another form of active resistance. It is important to tell you, I am one of those assimilated Jews with no affiliation to organized religion. I have always been more political than religious, a sixties hippie and active war resister. I don’t believe in wars and am a pacifist. I believe in dialogue and speaking to the enemy as a way to understand the “other” through listening and compassion. I believe in engaging in conflict resolution through peaceful means. In Israel where violence is met with violence we witness a cycle of hate that deepens with each generation, a circle of hell and endless suffering.

I believe there is a strong distinction between Zionism and Judaism. This cannot be overemphasized and helps to explain my strong desire to make that distinction by joining a Jewish ship to Gaza. That it is a German Jewish ship is significant because of my background but more important for me, is an opportunity to speak out against human rights abuses as a Jew who is not a Zionist. Not all Jews are Zionists. I did not always know this. To assume that every Jew supports the Israeli Zionist vision is an unfortunate misperception. Judaism is an age-old, compassionate humble way of life and opposes the idea of a political state for Jews on grounds of religious beliefs. The Zionist ideal is to form a religious state, a Jewish state and to oppress the population of Palestinians. The hallmark of Zionism is harsh nationalism that imposes itself in a completely illegitimate and amoral way on the local population. Through consistent collective punishment, the Zionist state continues to crush the spirit and freedom of the Palestinian people and now the Bedouins.

Because I am a Jew I would have been exterminated in Germany.  I survived because my father was able to see the writing on the wall when Hitler came to power. He was always a realist. This exodus is imprinted in my very being for all my life. That’s just the way it is. I want to say to the world I am a Jew and not a Zionist, and therefore the actions of the Israeli Zionist government are not in my name. It is my fervent hope that Jews all over the world will stand up and shout, “NOT IN OUR NAME.” Perhaps then Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, all the religions of the world and all countries (including of course the United States) of the world, shall join together to demand full equality for Palestinians and  Israeli citizens, for there is no difference in the value of their lives.

About Lillian Rosengarten

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics

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

  1. Citizen says:

    Now there’s someone who knows the full meaning of “Never Again!” What a wonderful human she is. Obama needs to read her thoughts here. Will Rahm or Axelrod let him?

  2. In the sense that there were MANY other Jews that survived the holocaust, but were not as lucky as you, able to get to North America (only a small percentage that tried did), I don’t see how it is anything but utterly insensitive to be anti-Zionist.

    It is wonderful to seek to live and let live, but it must also be wonderful to seek that the Jewish residents of the region get to live and self-govern.

    I personally don’t see how a Jew could be an out and out anti-Zionist.

    I definitely see how a Jew or anyone could be highly critical of Israeli policies and practices.

    • American says:

      No sane person sees how a Jew could be anything but anti zionist.
      Zionism is a supremacist, separatist mentality.
      Most humans are against that kind of belief.
      It’s what killed millions of jews…and handicapped humans and gypsies and other ‘inferior’ people.

    • jimby says:

      Richard, your head is stuck in a box. You need a paradigm shift. Why not be sensitive to the suffering of all, not just Jews. Have you seriously thought about what you have written here and of the inhumanity that you offer others.

    • MarkF says:

      It’s a good point about being out and out anti-zionist. The policies and practices of Israel are what’s driving many Jews towards the anti-zionist position, not walking but running for the exits. Israel wants/demands our unconditional support irregardless how it affects us, but more importantly, how it eliminates self-governance for others in the region.

      By supporting Jewish self-governance, I’m supporting repression. Since Israel doesn’t give a hoot about that, I have begun to not give a hoot about Israel and I resent having to forceably pay for it through my tax dollars.

    • Citizen says:

      “Never again, except if done by Jewish Israelis because otherwise Jews will just be exterminated again.” Another “stab in the back.”

      • Chu says:

        -I try to say ‘never again’ at office meetings as much as possible. It gives people the sense that your just an all-around intense guy.

    • Walid says:

      Richard, you appear to be holding it against Lillian for having survived; did I misread what you wrote?

      • Bumblebye says:

        He’s definitely insulting the lady.
        I think RWitty must be under close medical supervision lately, given the burblings on his own blog. Mondoweiss is probably as far from home as they’ll let him go! He’s quite unable to see the profound contradictions wrt his supposed “hard” look at his own racism, and his deep attachment to Zionism and the necessary racism that entails, His “hard look” does not extent to if the kids/grandkids marry out, or if they marry out AND across some “racial” divide, or to what his attitude might be to potential grandkids. The man is as shallow as a puddle, he has no oceanic depths!

        • Mooser says:

          “I think RWitty must be under close medical supervision lately”

          That’s good, we all need people to help us look after our health as we get older.
          What Richard needs is a literary ankle bracelet, which alerts somebody when he gets near the Mondoweiss comment section.
          He has fallen and he can’t get up.

    • Chu says:

      It is wonderful to seek to live and let live, but it must also be wonderful to seek that the Jewish residents of the region get to live and self-govern.

      :O
      so no more live and let live to stand by itself…

      • Antidote says:

        I wonder how Jewish residents like Gideon Levy feel about this ‘self-government’. I guess it feels liberating and empowering if you are a Likudist or other right-winger. But what if you’re on the ‘live and let live’-side? Tough luck, I guess. Frankly, no matter where you live, the nationalist idea of ethnocentric ‘self-government’ seems a bit overrated, if not outright fraudulent.

        • He urges reform.

          He remains an Israeli.

          He could migrate elsewhere and come out as definitively anti-Zionist, if he felt that the concept of a state in which Jews have confident and permanent sanctuary were irrelevant in the world.

        • Self-governance is an affirmation of the concept of “consent of the governed”, the cornerstone of democracy.

          Majority rule, not rule by the revolutionary vanguard.

        • Antidote says:

          The truth is, Witty, that Israel has been and continues to be the perhaps most dangerous place to live worldwide since WW II. Besides, the idea that any people could find ‘confident and permanent sanctuary’ anywhere is a delusion unsupported by history. I’m not speaking for Levy, but, more generally: People urge reform regardless where they live, or whether they are natives/citizens of their country of residence. And the fact that people do not migrate from less than ideal living conditions and political systems/representation is no indication of their ideological attachments to any such system. No doubt this applies to a few, but not the majority.

        • MarkF says:

          Right.

          There are anti-zionist orthodox Jews who live in Israel, ones who feel that it’s the messiah riding up on the donkey that’s going to take us back to the promised land.

          Palestinians live there. They stay there because it’s their home.

        • Citizen says:

          Yeah, the consent of the governed, kimo sabi. Him speak with forked tongue.

        • Shingo says:

          “Self-governance is an affirmation of the concept of “consent of the governed”, the cornerstone of democracy.”

          No, self-governance (as applied to Israel) is an affirmation of the denial of concept of “consent of the governed” for non Jews in Palestine.

          “Majority rule, not rule by the revolutionary vanguard.”

          The conernstone of democracy is that the state belongs to all citizens. Not so in Israel, where 20% of it’s citizens have no rights to the state and are not equal.

          Israel is no democracy.

        • Places more dangerous than Israel since WWII- Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda, Iraq.

        • Antidote says:

          WJ – I meant to say, though I did not make that clear, most dangerous place for Jews compared to other countries with significant Jewish populations, which would be North America and Europe. Or so it would seem given that ‘another Holocaust’ is, according to Israeli leaders, always lurking just around the corner, the 67 borders are ‘Holocaust borders’ etc., and the whole country is being portrayed as a Jewish state surrounded by mortal enemies bent on a genocidal attack

        • I wonder who is more self-centric, Jewish Israelis or ancient, “Middle Kingdom” Chinese — “Middle Kingdom” meaning that ancient Chinese perceived themselves as the center — the middle– of the universe.

          Jewish Israelis seem to know only their own (self-constructed) history, and that, out of all context and relationship to the lives and struggles and histories of any other people who inhabited the same round blue ball as Jews inhabited.

          Residents in various Italian city-states loathed each other; today, Genoans still recite, “better a death in the house than a Pisan at the door,” but they somehow manage to live their lives with a degree of dignity and grace.

          Below, Jonah longs for “Israel, the pariah state for excellence.”

          You want to be perfect? Go ahead and be perfect. In your own way, in your own community. Don’t demand that I or anyone else acknowledge or venerate or attempt to emulate your “authentic perfection;” I’ll do perfect in my own way, thank you.

          Why is that so hard to understand?

        • RoHa says:

          Antidote, American and European Jews are not safe at all. It seems that they face a threat more terrible than the Holocaust.

          Marriage.

          To a shiksa.

        • Antidote says:

          right RoHa, like shiksa Clinton. Practically ethnic cleansing ;)

      • potsherd says:

        While the Palestinian residents of the region are governed. No self-determination for them!

    • Shingo says:

      “I personally don’t see how a Jew could be an out and out anti-Zionist.”

      Judaism revered human rights and equalituy. I personally don’t see how a Jew could be a Zionist.

      • potsherd says:

        Pardon my cynicism, but in many cases the Jewish advocacy of equality was self-serving, stemming from their position of disadvantage and inequality. Not that I criticize the stand of Jewish liberalism in earlier times, but for many Jews, things are different now that they are the ones in power, and the ideology of inequality preached by Zionism and Republicanisn now sounds more attractive.

    • Mooser says:

      “I personally don’t see how a Jew could be an out and out anti-Zionist.”

      Oh. That’s nice.

    • RoHa says:

      “it must also be wonderful to seek that the Jewish residents of the region get to live and self-govern”

      So the Jewish residents in other regions (let’s say, Australia) may not stand for office or take part in elections?

    • Donald says:

      “I personally don’t see how a Jew could be an out and out anti-Zionist.”

      Richard’s statement seems almost, well, anti-semitic. Why suppose that a Jew has to hold a particular political ideology, one which in real life has meant the ethnic cleansing and oppression of millions of people? Even leaving the ugly details of real life Zionism out of it, it’s bizarre that someone would say that to be a Jew you have to be a Zionist.

      • Good twist.

        Can you call yourself a compassionate person, if you advocate for the removal of a people’s self-governance?

        Or, is that an ideological approach, people be damned?

        • You like picking single sentences, Donald, rather than the post as a whole.

          Why is that?

        • Shingo says:

          “Can you call yourself a compassionate person, if you advocate for the removal of a people’s self-governance?”

          Not when that self governance is synonimous with apartheid, ethnic cleansing, land theft and mass murder.

        • Its not synonymous with apartheid. The features that are apartheid-like are chosen applications, not the thing itself.

          Zionism at root is the self-determination of the Jewish people. As there are Palestinians that choose to live in the US, there are Jews that do so for similar reasons.

          It doesn’t make Israel any less of the current Jewish home. I don’t live in Israel. I am Jewish religiously (lightly), and Jewish culturally (slightly more), and Jewish by intimate culture (parent to child).

          My children are similarly Jewish ethnically by intimate culture (parent to child, one assertively Jewish religiously, one assertively humanist).

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You like picking single sentences, Donald, rather than the post as a whole.

          Well if THAT isn’t the friggin’ pot calling the kettle black, Mr. “I only bothered to read the headline.”

  3. American says:

    This post would make a great bill board.

  4. jonah says:

    I respect Lillian Rosengarten’s position, but I disagree with her. She survived the Shoah. My parents, who were hidden by Dutch families, were so lucky as she was, regrettably not my grandparents and my aunt on father’s side. They died in Auschwitz, as the majority of the European Jews. In the indifference or hatred of the world.

    Zionism was a response to centuries of persecution of Jews, culminating in the Shoah. The founders of Zionism were convinced that only self-determination of the Jewish people – by building a Jewish state – could resolve their condition of perpetual persecuted victim. But not in Madagaskar or elsewhere; the state was to be established in the ancient land of Eretz Israel, where the Jewish population had its religious and cultural roots – a place were the Jews could live together and freely, regardless of the benevolence of the host country that often was not. Many Jews went to Palestine since the mid-nineteenth century by one or both triggering reasons: on the one hand, the idealism toward a new, yet ancient homeland to be (re) build, and on the other hand the anti-Semitic persecution in Europe that forced more and more people to emigrate, also to Palestine.

    This in the first place is Zionism – an ideal and a necessity that became
    (and had to become) reality. Zionism is in this sense, the realization of the highest goal of the Jewish people, namely attaining independence in the most importance place for the Jews and Judaism as a religion, without detracting from its universality. As Jews we owe very much to Israel and Zionism – even if we don’t live there and we may have a critical position toward Israel’s policies.

    What you, Ms. Rosengarten, are rejecting without probably realizing it, is not so the Zionism itself, which is a noble idea and a necessity (in light of the unfortunate history of the Diaspora), but the condition of permanent war imposed on the Jews of Palestine – a war that was waged long before the state of Israel was founded. Your position erroneously embraces the unrealistic and misleading anti-Zionist view that Israel – and Israel alone – is the sole responsibility of today’s situation, particularly with reference to the plight of the Palestinians. The radical fringe of the extreme Zionism is certainly to be condemned, but isn’t it not also the aggressive and hegemonic Palestinian terrorism, actively supported by several Palestinian groups, even tied to the moderate(?) PA? Are the settlements and the occupation not, on closer inspection, strongly linked to the lack of desire for peace and compromise on the Palestinian and Arab side? Mine are only questions which want to lead you to think beyond the simple equation of good and evil.

    I believe that Zionism, if freed from the yoke of war and hatred with which it has been confronted from the beginning, could show his most authentic and just face, well in line with true values of Judaism, a face denied by the hostility of his opponents and enemies of various kinds. No coincidence that they want to see Israel as the pariah state for excellence, as once the Jews were. Israel deserves a different fate than this, because this is the root of the conflict. Get off this root of evil would benefit the entire region, but the Palestinians in the first place. Think of this, when your German Jewish ship will head for Gaza.

    Regards.
    J.

    • this idea: their condition of perpetual persecuted victim. is essential to support the thesis of zionism; it is the foundation on which rests the structure of zionism.

      It is factually inaccurate.

      Accordingly, zionism falls.

      Zionists really need to construct a new narrative, one that is not so self-indulgent and self-deceptive.

    • this idea: their condition of perpetual persecuted victim. is essential to support the thesis of zionism; it is the foundation on which rests the structure of zionism.

      It is factually inaccurate.

      Accordingly, zionism falls in on itself.

      Zionists really need to construct a new narrative, one that is not so self-indulgent and self-deceptive.

    • Jonah
      It was a bad idea to build a country on someone Else’s land..
      Not very smart (in addition to being not very right)

      • And I have no sympathy for you, your likes or your cause altogether. You st0le a whole of a country, dispossessed its population and occupied the rest of their lands and you have the chutzpah to blame them for being “hateful”. Have a look at your despicable self in the mirror and stop whining and dragging in holocaust and persecution, the people whom you dispossessed had nothing to do with any of this..

    • RoHa says:

      “In the indifference or hatred of the world.”

      Actually, a good deal of the world was a bit preoccupied at that time. A lot of it was getting blown to bits in the attempt to destroy the regime that was running the Auschwitz camp.

    • potsherd says:

      An interesting line of reasoning, based on a foundation of falsehood.

      The fact is, that until the 20th century, most Jewish immigration to Palestine was not about rebuilding an ancient homeland or escaping all that Jew-hatred that obsesses Jonah, but to steep themselves in the holiness of the land. These immigrants were far from being Zionists, and they have always opposed the Zionist state, many of them even today.

      These immigrants were perfectly content to live under the rule of the host country, counting the religious advantage higher than the benevolence or lack of same on the the part of the Ottoman rulers. And their lives in the land, according to the standards of the empire, were relatively peaceful and as free from oppression as the rest of the Ottoman subjects.

      It was only on the arrival of the Zionists, whose intention was not to live peacefully under the existing order but to disrupt it and seize control themselves, that matters began to deteriorate.

      The condition of permanent war was imposed on Palestine by the forceful expulsion of the native Arabs from their land and the continual efforts of the Zionist state to expand their territory at the expense of their neighbors.

      This is the sole root of the conflict, and anyone who denies it is either a liar or a brainwashed dupe.

      • jimby says:

        I’ve read that there was a wave of Russian Jewish immigration at the last part of the 19th century. They were political idealists of the communist variety and so formed the essence of the kibbutzim.

        • jimby- You are correct. Rishon Letziyon was founded in 1882 and it had a collective basis. The first kibbutz Deganya was established in 1909. Not all Zionists were set upon making a state and abrogating the rights of the indigenous, although the most powerful Zionists realized that their desire for autonomy clashed with the wishes of the indigenous.

        • Donald says:

          “Not all Zionists were set upon making a state and abrogating the rights of the indigenous, although the most powerful Zionists realized that their desire for autonomy clashed with the wishes of the indigenous.”

          That’s the distinction Jerry Haber makes over at “the magnes Zionist” website. He’s a follower of Judah Magnes, who didn’t want to build a state against the wishes of the Arabs. Too bad his ideas weren’t the dominant strain within the Zionist movement. There would still have been tension and distrust from some Arabs, I’m sure, since people in general are often suspicious of any sort of immigrant, but without a solid basis for mistrust there would have been a much better chance of peaceful coexistence.

      • There was no “existing order”.

        If you read Palestinian or radical histories of the time, it was a time of great social turmoil, considerable social change, including during the revolutions of the end of the Ottoman empire, WW1, Sikes/Picot, British Mandate, all preceding major Zionist immigration.

        The only prospect of original “existing order” is currently, in the efforts to establish it.

        • Shingo says:

          “There was no “existing order”.”‘

          Bullshit Witty.

          There was a political systemand even a constitution in Palestine. Something that Israel hasn;t managed to produce in 60 years.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Ah yes, the “land without a people” canard.

          Is there any racist trope you aren’t willing to stoop to?

    • RoHa says:

      “centuries of persecution of Jews”

      This sort of claim just turns me into Lady Bracknell.

      “To be persecuted by one set of neighbours, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to be persecuted by all of them looks like a distinct lack of social skills on your part.”

    • Mooser says:

      “Israel as the pariah state for excellence,”

      Israel, the pariah state par excellence.

      Jonah, your Freudian slip is showing.

      • jonah says:

        “Israel, the pariah state par excellence.
        Jonah, your Freudian slip is showing.”

        No, it shows only how stupid is the google traslator which I sometimes use but I forget to correct with sufficient attention.

        Don’t try to divert from the issue through intellectualist subtleties, Mooser.

    • RoHa says:

      “Zionism itself, which is a … necessity”

      Not necessary at all. It assumes (a) that a distinct “Jewish people” must continue to exist. But why? Why not assimilate? The Etruscan people disappeared long ago. They were absorbed into the Roman Republic, with no great harm to anyone as far as I can tell. Now no-one suffers from anti-Etruscanism.

      (b) Even if we accept the idea that a distinct “Jewish people” must continue to exist, Zionism is still not necessary. The “Jewish people” claim to have existed for nearly thousand years without a state.

      • jonah says:

        RoHa,
        “Even if we accept the idea that a distinct “Jewish people” must continue to exist, Zionism is still not necessary. The “Jewish people” claim to have existed for nearly thousand years without a state.”

        The Jews existed for nearly two thousand years in a condition of Dhimmitude at the best, or ruthless pesecution at the worst. For centuries the response of the Jewish people was either to bow to this fate of subjugation and death, or to flee to other places of persecution. Zionism was not the result of a couple of decades of anti-Jewish turmoils throughout the world, it was the response to almost two thousand years of forced and mistreated Jewish Diaspora.
        The Jews in ME couldn’t even today assimilate in Arab societies from which they where ethnic cleansed when the Jewish state was created, unless they are willing to fall in the ancient yoke of dhimmitude and persecution.

        • Shingo says:

          “The Jews existed for nearly two thousand years in a condition of Dhimmitude at the best, or ruthless pesecution at the worst.”

          False. There was no persectution in Palestine on the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the reason the Jewish populatino opposed a Jewish state is becasue they knoew it woudl lead to disaster.

          “The Jews in ME couldn’t even today assimilate in Arab societies from which they where ethnic cleansed when the Jewish state was created, unless they are willing to fall in the ancient yoke of dhimmitude and persecution.”

          They wouldn’t have to had the zionists not stolen Palestine and driven 750,000 Palestinians from their land.

        • jonah says:

          “False. There was no persectution in Palestine on the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the reason the Jewish populatino opposed a Jewish state is becasue they knoew it woudl lead to disaster.”

          Wrong again.
          There were massacres against the Jews in Palestine prior, during and after the Ottomane rule:
          link to mideasttruth.com

          In particular, the forgotten Safed pogrom of 1834:
          link to fighthatred.com

        • RoHa says:

          Nonetheless, “the Jewish People” survived all the alleged persecution. A state was not necessary for the survival.

          Of course, you will want to say it was necessary for the comfort of “the Jewish People”, but if you say that then you are claiming that their comfort is more important than the rights of the Palestinian Arabs. And what basis is there for such a claim?

        • RoHa says:

          Incidentally, when you say

          “For centuries the response of the Jewish people was either to bow to this fate of subjugation and death, or to flee to other places of persecution. ”

          I am inclined to think that these were stupid responses. It would have been more sensible to give up the idea of being special and different, and, instead, assimilate with the surrounding people. After a few generations there would have been no more anti-Jewish persecution than there is anti-Etruscan persecution.

        • Shingo says:

          “I am inclined to think that these were stupid responses. It would have been more sensible to give up the idea of being special and different, and, instead, assimilate with the surrounding people.”

          Interestingly RoHa,

          This was one of the demands God made of the Jews after exiling them from Israel – to become citizens of the countries they rezided in an assimiliate.

        • jonah says:

          “Nonetheless, “the Jewish People” survived all the alleged persecution. A state was not necessary for the survival.

          Of course, you will want to say it was necessary for the comfort of “the Jewish People”…”

          Your answer is pure rascist BS, RoHa. At least you don’t hide behind false humanism.

        • Shingo says:

          “Your answer is pure rascist BS, RoHa. ”

          That’s pure projection you racist filth. While you obsess about the persecution of Jews, you don;t even bat an eyelid over the persecutino carried out in the name of Ziofacism.

        • jonah says:

          By the way, RoHa. Is this the form of assimilation you are referring to, mein Gutmensch?

          link to fighthatred.com

        • Bandolero says:

          @jonah, mein Schlechtmensch:
          See here how Abe Foxman fakes his data on Anti-Semitism to make them look grim:

          Defamation – by Yoav Shamir

        • jonah says:

          Yes of course, Bandolero, it’s all and only about anti-Zionism, we know the tune ….

          link to edition.cnn.com

        • Bandolero says:

          @jonah
          “it’s all and only about anti-Zionism”

          Oh yes, Tel Aviv study. It’s kind of bizarre, when a bunch of Israeli racists supporting wars of aggression and ethnic cleansing for decades but complain about racism. Have a look, how such data are compiled:

          When is an anti-semitic attack not anti-semitic? When it’s a Zionist who is being anti-Jewish

          Believe, the world is fed up with racists painting anti-apartheid as anti-semitic.

        • RoHa says:

          By “assimilation”, I mean Jews saying to themselves, “I am not going to be a Jew any more. I am going to be a human being like my neighbours. I will not teach my children that they are different or special. I will let them marry whom they choose.” And so forth.

          Isaac Disreali didn’t assimilate, but he made sure his children did. Worked out quite well for Benjamin.

        • jonah says:

          Bando, you probably need to inquire better on theissue.

    • Good post Jonah.

      Deaf ears abound.

      • potsherd says:

        Fat heads abound.

      • “Richard Witty August 4, 2010 at 8:12 pm
        Good post Jonah.”

        Ya, what’s there not to like? It’s “Arabs’ hate” the root of the problem! It doesn’t take more to get Witty’s stamp of approval..

      • jonah says:

        “Deaf ears abound.”

        We cant’t expect anything else.

        • “We cant’t expect anything else.”

          Correction your honor!

          “We don’t deserve anything else.”

        • jonah says:

          Yes, by Jew-haters, yes.

        • Shingo says:

          “Zionism is in this sense, the realization of the highest goal of the Jewish people, namely attaining independence in the most importance place for the Jews and Judaism as a religion, without detracting from its universality”

          The highest goals of the Jewish people is to observe the teachings of the Talmud. Judaism and Zionism and antithetical to one another. Zionism has always been a atheistic political movement.

          In the Talmud, God made the Jews swear to three oaths, which are as follows:
          1. The Jews were not to return en masse to Palestine because God expelled the Jews.
          2. That Jews should be citizens of every country they reside
          3. The Jews were not to make any attempt to end the exile.

          “As Jews we owe very much to Israel and Zionism – even if we don’t live there and we may have a critical position toward Israel’s policies.”

          Correction. As Zionsts we owe very much to Israel and Zionism. Why would Jews owe anything to an institution that continues to drag the reputation of an otherwise noble and enlightened faith through the mud? Jews are rejecting Israel and Zionism in increasing numbers and for very good reasons.

          As Benny Morris has stated, ethnic cleansing and racism lies at the very core of Zionism. How anyone could therefore consider Zionism to be a noble idea is truly bizarre.

          The condition of permanent war is maintained by Israel, because war and hostility have become the very tenets of Zionism and Israel’s identity. They are the fundamental components that hold the society together.

          There was no Palestinian plight until Israel was created.

          “The radical fringe of the extreme Zionism is certainly to be condemned, but isn’t it not also the aggressive and hegemonic Palestinian terrorism, actively supported by several Palestinian groups, even tied to the moderate(?)”

          There is no such thing as a radical fringe of the extreme Zionism. As mentioned above, Zionism is built upon ethnic cleansing and land theft. While Zionists like yourself pretend to condemn these policies, you simultaneously and reflexively support them.

          The settlements are made possible by the occupation, which in turn is imposed as a means of expansionism, another ideology inextricably linked to Zionism. As Netenyau has stated, there is no Zionism without the settlements and expansionism.

          Zionism wasn’t confronted with war and hatred, it was based on war and hatred.

          “We Jews, we are the destroyers and will remain the destroyers. Nothing you can do will meet our demands and needs. We will forever destroy because we want a world of our own.” (You Gentiles, by Jewish Author Maurice Samuels, p. 155).

        • “by Jew-haters,”

          You and maximalist should be reported every time you use this type of mendacious comments. I could call you an Arab-hater if I wanted and would be much more on target than you’ll ever be, yet, I don’t…It’s really small, petty and as I said..mendacious as in crying victimhood, begging for sympathy. You systematically and reflexively resort to that..You deserve the tfooh of the week…

        • RoHa says:

          Those three are actually in the Talmud?

          Aren’t they supposed to teach the Talmud in Israeli yeshivas?

        • Shmuel says:

          Those three are actually in the Talmud?

          A reasonable summary of the issue:
          link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Why do Zionists seem to universally believe that the best way to fight Nazis, is to become them elsewhere?

    • Donald says:

      “Are the settlements and the occupation not, on closer inspection, strongly linked to the lack of desire for peace and compromise on the Palestinian and Arab side? ”

      No. In fact your claim is total nonsense. It’s true that Palestinians have used terrorism and that’s wrong, but there is no possible excuse for building settlements. Settlements are not an answer to terrorism—-the settlements can’t exist without apartheid-like policies and if anything they help cause terrorism.

    • VR says:

      The great distinction between your position Ms. Rosengarten and that of Jonah’s is what the true conclusions should be for those who have suffered, the valid and correct course is to not want to inflict suffering in kind to anyone else. So the smoke rising from the ovens of those Nazi beasts should not given way to the charred bodies of the Palestinians from the the indiscriminate dropping of white phosphorous. The echo of the broken glass of kristallnacht should have been heard, reverberated in the ears of the assailants and delivering the message to the nervous system, in the breaking of glass in the first attacks against the Palestinians. The screaming and crying, the agony and stench of death in the ghetto should have melted the hearts of those participating in the atrocities against the Palestinians. The screeching of metal train wheels should have been heard in the “transfer” of the Palestinians.

      So what presence and voice we could not lend to our own should be made in behalf of the Palestinian people. Understand that you are standing on the edge of the envelop and all of the signs are present for an unnecessary repeat of tragic history. Think of this as you board the German Jewish ship heading toward Gaza, and than take a deep breath and let the words escape from your lips in all of their universal splendor – NEVER AGAIN!

      • VR says:

        Above all, let me say to my opponents in words they might understand (and that I do not normally employ) – righteousness is never established by just stopping short of the precipice of unfathomed evil (“we are not doing what was done to us”).

    • kapok says:

      you know, you guys, witty schawrtman et al. come here, we poop all over you, you go away and change your shirt and come back as if nothing has changed. Why is that?

  5. yourstruly says:

    Lillian Rosengarten speaks for all true Jews, a true Jew being one who always sides with the oppressed, never with the oppressor, even (better, especially) when the oppressor is a co-religionist. For this reason the true Jew cannot be anything but anti-Zionist and pro-justice for Palestine, since Zionism is nothing but a latter-day racist colonial enterprise . As for the one about Israel being a sanctuary for Jews escaping anti-Semitism, if tanti-Semitism really broke loose on a scale that would force all Jews to flee to the settler-state, are we to believe that anti-Semites, if once again run amok, wouldn’t go all out to destroy Israel? Oh, Israel would hold them off with its nuclear weaponry? Perhaps this would be a righteous outcome for Zionists, but for the rest of us it’s a doomsday scenario that only serves to heighten our will to bring justice to the Palestinians, along with restoring peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings, something that the Zionist experiment in Jewish nationalism uber the rights of another people renders impossible.

  6. Lillian Rosengarten has every right to ride along with the German Jewish ship trying to break the siege of Gaza. And since those who favor Zionism invoke the memory of the Nazi genocide of Jews, as an antiZionist I suppose she has the same right to invoke their memory. But her sudden discovery of the difference between Judaism and Zionism and her parroting the worldview of Neturei Karta is a bit much. Lillian! There are medium stances between the Zionism of Benjamin Netanyahu and the anti Zionism of Neturei Karta. Try studying a little Jewish history. Read about the Zionism of Martin Buber and Judah Magnes! Don’t worry. They won’t stop you from taking your place on that German Jewish boat. But they will give you a chance to sound less simple.

    • Shmuel says:

      How wonderfully condescending, WJ. There is nothing simple in Ms. Rosengarten words. Quite the contrary. It may be convenient to cite Buber and Magnes to show that Zionism is not necessarily racist and colonialist, but anyone who has studied Zionist history knows that theirs were, at best, marginal views, in no way representative of Zionism as a whole, even in their “heyday”. To the extent that they ever had any influence at all, they are, today, little more than a curiosity. Ms. Rosengarten’s assessment of Zionism is thus completely accurate. Furthermore, one need not accept the worldview of Neturei Karta to make a clear distinction between Zionism and Judaism. Above, Jonah asserts that “Zionism is … the realization of the highest goal of the Jewish people, namely attaining independence in the most importance place for the Jews and Judaism as a religion”. Is “attaining independence” really “the highest goal of the Jewish people”? Is it even a goal at all? Was it always so? What about establishing the Kingdom of Heaven? What about the perfection of creation? What about universal ethics? What about “the vision of the prophets of Israel”, cited (and betrayed) in Israel’s declaration of independence? What about the best of human values expressed in Jewish cultural idiom? What about the preservation and development of Jewish culture in a socialist, diaspora context? What about serving as the “eternal other” or offering a “cosmopolitan” paradigm for human development? (To name a few Jewish goals, as seen by various streams within Judaism over the course of history.) Zionism is a Jewish movement that has coopted far too much of Jewish public life today. It is neither identical nor essential to Judaism, and is, to my mind and to the minds of many others, antithetical to it and may very well bring about its destruction (if it hasn’t done so already).

      • Thank you Shmuel for this comment..It’s people like you that make me believe that there’s hope the two peoples can, one day, live together..

      • RoHa says:

        Shmuel, you show that there are decent, moral, humane, and positive strands to Judaism.

        • Shingo says:

          Actualyl Roha,

          Shmuel demonstrates that Judaism is indeed decent, moral, humane, and positive, and that Zionism is antithetical to all these virtues.

      • Shingo says:

        Indeed Shmuel,

        That was truly humbling. I second TGIA’s comment.

      • jonah says:

        Shmuel,
        “What about establishing the Kingdom of Heaven? What about …? What about …?”

        Beautiful ideals and values that endured for centuries despite continuous blood libels, pogroms and expulsions of the Jews by the host lands throughout Europe and the Middle East. But with the growing anti-Semitic nationalism from the mid-19th century and especially after the Shoah, they appeared meaningless and useless if not supported by the idea of the Jewish people’s regained independence and freedom. Israel stands for this historically fundamental value of the Jews in modernity: the restauration of a national home for the Jews. That is why Israel has always been opposed by those who do not accept the existence of an independent and free Jewish people, no longer exposed to the irrational and aggressive will of the host countries.

        Regrettably but not surprisingly, this root of evil followed the Jews prior to and after the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. The Arab Palestinians, together with their Arab brethren, chose from the beginning – that shlould be clear, the path of confrontation, conflict and war. A choice sadly fraught with negative consequences, primarily for themselves.

        • Shingo says:

          “Regrettably but not surprisingly, this root of evil followed the Jews prior to and after the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel. ”

          Indeed Jonah,

          The root of evil followed the Jews was the idea that the land in Palestine was there for
          the taking and that the world would turn a blind eye while the Zionists expelled the indigenous population.

          “. . . There are now only five hundred thousand Arabs, who are not very strong, and from whom we shall easily take away the country if only we do it through stratagems [and] without drawing upon us their hostility before we become the strong and populous ones.”
          [Ben-Yehuda and Yehiel Michal Pines, two of the earliest Zionist pioneers in Palestine, October 1882]

          “Palestine proper has already its inhabitants. The pashalik of Jerusalem is already twice as thickly populated as the United States, having fifty-two souls to the square mile, and not 25% of them Jews ….. [We] must be prepared either to drive out by the sword the [Arab] tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedan and accustomed for centuries to despise us.” [Israel Zangwill, 1905]

          Predicably, you are sigunalrly obsessed with the persecution, yet see no problem with the fact that from it’s very inceptino, Zionism embraced the persecutino fo the Palestinians.

          In your sick and facist Ziinist mind, the Palestinians were evil due to the simple fact that they happened to be there and didn’t embrace those who made it abundantly clear would steal their land.

          Thanks for proving yet again that Zionism is antithetical to Judaism.

        • jonah says:

          And this said by a Swindler like you, Shingo, who refers to Hamas and Hetbollah as source, who doesn’t know or ignores deliberately that there were persecutions of Jews in Palestine and ME prior to any Jewish immigration (see Safed massacre of 1843), who distorts facts by citing quotes taken out of the context. Who clearly follows his own agenda.

          Sorry Shingo, I will take you seriously again when you will be able to see beyond your hypocritical biased blinkers – and you will able to provide some reliable sources. I doubt it will ever happen.

        • jonah says:

          Correction: Safed 1834

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Sorry Shingo, I will take you seriously again when you will be able to see beyond your hypocritical biased blinkers – and you will able to provide some reliable sources. I doubt it will ever happen.

          And when should we start taking you seriously, Jonah? When your country stops strip searching six year old children? When you stop breaking ceasefires? When you stop declaring “settlement freezes” in which you never stop bulldozing homes?

  7. yourstruly says:

    A birthright program for American Jews? That’s nonsense since the Palestinians are the only people who have a birthright to Palestine. Not based on dubious so-called sacred writings of unknown authorship but documented family trees. I happened to bring a scroll containing one such family tree back a couple of decades ago from Jerusalem. The Dajani family. It was 12,000 names deep and over a thousand years in length. Yet Dajani family members who were forced out of Palestine 60 years ago by Jewish Israelis are denied the right to return. Thus it is that Zionism, a late 19th century colonial experiment does make land thieves of its practitioners.

  8. Judaism the religion is partially independant of Zionism. The theme of return however is in EVERY prayer book.

    Those that describe Judaism as independant of Zionism, select the metaphor of scripture and ethics, over anything literal. That is a revision of Judaism though, which does value both the literal, metaphorical, figurative and metaphysical interpretations of scripture.

    It is a reasonable application of Judaism to state that one weights the ethical as more relevant, but when one entirely abandons the literal attraction of the holy land, then one is adopting a different religion.

    There has been much discussion of the conditions of the return, what the prerequisites are. Most of the ultra-orthodox take seriously the phrase “IF you keep my commandments, I will give you the rain in its time…”

    The common ideological sequence is that the return will occur in the messianic times, and the prerequisite of the messianic times are adherence to the commandments, and a critical mass of acts of kindness.

    So, that seems to conflict with the current status.

    All sects of ultra-orthodox are critical of Israeli policies relative to Torah. None that I’ve spoken to regard Israeli state behavior as in conformance with Torah. And, most state that there are things that Israeli state is not doing assertively enough, and some things that it is doing unnecessarily harmfully to others.

    Its not simple, and impossible to make simplistic.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      That must be pretty expedient, Witty, to separate yourself from both the outright military slaughter of Arab people by your relatives and the extremist fanaticism of your son. Way to shove your fingers in your ears and hum loudly.

  9. Shmuel- These are the words of Lillian Rosengarten:

    Judaism is an age-old, compassionate humble way of life and opposes the idea of a political state for Jews on grounds of religious beliefs.

    The Zionist ideal is to form a religious state, a Jewish state and to oppress the population of Palestinians. The hallmark of Zionism is harsh nationalism that imposes itself in a completely illegitimate and amoral way on the local population.

    Okay, let’s deal with her statement to see if in fact these words are nuanced or simplistic.

    The first part is true enough: Judaism is old and contains elements which idealize humility. To state that Judaism opposes the idea of a political state for Jews on the ground of religious beliefs is malarkey. That is to take the Gemora of Ketubot and to turn it into an essential factor of Judaism, that even overrides the need to preserve life. Maybe the idea of a political state for the Jews can only overcome the Talmud of Ketubot when there is an overriding need like that which Herzl foresaw and which in fact was very very real. And maybe once that danger passed or was fulfilled and after it was too late, then there is no justification for overriding the Talmudical vows, but to make a statement that Judaism opposes a state, when potentially that state might have saved millions is malarkey. You know that neturei karta also opposed a boycott of Hitler’s Germany as going against the will of God and that their entire attitude was one of passivity and that is definitely taking humility too far. If you share Avraham Burg’s questioning of whether he would have raised up arms in the Warsaw ghetto against the Nazis then I don’t believe you or him. So maybe the Zionists should have chosen Uganda and not Palestine, but the move to take the community’s fate into hand and to do something as a group to try to avoid the freight train that was coming rolling down the tracks was a noble and a good act and was not against Judaism.

    Everything that happened after 1945 can be said to be trying to help the Jews after it was too late and so the fact that Magnes and Buber were individuals and small potatoes compared to Weizman and Ben Gurion, okay, I can’t argue. If she is stating that the essence of Zionism must be based upon the history of Israel rather than the ideals of a few marginal Jews, okay. But the line about it being against Judaism to try to take one’s people’s destiny into one’s hands and not allow passivity to rule the day, I just strenuously object. And if I was condescending, it was because I strenuously object to the idea that attempting to achieve survival is against the tenets of Judaism.

    (Again, after the war in Europe was over, my argument loses its potency.)

    • Antidote says:

      “You know that neturei karta also opposed a boycott of Hitler’s Germany as going against the will of God and that their entire attitude was one of passivity and that is definitely taking humility too far. ”

      I think their argument is that Hitler was the tool of divine punishment for Zionism as a grave violation of Judaism. One doesn’t have to agree with this view to appreciate it’s inherent logic from the perspective of Judaism.

      • antidote- You write- “One doesn’t have to agree with this view to appreciate it’s inherent logic from the perspective of Judaism.” How many hours, days, weeks, months, years or decades have you spent studying Judaism that you can tell me what is inherently logical about this statement from the perspective of Judaism.

        • Antidote says:

          WJ – I’m well aware that there is no such thing as one single and coherent interpretation of Judaism, that wasn’t my point. The three oaths/exile discussed above are certainly one prominent theme, older than Zionism, and cited by neturei karta and other anti-Zionist Jews.
          Zionist arguments against them does not privilege Zionism in any way either, as shmuel already pointed out. Your argument suggests that, prior to Zionist liberation, Jews never abandoned humility to take their fate into their own hands. That’s certainly not the case, but a Zionist myth

        • Antidote- I don’t know what would count as a prominent theme of Judaism. Monotheism, the Torah being given on Mount Sinai, the continuity of the Oral law from the written law, would certainly count. I don’t think the three oaths would count as a prominent theme. Did Maimonides include them in his body of Jewish law? I don’t think so. That indicates something.

          Please cite other examples of Jews taking their fate into their own hands, so I know what you are talking about.

          Herzl (Christmas tree or no Christmas tree, circumcised sons or no circumcised sons) sensed a storm coming. He did something. Neturei karta either sensed a storm coming or not. They did nothing.

    • Bandolero says:

      @wondering jew
      You say:
      “You know that neturei karta also opposed a boycott of Hitler’s Germany”

      As far as I know, non-zionist jew ish groups opposed the Anti-Nazi-Boycott as they found it pouring oil into fire. Their argument was, that the jews in Germany would pay the price of this, because this would inflict even more Anti-semitism in Germany. They wanted to engage instead to demonstrate that jews are not the evil as Nazis thought.

      But for Zionists, the sharp rise of anti-Semitism in Germany meant their dream came true: more and more jews were willing to emigrate to Palestine. To heat anti-semitism up even more as the Nazis had by themselves, some leading zionists did everything they could to pour oil into fire.

      1933: Zur Rolle des Zionisten Stephen Wise (In German)

      And then the Zionists broke the Anti-Nazi-Boycott themselves and struck a deal with Hitler to make emigration to Palestine possiblle to solve “the jewish question”: the transfer agreement (Havara agreement). Nazis and zionist leaders had very similar racist views like segregation instead of assimilation and very similar political goals like making the jews go to Palestine in the 30es in Nazi Germany and they cooperated well together at that time.

      You say:
      “So maybe the Zionists should have chosen Uganda and not Palestine, but the move to take the community’s fate into hand and to do something as a group to try to avoid the freight train that was coming rolling down the tracks was a noble and a good act and was not against Judaism.”

      Neturei Karta has 10 questions to the zionists regarding this “noble and a good act”. Here just one of them:

      IS IT TRUE that during the course of the negotiations mentioned above, Chaim Weitzman, the first “Jewish statesman” stated: “The most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important”. Weitzman’s cohort, Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the observation “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.

      So, is it true?

      To understand further this “noble and a good act” the zionists did, I would recommand reading the “excerpt from Sefer Min Hametzar” also published on the NKUSA site.

      • Bandolero- I have not studied your comments that carefully, but I don’t remember an ounce of concern for anything Jewish other than antiZionism, I don’t remember one jot or tittle of concern with any Jewish concept unless it can be used against Zionism, so why would I answer Neturei Karta’s questions based upon your questions?

        Zionism was a movement that had leaders who said some stupid things. But that does not detract from the essence of the movement, which was indeed to make a move to establish autonomy so as to take the fate of the Jewish people and place it in the hands of the Jewish people. In fact, Zionism came too late to do much but save a few hundred thousand Jews rather than the millions that it might have saved if it had happened fifty years earlier and if it hadn’t required the closing of the gates of USA to achieve its critical mass. by the 1930′s when the quote from Greenbaum was uttered, the situation was critical and if the Zionist leaders made some faulty decisions in that time of pressure, that does not detract from the idea of attempting to tackle the problems of survival head on.

        But people who have not a shred of sympathy for anything Jewish except for Neturei Karta and only cite Jewish history for the purpose of proving Zionism’s faults and for no other purpose, I don’t see why I should engage with you.

  10. Bandolero says:

    @wondering jew
    “I have not studied your comments that carefully”
    I see this.

    “Zionism was a movement that had leaders who said some stupid things.”
    It’s not some stupid things said by some leaders. It’s the very racist idea of Zionism of blood and soil, what’s stupid: to create a state on racial principes by ethnic cleansing of an indogenious population.

    “In fact, Zionism came too late to do much but save a few hundred thousand Jews rather than the millions”
    Zionism came not too late to rescue but was one of the causes for the death of millions. Inherit in zionism is the logic to create more anti-semitism to make jews seperate and emigrate to Palestine.

    “if it hadn’t required the closing of the gates of USA to achieve its critical mass”
    Yes, that’s what zionism achieved – the closing of the rescuing gates for the sake of the construction of a racial state in Palestine.

    “by the 1930’s when the quote from Greenbaum was uttered”
    The quote is not by the 1930’s, but from the middle of the holocaust.

    “the situation was critical”
    That’s true, the zionists saw the situation as “very critical” then. See in Min Hametzar what the zionist Jewish Agency answered Rabbi Michael Ber Weismandel in the middle of the holocaust, when he asked them to help the jews in Europe:

    The Zionist agent “diplomat” comes to Czechoslovakia and says ‘Now is a very critical time. But comparatively speaking, it is not at all critical for you trapped Jews. For there is an emergency of far greater proportions; namely, BINYAN HA-ARETZ (the prize of Modinat Yisrael). Shed your blood cheerfully, for your blood is cheap. But for your blood, the Land (of Israel) will be ours!

    “people who have not a shred of sympathy for anything Jewish except for Neturei Karta”
    That’s simply not true. I guess you’re trapped in your prejudices.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Bandolero- I have not studied your comments that carefully,

      You know, I should have been bookmarking every single time a Zionist says, “I haven’t read X…”

      Then again, it’s not as if the comment system would allow me to place dozens of links into one entry.