Revenge of the Nerds: Partying with the boys of Im Tirtzu

Israel/Palestine
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The faces, and t-shirts, of the "second Zionist revolution." (Photo: Im Tirtzu)

Fresh off a campaign of nationwide intimidation against the New Israel Fund, countless damaging personal attacks against leftists and professors condemned as insufficiently Zionist, and an endorsement from Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar, the self-proclaimed “moderate” student group Im Tirtzu gathered for a night of celebration. The venue was “Theodore,” a swanky bar in the wealthy Tel Aviv suburb of Herzilya named for the man who Im Tirtzu claims as the inspiration for its “Second Zionist Revolution:” Theodore Herzl. The evening’s agenda: to fire up the troops for the upcoming boycott targeting Ben Gurion University’s supposedly anti-Zionist faculty.

At the door of the bar stood a glowering young man munching on a slice of pizza. He was Erez Tadmor, Im Tirtzu’s director of media relations. Tadmor approached us and asked who we were. We described ourselves as clueless Jewish American tourists who were simply curious about his student group. “We just heard there was some kind of party here,” we said in English.

Without bothering to introduce himself, Tadmor discussed his man-size persecution complex. “At Hebrew University I did so much damage to the professors I can’t even walk around freely on campus anymore,” he remarked. “Most of the academics here are anti-Israel and anti-Zionist. They have the audacity to say that Israel is an apartheid state, that we’re colonizers, that we kill kids. And so we are simply trying to defend our Zionist values against what they’re doing.”

Despite the subversive culture on campus, Tadmor was confident he would crush the evil-doers: “The elites are on the losing side. They only represent like 3 percent of the population who are radical leftist. But we have 70 to 80 percent of the people on our side.”

Who is Tadmor? The scion of the only secular family in the fanatical Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, Tadmor now lives in the settlement of Efrat with his wife and two children. He made his name directing the student cell that fought the evacuation of the settlement Gush Katif, then turned his attention to assailing cultural critics of Israeli maximalism. “The [Oscar-nominated Israeli film] Waltz With Bashir is a vehicle to destroy Zionism,” Tadmor once declared. “The director should have made a film about Herzl in the place of this.”

In an interview with Maariv, a leading Israeli newspaper, Tadmor admitted to stealing small-scale explosives and ammunition magazines from the army during his service. Despite insisting that he needed the weapons for “personal security,” Tadmor was stripped of his rank and slapped with a 45-day prison sentence for “breaking the trust” of the army.

During Operation Cast Lead, Tadmor orchestrated a series of violent confrontations between Im Tirtzu activists and Palestinian Israeli students at Hebrew University. An Im Tirtzu banner warned the Arab students, “We will burn your villages and see you during our reserve duty.” Tadmor was implicated for physically attacking female students who called him a “Nazi.” The riots sparked by Tadmor and Im Tirtzu were only quelled when university administrators demanded the deployment of Border Police and special Yassam forces on campus.

After chatting with Tadmor, two Im Tirtzu activists approached us to discuss campus politics in the United States. One of them, a chubby, slouching young man with a crew cut, asked, “Have you ever read ‘The Professors’ by David Horowitz? Horowitz was a former leftist so he knows the truth about the left in your country.” With his failed “Academic Bill of Rights” campaign, which would have allowed conservative students to sue their professors, and his annual “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” the ex-Stalinist Horowitz seemed like a natural role model for Im Tirtzu’s McCarthyite missions.

Tamir Kafri1Tamir Kafri, Ben Gurion University campus coordinator for Im Tirtzu.

The other activist, Tamir Kafri, a bespectacled and chipper student with a long ponytail and newly budding facial hair, mentioned another American inspiration: “You should read the book, ‘Liberal Fascism,’” Tamir said, referring to neocon writer Jonah Goldberg’s screed linking American liberalism to Hitlerian fascists. “I’m not saying all liberals are fascists, but on campus here in Israel, the liberal professors really are.”

Tamir led us inside and perched beside us at the bar. As dozens of his comrades filed in, Tamir ordered a pony size Goldstar and opened up about the struggle he was waging as coordinator of Im Tirtzu at Ben Gurion University.

Tamir dismissed the hundreds of thousands of donations pumped into Im Tirtzu’s coffers each year by the apocalyptic Christian Zionist preacher Pastor John Hagee, who has said the anti-Christ would be “half-Jewish, as Hitler was.” “Who cares about who takes the money?” Tamir said. “People should focus on the donors and not on us. Like this neo-Nazi American pastor [John Hagee]. He’s the idiot! He’s giving all his money to a bunch of ZIonist Jews in Israel!”

As the beer flowed, Tamir entertained us with his opinions on everything from Zionism to domestic violence.

Tamir on campus politics: “[The Israeli communist party] Hadash is a bunch of pro-Palestinian radicals. But we’ve worked with Meretz. We even have some members of Meretz in our movement. They are the sensible left. They’re Zionists, not radicals.”

On the left: “Radical leftists are like gunpowder. By itself it’s harmless but next to a gun it becomes violently dangerous.”

On the Palestinians: “Actually there is no such thing as a Palestinian. Really. You know, the idea of the Palestinians was invented in the 1970’s?”

On the Eden Abergil photos: “The pictures were just funny. Face it.”

On Zionism: “Zionism is about securing a Jewish state where human rights are unconditional for everyone, including Arabs, but civil rights are conditional, based on someone’s loyalty to the recognition of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist state… I even know a couple Muslim Zionists. Like my friend from the army, he was Druze and he went to jail because he beat his cousin so badly.” Why did he beat his cousin? “Because he said he shouldn’t be fighting for Israel.”

On feminism: “I’m a true feminist. If a woman hits me I’ll hit her back just as hard. That’s feminism!”

While Tamir continued riffing, we looked around and noticed an almost total absence of women in the bar. Indeed, the bartender seemed to be the only member of the female gender interacting with the dozens of Im Tirtzu activists hunched over the bar. “Were any women invited your party?” we asked our new friend. “Because this is starting to look like the mother of all sausage-fests.”

Tamir looked around nervously, then exclaimed, “People show up late in Israel because we have no last call.”

20 minutes later, a woman appeared. But she was just the wife of Tamir’s pal, a short, bookish-looking character, who greeted him with a hearty bear hug. “This guy acted with me in the Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Tamir said about his friend, referring to the 70’s era British drag-show that has become popular across Israel.

“I actually had to borrow a corset from my wife for the show!” the friend told us with a giggle.

Besides working as a genetic engineer at the Weissman Institute, Tamir’s friend was a front-line soldier in the Im Tirtzu struggle. He said he became enraged when he saw an art exhibition in the city of Holon that depicted Israeli army helicopters bombing civilians and humiliating Palestinians at checkpoints. He immediately called Im Tirtzu founder Ronen Shoval to complain. The next day, he was a full-fledged activist.

“If the army did this sort of thing, it would be okay, because the art would have been factual,” the friend remarked. “But the army doesn’t do that! I was in the infantry so I know.”

tamir kafri 1Im Tirtzu’s Tamir Kafri, performing in a production of "Rocky Horror?" (Photo: Kafri’s Facebook profile)

Despite his indignation, the friend was intent on talking about the Rocky Horror Picture Show production he and Tamir starred in. “You know what the play really was?” he said to Tamir. “It was a hook-up scene for geeks!” They burst into mischievous laughter, as though they were watching scrambled porn while their mother did laundry in the basement.

Tamir related one of his favorite Rocky Horror-related conquests. “There was a radical leftist girl who acted with us in the play,” he recalled.

“She was so radical she thought Noam Chomsky was a fascist!” the friend interjected.

“Yeah, so anyway, I fucked her one night,” Tamir boasted. “And while I was fucking her, I said, ‘Oh you’re so against Israel, and the occupation is so evil. Okay!’ Then, as soon as I came, I pulled out and said, ‘Sorry, no orgasm for you!”

At this moment, as we glanced around the room full of twenty-something guys huddled around on couches, fiddling with their cellphones and exchanging jocular back-slaps, we gained a new understanding of Im Tirtzu’s essential function. The movement was not only a street-level proxy for rightist forces in the government. It also served as a social sanctuary for aimless young men unable to locate productive outlets for their pent-up post-army aggressions. Long sessions of Playstation and back issues of Maxim were simply not enough for the rejects of Israel’s warrior class. They needed a glorious battle — even if the targets were defenseless and marginalized. And so they have identified enemies in every faculty lounge and editorial page, hoping to quell their sense of isolation by defining themselves as heroic Zionists waging jihad against the “elitist” fringe. Their sensitivity to “anti-Zionist bias” is in fact a projection of their own psychological insecurity.

Im Tirtzu has been portrayed by critics as a fearsome gang of dangerous thugs, but in the more casual setting of the Theodore bar, we saw the movement for what it really was: a well-financed dork squad.

After Ronen Shoval gave a speech announcing the coming onslaught against Ben Gurion University — “My grandmother was so proud to see us on the front page of Ha’aretz!” he announced — we noticed two young women downing shots of liquor across the bar. We went over to meet them.

“Are you guys with Im Tirtzu?” we asked.

“You mean the disgusting fascists?” one of them snapped.

“We hate them!” the other one said.

After a long interview process that included the examination of our ID cards, they established that we were not members of the “fascist” crowd. Only then did they invite us to drink with them.

The women eventually apologized for vetting us, explaining that an Im Tirtzu member seated beside them at the bar had attempted to chat them up earlier in the evening.

One of the women grabbed the Im Tirtzu activist’s arm and shouted at him, “Are you ready to stop being a narrow-minded racist? Then you can talk to us.”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author based in New York City. Joseph Dana is a writer and filmmaker living in Jerusalem.

38 Responses

  1. annie
    August 20, 2010, 2:10 pm

    wow, max and joseph..this is awesome. i laughed so many times. i love you!

    on a related note coteret has a post up on this issue.

    Hudson Inst primary financial backer of NGO behind campaign to purge Israeli universities of “leftists”

    connecting the dots to Im Tirtzu.

    • bookwoman
      August 20, 2010, 5:06 pm

      From a recent Ha’aretz article by Yossi Sarid:

      “Fear is doing its job. And after all, that was the main purpose of the report – to intimidate institutes of higher education, and not only them. And indeed, some have already been intimidated. The president of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Joseph Klafter, has asked to examine the syllabi of his university’s sociology courses, lest they be stigmatized as anti-patriotic.

      That is precisely what the destroyers are counting on – the fear they sow, and the calculations university presidents will make to prevent the flow of donations from suddenly drying up.

      This is not a time for hesitant, stuttering responses; it’s a time to stand up and speak clearly. And anyone who is afraid to say the following should go home, and not undermine his colleagues’ courage:

      * A thought police will not arise on college campuses.

      Lecturers will be hired, or not, solely on the basis of their academic talents and achievements.

      Quotas will not be established for lecturers based on their views, nor will there be an artificial and arbitrary balance between leftists and rightists.

      No external political organization will be allowed to dictate course syllabi and reading lists.

      The voice of the masses will not be the voice of academia; no views will be banned because they cannot pass the Knesset’s electoral threshold. That is what we learned from our teachers and from history, and that is what we will continue to teach.

      Like the Torah, Zionism has 70 faces, and each of us has the right to chose the face he prefers. If the face of Zionism resembles that of Im Tirtzu and its funders, we should consider a face transplant. And if the Ariel college, for example, claims exclusive ownership of modern-day Zionism, than we will be post-post-Zionists.

      But in fairness, the warning must be given in time: When Israeli academia is besmirched and slandered, it is liable to capitulate and include the science of occupation on its syllabus. And only unabashed rightists, top patriots will teach this course – a supreme contribution to the glory of the State of Israel, its global legitimacy and the effort to prevent imposition of a boycott.”

      The Im Tirtzu characters may be pathetic failures (although I fail to see the humor in any of this) but they are also dangerous, as witness Sarid’s article. And by the way, his last paragraph indicates that Israeli university administrations and professors are just as cowardly as their American counterparts.

    • Sumud
      August 20, 2010, 6:41 pm

      Deadpan Max yesterday tweeted:

      link to twitter.com

  2. potsherd
    August 20, 2010, 3:36 pm

    What I wish is that someone would make a comprehensive chart of all these institutes and organizations, and the billionaires that fund them, and the hate groups they funnel the funds to.

    A complete portrait of the octopus with its tentacles mapped.

    • MRW
      August 20, 2010, 5:57 pm

      This is a brilliant suggestion. potsherd, especially if it ties in all the US taxpayer-supported non-profits here like the Hudson Institute annie mentions. That coteret post is an eye-opener, well at least for me.

      So Hagee supports Im Tirtzu….

    • Chu
      August 20, 2010, 7:22 pm

      I’ve said this before. great freakin idea!
      all the news media speak of is if Barak Obama is Muslim.
      Can this be anymore pathetic? They all bite when
      they drop the fish food into the tank. so freakin sad…

    • lareineblanche
      August 21, 2010, 10:47 am

      American Enterprise Institute
      Ariel Center for Policy Research
      Center for Security Policy
      Christians United for Israel
      Committee on the Present Danger <<<——
      Emergency Committee for Israel
      Foundation for Defense of Democracies
      Hudson Institute
      Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (the "Clean Break" manifesto)
      Jerusalem Summit
      Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
      Middle East Forum
      National Institute for Public Policy
      One Jerusalem
      Project for the New American Century
      U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon
      UN Watch
      Washington Institute for Near East Policy
      etc.

      look here :
      link to rightweb.irc-online.org

      What you'll find is that there are extensive ties between the armament industry (Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, etc.) and the people on the boards of these "think tanks", and that there is equally a lot of overlap between them – and in general a militaristic, far-right neoconservative ideologies with ties to Likudnik, expansionist ideas in Israel, along with a general philosophy of a obsession with the "war on terror", anti-Islamic rhetoric (conflating with Palestinians), and a general disdain for human rights organizations and the UN. It seems the whole point for many of them is to replace the USSR with "global jihad" as the new cold war global threat. Dangerous ideologues.

      As far as money and donations, if you want to roll up your sleeves and do the dirty work of mapping things out in a more precise way, be my guest (or maybe it's been done already by people like Jim Lobe, I don't know).

      • potsherd
        August 21, 2010, 11:12 am

        Someone must have done it, I’d think.

  3. Formerly T-Bear
    August 20, 2010, 3:40 pm

    This may be interesting from The Guardian:

    link to guardian.co.uk

    another dot to connect.

    • annie
      August 20, 2010, 5:36 pm

      a course in “Zionist editing” for Wikipedia

      i’m so shocked. i went over there to review the latest border skirmish in lebanon, totally the zionist perspective.

    • munro
      August 20, 2010, 5:42 pm

      zit face ziopaths are also busy scrubbing lebanese ancestry from popular search names like farrah fawcett and terry hatcher.

    • rmokhtar
      August 21, 2010, 3:30 am

      “We don’t want to give this arena to the other side,” she said. “But we are so few and they are so many. People in the US and Europe never hear about Israel’s side, with all the correct arguments and explanations.”

      ….

      What?

      Sorry, I think I’m in Bizarro World. Wake me up when it’s all over.

      • potsherd
        August 21, 2010, 10:22 am

        Israel needs to send Eden Abergil on a goodwill tour to get across the correct arguments and explanations for Israel’s side.

  4. Colin Murray
    August 20, 2010, 3:50 pm

    These guys are boorish and pathetic lunatics. The only thing keeping them from qualifying as complete losers is their success at raising funds from successful lunatics like Hagee. What kind of state allows them assault rifles?

    Of course we should keep in mind that Hitler’s Brownshirts were largely social malfunctions when they started out, attracting a more socially respectable (in the eyes of a larger portion of the general population) following later. I wonder how much support Im Tirtzu has in Israel, and from whom.

    • azythos
      August 20, 2010, 8:53 pm

      Colin Murray – “I wonder how much support Im Tirtzu has in Israel, and from whom.”

      The Government, all its departments including especially the Propaganda Department, and the owners of the Government (i.e. the US-based “Israel lobby”), not to mention 95% of the population (as shown by repeated polls.)

      And, well, what a strange question. As if this group of so-typical Nazi rags weren’t the very quintessence of Zionism and Zionists (“boorish and pathetic lunatics” is a good description of all) but “losers” they are not. They collect our money under US Gov duress, and they dispossess and kill and maim the owners of the land, in full impunity. Not a definition of “losing”.

  5. bookwoman
    August 20, 2010, 4:23 pm

    To a European this is all familiar, in principle as well as behavior, bringing to mind the extreme right-wing student associations of Germany and Austria during the 1930s, whose members would harass fellow students (Jewish) as well as Jewish professors. Watching what Israel is turning into, step by step, is absolutely fascinating for anyone who knows something about Germany during the inter-war years.

    • MRW
      August 20, 2010, 6:59 pm

      bookwoman,

      Dr. William Cook, in an interview last Saturday promoting his book of essays by various writers describing the 65-year genocide of the Palestine people, he describes the following at about 20 min. This is from Le Monde Diplomatique in May, 2010.

      […] Sir Richard C Catling, deputy head of the special branch of the Criminal Investigation division in Jerusalem in 1944 and then Assistant Inspector General, left us a file that provides insight into conditions in Jerusalem at the time. Catling’s Top Secret file lay untouched in the Rhodes House archives of the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University until I received permission to cite its contents two years ago (1). Two documents stand out (the file has 62 appendices of evidence totalling close to 500 pages). The first is a dispatch sent to the Secretary of State, dated 16 October 1941, by the High Commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, labelled “Most Secret”. The second is a “Top Secret” Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence, prepared by the Criminal Investigation division headquarters, the Palestine Police, Jerusalem, dated 31 July 1947.

      With the scholarly work of the Israeli new historians Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris, plus Catling’s records, the truth surrounding the creation of the state of Israel becomes clearer: the Jewish Agency provisional government did not accept the Jewish state designated under UN resolution 181 with the intention of abiding by the General Assembly goal of providing a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine. Rather, it sought to use it as a means of gaining control of all the land and ridding it of its indigenous people so far as possible.

      At 38 min., Cook describes the Zionist intentions and procedures (which were in use by 1938 according to Catling, referenced in more detail elsewhere, google it). The docs Catling seized from the Jewish Agency reveals the intent of the the Jewish High Command to get rid of the British govt in Mandate Palestine and control the British govt in London. They thought this would accomplish their goal, which was to have all of Palestine become the Jewish state. Cooks says that, according to the papers, the British people supported a ‘homeland for the Jews’, not a state. They deny, specifically, in the papers that they ever approved a Jewish state in Palestine.

      What was really fascinating to me was that the Jewish Agency set up a clandestine govt that operated against the authorized UN British mandate forces, long before Israel was formed, and their modus operandiwere (was?) six things:
      (1) maintenance of a secret army, an espionage system
      (2) smuggling, theft and manufacture of arms
      (3) illegal immigration
      (4) violence and civil disobedience [got that, Witty?]
      (5) seditious and hostile propaganda
      (6) encroachment upon the civil rights of Jewish citizens

      As Dr. Cook remarks: Mafia techniques. I remark they’re still doing it.

      The Zionists were accused of doing this in Germany and Europe before WWII erupted in full force, specifically with Hitler’s govt approval, but people who say this are marginalized. The full set of docs ought to make interesting reading when they are released.

      Interview here: link to edwardrynearson.wordpress.com

      Le Monde here: link to mondediplo.com
      ________________________________
      (1) Sir Richard C Catling, Personal Classified “Top Secret” files, Rhodes House Library Archives, #145. Mss. Medit. S 20 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Appendices circa 475 pages of seized documents, Bodleian Libraries. Oxford.

      • MRW
        August 20, 2010, 7:11 pm

        Just to be clear, the “this” in The Zionists were accused of doing this in Germany and Europe was “encroachment upon the civil rights of Jewish citizens.”

  6. syvanen
    August 20, 2010, 5:06 pm

    I recall beginning in the late 70s and through the 80s many of the Americans who immigrated to Israel to settle in the WB. For those who I some knowledge they were definitely societies misfits. It was very easy to ridicule them. However, they were not harmless as subsequent events have shown. Call it the revenge of the nerds, for they have certainly caused some serious damage. These jerks could easily find themselves in leadership positions in coming decades but now they would have access to nukes to play with.

  7. rosemerry
    August 20, 2010, 5:12 pm

    It really seems strange to have this in Israel. In the USA this has been going on for so long (Paul Findley’s “They Dare to Speak Out” dates from the 1980’s or earlier) that very few non-Zionists could get tenure in universities, and there were spies in many classes.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    August 20, 2010, 5:39 pm

    RE: “Long sessions of Playstation and back issues of Maxim were simply not enough…”
    MY COMMENT: Lol!

  9. lareineblanche
    August 20, 2010, 6:30 pm

    Tamir dismissed the hundreds of thousands of donations pumped into Im Tirtzu’s coffers each year by the apocalyptic Christian Zionist preacher Pastor John Hagee, who has said the anti-Christ would be “half-Jewish, as Hitler was.” “Who cares about who takes the money?” Tamir said. “People should focus on the donors and not on us. Like this neo-Nazi American pastor [John Hagee]. He’s the idiot! He’s giving all his money to a bunch of ZIonist Jews in Israel!”

    This expresses for me the inherent perversity of the situation ; a known antisemitic demagogue funding these young, manipulated kids who scorn him while simultaneously taking his money.

    I’ve been watching recently people like Hagee, Palin, Frank Gaffney Jr. (Center for Security Policy), Gingrich, Pam Geller, Horowitz, etc. It really is mind boggling to see them all “making it up as they go along”, and I can’t help but feel a little sorry for them (well, *not* Gaffney). Especially Horowitz and Geller, who really seem to be channeling some sort of otherworldly absurdity – I really don’t think they believe everything they’re saying, it’s just too outrageous.
    Horowitz seems to pull all of his arguments out of a hat, like an out-of-work magician on a street corner somewhere whipping out all sorts of multicolored and deformed rabbits. Like he’s suffered some sort of serious trauma, and we’re seeing the sequels of it. I guess the main thing I feel for the people that are falling for these charades, and especially for the main agitators is pity.

  10. MRW
    August 20, 2010, 7:07 pm

    Max, wonderful article, and great reporting.

  11. Chu
    August 20, 2010, 7:15 pm

    Th shirts are seriously misdirected. Let’s copy the Che Guevara T-shirts that we saw on the streets, only these shirts are fascist, not leftis. should say “we craete this crew, so we can take a break from playing video games at home.

    Nice catch Max and Jo, for bad fashion statements. funny read and hysterical. well done. You guys should do a Borat collective type crew there. That would blow away Ali-G’s racist bloodhound hunt here in US and A! There’s a need to inject some humor in this quietly censored discussion of why we support Im Turtzu.

    ‘Sorry, no orgasm for you!”-that speaks for itself!!!

  12. piotr
    August 20, 2010, 8:34 pm

    What invariably puzzles me is when people like Jonah Goldberg carp that liberals are fascist. Given their worldview, does it mean that liberals are good guys after all?

    • Edward Q
      August 21, 2010, 6:51 am

      piotr,

      You can also wonder how self-described “small government” people can support our massive miltary system. They basicly use whatever half-baked argument is convenient at the time. Johnathan Schwarz at Tiny Revolution or Glenn Greenwald are fond of exposing their serial contradictions. How dumb is Pam Geller, for example, for claiming Barak Obama’s father is Malcom X? And death panels or terror babies??? These people have been trained not to reason. I think this situation has developed because there are no immediate negative consequences for this stupidity. A corallary of this is that our government is pursueing equally rediculous policies. Here is another crazy example:

      link to physics.about.com

  13. Edward Q
    August 20, 2010, 9:53 pm

    This reminds me of a passage in the memior of Victor Weisskopf where he wrote in passing about the drunken howling of gangs of Nazi students on his college campus at night.

  14. Palmyra
    August 21, 2010, 3:00 am

    Rocky Horror? In 2010?

    Suddenly the Zohan doesn’t seem as cartoonish.

    But seriously, this Hagee handjob is just a miniscule conformation of what everyone knows has been going on. The perpetually verklempt Don Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s On The Wings Of Eagles has been working this circuit for so much longer. And actually he’s the smarter one…an infomercialist doing it purely for the cash, despite his Israeli citizenship – circa 2002.

    • Palmyra
      August 21, 2010, 3:15 am

      (ooowee, where’s the Mondoweiss spellchecker?)

      Srsly he cries more than Swaggart.

  15. Rowan
    August 21, 2010, 5:06 am

    I cannot believe these people didn’t recognise Max. His distinctive ‘chinless wonder’ profile must be known from Dan to Beersheva.

  16. Gaius Baltar
    August 21, 2010, 8:52 am

    They’d look better in their brown shirts.

  17. Mooser
    August 21, 2010, 9:48 am

    Censorship, Jonah? You mean there is even worse stuff about these fakers Mondoweiss isn’t allowed to say? Well, don’t hold back, Jonah, tell us what you know!
    You’ll notice that the article draws no conclusions about their intelligence, but you came along and that bit of discretion goes out the window.

  18. Mooser
    August 21, 2010, 9:50 am

    “errata corrige: fanatically desperate”

    Don’t worry Jonah, even with the misspelling, it’s pretty obvious.

  19. potsherd
    August 21, 2010, 10:20 am

    “Stalinist censorship” would seem to describe Im Tirtzu to a Tirt. Obviously Zionism has come to fanatically desperate straits.

    • jonah
      August 21, 2010, 12:19 pm

      Mooser,
      not to publish a sober analysis by the Israeli scholar Yoram Hazony about the European/Western anti-Israel bias in response to comment 16 above is in my opinion pure Stalinist censorship, which fears the slightest dissent. Nothing to add to this.

      • piotr
        August 23, 2010, 12:55 pm

        For a sober analysis, Hazony is weepy (they do not like it), meandering (Kant and Hapsburgs did not like nation states), astonishingly one sided, and finally, rather funny on the prescriptive side.

        Descriptive side: Israel is a victim of a paradigm shift, against the idea of nation state, not unlike there was a paradigm shift against geo-centrism, or against non-relativist mechanics. Prescriptive: write some books to undo the paradigm shift. So, why not skip geo-centrism and go all the way back to flat earth? In the case of Israel, we can skip the “nation state” idea and go back to “promised land for chosen people”. After all, the Covenant, as I figured by the means of Google, has no revocation clauses.

        More to the point, I cannot figure out if the goal of undoing the paradigm shift is convincing European that “nation state is a damn good thing”, or preventing Israeli from catching the “universalist” disease? Then we have unresolved issues like — can you have a paradigm in one country only?

        The only conclusion that is clear is that Hazony should get a grant to write another book.

  20. hobbyist
    August 21, 2010, 11:58 pm

    What a perfect cover….

    Tadmor approached us and asked who we were. We described ourselves as clueless Jewish American tourists who were simply curious about his student group. “We just heard there was some kind of party here,” we said in English.

    A classic line.

  21. potsherd
    August 23, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Here’s a twist on this story! Hagee is cutting Im Tirtzu’s funding because they’re boycotting an Israeli institution.
    link to haaretz.com

    Im Tirtzu, the organization that threatened Ben-Gurion University with a donor boycott because of their “anti-Zionist” bias, has lost at lease one funding source over the highly publicized row.

    The spokesman for Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a U.S. based pro-Israel organization run by Pastor John Hagee, hinted to Haaretz on Monday that they will no longer give money to Im Tirtzu. The potential funding cutoff will be a big change from the 100,000 dollars that CUFI donated to Im Tirtzu in 2009.

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