Zionist seeks to wrap all Jews in the nationalist flag

Israel/Palestine
on 55 Comments

Andrew Sullivan is great. He knows that Zionism represents one of the greatest challenges in history right now; he is surely opposed to it at a deep level. He has surely come to understand that as Communism was exposed for a failure in the 50’s, Zionism has long since reached that moment and only the American Establishment is hanging on this time. But he has to do this work gently. So here’s Sullivan’s quote of the day (thanks to Voskamp):

“There is only one solution to this enigma: it is not that the US fundamentalists have changed, it is that Zionism itself has paradoxically come to adopt some antisemitic logic in its hatred of Jews who do not fully identify with the politics of the state of Israel. Their target, the figure of the Jew who doubts the Zionist project, is constructed in the same way as the European antisemites constructed the figures of the Jew – he is dangerous because he lives among us, but is not really one of us,” – Slavoj Žižek.

Then, balancing, and saying some people find this a little too much to bear, Sullivan links to Mark Gardner, who  justifies Zionism as the great work of Jews, and attacks anti-Zionists as anti-Semites. Truly dangerous statements here, from a Zionist, wrapping all Jews in the nationalist flag:–and notice the special guardianship role to be played by the Israel lobby:


A 2010 survey by Jewish Policy Research examined the real interconnection between Jews and Zionists and Israel; and showed why the border between hatred of Jews, Zionism and Israel can be so porous.

  • 72% of British Jews self-categorise as “Zionists”
  • 82% of British Jews say Israel plays a “central” or “important but not central role in their Jewish identities”
  • 87% of British Jews agree “that Jews are responsible for ensuring ‘the survival of Israel’”
  • 54% of British Jews who do not self-categorise as “Zionists” nevertheless agree “that Jews are responsible for ensuring ‘the survival of Israel”
  • 62% of self-described Zionists agree that Israel should give up land for peace
  • 78% of British Jews believe in a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict

These figures demonstrate the hurt that is caused to ordinary Jews when “anti-Zionists” push their dehumanised and demonised perversions of the word “Zionism”.

55 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    August 13, 2011, 10:32 am

    Zionism is no failure. Likud Zionism is a failure.

    Self-determination is a jewel on the planet. You don’t agree?

    • Cliff
      August 13, 2011, 10:50 am

      Zionism is a racist, colonialist movement.

      There is no Jewish State without the expulsion of the Palestinian people. Without their societies destruction. Without their dispossession. Without their subjugation – the Zionist project does not function.

      Zionism is a destabilizing logic that says Jews – out of Jewishness – anywhere have the right to colonize land that is already inhabited by non-Jews.

      Zionism is thus, racism. Stop hijacking threads, Dick.

      • Richard Witty
        August 13, 2011, 2:36 pm

        I’m very glad that Israel was born.

        Now that it is born, I want it to live well, kindly, justly.

        Pending contested claims deserve to be heard by a non-biased court, so that justice may be done.

        It won’t happen by politically motivated ideological logic, or prejudicial condemnation.

      • eljay
        August 13, 2011, 4:29 pm

        >> I’m very glad that Israel was born.
        >> Now that it is born, I want it to live well, kindly, justly.
        >> Pending contested claims deserve to be heard by a non-biased court, so that justice may be done.
        >> It won’t happen by politically motivated ideological logic, or prejudicial condemnation.

        It also won’t happen as long as Israel continues with its ON-GOING and OFFENSIVE (i.e., non-defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. Something it has the power to halt immediately and completely.

      • RoHa
        August 13, 2011, 10:39 pm

        “I’m very glad that Israel was born.”

        Why? It has been a source of evil and misery for its entire existence.
        Is that what gladdens you?

      • Chaos4700
        August 14, 2011, 1:19 am

        You are very glad that five hundred Palestinian villages were wiped off the map so that Jews could have Jews-only communities? Fancy that.

      • pjdude
        August 14, 2011, 9:05 pm

        Israel can not exist justly.

        funny how you want the palestinians to have claims in unbiased courts but to be kicked out of their homes and have their property stolen biased courts are just fine and dandy. the fairest thing would be to have the thieves(israelis) attempt to prove legit ownership in court. if they can’t it goes to the real owner.

    • justicewillprevail
      August 13, 2011, 11:29 am

      Self-determination is not the same as selfish determination which involves wiping another country off the map. That ain’t no jewel. It ain’t even self-determination, it is colonialism and theft. More myth making and piss taking from RW.

      OT: read about the brave Lebanese women removing the deliberately sown seeds of Zionist destruction here:

      link to guardian.co.uk

      then tell us about how that is self-determination

    • annie
      August 13, 2011, 12:02 pm

      Self-determination is a jewel on the planet. You don’t agree?

      how are you defining self determination richard? could you answer that with a source, a link please. unless it is a self defined self determination.

      i am grateful for the declaration of human rights. You don’t agree?

      Article 30.

      Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

      or do you think one persons self defined self determination allows them to strip another of their human rights?

    • libra
      August 13, 2011, 12:34 pm

      RW: “Zionism is no failure. Likud Zionism is a failure.”

      Given that “Likud Zionism” is the dominant brand driving Israel to disaster, how exactly would you categorise “Liberal Zionism”?

      Richard, you are like an old communist still only admitting Stalinism to be a failure when everyone else knows the whole, damn ideology is a bust.

      • Richard Witty
        August 13, 2011, 2:34 pm

        Self-determination is as the word describes, a community (however defined, whether geographically or socially), self-governs in contrast to being governed by an “other”.

        There is much confusion over the declaration that Israel is “the” Jewish state, as if that somehow implies that one is not part of the Jewish community, Jewish people, if one lives elsewhere. Some prominent liberal Zionists have stated that publicly, Yehoshua for example.

        But, Israel is more accurately “a” Jewish homeland. Definitely Israel is the only place on the planet currently in which there is a distinctively Jewish identity. In contrast, in the US, Jews may be religiously Jewish or residually or culturally Jewish, but nationally American.

        It does mean something different, citizenship vs national.

        Unless you regard nationalism as an evil, then the Israeli, even the Jewish nation, is not an evil.

        Again, as all nations experience a tension between democracy and nationalism, Israel does as well. Palestine does as well.

        Someone raised a question of what would happen if an Israeli desired to buy land and build a home in Ramallah. I think the question was a baiting one, implying that a Jew could. A couple years ago though, there was a prominent, timed, case in which a Palestinian that had sold some land to Jews (not on the basis of them being Israelis), had been prosecuted in a closed political trial, and then executed. (Maybe the angers stemmed from additional stimuli, but the law was affirmed. No apology by Fatah for example was offered.)

        That tells me that Israel requires reform, so that in the tension of national and democratic, it emphasizes the democratic overwhelmingly, and similarly in Palestine.

        In all settings, ideological zeal is the common thread that is used to justify emphasizing the national (political) over the democratic.

      • annie
        August 13, 2011, 3:17 pm

        as all nations experience a tension between democracy and nationalism

        not really. only another ethnic nationalist country would have that problem.

        Self-determination is as the word describes, a community (however defined, whether geographically or socially), self-governs in contrast to being governed by an “other”.

        yeah well that’s interesting. could you, as an example, direct me to another community whose self determination requires them to govern people who want no part of them? don’t you think it is a little hypocritical when your self determination includes governing the “other” . do you put blinders on when you inferl jewish self determination as a jewel on the planet or do you cherish apartheid so much you reference it as jewel like?

        maybe you are just compartmentalizing and denying zionism (jewish self determination) is being manifested on top of someone else’s homeland denying them their basic human rights. there’s nothing jewel like about that. or do you think there is?

      • justicewillprevail
        August 13, 2011, 3:58 pm

        RW’s concept of ‘self-determination’ is nonsense. Occupation of another people is not self-determination. The only people who can legitimately lobby for self-determination are the Palestinians, since they are the ones who are denied it by Israel. Israel is self-obsessed and ruthlessly opposed to any group other than Jews self-determining their future. Self-determination in RW’s logic is a ruse to occupy, steal and dispossess another people who have done nothing to warrant such violence except exist. Denial of another’s existence is hardly self-determination. Or is any cultural or social group entitled to arm themselves and expel the people who don’t belong on the basis that they must have their ‘self-determination’?

      • Richard Witty
        August 13, 2011, 4:36 pm

        Every nation that has any basis of exclusion, (citizenship even) has a constant tension between nationalism and democracy. There are many ethnic nationalist self-governing nations, and yes they all do have that tension.

        Those that don’t want to be governed within the green line Israel, should move elsewhere. Israel has no right to govern Palestine, and should work to accomplish Palestinian sovereignty.

        Are you arguing that all of Israel is in fact Palestine?

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2011, 12:01 am

        Those that don’t want to be governed within the green line Israel,

        Okay, we’ve been here before:
        *Under the customary and conventional law of nations, a change in sovereignty does not effect private property rights within the territory of the new sovereign. For example, in United States v Perchman (1832) arguments based on conquest were rejected:

        The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

        *Only “peoples” can exercise a right to self-determination.
        *The right to self-determination can only be exercised by the lawful inhabitants within the confines of their own territory, not somewhere else.

        Israel seized a greater share of the territory of Palestine than the UN General Assembly had intended. It intentionally drove the Arab majority into exile, misappropriated their property, and has refused to permit their return.

        Israel refuses to fulfill its original obligation under the formal UN minority protection plan to guarantee its citizens of Palestinian origin or one of its religious minorities constitutionally protected equal rights. It continues to adopt legislation “befitting the values of a Jewish state” that discriminate against them as if they were a foreign alien nationality, while granting alien Jews from any other country superior rights. The right to establish a national home in Palestine ended with the termination of the LoN and its Mandate. The use of unlimited Jewish immigration to displace the Palestinian people since that happened is indefensible, and you know that Richard.

        Israel is deliberately violating an erga omnes obligation to facilitate the right of the Palestinian people to exercise their right of self determination in their homeland. That right can be fulfilled by establishing an independent state, through incorporation in the Israeli polity, or emergence into any other status that they freely choose. It does not include driving the Palestinians into exile, or the other proscribed methods of population transfer and deportation that you’re suggesting.

        The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People reported to the Security Council that:

        “18. It was emphasized that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination could be exercised only in Palestine. Consequently, the exercise of the individual right of the Palestinian to return to his homeland was a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by this people of its rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.
        .
        19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, also contained relevant provisions concerning these rights. The States directly involved were parties to this Convention.”

        Are you arguing that all of Israel is in fact Palestine?

        Yes. It would be impossible to argue otherwise. The government of Israel claims that the final status according to the armistice agreements and resolution 242 can only be determined through a negotiated settlement between the two sides. Issues involving Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories are still being addressed under the heading “The Question of Palestine”. The UN handles questions involving Lebanon, Syria, Egypt & other states under the heading “The Middle East”.

      • Chaos4700
        August 14, 2011, 1:21 am

        Witty, you can keep arguing for “separate but equal,” but nobody here besides your fellow Zionists are going to warm up to that concept.

      • Cliff
        August 14, 2011, 2:05 am

        You literally just repeated yourself.

        Except now, you are again showing yourself to be a racist, pro-Nakba, apologist by stating:

        Those that don’t want to be governed within the green line Israel, should move elsewhere.

        Wrong, those who do not want to be second-class citizens should fight to achieve their rights and equality.

        Fascists like you, would rather the minority Israeli Arabs move away then fight to change the system.

        You want to preserve the status quo. You want to preserve the privileged status of Jewishness.

        Palestinians and Israeli Arabs want their rights and freedom.

      • Cliff
        August 14, 2011, 2:08 am

        This is a common lie that Dick Witty spams when he hijacks Phil’s blog.

        Search his comment history. He has been repeating this logic for years.

        Zionism is not benign. Dick is deluded and should seek professional psychiatric help.

      • Richard Witty
        August 14, 2011, 4:02 am

        “Are you arguing that all of Israel is in fact Palestine?

        Yes. It would be impossible to argue otherwise. ”

        I think its impossible to argue for that proposition, as the overwhelming majority in Israel self-determine to govern as Israel, not as Palestine.

        Immigration is independent of expropriation. Crowded conditions would undoubtedly create some pressure to expand and expropriate, but that is a policy decision taken, not an inevitability.

        Israel IS sovereign. Accept it. Work from there.

        From there, there are excellent arguments to support self-determination for the Palestinian people in the area in which they are a solid majority. I personally think that the green line would be an acceptable literal boundary, creating a condition of 80-20 majority in Israel, and 85-15 in Palestine.

        And, I do favor the removal of ethnic screens for residence in both Israel and Palestine, that only in very rare ocassions that residence be segregated, and more for the basis of preserving religious practice, not ethnicity.

        I would argue that a state free of prejudicial law is a Jewish state.

        In resolution 242, there is wording that supports the establishment of a defensible border.

        The great divide is the issue of acceptance. In the environment of mutual acceptance, and treaty confirming that functionally – not just in principle, the green line is a defensible border. In the environment of aggression and animosity, the green line is indefensible and the range of territory as buffer is large.

        For that reason, I think it is more than reasonable for supporters of Palestine to oppose Iran for example seeking to establish military presence in Syria for example, as was reported in Haaretz yesterday (that they consider the struggle in Syria to be an opportunity for them to establish an Iranian order there, rather than Israeli and rather than democracy).

        Or, to oppose militant resistance, as that directly diminishes the Palestinian argument for peaceable sovereignty and peaceful relations with Israel.

        If Palestine comes to be and is insisted that it be militarily sovereign and conflicts with Israel so as to require a large portion of its budget to go to arms, that will hinder its health horribly internally, and relative to Israel exert a much larger drain on its economy.

        Palestine requires peace with Israel to exist at all.

        Resolution 242 states the requirement for a healthy and fair resolution of refugee needs, not necessarily for the literal right of return.

        And, as uncomfortable as it is to the argument, the time that has elapsed is a material part of the argument. To implement the literal right of return would create a significant injustice in the name of the original remedy.

        I get that the continued expropriation of lands by settlement expansion is a state constructed violation.

        The only remedy for right of return that I think is at all feasible, desirable, just, is the one that lands Palestinian refugees on their feet, not necessarily in Israel though.

        They are not allowed to be equal citizens in Lebanon, noone is in Syria. They are allowed equal citizenship in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Europe, US, Canada. In Jordan, they are a near majority. In Egypt, a small minority.

        In West Bank Palestine, they are isolated. In Gaza Palestine, they are isolated.

        Aggressive forms of solidarity won’t result in integration but in further isolation. Calm and accepting forms of solidarity (accepting of internal diversity, and accepting of Israel) has the strong possibility of resulting in integrity, as the argument is undeniable.

      • Koshiro
        August 14, 2011, 5:10 am

        @ RW

        Those that don’t want to be governed within the green line Israel, should move elsewhere.

        In other words, while the “community” of Jews has the right to “self-govern”, the “community” of Arabs in Israel hasn’t. Which in practice means that your “self-determination” equals Jewish supremacy and nothing else.

        @ jwp

        RW’s concept of ‘self-determination’ is nonsense. Occupation of another people is not self-determination.

        Actually, Witty’s concept pretty much requires for “self-determination” of one group to deny it to another group, since we do not live in a world of 100% pure ethnic nation-states – and Israel does not even come close. His kind of thinking is quite directly the origin of ethnic cleansing.

      • eljay
        August 14, 2011, 9:41 am

        >> His kind of thinking is quite directly the origin of ethnic cleansing.

        Well, that fits in perfectly with his thinking. He approves of the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and, although he has stated that it is “current not necessary”, he has yet to rule out any future (physical or bureaucratic) ethnic cleansing.

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2011, 10:22 am

        Immigration is independent of expropriation. Crowded conditions would undoubtedly create some pressure to expand and expropriate, but that is a policy decision taken, not an inevitability.

        Witty a minimum of hundreds of thousands of Jews would die in a matter of days without water stolen from the West Bank. It is a matter of public record that Ben Gurion told a JNF official in February of 1948 that the Jews didn’t need to buy land anymore, but to conqueror it. He also instructed that ethnically cleansed Arab villages be settled by Jews even before the end of hostilities had occurred. link to books.google.com

        During the 45th meeting of the hearings on Israel’s application for membership in the UN it was observed that 90 per cent of the Arab population of Israel had been driven outside its boundaries by military operations, had been forced to seek refuge in neighboring Arab territories, had been reduced to misery and destitution, and had been prevented by Israel from returning to their homes. Their homes and property had been seized and were being used by thousands of European Jewish immigrants.
        link to unispal.un.org

        So yes, immigration went hand in hand with permanent expropriation. Under the terms of the armistice agreements and the declarations and legal undertakings made in conjunction with its application for membership in the UN, Israel has a continuing legal obligation to implement portions of resolutions 181(II) and 194(III) and permit the return of refugees that are willing to live in peace and to permit the Palestinian people to exercise their collective right of self-determination. Israel claims that the final status of the territory can only be determined by a negotiated settlement between the two parties, but acts as if it can unilaterally dispose of any territory on its side of the Green Line through wholesale expropriation of Arab properties and state lands, unrestricted immigration, and theft of natural resources – especially water.

        In resolution 242, there is wording that supports the establishment of a defensible border.

        The FRUS volume on the 1967 Arab-Israeli Crisis has an entire chapter devoted to the negotiations and exact meaning of resolution 242.

        Secretary Rusk told the Yugoslav Foreign Minister: “The US had no problem with frontiers as they existed before the outbreak of hostilities. If we are talking about national frontiers—in a state of peace—then we will work toward restoring them.” But we all know that could lead to a tangle with the Israelis.
        link to history.state.gov

        It is also a matter of public record that Secretary Rusk made clear to Mr Eban that US support for secure permanent frontiers doesn’t mean we support territorial changes.
        link to history.state.gov

        The only remedy for right of return that I think is at all feasible, desirable, just, is the one that lands Palestinian refugees on their feet, not necessarily in Israel though.

        Witty you are asking us to accept the Nuremberg crime of eviction resulting from armed attack and occupation and a permanent status quo of exile or grand apartheid. The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity explains that no statutory limitation shall apply to:

        (b) Crimes against humanity whether committed in time of war or in time of peace as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nürnberg, of 8 August 1945 and confirmed by resolutions 3 (I) of 13 February 1946 and 95 (I) of 11 December 1946 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid , and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed.
        link to www2.ohchr.org

        A just settlement of the refugee problem can’t be based upon legally entrenching a population transfer that represented a serious war crime and crime against humanity in the first place.

      • Richard Witty
        August 14, 2011, 12:37 pm

        Hostage,
        I think you ignore the time factor since 1948. The law of return was meant for current return, in which no new homes (or no material number) would have been constructed.

        But, that is not the case in Israel. The very vast majority of homes in question are gone. The vast majority of individuals are gone. And, there are people that have lived in homes for two or three generations.

        To insist on right of return as far as title to land (settled by forced removal rather than be compensation, or funding for community development for those refugees that never held title to land) would be a current injustice, to remedy and imprecise former one.

        You want to go to war over whether funding refugees assistance is “right of return” or “community assistance fund”? Why?

        Don’t make a Balkan 1000 year memory over this. Make a democracy, functioning under the rule of law that measures all citizens rights, and reconciles them.

        Again and again,
        In asking that dealing with the status of refugees be done per law, you have to consider both the international law, the local statutory (which I think should be amended to allow for more color-blind basis of judgement), and common law of property and title.

        You cite only UN and international court concerns. All of them have been diluted by time, and ignore the rights of current residents.

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2011, 3:39 pm

        I think you ignore the time factor since 1948.

        I always do ignore the time factor in cases involving international (Nuremberg-type) crimes for which no statutory limitations in municipal law can ever apply.

        You are ignoring the maxim “Jus ex injuria non oritur” – a legal right or entitlement cannot arise from an unlawful act or omission and its corollary “Crimen omnia ex se nata” – property obtained by crime is tainted (vitiated).

        In Israel the title for the property has traditionally remained with the State and the residents are merely leaseholders. In any event, many international lawyers say that colonists are criminally responsible whenever they are voluntarily imported or immigrate into a territory that has been occupied by force. See “The Problem of the Colonists”, page 45, in the Chapter on “Property” from Raphael Lemkin’s “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe”, link to books.google.com

      • pjdude
        August 14, 2011, 9:08 pm

        Self-determination is as the word describes, a community (however defined, whether geographically or socially), self-governs in contrast to being governed by an “other”.

        the definition of self determination has been given to you your bs isn’t the definition. its about the people of a territory not the far flung members of a relgion.

      • pjdude
        August 14, 2011, 9:13 pm

        I think its impossible to argue for that proposition, as the overwhelming majority in Israel self-determine to govern as Israel, not as Palestine.

        please show where illegal residents have the right to deny the legal rights of the legal population. what Israelis want is irrelevant. the only people who matter in determining palestines fate are the palestinians. if the “israelis” want to have a say they need to legally become legal residents of the territory. conquerors do not have a right to self determination. for the god knows how many time. I ask you again to please quit talking about self determination when you do not understand the concept.

      • pjdude
        August 14, 2011, 9:25 pm

        he only remedy for right of return that I think is at all feasible, desirable, just, is the one that lands Palestinian refugees on their feet, not necessarily in Israel though.

        if they don’t return to palestine (ISrael) than how in the hell is it the right of return? for it to be the right of return they have to be able to return.

      • pjdude
        August 15, 2011, 1:40 am

        not to mention that Israel is the only country that demands it be only for one ethnicity( well actually only a religion) even former ethnic states like France, germany, and poland. have become not states for the corresponding ethnicities but states for all of their citizens. Israel which lies entirely lies on stolen palestinian land. ( whether stolen just from the nation or also from an individual all of it is stolen) and wishes to be cleansed of those it stole from.

      • pjdude
        August 15, 2011, 1:43 am

        witty they don’t ignore the rights of the current residents. the current residents don’t have any right to it. that what your incapable of getting.

      • pjdude
        August 15, 2011, 1:46 am

        your never going to win hostage. Your dealing with a bigot who damn well knows the palestinians were prevented on pain of death from returning in 48 but wants to punish them for not coming back than.

        the only fair way to end this is to negate all of Israeli’s court rulings as they can not be trusted to have weigh the legal issues and made rulings based on faith of people involved. and force the criminals to show they legally purchased the land.

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      August 13, 2011, 5:36 pm

      >> Self-determination is a jewel on the planet. You don’t agree?

      You, like most Americans, already have self-determination, Witty. You can self-determine to move to Israel. Or not. And Israelis also possess self-determination, for they can move to New Jersey. Or not.

      The same can be said of most here on this planet — freedom of movement and association is taken for granted in the covilized world.

      Yet individual Palestinians, as a result of direct Israeli action, are not so blessed. -N49.

      • MHughes976
        August 13, 2011, 6:14 pm

        You’re interpreting self-determination as an individual function or right, N49? To withdraw from one social contract and seek to join in another?Worth thinking about! Meanwhile, I’ve never seen a statement of the alleged universal right of the self-determination of groups, at least not one that’s at all plausible.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        August 14, 2011, 6:28 pm

        You’re interpreting self-determination as an individual function or right, N49?

        Yes. -N49.

    • DICKERSON3870
      August 13, 2011, 9:03 pm

      RE: “Self-determination is a jewel on the planet. You don’t agree?” ~ Witty

      REPLY: I absolutely agree! And left-handed people have been demonized and discriminated against for ages. We have even been called devils.
      Consequently, we need our own country (nation-state). I think everything west of the Mississippi River (excluding the reservations) should suffice.
      Agreed?

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA: (excerpt) Left-handedness (also known as sinistrality, sinistromanuality, or mancinism) is the preference for the left hand over the right for everyday activities such as writing. In ancient times it was seen as a sign of the devil, and was abhorred in many cultures. A variety of studies suggest that 10% of the world population is left-handed…
      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • DICKERSON3870
        August 13, 2011, 9:17 pm

        ADDENDUM: We also demand a lifetime supply of OxiClean® and 100 kilos of blow!
        oxi clean parody, wilson brothers (VIDEO, 02:02) – link to youtube.com

    • pjdude
      August 14, 2011, 9:06 pm

      yes self determination is a great thing. the only problem is Zionism and Israel have nothing to do with the concept and are terrible things.

      self determination is about the people of a territory deciding their own political status. Zionism and Israel are about a religious group deciding to invade and take over a territory because they want it.

  2. Shmuel
    August 13, 2011, 11:10 am

    The sample was self-selecting, and respondents were required to self-identify as Jewish, living in Britain, and aged 18 or over. They were contacted primarily through five “seed”organizations, which represented a broad cross-section of the Jewish community and also held substantial email databases. The organizations were the Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish News, the Movement for Reform Judaism, Edgware K and JHub. We estimate that over 26,000 people were contacted directly through the mailing lists of these organizations. In addition, an advertising campaign was run in the Jewish press during the field-work stage, which ran for five weeks from 7th January 2010 until 14th February 2010.

    Far be it from me to question the methodology of the illustrious statisticians and demographers, but wouldn’t a sample based almost entirely on affiliation with predominantly Zionist organisations (of the five organisations mentioned, only JHub would appear to have no specifically Zionist orientation) and exposure to predominantly Zionist Jewish media create a rather large selection bias?

    • annie
      August 13, 2011, 1:11 pm

      yes, it would. besides these people self selected themselves for the poll.

      • Shmuel
        August 13, 2011, 2:52 pm

        besides these people self selected themselves for the poll.

        The authors seem to deal with the issue of self-selection, but not with the inbuilt Zionist bias of the organisations they chose – probably more or less representative of institutionalised Judaism in Britain. In my experience, Jews who are uncomfortable to outraged with the positions of institutionalised Judaism vis-à-vis Israel, simply don’t affiliate and don’t read the local Jewish rags. It could be argued that such Jews are negligible (although I doubt it), but this lacuna should at least be mentioned, and the results qualified accordingly.

        It is a truism in Jewish communal circles that non- or anti-Zionist Jews tend to be less committed as Jews (see e.g. Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, discussed by Jerry Haber here: link to jeremiahhaber.com ), but many of us don’t affiliate because we are disgusted by what our communities have to offer. A non-Jewish friend (married to a Jew) gets fed up with our whining from time to time, and asks why we don’t try to change the community or start our own. That’s a good question, which may in fact be related, at least in part to the truism. Almost by definition, it is those who give priority to religious identity and parochial interests who do most of the heavy lifting in Jewish communal institutions and organisations. I think we still have kvetching rights, but don’t have the time to go into it any further right now.

      • annie
        August 13, 2011, 3:26 pm

        In my experience, Jews who are uncomfortable to outraged with the positions of institutionalised Judaism vis-à-vis Israel, simply don’t affiliate and don’t read the local Jewish rags.

        thanks shmuel, yes i agree with you. this makes perfect sense.

    • tree
      August 13, 2011, 5:16 pm

      Good point about the selection bias, Shmuel.

      I have trouble with Gardner’s statement on a more basic level. Even assuming that the sample was a good representation of the opinions of all British Jews, it is utterly ridiculous to postulate that now anti-semistism means simply opposing something that the majority of Jews agree with.

      Its as silly as saying that being a Republican is anti-semitic, because (aasuming here solely for the sake of argument) most American Jews are Democrats. If most Jews like cats, then hating cats is anti-semitic. If most American Jews like lox and bagels, then hating lox and bagels is anti-semitic. Oppose anything that a majority of Jews like or identify with? You’re an anti-semite! A great leap forward in the expanding quest to prove that every single organism on Earth is anti-semitic!

      Or, taking it from another angle, I would say that it was highly likely that in the early 20th century most American whites thought that racial segregation was a good thing, and blacks were inferior. Using Gardner’s logic, opposing racial segregation and believing in racial equality would make one a bigot against whites of that era, because you would have been opposing something most whites agreed with and beleived in. An obviously and utterly stupid argument, but exactly the same as Gardner’s argument re “anti-Zionism” and “anti-semitism”. Really faulty logic, no doubt the product of arriving at his favored conclusion first and then cobbling together a poor attempt at some reason to justify it.

      • Shmuel
        August 13, 2011, 5:41 pm

        Absolutely, tree. I didn’t even bother clicking on the link to Gardner’s article, although the survey itself piqued my curiosity.

      • piotr
        August 14, 2011, 12:26 am

        I think that Gardner logic is impeccable. It is a vile anti-Semitism to claim, like Slavoj Zizek, that Zionists equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism because I, Gardner, have found a statistical proof that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

        A feebler mind could ask: what is wrong with Zizek if his claim is exactly the same as Gardner’s? Or is Gardner self-hating?

        This is indeed touching the territory of Cretan’s paradox: “Cretans never tell the truth”, spoke Epimenides of Crete. You see, if a Cretan says so, he is merely playing with sophistry. But if a non-Cretan says so, this is a vile anti-Cretanism.

        “If Jews like cats, then hating cats is anti-Semitic”. Why go for a hypothetical? A poll found that more than 50% of Americans do not believe or at least doubt in evolution. Ergo, Darwinists are anti-American. An opposition to death penalty is extremally anti-American. And atheism … well, if you are not anti-American, you try to avoid mentioning atheism.

    • MRW
      August 13, 2011, 7:23 pm

      Oddly, the Bad Science column in The Guardian broached this subject yesterday (about brain research), “Researchers don’t mean to exaggerate, but lots of things can distort findings.”

      This can be derived from something called the “power calculation”. Everyone knows that the more data you collect for a piece of research, the greater your ability to detect a modest effect. What people often miss is that the size of sample needed also changes with the size of the effect you’re trying to detect: detecting a true 0.2% difference in the size of the hippocampus between two groups, say, would need more subjects than a study aiming to detect a 25% difference.

      By working backwards and sideways from these kinds of calculations, Ioannidis was able to determine, from the sizes of effects measured and from the numbers of people scanned, how many positive findings could plausibly have been expected, and compare with how many were reported. The answer was stark: even being generous, there were twice as many positive findings as you could realistically have expected from the amount of data reported on.

      link to guardian.co.uk

  3. Hostage
    August 13, 2011, 12:08 pm

    *72% of British Jews self-categorise as “Zionists” . . . These figures demonstrate the hurt that is caused to ordinary Jews when “anti-Zionists” push their dehumanised and demonised perversions of the word “Zionism”.

    Dehumanised and demonised perversions of the word “Zionism” are a two-way street. Standard Zionist ideology completely negated the existence of the Galut a long time ago. Jews who deliberately chose to live in exile always were considered, by definition, non-Zionist and even anti-Zionist. If Mark Gardner is unaware of the fact that the many, if not most, of the members of the ruling coalition in Israel today privately view the term “British Jewish Zionist” as an oxymoron, then he’s pretty clueless anyway.

    • Danaa
      August 13, 2011, 2:05 pm

      “Jews who deliberately chose to live in exile always were considered, by definition, non-Zionist and even anti-Zionist.”

      Strangely reminiscent of the way the Jews who chose to stay in Babylon, as many (most?) returned to the land of Israel (courtesy of Persia) were characterized at the time. The tension that ensued between the two centers of Judaism – each claiming to represent true faith – persisted for centuries, if not eons – and is well reflected in the choices and content of the books included in the old testament – which, like any good PR work (complete with informercial channels) – did a great job of air-brushing the real depth of the divergence.

      No wonder large swashes of descendents of the thriving Babilonian Jewish community – which spread everywhere through Asia minor and beyond by the 1st century AD, became ready converts to Paul’s “New Age” version of Judaism, also known as Christianity.

      And the rest, as they say is history (with trials and tribulation galore).

      Since I believe that human history is not progressing as a straight line but has loops and eddies, playing out much as musical harmony does, it is my expectation (which mercifully I will not live long enough to validate) that we will be seeing a return of the dueling themes of “return” (now called zionism, with its parochial/tribal motifs) and “exile” (which reaches out to larger universe of humans with assimilation as but one variation). I say “mercifully” because the built-in adversity usually builds to a crescendo of cataclism – which to us – the instruments – play out as great violence.

      Kind of Wagnerian, no?

      • MHughes976
        August 13, 2011, 5:58 pm

        I think that scientific reconstruction of the post-Exile period is very difficult because we have the two strands, Ezra and Nehemiah, that do not easily fit together and whose only mentions of each other look like imperfect editorial work.
        I must say I’m more struck by the tension between the ‘returning exiles’ and ‘the people of the land’ than between the returning exiles and those still in Iraq.
        It certainly seems true that by 400 Judaism was a religion with a strong international base, in Iraq, Palestine and Egypt.

  4. ehrens
    August 13, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I would disagree with Richard that the Likud flavor has killed Zionism. Like Montsanto GM grain, Likudnik Zionism is the only anti-semite-resistant variety that has survived, and it has managed to kill off all the rest of the “kinder, gentler” varieties. Maybe there are a few grains here and there in Petri dishes, but for the most part this is the state of affairs in Israel.

    Sullivan is absolutely right. For years the Israel lobby threw around accusations of anti-semitism. But in 2005, Natan Sharansky cleverly redefined it to mean: opposition to the state of Israel, and the “3D Litmus Test” was born:

    link to jcpa.org

    Sharansky’s definition of anti-Semitism completely throws out ill-treatment or hatred of Jews as individuals or a people and replaces the “Jewish people” with the “state of Israel.”

    Damn! How could any Jew not be a card-carrying Zionist?

    This essay describes how this new 3D tool is used:

    link to freeyetinchains.wordpress.com

    • annie
      August 13, 2011, 1:47 pm

      ehrens, curiously i was reading that yesterday. it popped up when i was looking for a reuts report called building a political firewall. without mentioning the “3D Litmus Test” the 2010 report has adopted each of these 3 principles. it sets out a course of action manifested in the updated 7/28/11 reut report Policy Paper: Reut’s Broad Tent and Red-Lines Approach (click on the graphic map on the right top corner).

      here’s Sharansky’s first d:

      The first “D” is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel’s actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz – this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

      here’s reut’s red line/broad tent link, sidebar: ‘eroding israel’s legitimacy’ link:

      Demonizing Israel creates an ideological justification for taking concrete steps aimed at negating the state’s legitimacy. Demonization is rooted in the narrative of Israel as an illegitimate colonial entity born in sin that practices Nazism, apartheid and racism. This narrative plays out in several key arenas, such as public protests and demonstrations, the media, and campus activities.

      same thing. they are the same thing. the only difference is reut doesn’t come right out and say ‘anti semite’ but this is all straight out of ‘the new anti semitism. and this ‘broad tent’ lingo is actually narrows the tent because it broaden the range of discourse applicable.

      i am reminded of the ‘tents’ being set up by hillel on campuses across the country. this is the exact reut initiative, exactly what the 2010 report suggests (bottom up not top down) and what the new reut link instructs. and they are literally using ‘tents’ to do it.

    • Hostage
      August 14, 2011, 4:41 am

      But in 2005, Natan Sharansky cleverly redefined it to mean: opposition to the state of Israel

      Natan Sharansky stopped being clever the minute his big tent became a platform for the views of Ne’eman and Yishai. Annie posted a video the other day, Ne’eman: Africans can’t become Jews. That’s Sharansky smiling in between the two bookends. link to youtube.com

      Here’s another video from the same meeting, Eli Yishai: There’s a Jewish gene.

      The first “D” is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel’s actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz – this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

      Israel has used military force to illegally maintain its control and domination of another people for more than sixty years. Many experts from government and academia, including leading Jewish jurists like Rosalyn Higgins and Richard Goldstone have concluded that Israel is committing Nuremberg crimes. The proper medium for offering a defense for those acts is a criminal court, not a Reut Institute/JCPA publicity campaign.

      The second “D” is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria, is ignored; when Israel’s Magen David Adom, alone among the world’s ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross – this is anti-Semitism.

      The second D is distract attention. The human rights abuses of China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria are documented by the UN through the Universal Periodic Review Process. The governments of Israel have ignored binding UN resolutions, declarations of illegality from the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, and the advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice. Demanding absolute impunity for Israelis to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity without being called upon to account for their conduct is blatant racism.

      The third “D” is the test of delegitimization: when Israel’s fundamental right to exist is denied – alone among all peoples in the world – this too is anti-Semitism.

      Both the International Law Commission (ILC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have advised that the right of State to exist does not imply any excuse or justification for a State which, in order to protect and preserve its existence, commits unjust acts towards others. The ILC noted that it could not be admitted that a community which had been set up in violation of the rights of another State or of the principles of international law had the right to exist as a State and that it possessed the same rights as a legally constituted State.

      Israel was created by its own violent acts, including the forced transfer of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands, and colonization of the resulting “disputed territory” through unrestricted Jewish immigration. All of that was accomplished without the benefit of a negotiated final settlement to determine the status of the territory on either side of the Green Line – and in order to prevent a just settlement for the Palestinian refugees. Those are Nuremberg crimes.

      The international community has refused to recognize the legitimacy of preemptive attacks, seizure, and the unilateral annexation of: Manchuria by Japan; Austria by Germany; the Baltic States by the USSR; South West Africa by South Africa; East Timor by Indonesia; & etc. The community of nations also refused to accept the legitimacy of many other States that were based upon racial segregation or minority rule, including white Portuguese minority rule over Angola and Mozambique; white minority rule in Rhodesia and South Africa; and the policy of Bantustanization typified in the establishment of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, Ciskei, and similar racial enclaves in Namibia.

      The Zionists struck a deal with the international community to establish a national home secured under the terms of public international law. They have violated that agreement whenever the opportunity has presented itself. They have no one to blame but themselves for any delegitimization.

  5. Richard Witty
    August 13, 2011, 2:38 pm

    My sense is that Phil is trying to distinguish between multiple interpretations of what the term “nation” or “nationalism” mean.

    It is necessary. Currently, the term is being used only as a pejorative, which would brand really any association on any definition that incorporates some exclusions, as some evil in the world, which I think is ludicrous.

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      August 13, 2011, 11:36 pm

      ‘i.My sense is that Phil is trying to distinguish between multiple interpretations of what the term “nation” or “nationalism” mean.’éi.

      Ethnic nationalism — or just plain nationalism — is a scourge upon the earth, be it in Germany, Quebec, or Israel. Read Hobsbawm (link to books.google.ca): Nations are artifacts created by government to justify their reach.

      d’Azeglio: “We have made Italy; now we must make Italians.” (See link to policyinnovations.org)

      You are an ethnic nationalist, Witty. The only way you can support such a worldview is to be willing to go live as a minority in someone else’s “nation.” Short of this, you are a hypocrite. –N49.

    • Chaos4700
      August 14, 2011, 1:26 am

      Well, Witty, you think international law and standards of social justice are “ludicrous” to. Meanwhile, you warm up the notions of “separate but equal” and “land taken by force of arms changes ownership.” It’s pretty much become a smell test that what you find baffling and and hard to comprehend is a pretty solid indicator that the item in question has moral character.

  6. MHughes976
    August 13, 2011, 4:52 pm

    I don’t think words can be perverted, only a) defined ‘analytically’ and b) used ‘synthetically’ to make statements, usually about the world. No one – as Lewis Carroll pointed out through his character Humpty Dumpty – is the world authority on how words should be defined. Gardner, raging away, does not offer his own definition.
    I don’t think that Zizek proves his entire case but one point that emerges, I think, is that Zionism = ‘belief in special rights for Jewish people in the Holy Land’ and anti-Semitism = ‘belief that a Jewish presence in the West is fundamentally undesirable’ neither imply nor contradict each other. The same person could hold strongly to both, since there is no contradiction. But since there is no implication that Jewish people should actually take up their Holy Land rights it is possible to believe in a dual mission, with some making aliyah and some exercising a good influence in the West. Some of us might think that this mission is impossibly onerous and conflict-laden and would prefer concentration on the second part.

  7. yourstruly
    August 13, 2011, 7:28 pm

    “he is dangerous because he lives among us but he is not really one of us”

    the enemy within?

    only in the sense of the anti-zionist being a threat to the zionist dream of building & perpetuating a zionist state on the palestinian homeland

    & yes, a threat to empire usa’s plans for using said state as a foothold for taking over the oil rich middle east

    but since zionism does not = judaism

    anti-zionism is not antisemitism

    today’s real antisemites?

    zionists themselves

    because zionist israel’s theft of palestine is what underlies the worldwide rise in antisemitism

    and the zionists’ claim that they speak for jews everywhere?

    when in fact they represent only themselves?

    puts all jews at risk

    antisemitism after there’s justice for palestine?

    down to a size that’ll fit into a thimble

Leave a Reply