Let’s negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza

Just got this from today’s State Department briefing. This is the very first question. And spokesperson Victoria Nuland tells the Palestinians to just lie down and accept another 1100 colonists usurping their land. This is why the Europeans are shocked by us and the Palestinians are outraged and Larry Derfner is writing, at 972, that Israel has lost America as an ally because it has crushed our credibility.

QUESTION: Can I ask you about the Israeli announcement of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem? Do you have a reaction to that announcement?

MS. NULAND: We do. You won’t be surprised that we are deeply disappointed by this morning’s announcement by the Government of Israel approving the construction of 1,001 housing units in East Jerusalem. We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties, and we have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem. And we’ll continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations.

QUESTION: What does this say to the Palestinians now? You’re working hard to try to get them to, well, not drop their bid but maybe not act on it for a while at the Security Council. What does this say to them about the ability to get talks going again and getting the Israelis to hold back on the settlements?

MS. NULAND: Well, as I said, we consider it counterproductive. That doesn’t change the fact that we believe, the President believes, the Secretary believes that the best way – the only way, in fact – to get to two states living side by side in peace, in security, is through direct negotiations. So we will continue to try to use the days and weeks ahead to get there, and we are urging both parties to take advantage of the proposal that the Quartet put forward last Friday to come back to the table.

About Philip Weiss

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

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

  1. Empty promises, futile words, appeasement of an apartheid state. And they expect Palestinians to take them seriously, or believe a word they say? Have they no idea of how craven and idiotic they look?

  2. seafoid says:

    The Israelis are eating the negotiating table as well as the pizza. They want to send the Palestinians to the Jordanian restaurant

  3. pabelmont says:

    Why are reporters even bothering to ask the representative of (the formerly great and powerful) Oz these questions?

    Why should Israel NOT build on their own territory?

    If they (as emperors) have said the land is theirs, it is as good as theirs, is it not? And if it is as good as theirs, it is, for all practical purposes, theirs, is it not? That is, it IS theirs. (As matter of law. In case you were wondering. That’s what law IS) So why not build 1001 or 1100 or ANY number of housing units there?

  4. Jeff Klein says:

    THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:
    The president believes that in the dispute between civil rights protestors and the City of Birmingham, Alabama, there is no alternative but for the parties, led by Martin Luther King and police chief Bull Connor, “to work things out between themselves through direct negotiations. This is the only way to achieve desegregation of public facilities in the city.”

  5. Daniel Rich says:

    Q: Israel has lost America as an ally because it has crushed our credibility.

    R: Will China be kind enough to send GBU-39′s for free? Globo-bully is about to keel over and diminish in stature and pose [even without 'our friend in the M.E.' sawing 'our' financial and moral crutches in half], so I guess another, more powerful bully will emerge and not fill in the blanks, but a void?

  6. Proton Soup says:

    someone needs to just come out and ask it. “why is the united states subsidizing ethnic cleansing?”

  7. seafoid says:

    link to guardian.co.uk

    Lady Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, swiftly called for the plan to be reversed, saying settlement expansion “threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution”.

    So much for Bibi’s UN speech

    He should have sent Danny Danon to tell the truth

    link to english.aljazeera.net

  8. QUESTION: Can I ask you about the Israeli announcement of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem? Do you have a reaction to that announcement?

    ANSWER: May I please have another beating, Sir? Please beat me! Please, sir. I beseech you to beat me some more. Harder please! Be merciless! As your Submissive Slave, I do so richly deserve to be beaten senseless by you, my Dominant Master! Spare the rod, spoil the slave!

    Marquis de Sade - link to en.wikipedia.org
    Sadomasochism - link to en.wikipedia.org

    • P.S. The U.S. relationship with Israel is in some ways similar to that of a battered spouse.

      FROM WIKIPEDIA:

      (excerpts) Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code 995.81 “Battered person syndrome” NEC. The condition is the basis for the battered woman defense that has been used in cases of physically and psychologically abused women who have killed their abusers. The condition was first researched extensively by Lenore Walker who used Martin Seligman’s learned helplessness theory to explain why abused women stayed in destructive relationships.[1]…
      …Etiology
      The syndrome develops in response to a three stage cycle found in domestic violence situations. First, tension builds in the relationship. Second, the abusive partner releases tension via violence whilst blaming the victim for having caused the violence. Third, the violent partner makes gestures of contrition. However, the partner does not find solutions to avoid another phase of tension building and release so the cycle repeats. The repetition of the violence despite the abusers attempts to “make nice” results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing a repeat cycle of violence. However since she is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser’s need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment. The feeling of being both responsible for and helpless to stop the violence leads in turn to depression and passivity…

      P.P.S. “If you ever publicly humiliate me again, this relationship will be over with. I know I’ve said that countless times before, and then not followed through on it; but this time I really mean it!”

  9. pabelmont says:

    Is Israel ALREADY working for China? When things happen which someone wants to have happen, don’t always assume that they are not doing it on purpose.

    • Charon says:

      Israel has likely been working with China since the fall of the USSR. Crazy theory here.. Russia and China have been buddy-buddy for 20 years, that much is known. The mass immigration of Russians into Israel has influenced Israel’s character. The evidence of this can be seen in Yisrael Beiteinu. Yisrael Beiteinu claims to be true to the spirit of Revisionist Zionist which itself was born from a Russian. They seem to have the upper-hand in the coalition with Likud redefining Revisionist Zionism along the way into an even more racist and fascist ideology, even borrowing from the USSR’s past.

      Some say the USA’s ‘special relationship’ with Israel began to counter a Soviet presence in the ME (the two fought over who would recognize Israel first.. the US won and Israel sided with the US). Perhaps Russia has infiltrated Israel’s government and is dictating its policies. Russia appears to side with the Palestinians but probably only to make the US mad. Crazy theory I know. But consider the Arab Spring which most around here believe to be sincere:

      “CIA Touts Mediterranean Tsunami of Coups; Libya, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Jordan, Italy All Targeted; US-UK Want New Puppets to Play Against Iran, China, Russia”

      link to tarpley.net

      This was posted in January after the Tunisian revolution and before the Egyptian one. Look at the list of countries. Again, this is from January. Libya and Egypt have passed, Syria is still going on, Algeria just started, and Italy has had theirs going on for months but the MSM doesn’t say much about it. Jordan’s has been under-reported too but seems to be picking up in the past few weeks.

      These ‘super powers’ are playing a game of in-real-life chess at the expense of human lives. The Arab Spring might have went viral and encouraged actual revolutions in Bahrain and Yemen. The others were manufactured and the outcome is going to be new puppets. Perhaps a tug-of-war is going on with Israel

      • American says:

        I don’t know about your theory Charon, but Putin is running for President of Russia. He will no doubt be elected.
        IMO Putin is the smartest wolf in the pack of world leaders.

  10. Real Jew says:

    Phil, very clever title.

  11. Sin Nombre says:

    I guess when Bibi said he was putting out his hand to the Palestinians at the U.N. he meant he was extending it get a grip on more of their land.

    What the hell is it in the Israeli national character that seems unable to resist positively relishing the humiliation of others? Seating that Turkish ambassador on a low couch and pointing it out to a photographer in Hebrew, announcing those new settlements right as Biden landed to visit, and now Obama. Not even a full week has gone by since they pressed him flatter than a wine grape to drool all that talk about how it wasn’t land greed at the heart of Israel’s position but security, and now…

    The U.S. President just got as openly pissed on as is possible without him actually getting wet.

  12. Is the gov’t of the United States captured by a lobby that will not allow it to criticize Israel?

  13. CTuttle says:

    Aloha, Philip and annie…!

    I just put up a new I/P post about this noise…! 8-(

  14. Doz says:

    The “process” part of the “peace process” will be very familiar to any small merchant. Two shoplifters enter her store. One engages her in an intense and prolonged discussion. The other takes advantage of the distraction to rob her blind.

    • Kris says:

      Excellent analogy!

    • Charon says:

      Doz, this has always been the intention of Revisionist Zionists like Likud:

      “By removing (Egypt) from the conflict, reducing international (mainly American) pressure for Israeli concessions on the issue of the territories, and prolonging inconclusive talks on Palestinian autonomy, Begin was buying time for his government’s settlement activities in the territories. Begin continued to vow that territory, which was part of historic Eretz Israel in the West Bank and Gaza, would never be returned.”

      They’ve been buying time ever since. Likud has been in power for 23 of the past 34 years and they’ve never backed down from their policy. Well Ariel Sharon kind of did which led to Kadima but even Kadima has no intention of parting with Jerusalem or their large settlements.

      “Under Labor governments, between 1967 and 1977, the Jewish population of the territories reached 3,200; Labor’s limited settlement activity was predicated upon making a future territorial compromise when the majority of the territory would be returned to Arab control. By contrast, the Likud’s settlement plan aimed to settle 750,000 Jews all over the territories in order to prevent a territorial compromise. As a result, by 1984, there were about 44,000 settlers outside East Jerusalem.”

      The settlements are policy

  15. ToivoS says:

    QUESTION: Can I ask you about the Israeli announcement of[the expulsion of 500,000 Palestinians into Jordan [delete settlement expansion in East Jerusalem?] Do you have a reaction to that announcement?

    MS. NULAND: We do. You won’t be surprised that we are deeply disappointed by this morning’s announcement by the Government of Israel approving This expulsion [ delete the construction of 1,001 housing units in East Jerusalem], We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties, and we have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem. And we’ll continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations.

    just my imagination what we can expect in the next year or so

    • Charon says:

      I just hope it doesn’t get to something like this

      QUESTION: How can the USA stand by Israel while they use chemical weapons on civilians in the West Bank? Is this not endorsing genocide?

      MS. NULAND: You won’t be surprised that we are deeply disappointed by the Government of Israel’s usage of chemical weapons on Palestinians. We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties, and we have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including chemical weapons. And we’ll continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations. Genocide is a very harsh word not applicable to this situation. Israel is our ally and they do have a legitimate security concern that Palestinian children will grow up to be terrorists.

  16. jayn0t says:

    This is o/t, but have you seen the reaction to Gilad Atzmon’s new book? Mearsheimer wrote a blurb for it, and the usual suspects went postal. On the left, the Atlantic and on the other side of the Atlantic, the Guardian, were enlisted to smear Atzmon and Mearsheimer. Mearsheimer and his buddy Walt have carefully demolished the Zionist lies. As Atzmon says, all the publicity is good for him and good for the cause.

    link to gilad.co.uk

    • annie says:

      i read walt’s blog this morning with mearsheimer’s thoughtful response. i don’t fully understand the intensity of the reaction to the man myself. you rarely hear people going out of their mind about netanyahu or cheney or whoever to the degree people go ballistic over him. it is as if his scalp is a trophy and they are fighting over it. really bizarre.

      • eee says:

        Atzmon is clearly a racist and holocaust denier and Mearsheimer has shown his true colors. And with his stupid and weak defense in Walt’s blog, he has dug an even deeper hole for himself. This will not end well for Mearsheimer.

        • More childish threats. The usual cliches and smears about Atzmon. I doubt you know a thing about him.

        • James says:

          eee- this will not end well for that sleazeball goldberg who didn’t bother to read anything atzom wrote in the book as he was too busy trying to flame him and mearsheimer with the usual bullshit zionist talking points..

          i didn’t think you’d have the imagination to veer from the script…

          stick to eating stolen pizza… you didn’t get an invite to mungers party did you? lol…

        • Shingo says:

          Atzmon is clearly a racist and holocaust denier and Mearsheimer has shown his true colors.

          You are clearly a liar. Atzmon has NEVER denied the Holocaust. In fact, as Mearsheimer points out, Atzmon has reflected on how he affected by the Holocaust and his experience with holocaust survivors.

          Mearsheimer has made it abundantly clear that his blurb was about the book and makes no reference to anything Atzmon has said on his blog.

          This will not end well for Mearsheimer.

          In your dreams. You hasbrats have been predicting that outcome for 5 years. Your faux chrisis has not even been picked up by the media and will be forgotten by next week.

        • annie says:

          wow, i’m so confused. let me see if i can logic my way thru this difficult maze of conflicting opinions. eee vs Mearsheimer ? mini hasbarist nakba denier vs an American professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, international relations theorist. Known for his book on offensive realism, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, which was subsequently published as a book, becoming a New York Times Best Seller. His most recent book, entitled Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics, “catalogs the kinds of lies nations tell each other.”

          tough choice! hmm..sorry eee, think i’ll trust Mearsheimer

        • James says:

          eee’s pants have been on fire for so long he’s oblivious to being burned for lying… he just wants plenty of stolen pizza to nibble on while his hasbara friends engage in endless rounds of peace talks at yanky doodle dandy’s table…

        • James says:

          annie – i thought eee might have offered you some free pizza to side with him on this one, lol…

        • straightline says:

          Well eee, old friend, I read Mearsheimer on Walt’s blog and it seemed to me to pretty clearly demolish the argument of Goldberg and the claims that Atzmon is a holocaust denier. Clearly you have a different view, so if instead of name-calling you give a rational explanation of why you believe Atzmon to be racist and a holocaust denier that answers Mearsheimer’s arguments I (and I guess, the other good people on this blog) will be only too keen to read them. By the way the use of the word “clearly” by you a little suspicious, whereas that by me is I think justifiable.

        • annie says:

          i thought eee might have offered you some free pizza to side with him on this one

          pizza? who doesn’t love pizza. and i’m hungry too. wow, another tough choice. pizza vs ethnic cleansing? another bite sure is tempting. bet no one would notice. damn, it’s that ol conscience calling. my stomachs a-churning but i gotta go for abstaining. tough choice but i’m not down with war crimes. it’s awfully tempting tho, a damn fine pizza indeed.

        • straightline says:

          Mearsheimer does address Atzmon’s blog, Shingo. He picks up a quote from Goldberg of a statement on Atzmon’s blog and shows how it has been taken completely out of context.

          What Goldberg said that Atzmon said on his blog was, “I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany.”, whereas what Atzmon actually said was, “Indeed, I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany, for unlike Nazi Germany, Israel is a democracy and that implies that Israeli citizens are complicit in Israeli atrocities.”. Now if I may use the word “clearly” in a somewhat more appropriate way than eee did, this is clearly misrepresentation.

          Rather than being the “weak defence” that eee clearly sees, I would argue that this is a pretty robust and well argued attack on a scurrilous article by Goldberg.

          Finally, eee omitted to call Atzmon a “self-hating Jew” – slipping eee? Mearsheimer says is that this is clearly the case!

        • Tom Pessah says:

          the pretty obvious point is that you can criticize Israeli crimes without minimizing Nazism – to write, for example, as Atzmon did, “Nazis were indeed proper expansionists, they were trying to take towns and land intact. Carpet bombing and total erasure of populated areas that is so trendy amongst Israeli military and politicians (as well as Anglo-Americans) has never been a Nazi tactic or strategy.”
          link to aljazeerah.info

          As Tony Greenstein responded –
          For three days, in April 1941, German bombers raised Belgrade to the ground.
          William Shirer, The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich, p.988, Pan Books, London, 1964.

          Hitler’s plans for Russia included the mass starvation of 30 million Russian civilians and the complete razing to the ground of Moscow and Leningrad.
          William Shirer, The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich, pp. 996-7, 1020

          to say nothing of the wiping out of Lidice or mass murder in Oradour-sur-Glane.
          link to azvsas.blogspot.com

          the Ahmadinejad-type logic, that we need to either support the Israeli government or apologize for the Nazis, is really twisted

        • eee says:

          We will just have to wait and see and as usual, you will be proven wrong. This will not end well for Mearsheimer. Atzmon is a racist and what the Mondowiess SIC (sinister ideological collective) thinks about him does not matter. You guys should listen to Shmuel a bit more. At least he is not a radical extremist like most of you.

        • annie says:

          This will not end well for Mearsheimer. Atzmon is a racist

          if you seriously think you can take down Mearsheimer over his review of this book you are delusional. you should wake up. do you even see how the closing down of mocha’s exhibition of the gaza childrens’ art has made the art famous all over the world? and norm finkelstein is a hero in colleges all across the land. he’ll go down in history for his work and brilliance. had the lobby not targetted him he’d be mildly significant teaching in the same college year after year but no..he’s traveling to colleges all over the place making massive waves. he might not be rich but he’s a household name and is an icon.

          you really think you can make a huge deal about atzmon (who no one would have heard of if you didn’t go crazy every time he opened his mouth) and extend that passion to anyone who dares to write a review? you will only make him more famous. most people do not understand these intricacies of which you speak. most people do not translate by way of ‘this really means he’s saying xxxx’. everyone is not pavlov’s dog.

          just let it go, but if you don’t know that you are only making his star rise..just because people will resist your demand. it is over the average man’s head. trust me, i’m very average and i don’t understand the level of animosity dedicated to drowning these voices..you can’t control opinion or history no matter how much you try. people will ask..and they will come to their own conclusions regardless of your direction.

        • eee says:

          Oh, Mearsheimer is going down. You can bet your last penny on that. If criticizing a racist makes him famous, is that a reason not to criticize him?

          Finkelstein is better off not getting tenure? I don’t think so and I am sure he doesn’t think so either.

          Mearsheimer’s voice will not be drowned just as Finkelstein’s was not drowned. But he will have the same credibility as Duke.

        • annie says:

          he will have the same credibility as Duke.

          lolololol

          in your wet dreams, you must be drunk. happy new year eee.

        • Shingo says:

          Mearsheimer’s voice will not be drowned just as Finkelstein’s was not drowned. But he will have the same credibility as Duke.

          That would put him on par with Israel’s leaders.

        • Shmuel says:

          Great. Just what I needed, an endorsement from 3e. ושנה טובה גם לך

          And I am too a radical extremist :-)

        • Tom said:
          “the pretty obvious point is that you can criticize Israeli crimes without minimizing Nazism”

          I dislike fascists of all stripes and the Zionists and the National Socialists have more history in common than many care to know. Who sent who a letter from the Turkish Embassy expressing support for whose cause? Who coined this medallion “to honor the co-operation and support given by the Zionist Jewish Agency in helping to make Germany ‘Judenfrei?’”

          link to coffinman.co.uk

          Tom, I’m telling you as pleasantly as possible that I really do resent being spoken to like a child and having my choice of reading material or my choice of friends being dictated by a third party. I know what’s best for me (or at least what appears to be in my best interest). Do you understand this? If Atzmon makes you so mad, do a line by line takedown of his work and hash it out with him in public, in an open debate. If you feel that he is just some run of the mill anti semite then that’s great, but I still have the right to read his book and to make up my own mind about it. Suppression of open discussion is worse than lying, never forget that.

      • Shmuel says:

        When Mearsheimer endorses a book by Cheney on Arab identity – defended by some human rights activists – we’ll talk.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think Mearsheimer really addressed the issue.

        • annie says:

          Unfortunately, I don’t think Mearsheimer really addressed the issue.

          no, but he addressed the book.

        • Shmuel says:

          annie,

          He didn’t check out the author before endorsing the book. That was a mistake. If you have public standing and you write a blurb for a book, you will be associated with the book and its author. The argument that the book exists in a vacuum is thus not a convincing one, which is probably why Mearsheimer felt the need to write something about Atzmon’s blog postings as well, but he took the easy way out and limited himself to Goldberg’s idiocies and a couple of relatively easy-to-dismiss quotes. That is not addressing the issue.

          I’m still hoping that Mearsheimer will admit his mistake (it could have happened to anyone). The longer he waits and the more he digs his heels in with superficial deflections, the more damage he will do – to himself, to Walt, and to the Palestinian struggle.

        • Shingo says:

          I disagree that Mearsheimer has made a mistake.

          It’s not up to him to check the author. He states clearly that his blurb related to the book and nothing else. To use a crude analogy – some of Menegele’s research into hypothermia benefitted science and medicine, even though the experiements he conducted were inhumae and cruel.

          Would you have preferred that subsequent victims of hypothermia not benefit from these findings on the grounds that Menegele was such a sadistic and evil bastard?

        • Shingo says:

          When Mearsheimer endorses a book by Cheney on Arab identity

          That analogy might make sense if Cheney were an Arab.

        • annie says:

          i’m just not convinced it was a mistake shmuel because i have not read the book. maybe it is a good book. have you thought of that? perhaps it is an intriguing book. perhaps he has something to say.

          the weird thing about the whole atzmon thing to me is why they go crazy over him. why not just ignore him? it seems bizarre. but he talked a lot about inner tribal stuff and since i am not part of the tribe i don’t fully get it and i don’t fully get why he drives them nuts. i am just an outsider. but when i read the smidgens of atzmon that i have read they just don’t seem worthy of the intensity of reaction. perhaps it is because i have grown accustomed to unspeakable pain and suffering in this conflict that whatever he has to say doesn’t really compare to the state sanctioned sadistic cruelty i read about day in and day out. for example…they might annex the WB and the emotions wrt atzmon seems to even override that. it just seems..over the top.

        • annie says:

          and one more thing shmuel….i saw what they did to norm. they attacked relentlessly. and i adore norm. it’s like the boy who cried wolf..maybe atzmon is the wolf but i’ve heard this accusation before so i don’t fully trust it. the attack dogs are out in full force..that doesn’t mean they are right nor does it mean they are wrong. it very well could be lots of what atzmon says is worth listening to. maybe not..but it sounds like it might be a good book.

        • Shmuel says:

          Shingo,

          I’ll ask you the same question I asked irishmoses the other day. Is there anyone to whom you would not give an endorsement, even for a specific work? Irishmoses said he would not endorse even a good book written by David Duke. Another path might be a disclaimer, along the lines of “Although I find some of Mr. Duke’s positions odious, he has written a thought-provoking book, worthy of consideration.”

          And wouldn’t you make sure to check out an author whose publisher asks you for an endorsement, especially if you have a reputation (and a cause) to protect? A few minutes of googling is often all it takes – a stitch in time, as it were.

        • Shmuel says:

          That analogy might make sense if Cheney were an Arab.

          Annie asked why no one makes a fuss over Cheney (although I think they do, actually – as in Vancouver yesterday). The analogy was meant to convey the fact that no one on “our” side has endorsed Cheney’s work or voiced support for him.

        • Shmuel says:

          annie,

          It’s not about someone spouting racist or pseudo-racist views or associating with racists. It’s about such people being embraced by some anti-racists in the name of anti-racism, and being given legitimacy by someone like Mearsheimer. That is a problem worth addressing.

          The boy who cried wolf analogy is very apt. Zionists have so abused the anti-Semitism label – by associating all anti-Zionism and even some Zionism with it – that it has made it relatively easy for real anti-Semites and their friends to hide behind anti-Zionism or claim that they are merely being smeared, like Finkelstein or Chomsky or Mearsheimer. The moral of the wolf story is that we mustn’t let the boy’s shenanigans distort our perceptions of reality. After all, the wolf did show up in the end.

          I think it is therefore worth listening to people who have not taken the accusation of anti-Semitism so lightly, people who have proven records as anti-racist, labour and human rights activists (like Tony Greenstein, Roland Rance, Andy Newman, etc.), instead of dismissing their warnings and smearing them as “tribalists” and “supremacists”.

        • Shingo says:

          The boy who cried wolf analogy is very apt

          Indeed it is. In fact, it appears that Zionists, having realize they have abused it, have replaced the anti-Semitism label with accusation of Holocaust denial.

          May I ask, have you read Eisen’s article in question? I had a very quick read of it, and found no actual denial of the Holocaust.

        • Shmuel says:

          May I ask, have you read Eisen’s article in question?

          No, I haven’t. I haven’t read Zundel or Irving either.

        • Citizen says:

          Shmuel, Cheney only endorses books that he thinks support his neocon ideology. Hence he will never endorse a book by an Arab about Arab Identity. The most basic Arab identity is as antagonist to Western interference in the Arab world; the contemporary Arab Street wants to erase the last vestiges of Western colonialism, which, as the Arab Springs shows clearly, includes booting out of power Arab groups that have been wedded to US/Israel solely to feather their own selfish nests.
          You know this, thus I don’t understand your comment.

          What issue exactly did Mearsheimer fail to address?

        • Have you read Mearsheimer’s defense? Shmuel, I would be curious if you find the ideas about Jewish identity brought up in that piece “antisemitic.” Just on their face, ignoring questions of other things that Atzmon or Mearsheimer may or may not have said during their lifetimes, and ignoring the question of whether or not the ideas are an accurate summary of the book (which I haven’t read yet). I’m interested in the ideas themselves, not the people or their imagined motivations. Are you glad the ideas you see there are being brought up and discussed on the pages of FP? Or are they antisemitic?

          Anything of any value? The idea of a secular identity which “puts Jewish-ness over and above all other traits”? The idea of someone “talking like a liberal but acting like a nationalist”? The idea of a “Holocaust religion”? The idea of Jewish agency. etc.

        • LeaNder says:

          Shingo: I had a very quick read of it, and found no actual denial of the Holocaust.

          LeaNder: What does this passage make you feel like? I would be pleased about an honest answer.

          Chapter: A suffering People The Holocaust, the paradigm for all anti-Semitism and all Jewish suffering, is treated as being beyond examination and scrutiny. Questioning the Holocaust narrative is, at best, socially unacceptable, leading often to social exclusion and discrimination, and, at worst, in some places is illegal and subject to severe penalty. Holocaust revisionist scholars, named Holocaust deniers by their opponents, have challenged this. They do not deny a brutal and extensive assault on Jews by the Nazi regime but they do deny the Holocaust narrative as framed by present day establishments and elites. Specifically, their denial is limited to three main areas. First, they deny that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe; second, they deny that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers; third, they claim that the numbers of Jewish victims of the Nazi assault have been greatly exaggerated.

          ***********************************

          I somehow understand Mearsheimer’s response, but the problem is most of the more stunning stupidities Atzmon wrote seem to have disappeared from his site.

          There is a rather thin line, I would suggest, once you overstep it, you clearly are on the side that supports Hitler. He only fought then, what Atzmon fights now, so to speak, and from my perspective that is a very, very dangerous terrain.

        • Shmuel says:

          PeaceThroughJustice,

          Yes, I have read Mearsheimer’s defence. I think he mischaracterises Atzmon, but deflects Goldberg’s claims quite easily. The ideas he mentions are certainly worth discussing, and I am glad when they are brought up honestly and rigorously. I think the Atzmon connection has rendered the discussion at FP counterproductive. That too saddens me.

          All of the ideas you mention are worth discussing. There are certainly Jews whose secular identity does put “Jewishness over and above all other traits” and who “talk like liberals but act like nationalists”. They are generally called Zionists. The ideas of a “Holocaust religion” and “Jewish agency” are also important topics worth discussing.

        • Shingo says:

          LeaNder: What does this passage make you feel like? I would be pleased about an honest answer.

          What do you mean how does it make me feel? How do you suggest I should feel about it? I am not sure what your point is LeaNder.

          This the same argument put forward by Tom Pessah’s link. All I am saynig is that if we are to apply this definition of Holocaust denial to Eisen, then he is not a Holcoasut denier becasue he does not deny all three of the accepted cahracteristics of the Jewish Holocaust.

          As I did with Tom, I invite you to provide a quote from Eisen that denies that
          there was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe.

          He does not even deny the existence of the gas-chambers nor the numbers of Jewish victims. I believe his argument is pointless and clumsy, but I did not find evidence of Holocaust denial.

          There is a rather thin line, I would suggest, once you overstep it, you clearly are on the side that supports Hitler.

          Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more. That’s about as dishonest as sugegsting that those that opposed the Iraq were supporting Saddam Hussein.

        • Shmuel, I’m sorry to hear you’re saddened. Oh well, at least we can look forward to your own future posts on these “important topics worth discussing.” (That is, if there’s any time left after we get through discussing “antisemitism.”)

        • Shmuel says:

          Shmuel, I’m sorry to hear you’re saddened.

          And I am sorry I bothered to treat your questions seriously. You seem to be far more interested in discussing whether or not ‘antisemitism’ should be discussed than I am in discussing anti-Semitism itself. I would have been perfectly happy leaving it at Mearsheimer’s error in judgement.

        • No, I am genuinely sorry at your response. Because I think it’s wonderful that these topics are breaking out into the semi-mainstream media. For sixty years Jewishness has been off-limits, a taboo subject, and we have suffered for it. I think it’s absolutely essential that such a powerful influence on our society is opened up for discussion. Most people have no idea what it is.

          And as for “antisemitism,” I have made no bones about not sharing your credulity for the concept of “causeless hatred.” I regard it as completely bogus (although I can recognize its powerful psychological appeal). You’re of course perfectly entitled to a contrary opinion, but you shouldn’t pretend that you’re not prioritizing antisemitism over these other “important topics worth discussing.”

          Because if they were important topics there would be no reason for such sadness.

        • Shmuel says:

          Racism is a bad context for any serious discussion – especially one that purports to be anti-racist.

          As for whether I prioritise anti-Semitism or not, far be it from me to upset Atzmon’s theory about secular anti-Zionist Jews.

        • Antidote says:

          “I don’t think Mearsheimer really addressed the issue.”

          eee sure did: “This will not end well for Mearsheimer”.

          I’d call that a threat: comply with the sanctioned discourse on Jews, or else.

          If you are not a philo-semite, you are an anti-semite.

          If you don’t acknowledge our victimhood, we’ll do you in.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          you’re right, Annie, it sounds like a GREAT book: look, here’s an excerpt from the epilogue

          “I asked the emotional tour guide if she could explain the fact that so many Europeans loathed the Jews so much and in so many places at once. I was thrown out of school for a week.

          “It seems I didn’t learn the necessary lesson because when we studied the middle age blood libels, I again wondered out loud how the teacher could know that these accusations of Jews making Matzo out of young Goyim’s blood were indeed empty or groundless. ”
          link to aljazeerah.info

          you’re so right, Annie, what are people getting so upset about this? who knows, Jews probably do make matzot out of the blood of young goyim. I’m willing to bet you can’t bring yourself to denounce that at all, can you?

        • annie says:

          you’re right, Annie, it sounds like a GREAT book

          tom, why are you using this dishonest arguing technique? anyone reading this would assume i said it was a great book when i made no such claim.

          I’m willing to bet you can’t bring yourself to denounce that at all, can you?

          aren’t you the nutjob that said to me “if you are willing to blame the nazis for the Holocaust” AS if i ever implied i ever didn’t or this would be some kind of concession on my part?

          what’s up w/you tom? seriously. i already asked you could you do me the favor of arguing like an adult? . grow up.

        • LeaNder says:

          Sorry, Shingo, I didn’t notice earlier:

          Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more. That’s about as dishonest as suggesting that those that opposed the Iraq were supporting Saddam Hussein.

          Be my guest and call me dishonest, but I do not think your analogy fits. The three central revisionist questions he presents are far from innocent, they are highly deceptive. As the type of revisionist camp he presents. From my point of view you turn into a deceiver yourselves if you present them the way he does (including context), since he obviously approves that the uninformed walk away with an absolutely wrong impression.

          Want me to list all the evidence that shows that these questions are hot air?

      • Tom Pessah says:

        it’s CRAZY, right? why would anyone find passages like this offensive? good you’re still standing up for him, Annie! keep up the good fight for universalism!

        “I am suggesting that the only way to internalise the meaning of the Jewish Holocaust is to teach Jews how to start looking in the mirror, to teach Jews to ask themselves why conflicts with others happen to them time after time. Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?” The Jews who already doing that are known as self-haters, yet they are a million moons ahead of the Jewish tribal discourse. They clearly see the conflict between universalism and Jewish tribalism.”
        link to peacepalestine.blogspot.com

        yeah, exactly! why blame the Germans for the Holocaust?? if the Jews got ‘picked on’ they must be to blame, right? that’s the only reason a true progressive universalist would give.
        link to peacepalestine.blogspot.com

        • Shmuel says:

          Save your breath, Tom. They’ll just tell you he was pointing out (like Hannah Arendt) that Jews have not merely been passive victims throughout their history – but in a “provocative, in-your-face” way.

        • Shingo says:

          Take a chill pill Tom,

          Atzmon pushes the bondaries but he’s no Holocaust denier. The Holocaust was an appaling event but it does not belong to anyone. It has traumatized generations of Jews and how each person deals with that trauma is up to them.

          One may not agree with much fo what Atzmon has to say (I certinaly don’t) but he is not a Holocaust denier and he’s certainly not blaming Jews for what happened to them.

          No same person would.

        • James says:

          for christsake, atzmon is a jazz musician.. pushing the boundaries come naturally to jazz musicians.. i can’t believe how crazy some of these folks are responding to atzmon’s blogging… and, the fact mearsheimer read his book, but didn’t go to the trouble to read everything he wrote on the internet is just not something these folks care to consider… they have a big bucket of tar and they want to spread it on anything that looks like it might frighten them…

          shingo i totally agree with you.. these folks need to think about taking off their straight jackets and breathing more deeply… they seem programmed to freak out at the drop of a hat…

        • annie says:

          you know what’s interesting about tom’s comment..he quotes him and then lends his interpretation which seems really skewered from what atzmon says. but then he links to another post of atzmon’s writing that’s really interesting. it’s very strange because atzmon at no time said others were to blame, he suggested (implied) the way forward was to ask “why do they pick on me?”

          anyone who has studied psychology knows the focus should be on the self, self reflection.

        • Shingo says:

          Personally I think Aztmon is wrong on this issue – at least I disagree with him, but the simple fact is that he is expressing an idea. He’s not declaring it an absolute truth, he prefaces it with “I am suggesting..”, which invites his ideas to be challnged and if need be, rejected.

          What’s so hard about saying “hey Gilad, you’re wrong”.

        • Shingo says:

          I have too much respect for Shmuel to not respect his sentiments, however, I can’t help but feel that there are many progressives and those on the left who over react to Aztmon because they feel they are obliged to in order to prove their progressive credentials.

          It strikes me as false piety. We read far more extreme rhetoric directed at Palestinians all the time, and we’ve become so used to it that no one raises an eyebrow.

          I can’t help but wonder if someone like Christopher Hitchens expressed the same ideas as Atzmon, that the same crowd wouldn’t applaud him for being dangerously but oh so fashionably contrarian.

        • Shmuel says:

          Thanks, Shingo. Anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racists are denounced on this site every day. Such racism is obvious to most of us. When good people on our side defend and support a racist or someone who likes to get attention by playing around with racism and racists, however, it’s a little different.

          Let me try another imperfect analogy. It’s a little like Pete Seeger endorsing a peace-environment event sponsored by the JNF, or IGLYO holding its General Assembly conference in Tel-Aviv. Such things deserve specific attention.

        • seafoid says:

          Shmuel

          Atzmon may have shown very bad judgement but he is on the ball about Zionism.

          Danny Danon is the true face of Israel. They will never allow the Palestinians a state
          link to english.aljazeera.net

          They are all the same. Here is the leader of the opposition.

          link to blogs.aljazeera.net
          “Livni is recorded confirming what Palestinians have always accused Israeli governments of doing: creating facts on the ground to prevent the possibility of a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.”

          “Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”.

          And they are sleepwalking Judaism into a disaster. And Atzmon is right on this even if he is wrong on everything else.

        • Shingo says:

          I don’t consider Atzmon to be racist Shmuel.

          I don’t dispute that the guy has issues, adn on the few occasions that I have read or listened to him rant about Jewish identity, I have mentally tuned out pretty quickly.

          I personalyl think he’s a very bitter and angry individual who is hostile to the idea of Jewish indentity, but I think he has successfully articulated that his hatred is directed at what he believes is the institutuion and psychology of Judaism rather than Jews themselves.

          If I said I hated catholicism, that wouldn’t make me racist.

        • Shmuel says:

          Seafoid,

          I have never said that Atzmon is wrong about everything. As for walking Judaism into disaster, I think Marc Ellis put it well:

          In a similar way, the future haunts Jews, even the Judaic, because if a temporary situation of emphasizing an empowered memory and state becomes permanent, the guiding forces of historic Israel will continue to atrophy, and may even dissipate to the point where recovery of the main impulses of Jewish identity will become impossible.

          The thick layer of the emergency post-Holocaust situation is now threatening to become the main, indeed the only, way of
          self-definition. Does anyone, even at this point, believe that a redefinition, a movement backward in order to create a Jewish
          future different than the present, is possible—since there are still some Jews who were formed before the Holocaust/Israel identity center coalesced, thus able to touch the aspects of Jewish life, if only in memory, before the new center closed off previous definitions? Will this still be available to those born after the center was established
          and reified to such an extent that any critique of the present is considered an assault on the very possibility of Jewishness existing in the world?

          I don’t think Atzmon would agree however, as he appears to believe that the problem lies within Jewishness itself.

        • Shmuel says:

          Shingo,

          As I have said, I don’t know if I would call Atzmon a racist, but he obviously likes to play around with racism and associate with racists, while trying to preserve some level of deniability. I definitely think that he is dishonest.

          You can say you hate Catholicism and be a racist, or not. It probably depends on whether you would extend your hatred to all forms of Catholic identity – including forms that no longer include the specific elements of which you are critical (due to some sort of essential Catholic nature). Befriending and supporting truly racist anti-Catholics might also make you a liability to pro-choice, safe-sex, gay-rights, or euthanasia campaigns.

        • Shingo says:

          Shmuel,

          I suspect that Atzmon enjoys pushing people’s buttons and being controversial. Like I said, his obsession with analysing Jewish identity is nothing short of obsessive. I saw his discussion with Alan Hart (a staunch critic of Israel) and I got the distinct feeling that Hart hung in there but eventually gave up once Aztmon got into his groove and became painfully pendantic about Jewish identity.

          Having said that, I can see how the analysis of Jewish indentity could easily become all consuming, given that Jewish indentity is perhaps more deeply embedded into every day life than Catholocism might be – especially with the significance of Israel/Jerusalm thrown into the mix. In which case, descerning or indentifying specific elements to criticise within Judaism becomes exponentially complex.

          I must say that I found some of Aztmon’s observations about Phil (when he interviewed Phil) and the question of his Jewish indentity fascinating, in his pedantic kind of way. Indeed, Phil has been very candid about his motivation for this activism being fuelled by his concern for his fellow Jews.

          While I have the highest regard for Phil as a humanist, I find it puzzling how I arrive at the same perspective as his, when my motivation is driven by a desire of justice and concern for humanity across the board, not Jews specifically.

          Befriending and supporting truly racist anti-Catholics might also make you a liability to pro-choice, safe-sex, gay-rights, or euthanasia campaigns.

          Being anti-anything and taking it to extremes will often bring you full circle. We see that with neo nazis indentifying themselves as Zionists, or Zionists aligning themselves with fascist and racist elements.

          I think it comes back to that old maxim that you become what you hate. I suspect Atzmon suffers from this condition as much as anyone.

        • Shmuel says:

          I suspect that Atzmon enjoys pushing people’s buttons and being controversial. Like I said, his obsession with analysing Jewish identity is nothing short of obsessive.

          And ordinarily, I am perfectly happy to leave him to his demons and his little games. He is “toxic” however (as ToivoS put it), and I find it very regrettable when people like Phil and Mearsheimer (or Hart, for that matter) associate themselves him. I know of others – including Palestinians – who have been more circumspect.

        • Citizen says:

          True, Schmuel, but was Hannah Arendt a Jew-hating simpleton? You think the “banality of evil” is not a meritorious notion? I suggest you look at the contemporary American government bureaucracy for a prime current example, especially Congress and Military folks . You think there’s nothing more to anti-semitism or “self-hating Jews” than astute reasons such as ignorant ancient Volk “blood libel” enhanced by the Church powers historically, ample use of scapegoating Jews to divert peasant anger at the Establishment and its lethal hypocrisy, Gentile joy at the misery of others, Gentile jealousy of Jewish riches?
          If you think Atzmon “flirts” with anti-semitism, I wonder what you think of the content of Albert S Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears, Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews? Is he another “self-hating jew?” His book is much bigger, more scholarly than Atzmon’s, and it contains 21 pages of supportive footnotes for the content, which is putting the traditional Jewish history of anti-semitism in context of the larger history of the historical times–he adds much historical fact to answer the question: Why have Jews been so hated in history?

          RE Preface to his book, at P xiii, “The importance of Jew-hatred in the last hundred years is undeniable, the repercussions appalling. That I have devoted many years of study to anti-Semitism underlines how important I think it is has been and is. Still, assertions about the significance of Jew-hatred in modern history have sometimes been exaggerted or crudely simplified, in ways that finally hinder rather than enhance our efforts to understand it. Similarly, the tendency to dismiss anti-Semitism as a bizarre hallucination, a fantasy of diseased minds, is undoubtedly justified in some instances but has often been overdone and has thus hindered understanding, for Jews have been disliked for many reasons by a very wide variety of normal people, many of whom were neither emotionally unstable nor intellectually unsophisticated, and a few of whom were men and women of great ability (Wagner, Barres, or T S Eliot, for example).”

          I imagine Jews may dislike Jews rationally too; and neither Atzmon nor Mearsheimer fall into the moral realm of being Nazis because they criticize some Jewish group conduct.

        • “Jews have not merely been passive victims throughout their history …”

          I’m pretty sure the inhabitants of what’s left of Iraq see the Jews as active players. All they have to do is look around them. I bet the inhabitants of Iran share the view. Are you saying they’re wrong? Antisemites?

      • ToivoS says:

        annie, don’t waste your time defending Atzmon, he is a total fool and Mearsheimer made a big mistake writing that blurb. I don’t blame him for doing so, he just made a mistake reading this one book and over looking Atzmon’s history.

        In 2008 Atzmon released on his mailing list an article by Paul Eisen and later when criticized for doing so, defended his original decision. Eisen’s article contained your classic arguments that the holocaust never happened. He supports arguments that Auswitz did not gas Jews. Sorry folks, that is completely wrong, the holocaust is a historical fact and we should have no patience for anyone who not only denies it but defends those who deny it.

        Mearsheimer made a mistake.

        • annie says:

          sure ToivoS, and do we hold the same standards in our society for those who deny the nakba? or do they still write for the msm?

          also, i can’t defend atzmon because i have not read but smidgens of his work. but i will definitely defend mearsheimer. he’s a smart man, there’s no reason he should have sat down and spent days reading his blog. instead he read atzmons book and he liked it. so what? we have supporters of ethnic cleansing right here on this blog and we discourse with them every single day/ why is atzmon worse than them?

        • ToivoS says:

          annie you are correct, Mearsheimer made a simple error in endorsing that dam fool Atzmon. His error is explicable and there are not that many people who really know how toxic this Atzmon character is. The main event was in 2008 and it seems that Atzmon has avoided the subject since. But he has never admitted any error in sending out that Eisen article to his mailing list. Please, he should be avoided and I agree with Shmuel that Mearsheimer should simply admit he made a mistake.

        • Shingo says:

          I don’t blame him for doing so, he just made a mistake reading this one book and over looking Atzmon’s history.

          Mearsheimer reviewed a book ToivoS, he didn’t assess a job application or provide a personal refrence as to Atzmon’s history.

          So no, it was not a mistake.

          Eisen’s article contained your classic arguments that the holocaust never happened.

          I read that link (seeing as it’s so controversial) and based on a cursory read, I found no evidence of Holocause denial. Eisen’s article was clumsy and difficult to follow, but the gist I got from it was that the magnitude of the Holocaust should not be measured on the basis of the fact that 6 million were murdered or whether gas chambers were used to carry it out. Personally, I found the articel pointless and badly argued, but I couldn’t find any statement that denied the Holocaust took place.

          Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          you know, you spend so much energy denouncing Zionists, but this is the exact replica of the standard “singling out Israel” argument. Personally I have called out people on this very site for denying the Nakba (which was ethnic cleansing, not genocide) link to mondoweiss.net

          but I shouldn’t have to in order to call out bigots like Atzmon. If someone asks in the context of the Holocaust “why do these things keep happening to Jews” as if they are to blame for their own genocide, why do we need to change the subject to denial or justification of other crimes?

        • Shingo says:

          Sorry Tom,

          But I’m either getting tired (been a long day) or your argument is becomming increasingly convoluted.

          On the topic of ethnic cleansing vs genocide, I fail to see the difference. They are both intended to eradicate a populaiton from any one location. One just happens to be a more premanent option.

          I don’t know whete you got the idea that you have to provide your credentials to attack Atzmon. By all means, do so. I think the guy crosses the line and he should be held accountable. With regard to the question as to “why do these things keep happening to Jews” it is not just in teh context of the Holocaust because he is clearly refrencing prior history of Jewish persecution.

        • Sumud says:

          If someone asks in the context of the Holocaust “why do these things keep happening to Jews” as if they are to blame for their own genocide, why do we need to change the subject to denial or justification of other crimes?

          I have not read Atzmon, and I don’t intend to, but his asking “why do these things keep happening to Jews” is NOT the same as saying jews are to blame for the holocaust, and it seems disingenuous to say they are.

        • Shmuel says:

          I agree, Sumud. It is not the same. It is probably worse, because it seems to discount the many obvious factors that have contributed to the historical persecution of Jews (such as xenophobia, scapegoating, political and religious manipulation, ignorance, etc.), as well as the fact that relations between Jews and non-Jews throughout history have by no means been a continuum of hostility and violence.

          It is ahistorical and manipulative to say that Jews were always innocent and passive victims (or that they were always persecuted), but it is also ahistorical and manipulative to say that the reason for their persecution must be sought exclusively, or even primarily, in some inherent and immutable Jewish characteristic (apart from the very fact of their alterity).

        • seafoid says:

          Shmuel

          “the many obvious factors that have contributed to the historical persecution of Jews (such as xenophobia, scapegoating, political and religious manipulation, ignorance, etc.), ”

          That’s the Ashkenazi Jewish experience, Shmuel. It’s not a universal Jewish thing. The Mizrahim had to be taught all this stuff.
          Danny Danon is a very diligent student

          I had to laugh at his al jazeera video when he said something along the lines of “if we didn’t have this then I wouldn’t be here”. That persecution must have been awful in Algeria. What were they doing in 1943, in Algiers, those Jews ? Was it shisha or aseer farawleh

        • Shmuel says:

          That’s the Ashkenazi Jewish experience

          Not exclusively. The more diverse and tolerant the societies have been, the better, but there were times and places in which Jews (and others) were persecuted in Islamic lands as well – not primarily as a result of some inherent Jewish characteristic they shared with their co-religionists in Christendom (as Atzmon would have it), but because majority-minority relations can be difficult.

          What Mizrahim learned from Ashkenazim – but more importantly, from Zionists – was to highlight persecution and wallow in it. And if their own history of persecution was not up to scratch, Arab reactions to Zionism and colonialism pitched in. And if even that was insufficient, there were plenty of European pogroms and expulsions to go around.

        • annie says:

          If someone asks in the context of the Holocaust “why do these things keep happening to Jews”…….why do we need to change the subject to denial or justification of other crimes?

          it just sounds different when i exclude ” as if they are to blame for their own genocide “. sometimes questions aren’t asked to blame, sometimes they are just asked to get answers.

          If someone asks in the context of the Holocaust “why do these things keep happening to Jews” why do we need to change the subject to blame? can’t we blame the nazis for the holocaust and still asked “why do these things keep happening to Jews” ?

        • MRW says:

          Shmuel,

          but it is also ahistorical and manipulative to say that the reason for their persecution must be sought exclusively, or even primarily, in some inherent and immutable Jewish characteristic

          I don’t think anyone is asking it as if there were exclusive blame because A, the question is already taboo and hasn’t been allowed in my lifetime (without a cacophony of spanky-spanky labels); B, Jews themselves refer to, and describe, themselves as “Jews,” as a cohesive group that operated over the centuries, not as Spaniards, Greeks, Ukrainians, or some other nationality of which they were nominally a part, which obviates history and time and addresses your “characteristics” issue (not to mention perseveration wrapped around that alterity); C, the pervasive—only allowable—history we’ve ever heard is persecution, and D, frankly it’s really no different than asking the NA Indians (of which there were 500 tribes, but no one really knows that, nor do they care) how is it they lost the land they inhabited for 13,000 years when the religious crazies and Romero Sombrero showed up.

          It’s just words. What’s wrong with asking these things? Happy New Year, BTW ;-)

          _____________________

          Edit: this is the extent of my dog in this fight. I haven’t followed the thread closely enough.

        • Shmuel says:

          MRW,

          In brief, because I’ve really spent too much time at MW today. The passage Tom cited was:

          “I am suggesting that the only way to internalise the meaning of the Jewish Holocaust is to teach Jews how to start looking in the mirror, to teach Jews to ask themselves why conflicts with others happen to them time after time. Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?”

          To me, that doesn’t sound like merely trying to open up the question of historical Jewish agency for discussion – especially when suggested by someone who really does seem to believe in Jewish essentialism (bad) – but feel free to interpret it any way you like. I have tried to avoid discussions about specific things Atzmon has written and said, because they tend to be slippery, and his supporters seem to be willing to give him endless credit.

          Bottom line (and I hope I’m not rambling) is that Jewish historiography has been skewed and manipulated with disastrous results, and should certainly be open for honest discussion, but that would have to involve extreme caution against skewing and manipulating in the opposite direction, which could have equally disastrous results. Not everyone is capable of engaging in such discussion. I believe Atzmon to be one of the incapable. He has too many issues and too many axes to grind, and exaggeration in the opposite direction may sometimes help to restore the “golden mean” or the “humours”, but that is not the case when it comes to trying to establish a reasonably honest version of historical events and processes.

          Thanks for the good wishes. Would it be too ethnocentric of me to wish you the same? :-)

        • American says:

          ““why do these things keep happening to Jews” is NOT the same as saying jews are to blame for the holocaust, and it seems disingenuous to say they are.”

          I agree.
          No one can blame the victims for their own ethnic cleansing or holocaust.
          However if the Jews had “only now and then” been prescuted like other groups it might not merit the question Why?
          But the fact that since time immemorial it’s always been Jews vr Others makes it a valid question and worth exploring .
          I am surprised more Jews don’t ask ‘why us’?

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Sumud – here is the quote again

          “I am suggesting that the only way to internalise the meaning of the Jewish Holocaust is to teach Jews how to start looking in the mirror, to teach Jews to ask themselves why conflicts with others happen to them time after time. Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?” The Jews who already doing that are known as self-haters, yet they are a million moons ahead of the Jewish tribal discourse. They clearly see the conflict between universalism and Jewish tribalism.”
          link to peacepalestine.blogspot.com

          now, it’s one thing to say in the context of the political project of Zionism that Zionist Jews should take responsibility for what they created, and not view history from the standpoint of the victims. And it’s a completely different thing to talk in this context about the Germans and the “the 6 million $ question” which is an obvious reference to the Holocaust. Saying in this context that “rather than blaming” the Germans Jews should “start looking in the mirror” is a quite clear example of blaming the victim.

          and if you think I’m making this up, in a recent interview he made the connection again:

          Interviewer: I tell people we are almost getting into a Weimar situation, do you see that happening?

          Atzmon: Absolutely. It is very tragic to say, but I can see it. And the only thing that can save the Jews from themselves is if we, the goyim, let’s say –

          Interviewer: I heard you joined the goyim a few years ago, you are on the goyim team now.

          Atzmon: Yes — if the goyim, the gentiles, basically — find within ourselves the powers to contain this sinister ideological collective.
          link to networkedblogs.com

          why is it necessary for the gentiles to contain this “sinister ideological collective”? because of something they did during the Weimer Period. If they hadn’t misbehaved it wouldn’t be necessary to “save them from themselves” – he is again implying that they were responsible for what happened after the Weimar period=the Holocaust.

          Now I realize Atzmonologists will claim that when he refers to Jews as a “sinister ideological collective” he means it in a good way, just like when he praised Wagner’s “astute” comment that “Jews were only capable of producing money-making music and not works of art”
          link to gilad.co.uk.

          there is always some kind of mysterious context that makes these comments much better than they sound, just like Wagner’s music

        • Citizen says:

          ToivoS, please tell us where to go to find where Atzmon says specifically that he thinks no Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Thanks. The holocaust is an historical fact among many. The industrialization of murder is part of the advance of technology, Auschwitz no less than the introduction of the machine gun and drones. BTW, weren’t the Roma right up there with the Jews in terms of priority for industrial murder? Were the slavs second tier targets? What do you think of the limiting of Jews to “The Holocaust” we all grew up with from grade school?

        • ToivoS says:

          David Gehrig at:

          link to ucimc.org

          writes about it. He is someone who has made himself an expert in the holocaust denial literature. He documents that Paul Eisen has picked up a few tropes from the neoNazi Ernst Zunkel. Specifically some crazed engineering report that the death chamber at Auswitz could not have killed as many people as claimed.

          Atzmon has not to my knowledge repeated these claims but he did send that article to his mailing list.

        • annie says:

          i saw a video on youtube once interviewing some guy (he looked like a priest or something) claiming ‘there couldn’t have been gas chambers there’ something about the updraft or ceiling height or some other ridiculous explanation. don’t these people have better things to focus on? what a weirdo.

        • LeaNder says:

          seafroid?: What were they doing in 1943, in Algiers, those Jews ? Was it shisha or aseer farawleh

          What are you hinting at? Strictly it does sound fine, atmospheric. But what exactly does it mean in your larger context?

          thanks, for the link to the Dannon interview. Strange.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Annie – “can’t we blame the nazis for the holocaust and still asked “why do these things keep happening to Jews” ?

          first of all, if you are willing to blame the nazis for the Holocaust you should be denouncing someone who wrote “Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?” – this sentence says quite clearly that blaming the Germans is reprehensible. This is what “rather than” means in plain English. It doesn’t mean “we need to accept X and in addition do…”.

          Secondly, it isn’t such a big mystery. Jews were minorities in many places and suffered like other minorities, probably less than some. In the Christian world they were associated with murdering Jesus, which was a prevalent myth throughout those societies.

          Thirdly, women have been raped throughout history. Should they also ask themselves “why do they pick on me”? Native Americans were exterminated all over the Americas – should they be asking themsleves why, “rather than” blaming those who exterminated them? just because something is frequent doesn’t mean that the victim is somehow to blame. Again, if you want to discuss this in the context of a political movement like Zionism, that’s a whole different ballgame, but to say that “rather than” blaming the Germans all Jewish men women and children in Nazi-occupied Russia rounded up and shot should have asked themselves “why me” is beyond offensive.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          first of all, if you are willing to blame the nazis for the Holocaust you should be denouncing someone who wrote “Rather than blaming the Goyim, the Germans, the Muslims, the Arabs, it is about time the Jewish subject learns to ask the 6 million $ question: “why do they pick on me?” – this sentence says quite clearly that blaming the Germans is reprehensible. This is what “rather than” means in plain English. It doesn’t mean “we need to accept X and in addition do…”.

          This sentence certainly could mean that blaming the Germans is reprehensible, but it need not. It could just as easily be expressing the notion that blaming the Germans is self-evident and unnecessary, it could be expressing the notion that such blaming is less important (on some measure) than idiological self-reflection or any one of a number of different things, depending on the context.

          And that is the problem here. This quotation was clearly taken out of a larger whole and absent its context, it is impossible to know exactly what the author intended. Much of the criticism of Atzmon I’ve seen is based on one or two sentences, taken out of context, along with a statement about what they “clearly mean.” Well, no, it doesn’t work that way.

          Now I haven’t read enough of Atzmon’s work to reach any conclusions about him besides the fact that he is often inflamatory, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I do know that if someone is writing on a subject like self-identity and if he takes care not to write anything that might cause offense to someone, he’s probably not writing something worth reading, anyway, even if you disagree with him.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Woody, I don’t think anyone is claiming every single word that comes out of Atzmon’s mouth is offensive. Besides the passages that people quote here there are also legitimate (if not particularly original) points. Yes, the memory of the Holocaust has often been manipulated for political means. Yes, it is important for everyone, including Jews, to look at history not only from the viewpoint of the victims. Yes, there is plenty to criticize about Zionism. However, when you go out of your way to use inflammatory language, for example when you call on gentiles to “find within ourselves the powers to contain this sinister ideological collective”, (the Jews)
          link to networkedblogs.com , you don’t do anything to advance those causes. It really isn’t necessary to incite against Jews to make those points. I don’t know why he uses this language, maybe he was traumatized as an Israeli soldier serving in Lebanon, but whatever the reason is, calling Jews a “sinister ideological collective” isn’t some kind of thought-provoking argument, it’s pretty childish mudslinging. You’re doing him no favors by constantly referring people to this mysterious deep context that makes everything he says acceptable. It isn’t necessary to read every single word he has ever written to see that these comments are pointless. And we don’t need legitimate causes like pro-Palestine activism to be mixed up with provocation for the sake of provocation. Too much is at stake.

        • annie says:

          i’ll be the first to stand up and say jews are not a “sinister ideological collective”. but is there a “sinister ideological collective” operating within the jewish community? it sure seems like there is to me.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Annie: “i’ll be the first to stand up and say jews are not a “sinister ideological collective”. but is there a “sinister ideological collective” operating within the jewish community? it sure seems like there is to me.”

          fine, so in order for criticism of, say, the Zionist establishment within the Jewish community to be effective, it’s necessary to distinguish that criticism from all-out incitement against Jews, and it would be very helpful in this context if you *could* actually ‘stand up and say Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’, and stand up like that whenever you hear people inciting against Jews as Jews – just as you would do for muslims, palestinians, women, gays etc. Otherwise you are giving ammunition to people who equate anti-Zionism with anti-Judaism.

        • annie says:

          and it would be very helpful in this context if you *could* actually ‘stand up and say Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’, and stand up like that whenever you hear people inciting against Jews as Jews – just as you would do for muslims, palestinians, women, gays etc.

          tom, perhaps if you visited some of the other threads besides the ones involving atzmon you might get more informed as to my posting habits. here’s just one from today (more of the same ilk on that thread). this is rather a running feature here wrt my personal frustrations. but then you wouldn’t know that because you probably don’t follow the everyday chitchat around here. like taking crap for defending my version of moral giants the other day. ciao.

        • annie says:

          if you *could* actually ‘stand up and say Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’

          excuse me? i just said it already! or doesn’t this count: “i’ll be the first to stand up and say jews are not a “sinister ideological collective”?

          Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’ Jews are not a ‘sinister ideological collective’

          all better now???

          maybe you should try readjusting your antenas because your radar is out of wack.

        • annie says:

          sorry, i shouldn’t have gotten so emotional. it is a constant battle tom. but the mere suggestion i don’t fight this stereotype is absurd. from the same thread at my previous link from today:

          it’s just my nature, i can’t hear something that grinds away at what i believe to be true and not say something. so i will repeat

          “the Jews are so f8cking stupid as to kill their own state ”

          not all jews. not by a long shot.

          i fight for what i believe in. everyday!

        • Shingo says:

          With all due respects Tom,

          You’re fixation with this topic is brodering on obsessive, if not manic. There has not been a comment rom any poster to this forum that has inciting against Jews as Jews and you know it.

          If you are so deeply distubed about insitement against Jews as Jews , take it up with Bibbi, who professed to peak on behalf of a hundred generations of the world’s Jews.

          Please, for everyone’s sake, put this silly game of your to rest.

        • annie says:

          if you are willing to blame the nazis for the Holocaust

          if i am willing to blame nazis? why are you addressing me like this?

          this sentence says quite clearly that blaming the Germans is reprehensible.

          could you do me the favor of arguing like an adult? what’s clear is you do not want to address the words themselves, the words that proceeded these. you want to put it in a pessah cooker and then mix it all around, spit up another of your ‘clearly’ interpretations and argue the stawman.

          btw, the answer is no. what he said doesn’t even imply ‘blaming the Germans is reprehensible’.

          you’re hooked on the blame angle. you’re a one trick pony. you need to get out in the real world and stop bouncing your narratives off children. i don’t know why i took you seriously before.

          see ya round.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Tom Pessah,

          “However, when you go out of your way to use inflammatory language, for example when you call on gentiles to ‘find within ourselves the powers to contain this sinister ideological collective’, (the Jews)
          link to networkedblogs.com
          , you don’t do anything to advance those causes.”

          Oh, baloney. Inflammatory language is one of the great gifts that wise malcontents give to the world. (Have you ever read any Thomas Paine? Correct for the culture at the time, and that was some really inflammatory stuff.) That it is also used by mouthbreathing dummies is no reason to attack the tool, itself. If it offends your delicate sensibilities, then the solution is to excuse yourself from the conversation, not to complain that someone hurt your feelings.

          “I don’t know why he uses this language, maybe he was traumatized as an Israeli soldier serving in Lebanon”

          Why would you assume that it had to be some traumatic event?? Perhaps he simply applied his moral sense and intelligence to the facts presented to him.

          “…but whatever the reason is, calling Jews a ‘sinister ideological collective’ isn’t some kind of thought-provoking argument, it’s pretty childish mudslinging.”

          But did he, in fact, call “Jews” this? Or was it a specific group who holds a specific ideology that he was calling out? You included “the Jews” in a parenthetical and then proceeded on the assumption that that paranthetical was correct. Well, that the fact that you needed to add that paranthetical, and could not find a direct quote that said “the Jews”, would suggest to me that he was not, in fact, talking about “the Jews” as a whole.

          I’ve looked at the link you provided and there is no context from which one can say that the antecedent of the word “this” was all Jews indiscriminately as opposed to some other group. I am unable to listen to the interview from which the quote was taken, so I must remain undecided on the issue, but I certainly think that there is insufficient evidence to establish that by the terms he was using that it means what you suggest it means.

          “You’re doing him no favors by constantly referring people to this mysterious deep context that makes everything he says acceptable.”

          Actually, I don’t care to do anyone any favors. I’m not in the habit of doing favors. But what I will insist on is intellectual honesty. And that’s where context is not only important but indispensible. Because it is a sad fact of life that people who are very intelligent and who don’t sugar coat their ideas are often misunderstood by people who are less intelligent, who have ideological blinders, who are ignorant or who simply can’t keep up with complex thoughts and arguments. (I’ve seen people insist that a statement of a conditional premise by him was actually a conclusion, for pete’s sake!!) I’m not saying that this is what is going on here with you. I don’t know. But I do know that the minute we say, “screw context. Let’s hang’em based on the fact that it’s inflammatory and makes me feel offended” then we might as well fold up the whole “intellectual discourse” tent and all become farmers.

          It is clear that he has some very strong, very inflammatory ideas about Jewish self-identity and the bases for that, its morality, etc. I don’t see how that means that he is an antisemite. (I don’t know if he is or not.) Unless you are positing that one’s thinking on this subject must be restricted to a narrow range of “acceptable” “non-inflammatory” “non-offensive” ideas or one is an antisemite. But if that is your idea, then I would suggest that such thinking is, itself, flawed and justifies rebuke.

        • ToivoS says:

          Well this is looking like the official Mearsheimer-Atzmon scandal thread. Garbrial at JSF weighs in today:

          link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

          He has been warning people for years to avoid Atzmon. He now seems to admit that his criticisms were too polite. It was a mistake he seems to be saying not to have come right out and branded Atzmon an antisemite before. He has a pretty hard criticism for Mearsheimer as well for a spectacular lack of judgment.

        • Shingo says:

          Superbly put Woody,

          Tom is taking ths argument to the borders of farcical. He argues that cotext matetrs when it suits him, while irrelevant when it does not.

          As for what is or is not infamatory, the very sugegstion of a 2 state solution was considered infamatory, so that’s hardly compelling.

        • annie says:

          Now I realize Atzmonologists will claim that when he refers to Jews as a “sinister ideological collective” he means it in a good way

          tom, your source link goes to adam holland, i’ve read enough of his crap to believe he is a bloviating liar with an agenda. watch his own commentors take him to task for overstepping and twisting as he tries to take down max. camera links to him as a source. iow, you are not helping your argument linking to adam holland.

          furthermore the blockquote you used from adam was sourced not at atzmon’s (i can understand why he would not want to link to atzmon) but to harry’s place except it does not read as either you or holland wrote it, reads like this at harry’s:

          Question: So basically we are almost, I tell people we are almost getting into a Weimar situation, do you see that happening?

          GA: Absolu – it is very tragic to say, but I can see it. And the only thing that can save the Jews from themselves is if we the goyim, let’s say [Interviewer: ‘I heard you joined the goyim a few years ago, you are on the goyim team now’ – GA: ‘yes, yes’] if the goyim, the gentiles, are basically – can find within ourselves the powers to contain these sinister ideological collectives.

          (i will give you the benefit of the doubt you didn’t check your sources, unlike holland, who actually used a blockquote and switched the text from his own source tsk tsk)

          it is a small distinction, but a distinction none the less. so what do you think he is referring to when he references ‘these’ sinister ideological ‘collectives’? it might interest you to know he was referencing the diaspora and the lobby specifically prior to talking about this. i listened from around 50 minutes in. but he couldn’t have been referencing Jews as a “sinister ideological collective” because he very clearly spoke in multiples which implies collectives within a group. it does not imply the whole group, not unless you read it sinisterly.

          i am not an Atzmonologists. nor do i think he was referencing “these ….collectives” as a ‘good thing’, at all.

          he is again implying that they were responsible for what happened after the Weimar period=the Holocaust.

          he is implying there were collectives within the jewish community who pissed people off both today, and during weimer period. i would imagine that might be true tho i would never blame anyone for their own genocide. being pissed at people is not a reason to kill them or use collective punishment, ever. but would it be to imposing to ask “what pissed them off”? i know what pisses people like myself off today wrt the lobby. would i agree the lobby is a ‘sinister ideological collective’? probably. would i references hagee’s ilk a “sinister ideological collective”. yep. would i reference the israel lobby and the christian zionists as “these sinister ideological collectives.” yeah, i would.

          and no i don’t think it is a good thing, i think it is dangerous for our country.

          also, why do you think holland found it necessary to change the format as well as two words? why didn’t he copy and paste? he must have had to purposely switch the words. that’s akin to lying, but then we already know he’s a liar.

        • Shingo says:

          Garbrial at JSF weighs in today:

          Garbrial’s piece is compelling but highly emotive.

          In this piece, Garbrial even comes up with his/her own interpretation of Antisemitism, insisting it is political, which is “fundamentally a political analysis” which is absurd, becasue it dismisses the racist aspect of antisemitism, which is based on far more primitive responses.

          He then argues that the proof of Atzmon’s antisemitism is that he denies it. Right.

          As to the claim that Atzmon has relied on false sources, I’ll take Garbrial’s word for it.

        • Antidote says:

          ToivoS

          did you actually read Paul Eisen’s article? Just wondering

        • ToivoS says:

          Antidote: did I read Eisen’s article. God forbid no. 16,000 words of holocaust denial. Why do you ask? Do you think this Eisen character should be taken seriously?

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Annnie: “he is implying there were collectives within the jewish community who pissed people off both today, and during weimer period. i would imagine that might be true tho i would never blame anyone for their own genocide. being pissed at people is not a reason to kill them or use collective punishment, ever. but would it be to imposing to ask “what pissed them off”?

          that’s a great question Annie, you know I should ask my aunt about that. She lost every single member of her family in the camps apart from one cousin, I think she was 9 years old at the time. Maybe I should give you her phone number and you can ask her yourself who she pissed off, I mean there must have been a good reason why she lost her entire family. Only do be sure to clarify that ” i would never blame anyone for their own genocide”, as you felt the need to emphasize, just in case someone thought you were implying that.

          btw another blog today had more nice Atzmon quotes explaining that Nazism was a response to a Jewish assualt on the Germans

          “Not even Saul Friedlander in his otherwise comprehensive overview of German policy, Nazi Germany and the Jews, mentions the fact that the Jewish declaration of war and boycott preceded Hitler’s speech of March 28, 1933.”

          However, it turns out Atzmon was lying and the “jewish declaration of war” was in fact a *response* to anti-Jewish violence. link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com
          link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

          but again, nice to see someone sticking up for Hitler. Keep on defending him.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          Annie: “he is implying there were collectives within the jewish community who pissed people off both today, and during weimer period. i would imagine that might be true”

          you “would imagine”? so you’re saying you don’t have any evidence that any Jewish collective was doing any harm to anyone during the Weimer period, but you “would imagine” that based on something you think about Jews today? that’s very interesting, so you’re saying you “imagine” there is some kind of continuity in the way Jews behave which annoys gentiles, so interesting you would think that about Jews.

        • Tom Pessah says:

          just out of curiousity, if lying in order to portray the Nazis as the victims of the Jews isn’t enough to get you to distance yourself from him, what would be? what more does he have to say about Jews to rank as an antisemite?

        • seafoid says:

          American

          It is all because there is no taqiyya in Jewish culture. why have the Alawi been so successful ?

          “Like other sectarian groups they protected their tradition by a strategy known as taqiyya—the right to hide one’s true beliefs from outsiders in order to avoid persecution. Taqiyya makes a perfect qualification for membership in the mukhabarat—the ubiquitous intelligence/security apparatus that has dominated Syria’s government for more than four decades”

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          btw another blog today had more nice Atzmon quotes explaining that Nazism was a response to a Jewish assualt on the Germans

          “Not even Saul Friedlander in his otherwise comprehensive overview of German policy, Nazi Germany and the Jews, mentions the fact that the Jewish declaration of war and boycott preceded Hitler’s speech of March 28, 1933.”

          That quote does not substantiate the claim you make about it (besides the fact that it is removed from any context to determine what the actual subject matter under discussion actually is.)

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          you “would imagine”? so you’re saying you don’t have any evidence that any Jewish collective was doing any harm to anyone during the Weimer period, but you “would imagine” that based on something you think about Jews today? that’s very interesting, so you’re saying you “imagine” there is some kind of continuity in the way Jews behave which annoys gentiles, so interesting you would think that about Jews.

          I don’t think, prior to this post, that I’ve seen strawmanning go from merely a logical fallacy into a full fledged pathology, like you did here. That’s really something. LOL.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “if lying in order to portray the Nazis as the victims of the Jews”

          And where, exactly, was this done?

        • annie says:

          you know I should ask my aunt about that. She lost every single member of her family in the camps apart from one cousin, I think she was 9 years old at the time. Maybe I should give you her phone number and you can ask her yourself who she pissed off, I mean there must have been a good reason why she lost her entire family….nice to see someone sticking up for Hitler.

          you’re really on a roll aren’t you. why on earth would anyone assume your aunt would be part of a sinister ideological collective? you’re intentionally trying to construe a bunch of stuff from my post i never said while at the same time ignore the fact your link, the holland character found the need to lie to make his point. why would he do that?

          you’re back here days later chewing on an old bone. you’re making a fool out of yourself.

        • annie says:

          tom, i think you are conceptually challenged. it doesn’t take evidence to construe some people might have been pissed at some jews prior to the holocaust. millions of people died so obviously someone had a bone to pick. doesn’t mean it was justified.

          i’m sensing a willful intent to find nefarious meaning on my part where there is none. and just for the record, i have no intention of distancing myself from mearsheimer.

        • annie says:

          I don’t think, prior to this post, that I’ve seen strawmanning go from merely a logical fallacy into a full fledged pathology, like you did here.

          woody, i don’t know what his trip is. it’s certainly not normal engagement. he seems more interested in just throwing any and everything against the wall (with abandon) to see what sticks.

        • eee says:

          Do you guys REALLY do not understand what Tom is saying? Really?
          How do you classify this:
          For hundreds of years slaves were predominantly African. Therefore, it behooves us to ask why exactly did Africans get picked upon and for such a long time? Could it be that there is some sinister ideological collective at work here, making Africans hated and considered less than human?

          The paragraph above is obviously racist. How can what Atzmon writes not be racist?

        • DBG says:

          Not even Saul Friedlander in his otherwise comprehensive overview of German policy, Nazi Germany and the Jews, mentions the fact that the Jewish declaration of war and boycott preceded Hitler’s speech of March 28, 1933.

          Ok, so the Jews are responsible for the Holocaust because of the boycott and Zionist Jews are responsible for the Holocaust because they acted against the boycott?

        • tree says:

          i’m sensing a willful intent to find nefarious meaning on my part where there is none. and just for the record, i have no intention of distancing myself from mearsheimer.

          Which is why, annie, Tom is such a poor champion for his position that Atzmon is antisemitic. What he has said with regards to Atzmon is of the same stripe as what he has done to you.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Do you guys REALLY do not understand what Tom is saying?”

          I understand what Tom is saying. The problem is that he is not necessraily right. Absent context, all you have is a discussion of something that makes him offended. Okay. That tells us something about Tom, but little about the author.

          “For hundreds of years slaves were predominantly African. Therefore, it behooves us to ask why exactly did Africans get picked upon and for such a long time? Could it be that there is some sinister ideological collective at work here, making Africans hated and considered less than human?”

          “The paragraph above is obviously racist”

          No, it isn’t. It could be, depending on the context and the remainder of the writing, but it need not be. What if the next line is something like, “Now to ask that question is to answer it. Clearly no such thing has occurred.” Is it “obviously racist” then?

          That’s the point. There is no doubt that Atzmon has written a lot about Jewish identity that Tom finds offensive. Okay. That doesn’t mean that Atzmon’s writings are antisemitic. They could be, but they could also be challenging the narrative in which the undisputable facts are viewed, and Tom has an interest or desire to see the old orthodoxy remain unsullied. (Look at how American right-wingers react when you point out that the USA has a history of doing insanely shitty things on every continent where there are people. HOWLS of denial.) I can see how that can emit outrage by proponents of the challenged orthodoxy. But that doesn’t mean that the outrage is well-founded.

        • annie says:

          i also have my doubts with making any symbiotic comparisons between the master slave relationship vs what might motivate people to commit mass genocide. two entirely different ballgames.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Of course you have your doubts, because you have no good answer. All you want to do is protect Mearsheimer. Yes, it is really a very important distinction, the hate that makes people want to kill a certain group is so much different than the hate that makes people want to enslave a certain group and treat them as sub-humans. Why, the first can be caused, but the second can’t be. The moment you decided to defend Atzmon in order to defend Measheimer you lost the argument.

        • annie says:

          tree, it’s really difficult having any kind of conversation with people who argue my making leaps in logic (especially ones backed up by false quotes). there’s supposed to be a cohesive thread between pt a and pt b not flailing away out in left field somewhere.

        • annie says:

          eee, Mearsheimer doesn’t need my protection. also, it’s difficult finding a context when people are using false quotes. i actually followed the link in good faith tom had a point but it’s hard to address tom’s point once i found out the quote had been manipulated. arguing for or against a false quote is rather a moot point don’t you think?

        • ToivoS says:

          eee writes:

          The moment you decided to defend Atzmon in order to defend Measheimer you lost the argument.

          For once I agree with eee. Atzmon is toxic and should be shunned. Get too close and you will come out of it stained. Mearsheimer will survive this error just by keeping his mouth shut about it from now on. But for those who continue to defend Atzmon are just staining their own reputations.

          This exchange with Tom Pessah is a good example. He is heated and not in academic debating mood. It could be an act but it also could be genuine anger at Atzmon’s accusation that the European Jews had it coming (see today’s JSF for background, for any apologist that demands documentation). I accept that this remains a highly emotional issue and it is why Atzmon should be avoided — he deliberately tears at that wound for whatever reasons motivate him. Convincing populations in the West that the Palestinians deserve justice is not high on his agenda, obviously, that is simply an issue he can exploit to gain the notoriety he seeks.

        • Castle Keep says:

          here’s the money quote from Friedlander:

          These very protests became the Nazis’ pretext for the notorious
          April 1, 1933, [one day long] boycott of Jewish businesses

          Here’s an image of the newspaper/banner headline in which Judea Declares War on Germany, dated March 24, 1933.

          Here’s an overview of the activities of Samuel Untermyer and Rabbi Stephen Wise as they waged that boycott on Germany, from 1933 until just about the time of Untermyer’s death, in 1938.

          Once again, check the timeline. Hitler was named chancellor in Jan. 1933.

          The newspaper image above is dated Mar 24, 1933.

          By that time, Untermyer had sailed to Europe, convened with leading Jewish figures to discuss the boycott, decided to wage the boycott, and sailed back to the US. In other words, Hindenberg still had controlling power, and Hitler was far less than 3 months into his tenure, when Jewish leaders from across Europe convened and decided to punish Germany.

          Simultaneously, Arthur Ruppin and other zionist leaders were concluding the Transfer Agreement.

          There was tension between the zionists who were engineering the Transfer Agreement and Untermyer’s group. It is plausible that the huge flow of Jewish wealth into Palestine and New York City as a result of the Transfer Agreement is precisely the seed money that gave Untermyer and his group the confidence, and the wherewithal, to sunder strong Jewish financial ties from Berlin and other German commercial interests. It is certainly the case that Warner Brothers and the other Jewish-run studios in Hollywood, who were called to meet with Untermyer in the summer of 1933, were able to break their ties with the German film market and, presumably, underwritten by Untermyer and other Jewish bankers, focus their filmmaking efforts on full-throated anti-German propaganda. (Ronald Reagan was one of Warner Bros. first war propaganda spokesmen.) see the Norman Lear website for this background.

          Recall also that only ten years earlier, Germans had endured such financial hardship — and starvation, including the so-called “turnip winter,” that tens of thousands of German men, women, and children died. This was present memory when Untermyer and “world Jewry” declared a boycott on Germany, intended, as Untermyer told a radio audience in August 1933, “to destroy Germany’s export trade, on which she was totally dependent, and thereby to destroy Germany.”

          One wonders if Untermyer, like Madeleine Albright, thought “the price was worth it.”

      • jayn0t says:

        I’m glad there is a discussion of Atzmon’s new book and the reaction to it. Maybe it should be a separate thread. Many commenters, including annie (above) can’t understand the hysterical reaction to his reasoned arguments. Well, maybe it’s because he’s hit the nail on the head.

        • “Well, maybe it’s because he’s hit the nail on the head.”

          I heard that captain. But then again maybe I’m just an unsophisticated goy who can’t grasp “real meaning”….

        • jayn0t said:
          “Well, maybe it’s because he’s hit the nail on the head.”

          Walt and Mearsheimer hit the nail on the head, Atzmon merely drives it down a bit further. While Chomsky on this issue doesn’t even hit the nail. Still yet many proclaimed anti-Zionists cling to Chomsky’s not so elegant analysis and viciously lash out at Walt, Mearsheimer and Gilad. I wonder why that is?

      • Citizen says:

        annie, it’s not bizarre. Mearsheimer is an American of German descent. He co-wrote the book outing the lobby as a highly accredited academic, and the book has a 100 pages of supporting footnotes, most of them from the Jewish American community or material found in the US mainstream media. Now he praises Atzmon’s new book, which is a breezy study of Jewish identity politics through history by a man who was born in Israel (with a notable Zionist father), is a former IDF soldier, and who thinks any Jewish mindset is anti-individual, anti-Enlightenment, and always, at least ultimately (if not outright) contradicts universal human moral values. He says in various way that both boisterous racist Jewish Zionists and subtle Jewish Anti-Zionists, and both Jewish capitalists, and Jewish Marxists, etc’, exhibit so, although Jewish liberals & Jewish liberal Zionists do it under a veneer of humanism. In short, Atzmon thinks being and remaining Jewish as prime ID of self is a contradiction in terms, and that such folks are determined above anything to remain part of a self-identifying collective that distinguishes them as fundamentally superior (or at the very least, eternally different) to the rest of humanity, even if only by 10%. He says the proof is in the pudding in that Jews of every stripe all hate him, Atzmon, equally.

        • Donald says:

          “In short, Atzmon thinks being and remaining Jewish as prime ID of self is a contradiction in terms, and that such folks are determined above anything to remain part of a self-identifying collective that distinguishes them as fundamentally superior (or at the very least, eternally different) to the rest of humanity, even if only by 10%. He says the proof is in the pudding in that Jews of every stripe all hate him, Atzmon, equally.”

          Assuming this is an accurate description of his views, and I think it probably is, that illustrates part of what I don’t like about him. He’s lumping together everyone who identifies as Jewish and accusing them all of a form of racism and after insulting every Jew without distinction says that if they get angry about the insult it proves his point. Gee, I could win a lot of arguments with that technique.

          People who embrace an ideology or an identity or a religious belief probably do so because they think there is some value in it. In some sense they think they are better people because they believe “X” or identify themselves as people who believe “X” or whatever. So what? It only matters to me if their beliefs become an excuse for taking rights away from others.

  17. Tom Pessah says:

    I’m happy to correct you since you are in fact wrong.
    You could define the Holocaust as ten people who happened to be Jewish dying of a cold, and deny all the rest, and then pretend you’re not denying it. You could also say you’re not denying the Armenian genocide, just that they were killed intentionally – maybe a lot of them died because of the conditions in WWI.

    But there are standard definitions of what constitutes Holocaust denial. “While historians disagree on different aspects of this phenomenon, it is basically agreed on that the Holocaust may be correctly defined as follows: (1) the Holocaust was the intentional murder of European Jews by the Nazi government of Germany during World War II as a matter of state policy; (2) this mass murder employed gas chambers, among other methods, as a method of killing; and (3) the death toll of European Jews by the end of World War II was roughly 6 million. ”
    link to holocaust-history.org

    There has been a lot of historical research on this topic and actual documents have been discovered. For example, this letter of January 29, 1943 was written by SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain) Karl Bischoff to SS-Oberführer (Sr. Colonel) Hans Kammler concerning the progress made on Krematorium II.

    In this letter, the word “Vergasungskeller” is used to describe the supposed “morgue.” That word means exactly what it sounds like: “gassing cellar,” a (homicidal) gas chamber.
    link to holocaust-history.org

    you’re welcome to read all 327 footnotes of this article on Auschwitz link to holocaust-history.org

    • Shingo says:

      Sorry Tom,

      If I’m wrong, your argument fails to demonstrate it.

      1. As I recall, Eisen does not deny that the Nazi government implemented (and carried out) a state policy of genocide to destroy the Jewish population in Europe.

      2. While the gas chambers a highly symbolic and unique to the Holocaust, it is generally accepted that the vast majority of the victims died from inhumane/brutal treatment and living conditions or by gun shot. So whether the victims were killed by starvation, over-work, beaten, shot, gassed, tortured, denied sanitation or medical treatment, they were all murdered.

      When the number of estimated victims at Auschwitz was revised downwards, it didn’t disprove the Holocaust. Why? Because where they were killed at Auschwitz or Bergen Belsen does not change the fact that they were killed. Similarly, whether gas chambers were utilized or not, while significant, does not change that Jews were murdered.

      3. Your example of ten people who happened to be die is ridiculous. One could just as easily ridicule your analogy and argue that according to your logic, the murder of 5 million would not have constituted a Holocaust. As I mentioned above, the fact that the numbers estimated to have been killed at Auschwitz does not mean the total number of victims has changed.

      Your first link defines Holocaust denial as the questioning of all three of these arguments. As I recall, Eisen does not challenge the first, and only calls into question whether the official figure of 6 million deaths, or the use of gas chambers, is crucial to the significance of the Holocaust. He certainly does not suggest that the number of victims was as low as 300,000 to 1.5 million.

      As to the evidence of the gas chambers, I’d say that the chanbers that were discovered and preserved stand a much more compelling than the analysis of Bischoff’s letter and the interpretation of the word “Vergasungskeller”.

    • Donald says:

      You’re talking about Eisen, right? Just asking. I hadn’t heard of Eisen before. Until this blog, I’d never heard of Atzmon.

      I am mostly on your side and Shmuel’s, but the issue is complicated for me because Shingo and Annie also make good points, and there are multiple issues at stake here. I agree with Shmuel that Mearsheimer shouldn’t have endorsed the book without checking out the author a little bit, though it was an innocent mistake. It reminds me of Chomsky’s endorsement of Faurisson (sp?). (I’m not quite equating Faurisson to Atzmon–I’ll get to that issue later.) Chomsky was right to defend Faurisson’s free speech, but he went a step further and said he was an apolitical liberal. Well, no, he was a Holocaust denier. Then Chomsky himself has spent decades suffering attacks like the ones Goldberg launched on Mearsheimer, claiming that Chomsky himself is a Holocaust denier or something close to it, which is beyond ridiculous. Then Chomsky dug in his heels (rather typical of him, for better or worse) and never admitted it was a mistake to call Faurisson an apolitical liberal. To me Chomsky made a minor human mistake calling Faurisson an apolitical liberal and a bigger mistake not admitting it was a mistake to say that, but the biggest sin in all this were the dishonest attacks on Chomsky, which were designed to discredit his views on US and Israeli atrocities. In fact, I’d say the attacks on Chomsky were morally the same as Faurisson’s Holocaust denial, or possibly worse, because Holocaust deniers when all is said are pathetic racist weasels who don’t actually have any influence in the US and Western countries (though maybe some in other countries), while those who attack Chomsky are trying to cover up for ongoing Western crimes.

      Still, I think Chomsky should have been more careful. He should have defended Faurisson’s free speech rights, but been slow to say anything about his views until he really knew what they were.

      As for Mearsheimer, what he has written is far too important and he ought to be more careful about who he endorses. I read his defense on Walt’s blog and thought it was good, but still, if I knew Mearsheimer personally I’d have advised him to steer clear. As best I can tell Atzmon himself is not a Holocaust denier, but he goes out of his way to say offensive things, some of them which could be interpreted as denial and others which make it sound like Jewish behavior somehow explained the German reaction. This is insane. Supposing for the sake of argument there were legitimate reasons for Germans to be upset by some Jews, this doesn’t even begin to explain the Holocaust. It’s as if I say something rude to a person and he responds by shooting me, my family, and all my friends. In such a situation the focus ought to be on the pathology of the shooter. Atzmon might make some legitimate points, but he also says some extremely offensive things and there’s no excuse for it. One shouldn’t make deliberately offensive comments about the murder of six million people. He reminds me of those ex-Muslims who are beloved by Islamophobes because of the sweeping criticism they make of Islam. Some of their criticisms of some Muslim societies might be correct–it still doesn’t mean I’d want to endorse one of their books.

      But getting back to the Chomsky analogy, I think Goldberg’s reaction is far worse than Mearsheimer’s blurb. And to echo Shingo and Annie–we commonly see anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and anti-Palestinian comments in the MSM that are simply accepted as part of respectable discussion, and only the most extreme cases (like Marty Peretz) are ever called out on it. Obama himself condemns Palestinian terrorism and his Administration saw no evidence (Susan Rice’s words) that there were Israeli war crimes in Gaza, but Obama is seen (until recently) as pro-Palestinian. In this situation I can agree with Shmuel and Tom because I know they are morally consistent, but the vast majority of Mearsheimer’s critics wouldn’t know moral consistency if it bit them in the face.

      • Shingo says:

        Superb analysis as always Donald,

        I couldn’t have expressed my argument better, or even as well as you have.

        • Donald says:

          Thanks Shingo. I think you do a better job actually–I just had a slightly different emphasis, but we seem to agree overall. (As for expressing myself, my writing style needs a bit of work.)

        • Shingo says:

          You’re too modest Donald,

          On my end, it’s my typos that need serious attention before I can ever think about self expression.

      • Antidote says:

        “he goes out of his way to say offensive things, some of them which could be interpreted as denial and others which make it sound like Jewish behavior somehow explained the German reaction. This is insane.”

        what is insane about it? Saying that ‘the German reaction’ was entirely arbitrary (i.e. not in any way connected to Jewish behavior) turns ‘the Germans’ into lunatics who act completely irrationally, but in such a consistent way that they actually manage to kill millions of Jews while fighting for their lives on two fronts. You call that a rational, sane argument?

        • Donald says:

          ” Saying that ‘the German reaction’ was entirely arbitrary (i.e. not in any way connected to Jewish behavior”

          I explained this already, but I’ll give it another shot. It’s fairly normal in human history for minority groups to be disliked. Maybe sometimes there are actually legitimate or at least understandable reasons for it that aren’t simple bigotry. There are tensions between ethnic groups in the US even now, for instance, and tensions between people with differing religious views and political views and so forth.

          But when a nation decides to round up all the members of Group X, put them in camps, and kill them wherever they may be found, that goes a teensy bit beyond, say, Archie Bunker and George Jefferson (I’m dating myself with this TV reference) trading bigoted insults. The explanation is to be found among the Germans, not the Jews, if we want to understand why they decided to murder 6 million or so (and more, if they had won the war).

          Or to go back to my example, I might be a rude jackass to someone in public, but if that person reacts by murdering me, my family, and all my friends, then maybe the explanation for his behavior lies more in his psychological makeup than in mine.

          But perhaps you can explain why the German decision to murder millions of Jews even at the expense of their war effort was actually not the action of a bunch of demented hate-filled lunatics. But I doubt it.

        • Citizen says:

          I read Atzmon’s book. He never suggested or stated that the Germans were not guilty of murdering millions of Jews, among other people, as official state policy. He did suggest and state that neither the Nazi Era Germans nor the Jews, taken generally, acted out of sheer irrationality. I saw nothing in his book that questioned the gross disproportionality of said historical German reaction, nor of more contemporary Israeli reaction.

          I think Dick Chaney is a demented hate-filled lunatic, but that does not mean he does not have some reasonable observations suggesting he’s a rational reactor or actor; it’s just that those broad-brush “realities” in no way justify his grossly disproportionate response(s). The same can be said for all the neocons.

          Atzmon’s book suggests that many apparently contrary Jewish movements all have one thing in common: Jews have different opinions on “what’s good for the jews.” His express stance is (paraphrasing) the question should be, “What’s good for humanity?”

          Did I read the same book as others here?

        • Citizen says:

          Another theme in the book, which is directly related, is that Jews are actually no worse or better, not even 10% better, than other collectives. He identifies with the notion of taking everyone in thought and deed as an individual in both creed and deed. In short, he, I think, identifies with the Enlightenment stream of consciousness regarding individuality. Perhaps that’s why he’s so into jazz.

        • Shmuel says:

          Jews are actually no worse or better, not even 10% better, than other collectives

          Now that is shocking.

        • MRW says:

          The explanation is to be found among the Germans, not the Jews, if we want to understand why they decided to murder 6 million or so (and more, if they had won the war).

          Remember that when we are paying reparations to Muslims 20 years hence. Or allow a US President to murder an American without due process, being charged with a crime, or any evidence whatsoever that he already committed one because the Prez, et al, doesn’t/don’t (not in a grammar mood today) like this political speech.

      • Castle Keep says:

        I take issue with this analogy:

        “. . .make it sound like Jewish behavior somehow explained the German reaction. This is insane. Supposing for the sake of argument there were legitimate reasons for Germans to be upset by some Jews, this doesn’t even begin to explain the Holocaust. It’s as if I say something rude to a person and he responds by shooting me, my family, and all my friends. In such a situation the focus ought to be on the pathology of the shooter.

        There is a body of facts and evidence that demonstrates that Germans endured more than ‘some rude speech from some Jews,’ and that they endured real, life-and-death suffering at the behest of Jews or Jewish interests, even if not at the direct hands of Jews wielding guns, tanks, planes.

        You paint a black-and-white picture in which Jews are on the side of the angels, which overlooks the chronological fact that zionism pre-existed Nazism by at least 30 years; overlooks about 50 years of Jewish exploitation of the German economy; overlooks major influence of Jewish actors in skewing the Versailles treaty against Germany; overlooks the fact that Jewish interests dominated the creation of the Weimar republic, in the wake of Germany’s defeat and ill-treatment at Versailles; overlooks the influence of Jewish and American financial interests in causing the hyperinflation that wracked Germany and caused the starvation of tens of thousands of Germans, in addition to those same actors ensnaring post-war Germany in ruinous debt to reconstruct the German economy and pay outlandish reparations.

        If you had been one of the many thousands of innocent German civilians who lost his farm or business to a destructive usurious credit system conducted primarily by Jewish bankers in Berlin, or if YOUR children went hungry or even died as a result of embargoes imposed on Germany by zionists in 1933-1938, or YOUR son and YOUR army was unjustly forced to take full responsibility for a war, you might be tempted to shoot someone tangentially associated with the source of your misery.

        These situations and facts are real, Donald; the wonder is that over a 50+ year period (1881-1935) Germans endured–without retaliating– financial exploitation, then war, then maltreatment at Versailles, then more financial distress, then sanctions, all at the hands of (primarily) Jewish actors and ‘lobbyists’ who influenced Wilson, Balfour, Churchill, and FDR.

        It’s important to think about this without rushing hold Jews absolutely blameless, because history is repeating itself: on behalf of zionist interests and lobbyists, Iraq has been treated much the same as Germany was in that 50-year period. Also on behalf of zionists and Israel lobbyists, Iran is enduring the same sorts of punishments and provocations. So far, Iran has demonstrated great forbearance. How much longer can the world count on Iran controlling its anger and refraining from harsh retaliation when the US actively seeks to cripple Iran’s economy, and Mossad assassinates the cream of Iran’s scientific community? When Bibi compares Iran to Germany in 1938, and compares Ahmadinejad to Hitler, the analogy should be analyzed carefully: Bibi might be revealing more than he intended to about the provocations Germany endured.

        • ToivoS says:

          Oh Oh — neonazi alert.

          overlooks about 50 years of Jewish exploitation of the German economy; overlooks major influence of Jewish actors in skewing the Versailles treaty against Germany; overlooks the fact that Jewish interests dominated the creation of the Weimar republic, in the wake of Germany’s defeat and ill-treatment at Versailles; overlooks the influence of Jewish and American financial interests in causing the hyperinflation that wracked Germany and caused the starvation of tens of thousands of Germans, in addition to those same actors ensnaring post-war Germany in ruinous debt to reconstruct the German economy and pay outlandish reparations.

          This could have been taken right out of Mein Kampf. See what happens when Atzmon enters the discussion, you never know what might show up.

        • Shmuel says:

          Oh Oh — neonazi alert…. This could have been taken right out of Mein Kampf. See what happens when Atzmon enters the discussion, you never know what might show up.

          Forget it, ToivoS. In this upside-down thread, we are the reactionaries, the illiberal censors, the racists.

          If this kind of stuff isn’t kept out, what’s the point of moderation?

        • eee says:

          Don’t worry TovioS. Woody and Shingo will soon explain to you that what Castle Keep wrote is not NECESSARILY racist. After all, and this RoHA will contribute, if if if if it is true that Germans endured ” financial exploitation, then war, then maltreatment at Versailles, then more financial distress, then sanctions, all at the hands of (primarily) Jewish actors” then the above is not racist. See the distinction?

        • MHughes976 says:

          Buchan’s famous novel about the outbreak of war in 1914, the 39 Steps, contains, among its false clues to the source of the crime, a speech claiming that the Jews control everything – a sentiment which Buchan, who was close to the front line as a journalist, must have heard in the British trenches and was surely heard in German trenches as well. In Germany and Austria this sentiment was naturally turned into an explanation for the loss of the War ‘despite an undefeated army’. The Leninist explanation of the War in terms of Imperialism, the last phase of Capitalism, was not that different in that ‘capitalist’ and ‘Jew’ were figures related in the public mind. Hence the picture of the Jewish financier manipulating and scorning the unemployed.
          In truth, this capitalist-Jew association was highly misleading and ‘international Jewry’ had no real being or organisation. It had self-appointed spokesmen of different kinds, like Chaim Weizmann and the people who attempted to organise the anti-Nazi boycott. This might for a moment have looked scary, since the German economy was still weak, but its extreme ineffectuality demonstrates how there was no such thing as the ‘Judaea’ of which some journalists and the unpleasant British politician Oswald Mosley liked to speak. (His acolytes wrote ‘PJ’ for ‘Perish Judah’ on walls.)
          We could say that many in Germany were seduced by an idea whose power was in no way confined to Germany and into which some Jewish people unwisely played. But not one single Jewish person deserved what the Nazis did to Jewish people. Just as not one single Palestinian deserved the expulsion inflicted on Palestinians in 1948.

        • eee says:

          You see Shmuel, you can run but you cannot hide.
          You are not a radical extremist. :)

        • Castle Keep says:

          the anti-Nazi boycott. This might for a moment have looked scary, since the German economy was still weak, but its extreme ineffectuality demonstrates how there was no such thing as the ‘Judaea’ of which some journalists and the unpleasant British politician Oswald Mosley liked to speak.

          by the same logic, a Kaytusha rocket “might for a moment . . .look scary, . . .but its extreme ineffectuality demonstrates how there was no such thing as …[potent Palestinian aggressive weaponry] of which some journalists and the unpleasant British politician[s] [such as] Oswald Mosley Tony Blair liked to speak.

    • jayn0t says:

      “You could define the Holocaust as ten people who happened to be Jewish dying of a cold, and deny all the rest, and then pretend you’re not denying it”

      This is reductio ad absurdam. Even hardcore revisionists don’t say ’10 died of cold’. This is a distortion of and a distraction from Atzmon’s brave sally into discussing the big H without fear or favor.

      • jayn0t says:

        I meant ‘reductio ad absurdum’, of course.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Merely renaming an event doesn’t show that it occurred or that it didn’t. You could impute all the 6 million casualties to Hitler yet prefer to call the event (say) a shocking massacre rather than a holocaust. That would be my preference since I think that the term ‘holocaust’ brings to those who reflect on it theological overtones that are very misleading.

      • Citizen says:

        jaynot I agree. Atzmon wants to treat the Shoah as a proper piece of historical study–like every other incident or aggregate of incidents, in history. He doesn’t like laws banning historical research and public display of analysis of any aspect of history. He concludes that’s the earmark of a religion, not historical inquiry in the nature of “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

    • lysias says:

      the Holocaust may be correctly defined as follows: (1) the Holocaust was the intentional murder of European Jews by the Nazi government of Germany during World War II as a matter of state policy; (2) this mass murder employed gas chambers, among other methods, as a method of killing; and (3) the death toll of European Jews by the end of World War II was roughly 6 million.

      So people who admit (1) and (2) but who say the true number of dead was closer to five million (like Raul Hilberg did) are Holocaust deniers? Why?

      Once you admit (1) — at least if you also add that the number of people killed was in the millions — doesn’t that mean you affirm the essential reality of the Holocaust?

      Even if you deny (2) — and the reality of the gas chambers seems to me to be well established, so that such denial strikes me as being in error — how does that amount to the denial of the Holocaust?

      • MHughes976 says:

        If a Jewish researcher who lives in a settlement and ‘denies’ the Nakba were to write a book investigating and denouncing some crimes in Egypt or Pakistan – or indeed the UK – would we say that the horrible thing is that such an extreme Zionist has gained publication, that she must be too prejudiced against non-Jews to be factually correct and that her moral compass must be so crooked that what she thinks is criminal must really be quite acceptable? I think or least hope not.
        At the same rate I’d think that if someone (like Atzmon perhaps) has in effect said that some aspects of the Holocaust account, as defined above by our colleague Tom, are questionable we should not, for that reason alone, refuse to pay any attention, except perhaps for Goldberg-style hostile attention, to other things said by the same person. Mearsheimer has said that Atzmon’s latest outpouring deserves attention and I thought his defence of his own statement was dignified and reasonable enough. Not quite enough to persuade me to read the book, though.
        Lysias mentions figures somewhat lower than 6m. Snyder gives 5.4m (Bloodlands p.380, where he mentions Hilberg) but this figure seems to include the results of partisan warfare, to which attention is drawn on p.233. He adds 0.3m of which the Romanians were guilty, p.218, though without the intention or policy of eliminating Romanian rather than Soviet Jews. I wonder if this is a flirtation with Holocaust denial on the part of this Judt-influenced historian?
        To me ‘Holocaust’ is a theological as well as historical term, indicating a sacrifice that God accepted for the beginning of the restoration of the Kingdom. In the realm of theology it is a term which I deny should be used.

        • Donald says:

          “I wonder if this is a flirtation with Holocaust denial on the part of this Judt-influenced historian?”

          I sincerely hope you are being ironic. It’s hard to tell. Hilberg said 5 million, others say 6. 5 million dead is not Holocaust denial. The difference between 5 and 6 million is (to use a scientific term), measurement error, common in all studies of mass atrocities. Holocaust deniers usually pick numbers far lower.

        • MHughes976 says:

          No, no irony was intended. I wasn’t sneering at anyone. I was just trying to probe a definition – mentioning a real example in order to ask how far, for the purposes of the definition offered, the figure of 6 million could be taken as approximate. Perhaps I should have said ‘what does ‘roughly’ mean here?’ That isn’t a mocking or hostile question.
          For what it’s worth, little maybe, I would define ‘denial’ or ‘offensive denial’ here as ‘avoiding the figure 6 million and using figures so low or so imprecise as to imply that the whole of what is now standard history may well be on the wrong track’. I think that it’s that implication that really gives offence.
          Apart from questions of definition, Snyder’s account is interesting, even if not persuasive, for its constant reference to and use of numbers.

        • mig says:

          Hilberg said 5.1 – 5.2 million. That 6 million figure came, as far as i know, from Russians.

        • MHughes976 says:

          I don’t know very much about the deniers but I rather think that their plan or plot is to show that even on the evidence and methodology of accepted scholarship the casualty figures are distinctly lower than 6 million and then to use that point to accuse the standard scholars of prejudice and incompetence, with an eye to bringing down the whole structure of their arguments. For this reason it is equally important for the exponents of the standard view not to accept any such distinctly lower – or even comparatively imprecise – number. Even the Pope’s reference to ‘millions’ rather than ’6 million’ gave offence – that was mentioned in the Economist’s report of his trip to Israel.
          The events of WW2 and the number of casualties are important and shocking in their own right but in a way discussion of them is a snare. The validity of Israel’s claims is not dependent, one way or another, on those numbers. Someone counting the dead in Warsaw or Minsk is not counting the hectares that Israel is allowed to occupy.

        • lysias says:

          Let’s compare the numbers for the Armenian genocide. Pro-Armenian sources generally give the figure of 1.5 million killed. The Turkish government admits 600,000. I’ve seen historians give figures like 750,000 and 1 million.

          Perhaps the Turkish government figure is outrageous minimization. But I don’t think anyone would say that about the historians’ figures. 750,000 is half of 1.5 million.

        • Donald says:

          Reputable historians (they don’t come any more reputable than Hilberg) say 5 to 6 million for the Holocaust. In William Shirer’s old book (from the early 60′s) I think he cites one historian who had the death toll in the mid 4 million range. That wasn’t a denier, though I think the consensus is 5-6 million.

          Deniers go far lower than this.

          Interestingly, there is far more legitimate debate about the scale of Stalin’s atrocities. The usual figures cited are not necessarily based on hard evidence. The hard evidence supports millions of deaths, possibly totalling something in the 10-20 million range for Stalin and the majority of these from the famines (deliberately induced in at least some cases.) One commonly sees far higher figures cited, as though they were firmly established, but they are not. 10 to 20 million deaths is still enough to put Stalin in the top three to five of the 20th Century’s greatest monsters. (Mao is almost certainly number one, while Hitler, Stalin, and Leopold II fight it out for the second slot and maybe Chiang Kai Shek comes in at number five). The claim one commonly sees that Stalin killed more than Hitler as though this were an established fact is based on the notion that we know Stalin murdered well over 20 million (some go as high as 60 million) and we don’t.

        • Donald says:

          I meant to include a link to the above–here it is. It’s to an article by Timothy Snyder about the death tolls of Hitler and Stalin–

          link

        • lysias says:

          Snyder’s book Bloodlands is also very much worth reading.

        • MHughes976 says:

          It’s rather a strange book, I think. It’s extraordinarily dependent on secondary sources, particularly of a Polish-Ukrainian nationalist type. It may not qualify as ‘holocaust denial’, indeed there is insistence on destruction of Jewish people as state policy, but it does seem to be denying ‘holocaust uniqueness’ by claiming that other massacres in the Bloodlands were equivalent both in scale and in racial motivation. There’s a lot of questionable argumentation and hostile reading of documents.

        • MHughes976 says:

          And what on earth does he mean by saying that the link between Hitler and Stalin is ‘geographical’? The surely trivial point that Germany and the Soviet Union were separated by only one other country, Poland? The controversial suggestion, which he does nothing but nothing to prove, that there was something in the air, the prevalent morality, of eastern Europe that made state-supported, race-related massacres likely?

        • Donald says:

          “It may not qualify as ‘holocaust denial’, indeed there is insistence on destruction of Jewish people as state policy, but it does seem to be denying ‘holocaust uniqueness’ by claiming that other massacres in the Bloodlands were equivalent both in scale and in racial motivation. ”

          Your reaction is rather strange. So it’s not enough to acknowledge the Holocaust and to agree that the Germans murdered 5 to 6 million people for racial reasons, as a matter of policy, but now it’s somehow bad to point out that others (in this case Stalin) killed similar numbers of people and in some cases might have had racial motivations? What exactly does it mean to say that Holocaust was “unique”? Every historical event is unique. Every genocide is unique.

          I said your reaction is strange, but actually you’re just echoing the weird notion that has sprung up in the past few decades that nothing else should ever be compared to the Holocaust –if someone compares it to the Armenian genocide or Pol Pot’s (smaller scale) genocide or the Rwandan genocide or Stalin’s genocides they are engaged in some morally dubious activity. I find this almost as offensive as Holocaust denial–it’s a slap in the face of every other victim of every other genocide. I guess those Ukrainians ought to know better than to think their genocide is of the same importance as the Holocaust. Well, Snyder and some think that the death toll was 3 million (rather than the larger figures one sometimes sees), so numerically, it was smaller if Snyder is right. They were still victims of genocide.

          Peter Novick wrote a pretty good book “The Holocaust in American Life” where he outlines how the Holocaust went from being considered a horrific crime against humanity to being the crime so bad no other crime could be compared to it. He didn’t think this was a healthy development and neither do I.

        • Shingo says:

          I guess those Ukrainians ought to know better than to think their genocide is of the same importance as the Holocaust.

          It’s funny you shuold mention this Donald. In the doco “Defamation”, there’s a scene where Abe Foxman meets with the Ukranian leader and “advises” him that comparing it would be unwise to compare their genocide to the Holocaust.

        • Donald says:

          “Abe Foxman meets with the Ukranian leader and “advises” him that comparing it would be unwise to compare their genocide to the Holocaust.”

          I hadn’t heard that about Foxman, but I have read of similar stories, though I can’t remember where. But one story I read was of a Jewish man who heard someone comparing Stalin’s slaughter in the Ukraine with the Holocaust and he said “Shame”. He didn’t mean that it was a blot on the human race that our species is capable of such things–he meant it was shameful to compare the Ukrainian famine to the Holocaust. So it’s probably a common theme. I also wonder if there is some feeling that the Ukrainians in the 30′s had it coming–there were some vicious pogroms against Jews in the Russian Civil War around 1920 that killed tens of thousands. But I don’t know that–I just suspect it, human nature being what it is.

          Anyway, I think this is a development of the past thirty or forty years or so–when I was young and read about WWII I thought the moral we were supposed to learn from this is that humans were capable of terrible actions. This idea that a decent moral person has to rank genocides and put one in particular far above the others is, in my opinion, more than a little twisted.

        • annie says:

          you should see the movie defamation. there is also a scene where they are in a cavernous area, possibly related to the chambers (i can’t recall specifically) when someone asked faxman about the holodomor and he is (very) dismissive. i had not heard this word nor had i ever heard about the ‘famine’ which in retrospect very much reminds me of the forced famine in china, only the holodomor was worse.

          anyway, news travels. no one seems to explore any connection from one genocide to the other wrt the holodomor and the holocaust but they were so close both in terms of time and space. it occurred to me when i first read about it maybe one reason i had not ever heard of the holodomor was to erase any chance of connection. but how could such an atrocity take place, one covered by our own msm, and never make it into our history books? why didn’t i know about it til i was in my 50′s?

          bizarre

          apparently in the urkraine they do recall and foxman doesn’t want it mentioned.

          Census data reveal a shortfall of 11,000, 000 in the Ukrainian population by 1937

          link to holodomor.org.uk

          includes video

        • Shingo says:

          I hadn’t heard that about Foxman, but I have read of similar stories, though I can’t remember where.

          It’s definitely there on video. The origional uncut versio has been removed from youtube, but it seems to be there in 10 parts beginning with this one:

          link to youtube.com

          It’s an amazing documentary. I thoroughly recommend it.

        • Antidote says:

          Mhughes – a trivial, geographical point it is surely not. Germany/Austria and the Soviet Union had territorial claims – an old and standard motive for war, and the division of Poland, for starters, reestablished the pre-1919/Versailles borders of the German/Austrian and Russian imperial borders. National Socialism and National Bolshevism defying the dictate of the Western Imperialists, so to speak. Hitler also wanted a piece of the Ukraine, and Stalin a piece of Prussia, among other objectives (extending the Soviet sphere of influence over Eastern and into Western Europe). So Poland and the Bloodlands necessarily ended up in the eye of the storm. And it is in this geographical region where most European Jews, i.e. victims of the Holocaust, happened to live at the time. Would Hitler have attacked Britain or France, and not bothered with Eastward expansion had most Jews lived in Western Europe? Of course not.

        • Citizen says:

          MHughes976, you make comment while telling us you don’t intend to read Atzmon’s book? Mearsheimer does not convince you to do so. Why? Does “Holocaust” theology prevent you from doing so? Many charlatans have always made ample use of biblical terminology, correct?

        • Castle Keep says:

          David Cole, a young, secular Jew with a camera and a keen mind, explored holocaust numbers and other elements of holocaust, in The Gates of Auschwitz.

        • MHughes976 says:

          Some good questions for me here!! A ‘reply to my critics’, as they say.
          - OK, Citizen, I accept that I ought to think again about Atzmon’s book.
          I certainly regard ‘Holocaust theology’, which the ‘uniqueness doctrine’ (clearly very important to the likes of Foxman; I wish to assure Donald that I don’t in any way cherish it) is used to support, as little better than blasphemy. But I may not want to base my argument on Atzmon’s critique of Jewish thought in its secular rather than theological aspect and I don’t want to rely on the numbers-based arguments used, I think with the intention of undermining ‘uniqueness’, by Snyder.
          Numbers don’t speak for themselves, they have to be interpreted. Snyder seeks to interpret Stalin’s attack on Poles as profoundly similar to Hitler’s attack on Jews. I’m not convinced that Stalin’s actions were based on an anti-Polonism comparable to Hitler’s anti-Semitism.
          I accept Antidote’s point that it’s important to see that eastern Europe has enduring problems based on its geographical position between German and Russian power centres. But I’m not convinced that there was something ‘typical of EE’ about either the massacres of the dictatorial age in general or the attack on Jewish people in particular, nor convinced that the Jewish population of EE had essentially had the bad luck to get in the way of a great-power conflict. Bad things, very bad things, had happened before but nothing really like the events of that time had ever occurred. Jewish populations in Poland and Russia had remained stable over the centuries of international conflict – the Partitions, the Catholic/Orthodox conflicts over Ukraine.
          If we are looking for a region where instability and violence were typical or characteristic in times before WW1 we should not turn to Snyder’s Bloodlands but to the Balkans – and the troubles of this region continued in WW2. But this was in great part because of active religious hostility, something that does not fit Snyder’s thesis, based as it is on post-religious mistrust between ethnic groups.

  18. Talking about pizza. Look what land (and heritage) thieves are up to!! Zaatar manaquish is now Israeli!!In Wikipedia, no less!

    link to en.wikipedia.org

  19. I wonder why I never read about self-hating christians, self-hating muslims, self-hating hindus, or self-hating buddhists. Is it because they don’t exist, or is it that the respective religions are insensitive? Alternatively, is Judaism special in such a way that self-criticism by a member is particularly more abhorrent?

    • Citizen says:

      CloakAndDagger, there are no self-hating Christians, muslims, hindus or buddhists because those are pure religions, not tribal religions.

      • DBG says:

        now Judaism isn’t a ‘pure’ religion, who said MW wasn’t anti-Jewish?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “now Judaism isn’t a ‘pure’ religion, who said MW wasn’t anti-Jewish?”

          I read what Citizen was saying is that Judaism isn’t a universalist religion like the other two, whereas Judaism does not contend to be anything more or less than the religion of the Jewish people. But perhaps he will clarify. (I disavow the word “pure” if this is what he meant, as it is a really, really bad word choice.)

        • annie says:

          now Judaism isn’t a ‘pure’ religion

          some zionists think judaism has merged with zionism. i’d call that a problem wrt branding.

        • I’m pretty certain Woody has it right. There aren’t a whole lot of “religions” out there anymore where membership is inherited. (Hindu caste system perhaps? Can’t think of any others.)

          This I believe was the big message of Jesus of Nazareth, and things haven’t been the same since. Islam continued down the path of universalism.

        • Castle Keep says:

          PeaceThrough Justice, I think I love you.

        • Citizen says:

          I meant as you surmised Woody T: that Judaism is not a universalist religion. A pure religion takes no cognizance of the faithful’s birth tribe in any way; it has no ethnic or cultural tag in its essence.

      • Donald says:

        Um, I think there are some rather prominent self-hating Muslims. The Islamophobes love those people. They are lionized. There are also self-hating Christians–that is, people who used to be some form of Christian (typically fundamentalist) who then turn against it.

        “Self-hating” covers a lot of territory. It can be a false accusation against someone who is merely critical of some aspect of their identity (or former identity) or it can be an accurate description of someone determined to demonize everything about the group he or she grew up in. I think though, that the term was originally invented to describe real or imagined self-hatred among Jews and most of the time it is still used that way, but I’ve seen it used about others (like the Muslims or ex-Muslims so adored by Islamophobes).

      • AhVee says:

        That’s plain-out offensive. ‘Pure religion’ is completely subjective and holds no objective or consensual meaning at all. I don’t even know what that is.

        And using your ominous concept of ‘pure religion’ to argue why there are no self-haters of different faiths is nonsensical.

    • annie says:

      I wonder why I never read about self-hating christians, self-hating muslims, self-hating hindus, or self-hating buddhists.

      i could be wrong but i think the term is one generally used as a form of criticism and attack against ones own kind. most people do not self identify as self hating even if they don’t like themselves or are unhappy about their station in life. they might say or think, i hate my life which is somewhat different. i’ve generally heard it as an accusation and one made by jews towards other jews. it’s a cultural phenomena that has not permeated cross culturally imho. that is probably why you have not heard it used against people of other religions. and it’s not limited to religion. someone could say for example ‘you’re a self hating black’. but they generally don’t.

      there’s a strong stigma attached but my hunch is that the reaction to this is also a learned reaction from programing. for example if a woman made a misogynistic comment and one called her a self hating woman it would probably fly right over her head or maybe she could care less. whereas this term when applied to jews it’s really supposed to sting.

      • annie says:

        for anyone who is interested you might check out the wiki pages for self hatred vs self hating jew. here is the history for self hatred (notice all the references to ‘jewish self hatred”). at some point they divided them into two categories.

        ‘self hatred’ is a dry entry with 2 references and one footnote whereas self hating jew is loaded with references, further reading and external links.

        apparently accusations of hatred is not all that uncommon in the jewish culture. sad.

  20. MHughes976 says:

    I was brought up in the good old CofE where on a weekly basis we described ourselves as ‘miserable offenders’, though we were rather shocked by our Catholic counterparts with what we vaguely thought of as their penances, sackcloths and spikes. I internalised this language and was much induced to be conscious of and to lament my sins, which introduced an element which might reasonably be called self-hatred. The phrase ‘miserable offenders’ is much less used now.

  21. Castle Keep says:

    M Hughes, In the intensity of my old-world Catholic upbringing, I never observed or experienced “sackcloths and spikes,” Dan Brown’s fevered characters notwithstandings.

    But then, the varieties of Catholicity are endless. It is my impression that a common theme among old world Catholicism is a kind of psychological sense of guilt passed on in the prayers and forms of worship that many Catholics (used to) participate in. I recall , as an 8-year old, being taken to weekly novenas to cure an illness I was born with. I can still remember the dark atmosphere of the heavily Baroque church and altar, the smell of the incense, the awesomeness of the elevation of the sacred host in a gold monstrance by a priest clad in silk robes (even tho parishes were poor, polyester had not yet found its way into the sacristy).

    Prayers and hymns beseeched the “most gracious virgin Mary” to come to the aid of worthless supplicants, “whilst far from heaven and thee.”

    In the old Catholic Mass, right before the most sacred part of the Mass, the consecration of the host, the congregation was led in a prayer confessing, “my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault,” while (gently) thumping the chest on each ‘fault.’ Then, the Lamb of God was called upon to Take Away those, my sins, and the sins of ALL the world.

    Even as I’m typing this, I’m coming to a new insight: For years I nurtured a bitter resentment of a Church that enforced upon me a sense of my guilt. But when I typed the last line in the para. above, I realized that the dramaturgy was scripted to acknowledge sins in order to accept accountability for them before they were “taken away” by the Lamb of God — Jesus. Next, Jesus was made ‘physically’ present in the congregation, by the priest’s words of consecration of the bread and wine, and immediately after that, the entire congregation, now purified of their sins, ie relieved of their guilt, was invited to celebrate their release from sin and their participation in the community of the “church suffering” — ie, the People of God working together to make better persons of themselves and a better community and world to live in.

    hmmm. I just might go to Mass this Sunday. It’s been a few decades, and I still deal daily with that birth affliction . . .

    • LeaNder says:

      wonderful, Castle Keep, I like your comment.

      I had a real problem with the host, you know, can you chew it, if it is meant to be Christ, you can’t really suck on it carefully, doesn’t work, and what are you doing if it suddenly sticks on the roof of your mouth?

      Having grown up in Germany, my second irritation was that I was meant to confess, at least inb one place I grew up in and where I had my holy communion, if I had any non-Catholic friends. They have changed their prayer books by now, and won’t answer my question about how the whole sin got into the catalog. But I remember I was highly irritated and indeed furious at nine, since my best friend was in fact a Protestant.

      What’s your birth affliction?

  22. piotr says:

    My observation about Atzmon:

    1) implicating him in Holocaust denial is a stretch, if a Princeton professor can peruse Atzmon writing without noticing “darker sides” hidden in blogs etc. so can Atzmon be somewhat sloppy in citing, say, Eisner. Implicating him in fabrication of the theory that Jews to a degree provoked Germans is also a stretch, he could make some mistakes — and he is emphatically not a professional historian, but certain facts are undeniable. Say, the whole story of Balfour declaration is that Jewish leaders (self-styled, but even so) convinced the British that they will render valuable services against German Empire, with blithe disregard that their kin in Germany may be seen as traitors as a result.

    2) I think that a much better litmus test of Atzmon attitude is how he treats anti-Zionists who happen to be Jewish. I seen an article on his website where he heaps totally intemperate invective on a Marxist who happens to be Israeli for his Marxist analysis of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which that “Judeo-Marxist” describes as a colonial enterprise that begun as an imperialist proxy. Correct or not, by the quotes that enraged Atzmon our Marxist is a very standard Marxist. Also, apparently our Marxist had a temerity of not being appreciative of religious trends among Palestinians, and recommending a more secular ideology. Patronizing Judeo-Marxism, or simply Marxism? Since when Marxists are suppose to eschew preference for secularism and endorse “opium for the masses”? For better or worse, Marxism is a “universalist” philosophy. Anyway, Atzmon was quite incoherent and using a lot of “Judeo-” insults.

    3) Atzmon makes some valid points that deserve attention, but he is clearly a flawed vehicle for these ideas. At the very least, he is sloppy and intemperate.

    4) I was drawn to my attention that “Holocaust denial” is quite popular in Israel. Apparently, to avoid that thoughtcrime you must follow a credo of several points, one being
    “(1) the Holocaust was the intentional murder of European Jews by the Nazi government of Germany during World War II as a matter of state policy.” A version popular in Israel is “the Holocaust was the intentional murder of European Jews by Poles, Lithuanians and other East European Nazi collaborators”.