Mourning the Jewish New Year

Israel/Palestine
on 217 Comments

How sad the end is. I rend my garments. I mourn.

Last week, I listened to Barack Obama, an African American and my President, speak at the United Nations. I became sad beyond words. I wonder where his sense of history went.

I am a Jew. President Obama spoke of Jewish history – the years of exile and persecution, the Holocaust, the return to our ancient homeland. We deserve the respect of our Arab neighbors and the world.

I wonder if he speaks of American history in the same way.

Peoples and nations have their travails. History is bleak. We search for the good.

Is it possible to remain silent about slavery? Slavery is the defining moment of American history.

Can Jews be silent about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is among the defining moments of contemporary Jewish history.

Yes, persecution, exile, Holocaust and return. Now the violence of the Israeli state. The occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel will not stop itself. Palestinians cannot stop Israel. Many Jews and Palestinians want a way beyond this endless violence. When the powerful deny the history we Jews are creating we become stuck in a quagmire. We sink deeper.

Some Jews worry about those who deny that the Holocaust occurred. Denying that 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe during the Nazi period is horrendous. Beyond words.

Yet in the President Obama’s address there is no mention of what happened to the Palestinians in 1948. What is still happening to the Palestinians. Don’t Palestinians have a history that needs acknowledgement?

Palestinians refer to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine as the Nakba, in Arabic, the Catastrophe.

Mr. President, are you a Nakba denier?

1948 may be inconsequential to you and indeed for many Jews. But just as the Holocaust needs to be remembered, the Nakba needs to be remembered.

Without remembering, how will we get to the root of the Catastrophe that has befallen the Palestinian people?

Or to the root of the catastrophe that has also befallen the Jewish people?

There are catastrophes that happen to you. There are catastrophes you create for others.

That Jews brought catastrophe to another people is a stain on Jewish history.

Our history of exile, persecution, Holocaust and the return to our ancient homeland now includes the Nakba.

No presentation of Jewish history makes sense without including what Jews have done and are doing to the Palestinians. Not in books on Jewish history. Not in presentations by Jewish academics. Not in policy statements from Jewish organizations. Not in press releases from Israel’s Prime Minister. Not from the peace process Quartet. Not from the President of the United States.

I won’t attempt a rendition of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address at the United Nations. It was worse than President Obama’s. Much worse. Shameful.

The Jewish High Holidays are upon us. Time to celebrate the New Year. Time to hone our repentance.

Time to mourn.

The Jewish High Holidays come and go. We recite our history of exile and persecution, Holocaust and the return to our ancient homeland. We are silent about the Nakba.

Endless the end. That has no ending.

Only mourning can save us now, Jews and Palestinians together. For what has been lost. For could have been. For what could be.

Denying the Nakba only delays the reckoning.

And the mourning.

Marc H. Ellis is University Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University. He is the author of many books, most recently Encountering the Jewish Future: with Wiesel, Buber, Heschel, Arendt, Levinas.

About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza which can be found at www.newdiasporabooks.com

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217 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    September 28, 2011, 9:33 am

    “That Jews brought catastrophe to another people is a stain on Jewish history.”

    And decades of silence.

    The ancient homeland claims are weak.

    • seafoid
      September 28, 2011, 9:52 am

      Decades of silence are one thing but character assassinations, bullying, professional lying, sidelining, career destruction including Finkelstein’s denial of tenure , beatings and murders are far worse.

      And don’t get me started on the litany of Jewish human rights abuses in “Erez Israel” today.

      Israel has nothing to do with Jewish morality.

      And when Netanyahu says

      As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.

      there is no limit to his obscenity.
      I miss the Bund.

      • piotr
        September 28, 2011, 11:01 am

        “Israel has nothing to do with Jewish morality”.

        To the contrary. Israel is central to maintaining Jewish morality as a separate concept. The question for those Jews who are interested in morality is: should Jews have their unique morality or should they follow rules of universal morality. I mean, rules that are recommended to the entire humanity without particular references to this ethnic group or another.

        Of course, there is a Jewish tradition of universal morality. But if I understand correctly, there is also a tradition of morality understood in strictly tribal terms. Both trends are represented among religious and non-religious Jewish writers.

        Note that the Torah itself is curiously ambigous. In one place you have “Thou shall not kill.” Elsewhere, “slay all the Amelek, men, women, children and cattle”. Other passages are maddeningly ambigous. Lot offers his daughers to neighbors to be raped instead of strangers who are under his roof; was it a good/moral thing? Should father have such extreme level of authority over their daughters? In general, the messengers of the Lord did not find two just men in Sodom, and did not care if women were just or not. But the Torah does not say that it was a good thing, so theologians may argue that women are moral entities as well, rather than chattel to be obedient (punished if they are not) and, if needed, destroyed together with their errant manfolk.

      • longliveisrael
        September 28, 2011, 11:44 am

        I love it when piotr and seafoid dissect Jewish morality. How about we dissect Christian morality, there would not be enough time and space to chronicle the evil and bloodshed that goes with that religion. Today, Islam is racing to supersede Christianity in it’s bloody rampages.

      • Donald
        September 28, 2011, 11:57 am

        It’s mainly a question of numbers, power, and opportunity, LLI. Jews are no different from any other group, but throughout most of history they are usually the oppressed minority. It doesn’t make them good–being an oppressed group just means you’re an oppressed group like so many others. Given the opportunity it’s easy to become the oppressor. Look at what happened during the reign of Heraclius. Jews were oppressed, so they revolted and helped the invading Persians murder tens of thousands of Christians. Then Heraclius wanted to exterminate all the Jews, but obviously other Christians didn’t go along with him on that. The Jewish virtual library has a few more details–

        link

        And now we’ve got Israel, which has acted rather like most European settler colonial states, not the worst example, but certainly pretty nasty. You guys just got into the European settler colonial state business a little late.

      • Doctor Pi
        September 28, 2011, 2:08 pm

        longliveisrael
        so jews can rest assured knowing that whatever outrages they commit they pale in comparision to what the christians and the muslims have done?

        Your arguments are like a soviet state commissar, “Why do you keep criticizing our glorious state when you have not said one word about those rotten capitalist dogs”

      • longliveisrael
        September 28, 2011, 3:40 pm

        No, but many of you claim some kind of moral right to demonize us as Jews. Look at your own house first. I would state that in the ledger of crimes against humanity by religion, or by non- religion, that is Communists (Soviet Union, Maos China, Cambodia) we Jews would not even rate a footnote.

        It’s like Eva from Catholic Poland pointing the finger at us about discrimination, and racism and genocide. her country hasn’t even begun to review and come to terms with what they did to the Jews.

      • piotr
        September 28, 2011, 4:06 pm

        Christian and Muslim theologians obviously face the same problem: should one justify a morality from sacred texts without any preconceived philosophical notion of morality, or with one. Bhuddism starts with a philosophy, so it does not have that problem, but Hinduism does.

        Slaughtering a few to save the souls of many is no longer recommended by Christian clerics (for at least 300 year, but less than 400). Christian and Muslim clerics recognize property rights of people regardless of their faith or tribal origin. Jewish clerics? As I wrote, there are two basic schools here.

        Back to “Jewish morality”, obviously there is “universalist-Jewish” approach, and “Jewish-Jewish” approach, and “Jewish-Jewish” approach cannot be easily practiced outside Israel.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 5:04 pm

        Long Live Israel

        “It’s like Eva from Catholic Poland pointing the finger at us about discrimination, and racism and genocide. her country hasn’t even begun to review and come to terms with what they did to the Jews.”

        how much white phosphorous do you think Israel will need to bomb Gaza with before it can honour the international treaties it has signed?
        You need to see a doctor. You need to understand that that defence didn’t work at Nuremberg.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 28, 2011, 5:15 pm

        “It’s like Eva from Catholic Poland pointing the finger at us about discrimination, and racism and genocide. her country hasn’t even begun to review and come to terms with what they did to the Jews.”

        This may actually be one of the worst examples of casual bigotry (I would call it racism if you weren’t talking about an ethinicity and religion) I have seen in quite a while.

        Who the fuck do you think you are to call out Eva based on how you think Poland has dealt with Jewish-Polish relations? Is she suddenly responsible for everything done by the Polish state and Polish society? Does being born Polish inflict her with a mark of Cain that prevents her from having an opinion?? Treat her like an invidual, you filthy bigot.

      • piotr
        September 28, 2011, 5:44 pm

        This is actually more like blood libel.

        Recently, an Israeli soccer player whose parent were born in Poland, has dual citizenship and plays for a Polish club considered an offer to play in the Polish national team. His former Israeli coach wrote an article in most read Israeli newspaper that it is totally incomprehensible how a Jew can play for the nation that “killed his grandparents”. The player got hundreds of hate e-mails, including death threats. In actuality, Poles did not run death camps, and millions were in concentration camps and in forced labor (a Nazi form of slavery/servitude).

        I guess that proportionally, there were no more Polish Nazi collaborators than Jewish Nazi collaborators. The grand Nazi plan was to eliminate Jews, enslave Poles, while various nations had various places in the new order. So Poles take responsibility for Shoah as readily as Jews take responsibility for all the innocent children killed to make Passover matzhos.

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 12:11 am

        “her country hasn’t even begun to review and come to terms with what they did to the Jews”

        true, but Israel hasn’t begun to review what Jews did to Poles either. After the collapse of the SU, Israel did offer shelter to Jewish war criminals, and refused to extradite them to stand trial for crimes against humanity in Poland

      • longliveisrael
        September 29, 2011, 12:34 am

        Antidote, what Jews did to Poles, yes, that’s better to talk about then the Judenrein Poland and the everlasting Jew hatred in that country that exists till today. Oh, I forgot what Chaos and Seafoid and Charon say, we Uppity Jews had it coming. Well, Charon actually says, we’re not really Jews anyway, so the last laugh was on the Germans and their Eastarn European helpers who mistakenly thought they were killing real Jews.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 1:11 am

        Poland and the everlasting Jew hatred in that country that exists till today.

        can you loosen your grip on this concept? can you even imagine. the only polish person i know (or i am aware i know, there are probably many i have befriended and never asked if they were polish) is married to a jew and they live in poland. racism exists everywhere, it doesn’t mean everyone is racist.

      • piotr
        September 29, 2011, 5:05 am

        longliveinsane: “… Germans and their Eastarn European helpers who mistakenly thought they were killing real Jews.”

        Some facts, please? Something better then “there were Eastarn European helpers” in killing Jews and “Poles are Eastarn European”. Jews were Eastern European too, after all.

        I also have no idea what “antidote” is talking about. Jewish war criminals in Poland? The only remotely similar incident I recall was that shortly after the fall of Communism there was a huge financial scam and the perpetrators, who were not even Jewish, got asylum in Israel. (That successfully running a Ponzi scheme counts as much as an Orthodox conversion is a bit puzzling; do Israeli view that as “Jewish spirit”?).

        As one proud Western playwright announced “As to the action which is about to begin, it takes place in Poland — that is to say, nowhere.”
        Eastern Europe is subjected to some strange Orientalism, a vision of vast territories where bears mate with peasants, vampires dwell in castles, anti-Semites engage in their weekly pogroms, nations travel on trains from place to place …

      • GalenSword
        September 29, 2011, 7:51 am

        Ethnic Poles have no reason for shame. Jews were an elite just below the szlachta (gentry) until Poland collapsed. In the struggle for Polish independence the szlachta began to find common ground with the Polish peasantry, and the Jewish leadership never forgave the Polish aristocrats.

        link to glaukopis.pl

        link to open.salon.com

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 8:41 am

        It’s easy to see you are not a born and bred American, longliveisrael. Every American public school student is taught about the prominent place Christianity has had in spreading evil, from the Crusades, Inquisition, through the pious conquering of native Americans, and complicity in the slave trade, right through the Jim Crow Era. Piotr is correct in his distinction between universal morality and a strong strain of Jewish morality, and nothing says it better than current policy and conduct of the nuclear-armed and self-described Jewish state.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 29, 2011, 9:39 am

        “I also have no idea what ‘antidote’ is talking about. Jewish war criminals in Poland? The only remotely similar incident I recall was that shortly after the fall of Communism there was a huge financial scam and the perpetrators, who were not even Jewish, got asylum in Israel.”

        I assume that antidote is referencing Salomon Morel, who Poland indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity but who Israel refused to extradite.

      • longliveisrael
        September 29, 2011, 11:28 am

        Piotr, it’s very easy to use Google, you just type, “Hungarian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Polish collaboration with Nazis” and what do you know, it’s all there.

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 6:24 pm

        “I also have no idea what ‘antidote’ is talking about. Jewish war criminals in Poland? ”

        “I assume that antidote is referencing Salomon Morel”

        Yes, Morel is the most infamous example, but there is a lot more:

        link to johnsack.com
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        In most countries, and regardless of circumstances, minorities who greet invading armies with triumphal arches and flower-strewn streets would be suspected of ‘dual loyalty’. But that’s an ‘anti-semitic canard’, right? It’s what some (not all) Polish Jews did to greet Hitler’s Wehrmacht and, some 2 weeks later, Stalin’s Red Army. I don’t blame those Jews for feeling no particular alligiance to the Polish state. But it’s difficult to ascribe the Polish reaction to nothing but anti-semitism.

        link to internationalresearchcenter.org

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 7:03 pm

        lli,

        I’m not saying ‘you uppity Jews had it coming’, just as I would not sanction the view that ‘you uppity Germans, or Americans, had it coming’. I reject any rationalization of collective punishment, and I don’t confuse revenge with justice. That’s why I do find it offensive that members of the early Knesset had nothing better to do than to contemplate the pros and cons of poisoning the water supplies of major German cities for the purpose of killing 6 million Germans (see Segev, The Seventh Million). Such people are psychopaths, and there are plenty of those on MW, such as Wondering Jew telling me that he finds the mere suggestion of Germans as victims ‘obscene’.

        “Charon actually says, we’re not really Jews anyway, so the last laugh was on the Germans and their Eastarn European helpers who mistakenly thought they were killing real Jews.”

        Well, some of the Germans who were killed for being Germans were actually German speaking Jews during the expulsions of Germans in Eastern Europe. Shall I laugh about you if you mistakenly think they were killing real Germans?

        And what about this?

        “While the Western Allies fought in the Ardennes, the Red Army continued to make good progress on the eastern front, entering Warsaw on January 17, 1945. Locals cheered as the Polish units in the Red Army passed. They did not know that some of the officers they applauded were only pretending to be Poles.”

        link to pbs.org

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those officers posing as Poles were Jews.

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 7:33 pm

        The people who used white phosphorous in WW II were not put on trial at Nuremberg. In fact, aerial bombardment was not made an issue at all, for obvious reasons. Britain and the US would have looked much worse than the Germans. This and other double-standards continue to feed hasbara central. Here’s one example, repeated on countless websites, as one of Netanyahu’s finest moments (may or may not be a verbatim quote, and there are in fact different versions of what N actually said):

        “The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?”

        Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”

        Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?

        Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima. Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?”

      • longliveisrael
        September 29, 2011, 11:39 pm

        Antidote. I’m getting a sense from your posts that you f,eel Germany was hard done by in WW2. I agree with you on the part about hypocrisy of those who preach to us about war. However, I have zero sympathy for what was done to the Germans. Zero!!

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 12:35 am

        I have zero sympathy for what was done to the Germans

        even the children? were there no innocents? i can’t imagine saying that about any people. it’s just wrong to kill whole cities. no matter how angry i am i will never say hiroshima was ok or even dresden and no matter how angry i was at israel i would feel nothing but horror and disgust if it happened to tel aviv. collective punishment is wrong.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 12:49 am

        Annie,
        And if you were shown the alternative universe and saw that without Hiroshima there would be 2 million more Japanese dead and 500,000 more Americans dead?

        There is no sensible way to fight a war without inflicting collective punishment. When you bomb a railway that moves weapons and supplies for an army you are also bombing the civilian infrastructure of that country. When you bomb factories, you inflict damage on the cities they are part of.

        And by the way, what about the children of people in jail? Don’t they suffer from not being with their parents? Why would you inflict pain on them by sending their parents to jail? When you punish one part of a family you punish all the family.

      • longliveisrael
        September 30, 2011, 1:09 am

        annie,

        There was a Nazi unit called Einsatzgruppen. These were people who were not soldiers not SS, they did not get drafted into those units. They were often older than regular soldiers many of them had families and their own children.

        Their role was to enter towns conquered by the Germans in the East and murder all the Jews

        The process was typically to violently round up all the Jews, there was no pretense here. They would shoot a few on the way to the central location. Then they would get a few Jews to dig the mass grave. They would then march a group at at a time tomthe grave. Adults would be shot, kids were not worth a bullet, so often just thrown in alive.

        Goldhagen describes these people walking the children along the forest path to the grave, one of the Einsatzgruppe embers holding the hand of one little Jewish girl, perhaps the age of one of his kids. They reach the horrific scene of the mass graves which rumbles and moves because not everyone died from being shot. This German then either shots the child in the head or just throws her into the grave.

        How does that happen? Years and years of indoctrination against Jews, many of the same terms we see here on MW. No, I cannot in my lifetime forgive and forget.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 1:36 am

        Goldhagen describes these people walking the children along the forest path to the grave, one of the Einsatzgruppe embers holding the hand of one little Jewish girl, perhaps the age of one of his kids. They reach the horrific scene of the mass graves which rumbles and moves because not everyone died from being shot. This German then either shots the child in the head or just throws her into the grave.

        How does that happen?

        you are asking me? i think you are closer to the answer. you, the one who has “zero sympathy” for the carpet bombing of germany. i’m just not into this level of revenge. i would never ever even wish it on my enemies.

        i prefer the truth and reconcilliation of south africa. but here is where i draw the line..i wouldn’t be recruiting ex nazis into our military structure like the US did. i don’t care how smart they were.

      • eee
        September 30, 2011, 1:45 am

        Really, you who has no problem coordinating and talking to Hamas and people who sent out hundreds of suicide bombers, do not understand LLI?

        Did LLI go and kill ONE German? No he didn’t. Yet you routinely have no problem coordinating with people who thrive on revenge and have killed many innocent Israeli civilians.

      • Antidote
        September 30, 2011, 5:33 am

        “I have zero sympathy for what was done to the Germans. Zero!!”

        Well, what can I say? You’re blinded by hatred, just like the increasing number of people who want to blow up Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. I feel sorry for the whole lot of you.

      • stevieb
        September 30, 2011, 7:55 am

        Well put Annie

      • stevieb
        September 30, 2011, 8:24 am

        How do you feel about the fact that most of the world has zero sympathy for Israel. Zero!!

        I already know how you feel. Nothing.

        Which is why most of the hates Israel.

        I feel the same way about Israel as I do Nazi Germany. Germany was a threat to the world, Israel is a far bigger threat to the world than Germany ever was.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 30, 2011, 10:24 am

        “And if you were shown the alternative universe and saw that without Hiroshima there would be 2 million more Japanese dead and 500,000 more Americans dead?”

        Then you’re living in a fantasy land. The myth that there was ANY chance of this happening has been fairly conclusively established to be refuted. The Japanese surrendered because their last possiblity of ending the war without surrender ended when Stalin declared war. The innocents murdered at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were killed for no valid reason.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 30, 2011, 10:26 am

        “I have zero sympathy for what was done to the Germans. Zero!!”

        Then if you encounter people who say they have no sympathy for what is and was done to the Jews, then keep your mouth shut. Because if you aren’t willing to separate the innocent from the guilty and, instead, pass judgment in the racist fashion by which you clearly view the world, then you have absolutely no place to argue when someone applies the same thinking to your favorite group.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:56 pm

        “Today, Islam is racing to supersede Christianity in it’s bloody rampages.”

        Oh, c’mon LLI, I never suspected you of defeatism! Hold your head up, stick out your chest, and remind yourself that Israel has atomic weapons, and can surpass any religion in destruction any time it so desires. This down-in-the-mouth attitude isn’t like you, macher. Or are you a dentist?

        1

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:58 pm

        “That successfully running a Ponzi scheme counts as much as an Orthodox conversion is a bit puzzling”

        Well, they are welcome in my temple, and their word (and methods) will become Holy Writ.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 12:59 pm

        “territories where bears mate with peasants,”

        Thanks! You’ve saved me the cost of a DNA test. Now I know where my family came from!

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 1:02 pm

        “Such people are psychopaths, and there are plenty of those on MW, such as Wondering Jew…”

        Good to know I’m not the only one who sees through that phony.

      • longliveisrael
        September 30, 2011, 5:09 pm

        “You’re blinded by hatred,”

        Actually, I had my eyes opened wide by personal history. There is not much more needed to see your own mother with a number tattooed on her arm and to know what went on in Auschwitz and places like that.

        In particular, the Germans went all the way to her tiny town in Hungary near the border with Czechoslovakia to pull her and all her family to Auschwitz. They weren’t even around any Germans till then.

        In fact, I said before, I understand what the Palestinians must feel. The vast difference is that the Jews in WW2 were not attacking anyone. The Palestinians on the other hand, through their “friends” in the Arab/Muslim world attacked Israel on numerous occaisons.

        I’ll go even further to say, that if it was just the average Palestinian talking, we would have peace in no time. But, there are many in their world for whom the status quo works very well. It worked for Arafat to be the revolutionary, but he did not want to be bothered by having to govern. Same goes for Hamas and the PLO. Same goes for the Arab world/Muslim world and their abuse of the Palestinian agenda.

      • longliveisrael
        September 30, 2011, 5:16 pm

        Well said eee. I don’t even believe in revenge against the Arabs or Palestinians that attack us. I say go after the perpetrators and make them hurt.

        For example, I think that Israel has been way too gentle in the way it handled the Gilad Shalit affair. They should have imprisoned every single Hamas leader and tell them, ok, you all go free when Gilad does. No visitors, no phone calls, no mail. Nothing. No contact whatsoever.

      • Shingo
        September 30, 2011, 7:35 pm

        For example, I think that Israel has been way too gentle in the way it handled the Gilad Shalit affair. They should have imprisoned every single Hamas leader and tell them, ok, you all go free when Gilad does.

        By that standard, and given that Israel has over 1000 Shalits in it’s prisn (ie. political prisoners), I take it you believe ebvery Israeli leader should be imprisoned until every one of those prisoners is set free.

        No visitors, no phone calls, no mail. Nothing. No contact whatsoever.

        Agreed?

        Oh wait, we can’t do that becasue they are Jewish right?

      • Shingo
        September 30, 2011, 7:38 pm

        In fact, I said before, I understand what the Palestinians must feel. The vast difference is that the Jews in WW2 were not attacking anyone.

        Tell me LLI. Do you suport the shooting of Palestinians tryuing to cross the border into Israel? Because according to your standards, that would be Israelis attacking Palestinians.

        The Palestinians on the other hand, through their “friends” in the Arab/Muslim world attacked Israel on numerous occaisons.

        The only atttack was in 1973, and that was simply payback for 1967.

        I’ll go even further to say, that if it was just the average Palestinian talking, we would have peace in no time.

        By average Palestinian, are you talking about a Palestinian who does as he’s told and accepts their dissenfrachisement by Israel?

    • hophmi
      September 28, 2011, 10:03 am

      “The ancient homeland claims are weak.”

      You’re weak. You live in America, which did far more ethnic cleansing than Israel ever did. You should give up your home to someone less fortunate. Stop denying my people’s history.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 10:44 am

        Hophmi

        The US had critical mass and alcohol.
        Israel doesn’t. Israel is finished. Get ready for the day after.

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 10:50 am

        seafoid, you say the same thing in everyone of your posts. you and your ilk have been saying this for 63 years.

      • hophmi
        September 28, 2011, 10:57 am

        “The US had critical mass and alcohol.
        Israel doesn’t. Israel is finished. Get ready for the day after.”

        Seafoid, you’ll be finished before Israel is.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 11:00 am

        DBG

        Have you ever been to Beaufort Castle in south Lebanon ?
        The Crusaders were in the region for over 100 years. They had a superb military too. Do you know what happened to them?

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 11:26 am

        The Arabs were a little better organized back then. Forgive me if I am not too concerned with Arab military prowess.

        Keep telling yourself it will be just like Beaufort Castle, until of course the Israelis capture it again.

      • longliveisrael
        September 28, 2011, 11:45 am

        Yes, and Israel conquered that castle.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 11:45 am

        DBG

        There comes a time in every failure where an observer can watch the main protagonist, the figurehead of the company or ideology or whatever and listen to what he or she has to say and figure out that it is over, that the person has lost control of the narrative and is no longer credible.

        And that happened for definite for me with Bibi on Friday. And that Danny Danon video on al jazeera nailed it. Zionism is dying.

        Israel can have as many nukes as it wants but it has no path to a viable future. The Masada cult is in control. You do your best but you are standing up for an ideology that is run by clowns.

        Al Jaz asked Danon his view of the final peace deal. Judea and Samaghia vill belong to Isghael and the Palesteenians vill be part of Joghdan. That is also what Bibi and Zippy believe.

        It’s Lehman Bros all over again. Too big to fail is going to fail.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 12:08 pm

        Israel ran a torture centre in that castle.

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 12:37 pm

        my favorite color is blue

      • mig
        September 28, 2011, 1:24 pm

        Khiam. Seafoid, it was Khiam. Brutal torture center. I talked to guy who was there, he show me his scars. Done by most moral army.

      • Walid
        September 28, 2011, 1:59 pm

        “Yes, and Israel conquered that castle.”

        When the IDF were chased out of Lebanon by Hizbullah in May 2000 after a 22-year occupation, they ungraciously dynamited sections of this historic castle, another example of Israeli destructive mentality.

        About the castle:

        “Balanced on the edge of a ravine with sweeping views over the countryside, Beaufort castle (Qala’at ash-Shaqif in Arabic) once rivalled Syria’s huge Crak des Chevaliers castle in size and strength. Beaufort is believed to originate from the Byzantine period. It was restored and added to by the Arabs who were later replaced by the crusaders. In 1138, the castle was captured from a local Druze prince, Sheha’b ed-Din, by Fulk of Anjou, King of Jerusalem. The castle was later besieged and captured by Saladin. In the seventeenth century, the Druze prince, Fakhreddine, used Beaufort as a base in his struggle against the Ottoman Turks.

        In modern times, the castle was used by Palestinian fighters in the 1970s. Then, like all the invading armies through the centuries, the Israelis realised the castle’s strategic importance in dominating the route between Tyre and Damascus and Beirut and Jerusalem. They made it their own for more than two decades. Regaining Beaufort was an important psychological step for the Lebanese.

        ‘The castle has become the symbol of the liberation of the south of our country,’ explains Frederick Husseini, Director General of Antiquities in Lebanon.”

        link to historytoday.com

      • Walid
        September 28, 2011, 2:27 pm

        In 2006 during its bombing of Lebanon, Israel bombed Khiam’s prison and its 1 cubic meter cells to try to erase one of its crimes. It succeeded to a point but the prison was restored to keep it as a reminder of Israel’s evils and now is a museum; from Kabobfest:

        Israel Tries to Erase its Crimes
        By Fadi ⋅ July 21, 2006

        Yesterday, Israel bombed the notorious Khiam prison, which it operated from 1985-2000 in the southern Lebanese town. During this period, Israel imprisoned and tortured thousands of innocent Lebanese and Palestinians, including women, children, and the elderly. Many of the them died there.

        Israel was forced to leave southern Lebanon – with the exception of the Shebaa Farms which Israel still occupies – after its army was defeated in May 2000 by a successful Hizballah resistance born out of its illegal occupation. Images of the innocent prisoners, liberated by Hizballah, magnified the trauma resulting from Israel’s torture methods.

        Israel’s treatment of the prisoners included: electric shocks; suspension from poles, usually with only the toes touching the ground and in the nude; beating, sometimes after the body is doused in water; and threats of rape of wives and female relatives. The prisoners were denied trial, medical treatment, and adequate meals. They were completely isolated from the outside world. At the beginning of their detention, prisoners were solitarily held in small cells for up to two months where, in order to sleep, they would have to rest their feet on the wall. The prison also had punishment cells where Israel would hold its captives for up to 15 days feeding them nothing but bread and laxatives. These boxes were so small that it was only possible to sit in them.

        For many of the prisoners, their only release was through exchanges resulting from Hizballah’s capture of Israeli occupation soldiers.

        … Israel will never be able to erase its crimes, whether it be by bombing a prison that refuses to disappear, or manufacturing forests over destroyed Palestinian villages. We will never forget.

        link to kabobfest.com

      • Robert
        September 28, 2011, 3:04 pm

        Seafoid and Hophmi,

        I think that rather than talk about annihilationism, we should focus on the “bi-” nature of the “bi-national state”. A lot of attention needs to be paid to Jewish security, both physical and financial, in a future bi-national state. Harping on the destruction of Israel just does Israel’s work for it.

        I live in California and work with Mexican-Americans all the time. Every day. California is now a majority-minority state. Has California been destroyed? NO! Will the future bi-national state of Israel-Palestine be the “destruction” of Israel? NO! Jews will still live, form vibrant communities, Hebrew will still be spoken, and Jewish rights will be protected. And ensuring that is a worthy use of American Jewish power, not what is going on right now.

      • Shingo
        September 28, 2011, 4:48 pm

        Keep telling yourself it will be just like Beaufort Castle, until of course the Israelis capture it again.

        And keep reminding yourself of Israel’s invincibility, in spite of having their butts kicked by a militia TWICE.

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 5:05 pm

        you have a messed up idea of what success is Shingo. Ask the people of Lebanon if they think Hezbollah was victorious. What exactly did they win?

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 5:08 pm

        Robert

        Who’s talking about annihilation?
        The people will still be there. Their political system won’t.
        Those who want to can follow Dayan’s advice and leave.
        It’s too late for a soft landing for Zionism.

      • Chaos4700
        September 28, 2011, 7:56 pm

        What they won, DBG, was they prevented Israel from occupying Lebanon AGAIN. Israel was wildly successful at leveling civilian infrastructure and littering the countryside with cluster bomblets, but Israel’s ground invasion was trounced and repelled.

      • annie
        September 28, 2011, 11:26 pm

        omg, where did you find this video?

      • john h
        September 28, 2011, 11:42 pm

        Amazing find!

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 11:40 am

        There are a lot of places across the USA where whites are in the minority; yet without some whites Obama would not have been elected POTUS. And now the Republicans have Cain.

      • kapok
        September 29, 2011, 7:57 pm

        CK, couldn’t finish it. And to think, that could have been me in the audience listening with rapt attention to that mumser. Those days are gone. Good riddance!

      • stevieb
        September 30, 2011, 7:58 am

        Funny, I feel the same way about Israeli military prowess – great when attacking unarmed opponents, useless against a motivated, united Arab army.

        Israel is finished. 20 years – tops.

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2011, 10:45 am

        there is no way to claim a homeland based on books written by Jewish guys with an agenda. The thousands of years ago is a bunch of hooey and where on this planet has there ever been such a claim for a land theft? Look I agree with you the US has no right to exist…but it exist. Israel has no right to exist but it exist based on manipulated international recognition..based on the 67 border. Israel is turning the world against Israel by its persistent illegal actions

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 9:18 am

        “The thousands of years ago is a bunch of hooey and where on this planet has there ever been such a claim for a land theft? ”

        Uh — Nazi Germany? All land claims were based on history. Not only in the cases of Czechoslovakia and Poland (recreated at the Paris conference and carved out from formerly German/Austrian/Hungarian and Russian territory), but also going back “thousands of years” to the settlements and kingdoms of Germanic tribes. Israel uses the Bible, Nazi Germany used Tacitus etc. to stake their claim. Modern Germans were considered direct descendants of the Goths and therefore entitled to resettle in the lands of their ancestors, from the Baltic to Ukraine. Same rubbish, different reaction, for obvious reasons. Israel’s expansion ‘only’ displaced a relatively small number of Arabs (and there were plenty of other Arab countries, but only one Jewish – or Polish – state, and the Great Powers, for various reasons at different times, considered a strong and stable Jewish state to be an asset, not a threat to their interests and hegemony. Hence, Nazi Germany is the greatest evil, and Israel the greatest good. Or, as Netanyahu put it to AIPAC recently: “Israel is not what’s wrong in the ME but what’s right in the ME”.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 29, 2011, 10:32 am

        Antidote,

        I disagree with this analysis. I think in the case of Nazi Germany, there was only a portion of their land claim was based on previous rule by Germans (mostly in terms of the East Prussian lands along the Baltic, up to Memel and the Sudetenland). The bulk of it, however, was based on a theory of race which stated that the Aryan had the right to take the land of another by virute of racial superiority. They didn’t try to even paint their conquests of the portions of Poland which became the General Government, Ukraine, Russia, etc., on anything but the right of the strong to dominate the weak.
        All nonsense, of course, but that’s what they proposed.

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 6:04 pm

        woody,

        I disagree with your analysis. National Socialism had many different facets and layers, and the supporters of NS, be they German or not, responded to various aspects of the movement. The claim that Aryans had “the right to take the land of another by virtue of racial superiority” was NOT a unique feature of National Socialism. It was just as much, and long before NS, the belief of the anglo-saxon elite in Britain and the US. Churchill, Madison Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are prime examples and merely the tip of an iceberg. Much of NS ideology was inspired by British, American and French attitudes towards racial supremacy.

        “They didn’t try to even paint their conquests of the portions of Poland which became the General Government, Ukraine, Russia, etc., on anything but the right of the strong to dominate the weak.
        All nonsense, of course, but that’s what they proposed.”

        Even if that was true: what’s the difference compared with other imperialists and expansionists?

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 12:44 pm

        The ancestral homeland spiel is such a crock. Imagine all the Italian pizza restaurant owners in Chicago felt a bit paranoid and decided to become “pioneers” in Italy and herded everyone south of Rome into a concentration camp on the island of Lampedusa. Because that is what the Zionists did to the palestinians.

        And who can deny the Italian Pizza restaurant owners of Chicago the link to their ancestral homeland ?

        And it is their land under the ancestral homeland argument because they have suffered more. Pull the other one.

      • MarkF
        September 28, 2011, 12:45 pm

        “You’re weak. You live in America, which did far more ethnic cleansing than Israel ever did. You should give up your home to someone less fortunate. ”

        We do give up our homes to someone less fortunate – to the tune of 3 billion a year to Israel. Why else would we give welfare to her unless she was less fortunate and completely unable to stand on her own two feet? Especially at the expense of those far more needy here at home than Israelis?

        You fake righties are all for welfare abroad, conservatism at home. No morals and complete hypocrisy.

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 11:43 am

        You forgot that while America’s credit is now downgraded below the even more recently upgraded Israeli credit (both by S & P), America is still underwriting Israel’s loans, debt. Natch Dick & Jane don’t know this.

      • yo_mamma
        September 28, 2011, 1:29 pm

        Careful Hophmi, your arguments are losing their rhetorical force as you turn up the emotional volume.

        Your desperation is becoming evident…

      • Charon
        September 28, 2011, 5:03 pm

        hophmi, most of your history has been invented. Not to be cruel but there is absolutely no physical evidence that Solomon’s Temple ever existed. Faith is not proof of anything. It has been proven that Palestinians are the descendants of all the people who lived in Palestine including any Jews/Hebrews. European Jews are so far removed from the ME that whatever Hebrew DNA is left – if there even is any – does not give you any property rights. Especially after 2,000+ years. Nor does a modern interpretation of scripture believed by .2% of the world entitle you to anything.

        The tired America/ethnic cleansing argument is irrelevant. Americans are ashamed of it. Zionists are not ashamed of their ethnic cleansing. That and people are alive from when it happened

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 29, 2011, 1:06 am

        “The ancient homeland claims are weak.”

        “Stop denying my people’s history.”

        Your claim to the the land is not week. It’s non existant. It’s been nullified by 2,ooo years of being away. Do you think the Roma people who left India even far later, merely 800 years ago, have a right to have a state in India? Israel is purely (how apt!) and simply a white colonial enterprise.

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 8:45 am

        hophmi, does Israel have a half-Palestinian PM? Does it have affirmative action programs galore benefitting minorities, or discriminatory laws galore harming minorities?

    • tokyobk
      September 28, 2011, 11:16 am

      The claims are no weaker than the Muslim claim to Mecca and Medina (Yatrib).

      The justification for a modern state built on this land and at the expense of others may be weak, but not the cultural or religious ties.

      Unless all such claims are to be rejected equally.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 12:09 pm

        Duh
        The Saudis live in Mecca. The Ashkenazis lived in Poland.

      • Charon
        September 28, 2011, 5:13 pm

        tokyobk, the Mecca/Medina example is not comparable. Islam is a religion that nearly a quarter of the world’s population belong to. Muhammad’s physical remains are in Medina.

        Israel is the Holy Land and important to three Abrahamic religions. Christians fought the crusades for this land. It is religiously important to many more people than it is to Jews, the Jewish nature of the land was invented in the past 100 years. Palestine had a culture which was unique to Palestine and included costumes you will not find anywhere else. The Zionists eliminated this culture and brought their European culture with them. Today Israel has boring architecture and a heavy militarized influenced. There is definitely a Jewish culture but it’s far removed from anything religious for the most part.

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 5:20 pm

        Muhammad’s physical remains are in Medina. Really? have you seen his remains? how do you know they are the Prophets?

        You guys go out of your way to question the historical relevance of Judaism but buy this nonsense hook, line and sinker.

      • Chaos4700
        September 28, 2011, 8:00 pm

        According to Islam’s religious account, as far as I know, the Prophet Mohammed was assumed into heaven (rather like Catholics are taught that the Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven by God). So if we “bought this nonsense” they way you buy your pseudo-Aryan God-given right to Eretz Israel, DBG, that is the MINIMUM that would have to appear in Charon’s post. And then you’d have to find a majority of us agreeing with him. Instead, we have you making a trolling as usual, and me having to take you to school because you don’t seem to know anything except Zionist orthodoxy.

        Are you going to suggest that the Prophet Mohammed didn’t exist at all? What about Jesus Christ? Tell us whether you think he ever existed or not.

      • Castle Keep
        September 28, 2011, 11:09 pm

        been reading Prof. John Esposito’s lectures on Islam, and this reality smacked me in the head:
        Judaism is based primarily on myths. Exile in Babylon starts the part of Torah that is verifiable by sources outside of Torah.

        Christianity is based on writings ABOUT the protagonist, Jesus, in a similar fashion as Greek philosophy writes ABOUT Socrates. One assumes Jesus and Socrates existed, but no first person writings are available, only second hand sources. In the case of Jesus, his life has been ‘mythologized’ by all manner of groups, to suit the agenda of that group.

        Mohammed was a real, verifiable, historical person, who wrote the words of the central book of Islam. Further, Mohammed’s life itself is knowable, is central to Islam as an example of how to live an Islamic life. Islam is the most concrete of the three faiths.

      • Memphis
        September 29, 2011, 1:15 am

        and under any scrutiny, one sees that all religions are hogwash

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 8:49 am

        Also, DBG, tell us all if you believe Moses existed, and whether you found any old matzo balls in the desert he and his folks marched in for, what 40 years?

        Also, happy new year; please also tell us if Adam and Eve had navels.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 1:08 pm

        “and under any scrutiny, one sees that all religions are hogwash”

        Yes, but don’t you wish you could wash a hog like that? I mean, that’s the cleanest hog I ever seen!

    • Castle Keep
      September 28, 2011, 8:16 pm

      agreed, “The ancient homeland claims are weak.”

      Disagree with this statement: “Our history of exile, persecution, Holocaust and the return to our ancient homeland now includes the Nakba.”

      1. “History of exile . . .” Mainstream Jewish archeologists and historians concede that THE exile, from Egypt, is mythical, not historical; no evidence other than Jewish writing mentions the the exile from Egypt.

      2. Expulsion of Jews from the Levant by Romans has been exaggerated. Josephus provided a contemporaneous explanation; Shlomo Sand has studied the evidence in a recent analysis. After the rebellion of the Maccabees, Jews were forbidden to enter the precincts of Jerusalem, and the temple was destroyed, but Jews were NOT “exiled” from the Levant.

      3. “Our history of . . .persecution . . .” Numerous mainstream Jewish historians of Jewish history make compelling arguments that the theme of persistent persecution of Jews is frequently decontextualized, often exaggerated, and is the subject of selective liturgical memorialization, that is, religious songs and tales surround a relative few instances when Jewish people were the object of hideous crimes; those songs and tales are repeated by Jewish people to the effect that the relatively few instances seem to fill up all of the historical space of Jewish life. Inaccurately.

      4. “Our history of . . .Holocaust . . .” came AFTER the initiation of the zionist project to colonize Palestine, and AFTER Palestinian Arabs had been targeted and oppressed by early Jewish settlers — as early as 1891.

      5. agree with Kathleen; “ancient homeland” claims are more than weak, they are insulting to every other community of people who have been displaced from THEIR “ancient homeland” — or oppressed on their own native homeland. The Irish, the various peoples of Italy, peoples of South America, of North America, etc., are a few examples of people who have been displaced from their “ancient homeland.”

      6. “Now the Nakba of 1948 . . .and the violence of the Israeli state.”
      With respect, Mr. Ellis, your rending of garments is certainly dramatic, but consider how an informed, and even sympathetic, non-Jewish observer may perceive Jewish values, judging on facts on the ground from 1948 to the present day violence: Is what is manifest by the Israeli state in that 63 year period an anomaly, or is it evidence of what Jewry stands for?

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 8:53 am

        And geez read a book that is not hasbara once in awhile. As to Castle Keep’s point # 3, I suggest you read Lindemann’s Esau’s Tears.

      • MHughes976
        September 29, 2011, 10:21 am

        I’d say, CKeep, that the term ‘exile’ refers to Assyria and Babylon. The ‘main narrative’ about Egypt is that there was a flight into Egypt to escape famine, followed by an Exodus, very much not an exile, in response to oppression – Matthew’s Gospel regards the flight into Egypt by Israel in its beginnings as a prototype of the later flight in the same direction of Jesus as an infant. There is plenty of pagan testimony (mostly unflattering, not too credible but not worthless) to the Exodus and to Moses, beginning with Hecataeus of Abdera in the late fourth century. There is a really good survey of this subject in Assmann’s ‘Moses the Egyptian’.
        Historically, there is no way of finding a plausible date for an Exodus-style grand-scale escape from Egypt – see standard works, such as the Oxford History of the Biblical World. However, a transfer of ideas and of religious leaders and reformers from Egypt to other countries is quite possible.
        The later movements into Exile, from Samaria and Jerusalem to Assyria and Babylon, are likewise attested well enough from non-Biblical sources. They were not mass movements, though – the ‘people of the land’ remained. The Returning Exiles, who rededicated the Temple c.515, claimed exclusive religious authority and this had major and impressive results in terms of power politics and of world literature.

  2. BradAllen
    September 28, 2011, 9:52 am

    Very moving and so true. History is not exclusive it is inclusive and the more you deny your history, the good and the bad, the more you are bound to repeat it.

    Marc, this was a good write up, I still have a hard time accepting the referneces to the two groups as JEWS and Palestinians. What are Palestinians if not, JEWS, CHRISTIANS and MOSLEMS alike. And who are those JEWS who take the opposite side, if not EUROPEANS, RUSSIANS and North Americans.

    I was horrified when I listened to the Obama speech. He must think the whole world is stupid. Hitler likely thought the same way when he blamed others for the suffering of Germans. Saying that Israel was continuously attacked by its neighbours and therefore needs our protection is a distortion of history like no other lie by a world leader.

    I pity the people who live in Israel and Palestine and mourn their fate for many years of conflict and bloodshed. Shana Tova.

    • Charon
      September 28, 2011, 5:21 pm

      What is ironic is that the Zionists once considered themselves Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post was once called the Palestinian Post. That would be blasphemous nowadays. The Bedouins fought alongside the Zionists believing they were fighting for Palestine’s independence.

      Zionists consider Palestinian Jews to be strictly Jews. There has been assimilation but for the most part Zionist bigotry and racism keeps them distinct from the ashkenazi. Nearly 1/3 of the world’s Jews are genetically Arab, at least partially and most of these Arab Jews live in Israel. The Palestinian Jews fought against the Zionist colonists in the beginning. Arafat considered them Palestinians. How ironic

    • Mooser
      September 30, 2011, 1:11 pm

      “He (Obama) must think the whole world is stupid.”

      Of course, the other possibility, which I think much more likely, is that Obama is neither as smart or as good as he is portrayed to be. But don’t say I said that.

  3. hophmi
    September 28, 2011, 10:02 am

    Jewish history is stained because we contributed to the displacement of another people to survive, a displacement that was nothing unusual for the times, was assumed to be necessary by the world powers in order to keep peace in the Middle East, and was caused at least as much by the actions of Arabs as by the Jews. If Jewish history is stained, Christian history is filthy and so is Muslim history. Both have done far more killing and far more displacing than Jews have, and most of that for nothing other than conquest and more and more states, not survival and a single state.

    I’ll be more inclined to worry about the hard things my people had to do to survive when Muslims and Christians take one iota of responsibility for their sins in this world, since for them, taking such “responsibility” has nowhere near the risk it does for my people.

    • Kathleen
      September 28, 2011, 10:39 am

      “contributed to the displacement of another people to survive,” killed Palestinians, destroyed homes villages,

      And lets not forget that the Jewish guys who wrote that sacred book the Bible said that God had talked to them and had said it was a ok to kill non Jews. Totally acceptable to treat non Jews with far less respect. How much violence, how many people did God tell the Jews it was ok to kill? Total bullshit

      “Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book “The King’s Torah” that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.

      Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.

      “It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”
      link to haaretz.com

      • hophmi
        September 28, 2011, 10:56 am

        “And lets not forget that the Jewish guys who wrote that sacred book the Bible said that God had talked to them and had said it was a ok to kill non Jews”

        Nowhere in the bible does it say “It’s OK to kill non-Jews.” The Bible contains accounts of the wars fought by the ancient nations of Israel, but there is no such categorical statement.

        But hey, it is much simpler than that. How many people have been killed in the name of Church? In the name of Islam?

        Way more than were ever killed in the name of Judaism.

        “Totally acceptable to treat non Jews with far less respect. ”

        Again, not in the bible, and today, not a mainstream opinion.

        “Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.”

        Oh, so someone wrote a book, so therefore it must be true.

        I take it you are intimately familiar with the scope and breadth of rabbinic literature, and are therefore in a position to tell us about what rabbinic opinion is on this issue.

        No, you’re just a political polemicist, so you cite that which you believed already.

        “It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation”

        Sorry, but tell me again about the the Laws of War. Last I checked, causing the deaths of non-combatant is permissible if a military action fits the definition of proportionality.

        “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments – because we care about the commandments – there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

        Please recount for us how many people have been killed by Jews in recent memory based on their rejection of the Noahide commandments. You can disagree with Israel politically. Smearing the Jewish religion shows your hatred and your pathology.

      • seafoid
        September 28, 2011, 12:02 pm

        “Smearing the Jewish religion shows your hatred and your pathology.”

        Your own prime Minister speaks for all of Judaism and defends war crimes

        link to standwithus.com

        On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people,As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.

        We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy’s civilian population from harm’s way

      • mig
        September 28, 2011, 1:28 pm

        hoph :

        ” Smearing the Jewish religion shows your hatred and your pathology.”

        ++++ Does that fall to same criteria what you just did to christianism or islam ?

      • Kathleen
        September 29, 2011, 8:53 am

        “Nowhere in the bible does it say “It’s OK to kill non-Jews.” The Bible contains accounts of the wars fought by the ancient nations of Israel, but there is no such categorical statement.”

        Clearly you have never read the Torah or Bible. So much violence promoted turns ones stomach.

        Moses talking to “the Lord” . That guy was one of the first very successful spin masters out there. Talking to “the Lord” What a pr scam. Some ultimate guy in the sky whom only Moses can talk to. What a scam. There is so much violence and endless ethnic centric beliefs and actions cultivated in the Bible.

        From the guy in the sky to Moses according to Moses
        “http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/1-8.htm
        “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land
        which the LORD sware unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”

        link to skepticsannotatedbible.com

        Bible and Torah written by Jews who clearly had an agenda (we have a special relationship with the guy in the sky that we say is there) is so full of ethno centric thinking and actions it is disgusting.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Leviticus 25:44
        “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.”

        link to bible.cc
        ” But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them—the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite—just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.[4]”
        YOU SHALL LET NOTHING THAT BREATHES REMAIN ALIVE, BUT YOU SHALL UTTERLY DESTROY THEM-THE HITTITE, AMORITE, CANANNANITE, PERIZZITE, HIVITE, JEBUSITE.

        ” So Joshua [Moses' successor] conquered all the land: the mountain country and the South and the lowland and the wilderness slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord, God of Israel had commanded.[5]”

        BUT UTTERLY DESTROYED ALL THAT BREATHED, AS THE LORE, GOD OF ISRAEL HAD COMMANDED

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 9:17 am

        RE: “But hey, it is much simpler than that. How many people have been killed in the name of Church? In the name of Islam?”

        Hey, Jews teach each other they are “the light to the world.” They don’t say Christians or Muslims are such. BTW, the test of virtue is power, as in Israeli nukes and US welfare weapons.

        RE: “Nowhere in the bible does it say “It’s OK to kill non-Jews.” The Bible contains accounts of the wars fought by the ancient nations of Israel, but there is no such categorical statement.”

        Where is Hitler’s categorical statement on “the final solution?” BTW, Jewish specific rules regarding the goyim are not found in the Torah, but in the Talmud. And, was there a US government categorical statement pushing genocide of the native Americans?

        RE: “Oh, so someone wrote a book, so therefore it must be true.”
        Naw, you wrote a comment here without any supporting outside references at all. Therefore your comment must be true.

        RE: “Sorry, but tell me again about the the Laws of War. Last I checked, causing the deaths of non-combatant is permissible if a military action fits the definition of proportionality.”

        And OP Cast Lead fits the definition of proportionality? Not according to the original Goldstone Report; besides, Goldstone did not deny the Committee’s findings later; and, after all, three people wrote that report. The other two were not concerned with attending a family bar mizvah.

      • Shmuel
        September 29, 2011, 10:02 am

        Kathleen,

        It’s an ancient book that adheres to ancient values. It has been interpreted, reinterpreted, ignored and/or selectively embraced countless times over the ages. Most ancient books have objectionable stuff in them, as well as less-objectionable and even admirable ideas. Even the objectionable bits often have relevant things to say about the human condition.

        If you have a problem with literalists and biblically-inspired racists, I share your concerns. If you are saying that the literal words of the Bible somehow reflect or indicate the sum total of Jewish (or Christian) thought and experience, I would object – just as I would object were you to say similar things about the contemporary significance of the Qur’an or any other ancient religious text.

      • LeaNder
        September 29, 2011, 10:54 am

        Where is Hitler’s categorical statement on “the final solution?”

        that was the official and deceptive Nazi term from a certain time on, supplanting earlier deceptive words like: evacuation or resettlement. As resettlement was the excuse given to the people to prevent panic. Of course by that time “one” also controlled the Judenräte the specifically elected heads of the Jewish communities to sent assuring letters to the people due to be transported, as “one” relied on their list of members of the community.

        If you would know nothing about it, what would final solution sound like to you. Something like the earlier resettlement?

        Final solution to the Jewish question = Endlösung der Judenfrage.

        II. SS Lieutenant General [Obergruppenführer] Heydrich, Head of the Security Police and the SD, opened the meeting with the announcement that the Reich Marshal [Göring] had put him in charge of preparations for the final solution of the Jewish question. He noted that this conference had been called to clarify fundamental questions.

        You find the original documents here. The passage above in German on page two. The above English translation: here.

      • LeaNder
        September 29, 2011, 11:05 am

        specific rules regarding the goyim are not found in the Torah, but in the Talmud.

        this is a boring but unfortunately recurring narrative. And yes it irritates me. The Jews were pretty ruthless over times towards their own, I find it really peculiar that this is never a point of debate.

        The Talmud was written between 200 BCE and 200 CE. Have you read it? Would you know the specific historical contexts, can you give us both passages on your mind and ideally an introduction to time and place, as well as later developments?

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 11:48 am

        Who are you talking to LeaNder? We all know about the methodical Wannsee Conference and its vagaries.

      • jon s
        September 29, 2011, 11:49 am

        LeaNder, I would like to correct your timeline: The Mishnah was codified around 200 CE. The Babylonian Talmud contains material from between the 3rd and 5th centuries.

      • Citizen
        September 29, 2011, 11:56 am

        I have read parts of the Talmud. Have you? Few have read the original, or even the original translation, only at best the purged translation. Many rabbis over the years have told their own people that you don’t go to the Torah for life instructions, but to the Talmud. Why don’t you give us all passages on your mind, LeaNder, complete with specific historical context, time and place? While you are at it, you can do that with the Christian bible too. Thanks! You get extra credit for telling us when those scripts are speaking literally or poetically.

      • Antidote
        September 29, 2011, 9:31 pm

        “Nowhere in the bible does it say “It’s OK to kill non-Jews.” The Bible contains accounts of the wars fought by the ancient nations of Israel, but there is no such categorical statement.”

        Hophmi: surely you are aware of Purim readings, and that the Kingdom was built on strict divine orders to kill all the Amalekites, be they hostile or friendly, aggressive or submissive, together with their entire life-stock. Why is Saul replaced by David? How do their sins differ? See Books of Samuel.

        Yehuda Bauer: “As a Jew, I must live with the fact that the civilization I inherited … encompasses the call for genocide in its canon.”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 1:13 pm

        “The Talmud was written between 200 BCE and 200 CE. Have you read it?”

        I’m waiting for the movie.

    • Sumud
      September 28, 2011, 10:52 am

      Jewish history is stained because we contributed to the displacement of another people to survive, a displacement that was nothing unusual for the times, was assumed to be necessary by the world powers in order to keep peace in the Middle East, and was caused at least as much by the actions of Arabs as by the Jews.

      This pathetic hasbara was exposed as false more than 20 years ago by the Israeli new historians, hophmi.

      “World powers” voted for the partition of mandate Palestine and for the rights of the indigenous Palestinian to be respected, even in Israel. They did not vote for the Nakba.

      The zionist decision to invade and capture 50% of the area designated for the Palestinian state had nothing to do with survival and everything to do with greed; not content with 55% of mandate Palestine, the zionists wanted (and want) it all.

      • hophmi
        September 28, 2011, 11:10 am

        ““World powers” voted for the partition of mandate Palestine and for the rights of the indigenous Palestinian to be respected, even in Israel. They did not vote for the Nakba.”

        They voted for two states. They knew one would be Jewish and one would be Arab. Everyone knew there would be a war.

        “The zionist decision to invade and capture 50% of the area designated for the Palestinian state had nothing to do with survival and everything to do with greed”

        Please. It had everything to do with survival. The Arab states were not going to respect the Jewish state in any borders back then, and you know that. On the contrary, they occupied whatever land they could, and did nothing to help the Palestinians gain sovereignty during that time.

      • Jan
        September 28, 2011, 1:31 pm

        Hophmi –
        Had you read the diary of David Ben Gurion you would have seen that he wrote that the Jews would accept partition but when they became strong as the result of becoming a state they would expand to all of the area.

        I have no doubt but that would have happened.

        BTW, why should the Arabs not have resented an alien people coming into their land and displacing them? The Arabs of Palestine were never consulted as to whether or not they wanted to give up their land to the Jews who constituted only a small percentage of the population of Palestine. Unlike the Jews, the Arabs of Palestine did not have pressure groups in Europe and America who were using their clout to demand that those in power grant them a state in Palestine.

        The Palestinians had nothing to do with the anti-Semitism in Europe that drove a group of Zionists to use their clout for a homeland in Palestine and in the end the Palestinians had to pay an enormous price for what what was done to the Jews.

        It is past time that the Jews of Israel and the world acknowledge the role that they played in the terrible suffering of the Palestinians, a suffering that continues unabated.

      • Shingo
        September 28, 2011, 5:03 pm

         Please. It had everything to do with survival. The Arab states were not going to respect the Jewish state in any borders back then, and you know that. On the contrary, they occupied whatever land they could, and did nothing to help the Palestinians gain sovereignty during that time.

        .

        Please, drop this BS. Jordan had an agreement with the British that they would not invade the Jewish territory and they help to that promise, even they could have invaded. Glubb pulled back his forces once they reached the border of Israel.

        Your lies have berm debunked extensively, so why repeat them?

      • Sumud
        September 28, 2011, 5:34 pm

        They voted for two states. They knew one would be Jewish and one would be Arab. Everyone knew there would be a war.

        Please. It had everything to do with survival. The Arab states were not going to respect the Jewish state in any borders back then, and you know that.

        More tired old hasbara, and a lie.

        War was not inevitable. See Simha Flapan’s 1987 book The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities.

        The book is organised into chapters, each addressing a different foundation myth, and the reasons why that myth has little to no relation to reality. The chapter titles:

        1. Zionists accepted the UN Partition Plan and planned for peace.
        2. Arabs rejected the Partition and launched war.
        3. Palestinians fled voluntarily, intending reconquest.
        4. All the arab states united to expel the jews from Palestine.
        5. The arab invasion made war inevitable.
        6. Defenseless Israel faced destruction by the arab goliath.
        7. Israel has always sought peace, bug no arab leader has responded.

        You need to learn the real history of your country hophmi.

      • Shingo
        September 28, 2011, 8:28 pm

        You need to learn the real history of your country hophmi.

        I’m sure he’s aware of it, seeing as he’d had this information handed to him repeatedly on this forum. But like Witty, eee, Jonah and Robert Weirdine, they prefer to stick to their Zionist narrative.

      • peeesss
        September 28, 2011, 11:45 am

        Israel was created by a UN General Assembly resolution in which some nations were coerced, pressures, bribed to vote for partition. This Resolution never went to the Security Council. It was a recommendation only. Such resolution was to lead to negotiations . It was not intended to lead to the Nakba. The Security Council resolution adopting the GA resolution was needed to make Partition legal under International Law. We are hearing this understanding now as the Palestinians have asked for Member State Status to the UN. The US has promised to veto such a resolution which will make the Palestinians application mute. Why does all parties still proclaim the legality of the Israelui State due to “UN Resolution”. It was a GA recommendation only.

      • hophmi
        September 28, 2011, 12:03 pm

        As most people should know, the Security Council does not “recognize states.” It can only give them full membership in the UN. State recognition is bilateral. The first two countries to recognize Israel were the two superpowers of the world, so no one really cares about the Security Council.

        “Israel was created by a UN General Assembly resolution in which some nations were coerced, pressures, bribed to vote for partition.”

        You mean people in a deliberative body did not just vote out of the goodness of their hearts? They voted. It’s over. Accept it.

        “It was a recommendation only. Such resolution was to lead to negotiations”

        Uh-huh. Well, like the Palestinians, the Jews were tired of waiting.

        “We are hearing this understanding now as the Palestinians have asked for Member State Status to the UN. The US has promised to veto such a resolution which will make the Palestinians application mute.”

        No, it won’t. It simply will deny them full membership. The GA will grant them non-member observer status, which will give them everything they want. As I said, the Security Council cannot recognize a state.

        “Why does all parties still proclaim the legality of the Israelui State due to “UN Resolution”. It was a GA recommendation only.”

        Whatever. If Un 181 is no good because it was a GA resolution, UN 194 isn’t any good for the same reason. I’m willing to forgo 181 if you’re willing to forgo 194. Deal?

    • kapok
      September 28, 2011, 9:21 pm

      You make it sound like Teh Jews is a separate species.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2011, 1:15 pm

        “You make it sound like Teh Jews is a separate species.”

        We are! We are the only humans born without foreskins!

    • thankgodimatheist
      September 29, 2011, 1:17 am

      “Jewish history is stained because we contributed to the displacement of another people to survive”

      To survive what? Nazism was already defeated. You did not contribute to the displacement of another people, you effectively displaced another people! Survival was not the motive. Building a colony in the heart of the ME was!

  4. Sumud
    September 28, 2011, 10:12 am

    Not quite the right thread for this, but Marc Ellis, you’re bothered by Obama and so am I.

    Here is his great speech from the UN – the one he’ll never make, no matter what Israel does, because he has no moral core, just a good speechwriter:

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning. Mr. Secretary General, on behalf of us all, thank you for convening this meeting to address a task that must be the work of all of us — supporting the people of Palestine as they build a future that is free and democratic and prosperous. And I want to thank President Barghouti for his remarks and for all that he and Prime Minister Fayyad have done to help Palestine reach this moment.

    To all the heads of state, to all the countries represented here who have done so much over the past several months to ensure this day could come, I want to say thank you, as well.

    Today, the Palestinian people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation. After six decades of darkness, they can walk the streets, free from tyranny. They are making their voices heard — in new newspapers, and on radio and television, in public squares and on personal blogs. They’re launching political parties and civil groups to shape their own destiny and secure their universal rights. And here at the United Nations, the new flag of a free Palestine now flies among the community of nations.

    Make no mistake — credit for the liberation of Palestine belongs to the people of Palestine. It was Palestinian men and women — and children — who took to the streets in peaceful protest, who faced down the tanks and endured the snipers’ bullets. It was Palestinian fighters, often outgunned and outnumbered, who fought pitched battles, town-by-town, block-by-block. It was Palestinian activists — in the underground, in chat rooms, in mosques — who kept a revolution alive, even after some of the world had given up hope.

    It was Palestinian women and girls who hung flags and smuggled weapons to the front. It was Palestinians from countries around the world, including my own, who rushed home to help, even though they, too, risked brutality and death. It was Palestinian blood that was spilled and Palestine’s sons and daughters who gave their lives. And on that May day — after all that sacrifice, after 64 long years — it was Palestinians who pushed their oppressors from power.

    At the same time, Palestine is a lesson in what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one. I said at the beginning of this process, we cannot and should not intervene every time there is an injustice in the world. Yet it’s also true that there are times where the world could have and should have summoned the will to prevent the killing of innocents on a horrific scale. And we are forever haunted by the atrocities that we did not prevent, and the lives that we did not save. But this time was different. This time, we, through the United Nations, found the courage and the collective will to act.

    When the former Israeli regime unleashed a campaign of terror, threatening to roll back the democratic tide sweeping the region, we acted as united nations, and we acted swiftly — broadening sanctions, imposing an arms embargo. The United States led the effort to pass a historic resolution at the Security Council authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect the Palestinian people. And when the civilians of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus and Gaza were threatened with massacres, we exercised that authority. Our international coalition stopped the zionist regime in its tracks, and saved countless lives, and gave the Palestinian people the time and the space to prevail.

    Important, too, is how this effort succeeded — thanks to the leadership and contributions of many countries. The United States was proud to play a decisive role, especially in the early days, and then in a supporting capacity. But let’s remember that it was the Arab League that appealed for action. It was the world’s most effective alliance, NATO, that’s led a military coalition of nearly 20 nations. It’s our European allies — especially the United Kingdom and France and Denmark and Norway — that conducted the vast majority of air strikes protecting rebels on the ground. It was Arab states who joined the coalition, as equal partners. And it’s been the United Nations and neighboring countries — including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan — that have cared for the Palestinians in the urgent humanitarian effort that continues today.

    This is how the international community should work in the 21st century — more nations bearing the responsibility and the costs of meeting global challenges. In fact, this is the very purpose of this United Nations. So every nation represented here today can take pride in the innocent lives we saved and in helping Palestinians reclaim their country. It was the right thing to do.

    Now, even as we speak, remnants of the old regime continue to fight. Difficult days are still ahead. But one thing is clear — the future of Palestine is now in the hands of the Palestinian people. For just as it was Palestinians who tore down the old order, it will be Palestinians who build their new nation. And we’ve come here today to say to the people of Palestine — just as the world stood by you in your struggle to be free, we will now stand with you in your struggle to realize the peace and prosperity that freedom can bring.

    In this effort, you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America. Today, I can announce that our ambassador is on his way back to Tel Aviv. And this week, the American flag that was lowered before our embassy was attacked will be raised again, over a re-opened American embassy. We will work closely with the new U.N. Support Mission and with the nations here today to assist the Palestinian people in the hard work ahead.

    First, and most immediately: security. So long as the Palestinian people are being threatened, the NATO-led mission to protect them will continue. And those still holding out must understand — the old regime is over, and it is time to lay down your arms and join the new Palestine. As this happens, the world must also support efforts to secure dangerous weapons — conventional and otherwise — and bring fighters under central, civilian control. For without security, democracy and trade and investment cannot flourish.

    Second: the humanitarian effort. The Transitional National Council has been working quickly to restore water and electricity and food supplies to Ramallah. But for many Palestinians, each day is still a struggle — to recover from their wounds, reunite with their families, and return to their homes. And even after the guns of war fall silent, the ravages of war will continue. So our efforts to assist its victims must continue. In this, the United States — the United Nations will play a key role. And along with our partners, the United States will do our part to help the hungry and the wounded.

    Third: a democratic transition that is peaceful, inclusive and just. President Barghouti has just reaffirmed the Transitional National Council’s commitment to these principles, and the United Nations will play a central role in coordinating international support for this effort. We all know what is needed — a transition that is timely, new laws and a constitution that uphold the rule of law, political parties and a strong civil society, and, for the second time in Palestinian history, free and fair elections.

    True democracy, however, must flow from its citizens. So as Palestinians rightly seek justice for past crimes, let it be done in a spirit of reconciliation, and not reprisals and violence. As Palestinians draw strength from their faith — a religion rooted in peace and tolerance — let there be a rejection of violent extremism, which offers nothing but death and destruction. As Palestinians rebuild, let those efforts tap the experience of all those with the skills to contribute, including the many former Israelis in Palestine. And as all Palestinians — new and old — forge a society that is truly just, let it enshrine the rights and role of women at all levels of society. For we know that the nations that uphold the human rights of all people, especially their women, are ultimately more successful and more prosperous.

    Which brings me to the final area where the world must stand with Palestine, and that is restoring prosperity. For too long, Palestine’s vast riches were stolen and squandered. Now that wealth must serve its rightful owners — the Palestinian people. As sanctions are lifted, as the United States and the international community unfreeze more Palestinian assets, and as the country’s gas production is restored, the Palestinian people deserve a government that is transparent and accountable. And bound by the Palestinian students and entrepreneurs who have forged friendships in the United States, we intend to build new partnerships to help unleash Palestine’s extraordinary potential.

    Now, none of this will be easy. After decades of iron rule by a brutal and oppressive governments, it will take time to build the institutions needed for a democratic Palestine. I’m sure there will be days of frustration; there will be days when progress is slow; there will be days when some begin to wish for the old order and its illusion of stability. And some in the world may ask, can Palestine succeed? But if we have learned anything these many months, it is this: Don’t underestimate the aspirations and the will of the Palestinian people.

    So I want to conclude by speaking directly to the people of Palestine. Your task may be new, the journey ahead may be fraught with difficulty, but everything you need to build your future already beats in the heart of your nation. It’s the same courage you summoned on that first October day; the same resilience that brought you back out the next day and the next, even as you lost family and friends; and the same unshakeable determination with which you liberated Ramallah, broke the siege of Jerusalem, and have fought through the coastal plains and the West Bank hills.
    It’s the same unwavering conviction that said, there’s no turning back; our sons and daughters deserve to be free.

    In the days after Tel Aviv fell, people rejoiced in the streets and pondered the role ahead, and one of those Palestinian’s said, “We have this chance now to do something good for our country, a chance we have dreamed of for so long.” So, to all the Palestinian people, this is your chance. And today the world is saying, with one unmistakable voice, we will stand with you as you seize this moment of promise, as you reach for the freedom, the dignity, and the opportunity that you deserve.

    So, congratulations. And thank you very much. (Applause.)

    Sound familiar?

  5. RoHa
    September 28, 2011, 10:32 am

    “Jewish history is stained because we contributed to the displacement of another people to survive”

    There was no threat to the survival of “the Jews” in 1948. Nor did most individual Jews need to displace anyone to survive.

    ” a displacement that was nothing unusual for the times,”

    That doesn’t make it right.

    ” was assumed to be necessary by the world powers in order to keep peace in the Middle East,”

    “World Powers”, in the form of the UN, immediately demanded that the displaced people be allowed to return.

    “and was caused at least as much by the actions of Arabs as by the Jews.”

    Nonsense. Arabs did not go to America and Europe. It was European and American Jews who pushed into Palestine wiht the aim of taking over the country.

    “the hard things my people had to do to survive … the risk it does for my people.”

    You are an American, and yet you clearly do not think Americans are “your people”. Why not? Is Atzmon right?

    • Kathleen
      September 28, 2011, 10:53 am

      Hillary Mann Leverett really rips up Obama’s UN speech
      link to raceforiran.com

    • hophmi
      September 28, 2011, 11:14 am

      “There was no threat to the survival of “the Jews” in 1948. Nor did most individual Jews need to displace anyone to survive.”

      Excuse me. My people were three years removed from (yet another) mass slaughter at the hands of Christians. We were not going to stay in Europe or trust the Western world to take care of us.

      “Nonsense. Arabs did not go to America and Europe. It was European and American Jews who pushed into Palestine wiht the aim of taking over the country.”

      American Jews? In 1948? I don’t think so. These were European refugees. REFUGEES.

      “You are an American, and yet you clearly do not think Americans are “your people”. Why not? Is Atzmon right?”

      Is it too much for you to understand that people can be both Jewish and American?

      Apparently. If a Polish or Greek-American guy talks about his Greek people, I guess he doesn’t identify as American according to you.

      Atzmon’s a crazy antisemite whom even responsible pro-Palestinian people won’t touch.

      • mig
        September 28, 2011, 1:54 pm

        hoph :

        “Excuse me. My people were three years removed from (yet another) mass slaughter at the hands of Christians.”

        ++++ Was reason that they were christians ?

        “We were not going to stay in Europe or trust the Western world to take care of us.”

        ++++ World is a scary place. Its a miracle that you manage to live day by day because you find monster lurking around every corner. Have you consulted your shrink lately from these fears ? Sounds you should and pronto.

      • Charon
        September 28, 2011, 6:02 pm

        hophmi, the holocaust had nothing to do with Christians. If anything, German mysticism was the ‘religion’ behind national socialism. The war was over and I understand if the refugees didn’t trust going back home. What makes absolutely zero sense is sending them to Palestine at that time. Whatever the true aim of Zionism is, there is evidence that Zionists works with the Nazis (transfer agreement). Quotes from Zionist leaders make me question why they made a big deal about the holocaust considering they previously didn’t care and knew it was going on. They used it to their advantage, perhaps that was even one of the intentions. After all, the same pocket book that contributed to Israel’s formation played both sides during the war (Rothschild).

        America is a melting pot. We don’t call Americans of Greek ancestry Greek-Americans. Americans of Greek ancestry might not even care or even know about what goes on in Greece. I’m 50% Irish and 50% German. I don’t have an opinion on either. Zionists love to merge Jews and Israel together. It was never a ‘people’ until recent times. Even then it doesn’t make it immune to criticism. If I hated Greece that doesn’t mean I hate Greeks.

        The problem with Zionism is dual-loyalty to Israel even when it goes against American interests. If you had to make a choice, which would you choose? If you would choose Israel than do us a favor and move there.

      • RoHa
        September 28, 2011, 7:49 pm

        “My people were three years removed from (yet another) mass slaughter ”

        Which “your people” did not do a lot to stop. The Zionists among “your people” were busy trying to make sure that Jews could not escape to anywhere but Palestine, and cutting deals with Hitler.

        But the slaughter was over in 1948.

        “at the hands of Christians.”

        At the hands of Nazis.

        And yet millions of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims risked and lost their lives in the war against the Nazis. But even though many of them were Americans, you don’t count them as “your people”. On the contrary, you lump them all in together as part of the untrustworthy Christian Western world.

        “American Jews? In 1948? I don’t think so.”

        The influx of Jews that led to the expulsion of hte Palestinians began long before 1948. Are you saying that there were no American Jews among them?

        “These were European refugees. REFUGEES. ”

        As soon as they joined a movement to take over the country from the locals, they became invaders.

        “Is it too much for you to understand that people can be both Jewish and American?”

        I understand that an American can be a Jew. I don’t understand how he can refer to a bunch of foreign Jews as “my people” in a way that clearly privileges them over Americans.

        “If a Polish or Greek-American guy talks about his Greek people, I guess he doesn’t identify as American according to you.”

        If he calls himself “Greek”, I say he’s deluded. If he thinks his tenuous “Greekiness” is more important than his “Americaness”, he’s a traitor.

      • Castle Keep
        September 28, 2011, 8:35 pm

        “These were European refugees. REFUGEES. ”

        Were they refugees. REFUGEES in 1908 when Arthur Ruppin selected the first groups of Eastern European Jews to settle in Palestine? link to tau.ac.il

        When, in 1891,

        Ahad Ha-Am had made the case that the brutal treatment of Arabs as meted out by some Jews could, if not stopped, ruin the prospects of Zionism and rob it of its moral standing and legitimacy.

        the Jews referred to were not “refugees REFUGEES” but were European, primarily Russian Jews keen to take part in the nationalist fervor sweeping Europe.

  6. seafoid
    September 28, 2011, 10:53 am

    The Jewish prison

    “Endless the end. That has no ending.
    Only mourning can save us now, Jews and Palestinians together. For what has been lost. For could have been. For what could be.”

    The sooner Israel starts on rehab, the easier it will be.

    .

  7. DBG
    September 28, 2011, 10:57 am

    Marc, politicizing our High Holidays is disgusting. I hope you ask your fellow Jews for forgiveness over the next 10 days.

    • Robert
      September 28, 2011, 3:12 pm

      DBG

      I agree with Marc on this. MondoWeiss and the non-Zionist blogosphere has upended the Jewish world for me. If we don’t talk about these issues during the High Holidays, and Passover, for that matter, then what is the point of these holidays?

      A Jewish state has fundamental, mathematical problems (the problem: how can you create a Jewish, democratic state in a region that is overwhelmingly not Jewish?) . The problem is as serious as the mathematical problem that the Titanic had with bouyancy.

      Jews need to face this issue one way or another, and it’s appropriate to discuss this on the High Holidays.

    • Shmuel
      September 28, 2011, 3:51 pm

      And what will you be thinking of, DBG, when you beat your breast (literally or figuratively) during “our High Holidays”? Or do you believe that politics lie outside the realm of ethical, spiritual and religious responsibility?

      You might want to consider the following liturgy, proposed by Rabbis for Human Rights:

      For the sin which we have sinned against You by hardening our hearts — To the grinding poverty and despair of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

      And for the sin which we have sinned against You by exploitation — Living well while others live in poverty.

      For the sin which we have sinned against You consciously or unconsciously — Preventing Israeli Palestinians from fully and equally participating in Israeli society, and leaving them under represented in government, academia and business.

      And for the Sin which we have sinned against You knowingly or unknowingly — Allowing the Israeli government to continue expropriating land, demolish homes, build roads, uproot trees and deny water in our name, even while publicly speaking words of peace.

      For the sin which we have sinned against You by causeless hatred — Demonizing the “other.”

      And for the sin which we have sinned against You with our words — Of incitement.

      For the sin which we have sinned against You by desecrating Your Name — By abusing others and calling it Your Will.

      And for the sin which we have sinned against You through insolence — Saying that only Jews have rights to the land.

      For the sin which we have sinned against You by silence — When we knew that human beings were being mistreated, and said nothing.

      For the sin which we have sinned against You by the abuse of power — Using excessive lethal force to kill and maim

      And for the sin which we have sinned against You by justifying — The use of excessive lethal force.

      And for the sin which we have sinned against You by narrow mindedness — Feeling only our own pain, closing our minds to the agony of bereaved Arab mothers and fathers.

      • DBG
        September 28, 2011, 4:28 pm

        although the question is quite personal, I will be thinking about my relationship with Israel and how I can use it to better the lives of the Palestinians.

      • Shmuel
        September 28, 2011, 4:44 pm

        although the question is quite personal, I will be thinking about my relationship with Israel and how I can use it to better the lives of the Palestinians.

        The Vidduy-Confession is both personal and communal – recited aloud and in the plural (“ashamNU”, “she-hataNU”, etc.). Thanks for sharing your personal confession (although it’s more of a declaration of intent – a later stage of repentance – than a confession), but how is it any less “politicised” than the ethical and spiritual anguish expressed by Rabbi Ellis above?

      • justicewillprevail
        September 28, 2011, 5:31 pm

        Ha ha ha, now that is funny. Yes, I am sure you will, you have demonstrated such empathy and understanding.

      • Chaos4700
        September 28, 2011, 8:04 pm

        How you can better the lives of Palestinians? With air strikes, white phosphorous, armored bulldozers and naval blockades? Really.

      • DBG
        September 29, 2011, 1:26 am

        Chaos, I will continue to humanize the Palestinians in my local Jewish community. I will defend them when they are generalized and continue to try to persuade my community that peace, understanding, and reconciliation is best for the region, our religion, and the world as a whole.

        I thought a lot about the I/P situation today, before and after Rosh Hashanah services. The state of Israel was of course not mentioned, but it was on my mind.

        Chaos, Shingo, Cliff et al, this is an important time in the Jewish year, I would like to ask you guys to forgive me for any personal attacks. I will strive for civility from now on. I would ask you to do the same. Lets put ourselves in the shoes of both Palestinians and Israelis and think about what we can do to help forge trust and a just outcome for this situation.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 1:39 am

        your comment means a lot to me dbg. i’m going to try to be more expansive in my visions of peace. i know i have been overly harsh at times in my perceptions. i do believe in the goodness of mankind and that goodness will prevail.

      • Shingo
        September 29, 2011, 3:32 am

        Sure DBG,

        I’m up for it. I can’t gurantee that I won’t lose my shot and abuse you from time to time, but I’ll give it my best shot.

        God bless to you and your family – and Shalom, mazel tov etc. to the Jewsish community.

      • DBG
        September 29, 2011, 11:05 am

        Thank you Shingo and Annie.

      • Robert
        September 30, 2011, 12:13 am

        DBG, Annie, Shingo,

        Ahhhh, Jewish decency and goodwill. What a relief! Shanah Tovah.

      • annie
        September 30, 2011, 12:28 am

        Shanah Tovah

      • RoHa
        September 28, 2011, 8:16 pm

        No mention of the much more important sin of listening to women sing?

        link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

      • James
        September 29, 2011, 12:02 am

        thanks for sharing that shmuel.. i admire those who put this together and my prayers are with them..

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 12:17 am

        thank you shmuel. that is truly moving.

        The Vidduy-Confession is both personal and communal

        this is the first i recall ever hearing of the ‘ vidduy-confession’ tradition in judaism. very moving.

  8. tombishop
    September 28, 2011, 11:26 am

    The only way to recover from this “stain on Jewish history” is for right thinking Jews to get behind the one state solution. A secular, democratic state where all are treated equally regardless of religion or national origin is the only just and viable way forward.

    A leadership must rise up among all peoples in the area who will develop such a state. What form its constitution would take would be developed in the struggle.

    All who want to study the theoretical issues involved should study Spinoza.

    • Castle Keep
      September 28, 2011, 8:43 pm

      imo that’s a bit abstract, tombishop.

      it might be more effective if “right thinking Jews” directly confront ‘wrong-headed Jews’ and wrong-headed Jewish institutions that are funding and perpetuating the settlements, and the impact of the Israel lobby on American politics & policy.

      Instead of rending garments, why not go mano a mano with Jewish leaders like Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, the Wolfowitz-Perle-Kristol-Kagan-Feith-Wurmser-Levey-Kagan crowd. If they were Mennonites, they’d be shunned. Why was Goldstone shunned, but evil-doers like Pipes and Geller and Chernick still get air time? That’s the equivalent of Cardinal Law covering up pedophilia.

  9. AhVee
    September 28, 2011, 11:50 am

    “Without remembering, how will we get to the root of the Catastrophe that has befallen the Palestinian people?”

    Not at all, of course. And that’s precisely the point. Remembrance doesn’t only mean accepting that something worth remembering has happened, continued remembrance is a sign of respect, a sign of caring, no less.

    The West remembers the abolition of slavery, it remembers the Holocaust, it remembers 9/11. By doing so it acknowledges its mistakes, and that it respects the people negatively affected by all these things as fellow human beings who are deserving of their memory.

    So what does sweeping the Nakba under the rug and perpetually either denying or downplaying Israel’s various horrid actions against the Palestinians signalise? What do the Zionist’s repeated attempts at falsifying Palestinian history, and the West’s silence on the issue signalise?

    We don’t care about you enough to acknowledge you in any single way, shape or form. We don’t care about what you own, who you are and what happened to you.

    If people would gleefully distort your history to make another people’s history look more favourable, you know you’ve got the shorter end of the stick. No amount of rhetoric and fakey sweet talk can cloak that. The Palestinians sense this, naturally, yet reacting with a distaste of the Western world (a natural reaction, given all this) is turned around on them and used to portray them as haters of Western values. (Which is ironic to an extreme degree, seeing as their dislike for the West results more in the fact that the Western values that are preached by the west are not in line with their actions or intentions here). The west is mad, because someone’s holding them to the standards they themselves preach. Respect. Freedom. Thou shalt not steal.

    That’s what we’ve been showing the Palestinians. What are we showing the world? That we obviously do not believe in treating people equally, and will do so only until our frail and narrow sphere of comfort is breached.

    • john h
      September 28, 2011, 7:05 pm

      “The West remembers the abolition of slavery, it remembers the Holocaust, it remembers 9/11. By doing so it acknowledges its mistakes, and that it respects the people negatively affected by all these things as fellow human beings who are deserving of their memory.”

      The question here is, what and how has/does the West remember these things?

      The purpose of any remembrance must surely be to learn the lessons this history teaches. For such learning to be effective, these three aspects are essential:

      1) Recognition of the historical truth, without any reduction or exaggeration.

      2) Recognition of why each happened, of what the basic causes were.

      3) Recognition of what we are to learn from those events, and how we should apply that to what is happening today.

      I suggest the West has mostly fallen far short in its discerment and application of what can and should have been learned, especially on the last two.

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Santayana)

      • AhVee
        September 29, 2011, 12:46 am

        Well said.

        “Recognition of what we are to learn from those events, and how we should apply that to what is happening today.

        Very good point. The bolded is where I see people slip up the most. They may know past events by heart but have absolutely no conception of how it might apply in contemporary times, and so fail to recognise it when past mistakes are repeated. I don’t doubt there’s people around who equate ‘not repeating events that lead to the holocaust’ with ‘not sticking people in gas chambers’, or ‘not doing anything bad to Jews’ if that doesn’t happen, voila, past mistakes weren’t repeated, it may well be somewhere near as simple as that for some.

        Explaining what forms and guises past mistakes may come in today requires not only a solid and comprehensive understanding of history, but an equally solid and comprehensive understanding of the workings of contemporary society, something that’s next to never taught anywhere near adequately, if at all, in schools (let’s face it, most of us don’t end up going on to university, and even then, most don’t take courses that teach that kind of thing). I studied sociology, and even there the majority of the people on my course seemed to limit themselves to learning facts by heart without comprehending the connection between them, or their greater meaning. A comprehensive understanding of the way stuff links up is far from being a given, remarkably few people seem to have it, what’s more it requires an active interest to understand.

        I personally don’t bank on claimed regret or remorse, regardless of how comprehensive it may be, it’s a moral contract all too quickly broken if and when the tides change. I believe only G-d sees what’s truly in a man’s heart and mind.

        “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So are those who do remember the past yet benefit from repeating it.

    • RoHa
      September 28, 2011, 8:27 pm

      “By doing so it acknowledges its mistakes, and that it respects the people negatively affected by all these things as fellow human beings who are deserving of their memory. ”

      link to youtube.com

      link to justice.gov.za

      link to trc.ca

      link to gisborneherald.co.nz

      link to trcofliberia.org

      link to sierra-leone.org

      link to google.com

      • john h
        September 28, 2011, 10:34 pm

        Great collection of examples, thanks RoHa.

      • RoHa
        September 28, 2011, 11:40 pm

        I’m going to rub this in, john h.

        Look at that list.

        The primitive African schwartzes understand it.

        The penny’s dropped for the uncultured, beeer-swilling, ockers.

        The sheep-shagging Kiwis can grasp it.

        Even the Canadians, for Heaven’s sake, get the idea.

        But the super-civilized, sophisticated, Nobel-Prize-winning inventors of cherry tomatoes …

      • AhVee
        September 29, 2011, 12:51 am

        Thank you very much, got all those links open in separate tabs. I’ll read ‘em after I catch some sleep and can actually concentrate.

    • James
      September 29, 2011, 12:06 am

      great post ahvee 1150am.. thanks for saying all that.. more people need to read your post…

      • AhVee
        September 29, 2011, 12:54 am

        Thank you James, glad you enjoyed reading it.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 1:03 am

        i really enjoyed it too ahvee. and thanks to james for calling my attention to it tonight.

      • AhVee
        September 29, 2011, 1:21 am

        Thanks much Annie, appreciated. :)

        Good night all and L’shanah tovah

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 1:40 am

        g’night ahvee. L’shanah tovah everyone.

  10. DICKERSON3870
    September 28, 2011, 4:38 pm

    RE: “Some Jews worry about those who deny that the Holocaust occurred. Denying that 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe during the Nazi period is horrendous. Beyond words.” ~ Ellis

    MY COMMENT: I agree that denying that 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe during the Nazi period is horrendous (especially when it is primarily the product of rank anti-Semitism), and I can certainly understand how this would worry people. Just the same, let’s consider a couple of things.
    Many years ago I saw a program on the History Channel about neo-Nazis in the U.S.
    According to the program, there was virtually no visible neo-Nazi activity in the U.S. in the years immediately following WWII and the Holocaust. Then, in the early 1970’s, some whack-job decided he would start a neo-Nazi group in the U.S. He found that it was very difficult to attract members because memories/awareness of the Holocaust were/was still too prevalent. Consequently, (according to the program) he decided to claim that the Holocaust had never occurred in the hope of diminishing the reluctance of people to join his neo-Nazi group. Finally some people began to join his nutty group. The point here is that he did not disbelieve that the Holocaust had occurred; he denied it had occurred so as to improve recruitment (by trying to reduce the stigma of the Holocaust that was being associated with his neo-Nazi group and hampering recruitment).

    I have one more point to make. “Holocaust denial” can be seen as a “conspiracy theory” in the sense that it would take a huge conspiracy on the part of many, many disparate actors to fabricate the Holocaust and hoodwink billions of people into believing it occurred. A “Holocaust denier” must essentially believe that some kind of incredible, gargantuan, global conspiracy took place to in order to create numerous films, photos, documents, eye-witness testimonies, etc. that leave absolutely no doubt that the Holocaust occurred.
    Nonetheless, I feel compelled to ask whether anyone should be surprised that out of the zillions of “conspiracy theories” there is one (with a few variants) denying the existence of the Holocaust?
    NOT TO EXCUSE HOLOCAUST DENIAL, BUT: Frankly, if there wasn’t at least one “conspiracy theory” denying that the Holocaust occurred, I would think something was “very fishy” and be very, very, very concerned about the possibility that something really, really “strange” was going on! It might even make me wonder about the Holocaust (despite the mountains of irrefutable documentary evidence that it occurred)!

    • DICKERSON3870
      September 28, 2011, 5:30 pm

      P.S. A SUPERB DOCUMENTARY: The Architecture of Doom (Undergångens Arkitektur) 1991, NR, 119 minutes (on YouTube in 12 segments & available for streaming at Netflix)
      This chilling documentary explores how artistic, cultural and historical trends forged the National Socialist aesthetic, which in turn contributed to the unspeakable horrors of the
      Holocaust.
      Swedish-born filmmaker Peter Cohen, whose parents escaped the Nazis, examines Hitler’s failed career as an artist, his fascination with Wagner, the Nazi obsession with cleanliness, the paradoxical link between “beauty” and evil in the Third Reich, and more.
      Netflix Availability: Streaming and DVD
      NETFLIX LISTING – link to netflix.com
      YouTube, Architecture of Doom (12 segments) – link to youtube.com

  11. Sin Nombre
    September 28, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Mr. Ellis wrote:

    “Can Jews be silent about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine?”

    Well, except for those celebrating it using different words.

    Example: Is now a very interesting article in Haaretz pointing out something I picked up on too in Netanyahu’s speech and that was his citing the “great [Lubavitcher] rabbi” in his talk.

    (link to haaretz.com)

    As the article points out this rabbi (Schneerson) was viscerally—and famously—against returning even one inch of land back to the Palestinians and clearly even against allowing any non-jews any place in Israel, and his admirers if not devotees include that Goldstein guy who machine-gunned all those arabs in that mosque some years ago, and that Israeli rabbi who wrote one book celebrating Goldstein and then another more recently warning that it isn’t always okay to go killing gentile children, but…

    Anyway, when I heard Netanyahu cite this guy in his U.N. speech it immediately hit me: “He’s talking in code.” While he’s saying “Peace” to the outside world who doesn’t know Schneerson from Smith, he’s saying something entirely different to his tribe.

    As that Haaretz article noted, Netanyahu citing Schneerson in a speech “ostensibly in favor of a Palestinian state is like relying on a racist who fervently supports slavery in a speech that is ostensibly in favor of abolition, while also making abolition contingent upon conditions that will never be met.”

    Reminded me precisely of that father of the neo-cons Strauss at the U. of Chicago whose big claim to intellectual fame was noting how one could speak both exoterically (for the outside, public world), and esoterically for an “in”-crowd.

    In short, you bet some jews can not just be silent about their ethnic cleansing but indeed they can brag about it. They just use special words to do so.

    • James
      September 29, 2011, 12:10 am

      sin hombre – never trust a person who mouths the peace word in every 2nd or 3rd sentence… assume the exact opposite.. the rabbi being quoted is the proof…

  12. Richard Witty
    September 28, 2011, 6:41 pm

    There is no mourning of the new year. That is the significance of new.

    In any case, a happy and healthy new year and year for Jewish posters and lurkers, and to all.

    • jon s
      September 29, 2011, 7:13 am

      Happy New Year to you , and to all.
      May the New Year bring us peace , prosperity and justice.
      Enjoy this:

      • DBG
        September 29, 2011, 11:42 am

        Great video, l’shana tova to you and your country Jon S.

      • jon s
        September 29, 2011, 11:55 am

        Thanks, DBG. I take it from your initials that you’re an incarnation of our first Prime Minister. Shana Tova!

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 29, 2011, 9:32 pm

        “I take it from your initials that you’re an incarnation of our first Prime Minister”

        Exactly.. the ethnic cleanser in chief himself, David Ben Gurion! Aren’t you proud of him!!
        The stomach turns.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 30, 2011, 1:17 am

        And yeah, Shana Tova, ethnic cleansers!

      • DBG
        September 30, 2011, 1:52 am

        Shana Tovah atheist

  13. crone
    September 28, 2011, 7:08 pm

    Speaking of words… Pepe Escobar recently had some strung together in a rather interesting manner. I highly recommend his piece on 9/15th wrt Turkey and its new-found role in the Arab world. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Heavy metal birth pangs
    And all this while the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies – horrified by the Arab Spring – have proposed $2 billion in annual direct aid to Jordan so it will become part of the GCC, the Gulf Cooperation Council, also known as the Gulf Counter-revolutionary Club. As a monarchical club, the GCC wants Jordan and Morocco as new members. The icing on the cake, though, would be a monarchical Libya.

    On a parallel track, the counter-revolutionaries have been forced by Turkey to step up – at least verbally – their support for Palestine. Even Jordan’s King Abdullah, staunch US ally and Israel’s only “friend” left in the Middle East, has claimed that “the future Palestine are stronger than Israel is today”.

    Well, Israel did look for it – after the invasion of Lebanon in 2006, the massacre in Gaza in 2008 and the attack on the Turkish flotilla in 2010. In terms of world public opinion, Israel is toast – and even the Arab counter-revolution had to notice.

    That includes the House of Saud. None other than former Saudi intelligence supremo Prince Turki al-Faisal wrote a New York Times op-ed piece stating outright, “Saudi leaders would be forced by domestic and regional pressures to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy” if the US vetoes the Palestinian bid at the Security Council.

    Prince Turki also stressed that everything must evolve around a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, which every grain of sand in the Sinai knows Israel will never accept.

    In the event of a US veto, Prince Turki threatened Saudi Arabia would be “opposing the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq” and would “part ways with Washington in Afghanistan and Yemen as well”.

    Now imagine the House of Saud lavishly funding a double guerrilla war all across the Pentagon’s “arc of instability” – Sunnis against Shi’ites in Iraq plus the already turbocharged Taliban in Afghanistan – while lobbying for an Islamist government in both Egypt and Turkey; and this while Egypt and Turkey for their part fully collide with an isolated and angry Israel. Now that’s what the “birth pangs of the new Middle East” are all about. ”

    link to atimes.com

  14. Dan Crowther
    September 28, 2011, 7:42 pm

    I just want to say l’shana tovah, man. And that’s to everybody. I hope everyone and their families has a safe holiday(s)

  15. Les
    September 28, 2011, 8:43 pm

    conclusion of Alice Walker’s conversation with Flashpoint’s Dennis Bernstein regarding the results of “the constant reiteration of the Holocaust:”

    DB: Finally, and I guess this is the hardest thing for me to understand. We are seeing several recent reports surfacing out of Israel, really put together by the Israelis describing a program, an expanding program of midnight kidnappings, and torture of children as young as twelve years old, by Israeli soldiers.

    Sometimes they are taken to the basements of the settlements, illegal settlements, and questioned and masked, but they are taken by hooded soldiers and my question for you and I don’t know if there is a real answer but what drives a people to go to these lengths to silence children and to repress freedom.

    AW: Well, I think that one of the things that probably should not have happened for so long is that the constant reiteration of the Holocaust.

    I think if we had a slavery industry so that so often you would hear horrible tales about the enslavement of black people, like every time you turn around, we would have some incredibly crazed black people who would be doing some much more violent things because the anger.

    I think that whatever happens you are never permitted to evolve beyond your rage. So everything becomes an obstacle to your liberation from your own rage. So you turn into quite dangerous entities in society.

    link to consortiumnews.com

  16. kursato
    September 28, 2011, 8:51 pm

    Why are the Palestinians paying the price what the Nazis did against the Ashkenazi jews?

    • James
      September 29, 2011, 12:25 am

      kursato – this is a very good question which many people ask… i don’t have an answer for you.. this question shows a level of empathy often missing when contemplating the i/p issue…

    • annie
      September 29, 2011, 1:23 am

      it’s the roll of the dice. the palestinians loved lived and cared for the holy land for centuries, they kept it holy. therefore in the counterbalance for the destruction of the holocaust it seemed perfectly reasonable for the victims to take possession of the holiest land on the planet..to some people. i just don’t think they bargained on the world becoming a lot more multicultural shortly thereafter. the civil rights movement in the us..etc. israel would have gotten away with this 100 years earlier. hopefully we will strike a final dagger in the heart of colonialism once and for all when we accomplish this mission.

      onward

      • jon s
        September 29, 2011, 8:58 am

        Annie, “a final dagger in the heart”? – That’s an uncharacteristic expression, coming from you, even as a metaphor.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 12:40 pm

        well jon, i used it because colonialism has been a blight on mankind and it was supposed to be over. the metaphor of dagger in the heart is because that is the way you kill a vampire. colonialism, like vampires thrives off the the life sustenance of others. it has to stop. israel needs to stop expanding and stop colonizing. note i didn’t say “a final dagger in the heart” of israel, i said of colonialism. israel is there, it exists but it doesn’t have to exist anymore by sustaining itself thru colonialism.

        i noticed you didn’t comment on simone daud’s latest post. check out the post and comments especially surrounding walid’s captive market comment.

        do you think israelis are capable of sustaining themselves sans their captive market and constant expansion or can they only exist thru the sustenance provided thru colonialism?

        i’d like to add this problem is not limited to nation states or israel. i think large swaths of land in africa are slated for corporate colonization. if colonialism is not stopped or a precedence is established for people to live as non citizens on their land then corporations could literally wall up people in certain regions while they pillaged the resources around them. we don’t want to live in that kind of world do we?

        or do you reject the premise israel is exploiting the land and people of palestine? is there any part of the exploitation inherent in israel’s expansion you embrace? what’s worth keeping keeping alive of this practice? for israel’s alleged ‘security’.

      • Kathleen
        September 29, 2011, 9:39 am

        The acquisition of the land in that region had been going on for decades. The Holocaust escalated the take and push for statehood.

        Acknowledging the pain, the suffering that has taken place for many Jews through history, acknowledging the killing that Jews did in their early history, acknowledging the pain, suffering and killing of the Palestnian people at the hands in the prisons of the early Zionist and the Israeli government is terribly important. Real forgiveness can only happen when crimes are acknowledged, those responsible held accountable and compensation made. Ultimately no way to really move forward without those reasonable steps.

      • longliveisrael
        September 30, 2011, 10:32 am

        Ok Kathleen, as soon as the Arab world acknowledges the crimes against us. As soon as the Palestinians acknowledge the terror attacks against us for the past 63 years.

        When a leader among the Palestinians stands up and says “We were wrong to kill the Israeli athletes in Munich, the children in Maalot, the kids at Sbarro Pizza, and the people at the Passover dinner in Netanya, just to name a few, then I might be ready to forgive.

      • Shingo
        September 30, 2011, 7:32 pm

        Ok Kathleen, as soon as the Arab world acknowledges the crimes against us. As soon as the Palestinians acknowledge the terror attacks against us for the past 63 years.

        So you stole their land, milled 10 times as many of them as they killed you, started EVERY war since 1948 (with the exceptino of 1973) and you want them to cknowledges their crimes against you?

        No wonder there is no likelyhood of peace. You can’t make peace against sociopaths, especialyl deluded sociopaths.

      • Kathleen
        September 29, 2011, 9:42 am

        Israel would have a real leg to stand on if they STOPPED building, expanding illegal settlements, illegal housing in E Jerusalem, destroying Palestinian homes, olive groves. Take down the wall built on internationally recognized Palestinian lands. Build that wall totally on the 67 border.

        When Israel actually takes UN resolutions seriously they will gain some respect. Until then they just keep creating more enemies

    • jon s
      September 29, 2011, 8:54 am

      The Nazi holocaust was perpetrated against all Jews, Ashkenazim and others.

      • seafoid
        September 29, 2011, 9:55 am

        “The Nazi holocaust was perpetrated against all Jews, Ashkenazim and others.”

        Were the Jews of Salonika Sephardi? That is such a sad story.

        However it’s ridiculous for the Mizrahim to take on the Zionist bullshit that they have been persecuted en masse throughout history for being Jews and that as a result the Muslims are enemies of the Jews.

        I was out for lunch today in a European country and walked past the local Jewish cultural centre where a large crowd of orthodox Jews were gathered to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. It was lovely to see but
        there were security guards posted at both ends of the street.

        Europe has a lot to answer for. And the palestinians get the punishment.

      • Chaos4700
        September 29, 2011, 10:41 pm

        Oh and just Jews, huh? Why am I not shocked that only a narrow subset of Nazi Germany’s victims matter to you (i.e. the ones you can exploit politically).

  17. thetumta
    September 28, 2011, 9:20 pm

    If you are an American at least you have somewhere to retreat intellectually, maybe. All of your problems spring from the fact that you somehow see yourself as a Jew/Israeli? As an American, you have many more options. Use them, get over it. Grow up!
    Hej!

  18. RoHa
    September 28, 2011, 10:08 pm

    Chief Rabbi, do you really believe that God will forgive the Jews if they don’t say sorry to the Palestinians and then play their necessary part in righting the wrong done?
    By Alan Hart

    link to mycatbirdseat.com

    • john h
      September 28, 2011, 10:56 pm

      I think it is evident the answer is no.

      He has had the courage to criticize and be sorry for some things Israel has done, just as has RW. However, that doesn’t include any questioning of Jewish right to the land, or recognition of the Nakba as something to be sorry enough to change, and he therefore is not able to play a necessary part in righting the wrong done.

      When it comes to the crunch, his Zionism triumphs over his Judaism.

    • seafoid
      September 29, 2011, 10:09 am

      That is powerful, roha.

      Zionism is like a deal with the devil. how much is a Jewish state worth to you ? Would you abandon your morality ?

  19. biorabbi
    September 28, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Happy New year to one and all. Shalom.

    • annie
      September 28, 2011, 11:35 pm

      happy new year biorabbi. shalom. are new years resolutions a tradition for rosh hashanah? if they are my new years resolution is tikkun olam. if they aren’t..shalom and let’s repair the world together.

    • seafoid
      September 29, 2011, 12:49 pm

      What does shalom really mean? A perpetuation of the status quo?
      Meaningless platitudes about peace while you build more settlements in the occupied territories ? Why the need for such a massive army if shalom means anything?

      • DBG
        September 30, 2011, 2:00 am

        Shalom means the same as Salaam and peace seafoid.

  20. Sherri Munnerlyn
    September 28, 2011, 11:22 pm

    I find that I can really relate to that prayer by Rabbis For Human Rights, even though I am not Jewish or Israeli , but am an American and a Christian.

    I see us Americans as about responsible for what is happening in Israel/Palestine as Israelis, in light of the billions of dollars we give to Israel every single year to continue the Occupation. I think about the 2006 war between Isarel and the civilians of Lebanon, and how the US sent multiple weapons shipments as children were being bombed and dying, for 34 days straight, that is how long children were being bombed and killed.

    We allow this to happen, to continue, we fall short, and this is cause to cry out to God, to cry out for forgiveness, and to cry out for strength to speak out against the injustices, to cry out for God to show us how we can make a difference, to cry out to God to stop the hurting and killing.

    There is one question I have about the prayer, some words I am stumbling over, or thought I was anyway, the idea of the hardening of our hearts. I just asked a person in a discussion on a discussion board on Beliefnet Middle East board(which is a website once owned by Fox News which is day by dy becoming more right wing and racist and hostile and being taken over by Hasbara trolls) if she was unable to see the truth about what happened on the Mavi Marmara perhaps because her heart was hardened, and I was suspended for two weeks for asking this question. I was told I was reading her mind, and this violated the Rules of Conduct.

    When I read the Prayer from Rabbis For Human Rights below, I tend to think of the hardening of hearts as resulting from looking away from the poverty and despair of Palestinians day in and day out, year in and year out, for so long that the person cannot see the poverty and despair at all anymore. Their hearts are hardened to it. I liken it to racism in the South, in the US, white children being taught negative things about blacks, reinforced every day, and they are not able to see anything but that and are completely unable to have compassion for what the black children face or have been through.

    “For the sin which we have sinned against You by hardening our hearts — To the grinding poverty and despair of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs”

    I really appreciate this Prayer of Rabbis For Human Rights being posted here, from a group that I know has done a lot of good things in Palestine, and would appreciate anyone else’s insight about the Prayer about the sin of hardening of our Hearts.

    • annie
      September 29, 2011, 1:48 am

      would appreciate anyone else’s insight about the Prayer about the sin of hardening of our Hearts.

      me too. hardening of our hearts is a blight on wo/mankind.

      it is good to hear your voice here sherri, i hope you comment more in the future.

    • Shmuel
      September 29, 2011, 2:37 am

      Thank you for your comment, Sherri. The expression “hardening our hearts” (immutz ha-lev) in the traditional public confession is generally associated with Deuteronomy 15:7, which refers specifically to indifference to poverty:

      If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother

      In a broader sense, this line from the High Holiday confession refers to intentional indifference and cultivated insensitivity, and is particularly appropriate in the context of our personal and communal attitudes to the suffering we ourselves have inflicted and continue to inflict on Palestinians.

      In Jewish tradition however, it is not enough to confess to God sins one has committed against one’s fellow man. The wrong must be righted and forgiveness sought from the victim of one’s actions.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 3:27 am

        In Jewish tradition however, it is not enough to confess to God sins one has committed against one’s fellow man. The wrong must be righted and forgiveness sought from the victim of one’s actions.

        it is constant, the quest to be our better selves.

      • Kathleen
        September 29, 2011, 9:32 am

        If only we saw more of that in all religions or any persons life.

      • annie
        September 29, 2011, 12:14 pm

        i agree kathleen.

      • Kathleen
        September 30, 2011, 8:27 am

        A good year to all. To Peace and Justice. Keep pushing

      • john h
        September 29, 2011, 3:50 am

        “In a broader sense, this line from the High Holiday confession refers to intentional indifference and cultivated insensitivity, and is particularly appropriate in the context of our personal and communal attitudes to the suffering we ourselves have inflicted and continue to inflict on Palestinians.

        In Jewish tradition however, it is not enough to confess to God sins one has committed against one’s fellow man. The wrong must be righted and forgiveness sought from the victim of one’s actions.”

        Thanks for those comments, Shmuel. They highlight what hardening of the heart is, and what is needed to be done about it and with it.

        So why is it that most Zionists have this hardness? It undoubtedly stems from their ideology. Some here sum it up as being necessary because it is achieving the greater good of Jews having a safe haven, a place of their own to do what they want with, without the interference of outsiders.

        It may be “intentional indifference and cultivated insensitivity” or it may simply be what comes naturally from such a philosophy strongly held. But whatever, it leads to the obvious hardness and blindness.

        It was this very attitude, and the actions (or their lack) that resulted, which Jesus of Nazareth honed in on, giving the leaders of his day such an amazing tongue-lashing.

        He would do the same today, and would include Christian Zionists in many of those denunciations.

      • Shmuel
        September 29, 2011, 4:15 am

        So why is it that most Zionists have this hardness?

        Fear, manipulation, self-interest, racism …

        It was this very attitude, and the actions (or their lack) that resulted, which Jesus of Nazareth honed in on, giving the leaders of his day such an amazing tongue-lashing.

        As did the prophets before him and numerous pietist and moralist movements after him. It also lies at the heart of Marc Ellis’ “liberation theology”.

      • john h
        September 29, 2011, 6:14 pm

        “As did the prophets before him”

        Yeah, the last one said it pretty well:

        “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.

        And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’, for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham”. (John the Baptist)

        Solomon had a good word too:

        “He who is often reproved yet stiffens his neck,
        will suddenly be broken beyond healing”. (Proverbs 29:1)

      • john h
        September 29, 2011, 6:50 pm

        “Can Jews be silent about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is among the defining moments of contemporary Jewish history.”

        This is rightly said by a Jew to Jews.

        However, what was said applies just as much to those of us who are not Jews.

        The ethnic cleansing of Palestine (which is ongoing) is among the defining moments of contemporary non-Jew history; how can we have been silent?

        It is because we have the same hardness of heart, and it is the same failure to learn from history.

        “When the powerful deny the history we Jews are creating we become stuck in a quagmire. We sink deeper.

        Shameful. Time to hone our repentance. Time to mourn.”

        We cannot be silent. We must be heard by those who must hear and must act.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 29, 2011, 7:57 am

        “If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren,”

        Shmuel
        I had this very discussion with some ultra religious Zionists (on Facebook) and it was specifically pointed out during the “conversation” that ” thy brethren” refers to Jews and only Jews, which makes me think here that it probably explains the hardening of hearts you’re talking about. Is it true that thy brethren concerns Jews to the exclusion of all others? Your insight would be appreciated.

      • Shmuel
        September 29, 2011, 9:47 am

        As in most pre-modern cultures, we do find a double ethical standard in the Bible. Even the Bible however, recognised the need for a common value system for all inhabitants of the land (as in Lev. 19:34, for example: “The stranger that sojourneth with you shall be unto you as the home-born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” – note the attempt to erase distinctions)

        Over the course of Jewish history, the more that Jews lived apart from non-Jews, the more both sides (majority and minority) tended to apply some form of double ethical standards, although there were visionaries (again, on both sides) who sought to institute a single value system for all. Notable Jewish contributors to this trend were Menahem ha-Meiri of Perpignan and Isaac Nathan of Arles. The problem was generally far less acute in Islamic lands, where double standards were practised, but there was far more direct interaction between communities.

        With Emancipation and greater and closer (European) Jewish interaction with non-Jews, (Ashkenazi) Judaism too began to shed its double standards. This is no less evident in Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Neo-Orthodoxy than in Jewish Reform. Today however, ultra-Orthodoxy and the dominant streams of religious Zionism tend to bring to the fore earlier, less enlightened layers of Jewish thought – definitely a hardening of hearts. As for secular Zionists, well this is a religious discussion between atheists ;-)

      • Donald
        September 29, 2011, 11:51 am

        Shmuel, do you have a list of books (in English) which you could recommend on the history of the Jewish people? (I haven’t read any, so anything would be a good start.) It probably won’t come as a shock to hear that I’ve never encountered the names Menahem ha-Meiri or Isaac Nathan, but they sound interesting.

      • Shmuel
        September 29, 2011, 2:21 pm

        Donald,
        Feel free to write to me off-blog. Phil has my email.

      • thankgodimatheist
        September 29, 2011, 9:44 pm

        Thanks for your reply, Shmuel.
        “Today however, ultra-Orthodoxy and the dominant streams of religious Zionism tend to bring to the fore earlier, less enlightened layers of Jewish thought – definitely a hardening of hearts.”
        Exactly what transpired (burst more accurately!) in that discussion I had. A strict abiding by these earlier instructions is revived today. The settlers, notably, are the main promoters of this school of thought.

      • MHughes976
        September 30, 2011, 10:23 am

        II Kings 6 has a scene where Elisha has, using divinely given magic powers, lured some Syrian spies into the midst of Samaria. We read in the sonorous KJV ‘The King of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them,’My father, shall I smite them, shall I smite them?’ And he answered ‘Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hadst taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master’ – presumably with reports that both the natural and supernatural resources of the Israelite kingdom are overwhelming.
        I saw this passage many years ago cited against Israeli treatment of captives by the late Paul Foot, a far-left journalist.
        In fact it’s not a declaration of human rights, but is full of ambiguities – which look darker if you translate, as I understand some would,’Thou wouldst smite those whom thou hadst taken captive (by purely natural means)’. But neither is it a statement that non-Israelite human life is clearly quite worthless. Shmuel remarks that ancient texts frequently demonstrate double standards – maybe I’d rather say that their moral ideas are persistently elusive. Of course we mods have many ambiguities of our own.

      • Shmuel
        September 30, 2011, 12:18 pm

        MHughes,

        I don’t think the Hebrew text in Kings lends itself to the second interpretation, but I don’t think that Elisha was stating a moral absolute either. In fact, his remark may have been a reference to utility and common sense, rather than morality (you don’t take captives in order to kill them – you derive material or strategic benefit from them).

        I agree that the moral ideas contained in ancient texts may be “persistently elusive” – all the more so when we insist that their sensibilities precisely mirror our own.

  21. Castle Keep
    September 28, 2011, 11:27 pm

    why do Jews keep blaming Barack Obama for Israel’s crimes?

    • Sherri Munnerlyn
      September 29, 2011, 12:59 am

      He enables the criminality to continue, by his unconditonal support for Israel.

      All he would have to do is condition US aid on Israel abiding by intl law, and I think we would see positive changes by Israel. Either that, or the end of this self destructing Israeli govenment would come sooner rather than later.

      What I hate to think about is the hurting and dying of the innocent, civilians and children, we are all going to be forced to watch until this present Israeli government ceases to be in power.

      • Kathleen
        September 29, 2011, 9:22 am

        Not sure why we do not see more of a push for demanding that Israel isolate the US funding that is spent on their internationally illegal activities. Itemize where that US aide goes.

        We know for now that US aid to Israel is not going to stop . Keep pushing keep contacting Reps, spreading the word etc.
        But separating or reducing the aid to Israel and identifying what percentage of US aid is used in their illegal activities…needs to be demanded

      • Sherri Munnerlyn
        October 1, 2011, 12:00 am

        Kathleen,

        Jewish Fast For Gaza interviewed Josh Ruebner,the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, earlier this month in a telephone conference. In the interview, he stated there was a website (and I cannot recall the name of the website) breaking down aid to Israel, by districts or regions, that should allow any of us to show those around us how much aid is going to Israel, as our own communities have so many unmet needs. The telephone conference was supposed to be recorded or transcribed and placed on the website later, but when I go on the website of Jewish Fast For Gaza today I still do not see the interview.

        Another interesing issue addressed in the interview was the makup of aid we provide to Palestinians, a substantial amount of that aid actually funds the Occupation and funds things like Dayton’s forces and the attempted prior coup to rid Gaza of Hamas, that backfired so decisively. I expect we fund things like torture of Hamas members, too. Stopping US aid to Palestinians might not necessarily be a bad thing.

    • Kathleen
      September 29, 2011, 9:23 am

      Look over there, blame that group, that person, that over there look over there. Has been the strategy for a very long time

    • Kathleen
      September 29, 2011, 12:28 pm

      Obama’s list of crimes keeps growing.
      Peace through killing. Drones not doves. Real serious contradictions. How many civilians have been killed?

      War By “Lethal Autonomy”
      As the Drone Flies
      by RALPH NADER

      The fast developing predator drone technology, officially called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, is becoming so dominant and so beyond any restraining framework of law or ethics, that its use by the U.S. government around the world may invite a horrific blowback.

      First some background. The Pentagon has about 7,000 aerial drones. Ten years ago there were less than 50. According to the website longwarjournal.com, they have destroyed about 1900 insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal regions. How these fighters are so clearly distinguished from civilians in those mountain areas is not clear.

      Nor is it clear how or from whom the government gets such “precise” information about the guerilla leaders’ whereabouts night and day. The drones are beyond any counterattack—flying often at 50,000 feet. But the Air Force has recognized that a third of the Predators have crashed by themselves.

    • kapok
      September 29, 2011, 3:43 pm

      Reverse psychology, or rather, bizarro psychology. The way we are sold some execrable product or other, which ends its days mouldering in a rubbish heap.

  22. kursato
    September 29, 2011, 4:24 pm

    Erdogan sends Rosh Hashana greeting to Jews of Turkey

    Turkish PM notes different beliefs, cultures living in his country, wishes Jewish citizens healthy and fruitful new year; no mention of Israel.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his wishes to the Jews of his country on Thursday, extending his own Rosh Hashana greeting.

    “There have been a number of different beliefs and cultures living together for centuries in our country,” the Turkish prime minister said in his address. “Special days and holidays add special color to our community life.”

    link to jpost.com

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