In memoriam: Hanan Porat, an extremist by any other name

Late Wednesday night, after I finished devouring the Steve Jobs obituary on the New York Times website, my eye happened to catch the headline for another of the day’s death reports: “Hanan Porat, Jewish Settlement Leader, Dies at 67.” (Actually, my eye didn’t so much catch the headline as was forced toward it by the Times’s “Recommended for You” list, which has apparently pegged me as member of the all-things-Israel demographic, which is a whole other story … sort of.)

My first reaction was disgust followed by a strong desire to register my protest by refusing to read. What was the Times doing running an obituary of a settlement leader, a founder of the extremist movement responsible for gobbling up dunam upon dunam of Palestinian land, for dispossession, violence, apartheid, and an ultra-nationalism so toxic it approaches fascism? If a leader of Hamas died, would the Times eulogize him too? It goes without saying that it would never grant precious death-page real estate to a human rights leader like Michel Warshawski or Raji Sourani.

But then curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on the link which brought me, in a matter of seconds, to a 574-word Ethan-Bronner special capped by a photograph of a young and dashing Porat. Based on Bronner’s homage, which is written in a tone that can only really be described as sympathetic-masquerading-as-neutral, here is what I learned:

* Hanan Porat was hot! “[I]n his prime, in the 1970s and ’80s, when the Israeli right began its political ascent, he was a fiery advocate of hard-line Zionism, cutting a handsome figure with a mane of thick dark hair topped by a knitted yarmulke,” Bronner writers. And indeed, the man in the photograph, the one riding high above the shoulders of dozens of men, pants tight, plaid shirt loose, arms spread in ecstasy, looks like a 1970s god, a real-life Berger — so much so that even now I can’t help but wonder: could a guy that good looking really be that bad?

* Porat “establish[ed] Jewish communities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.”  Well, gosh, I like communities, communities are good, doesn’t everyone want more communities in this atomized, go-it-alone world? In fact, I was part of a community once, during a semester I spent at an enviro-wilderness high school in Maine. It was cool. We quoted Thoreau and Whitman and kept a communal journal and shared food and clothes and secrets and had really intense, deep friendships.

* Porat “helped turn Israel’s religious settler movement into a powerful force” through the establishment of the aforementioned communities. Hm, a powerful force — oh I get it, like Adele 0r Hank Greenberg or women!

* Benjamin Netanyahu, who is the only outside source quoted in the article (and gets quoted twice), really liked Porat, and Porat really liked the Land of Israel: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Mr. Porat had ‘dedicated his life to building up the land of Israel, and to educating generations of students about religious Zionism and loving the land of Israel and the Jewish people.’” Wow, what a warm and generous-sounding guy, so full of love and altruism. A true mensch!

* Porat was a” fervent advocate of Jewish power across the biblical land of Israel.” How romantic, the biblical land of Israel. Good thing he wasn’t advocating Jewish power across the contemporary land of Palestine.

* Porat helped found Gush Emunim, “which means ‘the bloc of the faithful.’” Well, that doesn’t sound that bad, does it? Sure, “gush” is an unfortunate word (rhymes with tush and mush and whatnot), but “bloc of the faithful” sounds pretty innocuous.

* Porat helped build a Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron, “where the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are said to be buried.” Cool, sign me up for a tour! I want to see where the patriarchs and matriarchs are planted.

* Porat grew up on kibbutz Kfar Etzion, “which is on land that was later won by Jordan during Israel’s 1948 war of independence. He re-established the community after the 1967 Middle East war, when the land was conquered by Israel.” Well, that sounds fair enough. I mean, we’re just talking about land, right? First Jordan won the land, then Israel won the land, and since we’re just talking about land, what’s the big deal?

* The Etzion bloc that Porat helped found “is one of the large West Bank settlement blocs that Israel wants to keep in any deal with a future Palestinian state. One reason many Israelis consider it theirs by right is that it had been settled by Jews before 1948.” I guess that means that Jews discovered the area, or at least developed it, and we all know: you discover something, you own it.

* The settlements Porat helped create “remain among the biggest obstacles to creating a Palestinian state.” Bummer.

* Porat “is survived by his wife, 11 children and a number of grandchildren.” Aw, how sweet, he was a dad and granddad — and so prolific!

Now here’s what I could have learned about Hanan Porat but didn’t — not from the New York Times and not from the dozens of other mainstream publications that wrote about Porat’s death:

* The settlements that Porat  helped found are illegal under international law, and their creation is widely consider a war crime, which would suggest that Hanan Porat himself is a war criminal.

* The settlements that Porat helped found, and the infrastructure of oppression that has been built up all around the settlements to keep them well-watered, bucolic, and “secure,” has turned the West Bank into a land of bantustans and Israel into an apartheid state.

* The settlements that Porat and his movement helped found sit on hundreds of thousands of dunams of stolen land and consume as much as (and, at this point, most likely more than) 42 percent of the West Bank. In the process, settlers have forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes.

* The settlements that Porat helped found, and the system of “bypass” roads, apartheid wall, and checkpoints that accompany them, violate Palestinian human rights, including “the right of property, the right to equality, the right to a suitable standard of living, and the right to freedom of movement.”

* The settlement that Porat helped found in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron is one of the most extreme, radical settlements in existence, a place where the occupation is its most foul, violent, and abusive.

* As Porat fully intended, the settlements are not merely obstacles to the creation of a Palestinian state, they have killed any hope and possibility of a true Palestinian state.

* Gush Emunim, which Porat helped found, was not merely the “bloc of the faithful,” it was an extremist, messianic movement that gave birth to a “Zionist fundamentalism” that was aggressive and expansionist at best and violent and terroristic at worst.

* For all his alleged Talmudic brilliance and religious zealotry, Porat was a pretty bad Jew. As Nehemia Shtrasler wrote in a helpful op-ed in Haaretz, “The abuse in the territories [that Porat helped create and support] is also in total contradiction to the moral teachings of Israel’s prophets – Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah – but Porat and his colleagues knew only the Book of Joshua.”

* After Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Palestinians and wounded more than 100 at a mosque in Hebron, Porat, who helped found the illegal settlement where Goldstein lived, was asked by a reporter to offer his thoughts on the massacre. His response: “Happy Purim.”

About Lizzy Ratner

Lizzy Ratner is a journalist in New York City. She is a co-editor with Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. rob says:

    Brilliant Lizzy-Thank you!
    I’m beginning to think (hope) Bronner’s days are numbered, thanks to Max and others like yourself!

    • Erasmus says:

      re rob October 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      …..I’m beginning to think (hope) Bronner’s days are numbered, …….

      Think / hope ? Dream?
      Rob, do you mean numbered as Jew York Times journalist, or numbered in general….?
      Anyway, both ways, it hardly would be a loss to mourn about…..

      • Mooser says:

        Well, going from from correspondent to churning out obituaries might be considered a demotion, but in this case, I think it’s all in a day’s work.

  2. dimadok says:

    Wow! So much load on poor Ms. Ratner soul.
    It seems that narrow mind cannot comprehend Porat being settler and having a large family, or having beliefs that contradict Ratner’s, or living at the same place where kibbutzes were standing and Jews were executed by Arab legion and cheerful supporters. Yes his ideology is a complete opposite to the national Palestinian aspirations, but that what makes him one of key figures in Israel national building and creation of multifaceted society.
    Also a couple of quotes from the beloved Haaretz (just for Lizzy educational purposes):
    Porat came under criticism in 1994 after American-Israeli doctor Baruch Goldstein shot dead 29 Muslims and wounded more than 100 others at a mosque in Hebron. Porat replied with “Happy Purim!” to a reporter’s question about what he thought of the massacre. He later claimed his comments had been taken out of context.

    Porat strongly opposed Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but seemed to have softened his stance in later years.
    In 2010, he said that it was time for Israel “to present a political alternative, one without hatred toward Arabs and with no attempts to deport or hurt them.” Yet he added that all sides must understand that “this is our home, between the Jordan River and the [Mediterranean] Sea, and in this home there will be no other national entity.”
    link to haaretz.com

    Go and spit on someone else grave, Ms. Ratner.

    • James North says:

      Shift change at Hasbara Central.

    • >> It seems that [Ratner's] narrow mind cannot comprehend Porat … having beliefs that contradict Ratner’s. … Yes his ideology is a complete opposite to the national Palestinian aspirations, but that what makes him one of key figures in Israel national building and creation of multifaceted society.

      Dimadok,

      You present extremist nationalist ideology as a mere “difference of opinion”, indicating that you, like eee, operate in a value-lite (if not value-free) universe.

      So tell me, would you have a problem if I spat of Goldstein’s grave? Or was Goldstein just a person “with strong convictions”? -N49.

      • dimadok says:

        I condemn Goldstein murders and it has absolutely nothing to do with Ratner’s lashing out on Porat. National aspirations are coming from both sides and I as Israeli support my country, rather than considering the Palestinian aspirations first. Seems strange does it?

        • RoHa says:

          “National aspirations are coming from both sides and I as Israeli support my country, rather than considering the Palestinian aspirations first.”

          What do you mean by “national aspirations”, and why are they important to you?

        • >> [Goldstein] has absolutely nothing to do with Ratner’s lashing out on Porat. National aspirations are coming from both sides and I as Israeli support my country, rather than considering the Palestinian aspirations first. Seems strange does it?

          The issue is not “national aspirations” but rather Porat’s particular strain of “national aspirations.” Many Quebecers also aspire to nationhood “in the whole of Quebec” — that’s one thing. It is quite another were Quebec nationalists to deny resident “non-Quebecers” — Anglos and Jews, say — full citizenship rights. And suppose some lunatic francophone nationalist gunned down 29 jews at a synagogue and a prominent nationalist leader says: “Bon Fete!” Dimadok — you’d be the first to piss on this person’s grave. Ratner feels the same way about Porat and how can you blame her? -N49.

        • Cliff says:

          Dim, it doesn’t seem strange.

          What IS strange though, is that you continue to post here.

          If you make judgments through your Jewish nationalism (which is not benign and has always been destabilizing and always at the cost of the non-Jews in your midst) – then you have no business posting here.

          I don’t see the point, from your twisted perspective, of talking w/ people who don’t think that Jews deserve special privileges and their very own country club in the Middle East, while the indigenous population rots.

          There is no peace process. There is no Two State Solution. Repeating that you stand for it, is mindless because everyone knows that it’s not EVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

          Your leadership, your settlers, and YOU won’t allow it. Our government is Israeli-occupied territory too, so we won’t allow it.

          You keep talking about it though, to hide the fact that you’re no different from the crazy religious psycho settlers.

          Because while these discussions go on, hypothetically and historically, the facts on the ground make whatever possibly solution impossible.

          So again, why do you post here?

        • shawket says:

          Israel’s “national aspirations” constitute a war crime big guy, which they aren’t being punished for because they’re white and have the support of the US. I think that’s as good a reason as any to not support them. That and the fact that they’re also morally bankrupt and dispossessing the actual indigenous population of land. But then again, when you’re blinded by nationalistic ideology, thinking for yourself in an intelligent manner can become difficult.

          As a side note, just because someone is dead doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to talk ill of him. Porat, like Steve Jobs, was a pretty bad guy and doesn’t really deserve a special obituary.

        • dimadok says:

          Isn’t this site about “war of ideas”? And what kind of fun it would be without the “other” side present? Also, as most of the loons here suggested, I am a proud member of “Hasbara Central” , second lieutenant in reserve.

        • MRW says:

          That Steve Jobs article is not an indication of Jobs being a ‘pretty bad guy’. (It’s some guy using Jobs to get off his own political ideas.)

          There is no comparison between Porat and Jobs.

        • Cliff says:

          Dim, answer the question.

          Why do you post here if your Jewish nationalism does not register with people who do NOT judge others by whether or not they are Jews deserving of special privileges and get-me-out-cards (due to historical suffering)?

          This is a place for people to talk about the issue and get informed on the day-to-day facts on the ground.

          We aren’t on some Zionist blog. You came here.

          Why? Is it the content? The discussion? There are tons of I-P blogs. Why did you come to MW?

          I think everyone is curious why the Zionists here did so, in light of our completely different worldviews.

        • dimadok says:

          I’m trying to bring an additional perspective on the facts on the ground -that’s all. However I have NEVER resolved to low levels of personal attacks and ill-talking about someone, particularly dead person.

        • Mooser says:

          “So again, why do you post here?”

          You don’t know? Phil and Adam have them tied up with toothpicks between their eyelids in front of computers, and if they don’t read and comment, they get pelted with stale knishes. And believe me, that hurts.
          I’m sure they would get away if they could.

        • Mikhael says:

          shawket October 9, 2011 at 9:44 am

          Israel’s “national aspirations” constitute a war crime big guy, which they aren’t being punished for because they’re white

          Typically, Israeli Jews’ skin tones tend to range from “white,” to “olive,” to brown, or “black.” (Black Israeli Jews are mostly descendants of the Ethiopian-Jewish community.)

          Typically, Palestinian Arabs’ skin tones also tend to range from “white,” to “olive,” to “brown” or “black.”
          (Black Arabs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas are usually Bedouin with sub-Saharan ancestry whose ancestors migrated to the region about 200 years ago.)

          Both national communities have people with a wide diversity of skin tones, which really has no relevance in a discussion of the national aspirations of the two national communities, except for simpleminded folk.

        • Hostage says:

          Both national communities have people with a wide diversity of skin tones, which really has no relevance in a discussion of the national aspirations of the two national communities, except for simpleminded folk.

          Yeah right:

          Reporting from Jerusalem —Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested Thursday against a Supreme Court decision to jail parents who have refused to comply with its order to desegregate a religious girls school.

          link to articles.latimes.com

        • Mikhael says:

          Hostage October 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

          Yeah right:

          Reporting from Jerusalem —Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested Thursday against a Supreme Court decision to jail parents who have refused to comply with its order to desegregate a religious girls school.

          Yeah, right! :-)

          Thank you for confirming that I am right and that you are one of the simpleminded folk.

          My post was in response to an equally simpleminded ignoramus using the sobriquet “Shawket” who characterized Israeli Jews as “white” . While it is in any case morally lazy to equate “white” with “oppressor” and “non-white” as “victim”, the shorthand assignation of “white” status to Israelis and “non-white” status to Arabs (including the Arabs who have recently adopted the name “Palestinian” to describe themselves) ignores basic reality and I was addressing this false equation. To anyone but a racist of the white nationalist/neo Nazi variety a la Stormfront–most Jews and most Arabs are white people, and people who would be considered “black” (at least in an American racial context) are minorities in both these national communities. There are some black Israeli Jews who are of Ethiopian Jewish descent and there are some black “Palestinian” Arabs who have roots in places like Sudan and Zanzibar, notably amongst certain clans of Negev Bedouin and in and around the Jericho area.

          Now, in your lazy, hazy, confused response to my calling Shawkat on his bullshit, you appended a link about a year and-a-half-year-old controversy regarding intercommunal segregation at a state-supported haredi girls’ school in the settlement of Immanuel. Your point is?

          Never mind.

          While the Immanuel Beit Yaakov case you cite is an example of internal religious intolerance among a certain subset of Ashkenazi haredim, it has ZERO to do with the skin color of the children affected, but had everything to do with the religious practices and fanatic interpretations of certain rabbinic leaders and Ashkenazi parents at that particular school who wanted to limit the exposure of their children to other kids whose families’ religious practices (e.g., the pronunciation of prayers and observance of certain Orthodox Jewish customs such as the consumption of legumes on Passover) were at variance with the way they want their kids to be brought up. Is this an example of narrowminded and intolerant extremist religious fundamentalism in a small segment of Israeli Haredi society? Absolutely–but it’s not an example of skin-color prejudice. First of all, the school in question did not segregate Mizrahi children whose families adopted wholeheartedly adopted the minhag (customs) and nusakh (liturgical rite) of the Slonim hasidim, an Ashkenazi haredi (ultra-Orthodox) group that dominates that particular school. The main issue of the parents at the school who demanded that the kids be segregated was that they wanted total religious conformity–it was not enough that all the kids be Sabbath- and kosher-observant and from Sabbath- and kosher-observant families, but they wanted their kids to learn only the Ashkenazi pronunciation of prayers, and observe only Ashkenazi customs… they wanted to minimize their little ones’ exposure to any kids whose families’ practice of Judaism–no matter how strict–even slightly differed. Again, this may be asinine and deplorable, but it’s not skin-color prejudice. (And of course, the non-Ashkenazi families who protested this had a simple solution to this discrimination–i.e., not sending their kids to that ridiculous school.) Moreover, children from Ashkenazi non-Orthodox families as well as as Ashkenazi kids from other Orthodox groups, whether modern Orthodox, or Lithuanian-style “mitnaged” haredi Judaism or other Hassidix sects such as Lubavitch whose style of dress and Hebrew pronunciation differed, would be equally discriminated against at said school, whose main goal was to observe Jewish ritual as practiced by that particular hassidic sect–Slonim. And I’ll say it again, don’t forget–there there is no shortage of olive-skinned, swarthy Ashkenazi haredim, whose families made aliyah to Israel from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, etc. There are likewise plenty of light-skinned, fair-haired, blond- and blue-eyed Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews as well. So again, what was your point in bringing that up?

        • Hostage says:

          Now, in your lazy, hazy, confused response to my calling Shawkat on his bullshit, you appended a link about a year and-a-half-year-old controversy regarding intercommunal segregation at a state-supported haredi girls’ school in the settlement of Immanuel. Your point is?

          So, is there really a “nation of Israel” or are there “two Jewish peoples”? My point is that there were tens of thousands of bigots who didn’t hesitate to put on a public demonstration regarding an order to desegregate a state funded religious girls school – and no one had or has the option to not pay taxes. The bigots exerted more than enough political influence to circumvent the Supreme Court order which had directed that both the fathers and mothers responsible for the illegal segregation be jailed for contempt. I notice that you are simpleminded enough to claim there was no harm and no foul. What a jerk.

        • Mikhael says:

          Hostage October 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

          So, is there really a “nation of Israel” or are there “two Jewish peoples”?

          Sure there is one Jewish people. Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews always belonged to the same nation, even if their ancestors were dispersed in different Diaspora countries. With the exception of the USA, most of whose Jews will no longer be identifiably Jewish in a few decades, most of the descendants of these diasporas live in Israel, where on the whole, they mix and mingle with each other at a very high rate. I am a typical product of such mixing; soon, most Israelis, like me, will be products of Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Mizrahi heritage. The fact that there are some communities in Israel who cling to old Diaspora ways in terms of religious custom and comportment doesn’t imply “two Jewish peoples.”

          My point is that there were tens of thousands of bigots who didn’t hesitate to put on a public demonstration regarding an order to desegregate a state funded religious girls school – and no one had or has the option to not pay taxes.

          No, first you answered my reply to Shawket’s nonsense (i.e., that Israeli Jews are somehow “white” and that Palestinian Arabs are somehow “non-white”) with a complete non sequitur. Now, you highlight the fact that a small group of religious fundamentalists protested about the idea of state interference in the pedagogical methods of their school as an example of inherent intolerance in Israeli Jewish society and ignore the fact that the Israeli court system ordered said segregationist policy to stop and ruled in favor of the parents who objected to the hassidic only (NB: not Ashkenazi only) “school-within-a-school.” Now, as an Israeli Jew who is of mixed Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi descent, and who was educated in Ashkenazi and Sephardi yeshivoth in Israel and the New York area, I think Slonim hassidim take their zealotry to an absurd extreme. That’s why, even if I was still a religious Jew (obviously I am not because I am using the computer on Shabbat and the first two day of Sukkoth, which is a Yom Tov), I would never send my children to that type of school–even if I thought that they would be accepted.


          The bigots exerted more than enough political influence to circumvent the Supreme Court order which had directed that both the fathers and mothers responsible for the illegal segregation be jailed for contempt.

          43 overzealous parents were sentenced to 2 weeks’ jail time, essentially for insisting that their kids attend a breakaway school-within-a-school with a stricter interpretation of Jewish law, and not be exposed to kids whose families did not uphold the same religious practices with the same standards as they did. In turn, thousands of other fundamentalists came out to protest the idea of parents being separated from their families and the idea of state interference with the pedagogical methods in the school. So, people exercised their right to demonstrate at what they felt was an unjust court order. In the end, a compromise was reached and the civil suit that initiated the whole thing was withdrawn and the matter was referred to arbitration by a rabbinical court. Now, again, what does any of this have to do with my correctly replying to Shawket’s false dichotomy assertion that Israelis are “white” (=bad guys) and Palestinian Arabs are “non-white” (=poor victims)?

          I notice that you are simpleminded enough to claim there was no harm and no foul. What a jerk.

          No, dummy. Nothing in what I wrote suggests that I endorse the idea that Jewish students in a state-supported school in Israel should be segregated on the basis of how they look and/or where their parents or grandparents made aliyah from; I even wrote several times that the policy at the Beit Yaakov school was “asinine”and an example of religious fundamentalist intolerance. It is not, however, an example of skin-color prejudice or “racial” intolerance. However, you, in your doltish way, brought up the Immanuel/Beit Yaakov controversy in response to my reply to Shawket’s counterfactual implication that Israelis are uniformly “white” and Palestinian Arabs uniformly “non-white.” As much as I disagreed at the time with supporting the Beit Yaakov school parents whgo refused to comply with the order (I don’t think the school in general should be supported for a bunch of other reasons as well–it’s a haredi non-Zionist school that discourages its students from participating in the army or even alternative national service and it’s located in a post-1967 West Bank settlement that should be dismantled), it’s a total mischaracterization to classify the parents’ who demanded the segregation policy as based on the communal origin of the students’ families in the past rather than on the way their families religiously comport themselves at present. Since you are a simpleton, it’s obvious that you believed it was the former, otherwise there can be no other reason for bringing up the issue.

        • Hostage says:

          No, first you answered my reply to Shawket’s nonsense (i.e., that Israeli Jews are somehow “white” and that Palestinian Arabs are somehow “non-white”) with a complete non sequitur.

          No I did not. Here is another report from the Israeli press that labels similar incidents racism. link to ynetnews.com

          Here is an article by one of the Hudson Institute Directors in the Middle East Quarterly which describes examples of continuing systematic discrimination and racism directed against Mizrahi Jews. The article cites a number of post-Zionist Mizrahi leaders, including Ella Habiba-Shohat, who says that, alongside the Palestinians, Mizrahi Jews are Zionism’s “other” victims. According to Shohat, Zionism is a white, Ashkenazi phenomenon, based on the denial of the Orient and the rights of both Mizrahi Jews and the Palestinians. The author admits:

          The Mizrahi post-Zionist allegations about the systemic ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic discrimination that marked much of Israeli society in its early years are truthful. The claim that Mizrahim continue to live the consequences of this type of discrimination is not a distortion. The examples they point to are neither fabricated nor taken out of context.

          link to meforum.org

          The author does not attribute the problem to Zionism, but unlike you, he does not pretend that it is restricted to the Haredi religious community. Many of the examples cited are racist remarks based upon ethnicity, not religion.

        • Erasmus says:

          Re: Hostage October 16, 2011 at 8:21 am
          …The Mizrahi post-Zionist allegations about the systemic ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic discrimination that marked much of Israeli society in its early years are truthful….

          There is nothing to explain away the fact of gross discrimination of Mizrahi Jewish “immigrants”.This fact is amply confirmed by Tom Segev in his book :
          ” 1949. The first Israelis”.
          First edition 1986; revised edition 1998 with Owl Books (Henry Holt & Company)

        • Mikhael says:

          Hostage October 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

          No I did not. Here is another report from the Israeli press that labels similar incidents racism. link to ynetnews.com

          Again, a non sequitur and irrelevant, just like your buddy Shawket’s bringing up “white” Israelis versus “non-white” Arabs.

          Does racist sentiment exist among some sectors of Israel society and are there manifestations of discrimination, official and unofficial? Sure it does. Israeli Jews are human beings like everyone else, and like every human society, everywhere, we have racists among us. One would have to be a fool to deny it. And one would have to be a fool, if not an utter bigot, to insist that racism is more uniquely prevalent in Israeli Jewish society than it is elsewhere.

          If you would spend any time among the white Bedouin Arabs in Negev communities like Rahat in southern Israel, you would hear how often many of them refer to their fellow black Arab Bedouin neighbors with the disparaging epithet “‘abd “(slave). Now, I would not condemn all of the white Arabs (yes, indeed, Arabs can be white too!) as racists just because many of them refer to their fellow, darker-skinned Arab neighbors as ‘abd and make absurd claims that their society is permeated by pervasive racism. I’m not a bigot like you.

          The article cites a number of post-Zionist Mizrahi leaders, including Ella Habiba-Shohat,… who says that, alongside the Palestinians, Mizrahi Jews are Zionism’s “other” victims.

          Shohat is basically a movie reviewer who managed to get herself a doctorate in a pretty meaningless field of study. She can pass herself off as a scholar, I suppose, but a “leader”? Of what, people like you?

          I’m a Mizrahi Jew on my father’s side (on the maternal side we are 18 documented generations in Galilee and in Jerusalem. On my father’s paternal side we “only” go back three generations, when my great-grandfather made aliyah from Syria in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire). My ex-wife is Iraqi-Jewish, my brother-in-law on one side is Yemenite-Jewish, my other sister’s husband was born in France to Tunisian-Jewish parents, and I can assure you that none of the Mizrahi Jews in my immediate or extended family view ourselves as victims of Zionism and we don’t look to Shohat as a “leader” of our communities. Go take a stroll in Mizrahi-dominated marketplaces like Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda or Tel Aviv’s Shuk haCarmel, take a poll of Mizrahi Jewish attitudes next time you are in Israel,most Mizrahi Jews are very favorably predisposed to Zionism and have been for a long time. Only a few ivory-tower elitists like Shohat or Yehuda Shenhav, write stuff like “Mizrahi Jews are victims of Zionism”

          The author does not attribute the problem to Zionism, but unlike you, he does not pretend that it is restricted to the Haredi religious community.

          Have you ever taken a reading comprehension test? I am curious as to how you fared.
          Anyway, dummy, I did not pretend that racism or bigotry was restricted to the Haredi community, and that racism and bigotry does not exist in Israel–obviously it does–just like it exists everywhere else on the globe–but I addressed, with accurate facts, the specific case you pulled out of your ass when I responded to Shawket’s “Israelis are whites” nonsense. Again, let’s review. Your comrade-in-ignorance, Shawket, alleged or implied that Israel was a “white” society, and implied that it escapes punishment or censure from the West or the international community as a result of that. I chose to ignore the obvious falsehood that Israel escapes criticism (it actually receives more criticism, for lesser offenses, than other countries do for far worse, but again, I chose not to address that) and I chose to concentrate on the obvious counterfactual that Israel is a “white” society and that Arabs constitute a non-white society. First off, it is true that most Jews—Mizrahim included–in Israel are white. However, most Arabs are also white. (To anybody but a racist of the white nationalist variety.) My father, a Mizrahi Jew of Syrian heritage, was white. My ex-wife, an Israel of Iraqi-Jewish heritage (and typical Mizrahi that she is, a proud Likudnik, unlike me, a secularist with dovish tendencies despite being of half-Mizrahi heritage), is white. When my teenage daughters came to visit me in NY, nobody referred to them as colored girls. Your inspiration, movie reviewer/professor Ella “Habiba” Shohat–she is white. Yasser Arafat was white, Mahmoud Abbas is white, dead Syrian Arab tyrant Hafez Assad was white, and beloved Arab-American actor Tony Shalhoub of “Monk” fame is white. So get off that “Arabs and Mizrahi Jews are non-whites” nonsense. Nevertheless, there are non-whites in the Israeli Jewish population (primarily the Ethiopian Jewish community) just as there are non-whites among the Arab”Palestinian” population (primarily amongst Negev Bedouin). Both national communities in the territory that Jews have historically called Eretz Yisrael for millenia and that Arabs have recently started calling “Falastin”, the Jewish and Arab, are racially heterogeneous. I simply answered Shawket’s distortion with that simple truth and made no assertion about whether racism or bigotry exists or does not exist in our society. What was your reply, Mr “Hostage’”? Oooh, a story about a religious girls’ school in a settlement where some of the parents wanted to restrict the number of girls who came from a non-chassidic background in the classrooms and who didn’t observe the same chasssidic customs as their daughters did. In other words, dunderhead that you are, you brought up something that has zero relevance.

          Many of the examples cited are racist remarks based upon ethnicity, not religion.

          Again? So what? What is your point? The discussion was not whether racist bigotry exists or does not exists within Israeli society, but my answer to Shawket’s erroneous assertion that Israeli society is somehow “white” and Arab society is “non-white”. Why did you bring up something that was extrinsic to that discussion? Can you not focus? Do you have ADD as well as bad reading comprehension?

        • Hostage says:

          Again, a non sequitur and irrelevant, just like your buddy Shawket’s bringing up “white” Israelis versus “non-white” Arabs.

          Sorry, but I cited a mainstream Israeli news article that describes the situation as an example of racism. You are simply pretending to engage in meaningful dialog in order to deflect, dissemble, and change the subject. The headline and tag line says “Ethiopian community hit hard by discrimination: Examples of racism in Israel in 2007″. They certainly aren’t white. Take up your disbelief with the editors and reporters at YNet. link to ynetnews.com

        • Hostage says:

          P.S. Here is another example: Petah Tikva teacher of Ethiopian students: Israeli society is racist link to haaretz.com

          FYI: rightly or wrongly, Israel is viewed as a transplanted European, i.e. predominately white dominated society, by other Western countries. The founding Zionist leaders perpetuated that myth. Rightly or wrongly the Arabs are not viewed as European or white. The only reason Israeli officials are not being prosecuted for war crimes is because the other members of the United Nations Western European and Others Group take turns preventing the Security Council from referring the situation in Palestine to the ICC.

        • MRW says:

          territory that Jews have historically called Eretz Yisrael for millenia and that Arabs have recently started calling “Falastin”

          I don’t know about the Torah, but the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament did not add the ‘Land of Israel’ business to the text until the 20th C. How could the land of Israel be promised by God to Abraham’s descendants when neither Isaac nor Jacob (and his tribesmen, the Israelites) were born then, nor named, at the time of this divine gifting? And Israel was not a country until mid-20th C.

          The Arab speaking people here can weigh in on the etymology of Filistin, which I know pre-dated the 20th C.

        • LeaNder says:

          MRW, apart from the rather disgusting verbal slander of Hostage by Mikhael, this caught my attention too.

          Mikhael: Shohat is basically a movie reviewer who managed to get herself a doctorate in a pretty meaningless field of study.

          Obviously we can learn very much about cultural stereotypes in the arts, and there are many reasons why I consider the field of performing arts / dramatic arts, especially film, central in this respect too.

          Shohat surely surely doesn’t deny that the more established Mizrahi inhabitants were less the target then the newly arrived Mizrahi. Quite the opposite they were among the early experts in dealing with the “Arab problem”. Thus obviously beneath the “ethnic differences” there was an economical one. The newly arrived Europeans had already settled themselves at the time the Mizrahi newcomers arrived.

          The other interesting term is the “nation”. In the creation of the nation, the Mizrahi were turned into “Oriental Jews” versus “Arab Palestinians”.

          Obviously the term “black” is occasionally used for economically less powerful “Whites”, like the Irish. See Noel Ignatief’s How the Irish became White, c.1996. Just as beneath “the blacks” are the native Americans. It’s no accident that today the earlier racism has a renaissance under the term culture, superior ones versus backward ones.

          **********************************************************
          Eretz Israel. Shmuel probably may be our expert on this.

          Some of the Sephardi from Spain and Portugal that settled in the Ottoman empire /”the land of Togar” during the 15th and 16th century went to Palestine. They surely called it Eretz Israel at the time. But it wasn’t the central destination. Palestine was know only for a few Jewish mystics at Jerusalem and Safred, like Isaac Luria. But strictly the Jews had their own names for many countries over the centuries. Among these surely Eretz Israel has a changing meaning and importance and different interpretations in Jewish belief before Zionism.

          I don’t know about the Torah, but the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament did not add the ‘Land of Israel’ business to the text until the 20th C.

          It’s not a matter of 20th century additions or changes, it is simply about different uses over the centuries up to the 19th, it feels.

        • Shmuel says:

          Quick answer: The specific expression “Eretz Yisra’el” does not appear in the Pentateuch, but only in the Prophets (Kings, Samuel and Ezekiel) and the Writings (Chronicles), although the geographic area of “the promise” is relatively clear in Genesis. The name “Eretz Yisra’el” appears frequently in the Tannaitic (Mishnah, Tosefta, Midrash Halakhah) and Amoraic (Palestinian and Babylonian Gemara) literature (roughly 1st-6th cent. CE), as well as in mediaeval Jewish works.

          The precise borders of “Eretz Yisra’el” (for the purposes of religious precepts applicable only in the Holy Land) are discussed at length in the Talmud and Halakhic literature.

        • DBG says:

          Shmuel, you’ve lived in Israel, what is your opinion on Mikhael’s statement?

        • Shmuel says:

          what is your opinion on Mikhael’s statement?

          Could you be more specific?

        • Hostage says:

          Shmuel, you’ve lived in Israel, what is your opinion on Mikhael’s statement?

          Mikhael never addressed the evidence of racism in Post-Zionism and the Sephardi Question by Meyrav Wurmser. link to meforum.org

          So I’ll put some of the material here and let everyone see for themselves:

          For example, in 1949, Ashkenazi journalist Aryeh Gelblum wrote the following about the arriving Mizrahi immigrants:

          This is the immigration of a race we have not yet known in the country. We are dealing with people whose primitivism is at a peak, whose level of knowledge is one of virtually absolute ignorance and, worse, who have little talent for understanding anything intellectual. Generally, they are only slightly better than the general level of the Arabs, Negroes, and Berbers in the same regions. In any case, they are at an even lower level than what we know with regard to the former Arabs of Israel. These Jews also lack roots in Judaism, as they are totally subordinated to savage and primitive instincts. As with Africans you will find among them gambling, drunkenness, and prostitution … chronic laziness and hatred for work; there is nothing safe about this asocial element. [Even] the kibbutzim will not hear of their absorption.[13]

          Gelblum was not alone. Post-Zionist Mizrahim quote one of Israel’s leading intellectuals in the 1950s, Karl Frankenstein, a celebrated professor at Hebrew University and the man considered the father of the Israeli education system. Frankenstein expressed outright racist attitudes towards Mizrahim, writing, “We have to recognize the primitive mentality of many of the immigrants from backward countries.”[14] He further suggested that Mizrahi Jews have the mentality of primitive people who are somewhat mentally disturbed.[15] Israeli sociologist Yosef Gross argued in the early 1950s that Mizrahi immigrants suffered from “mental regression.”[16] One of the worst examples of the anti-Mizrahi discrimination involves The Ashkenazi Revolution published in 1964 by writer Kalman Katzenelson in which the author argues that the Mizrahim suffer from irreversible genetic inferiority that endangers the superiority of the Ashkenazi-Zionist state. He called for the establishment of an apartheid regime that, among other limitations, would abolish their political rights. He also objected to mixed marriages and demanded the prohibition of the Hebrew language because it resembled Arabic too greatly. Instead he demanded that Yiddish become the national language because of its supreme Germanic origins. His book was a bestseller until Ben-Gurion banned it.[17]

          The sentiments expressed by these intellectuals, the Mizrahi post-Zionists argue, were not uncommon. There were racist attitudes toward the Mizrahi Jews even among the highest political levels. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion described the Mizrahi immigrants as lacking even “the most elementary knowledge” or “a trace of Jewish or human education.”[18] Furthermore, he said, “We do not want Israelis to become Arabs. We are bound by duty to fight against the spirit of the Levant that corrupts individuals and society.”[19] Likewise, Abba Eban, one of Israel’s most eloquent diplomats, noted that “one of the great apprehensions which afflict us is the danger of the predominance of immigrants of Oriental origin forcing Israel to equalize its cultural level with that of the neighboring world.”[20] In 1949, Shoshana Frasitz, a member of the Knesset, said of the Mizrahim, “You know that we have no common language with them. Our cultural level does not fit with their level; their lifestyle is the lifestyle of the middle ages.”[21] Nachum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Agency and president of the World Zionist Organization in the late 1940s and 1950s, said, “A Jew from Eastern Europe is worth twice as much as a Jew from Kurdistan,” and continued, “We should return a hundred thousand of the Jews of the East to their countries of origin.”[22] Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once asked, “Shall we be able to elevate these immigrants to a suitable level of civilization?”[23]

          The current clique of radical post-Zionist Mizrahim argues that such attitudes have not disappeared from Israel. Even as late as 1983, for example, the left-wing liberal and Palestinian-rights advocate, Shulamit Aloni, who headed the Citizens’ Rights party and served as a member of the Knesset, denounced the Mizrahim as “barbarous tribal forces” who were “driven like a flock to the sound of tom-toms … chanting like a savage tribe.”[24] In the same year, the celebrated Ashkenazi columnist Amnon Dankner raised the possibility of an Ashkenazi-Mizrahi cultural war in Ha’aretz:

          This will not be a war among brothers … [because] these are not my brothers … The sticky blanket of “Jewish love and brotherhood” is thrown on my head and I am asked to be considerate of the [Mizrahi] cultural deficit and the authentic feelings of discrimination. My blood boils when I hear those hypocritical calls. They put me in a cage with a baboon running amok and then they tell me: “Okay, now you are together and begin a dialogue.…” Now I want to tell you that I am tired of empathizing and understanding. I have heard all the stories about discrimination, the social-economic gap, the feelings of frustration, the DDT and the maabarot. [I am told that] we [the Ashkenazim] have Heine, Freud, Einstein, and the wonderful synthesis between Judaism and Western culture, but the [Mizrahim] also have some wonderful things: hospitality, respect for mother and father, and a wonderful patriarchal tradition. … For me, however, they are not among the traits that I wish to see in the society that my spiritual fathers and I dreamed about establishing here: an exemplary and modern society laced with the most beautiful visions of humanistic liberalism. [Still] the advocates of Jewish love and brotherhood say, “Do not call them [the Mizrahim] Khomeini-like or primitive. It makes them even angrier.’[25]

          These anti-Mizrahi attitudes, argue the post-Zionist Mizrahim, exist in the depiction of Mizrahim in movies, literary works, and especially, the media. They quote the findings of researcher Eli Avraham who investigated the media portrayal of the Mizrahim in the 1980s and 1990s. He found a number of recurring themes were associated with the Mizrahim. Those included violence, crime, and social unrest; unseemliness and neglect; limited future prospects; a herd mentality, and ethnically-determined political identity; an inability to be “like us [Ashkenazim]; and a syndrome of ‘primitivism.’”[26]

          While anti-Mizrahi attitudes are a legitimate concern, for radical post-Zionist writers, the problem does not end with the racism of some of Israel’s founding fathers, politicians, and intellectuals. For them, the core issue is economic and social discrimination. In the 1970s, the Mizrahi Black Panther movement emerged to address economic and social discrimination through violent protests. Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered a brutal crackdown on the movement, which took its revolutionary outlook from the African American struggle in the United States and Marxist movements in Latin America. Radical post-Zionists believe that socioeconomic discrimination continues to exist, and they see it as the key factor that has led the Mizrahim to vote in droves since 1988 for the religious Mizrahi party Shas.

          But despite the appearance of change and of a closing Ashkenazi-Mizrahi gap, studies show that during the 1990s the disparity between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in Israel grew. Even in the late 1990s, 88 percent of upper-income Israelis were Ashkenazim while 60 percent of lower-income families were Mizrahim.[27] In spite of the general increase in standard of living in Israel, the gap between Israeli-born Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, especially in housing, remains comparable to their parents’ generation. In other areas such as income, the gap has only become wider. In fact, as Yoav Peled, a Tel Aviv University political scientist, demonstrated, a “cultural division of labor” characterized Israel in the 1990s when, within the Jewish population, the vast majority of the low income and impoverished families were of Mizrahi origin. The lower-middle class consisted of both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi families, with a small Ashkenazi majority, while the upper-middle and upper classes were almost exclusively Ashkenazi.

        • LeaNder says:

          I am a fan of Samir Jamal-Aldin, or simply Samir. I highly recommend his documentary Forget Bagdad.

          review:

          Samir strikes again! In “Babylon 2″ he was asking sons and daughters of immigrants about their experiences – he came to Switzerland as a young child, his parents are from Iraq. His father always told him about his Jewish colleagues in the Communist Party of Iraq. Samir wanted to talk to some of them – he didn’t find them, but he found other former members of the Iraqi Communist Party, among them Samir Naqqash who still writes literature in Arabic and is viewed by Nagib Mahfuz as one of the best writers of literature in Arabic. He also talked to Sami Michael, beststelling author in Israel, also a Jew from Iraq. Last but not least, he asked Professor Ella Shohat from the City University of NY what it means to be an Oriental Jew in Israel. She wrote a book about the image of Oriental Jews in Israeli films – Samir quotes from Ephraim Kishon’s “Sallah Sabati”. He juxtaposes other cliches: Paul Newman in “Exodus”, evil Jews and Arabs in “Jud Suess” and “True Lies”.

    • annie says:

      Wow! So much load on poor Ms. Ratner soul……Go and spit on someone else grave, Ms. Ratner.

      there’s nothing poor about lizzy’s soul. she wrote a great report, an honest assessment. netanyahu said “His contributions to institutions, individuals and to educating the younger generation will yet be told.” it appears dim can’t accept the telling.

      porat has influenced the maniacal extremism of the settler movement, the very fanaticism that isolates israel internationally and threatens its existence. i’m sure many will be spitting on his grave for generations to come, once he is buried that is. history will treat him fairly even if bonner isn’t up to the task.

    • Hostage says:

      The Etzion bloc that Porat helped found “is one of the large West Bank settlement blocs that Israel wants to keep in any deal with a future Palestinian state. One reason many Israelis consider it theirs by right is that it had been settled by Jews before 1948.

      So naturally, all of the locales in Israel that were settled by Palestinians before 1948 are considered Palestinian “by right”. Curiously, that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with whether they will be kept by the Palestinians as part of any future deal.

      Porat . . . living at the same place where kibbutzes were standing and Jews were executed by Arab legion and cheerful supporters.

      Kfar Etzion was not actually located on the main road between Bethlehem and Hebron. It was out of small arms range of the road. So the Zionist took over and occupied a building owned by the Orthodox Church in order to fire on a passing convoy of Arab Legion vehicles. The Legion units had been permanently garrisoned in Gaza and Rafah for years as part of the Mandatory administration’s armed forces.

      Kfar Etzion and three other settlements had been deliberately established along a confrontation line in a futile attempt to dictate the borders of the Jewish state. In any event, the UN General Assembly allocated it to the proposed Arab State. All the talk about Jordanian and Jewish conquest is a distraction. The Zionists were once again trying to enlarge their borders and eradicate any future Palestinian state or, at the very least, dictate the borders under any deal with a future Palestinian state when Porat re-established it.

      • dimadok says:

        Is it justifies killing of surrendering people?

        • Hostage says:

          Is it justifies killing of surrendering people?

          No. I was explaining why the Arab majority and the government of the proposed Arab state were well within their rights to remove all of the Zionist military installations from their territory. The inhabitants of Kfar Etzion who attacked the Arab Legion convey were not defending themselves or engaged in a legitimate kibbutz activity.

          The notion that Jews have a right to own property in another country does not automatically give them the right to build skirmish lines of watchtower and stockade forts; conduct offensives from those bases against the neighbors; or annex the territory to another state under any future settlement. Please give the lame-assed hasbara talking points a rest.

        • dimadok says:

          Let’s see : “killing surrendered people”- lame-ass hasbara point.
          Good one hostage, you noble soul, you.

        • Elliot says:

          Hostage – Thank you for the information and helpful analysis about the Etzion Bloc.

        • annie says:

          “killing surrendered people”- lame-ass hasbara point.
          Good one hostage, you noble soul, you.

          dim, you are quoting yourself here and yes, it is a lame ass hasbara point. it hardly requires nobility to point that out but i would have to agree w/you hostage is a noble soul. unlike yourself, a mere lame-ass hasbarist.

        • dimadok says:

          So to summarize, both you Annie and Hostage approve killing of surrendered prisoners.
          Well done both of you.

        • annie says:

          dim, that was your quote. what surrendering people are you referencing in your lame ass hasbara point? link?

          do you really think you can put quote marks around your own text, pretend they are ours and then use it to “summarize” our ptv?

          this is becoming a seriously deranged conversation.

        • Hostage says:

          So to summarize, both you Annie and Hostage approve killing of surrendered prisoners.
          Well done both of you.

          I explicitly stated that the answer to that question was “No”. The settlements of Kfar-Etzion, Mesu’ot-Yitzhak, Ein-Tzurim and Revadim lay within the territory marked out by the UN for an Arab state. The lame-assed hasbara talking point is the suggestion that Jews have the right to occupy and annex a piece of real estate that was used for illegal pre-state milita operations against the armed forces of the Mandatory government. This, despite the fact that it was situated in territory that had been allocated to the proposed Arab state and located well beyond the armistice lines that Israel is still bound to respect in accordance with Chapter VII Security Council resolutions and the terms of agreements that the government of Israel itself has already signed.

          *I’m sure that we’ve discussed this all before, but High Commissioner Herbert Samuel requested the authority to adopt a Collective Punishment Ordinance from the Colonial Secretary for use in the so-called Arab tribal areas of Palestine. It was eventually used to justify the employment of RAF bombing missions to flatten entire Arab villages in reprisal for civil disturbances during the Arab revolt. See:
          **Prof. Susan Pedersen, The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument
          link to aiscibhistory.wikispaces.com
          **Former Reference: CP 152 (24)
          Title: Palestine. Proposed Special Legislation for Tribal Areas.
          Author: James H Thomas
          Date 03 March 1924
          Catalogue reference CAB 24/165
          link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

          *Segev, Shlaim, and other historians document the fact that when Major General Bernard Montgomery was given command in Palestine to put down the Arab revolt, the British forces were given standing orders on how to handle rebels: kill them. The Arab Legion had been part of those forces under Montgomery’s command. The policies of Montgomery and Wingate were definitely still in use by the Arab Legion garrisons in Gaza and Rafah during the post-war mandate era. So, the reports that the Legion summarily executed the Jewish rebels at Kfar Etzion are certainly credible – and customary for the time.

          *During the trials of The WWII War Criminals, the opinion of Hersh Lauterpacht from Oppenheim’s International Law, 6th and 8th Editions was cited to define reprisals and to determine when reprisals against civilians, towns, and villages were customarily authorized in accordance with Article 50 of the Hague Convention (see pages 3 & 4).

          *The government of Israel continued to use the mandate era ordinances and emergency regulations to justify reprisals in which mass casualties were summarily inflicted by its armed forces or civilians long after the Geneva Conventions had outlawed such practices.

        • Mooser says:

          “do you really think you can put quote marks around your own text, pretend they are ours and then use it to “summarize” our ptv?”

          By the way, have you met Richard Witty? I believe he invented that technique. There’s a bill before the Knesset to make a national holiday for him.

  3. Thank you Lizzy for helping paint a fuller picture of Mr. Porat’s life- I am afraid even just his contribution to life in Hebron today may bar him from the Pearly Gates checkpoint.

  4. flyod says:

    the obit should have read; the world today would be a better place if porat died 65 years ago….

    • Jan says:

      How true. This world would be far better off had this land thief and squatter
      never been born. At least we can console ourselves that he didn’t live much longer so that he could steal more land.

    • Mikhael says:

      flyod October 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      the obit should have read; the world today would be a better place if porat died 65 years ago

      Nice to know that you support the massacre of children. Porat’s parents evacuated him to the relative safety of Jerusalem to escape his village, which was ultimately destroyed by the Arab Legion in 1948. Not that Jerusalem was so safe in that period either; a fair number of Jewish children were killed in West Jerusalem while it was under siege during Israel’s independence war, too.

      • Hostage says:

        Porat’s parents evacuated him to the relative safety of Jerusalem to escape his village, which was ultimately destroyed by the Arab Legion in 1948.

        You forgot to mention that his parents part of an illegal Jewish militia unit that deliberately attacked an Arab Legion convoy on the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem. The Legion convoy was on its way to Amman in Transjordan from its garrisons in Rafah and Gaza as part of the phased withdrawal of British mandatory forces from Palestine. It came under fire from a building owned by the Orthodox Church that had been occupied by militia members from nearby Kfar Etzion. So, the Jewish militia unit went out of its way to make the so-called “village” of Kfar Etzion unsafe.

        • Mikhael says:

          Hostage October 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

          You forgot to mention that his parents part of an illegal Jewish militia unit that deliberately attacked an Arab Legion convoy on the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem

          His parents assisted in the relief of a Jewish-populated village that was being starved to death and was having its population picked off one by one during a state of siege. Shame on them for “illegally” disobeying the orders of the Mandatory government, which had mere months left to its existence. Of course, the relief convoys to Kefar Etzion were unsuccessful in breaking the siege and providing succor to Kefar Etzion and its inhabitants, that’s why the village finally surrendered and had most of its all of its residents summarily executed. But sure, in your warped view, you think the Jordanian Arab Legion was just enforcing the law against Jewish rebels and protecting the legal authority of the British Mandate–never mind that when the Kefar Etzion massacre occurred there was a mere day left until the expiration of the Mandate and most British forces had already evacuated the country. Also, why the square quotes around the word “village”? Is “village” a word that you think only Arabs of the former British Mandate of Palestine were entitled to use for their communities?

        • Hostage says:

          Ben Gurion had cabled Haganah commander Moshe Sneh and instructed him to give Irgun and Lehi a free hand in the outbreak of violence that started in Jerusalem. — See the Minutes of the 8th Sitting of the First Knesset, 8 March 1949, in Netanel Lorach, “Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981″ Volume 2, JCPA/University Press, 1993, page 445.

          The Haganah had a role in the uprising too. After the UN vote it planted a bomb in the Semiramas Hotel that killed the Spanish Consul. It carried out other terror attacks in the territory allocated for the Corpus Separatum in cooperation with the Irgun and Lehi (e.g. Deir Yassin) long before the militia members of the Etzion Block decided to attack the Arab Legion convoy.

          Avi Shlaim doesn’t mention that the Etzion Block initiated the hostilities against the Arab Legion, but he does note that the Jewish side took the initiative after the British withdrew from Jerusalem:

          In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.

          link to fathom.com

  5. POA says:

    “Go and spit on someone else grave, Ms. Ratner”

    Hurry up, Dimatok, and we can spit on yours.

    • dimadok says:

      You are more than welcome to try…. Next time when you visit Israel.

      • POA says:

        Worry not, Dimatok. I don’t plan on visiting Israel. Theres nothin’ there I care to see.

        Besides, we’ve got plenty of racist pigs here in the US, and no small selection of religious wackjobs. Why would I travel abroad to see there what I can see here?

        So, you’ll just have to be content with Palestinian spit. I’m sure, by the time you racist murderous bastards are done, you’ll be drowning in the stuff.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        I don’t know about POA, but I’m planning on visiting Palestine, myself.

        • dimadok says:

          Aren’t you afraid of being detained?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          By Israel? Go ahead and poke out both my eyes and do one over what you did to Emily Henochowitz. I’ll still see the truth about Israel.

        • dimadok says:

          We do not produce any martyrs,sorry. If you wish to become one-go to Egypt, or Wall Street and try to express yourself there.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Are you saying Emily Henochowitz lied? What, that she poked out her own eye to make Israel look bad? That Tristan Anderson is faking or something?

          Disgusting shoah denier, you are.

        • DBG says:

          Chaos, I’d like to thank you in advance for the $$$ you’ll spend in Israel supporting their economy. If you need the name of a Palestinian Christian to guide you around Bethlehem and Jericho, be sure to tell me, he knows your religion well and would love to show you around.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Unlike you, DBG, I have no intention of spending money to support Jewish terrorism. I’ll cross at Allenby, thank you very much. And I already know Palestinian Christians myself, I don’t need to talk to your imaginary friends in your “interfaith” sham.

        • dimadok says:

          Shoah denier-what is the connection? I have lost 15 members of my family in shoa, while you have only read about. I saw bones coming after spring rains from the burial sites, I have being in Yad Vashem and cried my eyes out.
          And you have the nerve even use this word?!

        • dimadok says:

          She has lost her eye due to RICOCHET from the tear gas canister, from the ground.
          link to youtube.com
          Stop spitting someone else points, get your own.

        • DBG says:

          haha, have fun w/ that Chaos. you’ll never go.

        • annie says:

          excuse me? your ‘proof’ means nothing. after the flotilla fiasco you think anyone in their right mind would trust any video pushed by hasbarists?

        • Hostage says:

          We do not produce any martyrs,sorry

          Of course Israel claims that Jewish vigilantes and terrorists were martyrs, e.g.
          link to mondoweiss.net

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Yeah well, some of us have to work and save money for that sort of thing, we don’t get access to brainwashing “Birthright” tours.

    • Cliff says:

      Look at these 2 tough guys. Borne and bred in that “shitty little Levantine country.”

      • kapok says:

        There’s always been this thing with Jews and spit. Never fully understood. It’s all so redolent of ancient witchcraft. Spitcraft!

        • DBG says:

          There’s always been this thing with Jews and spit

          Folks, this is Mondoweiss!

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Spit on other commenters more, DBG, that’s the only thing you’re good at and it does LOADS to counteract that stereotype, right?

        • annie says:

          dbg, my exact reaction when i first heard this rumor was ‘say wha???’ that was before a few posters added several links from christian priests and apparently it is rather a ritualistic thing in israel, not uncommon at all. i could do a search but i am sure others who are more familiar w/the search engine than myself can clear that up.

        • DBG says:

          Annie, I know exactly what Roha was talking about, but he is saying Jews, not Israelis. There is a lot more to Judaism than Israel.

          It would be like me trying to tie you into the Manson Murders because you did LSD when you were younger.

        • RoHa says:

          “Annie, I know exactly what Roha was talking about, but he is saying Jews, not Israelis. ”

          Who? Me? Don’t you mean POA?

        • DBG says:

          RoHa, I am sorry. It was kapok who made the comment not you. please accept my apology.

        • RoHa says:

          Not a big deal. When things get busy it isn’t always easy to remember who is who. I tend to mix up Shmuel and Shingo.

        • Cliff says:

          What would say “this is Mondoweiss” when you acknowledge the truth in kapok’s post?

          You are just another typical Zionist who selectively applies the antisemite litmus test when politically advantageous.

          Zionists are infinitely more antisemitic but I don’t see you holding their feet to the fire and saying “this is Zionism.”

          I suspect longliveisrael is banned. He called a Jewish contributor to the site a kapo as well as many other DISGUSTING insults.

          He also mocked the diaspora Jew and praised the Zionist Jew in a ridiculously cartoony way.

          Where the HELL were you?

        • tree says:

          DBG and annie,

          The discussion here about Orthodox Jews and spitting that annie mentioned started here:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          Read down through Eva’s post and mine as well as citizens. It is not just an occurrence in Israel, and it is not a “rumor”. There is a history of Jews spitting on crosses in medieval Europe. Its an understandable history and response, given that Jews consider any worship of Christ as an evil of idolatry and the worship of graven images, banned by commandment from G-d, although its also understandable that most Christians would probably take offense at it. Personally, I think that this significant difference between Christianity and Judaism in respect to what is consider worship of God by Christians but blasphemy by Jews is partly to blame for the stronger history of antagonism between Christians and Jews, versus the history between Muslims and Jews, since Muslims have similar attitudes prohibiting idolatry to Jewish attitudes. (One of the reasons drawings of Mohammed are prohibited in Islam.)

        • Hostage says:

          Christians in Israel / Status of non-Jews
          Jerusalem Report (Hebrew), Oct. 4; Ha’Aretz English, Oct. 1,8,12,15,18,22; Ha’Aretz, Oct. 1,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18,22; HaModia, Oct. 14,19; Jerusalem Post, Oct. 1,11,15,21,22; NRG, Oct. 13; Ynet, Oct. 25; Kol HaTzafon, Sept. 24; HaTzofeh, Oct. 13,15,22; Kol HaZman, Oct. 15; Yated Ne’eman, Oct. 15; Kol HaEmek V’HaGalil, Sept. 29; Ma’ariv, Oct. 18; Mifneh, Sept. 2004

          The bulk of the articles in this category cover the incident in which a yeshiva student spat at an Armenian archbishop in Jerusalem’s Old City. Some orthodox Jews often spit on the ground when they see crosses or Christians in religious garb, but on this day the spitting occurred during a procession, and a ceremonial cross was the target. The archbishop got upset and slapped the young man, which resulted in a scuffle, and both men were questioned by police. The student eventually apologized. Israeli authorities, including some rabbis, were quick to condemn the incident, which also grabbed attention in the international media and in various internet weblogs.

          Numerous editorials also condemn the incident and others like it, bemoaning the impact on Jewish-Christian relations (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 15) and attempting to get to the bottom of Orthodox Jewish hatred of Christians (Jerusalem Report, Oct. 4, NRG, Oct. 13). In these latter two editorials we read about traditional Jewish prayers thanking God that he “didn’t make me like the gentiles” who “worship in vain.” The authors conclude that the orthodox community is still relating to Christians with the mindset of a persecuted minority in the diaspora, to some extent because they do not recognize Israel as a truly Jewish state. Other editorials in the orthodox press (Yated Ne’eman, Oct. 15, HaModia, Oct. 19) make light of the incident, complaining that Israeli officials don’t condemn attacks against orthodox Jews by secular Israelis, and claiming that this incident is not representative, since it’s the first time something like this has happened since the establishment of the state of Israel. (This despite numerous other reports of spitting and vandalism against Christians. – ed.)
          link to caspari.com

          Spit may have been a typo for sh*t. The Ultra-Orthodox have been trying for years to get the feces-filled diaper toss accepted as an Olympic sport. I’ve commented in the past that, in light of the Divine injunction in Devarim 23:13-15 (Deuteronomy 23:12-14), I’m always fascinated by the reports about the nut cases who desecrate the Kotel by hurling soiled diapers at the “Women of the Wall” whenever they read from the Torah or sing praises there, e.g.

          The group Women of the Wall have been called whores, lesbians, goyim, and much worse. Chairs have been thrown at them as they chant the morning prayers together. Soiled diapers are hurled over the mechitza in a strange display of contempt and disgust. One can only wonder to oneself, “Do the fervently Orthodox bring the soiled diapers with them on the bus to the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh? Or, are the dirtied diapers manufactured on the spot?”

          link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

          We all know that the IDF can’t control their bowels when they occupy a Palestinian home, but that has nothing to do with Judaism.

        • Mooser says:

          “It would be like me trying to tie you into the Manson Murders because you did LSD when you were younger.”

          Oh, c’mon, aren’t you going to leave me anything to be proud of? Are you telling me I went through all that for nothing?

        • Mooser says:

          LSD is a lot like hitting yourself with a hammer. In the head.

        • Mooser says:

          “LSD is a lot like hitting yourself with a hammer. In the head.”

          That is, it feels so good when it finally stops, and the spaghetti stops writhing like a pole-axed blanc-mange.
          You know what I mean.

    • piotr says:

      With all due respect, it may be hard to find a grave as worthy deprecations as Mr. Porat’s.

      Perhaps Zionism does not have to be a toxic ideology. But Porat’s version is ethnic supremacy with continual dispossession and humiliation of “the other”. Settlers are Israel’s Janjaweed.

  6. ToivoS says:

    This reminds me of the obituary that the NY Times gave for Albert Einstein in the early 50s. They described him as a Zionist without mentioning that he supported a binational state for Israel consisting of its Jewish and Arab citizens. Moreover he opposed a Jewish army that would support special rights for Jews only which the Times avoided. The NY Times has been a Zionist organ from the very beginning. I am not at all sad to see the NY Times losing its influence over the American political discourse, in fact I look forward to their eventual bankruptcy.

    • annie says:

      The NY Times has been a Zionist organ from the very beginning.

      i thought i heard it wasn’t at one time.

    • MRW says:

      Not entirely, ToivoS.

      Here is a link to the PROTEST TO WILSON AGAINST ZIONIST STATE, March 4, 1919.
      One of the signatories was Adolph Simon Ochs, publisher The New York Times.
      link to query.nytimes.com

      The text, transcribed:
      link to home2.btconnect.com

      (Clip) The text of the petition follows:

      As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objection to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country. We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign-born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia.)

      At the outset, we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.

      Reject “National Home” Idea.

      But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganisation of the Jews as a national unit to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misinterprets the trend in the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which these rights are not yet seecure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy we reject the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.”

      [...]

      We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the “Balfour Declaration” to establish “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine,” i.e, a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant.

      [...]

      Contrary to Democratic Ideals.

      Whether the Jews be regarded as a “race” or as a “religion” it is contrary to the democratic principles for which the world war was waged to found a nation on either or both of these bases. America, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, and all the most advanced nations of the world are composed of representatives of many races and religions. Their glory lies in the freedom of conscience and worship, in the liberty of thought and custom which binds the followers of many faiths and varied civilizations in the common bonds of political union. A Jewish State involves fundamental limitations as to race and religion, else the term “Jewish” means nothing. To unite Church and State, in any form, as under the old Jewish hierarchy, would be a leap backward of 2,000 years. [...]

      • Hostage says:

        The New York Times also reported that the San Remo Conference had decided against the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.

        The oldest US publication devoted exclusively to world affairs, Current History was founded by The New York Times in 1914 to provide detailed coverage of what was then known as the Great War.
        link to currenthistory.com

        Current History, Volume 13, 1921 reported:

        The publication on Feb. 4 of the mandate over Palestine allotted to Great Britain by the Supreme Council of the Allies at San Remo threw a flood of light upon a hitherto dark spot of diplomacy and straightened out a question which was rapidly becoming involved in serious complications. The text embodies, aside from the articles of procedure, the famous San Remo resolution and the no less famous Balfour declaration. Although approved by the Supreme Council at San Remo it has yet to be submitted to the Council of the League of Nations. It makes it clear that while the mandatary is expected to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” it is not the intention to create a “Jewish State,” as had been charged in certain quarters.

        • annie says:

          It makes it clear that while the mandatary is expected to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” it is not the intention to create a “Jewish State,” as had been charged in certain quarters.

          nyt circa 1921, my times have changed.

        • MRW says:

          This was a goldmine, Hostage. Thx.

      • Elliot says:

        Thanks, MRW. I’ve bookmarked this text.
        Assimilated British Jews felt much the same as Ochs. Concurrent to the opposition of American Jewish leaders to the Balfour Declaration, Edwin Montagu, the sole Jewish member of Lloyd George’s cabinet was the only dissenting vote against the Balfour Declaration.
        Interestingly, Montagu’s cousin became the first British High Commissioner to Palestine. His appointment came shortly after the Balfour Declaration. Herbert Samuel was an atheist, Zionist Jew.

  7. You kick ass Lizzy. Great article. I hope the NYT goes bankrupt soon and Bronner can go hang out with his settler buddies in Eretz Israel

  8. eee says:

    War of ideas? All my contributions to this thread have been censored. You are scared to have a real discussion.

    • annie says:

      maybe you should try expressing your ideas again within the boundaries of the site’s comment policy.

      • eee says:

        I always do. The site has allowed an unprecedented and low attack on Porat, but cannot accept rebuttals in the same vein.

        • annie says:

          are you inferring you offered evidence the report isn’t accurate and it was banned for that reason?

        • eee says:

          The report is in very bad taste and very low.

        • Hostage says:

          The report is in very bad taste and very low.

          You mean the part where Porat replied with “Happy Purim!” to a reporter’s question about what he thought of the massacre at the mosque in Hebron? I thought that was pretty low-down and tasteless too.

        • eGuard says:

          eee, you did not answer annie’s question.

        • Mooser says:

          “The site has allowed an unprecedented and low attack on Porat…”

          Once again, I woke up with occluded bronchial passages, but they are clear now! ROTFLMSJAO!! A “low attack on Porat”! Stop, stop, you’re killing me! My God, what will Mondoweiss do next, talk bad about Jesus!
          Cause if there’s any guy who is universally regarded as one of the saints, it’s Porat.

    • Cliff says:

      What ideas, eee?

      Might makes right?

      Special privileges for Jews?

      Palestinians bring everything on themselves?

      You have no ideas.

      As to ‘censorship’, deal with it. If your comment violates the guidelines, then it usually does not get through. In your case, you’re about the most UN-censored person on MW next to Witty.

    • Mooser says:

      “War of ideas? All my contributions to this thread have been censored. You are scared to have a real discussion.”

      Do they still throw the stale knishes at you if your posts are rejected? I’m not sure that’s fair.

      • Mooser says:

        Mooser the obscure. I mean, they hate Mondoweiss, everything on Mondo is a lie, all the commenters are stupid, and Mondo is anti-Semitism Central.
        But if one of their comments doesn’t get through, they kvetch like a stuck pig.

        Funny, my computer gets thousands of websites, in every range of opinion, and it also has an amazing device called an “off switch”. Guess I just got a good deal.

  9. Elliot says:

    Lizzy – Thank you.
    You omitted Porat’s role as a rabbi and influential educator in the settler movement. Rabbi Porat was a founder of the Bet Orot yeshiva (academy) in East Jerusalem and the settlement by the same name.

    I remember seeing him once rallying a pro-settler protest in West Jerusalem’s city center. He was shouting slogans into a megaphone as he was hoisted in the air.
    link to yaacovlozowick.files.wordpress.com
    As the picture shows, Porat was charismatic. Dangerously so.

    • Mooser says:

      “As the picture shows, Porat was charismatic. Dangerously so.”

      At least he won’t do any more composing.

      • LeaNder says:

        At least he won’t do any more composing.

        ;)

        I’ve tried to find an photo that showed me that he was really dangerously good looking or charismatic. The NYT photo doesn’t really convince me. Now I am left with the question: does charisma show on a photo? I am not really convinced.

        • Elliot says:

          Perhaps it’s my memory of his performance and how the crowd reacted. Although seeing him letting it all out in an exhibitionist display of nationalist-religious ecstasy while he’s hoisted by the legs above the shoulders of the crowd is telling in itself.
          Ultimately, of course, charisma is in the eyes of the beholder. To go to the extreme example, I never got Adolf Hitler’s charismatic power. He wasn’t handsome and he looked self-important for no good reason. Certainly, he had no easy charm. But his magic clearly worked for lots of Germans. Go figure.

        • James North says:

          Elliot: The excellent American journalists reporting from Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, people like Edgar Ansel Mowrer and H. R. Knickerbocker, also had trouble understanding Hitler’s charisma. They saw him close up, and they didn’t understand his popularity. At the same time, they recognized his hold on many Germans; they tried to warn their American readers; and they were expelled soon after the Nazis seized power.

        • Antidote says:

          “To go to the extreme example, I never got Adolf Hitler’s charismatic power. He wasn’t handsome and he looked self-important for no good reason.”

          Neither do I. I feel the same about Churchill, though. And Stalin and Roosevelt.

          “The excellent American journalists reporting from Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, people like Edgar Ansel Mowrer and H. R. Knickerbocker, also had trouble understanding Hitler’s charisma. ”

          Hello? 20s and early thirties? You need American journalists for that? The NSDAP got less than 3% of the vote in the 1928 elections. If everyone in Germany had been swooned by Hitler, why did he have to build Dachau and 100s of other concentration camps in Germany for political prisoners, as soon as he came to power and seized absolute power under emergency legislation? You guys live in a fantasy world in which only ‘excellent American journalists’ figure out what’s going on. Laughable

        • James North says:

          Antidote: I’m surprised at you. Surely you know that as the economic crisis bit deeply in Germany, Hitler and the NSDAP rose rapidly, from 18.3 per cent in the September 1930 elections to 37 percent in the July 1932 elections. There was plenty of street violence in this period, but the election results still did represent German public opinion. Of course, after Hitler seized power in January 1933 his rigged vote totals can no longer be taken seriously.
          Still, it does no one any good to try and pretend that the NSDAP did not have widespread popular support, even if Hitler never reached a majority.

        • LeaNder says:

          Hitler and the NSDAP rose rapidly, from 18.3 per cent in the September 1930 elections to 37 percent in the July 1932 elections.

          Not that it matters much, James, but you are leaving out the most important election for their seizure of power, with the help of the bourgeois right. In the November 1932 election they actually lost votes and ended with 33,1%

          There was plenty of street violence in this period

          yes clashes between left and right and diverse attempts to take over.

          James, I wouldn’t use charisma for Hitler, but then I wouldn’t use it for anybody.

          But concerning Hitler, and yes it is hard to understand listening to his speeches, how he managed to hypnotize people into seeing something in him something he definitively wasn’t. How would you explain the strange phenomenon that German actors in their autobiographies wrote about Hitlers glowingly blue eyes (strahlend blau = gloriously blue)? These people actually met him, shook his hand and talked to him? Do you think that’s the result of charisma, whatever that may be?

  10. Elliot says:

    Antidote –
    Power certainly adds to charisma. And Hitler was very good at projecting power. Having Dachau, among other devices, in place gave his theatrics a real edge.
    Early on (and later in his career) Porat was powerful without having any real power. Charisma was a big part of that. How you understand charisma is a whole separate conversation.
    And even charismatic dictators rely on their charisma as a separate component before and after they seize power.

    You might be interested to know that Mowrer was kicked out of Nazi Germany after Hitler was in power. As for American smarts: half the country has no idea how George W. won any election.

  11. Erasmus says:

    Interjection:
    May i suggest that we change the subject from Hitler#s charisma to something more appropriately related to our 2011 – issues at hand????

    e.g: what about Netanyahu’s charisma, and his enormously persuasive rhetoric capabilities, not to speak of the power of LOGIC and LIES.
    :-)

  12. Elliot says:

    Hitler’s case is instructive. Just because he looks like a petty rabble-rouser, it doesn’t mean he can’t start a world war.
    Unlike the case of Hitler, I get why people find Netanyahu compelling. As far as I’m concerned, he comes across like a bucket of sugar. When I lived in Israel, I couldn’t bear to hear Netanyahu’s voice. Now, it’s like watching a naughty boy do his tricks. More the pity that it works.
    Content is crucial. You are that much more inclined to buy into a leader’s charisma when you support his policies. Otherwise, you’re likely to see the charm as smoke and mirrors. See what Republicans say about Obama.

    I get the avuncular gruff charm of Churchill and even of Stalin. The magnificent mustache helps.
    But as for skinny, dimuntive, uptight Hitler – what gives?

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Hitler’s case is instructive. Just because he looks like a petty rabble-rouser, it doesn’t mean he can’t start a world war.”

      I think in the beginning, he set Roehm up as the chief rabble-rouser (which he was, in spades). Whether intentional or not, this made Hitler look more stateman-like, in comparison. (Which tells you all you need to know about Roehm!)

      “But as for skinny, dimuntive, uptight Hitler – what gives?”

      Hitler tapped the zeitgeist. Germany in the 20s and 30s was a country that could not understand why it was made to suffer the pains of Versailles (whether this view was justifiied or not is irrelevant), even though, in the Great War, it had won on one front with the other being fought on foreign soil. It was a state which was still searching for an identity, after the end of the Imperial regime. Many (not all; not even most) were looking for the hardest, most insistent, most defiant, most certain nationalist around. Hitler fit that bill and, most importantly, had the political and communication skills to sell that image, regardless of the reality.

  13. Mikhael says:

    Being deemed obituary-worthy in the NYT does not necessarily mean the NYT endorses the views of the decedent, which is something that the writer of this post can’t seem to comprehend. He was a major figure in Israeli politics and society for a time. I personally think that Hanan Porat’s ideology and those like him who insist on Eretz Yisrael ha Shelema is dangerous to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, but the one-staters who dominate this site should be very pleased with it.

    Ratner’s snarky critique of Bronner’s obituary also ignores the fact that Porat was raised in Kfar Etzion, whose Jewish inhabitants were ethnically cleansed by Jordan’s Arab Legion in 1948, but that attitude jibes well with the Mondoweiss’s prevailing ethos.

    • annie says:

      He was a major figure in Israeli politics and society for a time.

      so what? most americans have not even heard of him. the nyt is an american paper.

      Being deemed obituary-worthy in the NYT does not necessarily mean the NYT endorses the views of the decedent

      no, it does not but it does mean they find it newsworthy. point to me an equivalent in italian politics, or japanese. i’m sick of this settler crap when they completely ignore this extremism today, for the most part. it would be one thing if they did a decent job reporting it but they do not.

      which is something that the writer of this post can’t seem to comprehend.

      what a cop out. this is not newsworthy for the nyt or the american public. at all, that is something you fail to comprehend.

      • Mikhael says:

        annie October 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        so what? most americans have not even heard of him. the nyt is an american paper.

        The NYT routinely publishes obituaries about people they deem noteworthy from the USA and abroad. I know I’ve learned about hundreds of people I’d never heard of before they died through NYT obits. But since according to you, “the nyt is an american paper”, they had no business reporting the recent passings of Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Ramiz Alia (him I knew of), or Jagjit Singh, since they were foreigners who most Americans never have heard of.

        link to nytimes.com

        link to nytimes.com

        link to nytimes.com

  14. Elliot says:

    Mikhael:
    Ratner’s snarky critique of Bronner’s obituary
    Looks like you’ve got snarkiness covered yourself:
    I personally think that Hanan Porat’s ideology and those like him who insist on Eretz Yisrael ha Shelema is dangerous to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, but the one-staters who dominate this site should be very pleased with it. “
    Have you got anything to contribute to Mondoweiss?

    • Mikhael says:

      Elliot October 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm
      Have you got anything to contribute to Mondoweiss?

      What didn’t you understand in what I wrote? I wrote quite clearly that I think people like Hanan Porat and those who advocate similar views (including members of my own family) are a danger to Israel as a Jewish state, which, I as a Zionist fervently believe in. As praiseworthy as some of his contributions were and his family’s defense of Israel was – the “Greater Land of Israel” ideal comes with the unacceptable price of too many Arabs in our tiny Jewish country. It’s better to have a smaller country and fewer Arabs even it means giving up historically Jewish territory, and that is what will inevitably happen.

      • Mooser says:

        “unacceptable price of too many Arabs in our tiny Jewish country.”

        I feel for you Mikhael, I really do. I know how it is, I sympathise. Once the Jewish girls get a look at a real man, an Arab man, it’s all over for you little faigelehs. Yup, you have every right to be worried. And what happens when they find out how smart they are? There goes the pure-Jewish birthrate, right down the toilet.
        Yup, Mikhael, I understand; you just can’t compete.
        Well, you have my sympathy, and let me say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer people than the Israelis. No, I don’t think it could.

        • Mooser says:

          “It’s better to have a smaller country and fewer Arabs even it means giving up historically Jewish territory”

          Oh, that’s very generous! So you plan to absorb all the settlers in pre ’67 Israel? Gonna give them all homes and incomes to make up for what they lost? Don’t forget to kick them up a few rungs in status (since there’s no equality in Israel) and make sure they get the pick of the jobs and government positions.
          Yes, I know, anything is better than those Arabs, they’ll steal your women!

        • Mooser says:

          My good freakin’ God on a pogo stick in a quicksand bog! This (Mikhael, et al) is the “new Jew” that Zionism made?
          Oh yeah, we are in great shape.

      • Mooser says:

        “It’s better to have a smaller country and fewer Arabs even it means giving up historically Jewish territory, and that is what will inevitably happen.”

        Hey, if you’re such a brave new Jew, why not just kill them all and eliminate the problem? Where’s your guts, and can-do spirit, Zionist boy? Why lose when you can win?
        I thought Jews are better than Arabs (or do you deny that?) so why are you so afraid of them?

        • Mooser says:

          Mikhael, just a little tip: Wailing for sympathy because your country Israel may not end up 100% Jew-owned is probably not a good way to curry sympathy from Jews who have been sucessful in a country where they are about 2% of the population.
          In fact, quite the opposite, I would think. You look like a punk and a chicken.

        • Mooser says:

          There, maybe that’s moderate enough to get through.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          where i come from that’s a punkin