David Remnick erases Norman Finkelstein

Eshelman Finkelstein 05
Norman Finkelstein (Photo: OR Books)

Yesterday I praised David Remnick for his story about Joan Peters’s 1984 book of propaganda that said that there were no Palestinians in Palestine till Jews got there. And I barely touched on a curious aspect of his piece that many commenters then seized on: Remnick left out Norman Finkelstein’s role in exposing the fraud; he gave credit to an Israeli:

The book was thoroughly discredited by an Israeli historian, Yehoshua Porath, and many others who dismantled its pseudo-scholarship.

Remnick’s link was to Porath’s 1986 review of the book, From Time Immemorial, in the New York Review of Books.
 

This is a misrepresentation of intellectual history. The story of Norman Finkelstein’s exposure of Joan Peters is one of the great intellectual whodunnits of the Israel-Palestine issue. Finkelstein’s career began with this undertaking, which long preceded Porath’s– in fact, Porath actually cites Finkelstein’s work in his footnotes.

The story began in spring 1984 with the publication of Peters’s book. At that time Finkelstein, who is the son of concentration-camp survivors, was a 30-year-old graduate student at Princeton, lately disaffected from Maoism. He had decided to do his dissertation on Zionism and read the Peters book because everyone was talking about it. He quickly sensed something off about its method.

For much of that spring he lay on his bed tearing the book apart with a pencil– it looked like it had been in a “blender,” he later recounted. When he established glaring internal contradictions in Peters’s data, he did what any scholar did: he called his mother late at night to crow. He first contacted Peters in June 1984; and subsequent editions of the book were amended to reflect some of his early criticisms.

Anyone who knows Finkelstein knows that he was not finished. “I invested two years of my life in this endeavor,” he told me by phone. “My late mother wanted to throttle me. She said, ‘When are you going to finish your dissertation?’ But I was like Captain Ahab.”

By December 1984, he sent out a manuscript to two dozen senior scholars. Only one responded. The phone rang on Saturday morning. It was Noam Chomsky.

Here is Chomsky telling the story:

[The book] was the big intellectual hit for that year: Saul Bellow, Barbara Tuchman, everybody was talking about it as the greatest thing since chocolate cake.Well, one graduate student at Princeton, a guy named Norman Finkelstein, started reading through the book. He was interested in the history of Zionism, and as he read the book he was kind of surprised by some of the things it said. He’s a very careful student, and he started checking the references—and it turned out that the whole thing was a hoax, it was completely faked: probably it had been put together by some intelligence agency or something like that. Well, Finkelstein wrote up a short paper of just preliminary findings, it was about twenty-five pages or so, and he sent it around to I think thirty people who were interested in the topic, scholars in the field and so on, saying: “Here’s what I’ve found in this book, do you think it’s worth pursuing?”

Well, he got back one answer, from me. I told him, yeah, I think it’s an interesting topic, but I warned him, if you follow this, you’re going to get in trouble—because you’re going to expose the American intellectual community as a gang of frauds, and they are not going to like it, and they’re going to destroy you. So I said: if you want to do it, go ahead, but be aware of what you’re getting into. It’s an important issue, it makes a big difference whether you eliminate the moral basis for driving out a population—it’s preparing the basis for some real horrors—so a lot of people’s lives could be at stake. But your life is at stake too, I told him, because if you pursue this, your career is going to be ruined.

Well, he didn’t believe me. 

Finkelstein’s partial analysis was published in In These Times in September 1985. As I said, Porath would cite this piece several months later, when his own piece was published in the New York Review.

And when Anthony Lewis published a piece on the scandal in the New York Times in 1986– with the famous title, “There were no Indians”–he also gave credit where credit was due.

It is impossible to detail the character of ”From Time Immemorial” in a newspaper column. It has been fully explored in criticisms by, among others, Norman Finkelstein, a Princeton graduate student; Bill Farrell, a Columbia law student; Sir Ian Gilmour, a British M.P., and his son David, and Albert Hourani, an Oxford historian who called the book ”ludicrous and worthless.’

The criticisms are unanswerable, or at least they have not been answered.

The late Edward Said also centrally credited Finkelstein in a chapter on Peters’s claims:

In what I shall now relate… if I speak more about Finkelstein [than other critics of Peters's scholarship] it is to note his amazing persistence despite odds that would have deterred almost anyone else.

Finkelstein’s place as the unmasker of Joan Peters was cemented when he published Image and Reality in the Israel-Palestine Conflict in 1995. The book, a classic among Israel’s critics, printed his full paper on Peters; and the footnotes chronicled his efforts to publish it and Peters’s feckless responses to it. In that chapter Finkelstein credited Porath “the noted Israeli scholar,” for his work on the case.

Finkelstein’s role is common knowledge. When the Canadian journalist Jeet Heer wrote to me about Remnick’s elision yesterday, I asked him that very question: How did you know of Finkelstein’s role?

Heer explained, and then offered a wise conclusion on the case:

I think Christopher Hitchens and Alex Cockburn wrote about it in the Nation, and they relied heavily on Finkelstein (who they cited.) There was also a big piece by Anthony Lewis in the NY Times… Anyway, at the time it was very clear that Finkelstein was the one who really nailed the factual case against Peters  – I didn’t hear about other critics like Porath till later. So clearly Remnick was thinking of Finkelstein when he wrote “and many others” (which is itself untrue, since there weren’t that many others who challenged Peters).

As for why Remnick can’t give credit to Finkelstein — again, this is surmise but given Remnick’s stance he probably thinks of Finkelstein as a dangerously anti-Zionist radical and outside the pale of respectable society. So in order to make the point (and maybe with his audience in mind) Remnick cited “an Israeli historian” — i.e. someone who can be trusted.

It’s sad that Finkelstein won’t get credit for this (or his other great work). But that’s the way it often is — it’s the radicals who change how we think, but often mainstream society can’t acknowledge their work because they were discreditable. It’s the way that communists and socialists championed civil rights in the early 20th century long before liberals took up the cause. While liberalism owes them a debt, it can’t be admitted. But the positive side of all this is that Finkelstein’s ideas are permeating all those who think about this issue, even in the hallowed halls of the New Yorker.

Finkelstein offered the following wry commentary on the case, two images from the University of Minnesota archive of Soviet photos:

Lenin with Trotsky
Lenin with Trotsky
Lenin without Trotsky
Lenin without Trotsky

UPDATE:

Thanks to Ahmed Moor and others: Remnick does credit Finkelstein, in a backhanded way, in a Haaretz interview published today:

“I wrote this blog piece suggesting that language like this has a history: there was a book that was a kind of totemic book on the right, unfortunately celebrated by some surprising people, and it was called “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters, and it was a big bestseller here, until it was discredited very roundly and very thoroughly, and not just by Norman Finkelstein.”

Also noteworthy: in that interview, Remnick is more straightforward about the role of Jewish donors in the Republican pandering on Israel than he is in his New Yorker piece, where he repeatedly characterizes the competition as one for Jewish voters.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, Media | Tagged

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

  1. Cliff says:

    Phil, do you have anyway to contact Remnick?

    You should personally ask him why he left out Norman.

    • he probably thought citing norm in the new yorker would enrage people.

      remnick might be coming around but this really lacks courage. i thought the same thing when i read the article.

      and what Heer said is completely uniformed because norm doesn’t self identify as an anti zionist. in fact he makes a point in the last page of his book This time we went too far:

      No one is a loser, and we all are gainers if together we stand by truth and justice. “I am not anti-English; I am not anti-British; I am not anti-any government,” Gandhi insisted, “but I am anti-untruth—anti-humbug, and anti-injustice.” Shouldn’t we also say that we are not anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, or, for that matter, anti-Zionist?

      he has taken so much slack for not being a one stater.

      norm is norm, he’s the real enchilada. he forged a path that now is becoming mainstream american discourse and he was the one responsible more than almost anyone i can imagine for changing the discourse on israel/palestine.

      he will go down in history as an american hero, a revolutionary who never backed down. because he is.

      remnick should learn that because in a hundred years his name won’t be remembered, but norm’s will. he should get on the right side of history by showing a little more courage.

      • iamuglow says:

        Nicely said Annie. I feel the same way.

      • To clarify, I didn’t say that Finkelstein was an “anti-Zionist radical.” I said that “given Remnick’s stance he probably thinks of Finkelstein as a dangerously anti-Zionist radical and outside the pale of respectable society.” I wasn’t reporting on my attitude towards Finkelstein but making a surmise about what Remnick thinks of him — Jeet Heer

        • thanks for the clarification Jeet Heer and sorry for misreading your quote. on reflection i agree with you..perhaps that is what remnick thinks (or thought..you never know, maybe he’s reading this and getting a clue). this represents the power of the smear machine…labeling norm as so outside the box and anti-mainstream when in actuality norm is massively grounded in morality and realism (this is not to say i agree with norm on everything..i am more idealistically oriented).

          i’ll stop now..i could go on forever. your response much appreciated.

          x

      • Kathleen says:

        “and he was the one responsible more than almost anyone i can imagine for changing the discourse on israel/palestine.”

        While Norm has been out on the front lines for a long time and he took risk that beyond measure…no need to go all extreme. There were many out on the front lines before Norm. But his commitment to the facts and truth are truly remarkable. No need to make him “more responsible than almost anyone else for changing the discourse on Israel and Palestine’ Edward Said, Ilan Pappe, former President Jimmy Carter, Congressman Findlay. So many

        • sorry kathleen, i disagree. norm has been on the front lines of this issue way longer than jimmy carter. Ilan pappe is israeli and lives in the UK and for the most part doesn’t tussle w/aipac. i’m referencing american discourse here. norm has been, and remains on the front lines of american discourse. he’s a not only a scholar, he’s a warrior, he battles.

          i’m not going to compare him to Said because that is an entirely different ballpark in terms of artistic and political contribution. Said is an international figure. finklestein is ours, purely american. jewish american yes but exclusively american like martin is exclusively american. Said, no matter how you throw the dice is as Palestinian as Pappe is israeli. neither of them have been on the front lines here but norm does it everyday. my fuller quote:

          he forged a path that now is becoming mainstream american discourse and he was the one responsible more than almost anyone i can imagine for changing the discourse on israel/palestine.

          i’ll stand by that.

        • Kathleen says:

          Carter was addressing this during his administration

        • Kathleen says:

          And Congressman Findlay was out in front of both of them bringing the issue up during 11 terms in office. Finally caught up with him as he began to speak in even clearer terms about the Palestinians. Lost his bid in 1982 because of the I lobby. Now Findlay did not get the attention that Finkelstein or Carter has received and when you are not a “liberal Zionist” as I believe Finkelstein would describe himself as there is a huge disadvantage. People do not recognize what you have done and said to get this issue on the front burners which Findlay has persistently tried to do. Findlay was way out in front of Carter and Finkelstein. Not sure what your need is to make him first in your mind and others. What is that need all about?

        • Kathleen says:

          Carter was talking seriously about this issue in the 70′s.

          Findlay started Council for the National Interest

          link to councilforthenationalinterest.org

          Congressman Paul Findley, Founder

          Paul FindleyAuthor, speaker and pundit Paul Findley served in the United States Congress for 22 years representing central Illinois. Before his Congressional service, Mr. Findley served as a Naval officer with the Seabees in the Pacific in World War II, followed by work as a newspaper editor in Jacksonville, Illinois.

          Mr. Findley is the author of the best-selling book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, first published in 1985 and most recently updated in 2003. This was the first book to expose the power of the Israel Lobby throughout the United States: in Congress, academia, and the press. A reviewer noted:

          “Because he questioned blind American support of Israel, the lobby deprived a conscientious Illinois congressman of the seat he occupied for 22 years. In doing so, it freed Paul Findley to write the most powerful expose to date of Israel’s abuse of American trust, a book which may prove Admiral Moorer’s prediction to him that ‘the American people would be goddam mad if they knew what goes on.’

        • Kathleen says:

          Why is it that you want to put Finkelstein first? Why not just include him in a group of Americans (if that is your criteria) who have been out on the front lines of this issue for decades…Findlay, Carter, Finkelstein… Sorry I sense an odd need here

        • Kathleen says:

          And Senator Fulbright was out in front of all of them on calling the I lobby out
          link to irmep.org

          Now you may have something in that Norm is one of the first Jewish Americans to stand out on the front lines on this issue. And brave and brilliant he is. Has also been able to get lots of attention on the issue. But many non Jewish Americans have been trying to tackle this issue long before Norm came on the stage. We can honor and give them all credit as well as the non Jewish and Jewish Europeans, South Africans etc who have been willing to step to the plate

        • Kathleen says:

          Now I admire and support Finkelstein’s brave, honorable and persistent efforts that receive a fair amount of much needed attention. Trying to spin that he was one of the first Americans who have been out on the front lines on this issue is hooey. You might have a point if you are saying that he was one of the first American Jews (Chomsky would I believe have that spot) to step out on the front lines then you might have a point. But as far as I know Finkelstein stepped out on the front lines in 84 when he criticized Peters “From Time Immemorial”. And then went onto criticize and apply his “forensic scholarship” to some of Dershowitz’s fictitious writings and claims. Finkelsteins book “The Holocaust Industry” came out in I believe 2000 (a must read) and then he was denied tenure at De Paul in 2007. But trying to say that he was out on the front lines before so many Americans like Fulbright, Findlay Carter is just a bunch of hooey.

          Lets give them all credit and keep our chronology as close to the facts as possible

        • RoHa says:

          Just to throw in a few names that made a difference but don’t get much mention now.

          Eskine Childers The Other Exodus
          (Astonishingly influential for such a short article.)
          Moshe Menuhin The Decadence of Judaism in our Time
          Alfred Lilienthal What Price Israel?, The Zionist Connection I & II (and much more.)

          Perhaps MW could set up an honour roll for them and all the people I have forgotten.

        • Just go the the “self-hating Jews” list that is prepared and updated by defenders of Eretz Israel. All the names are there.
          There are many of those lists.
          link to masada2000.org

        • Not sure what your need is to make him first in your mind and others. What is that need all about?

          hi kathleen, N49 just brought your numerous responses from saturday wrt my comment on friday, to my attention in this 300 plus comment thread. it was not my intention to ignore you.

          Why is it that you want to put Finkelstein first?…… Sorry I sense an odd need here….Trying to spin that he was one of the first Americans who have been out on the front lines on this issue is hooey.

          ok, i would like to address your need allegation first. my initial comment you objected to on the 13th @2:22 said this:

          norm is norm, he’s the real enchilada. he forged a path that now is becoming mainstream american discourse and he was the one responsible more than almost anyone i can imagine for changing the discourse on israel/palestine.

          this comment did not come from a need, it’s my opinion and i just expressed it like i normally do when i comment. period.

          your response: no need to go all extreme. There were many out on the front lines before Norm.

          you are correct that there were many out on the front lines before Norm, i should have acknowledged that and explained at that point (which i didn’t in my initial response to you) that my comment was not intended to imply there were not others who came before norm. there’s something to be said for standing on the shoulders of giants.

          i believe there are pivotal moments in history. a great person with great ideas can exist in a time and place when the world isn’t ready to listen or he can set the wheels in motion, suffer a defeat and let others carry on the fight. or carry on in a sustained way but his or her influence remains more passive and/or thoughtful.

          then there are those who, by fortune perhaps (and i seriously doubt norm would agree with me wrt ‘fortune’), engage where time (or ‘the times’) becomes their friend (as opposed to foe). so it is a combination of a whole host of things including the ability to set a fuse under an issue that propels the listener, the ordinary man. so when i said ‘forged a path’ i didn’t mean the first one to talk about it. when i said the one responsible more than almost anyone i can imagine for changing the discourse on israel/palestine i meant making the argument in a way that has changed the discourse today, now, when it matters most.

          and, that probably would not have happened had they left norm alone, so the responsibility is shared with his detractors that thrust him on the road, in terms of his dispersed audience, amazing oratory, literary skills, keen mind, powerful message COMBINED with the era, and his persistence etc etc.

          so, the proof is in the pudding kathleen. with all due respect to Congressman Findlay (and i mean really that) the era of israel’s recognized ‘deligitimization’ is now. it is now more than any time in israel’s history that american discourse wrt israel is at it’s peak. so my referencing ‘changing the discourse on israel/palestine’ i meant to put the emphasis on “changing”. the discourse, for the most part, didn’t change in fidlay’s time. it is changing now. and that is not only because of norm at all.

          it is just my opinion and it is also my opinion the reason it is changing is because of the youth, so when i reference ‘he forged a path’ i meant thru universities across the country. something he is still doing. something he likely would not have done had he gained tenure. he sparked young people and then those people grew up, and he is still doing this and the time is now.

          i didn’t say norm was ‘the first Americans to have been out on the front lines’, i said he forged a path, and he has. i said ‘norm has been, and remains on the front lines of american discourse.’ and he has and is.

          but getting back to need, i am just noticing after responding to your first objection to my initial comment which you found ‘extreme’ you’ve added 6 more comments. so i sense you’ve got a need to prove me wrong.

          this is just my opinion kathleen, and my prediction:

          he will go down in history as an american hero, a revolutionary who never backed down. because he is.

          i’ll meet you back here in the next century and we can compare notes.

          ;)

          i hope that clarifies it for you, and for N49

        • ps kathleen, this conversation reminds me one i had with mrw about ella baker in one of the mlk threads.

          those were the times

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • Thanks, Annie. I know and see how busy you are. My only interest here was not giving Witty cover to not to respond to legit points of contention! Thanks again for your effort in getting back. Best -N49.

        • any time N49, especially on long comment threads such as these it is often difficult for me to remember to follow up on past conversations.

          another interesting aspect of this american discourse thing, is that what was once considered so radical they sought to take him down over it, the ground has shifted so much there is a whole huge part of the movement that has moved way beyond norm’s ptv. so much so there are those scrambling to control it and they can’t. i’m sure those who tried to propel the image of him into the neatherlands of fringeville would jump at the idea of limiting the discourse to where norm is at. and he’s still creating controversy now by those to the left of him. there’s a bellwether quality about his ideas.

          another thing i was thinking of since writing that earlier today is how much this site is doing to move the discourse today. phil usually writes ideas before others and doesn’t get the credit for it, but that will change too.

      • Hostage says:

        Shouldn’t we also say that we are not anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, or, for that matter, anti-Zionist?

        In fairness, he goes on to say “The prize on which our eyes should be riveted is human rights, human dignity, human equality. What, really, is the point of ideological litmus tests such as, Are you now or have you ever been a Zionist? Indeed, it is Israel’s apologists who thrive on and cling to them, bogging down interlocutors in distracting and endless intellectual sideshows—What is a Jew? Are the Jews a nation?link to normanfinkelstein.com

        I would not object to the desire of religious Jews to follow a pillar of smoke and fire into the Promised Land, but I consider myself an anti-Zionist because, in practice, none of the schools of Zionism have truly accepted human rights, human dignity, and human equality yet.

        • American says:

          “Indeed, it is Israel’s apologists who thrive on and cling to them, bogging down interlocutors in distracting and endless intellectual sideshows”

          Endless distracting intellectual sideshows —-that’s why no one can talk to them, you’d have better success trying to reason with a cat.

        • Annie,

          No reply to Kathleen? It is true Finkelstein lost tenure, but Findley lost his seat. ???? No acknowledgment? -N49.

        • Annie,

          No reply to Kathleen? It is true Finkelstein lost tenure, but Findley lost his seat. ???? No acknowledgment? -N49.

          sorry N49 and sorry kathleen. this is a very long thread (over 300 comment now) and i have been, for the most part , following it sporadically from the comment feed on the right of the home page. i was gone all afternoon yesterday starting around 11:15 (PST) and didn’t even notice kathleen’s comments until you just brought them to my attention.

          so i will review her comments now and respond directly underneath one of them very soon. thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  2. hophmi says:

    “At that time Finkelstein, who is the son of concentration-camp survivors”

    Is Norman Finkelstein the son of Holocaust survivors? OMG, I never knew that because Finkelstein never mentions it. LOL.

    It is probably sad that Finkelstein won’t get credit, but it’s his own fault, because polemicists do not the credibility non-polemical historians do.

    • Dex says:

      says the perpetual victim…

      • Dan Crowther says:

        a “polemicist” who advocates two states? Man, tough crowd down at hasbara central

        • hophmi says:

          It’s nice that Norman advocates two states or can live with two states. I see no effort on his part to promote that idea, and when I say he’s a polemicist, I’m referring to his public statements, not his position on the two state solution. Here’s a hint: if you want to be taken seriously, don’t go on Iranian state TV, don’t find common cause with terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, and don’t say nasty things about orthodox Jews.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Taken seriously by who? Lot’s of folks have made “common cause” with terrorist organizations, some of whom you probably respect. probably even more have said nasty things about the orthodox – and I’ll give you a hint as to why: the orthodox have a tendency to be assholes. This is not limited to the jewish orthodox either, I get more or less the same, ” you don’t exist, I do not see you, therefore I will not acknowledge you” attitude from some of the Greek Orthodox studying here in Brookline. People don’t like it when others look right through them while passing…not sure if this is Finkelstein’s beef, but I know it’s mine.

        • eee says:

          Crowther,

          You got serious self confidence issues. Why do you care how others look at you?
          And your lack of self confidence leads you to generalizations such as “the orthodox have a tendency to be assholes”. You are a bigot.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          hahahaahaahaa!!! thats rich. self confidence issues have nothing to do with living in close proximity with people who don’t even acknowledge your existence and not liking it. And yea, I would say the “orthodox” of any religion or denomination of any religion “have a tendency to be assholes” to us ‘secularists’ or whatever the current term in the religious fanatic world is for non religious people. That’s my opinion, borne out of experience. And if Im “bigoted” against all religious fundamentalists ( which i have ZERO problem admitting) – how much of a bigot am I?
          Religious fundamentalists of any stripe all think that they are the only ones who adhere to God’s edicts, and the rest of us can stick it – yea, I say FAH-Q to these people, proud to do so…….

        • eee says:

          “self confidence issues have nothing to do with living in close proximity with people who don’t even acknowledge your existence and not liking it.”

          Of course it is a self confidence issue. Only a person with low self esteem and confidence would care what people who don’t know him think of him.

        • Mooser says:

          “Of course it is a self confidence issue. Only a person with low self esteem and confidence would care what people who don’t know him think of him.”

          Well then “eee” I’d see about those low self-esteem issues, if I (shudder) were you. You spend all day on a blog wailing and whining about what people you have never seen and don’t know think about you.
          As I said before, if you really believed in Israel and its Zionistic course, you wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t even know Mondoweiss was here.
          But you’ll monitor Mondoweiss every day, so you will know when to jump. You’ll crap all over this place til then, jump, and then congratulate yourself for getting clean away from Israel in time, and sneer at the Jews you left behind to take the consequences. I guess that’s one way to live.

        • Shingo says:

          Of course it is a self confidence issue. Only a person with low self esteem and confidence would care what people who don’t know him think of him.

          I guess that maples all of Israel a state of low self esteem and confidence, seeing as they’ve been demanding to be recognized by the Arab world for 60 years.

          Projecting much eee?

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Mooser makes a lot of good points – I hope that this next point is as well….

          I said “living in close proximity” but what I should have said is, “living the in the SAME NEIGHBORHOOD” – because that is what the reality is.
          What is most telling is the fact that eee thinks it is somehow normal to be neighbors with someone and not ever introduce yourself, know their names or be friendly with them – let alone acknowledge their presence. What a horrible way to go through life, I am sure glad I was not brought up that way….

        • Shingo says:

          Of course it is a self confidence issue. Only a person with low self esteem and confidence would care what people who don’t know him think of him.

          Is that why Israel keeps demanding to be recognized eee? Because it lacks self esteem and confidence?

    • straightline says:

      Never mentions it? Not sure what “LOL” has to do with anything about this.

    • lysias says:

      Tom Paine was a polemicist.

      W.E.B. DuBois was a polemicist.

    • Mooser says:

      “Is Norman Finkelstein the son of Holocaust survivors? OMG, I never knew that because Finkelstein never mentions it. LOL.”

      Yes Hophmi, you would find it hilarious that Finklestein wouldn’t milk that for everything it was worth. I shouldn’t wonder that it completely disqualifies him in your (compound) eyes.

      • hophmi says:

        “Yes Hophmi, you would find it hilarious that Finklestein wouldn’t milk that for everything it was worth.”

        He does EXACTLY that, and the funny part is how everybody who likes him repeats that line whether it makes sense or not.

    • droog says:

      Hophmi,
      ‘ non-polemical historians ‘ like Gingrich maybe.

      Finkelstein is no polemicist, he relies on evidence and facts to expose ahistorical BS, although you are right it is his own fault, he could have just regurgitated the politically approved narrative and got plenty of mainstream credit and a nice comfy career. Instead he went looking for truth, which is usually found on the other (less comfy ) side of the lie.

      my favourite polemicish Finkelstein from the classics of hasbara demolition,
      Finkelstein v Dershowitz – Bruce Lee mashup,

    • dahoit says:

      The only reason he repeatedly says that is to blunt the Ziocharges of being a self hating Jew,that the real haters use to discredit those who speak out against the borg.
      Same reason I use Dr.Ron Paul whom those same haters use calumnies against as they want no part of an America that looks out for its own interests instead of Israeli interests like all their GOP and Demo whores do.

  3. lysias says:

    Trotsky isn’t the only person missing in the updated photograph. There’s a guy between Trotsky and Lenin. And there’s also a guy to the left of Lenin. And finally there’s the guy with a beard to the right of the boy below and to the right of Lenin. Can anyone identify those other missing persons?

  4. RE: “When the Canadian journalist Jeet Heer wrote to me about Remnick’s elision yesterday…” ~ Weiss

    AN INTERESTING BLOG: SANS EVERYTHING is a blog on politics and culture written by John Haffner, Jeet Heer, A. M. Lamey, I. Garrick Mason, and Sophie Pollitt-Cohen.

  5. James North says:

    This is a great post, about a great man. I’ve been associated with In These Times for nearly all its 35-year history, and I remember well Norm’s pathbreaking exposure of Peters back in 1985. I also enthusiastically recommend his book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, which includes his full essay on Peters along with his debunking of other made up stories.

    • seafoid says:

      I also enthusiastically recommend his book Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

      +1

      Alongside “Publish it not’ by Mayhew and adams
      “Original Sins” by Beit Hallahmi
      “Drinking the sea at Gaza” by Amira Hass
      “Bad news from Israel” by Philo and Berry
      ” A civilian occupation” by Segal and Weizman
      and
      “the Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation” by Hever

  6. Can someone please point me to Peters’ “feckless response” online somewhere? I am very interested in having a quick laugh. Thanks

  7. In a way it’s no surprise. Mr. Finkelstein himself admitted in one of the recent interviews, (great one, worth listening to) that he is treated like ” pariah” , an outcast, by all VeryImportantMainstreamers.
    He’ s never been invited to a major TV channels, radio talks, national newpapers/magazines etc. It goes to show, who pulls all the strings there, since he was publically defined as a “self-hating Jew”,
    anti-Semite in disguise, and some other similar, lovely epithets. That’s why this is no wonder that he was omitted by another veryimportantmainstreamer, David Remnick.
    Giving a credit to Mr. Finkelstein for his excellent work would ruffle some golden, zionisitc feathers, and Mr Remnick has no courage or intention to do it.
    Instead, he prefers to make an impression like he personally discovered the Moon.
    link to normanfinkelstein.com
    link to normanfinkelstein.com

  8. lysias says:

    He’s a very careful student, and he started checking the references—and it turned out that the whole thing was a hoax, it was completely faked: probably it had been put together by some intelligence agency or something like that.

    There’s a strong circumstantial case to be made that the CIA wrote — or at any rate had a substantial role in the writing of — Gerald Posner’s Case Closed about the JFK assassination.

    I’ve often wondered who was involved in the writing of Fritz Tobias’s writings about the Reichstag Fire, casting the sole blame for setting that fire on the lone nut fall guy at the time, van der Lubbe. Tobias’s case seems to me to have been demolished by the two historians Alexander Bahar and Wilfried Kugel in their Der Reichstagsbrand. Wie Geschichte gemacht wird [The Reichstag Fire: How History is Made (or Manufactured)].

    I wonder how often intelligence agencies are involved in the writing of this sort of book.

  9. seafoid says:

    FFS. Finklestein OWNS Peters.
    He owns the Dersh too.

  10. The assertion “The book was thoroughly discredited by an Israeli historian, Yehoshua Porath, and many others who dismantled its pseudo-scholarship.” is only useful in the scope of the political purpose of the book, and the similar political purpose of Gingrich and Netanyahu.

    The book itself is partially true, not entirely true, nor entirely false.

    Those that gullibly attribute its truthfulness are polemicists. Those that regard it as utterly debunked, every word, are also polemicists.

    A polemicist is a liar, in the sense of false attribution of authority of knowledge, rather than the rational attitude of humility of knowledge.

    Most of the citations of fact that Peters is reported to have said, I’ve read similarly from very dissenting Baruch Kimmerling.

    Specifically, that many Arabs migrated to Palestine at the same time as the Zionists began settling. Also, that the status of residence of fedayeen was made very tenuous by the Turkish and then later British land registration requirements, and distribution of “state land” to Turkish officials and elite title.

    The land was in fact largely vacant. The fact that there are 10-fold number of residents in the land compared to then, conveys that there was room for people to move in, even if there are ecological strains on the land’s carrying capacity.

    Also, the traditional relationships within towns was thrown into great upheaval by actions of the Turks, the British and later the Zionists.

    To lay the social change solely at the hands of Zionists is to misrepresent history, or to just gullibly accept propaganda and then repeat it.

    Ask Rashid Khalidi for a sober description of Palestinian residence and social change during the era. You can’t ask Baruch Kimmerling sadly as he’s been dead for a while.

    • Mooser says:

      “A polemicist is a liar, in the sense of false attribution of authority of knowledge, rather than the rational attitude of humility of knowledge.”

      And who can deny that? In order to deny it, you would have to know what on earth he’s trying to say, if anything. And that’s just one sentence.
      Witty, before you try to use a fancy word like “polemic” or “attribute”, look them up. As far as your sentence structure and syntax goes, it’s pretty much hopeless; you write the way you think.

      • MRW says:

        “A polemicist is a liar, in the sense of false attribution of authority of knowledge, rather than the rational attitude of humility of knowledge.”

        Jesus, Richard, use a dictionary. This is the definition of polemics:

        a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something : “his polemic against the cultural relativism of the sixties” | “a writer of feminist polemic.”
        • (usu. polemics) the art or practice of engaging in controversial debate or dispute : “the history of science has become embroiled in religious polemics.”

        Or a writer of Zionist polemics.

        • Mooser says:

          He does not use “attribute” correctly, either, but let it go.

        • Memphis says:

          I have been frequenting this site for years. I am a natural born english speaking Canadian, I am a university student, I have read some tough works, and I still cannot comprehend what Witty is saying.

          could someone please tell me what the hell this means

          “A polemicist is a liar, in the sense of false attribution of authority of knowledge, rather than the rational attitude of humility of knowledge.”

        • Mooser says:

          “could someone please tell me what the hell this means”

          I can tell you that precision and simplicity in language usually reflects the nature of the writer’s thought. Richard cannot afford this. It would be fatal to his schtick Fortunately, as you will see if you read his comments, his fingers seem to have minds of their own, and tend to say things, revealing things he doesn’t want them to.
          Richard’s fingers have the same relationship with his brain that Dr. Strangelove’s right hand had with his neck.

          For instance: “false attribution”. Considering Richard’s long standing addiction to and necessity for false quotes (Yes, Memphis, he does not think that quotes are to be used to indicate what someone said, but what he thinks they said, what he wishes they said, or what he wants them to say. He does this constantly, been told about it many times, won’t stop. How far would you get at University doing that?) you would think he would keep the words “false” and “attribution” as far away from each other as possible. But his little fingers betrayed him again, especially since “false attribution” makes no sense in the context he is using. It’s just his fingers crying for help. It’s not their fault whose brain they’re attached to, and they’re tired of getting the blame.

          Sorry to go on at this length, but I’ve had it with him. Up til now I’ve used a great deal of forbearance, always given him the benefit of the doubt, and refused to use harsh invective, sarcasm or mockery, but I don’t mind telling you, I’m running out of the saint-like patience I have heretofore employed.

          BTW, to access any commenter’s complete comment archive, just click on their name above a comment.

    • Donald says:

      From the Yehoshua Porath piece linked in the article above–

      “As all the research by historians and geographers of modern Palestine shows, the Arab population began to grow again in the middle of the nineteenth century. That growth resulted from a new factor: the demographic revolution. Until the 1850s there was no “natural” increase of the population, but this began to change when modern medical treatment was introduced and modern hospitals were established, both by the the Ottoman authorities and by the foreign Christian missionaries. The number of births remained steady but infant mortality decreased. This was the main reason for Arab population growth, not incursions into the country by the wandering tribes who by then had become afraid of the much more efficient Ottoman troops. Toward the end of Ottoman rule the various contemporary sources no longer lament the outbreak of widespread epidemics. This contrasts with the Arabic chronicles of previous periods in which we find horrible descriptions of recurrent epidemics—typhoid, cholera, bubonic plague—decimating the population. Under the British Mandate, with still better sanitary conditions, more hospitals, and further improvements in medical treatment, the Arab population continued to grow.

      The Jews were amazed. In spite of the Jewish immigration, the natural increase of the Arabs—at least twice the rate of the Jews’—slowed down the transformation of the Jews into a majority in Palestine. To account for the delay the theory, or myth, of large-scale immigration of Arabs from the neighboring countries was proposed by Zionist writers. Mrs. Peters accepts that theory completely; she has apparently searched through documents for any statement to the effect that Arabs entered Palestine. But even if we put together all the cases she cites, one cannot escape the conclusion that most of the growth of the Palestinian Arab community resulted from a process of natural increase.”

      End of Porath quote. Now maybe he’s wrong on this point, but where is the evidence?

      • James North says:

        Richard Witty said, ‘Ouch, Donald. When I made my unsubstantiated attempt to defend Peters, I certainly didn’t expect you would respond with a devastating quote from Porath. Of course, I won’t be able to come up with any evidence to refute what he said in the two long quotations you reproduce above. I’m so out of touch that I don’t realize that even hard-core hasbarists abandoned Peters decades ago.
        ‘I’ll lay low until this blows over. I have to be careful that I don’t weaken the pro-Israel case even further by making more wild allegations, which then prompt calm and rational responses — which will win over even more visitors to Mondoweiss who are genuinely curious.’

      • Mooser says:

        “But even if we put together all the cases she cites, one cannot escape the conclusion that most of the growth of the Palestinian Arab community resulted from a process of natural increase.”

        Who would have thought the facts have an anti-Semitic bias? And I thought they were liberal!

    • lysias says:

      My recollection of Finkelstein’s case about the Peters book is that he showed that she misrepresented virtually all the passages from earlier writings that she purported to be basing her case on.

      As someone with a Ph.D., I wouldn’t call a book that does that “partially true”.

    • droog says:

      RW ,
      have you ever flipped a coin, please tell me you don’t go through such intellectual contortions over say, heads or tails, or teads and hails, or whatever.

      If you could get them to buy this line in Las Vegas, you’d be minted.

    • Hostage says:

      The book itself is partially true, not entirely true, nor entirely false.

      Nice try, but the central thesis of the book was false. The whole work was animated by a desire to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, sort of like your comments here Witty.

    • American says:

      “Specifically, that many Arabs migrated to Palestine at the same time as the Zionists began settling. Also, that the status of residence of fedayeen was made very tenuous by the Turkish and then later British land registration requirements, and distribution of “state land” to Turkish officials and elite title.

      The land was in fact largely vacant. The fact that there are 10-fold number of residents in the land compared to then, conveys that there was room for people to move in, even if there are ecological strains on the land’s carrying capacity.”

      Ahhhhhhh !!!!!…..I can’t take your blankety blank s******** any more Richard.

      READ THIS. THIS is the ORIGINAL CENSUS IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF THE E. MILLS BRITISH CENSUS OF 19331. Look on the right hand side of the page and download the pdf.

      link to archive.org

      You will learn, if you are capable of learning…..that from 1922 to 1931 Jewish population increased 108 PERCENT from ALIEN immigration—->ALIEN, ALIEN,ALIEN IMMIGRAITON…UNDERSTAND?—->JEWS NOT BORN IN PALESTINE OR THE ME. THE ARAB population increase is attributed to NATURAL INCREASE—>BIRTHS BY PALESTINES…..by THE CENSUS TAKER, E. MILLS. A grand total of 5,000 Arabs immigrated into Palestine in years preceding 1948. FIVE THOUSAND ARABS….got that?…FIVE THOUSAND, that’s all.

      READ IT…. it goes village by village. It notes the ORIGINS—> where the people were born of those people included in the census.
      FURTHERMORE……the only census taken before 1922 was in 18oo’s by the Ottomans and claimed 450,000 inhabitants. FURTHERMORE…the population of Palestine varied due to natural disasters like crop failures during which times the population left and returned. The Ottoman’s estimated that the population of Palestine varied from one million to 400,000 depending on various conditions like crops and wars.

      THE ARABS DID NOT IMMIGRATE TO PALESTINE AT THE SAME TIMES AS THE EUROPEAN JEWS EXCEPT IN VERY FEW NUMBERS…LET ME REPEAT THAT…VERY FEW NUMBERS. THE ONES THAT DID IMMIGRATE WERE MOSTLY ARAB MUSLIMS BORN IN THE ME. SOME SMALL, SMALL PERCENTAGE WERE PALESTINIANS LIVING ABROAD THAT RETURNED DUE TO THE DEPRESSION AND OTHER ECONOMIC CONDITIONS.

      The land was NOT EMPTY. JOAN PETERS IS A LIAR, YOUR ZIONIST HISTORIANS ARE LIARS. LYING IS YOU AND THEY LIVE.

      THIS CENSUS was available to them. And STILL THEY LIED. Because they write it for Jews and don’t think anyone else is interested enough to find the real stuff and because they know cult members like you will lap up any crap they laddle out.

      READ THE F******** CENSUS.

      • MRW says:

        Good catch, American.

        • American says:

          Don’t know why I bother MRW..people like witty,eee and the rest refuse to acknowledge anything they don’t want to believe. They want to be infused with myths to justify what Israel did.

        • yourstruly says:

          why bother? one reason is that in answering the israel-firsters your research provides mw viewers with valuable information and insights that some of us aren’t computer savvy enough to obtain on our own, and for this, muchas gracias.

        • dahoit says:

          It must be viral ,insanity.

        • American, Gilad Atzmon, Alan Hart, and Palestinian intellectual Karl Sabbagh had a 90 min. conversation on Zionism, Jewishness and Israel last May.

          Among the numerous nuances discussed in the video, someone mentioned that it is IMPOSSIBLE to reason with a committed zionist. They are absolutely resistant to reason. I think it was you, American, who observed that their brains are firewalled. Anyway, Karl Sabbegh responded to the complaint that zionists cannot be reasoned with by quoting Jonathan Swift; he said that it is impossible to use reason to correct an ideology that was absorbed emotionally.
          To paraphrase Michael Savage, zionism truly is a mental disease.

      • straightline says:

        I would take issue with one sentence and one only of your polemic (in the true sense of the word), American. This crap was not written for the Jews – it was written to persuade (?) the wider American community that the Zionists had justice on their side. If only the Palestinians had PR departments like the Zionists do! Of course, PR is a lot easier if you’re telling the truth.

        • American says:

          You may be right straightline……but I was thinking how many non Jews would have been interested in Israel 10 or 12 years, before the ME hit their radar screen. Maybe some like the christian zios were, but the average person like myself likely didn’t even think of Israel until after 911 and they started looking at what was going on in the ME and ran into the Israel I/P issue. It’s probably some of both….propagandizing both Jews and non Jews.

    • “The book itself is partially true, not entirely true, nor entirely false.”
      Oh, so you are trying to tell us that that this “book” writen by Ph.-D.con- artist, placed in non-fiction section, praised by bunch of another Intellectuals/ acknowledged con -artists with Ph.-D’s, is not actually a fairy tale, because its “not entirely false”??
      All fairy tales have some truth it.

      • droog says:

        ‘All fairy tales have some truth it’

        as do many fascistic narratives, nicely contained like animals in a zoo, or maybe petrified, as a venerated idol.

    • GalenSword says:

      “Specifically, that many Arabs migrated to Palestine at the same time as the Zionists began settling. Also, that the status of residence of fedayeen was made very tenuous by the Turkish and then later British land registration requirements, and distribution of “state land” to Turkish officials and elite title.”

      Gibberish. Fedayeen means self-sacrificers.

  11. Les says:

    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. David Remnick stance is to be part of the problem.

  12. Mooser says:

    “The book itself is partially true, not entirely true, nor entirely false.”

    Excuse me, but how the f–k would you know? What are your qualifications, beyond pathological chutzpah arrogance, and an inability to separate fantasy from reality, to critique the book?

    • LeaNder says:

      What are your qualifications, beyond pathological chutzpah arrogance

      a violent aversion to Norman Finkelstein with the accompanying illusion that selected details can be true while being used to produce the big lie.

    • RoHa says:

      “qualifications, beyond pathological chutzpah arrogance, and an inability to separate fantasy from reality”

      Mooser, those are the essential qualifications to be a Zionist. What more would he need?

    • MRW says:

      Mooser. Nice.

      • Mooser says:

        Jeez, there’s very little to indicate Phil is a hateful or even a resentful person, but he must bear Witty a deep, deep grudge. He refuses to stop Witty from posting, and Witty’s entire comment archive is available at the touch of a button.

    • lyn117 says:

      Let me try to explain how RW thinks. Peters used the word “the”, and obviously “the” is true. Since when does a word, or a string of words need to form a complete statement for it to be true or false? Hence the book is partially true.

  13. iamuglow says:

    Funny enough…Remnick has an interview in a Haaretz blog…to this audience he mentions “Finkelstein”…

    “….. I wrote this blog piece suggesting that language like this has a history: there was a book that was a kind of totemic book on the right, unfortunately celebrated by some surprising people, and it was called “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters, and it was a big bestseller here, until it was discredited very roundly and very thoroughly, and not just by Norman Finkelstein. ”

    he also adds to the claim that this is battle for votes…

    “And I think they are also hoping to see if they can get some money from the obvious corners in the Jewish community. It’s not a secret to them that in terms of campaign contributions, Jewish Americans give quite a lot of money. ”

    Then he babbles on with some empty cliches about Republican candidates and Obama and what it will mean for Israel and somehow it NEVER occurs to him to mention Rob Paul who actually has a unique position on Israel.

    Any who, the wording of “and not just by Norman Finkelstein” makes it clear IMO that he is reading and responding to Phils article.

    link to haaretz.com

  14. ToivoS says:

    It seems that Remnick reads Mondoweiss. Haaretz has an interview with Remnick today about this article and he gives Finkelstein credit for exposing Joan Peters — it was sort of back-handed credit but at least he was not ignored.

    link to haaretz.com

  15. eGuard says:

    Let me advise Remnick to read The holocaust industry.

  16. Kathleen says:

    Phil what an important post. It is always pathetic when people are unwilling to give credit to those due. Telling and pathetic
    Norm Finkelstein rips it up. There are few men of such integrity and commitment to justice
    Norm
    link to youtube.com

    “I’ve never been in a crowd like this they are nuts” Really like seeing Norm smile
    link to youtube.com

    Norm Norm Norm speaking truth to power

  17. Kathleen says:

    Norm mentions ” From Time Immemorial ” in this interview
    Riz Khan – Professor Norman Finkelstein – 21 Jun 07
    link to youtube.com

    Norm just never backs down

  18. Kathleen says:

    Just listened to three of Norms interviews that I have not listened to in awhile. The man is a moral rock star

  19. Kathleen says:

    Has the LA times really opened up to printing more facts on the I/P issue the last five years or so?

    Russ Stanton Out As Los Angeles Times Editor
    link to huffingtonpost.com

  20. I think for me, Dr. Finkelstein’s lasting legacy is seeing just how thoroughly truth-tellers must be demonized and marginalized in the echo chamber. Dr. Finkelstein is a true academic in every sense of the word as he follows the facts wherever they should lead. Get the facts right but upset the wrong people, you’re a pariah. Parrot the official narrative but make assertions and predictions that totally fall flat, and your career will not only not suffer…you’ll most likely gain further advancement from your efforts (Medal of Freedom, anyone?).

    Bernie the Attorney once mentioned that arguments are not decided on their merit, but rather who holds the power to declare which view shall be declared the winner.

    In email exchanges with Dr. Finkelstein as De Paul was in the process of denying him tenure, I wrote how his various works on the IP conflict had a “multiplier” effect as he gave those willing to examine the issue honestly the tools and the confidence to wade into any debate and effectively deconstruct the propaganda that for so long had been considered sacrosanct. In closing I said it was quite evident just how much he loved teaching.

    He wrote back a warm and to the point reply that confirmed even more what I had just wrote. Though there was a frustration about the process ongoing with De Paul, his integrity meant far more than the peer approval of academe (though it was the administrators who nixed his tenure, as the most all other department heads recommended him highly).

    He seems to have had the last laugh though, as the university had to make a statement commending his teaching ability as the normally closed door tenure process had too many leaks aimed at disparaging him (I thnk there was also a out of court financial settlement), and he is using his seemingly boundless energy to continue to educate others on the facts about the conflict in the region.

    To smear-mongers such as Dershowitz; be careful what you wish for. You have unleashed Norman Finkelstein on the world…and truth-tellers can tell the truth from any stage. Thank you Dr. Finkelstein, for your love of teaching, and commitment to truth and facts above all.

  21. Nevada Ned says:

    Finkelstein refuted Joan Peters’ ridiculous book.

    Many other US intellectuals endorsed the book:
    eminent Princeton historian Bernard Lewis, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Marty Peretz, Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow, Barbara Tuchman, future Brandeis President Judah Reinharz, the list goes on and on and on. A battle royal between a list of prominent intellectuals, and a graduate student. The winner? Finkelstein. None of the endorsers suffered any consequences for their “nakba-denial”.

    A few years ago, Finkelstein found that in Alan Dershowitz’s book, The Case for Israel, much of one chapter was “copied without attribution” from the Peters book. Read all about that affair in Finkelstein’s book, Beyond Chutzpah, in which Finkelstein utterly demolished Dershowitz.

    Finkelstein’s actual position on the I/P conflict is rather moderate: he’s a two-staters, on the basis of international law and human rights for everybody.

    • Shingo says:

      Many other US intellectuals endorsed the book: eminent Princeton historian Bernard Lewis..

      So a fradulent book infleunces a so called historian who another fraud, Robert Werdine, cites as his greatest influence.

      How fitting.

  22. Its sad to see the passive fawning.

    I haven’t read either the Finkelstein nor the Peters book. I have read work by Baruch Kimmerling and Rashid Khalidi that described that the two key facts that I outlined above were substantiated.

    • James North says:

      Richard Witty said, ‘Look at this!

      I haven’t read either the Finkelstein nor the Peters book.

      ‘But a little earlier, I had stated baldly,

      The book itself is partially true, not entirely true, nor entirely false.

      !!!! (Meanwhile, I accuse the Mondoweiss visitors who have read Peters and Finkelstein and who use facts to repudiate her of “passive fawning.”) !!!!!!

    • MRW says:

      “Passive fawning,” Richard? How do you know the people you diss here didn’t read the books you now admit you didn’t read? Or watch NF and the Dersh arguing on youtube?

    • Donald says:

      I’ve read three of Finkelstein’s books and some of Khalidi’s work too. I don’t recall Khalidi saying that much of the Palestinian population moved there during the same time period the Zionists moved there. But apparently you have, or claim you have. Cites Richard. Give the book and page numbers so we can check it. Sometimes one can even check passages online. Or type in a paragraph or two.

    • passive fawning?

      f u rw, i am not passive about norm, i am passionate about him. the least appropriate descriptor for norm’s fans is passive. get. a. grip.

      • Mooser says:

        Yes, it’s been a pleasant afternoon of a fawn, huh?

      • You are not skeptical Annie, as you are not skeptical relative to the work of Phil and other editors and commenters here.

        It amounts to fawning.

        • Mooser says:

          “You are not skeptical Annie, as you are not skeptical relative to the work of Phil and other editors and commenters here.”

          Well, then, why are you here? On your own blog, you can maintain the proper level of skepticism, and block all those “passively fawning” comments.

        • Donald says:

          So, Richard, rather than waste time why don’t you present the evidence that Peters was partly right? Give us citations, page numbers, weblinks to Kimmerling and Khalidi where they support what you claim. Or type in a paragraph or two.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘No can do, Donald. I’m over on other threads, making more unsubstantiated charges.’

      • Kathleen says:

        What is it that makes me love yes love Norm Finkelstein? His nerves and mind of steel, heart of gold, soul made of love and compassion. Committed to truth and justice in a situation that can be difficult and confusing for Jews and others. His commitment to justice transcends his own families very painful history. His commitment to truth and justice transcends his own self interest. I am always in awe of people like this.

        He sets the compassionate bar very high.

    • Mooser says:

      “I have read work by Baruch Kimmerling and Rashid Khalidi that described that the two key facts that I outlined above were substantiated.”

      Oh, I see. It doesn’t substantiate the facts, it merely “described that the two key facts that I outlined above were substantiated.” Which is a meaningless staement.

      Richard may not be anti-Semitic, but he sure as hell is anti-semantic.

    • Mooser says:

      “Its sad to see the passive fawning.”

      Well, in that case, why not click over to your own blog, and it won’t bother you any more. And you won’t be troubled by seeing “its” where “it’s” should be, either.

  23. i love this photo of norm in the box. whoever made that call….excellent choice.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      adam horowitz made that call
      phil weiss posted with a picture of norm from gaza two years ago that was hard to find norm in

      • ;) sweet

        adam is a bombastic editor

        • tree says:

          Does ‘bombastic” have an alternate meaning these days, because I’ve always considered the term quite negative and can’t imagine anyone using it in a positive way?

        • Indeed. Witty is the epitome of bombastic – in fact the OED has a caption under bombastic: it says “see Richard Witty”.

        • Mooser says:

          “Does ‘bombastic” have an alternate meaning these days”

          I think it might be another way of saying that Adam is “da bomb” as an editor. Which is, I believe, a compliment.
          But, you know, kids; who can understand anything they say?

        • oh, i just looked it up. i guess you’re right tree, vocabulary has never been my specialty. i meant the bomb, specifically for choosing such an awesome photo of norm. and i love that it is in a box on the front page. i just love the photo.

          sorry if my post caused confusion.

  24. American says:

    “but I warned him, if you follow this, you’re going to get in trouble—because you’re going to expose the American intellectual community as a gang of frauds, and they are not going to like it, and they’re going to destroy you”

    They are frauds …and deliberate liars. Can we quit calling these people intellectuals..please. They aren’t intellectuals—-even considering what a low bar that is these days.

    • yourstruly says:

      are palestinians anchored to their jerusalem homeland by history? one family sure is, as anyone can see by googling dajani family tree. there one will find a family that’s thousands of dajanis long, reaching more than a half-century deep.

      • Kathleen says:

        When the bones of your ancestors are part of the soil sand under your feet and are centuries old dust…I would say you are linked by some history

  25. yourstruly says:

    are the palestinians anchored by history to their homeland? one jerusalem family, the dajanis sure is. doubters should google dajani family tree. it’s thousands of names deep and well over half a millenium wide.

    • GalenSword says:

      Muslims have esteemed Jerusalem intensely since it first came under Islamic rule, and the city was an intellectual, spiritual and pilgramage center for the whole Muslim world. In contrast, since the 10th century at least (probably earlier) Jerusalem has had much more importance for Jews as a spiritual concept than as a physical place.

      Vilna was the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Thessalonika was la chica Yerushalayim. Amsterdam was the Jerusalem of the North. And Zakho was the Jerusalem of Kurdistan. While for Palestinians there is only one Jerusalem, it probably would not be hard to come up with 50-100 cities that Jews called Jerusalem over the last millennium.

      I could write a nice coffee table book with several interesting chapters on some of the most picturesque of these “Jerusalems.”

      The actual physical Jerusalem became, especially for ethnic Ashkenazim, sort of a dumping ground for trouble-makers or eccentrics and not a place of tremendous emotional significance or attachment. A young woman, the Virgin of Ludmir, is getting uppity and trying to play the role of a Tzaddik or Rebbe. The community sends her to Jerusalem in Palestine, and for the most part no one hears of her again.

  26. Avi_G. says:

    Also noteworthy: in that interview, Remnick is more straightforward about the role of Jewish donors in the Republican pandering on Israel than he is in his New Yorker piece, where he repeatedly characterizes the competition as one for Jewish voters.

    When it comes to Israel’s intransigence, NPR likes to deceptively and intentionally lay the blame on Christian Zionists.

    And Zionists like Ira Chernus like to do the same.

    When it comes to the influence, sway and power of the Israel Lobby, Zionist American Jews prefer to pretend as though it doesn’t exist, even when AIPAC openly threatens to re-allocate its financial support by providing Republicans with more financial backing than Democrats.

  27. DanMazella says:

    According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12), “The increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas, affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.”
    As a result of the substantial Arab immigration between 1880 and 1947– and despite Arab emigration caused by domestic chaos and intra-Arab violence – the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17-, 12- and five-fold, respectively.
    The conquest by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali between the years of 1831 and 1840 was solidified by a flow of Egyptian migrants settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tulkarem up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. The British traveler, H.B. Tristram, identified, in his 1865 “The Land of Israel: A journal of travels in Palestine” (p. 495), Egyptian migrants in the Beit Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.
    The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented that Egyptian neighborhoods proliferated in the Jaffa area: Saknet el-Mussariya, Abu Kebir, Abu Derwish, Sumeil, Sheikh Muwanis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 ethnic groups, including Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Balochis. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.
    Many of the Arabs who fled in 1948 reunited with their families in Egypt and other neighboring countries.
    “30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants (Huranis) entered Palestine during the last few months alone,” reported La Syrie daily on August 12, 1934. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the role model for Hamas’ terrorism, which plagued Jews as early as in the time of British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as were Said el-A’az, a leader of the 1936-38 anti-Jewish pogroms and Kaukji, the commander-in-chief of the Arab mercenaries who terrorized Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.
    Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Muslims from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.
    Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad (American Publishing Company, 1969): “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.” Analyzing Mark Twain’s book, John Haynes Holmes, the pacifist Unitarian priest, cofounder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the author of “Palestine Today and Tomorrow – a Gentile’s Survey of Zionism” (McMillan, 1929) wrote: “This is the country to which the Jews have come to rebuild their ancient homeland…. On all the surface of this earth there is no home for the Jew save in the mountains and the well-springs of his ancient kingdom…. Everywhere else the Jew is in exile…. But, Palestine is his…. Scratch Palestine anywhere and you’ll find Israel…. [There exists] not a road, a spring, a mountain, a village, which does not awaken the name of some great [Jewish] king, or echo with the voice of some great [Jewish] prophet…. [The Jew] has a higher, nobler motive in Palestine than the economic…. This mission is to restore Zion; and Zion is Palestine.”

    • Donald says:

      Oh my gosh, the Mark Twain quote again. Someone else take that one. On the other points, internal migration (peasants moving to cities) doesn’t prove anything–peasants have been moving to cities all over the world. And migration before the Zionist movement seems irrelevant also if we are talking about the Peters book. In fact, come to think of it, your entire post seems irrelevant and no, that’s not snark. I realize that some people on both sides of this issue like to go back hundreds or thousands of years and claim that Jews or Palestinians have been living there since the days of King David or (if Palestinian) since the days of the Canaanites, but what person in his or her right mind actually thinks this matters? What matters is that Palestinians were living in Palestine, most had been there their whole lives, and they were driven out. It’s a bit less important whether their families had been there since the middle of the 1800′s or since 1800 B.C.E.

    • droog says:

      DM,
      I like Finkelstein, the laboured dry delivery, the coldly repetative reliance on reference to source, most un-media, you’d think he actually reads ALL of this stuff.
      I’m not that studious, so I’ll just play with google for ten minutes or so,
      one can google a long post, just do it bit by bit,
      or just go to :
      link to israelhayom.com
      (Yoram Ettinger 13/12/11)
      for a good source of the latest cut’n'paste mentality from hive central.

      this looks like a very intellectually aspirational effort, what with all the references to real books and such, but tastes like stale crackers and rancid cheese from military survival rations.

      p.s. please keep referencing actual books, as the quote from “(Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12)” is a quote from the Peel Commission itself and the rest of the book didn’t quite look as Politically Correct.

      p.p.s I’m curious about “Palestine Today and Tomorrow – a Gentile’s Survey of Zionism” (McMillan, 1929)”, as the title suggests a degree of Judeo-centricity, and yet, sections of the paragraph, when searched for , still only lead back to Hasbara Central sources of the same spliced up paragraph, including the many block-quotes, “[Jewish]” etc. surely there is at least one whole sentence of pro-Zionist quote in the entire book. I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read it, have you?

      • Hostage says:

        Oh my gosh, the Mark Twain quote again. Someone else take that one.

        Clemens was a founding member of the American Anti-Imperialist League. He used the first Chapter of Tom Sawyer Abroad to ridicule the beliefs of Christians and Jews who thought that the Holy Land should be redeemed from its Arab owners by force.

        Hilton Obenzinger said that even though it ought to be apparent that Innocents abroad was utterly fictive, Twain’s representations of Palestine as a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land in sack cloth and ashes continues to be cited in descriptions of 19th century Palestine, but not because his observations were accurate. See “American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania”, Princeton University Press, 1999, page 166

        I like Finkelstein, the laboured dry delivery, the coldly repetative reliance on reference to source, most un-media, you’d think he actually reads ALL of this stuff.

        Some of us actually do prefer to seek out and read the primary sources.

        please keep referencing actual books, as the quote from “(Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12)” is a quote from the Peel Commission itself and the rest of the book didn’t quite look as Politically Correct.

        That’s good advice, the Peel Commission stated that the growth of the Arab population “has been due to natural increase, and it has been a growth of over 50 per cent in 17 years.” (Chapter V, page 125). The Commission also endorsed the Arab complaint that “Jewish land purchases in districts where the soil is most productive were regarded as showing that the immigrants would not be content to occupy undeveloped areas and that economic pressure upon the Arab population was likely to increase.”(Chapter III, page 69)

        The entire narrative above about thousands of Egyptian soldier/migrants is unhistorical and unsourced nonsense. Mohammed Ali and his son took ten thousand Palestinian fellaheen and notable captives to Egypt. The Treaty of 1840 required them to withdraw their army of conscripts from Syria and Palestine under intense pressure from the European powers who preferred a weak Ottoman ruler to a strong Egyptian one. Tristram’s “The land of Israel : a journal of travels in Palestine” mentions Egyptian-style architecture, Egyptian birds, and Egyptian plants, but the author said nothing at all about Egyptian migrants taking-up residence in Palestine. You can check the work for yourself online: link to movie0.archive.org

        Efraim Karsh was regurgitating a portion of the Peel Commission report based upon “evidence submitted to us, both orally and in writing, by the Jewish representatives” in support of the “Jewish claim that this advance [in the capacity of public services] has been largely due to the establishment of the National Home.”

        The British routinely endorsed propaganda like that during the colonial era to convince subject populations that empire was the solution to pressing internal problems and that the victims of these policies were actually better-off as a result of benevolent foreign domination. Volumes have been devoted to the subject. See for example Thomas G. August, The Selling of the Empire: British and French Imperialist Propaganda, 1890-1940, Greenwood Press, 1985 and Caroline Elkins, Susan Pedersen, Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies, Routledge, 2005.

        The Peel Commission pointed out that the Jewish community already discriminated against Arab labor in most of their enterprises and noted that:

        such economic advantage as the Arabs gain from Jewish immigration will steadily decrease and ultimately disappear if the political ‘breach between the races continues to widen. (Chapter V, page 130)

        The report also noted that Jewish immigration and Arab population increases were subject to Verhulst’s laws of population ecology (Chapter X, page 280) aka the Bell curve. See link to ecology.info

        The establishment and maintenance of the Jewish National Home was a European project which prevented the Arab majority in Palestine from operating an independent government or setting their own economic policies – a fact the Peel Commission report readily admitted. The National Home allowed the members of the League of Nations to pour their excess and undesirable populations of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe into Palestine while exploiting them in a mercantile-colonial relationship through the League’s “Open Door Policy”. Jews were granted valuable concessions and banking preferences. At the same time, Arabs were cutoff from traditional regional sources of agricultural and commercial loans and made dependent on the British and Jewish capitalists. The Peel report admitted that, even once established, the Jewish National Home would still require a policy of economic protectionism – especially from the threat of an independent local government:

        We have tried to show that the National Home is essentially a European institution, essentially modern, and, on its economic side especially, intimately linked with the outer world. We mean to imply no reflection on the natural ability of Arab leaders if we say that the National Home, with its peculiar and delicate economic constitution cannot prosper under a government which has had little experience of modern capitalism and is not fully acquainted with financial and commercial problems on a worldwide scale. It seems clear to us, in fact, that the establishment of an independent government of Palestine at this time would violate the undertaking in Article 2 of the Mandate to place the country “under such political, administrative and economic conditions as would secure the ‘establishment of the Jewish National Home”. Nor, we think, can it be argued that, since a Home has been established, we can honourably cease to interest ourselves in its security.

        • RoHa says:

          “Some of us actually do prefer to seek out and read the primary sources.”

          The rest of us prefer to let you tell us what they actually say.

  28. DanMazella says:

    Poor Norman Finkelstein.

    link to jpost.com
    Our World: Gingrich’s fresh hope
    CAROLINE B. GLICK
    12/12/2011
    Gingrich’s statement about the Palestinians was entirely accurate. That is, the Palestinian people were invented 91 years ago.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      Wow, the new hasbaratroll cites to Caroline Glick??? LMAO. Citing Caroline Glick on oppression of the Palestinians and the rape of Palestine by the Zionists is like trying to be persuasive on the race issue in America and citing to an article by the Ku Klux Klan… Sure, it’ll reflect the bigotry in your heart, but you have to be pretty stupid to do it in the first place.

    • mig says:

      Writer is Caroline B. Glick. And thats the end of that story.

      Pretty good job Dan, next read jewish matters from Der Stürmer. You’ll get as much accurate information.

      • Kathleen says:

        Glick is a prick. And a pathological liar. Just a flat out liar. In this clip she says that “Israel is not an expansionist state” That Israel “all of its neighbors know that no matter how powerful Israel gets they never have to worry that Israel will invade them will invade them or seek to destroy them”

        glick
        link to youtube.com

        Israel’s actions have persistently undermined US National security. Experts have been willing to say this the last few years. They even mention this in the 9/11 report.

        General Jones, Zinni, Wesley Clark, Scowcroft, Bryzinski, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Carter, and many many more have been bringing up how Israel’s persistent expansion of illegal settlements

    • Hostage says:

      That is, the Palestinian people were invented 91 years ago.

      Of course, that exercise worked because it dealt with the inhabitants of the territory of Palestine. The “Zionist people” were invented 114 years ago. Ever since 1948, they’ve been trying to deceive everyone about the national homeland of various other Jewish national minority groups and the non-Jewish people of Palestine in violation of the safeguarding clauses contained in the Balfour Declaration and LoN mandate. There is no single state or homeland of “the Jewish people”.

      • Hostage,
        It is beneath you to state “the Zionist people was invented 114 years ago”.

        In Jewish prayer there is the daily repeated reference to Zion, to the return, literal and figurative.

        You need not respond to Gingrich ignorance with your own.

        • GalenSword says:

          As far as I know there is no reference to haam hayehudi in Hebrew or dos yidishes folk (the Jewish people) in Yiddish before the 19th century. Face reality, Witty. The Jewish people is a complete fabrication.

          In fact, in historic Poland, where the vast majority of Jews lived in the 19th century, the claim of a unitary Jewish people that existed since time immemorial was a complete lie because Polish Jews belonged either to the Ashkenazi ethnic group or to the Tatar ethnic group.

          Ashkenazi Jews and Tatar Jews managed to get along before the 19th century but by the 1880s Tatar Jewish criticism of ethnic Ashkenazim was indistinguishable from that of the most anti-Jewish gentiles.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage, It is beneath you to state “the Zionist people was invented 114 years ago”. . . . . In Jewish prayer there is the daily repeated reference to Zion, to the return, literal and figurative.

          You know perfectly well that for thousands of years the return to Zion was treated as an eschatological future that was to be ushered in personally by a Messiah – the world to come. The Torah said nothing at all about following an atheist leadership in founding a state. The Rabbis taught that the exile was divinely ordained as a result of Israel’s sin and that it would only come to an end through divine means. They discouraged and even prohibited Jews from rising-up and going in mass to Palestine. Zionism was viewed as practically the opposite of historical Judaism.

        • The concept of the people Israel has existed in a continuity for millenia, and you both know that well.

          The theology of return has also been discussed at length with various opinions advocating for differing interpretations.

          The ultimate authoritative opinion is what occurs in reality, motivated and stimulated by historical experience and suggestion.

          The humility of what constitutes “divine means”. There is the healthy acknowledgement that one does not know what are divine means, that one does engage in the usurpation of God’s will to presuppose one way or another.

          It is beneath you to rely on a Jewish theological interpretation to advocate for a political point, a point that seeks to disappear Jewish peoplehood, especially as you don’t regard Jewish theology as authoritative, except when asserted for political purposes.

          In that sense, your words are understandable as an advocacy of cultural genocide.

          Better that you honor the people, as a precedent for honoring others as the social norm, rather than social exception.

        • Donald says:

          “In that sense, your words are understandable as an advocacy of cultural genocide.”

          I always enjoy watching RW modeling his notion of what it means to “dialogue”.

          And, btw, Richard, have you found the relevant passages in Kimmerling or Khalidi that validate the Peters book?

        • Hostage says:

          The concept of the people Israel has existed in a continuity for millenia, and you both know that well.

          Zionists are constantly perpetrating logical fallacies based upon a missing intermediary to equate the people of Israel with the Jews or themselves. According to the Tanakh, the Jews were usually at war with the people of Israel or forming alliances against them.

          The theology of return has also been discussed at length with various opinions advocating for differing interpretations.

          I’m aware that the Zionists have engaged in a great deal of sophistry, but they only represent the people they invented, not the Jews. The people of modern-day Israel established a state by their own violent act, over the objections expressed by the Arabs and many other nations. That constituted a violation of the second of the three traditional Oaths outlined in Kethuboth Folio 111a link to halakhah.com

          It is beneath you to rely on a Jewish theological interpretation to advocate for a political point,

          You mean it makes you feel uncomfortable when someone points out the fact that the theological gymnastics of the Zionist people have always been rejected by many of the Jewish people.

          you don’t regard Jewish theology as authoritative, except when asserted for political purposes.

          Apparently the founding fathers of the State of Israel employed Jewish theology for the purposes of Zionist political expediency and to claim a land inhabited by others. For example:

          “Since I invoke Torah so often, let me state that I don’t personally believe in the God it postulates…I am not religious, nor were the majority of the early builders of Israel believers. Yet their passion for this land stemmed from the Book of Books…. the single most important book in my life.” — David Ben-Gurion

          link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

          I see no reason why I need to consider Jewish theology authoritative in order to critique Zionist misuse of Jewish religion to support their colonial ambitions. We all know that they circumvented the in-gathering of Jews they considered inferior.

        • Hostage says:

          P.S. Richard if you accept any of the various opinions advocating for differing interpretations of the theology of return, why are you still making those daily references in prayer to a return to Zion?

          The logical inconsistency caused by the existence of the State of Israel forces many Jews to question the purpose of uttering the words “next year in Jerusalem” at the end of every Passover seder. Many of them are obviously still waiting for the arrival of the Messiah.

        • RoHa says:

          “a point that seeks to disappear Jewish peoplehood, ”

          Why is it bad to deny/disappear “Jewish peoplehood”?

          “an advocacy of cultural genocide.”

          What a twisted mind you have!
          Hostage doesn’t want to kill lots of people. He doesn’t even want them to stop being Jewish. (Wimp.) So he isn’t trying to change or suppress their culture. He is just suggesting that Jews do not constitute “a people”.
          This isn’t any sort of genocide.

        • Shingo says:

          So let me get this straight Witty,

          In order to support your claims that the Zionist people have existed for more than 114 years, you cite a prayer, but when GalenSword and Hostage debunk your religious argument, you attack them for relying on Jewish theological interpretation to make their own arguments.

          Not only dio you not know your Jewish theology, you resent it when your argument are used against you. Jewish theology is authoritative when it suits you and irrelevant when it doesn’t.

          Then you state that:

          The ultimate authoritative opinion is what occurs in reality, motivated and stimulated by historical experience and suggestion.

          Yet when you are presented with the realilty of Zionism as we witness it today, you argue that what matters is what you believe zionism to be in theory.

          Phill and team PLEASE can we have that ignore button. Witty’s comments are nothing more than polution on this forum.

        • Nothing in the slightest has been debunked. You must be very ignorant to think so.

          The Jewish people universally have sought a return to Zion for millenia. The return has been deferred voluntarily, by circumstances, and among some by theological prohibition.

          Then, when possible, it was taken up by half of the world’s Jews. It happened.

          If you want to say that what happens in the world is not the will of God, then fine, lets have that theological argument.

          But, with humility, noting that our sincere impressions and our selection of arguments for partisan political purposes are ONLY our impressions, and relatively unstudied and corruptly opportunistic ones.

          Reality is God’s will, every element of it.

        • Donald,
          As you missed my point in the original post, your “debunking” is irrelevant.

          There are a few historical options:

          1. The Arab world was in upheaval from the 18th century to the present, and Arabs moved within the Arab world to where it was feasible to live. (There is MUCH support of that in all parts of the Arab world, resulting from Turkish law, then WW1, then British and French law, then sovereign Arab monarchies and dictatorships, and Zionism.)

          2. The Arab world was stable, and that Palestinian world was in upheaval from the 18th century to the present, and Palestinians moved from where they lived prior to new locales for jobs and other opportunities. (There is much support of that in most parts of Palestine as the status of fedayeen was thrown up into the air from changes in Turkish, then British land, then Israeli pre-67 and post-67 law.)

          3. The Arab and Palestinian world was stable, and that ONLY the Zionists disrupted Arab and Palestinian life, not the presence of successful agriculture, an export economy rather than subsistence, the development of industry as norm, not two world wars, not power grabs by post-war Arab monarchs.

          Which thesis do you think that I propose of these three?

          Which thesis do you suppose is accurate? Or, elements of all three maybe, but NOT mythical (for both the falseness and the guiding story impact) stories of “we were ALWAYS here”.

          Debunked?

          MUCH more imporantly, given the current reality, what do you think is moving forward? Do you think that a romantic nostalgia movement is helpful to real living Palestinians? Or, would some other approach be more practical, especially if you actually consider Israelis to be human beings, and don’t desire a pendulum swing of power, but a transformation of power.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage doesn’t want to kill lots of people. He doesn’t even want them to stop being Jewish. (Wimp.)

          Correction. If you are drawing a stipend from the state in order to study the Talmud 16 hours a day, while your wife works at a menial job to support your impoverished brood of children, and you are still afraid of:
          a) seeing photographs of women, hearing one sing, or riding on a bus adjacent to one;
          b) Not racking-up enough time breaking your poor spouse’s hump or yielding to the temptation to commit the ‘Sin of Onan”and spawning demons of destruction;
          c) Vehicles passing through your neighborhood unmolested on Shabbos;
          d) Ashkenazim and Sephardim children in the same classroom;

          Then you’ve already destroyed the group as a social unit in its feeling of belonging together and are guilty of cultural genocide (and then some).

        • Donald says:

          “As you missed my point in the original post, your “debunking” is irrelevant.”

          Your point was to defend Peters and smear Finkelstein. I asked you to supply citations from Kimmerling and Khalidi that verify Peter’s main thesis. “From Time Immemorial” was praised for “proving” that the Palestinians largely migrated to Palestine from outside during the period of the Mandate. That’s why so many American Zionists initially went wild over it–it “proved” that there really was no such thing as Palestinians who had lived there for a long time, but instead they were mostly outsiders who moved to Palestine largely because of the economic activity generated by Zionist settlement. Therefore there was no particular problem with Palestinian refugees, except for the fact that the Arab nations refused to take the refugees. Peters wasn’t praised for stating that Palestinian society, like the rest of the world, underwent significant changes from 1700 to 1948.
          What you are doing now is equivalent to claiming that the work of a Holocaust denier wasn’t completely wrong because the author wrote that there was a conflict called WWII and some Jews did die. Do you understand how fatuous that is? Probably not. You saw Finkelstein being praised and Peters and the American Jewish intellectuals who had praised her stupid book being criticized and you decided to jump in with “balance”.

          So it boils down to this–you don’t know of any evidence from Kimmerling and Khalidi that support the thesis of the Peters book. What a surprise.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Ouch, Donald. But the popularity of Mondoweiss means that the site is so busy that I can hide out on more recent threads. Relatively few people will see that you shredded my argument entirely.’

        • Shingo says:

          As you missed my point in the original post, your “debunking” is irrelevant.

          No it’s not Witty. Your argument is that Joane Peter’s book has some truth to it and you were asked to produce the paragraphs and page numbers that were factual. As usual, you avoided the question and responded by asking tangential questions.

          Which thesis do you think that I propose of these three?

          As someone explained to you Witty, read teh fucking census.

          You’re a despicable liar and a coward Witty.

          MUCH more imporantly, given the current reality, what do you think is moving forward?

          That si a discussion for another thread Witty. This was about debunking the lies Gingrich made and the fradulent sources from which he obtained this false narrative.

          Do you think that a romantic nostalgia movement is helpful to real living Palestinians?

          Do you think that a romantic nostalgia about what Zionism could have been is helpful to real livign horrors of Zionism today?

          Do youthink that a census is based on romantic nostalgia?

        • Shingo says:

          Nothing in the slightest has been debunked. You must be very ignorant to think so.

          Joane Peters’book, From Time Immemorial has been entirely debunked. And for that matter, so has the notion of Zionism being more than 114 years old.

          The Jewish people universally have sought a return to Zion for millenia.

          False. At the turn fo the 19th century, the majority of the world’s Jews were opposed to the idea of a Jewish State. If the Jewish people universally have sought a return to Zion, they had centuries to do so, but chose not to.

          The return has been deferred voluntarily, by circumstances, and among some by theological prohibition.

          False. It has deferred because most Jews didn’t want to live in Palestine and the majority of the Jews in Palestine were opposed to a Jewish State.

          Then, when possible, it was taken up by half of the world’s Jews. It happened.

          What a despicable liar you are. It didn’t just happen. Were it not for the persecution in Europe in the late 30′s, it woudl never have happened. In fact, had the US opened it’s doors to Jewish refugees, almost mone of them would have ended up in Palestine. Most fo those that did end up there did so out fo desperation, not becasue they chose to move there.

          If anything, you have helped to further demonstrate that there was no universal desire to migrate to Zion.

        • Hostage says:

          Which thesis do you suppose is accurate? Or, elements of all three maybe, but NOT mythical (for both the falseness and the guiding story impact) stories of “we were ALWAYS here”.

          Richard we have Ottoman, British, French, Italian, and American Consular and Missionary Society records dating back hundreds of years in some cases. They record the origins, public offices held, and the contacts that were made between westerners and members of the Husayni, Khalidi, Nashashibi, ‘Abd al-Hadi, and Tuqan families, or the various clans, and tribes of Palestine. Palestine was not a state, but it was an integral part of the Ottoman military province of Arabistan, which stretched from Syria and Mesopotamia in the north to Yemen in the south. Arabistan was an Ottoman Army jurisdiction and the homeland of the Arab people. We are talking about well documented and notable figures, like Pasha Khalidi the Speaker of the Ottoman Parliament. The suggestion that he may have been a migrant or that he and other Palestinians were capable of running the Ottoman government but weren’t entitled or capable of governing themselves is simply ludicrous. Please stop wasting everyone’s time.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          it doesnt waste folks time when you write this stuff

        • Hostage says:

          If you want to say that what happens in the world is not the will of God, then fine, lets have that theological argument.

          The theological argument concerning the portion of the Talmud that I cited above concerning the Three Oaths (Kethuboth Folio 110b-111a) has already taken place. The sages, like Maimonides, explicitly stated that the duration of the exile would incite some of the people to seek to terminate it before the proper time, and as a consequence they would perish or meet with disaster. See Iggeret Teiman, chapter 4, Kafach, page 55.

          The Oaths also require the consent of all the nations. This explains the Israeli obsession with obtaining recognition from others of the right for the State to exist. In the realm of international law, States have no inherent right to exist. The inhabitants can always form or dissolve unions with other States, or declare their independence and form a new State through secession, but continued existence is never guaranteed.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Uh-oh. I should have thought twice before I challenged Hostage to a theological argument. I have heard of Maimonides, but the Three Oaths? Iggeret Teiman? I better hide out on more recent threads.’

        • hophmi says:

          I’m sure we’re aware of the Neturei Karta view that Jews should live in exile until the coming of the Messiah.

          Unfortunately for Hostage, who operates under the assumption that the more obscure his references, the less chance someone will check, wikipedia does cover this subject.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          It’s amazing that Hostage would even cite this stuff in the first place; in doing so, he finds common cause with those antisemites who believe it is the lot of the Jews to be persecuted until the coming of the Messiah.

          It is ironic that he cites Maimonides’ opinion on this issue. Iggeret Teiman was essentially a responsa written by Maimonides to the Jews of Yemen, who asked whether they could leave because they were . . . wait for it . . . undergoing forced conversion at the hands of their Islamic rulers. So Hostage would have had them stay put rather than save themselves.

          “The Oaths also require the consent of all the nations. This explains the Israeli obsession with obtaining recognition from others of the right for the State to exist. ”

          A silly conjecture with no actual basis in truth. Hostage would have us believe that Israel’s demand that other nation recognize its right to exist is some legalistic formula to which Israel isn’t entitled. It is not that. It is simply a demand borne of decades in which the rest of the countries of the region refused to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and supported an insurgency against it. When those things stop, Israel won’t care about recognition of its right to exist.

          Your condescension and your inherent disingenuous are once again on display, Hostage.

        • Hostage says:

          It’s amazing that Hostage would even cite this stuff in the first place; in doing so, he finds common cause with those antisemites who believe it is the lot of the Jews to be persecuted until the coming of the Messiah.

          Nonsense, the majority of ultra-Orthodox Jews, including the ones living in Palestine, have never recognized the legitimacy of the State of Israel. That doesn’t make them anti-Semites. The only thing that is on display here is your lack of intellect and the pro-forma Zionist argument that everyone else is a racist.

          It is ironic that he cites Maimonides’ opinion on this issue. Iggeret Teiman was essentially a responsa written by Maimonides to the Jews of Yemen

          Yes, and he advised them against trying to end the exile or reestablishing the Kingdom of Israel on their own initiative.

          P.S. I supplied links to the Talmud in my comments above, so I wasn’t relying on the obscurity of this subject, the teachings of Neturei Karta, or Reform Rabbi Elmer Berger.

        • Hostage says:

          It is simply a demand borne of decades in which the rest of the countries of the region refused to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and supported an insurgency against it. When those things stop, Israel won’t care about recognition of its right to exist.

          The PLO formally recognized the State of Israel in writing as part of the Oslo Accords. The Jews and Israelis responded by conducting their own insurgency in Palestine and have turned down many offers of recognition within the borders of the UN partition plan or Green Line. That includes the standing offer from the rest of the countries of the region under the Arab Peace Initiative. The response has always been mock outrage and a lot of disingenuous propaganda about “Auschwitz” borders.

        • Mooser says:

          “your inherent disingenuous”

          Doesn’t “inherent” mean “inborn” or, roughly, “congenital”? I’d never say that about you, Hophmi, it would be anti-Semitic.
          So what is “inherent” in Hostage that makes him “disingenuous”?

        • There certainly were many families that were there for extended generations. They deserve honor.

          And, as you know, I’ve consistently stated that Palestinians deserve to self-govern.

          Please don’t equate my views with those of Gingrich.

          On the opinions of the ultra-orthodox. They vary. I’ve known Satmar that hold the views that the state of Israel is a violation of the requirement that the Moshiach initiate the return (the sequence is actually not clear in any theology that I’ve read or heard of). The majority of ultra-orthodox regard Israel as another secular state, to which they must obey the laws, but do not equate the presence of the state with any religious significance. The majority of ultra-orthodox (even the ones that regard the state as an idol-worship or a violation of halacha), actively appreciate the protection that Jews have received in Israel (in contrast to long periods of more tenuous relationship, in spite of the fantasy postulated that Jews have always been respected in Islamic society).

          A minority that I call neo-orthodox or faux-orthodox, regard the state as the messianic times, and that they are personally called to settle the land, and among the far-right imagine themselves as if they were Joshua, commanded to complete the occupation of the land by force.

          The simplistic description of “the ultra-orthodox believe”, is innaccurate as it is so varied.

          Again, the rights of Palestinians do not rest on the provisions of halacha. They rest on civil institutions, and primarily defined by the democratic concept of consent of the governed.

        • Hostage says:

          The simplistic description of “the ultra-orthodox believe”, is innaccurate as it is so varied.

          The ultra-Orthodox views on the authority of the Knesset and the Supreme Court to adopt binding laws or decisions that conflict with their teachings about the halakhah are really not so varied. They generally ignore such things and do as they please or pour into the street by the tens of thousands and disrupt things until the government caves-in and they get their way.

        • hophmi says:

          Again, you’re engaging in disingenuous sophistry. The vast majority of ultra-orthodox Jews support Israel as a Jewish state.

          “The only thing that is on display here is your lack of intellect and the pro-forma Zionist argument that everyone else is a racist.”

          LOL. My intellect easily matches yours. The only difference is that I don’t use mine to lie and deceive and I actually am willing to challenged, rather than post in places where everyone already agrees with me.

          “Yes, and he advised them against trying to end the exile or reestablishing the Kingdom of Israel on their own initiative.”

          He advised them to endure persecution at the hands of their oppressors, an opinion you support in modern application.

          “Yes, and he advised them against trying to end the exile or reestablishing the Kingdom of Israel on their own initiative.”

          Anyone who thinks that simply linking to a Talmudic passage is proof of anything is being disingenuous. Virtually no one interprets Talmud based on text alone.

        • Shmuel says:

          The Three Oaths, or the theological perspective they represent (regarding the role of man in shaping his own destiny), are only one aspect of the religious objections to Zionism. This aspect pertained largely to Israel’s founding, and has, for the most part, been superseded in the theology of Agudat Yisrael and its offshoots (including Shas), although the Edah Hacharedis and particularly Neturei Karta continue to view this objection as perennially relevant.

          Another theological objection to Zionism (common to Orthodoxy and Reform) pertained to the fear that nationalism would replace religion and religious values as the focus of Jewish life and identity – which is in fact what has happened, with far-reaching religious, cultural and spiritual consequences for the present and future of Judaism. The continued relevance of this objection is obvious, and it should be of concern not only to Neturei Karta, but to all Jews.

        • Hostage says:

          LOL. My intellect easily matches yours.

          So far as I’m concerned you’re just a ignorant troll who claims that reciting the halakhah according to Maimonides puts someone in common cause with the anti-semites.

          I’ve also pointed out many other religious and legal objections to Zionism and Israeli state policies that have been acknowledged by post-Zionist Jewish organizations and journalists, but you ordinarily toss out that not-so-smart and shopworn anti-semite accusation. You should develop a new routine.

        • Hostage says:

          He advised them to endure persecution at the hands of their oppressors, an opinion you support in modern application.

          Typical hyperbole coming from you Hophmi. Everyone here knows that I publicly advocate the application of international criminal law, based upon the Nuremberg principles, and universal human rights and humanitarian law to end oppression on both sides of the conflict in Palestine. The Jewish people aren’t being saved from either oppression or antisemitism by allowing a few Israelis to pursue a Zionist colonial agenda and perpetual wars of aggression.

          Ambassador Gutman was simply telling the European Jewish Union the same thing that the European Court of Human Rights will tell them if they try to implement a legal strategy that equates criticism of Israel with illegal forms of anti-semitism.

          I actually am willing to challenged, rather than post in places where everyone already agrees with me.

          You actually aren’t acquainted with my surfing habits or avatars. I get quite a few hostile comments here from all sides of the debate. Like Norman Finkelstein, I don’t subscribe to the notion that a two state solution is impossible or that the number of states is important in the final analysis. So long as they respect human rights and equality it just doesn’t matter. The situation in Palestine is no worse today than the cases of other territories that were occupied or annexed illegally, yet finally emerged as independent states, e.g. Namibia, East Timor, and the Baltic States.

        • Shingo says:

          LOL. My intellect easily matches yours.

          No it doesn’t Hophmi. If you didn’t suffer from such intellectual flatulence, you’d know how redoculous such an assertion would sound.

        • Cliff says:

          hophmi is similar to the ‘Nazi youth’ Chomsky mentions in the following interview:

          link to blog.newvoices.org

          (Talking about Israel Shahak)

          He came to MIT about 20 years ago and was staying with me. Among other things, he gave a talk here. Now, picture this guy: he’s a holocaust survivor; he was in the Warsaw Ghetto, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. And he was one of the leading human rights activists in Israel, where he was very much respected. During his talk, the audience was flooded with right-wing, Zionist kids who were very carefully organized. And they essentially broke up the meeting. And he’s pretty tough, so he didn’t answer them back the way they were talking to him. But I remember at one point, some kid who looked sixteen years old, wearing a skullcap, got up with an audience and said, “How could you say those kinds of things about Israel when six million of us died in the Holocaust?” This little kid was talking to a guy who came out of the Warsaw Ghetto and Bergen-Belsen! I had a couple of friends there who were refugees from Europe, including my neighbor next door. They said they hadn’t seen anything like that since the Hitler Youth. And that was just twenty years ago. And, in fact, when I’d talk even at MIT, the police would insist on walking me back to my car, just because of the threats they were getting. But now, as you say, they’re just a tiny, isolated group. That’s an enormous change.

          So yea, you’re just like those deranged, petulant, children. eee is much worse and we all know what a loon he is.

          Hophmi, you are a mental midget. All of your arguments in response to various MW editorials or simply citations of OTHER articles can be summarized as:

          blah blah but Israel is no different from X/Y/Z country who has a the same thing/does the same thing/is worse/etc.

          You have never criticized Israel on this blog and when you do it’s full of weasel-wording and the usual ‘soft’, kid-gloves, nonsense.

          You’re also dishonest. You’ve said the US government criticizes Israel but those criticisms are abso-friggin-lutely meaningless and only issued under specific broad parameters. Such as ‘we condemn all violence’ or ‘we believe it is counter-productive’.

          The White House has a specific language for talking about Israel and it is due political and societal pressure. It is not REAL meaningful criticism. It’s certainly not going to amount to anything and it’s certainly not backed up by action.

          You’re just a liar.

          And who gives a damn that you are in ‘enemy territory’? I’d lose my mind if I went to a blog where Zionists were talking about how God gave them the land and Palestinians don’t exist.

          You are here because of the quality of the articles and the quality of the commentary by people like Hostage.

          Otherwise, YOU WOULD NOT BE HERE.

          The same applies to clowns like eee or jonah. You come to MW because it’s MW. There are plenty of anti-Zionist/post-Zionist blogs out there. But you’re HERE.

          There are NO good Zionist blogs and NO Zionist blogs in general, with a anti-Zionist ‘population’ of commentators.

          This is the only blog devoted to this issue that has this kind of community (minimal censorship, constant content and reporting on-the-ground, etc. etc.).

          Nothing else compares.

          Poor you, chained to your computer, forced to talk to antisemites and self-hating Jews! Oh it’s like 1939 again! Poor oppressed hophmi!

        • “The ultra-Orthodox views on the authority of the Knesset and the Supreme Court to adopt binding laws or decisions that conflict with their teachings about the halakhah are really not so varied. ”

          I’m sorry to say but that is an inaccurate statement.

          I’ve had some in depth conversations with Satmar (not recently), and with Lubavitch (whose views vary considerably within their community, due to their frequent interaction with those outside of their own community), and more limited with a couple other sects.

          Their attitudes towards the state of Israel vary. Their attitudes toward political Zionism vary, ranging opposition on the theological basis that you ascribe, to now varying messianic interpretations.

          The generalization again is what is inaccurate.

          When you use the term “Zionism”, you do not distinguish between the sentimental Zionism of halacha (which is both a figurative and literal sentimental attachment to the land. It literally will not die so long as there is a Jewish people.), the active cultural and settlement Zionism of Buber and Ha’am, the political Zionism of secular socialists, the political Zionism of Jabotinsky, and the revision even from Jabotinsky by modern likud and Israel Beitanhu.

          Its a weakness in your comments, that allows them to be dismissed, rather than incorporated into logic.

          To the extent that you adopt the view that ‘Palestine is ours, not yours, go back where you came from’, then you will be opposing democracy in the region, not affirming it.

        • Hostage says:

          Richard can you name one leader of the Satmar of Lubavitchers who accepted the competence of the Israeli Supreme Court in its 2005 decision which struck down the legal criteria for foreign conversions because it discriminated against the Reform, Conservative, and other streams?

          When you use the term “Zionism”, you do not distinguish between the sentimental Zionism of halacha. . .

          I believe if you check the archives here you’ll find that I do not object if the Jews wish to follow a Divine pillar of smoke and fire into the Promised Land. I rate the probability of that happening right around nil. As for the other forms of Zionism, as Jabotinsky remarked in the Iron Wall, there are no meaningful differences between our “militarists” and our “vegetarians.” See for example “Leading Labor Party candidate: I don’t see Israeli settlements as a crime” link to haaretz.com

          Buber and Ahad Ha’am didn’t wish to claim a smaller portion of Palestine than the Political Zionists. They envisioned a great mass settlement of foreign Jews. Cultural Zionism intentionally co-opted Judaism and relied on dual loyalty of Jews in the Diaspora too. Contrary to popular belief, Ahad Ha’am also aspired to a state and held that “Judaism itself in its totality” was the thing that was at stake. The members of the cultural branch were simply more realistic about Arab opposition to the scheme:

          It is usual to regard Ahad-Ha’am as the creator of a ‘cultural Zionism’ whose essential difference from ‘political Zionism’ is said to consist in the fact that the latter aspires to the setting up of a Jewish state whereas cultural Zionism merely aims at a ‘spiritual centre’, which, in spite of Ahad-Ha’am’s own interpretation, there is a fondness for taking as meaning a centre consisting of intellectuals. This mistake, convenient as it is, has not been removed either by what Ahad-Ha’am himself did in an attempt to refute it, or by what has been done since in this direction. Ahad-Ha’am cannot be discussed in the context of this book, however, without a clarification of the true facts of the case by way of introduction.

          Ahad-Ha’am’s Zionism is not ‘smaller’ than the political brand but greater. He demands not less, but more. He too strives for the founding of a Jewish community in Palestine, indeed he does not even object to the term ‘Jewish state’; and he too envisages this foundation as taking the form of a ‘great mass
          settlement’. But he sees this mass settlement as the organic centre of a great and living association of world Jewry, which will be able to live thanks to this organic centre. For political Zionism the future of the Diaspora is equally problematical whether a Jewish community arises in Palestine or not; it is inclined to regard it as a being condemned to fade away. For Ahad-Ha’am, on the other hand, the future of the Diaspora depends on the future of a Jewish Palestine; not, it is true, as far as its material existence is concerned, but the hope is obviously that a world Jewry concentrated in a strong, productive community will be able to hold its own materially as well as spiritually. For him the Diaspora and Palestine are therefore not two different spheres, as they are for political Zionism, but a single body.

          Thus the essential difference between Ahad-Ha’am and political Zionism lies not in the size of the claim they make for Palestine but in the underlying motif and the method. Martin Buber, On Zion, The Doctrine of the Centre, page 143

          link to books.google.com

        • Hostage,
          Please try to address the argument being made.

          You stated that there was no “Zionist people”, and as “proof” that no ultra-orthodox advocated for the support of Israel and most opposed it on theological grounds.

          I described that that was a false statement, that the fact is that there is mixed opinion of the advocacy for, of the role of in political and in theological terms, among the ultra-orthodox. There is some theological debate as to timing and process, but depend on a theology of messianism, derived from prophetic scriptures and traditions. As inspiring as those scriptures often are, they are not the basis of either affirmation of permanent legal title to land, nor the dismissal of title.

          In fact, the sentiment of Zionism (both figurative and literal) is permanently in the Jewish religion, that they are only separable with the fantasy of the external suppression of the Jewish religion and of Jewish association.

          There is no disappearing of us either by military force, by genocide, by political pressure, by assimilation.

          There is the possibility of transformation of relations from defensiveness and enemy to accepted peer and friend.

          To the extent that ANY invocation urging the denial of long-standing Jewish sentimental affinity for the land is part of your political credo, it will be opposed, and successfully.

          Describing Zionism, as distinct from specific policies and behaviors, as a current evil, is to participate in the action of making war.

          That is NOT a blessing on anyone, resident, diaspora, international policeman, neighbor.

        • the sentiment of Zionism (both figurative and literal) is permanently in the Jewish religion, that they are only separable with the fantasy of the external suppression of the Jewish religion and of Jewish association

          go richard. is that all?

        • hophmi says:

          “So far as I’m concerned you’re just a ignorant troll who claims that reciting the halakhah according to Maimonides puts someone in common cause with the anti-semites.”

          And, as if on cue, you respond with an insult.

          You cite Maimonides the same way hard-right Zionists cite the Qu’ran – with the motive of using it against the people who subscribe to Maimonides’ teachings. I gather you would be quick to term a Muslim or former Muslim like Walid Shoebat or Ayaan Hirst Ali as perpetuating Islamophobia when they do so. So spare me the nonsense. The clear implication of your argument is that Jews should choose to be oppressed rather than take political matters into their own hands. The same type of theology was used to argue that Jews should walk like lambs to the slaughter during the Holocaust. Oppressive exile is better than political autonomy.

          “I’ve also pointed out many other religious and legal objections to Zionism and Israeli state policies that have been acknowledged by post-Zionist Jewish organizations and journalists”

          You’ll do anything but acknowledge the mainstream. Either you rely on arcane theology that few follow the way you claim or you rely on secular apostates, which only shows your motive.

          It’s really a very old game. You’re quite in line with the medieval Church, which used to do the same thing – cite the Jewish converts to Catholicism or misquote the Talmud.

          The vast majority of Jews – orthodox and secular – support the idea of Israel as a Jewish state.

        • hophmi says:

          “hophmi is similar to the ‘Nazi youth’ ”

          Again, moderator?

          “You are here because of the quality of the articles and the quality of the commentary by people like Hostage.”

          It’s not quality, but it looks like quality, I’ll give you that.

          “You come to MW because it’s MW. There are plenty of anti-Zionist/post-Zionist blogs out there. But you’re HERE.”

          A lot of people read the blog. It’s popular. That makes it more interesting than other blogs where there is no discussion.

          Better question: why are YOU here?

        • American says:

          “There is the possibility of transformation of relations from defensiveness and enemy to accepted peer and friend.”…witty

          Zionism (Israel) has been given total world support and protection and trillions of dollars for 70 years to transform itself from defensive and hostile to friend and cooperative.
          They haven’t done it. Don’t show any signs of doing it. Time’s up.

        • Hostage says:

          Please try to address the argument being made.

          Please stop trying to refactor the arguments that I made.

          You stated that there was no “Zionist people”, and as “proof” that no ultra-orthodox advocated for the support of Israel and most opposed it on theological grounds.

          Richard you are getting a little tedious with those misquotes and logical fallacies. I didn’t say there were no Zionists. I said that the Zionist people were invented 114 years ago and that their goal was to co-opt Judaism.

          I said that the ultra-orthodox Jews do not accept the authority of the organs of the State of Israel to adopt binding laws or decisions that conflict with their teachings about the halakhah.

          You put the word proof in scare quotes as if I had used it. Only your pal Hophmi mentioned that term. He bitched about using obscure references and then bitched because (he claims) “Anyone who thinks that simply linking to a Talmudic passage is proof of anything is being disingenuous.” Of course I cited Maimonides interpretation and what he advised regarding the halakhah. I’ll let the readers follow the links and decide who is being disingenuous.

          Agudat Israel doesn’t support the State of Israel on theological grounds, they’ve just been cashing-in by blackmailing the government coalitions since 1947. I’ve commented elsewhere about the dishonesty and bad faith that the Jewish Agency and Agudat Israel demonstrated by pretending to accept the UN minority protection plan in their testimony to the UNSCOP, while arranging to subvert it beforehand in accordance with their private “Status Quo Agreement”. link to mondoweiss.net

          The religious parties have prevented the adoption of the mandated constitutional protection of equal rights. Here is how MERIP describes the relationship to the State:

          Historically, Agudat Israel has been opposed to the idea of a Jewish state, but the Holocaust deprived the movement of most of its constituency in Eastern Europe, leaving them more of a minority, less anti-Zionist, and ready to accept the reality of Zionist success.

          Since 1948, the party has been pragmatically involved in state institutions. It supports governing coalitions and is rewarded with ample budgets for its Orthodox schooling system. Agudat Israel accepts the state of Israel de facto, but judges it to be without the religious significance assigned to it by religious Zionists.

          link to merip.org

          So once again Richard, can you name any ultra-Orthodox party which accept the authority of the organs of the State of Israel to adopt binding laws or decisions that conflict with their teachings about the halakhah? I don’t think that any of them accept that sort of thing as a manifestation of “God’s will”.

        • GalenSword says:

          Modern Israeli Hebrew uses am to mean people, but such is not the classical usage as the Septuagint shows, for am is consistently translated into Greek as laos (host as in host of Aesculapius — Hippocrates was a member of this host).

          Goy is the equivalent of Greek ethnos (people or Volk). Am yisrael thus represents a spiritual community and not a people/Volk that should define an (extremist organic) nation-state.

        • Shmuel says:

          Am is also interchangeable with edah (group, community, flock), as in the expression am/adat (benei) yisra’el, or lashon (linguistic group), in the Tanakh. There is a good deal of fluidity of meaning in the Greek and Latin terms as well. Beyond the fact that such definitions are irrelevant to the dispossession of the indigenous population of Palestine, they are ridiculous anachronisms.

        • omg, did hophmi actually say that? unbelievable.

        • Shmuel says:

          “hophmi is similar to the ‘Nazi youth’ ”
          Again, moderator?

          In quotation marks, with an explanation of context (Chomsky). Not an expression I would use, but then again I wouldn’t accuse Hostage of “finding common cause” with anti-Semites, or compare his comments to the actions of the mediaeval Church either.

        • Mooser says:

          “LOL. My intellect easily matches yours.” “Hophmi”

          Well, I’ll be able to sing very well tonite. My ribs will hurt some, but the ol’ pipes are open. Hophmi, you dispense plenty of the best medicine.

        • Mooser says:

          Shmuel, in my humble opinion, your comments recently have been especially well-written, directly to the point, and very accessible. You’ve always been a beam of light, but lately I feel like you are gaining the coherence of a laser.
          I hope your interests and time permit you to spend as much time as possible here.
          And I sure as hell am not disparaging others by comparison, not at all. Not by a long shot.

        • Mooser says:

          “Your condescension”

          You need to look that word up, Hophmi. Hostage most certainly does not condescend when he writes.

        • “The “Zionist people” were invented 114 years ago. ”

          Again, that statement is a ludicrous statement given the multi-millennial invocation in a hundred locations in scripture and prayers describing the return to Israel.

          And, again, while some ultra-orthodox regard the state as sinful, others regard it as any other secular state, and others regard the physical return of millions to the land as a part of the messianic process.

          The concept that the state itself is the same as the messianic period, is regarded as idolatry by many, not all.

          There is no basis to claim that Zionism is not an inherent part of Judaism, though the form and timing vary.

          If the messiah appeared and was acknowledged (whatever that would mean?) then the Satmar and Neturai Karta would have to reconcile whether they misunderstood God’s will, or that the actually real messiah couldn’t appear because it didn’t fit their theological story.

          The Ultra-orthodox view on law is that they abide by the law of the land, except where it directly conflicts with Torah provisions, even the Satmar and Neturai Karta. If a law conflicts with halacha, they first lie low and ignore the law inconspicuously.

          There are very few that they need to ignore in the US, Europe. Israel is a more specific case and causes some confusion among the groups themselves, and in what they advocate for politically.

          The ultra-orthodox don’t believe that the pogroms or naziism should have happened, except that it did happen is obviously God’s will as everything is.

          Similar for the state of Israel. Most didn’t advocate for it, none that I know of, but the majority now accept the state as the state.

        • James North says:

          Mooser is, as always, right.

        • hophmi says:

          “omg, did hophmi actually say that? unbelievable.”

          Say what?

        • Say what?

          hophmi, i was responding to shingo, here:

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • hophmi says:

          “Of course I cited Maimonides interpretation and what he advised regarding the halakhah. I’ll let the readers follow the links and decide who is being disingenuous.”

          Yes, you cited an instance where Maimonides advised a community of people living under oppression (that it was Muslim oppression is irrelevant, but ironic) to continue to do so, because to return to the Holy Land would violate Jewish law. That’s a brand of theology that was used to make the same argument to Jews living in the ghettos of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. It’s fair to say that after that experience, the argument is self-discrediting.

          And indeed, you did self-servingly cite Maimonides. As usual, you failed to acknowledge that his view is controversial, one of many. The wikipedia article I references provides a much more nuanced and comprehensive view. Today, it is fair to say that the prevailing opinions are that the Oaths are either not halacha and therefore non-binding (and that Maimonides was speaking metaphorically and not halachically) or that the Oaths are void because the Jewish people have returned from exile.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

        • Shmuel says:

          Wow. Thanks, Mooser. I hope to write more after my upcoming trip to the HL.

        • @ Shingo 15 Dec 3:42 am
          RW’s comments automatically come with an ignore warning – Richard Witty says: … . Sometimes it is hard to keep sight that contrarians are both useful and valuable in providing focus for debate. It is not known if it has been mentioned before; If it wasn’t for RW (and the others of like ilk), a great deal of effort and trouble would be necessary to invent them, and they would not be nearly as organic.

          Two writers have provided the goalposts whenever zionist/Palestine is discussed. First is Norman Finkelstein’s “Beyond Chutzpah, On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” (ISBN 0-520-24598-9), the other is Robert Fisk’s “The Great War for Civilization, The Conquest of the Middle East” (ISBN 9-84115-007-X). If whatever claim is being made fails to pass between these posts, no points are scored, simple as that. This tends to weed out most self-serving propaganda, half-truths, misleadings and fabrications, most of which hits the ground well before even reaching these goalposts.

        • Mooser says:

          “I hope to write more after my upcoming trip to the HL.”

          Whether you write from the HL, or after you get back, I have a feeling… Look, this is very subjective, and not based on a whole lot of evidence I could cite, but I get a feeling that in addition to your learning and experience and your skill as a writer, something else, another component, has fallen into place or solidified in a way that will make the things to come your best stuff (I say “stuff” since I don’t know what form it will take.) ever. And it will be a coup for Mondoweiss to feature it, as I hope they do.
          I’ll be waiting with baited breath, the kind that catches the mouthwash.

        • Shingo says:

          Again, that statement is a ludicrous statement given the multi-millennial invocation in a hundred locations in scripture and prayers describing the return to Israel.

          Witty, when it was ointed out to you that the religious argument you made was false, you argued that relgious interpretation was not relevant, so why are you talking about scripture and prayers again?

          And, again, while some ultra-orthodox regard the state as sinful, others regard it as any other secular state, and others regard the physical return of millions to the land as a part of the messianic process.

          Irrelevant. The messianic angle was only invented in the last century.

          There is no basis to claim that Zionism is not an inherent part of Judaism, though the form and timing vary.

          Of course there is. Zionism is a secular political movement that high jacked Judaism. It was invented for the first time in the late 1800′s.

          Similar for the state of Israel. Most didn’t advocate for it, none that I know of, but the majority now accept the state as the state.

          Recognizing Israel as a state has nothing to do with Zionism, which is only 114 years old.

        • GalenSword says:

          Generally, the Judaic translations from Hebrew to Greek try to select specific Greek words to reflect specific Hebrew words.

          The use of laos is significant because Greek-speaking Jews called themselves laos to distinguish themselves from the goyim.

          [BTW, I am always puzzled that the convert translator Onkelos is never called by the name Angelos, of which Onkelos is a phonetic butchering.]

        • Shmuel says:

          BTW, I am always puzzled that the convert translator Onkelos is never called by the name Angelos, of which Onkelos is a phonetic butchering.

          Not Aquila/Akilas (written ʿAqilas in the Palestinian Talmud and ʾOnqelos in the Babylonian)?

        • Hostage says:

          And, as if on cue, you respond with an insult.

          Yes Hophmi, the cue is when you predictably open a comment with a vapid insult about anti-semitism.

          You cite Maimonides the same way hard-right Zionists cite the Qu’ran

          I provided a link to the Talmud and a citation to a Jewish sage who claimed it is an integral part of the Jewish law, the halakhah. I think it’s relevant that he said that efforts to end the exile prematurely would end in disaster. That was the response of the majority of Jews during the Mandate era.

          “I’ve also pointed out many other religious and legal objections to Zionism . . . You’ll do anything but acknowledge the mainstream.

          On matters of international law, you represent a freakishly small minority. The majority of the world’s population and the international community of states view the settlement enterprise as illegal and criminal.

          Either you rely on arcane theology that few follow the way you claim or you rely on secular apostates, which only shows your motive. . . .You’re quite in line with the medieval Church, which used to do the same thing – cite the Jewish converts to Catholicism or misquote the Talmud.

          Of course, I’m not misquoting the Talmud or what Maimonides actually said about the halakhah and the need to await the coming of the Jewish Messiah. Those ideas aren’t arcane. They were reflected in his basic articles of faith and were recited to the secular leaders of the Zionist movement by the majority of religious Jews throughout the Mandate era.

          When the new historians debunked the founding myths of Zionism and the miracle of the Six Day War, many Jewish people began to question all of these things again. The State of Israel took a hard turn to the right and started propping-up its claims of legitimacy through volunteers or paid talkback commentators like yourself. That’s why you lurk around here and deploy the hasbara talking points or accusations of anti-semitism.

        • Hostage says:

          Again, that statement is a ludicrous statement given the multi-millennial invocation in a hundred locations in scripture and prayers describing the return to Israel.

          Witty, Jabotinsky, Weizmann, Herzl, Ruppin, and Ben Gurion ridiculed ordinary Jews in the Diaspora and used derogatory terms to describe them, like Yid, eunuchs, Orientals, & etc. These were “Zionist people” who claimed they were inventing a “new Jew” and they even attempted to employ eugenics in pursuit of their goals. So it is hardly ludicrous to give them credit for inventing a new people. See for example Etan Blooms dissertation on Arthur Ruppin, the Father of Jewish Settlement in Palestine. link to tau.ac.il

          I’ve quoted Ben Gurion himself on this point. He and the majority of the founders of the State of Israel didn’t believe in the God of the scriptures or offer prayers about returning the exiles to Zion.
          link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

          Chaim Weizmann thought that the majority of the exiles in Europe were little more than human dust with no future ahead of them. He had no intention of bringing them to Palestine. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

          Ben Gurion was little more than a thug. He ran around Poland extorting funds for Palestine from wealthy Jews at gunpoint. See The Israeli-American connection: its roots in the yishuv, 1914-1945, Michael Brown, Wayne State University Press, 1996, page 198 link to books.google.com

          Herzl wanted to found a global empire and pour the excess Jewish population into other countries, like East Africa. See André Chouraqui, A man alone: the life of Theodor Herzl, Transaction Publishers, 1970, pages 243-244

          Jabotinsky said that the new Hebrew should be the opposite of a Yid:

          Our starting point is to take the typical Yid of today and to imagine his diametrical opposite … because the Yid is ugly, sickly, and lacks decorum, we shall endow the ideal image of the Hebrew with masculine beauty. The Yid is trodden upon and easily frightened and, therefore, the Hebrew ought to be proud and independent. The Yid is despised by all and, therefore, the Hebrew ought to charm all. The Yid has accepted submission and, therefore, the Hebrew ought to learn how to command. The Yid wants to conceal his identity from strangers and, therefore, the Hebrew should look the world straight in the eye and declare: “I am a Hebrew!”

          So please step away from the dead horse and drop that stick.

        • Hostage says:

          There are very few that they need to ignore in the US, Europe. Israel is a more specific case and causes some confusion among the groups themselves, and in what they advocate for politically.

          No kidding. You mean that they’ve noticed it’s impossible to observe all of those eternal commandments that apply to Jews living in the land that God gave them? Of course that wasn’t a problem in the US and Europe.

        • Hostage says:

          That’s a brand of theology that was used to make the same argument to Jews living in the ghettos of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. It’s fair to say that after that experience, the argument is self-discrediting.

          It’s fair to say that Israel’s doctrine of shreying “Never again!”, while brazenly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with absolute impunity only undermines such arguments and the Nuremberg principles. Israel’s behavior only increases the likelihood of future attacks on Jews.

          As usual, you failed to acknowledge that his view is controversial, one of many. The wikipedia article I references provides a much more nuanced and comprehensive view.

          His views were accepted as the halakhah for hundreds of years and the Wikipedia article only underlines the modern necessity of finding some sort of rationalization for violating the injunction to wait for the Messiah. The notion that Birthright needs to save American Jews from forced conversion or oppression is pretty lame and underwhelming.

        • I just read, “Robert Fisk’s “The Great War for Civilization, The Conquest of the Middle East” (ISBN 9-84115-007-X)”

          Who knows what you mean by “goalposts”, can you elaborate?

        • Cliff says:

          I’m here because of 9/11, the Iraq War, and the 2006 Lebanon War. That’s around the time began reading Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein. I saw some random clip of Chomsky on YT and the interest grew from there.

          A lot of people read the blog. It’s popular. That makes it more interesting than other blogs where there is no discussion.

          LOL

          What a typical response from a typical troll.

          Calling this blog popular without acknowledging why! Maybe if it were simply superficially popular, you’d get away with that non-answer. It’s not though.

          There are plenty of blogs similar to MW but without it’s reporting/guest authors/commentary/etc. etc.

          So give credit where it’s due. Unless you like to chain yourself to a blog you don’t like.

          Again, moderator

          Why would Phil moderate something a Holocaust survivor or GROUP of Holocaust survivors vouched for? In the article I quoted, Chomsky tells us that a group of his friends likened the rabid Zionist youth (with their lack of self-awareness and narcissism and immoral sense of entitlement) to the Hitler youth.

          And you are no different. Hence why you make one spurious bullshit-laden argument after the other.

          Cue the ‘Palestinian support for Hitler’ quotes. It’s just too easy with you. Get used to it.

          And you still haven’t disputed Hostage. You’ve just made a superficial analogy.

          Shoebat is a genuine Islamophobe who is now in the Fundie Christian camp. He’s also a fake ex-Palestinian terrorist apparently. How many Walid Shoebats are there? Not many. And Ali thinks Muslims practice lets-pretend-to-fit-in-here-so-we-can-conquer-you. I remember seeing her in a CNN moderated interview/debate with Tariq Ramadan.

          The woman had this shit-eating grin on the whole time when Tariq tried to say Muslims could be moderate or something (I don’t recall the exact details). Then she dropped the taqiya(sp) line.

          There is also a video Anna Baltzer did for some Palestinian group at some college. She was taking questions from the audience and some old senile jerk asked her why she supports blah blah if they are performing taqiya(sp). The dude accused the Muslim girl moderating Anna’s presentation/question period of that too and the Muslim girl didn’t even know what it meant. It was kind of funny but disturbing that the guy could get away with saying that.

          It’s like openly telling a Jew that he has a bag of Jew-gold hidden somewhere. Both hilarious due to it’s utter comic stupidity and disturbing.

          Anyways hoppy, carry on!

        • Cliff says:

          Yes Hophmi, the cue is when you predictably open a comment with a vapid insult about anti-semitism.

          Exactly. That is ALL he is capable of. He is the ADL’s representation on MW.

        • Shingo says:

          You’ll do anything but acknowledge the mainstream. Either you rely on arcane theology that few follow the way you claim or you rely on secular apostates, which only shows your motive.

          But Hophmi,

          If Zinism was more than 114 years old, then surely it would be arcane would it not?

          The vast majority of Jews – orthodox and secular – support the idea of Israel as a Jewish state.

          That does not prove that Zionism is more than 114 years old. The reason many support the idea of Israel as a Jewish state is not because of idealogy, so much as the events of teh 1930′s and 40′s. In fact, many developed heir support after the 1967 war.

        • Shingo says:

          Please try to address the argument being made.

          Please try to stop lying and being so dishonest Witty.

          Hostage did not deny that there were “Zionist people”, in fact, he didn’t even use that term.

          I described that that was a false statement, that the fact is that there is mixed opinion of the advocacy for, of the role of in political and in theological terms, among the ultra-orthodox.

          Irrelevant. That does not prove that Zionism is more than 114 years old.

          In fact, the sentiment of Zionism (both figurative and literal) is permanently in the Jewish religion, that they are only separable with the fantasy of the external suppression of the Jewish religion and of Jewish association.

          False again. Zionism is only a secular political movemement, therefore it did not exist until Hertzl came up with the idea. Never was the sugegstion of a return to Palestine advcoated prior to Hetzl’s idea.

          There is no disappearing of us either by military force, by genocide, by political pressure, by assimilation.

          No one suggested here was, so why make this redundant statement? And if you are so fearful of assimilation, why do you not live in Israel?

          There is the possibility of transformation of relations from defensiveness and enemy to accepted peer and friend.

          Irrelevant. That’s another topic.

        • Shingo says:

          I’ve had some in depth conversations with Satmar (not recently), and with Lubavitch (whose views vary considerably within their community, due to their frequent interaction with those outside of their own community), and more limited with a couple other sects.

          Who cares who you spoke with? That does not prove that Zionism is older than 114 years.

          When you use the term “Zionism”, you do not distinguish between the sentimental Zionism of halacha (which is both a figurative and literal sentimental attachment to the land. It literally will not die so long as there is a Jewish people.), the active cultural and settlement Zionism of Buber and Ha’am, the political Zionism of secular socialists, the political Zionism of Jabotinsky, and the revision even from Jabotinsky by modern likud and Israel Beitanhu.

          Instead of making up meaningless terms like entimental Zionism, find a resource that uses the term Zionism that dates back longer than 114 years.

        • Zionism is inherent in Judaism, and is multi-millenial, preceeding Islam, preceeding Christianity.

          Even the formation of detailed and inspiring ethical credo, occurred in the context of “how do we live spiritual real lives, in real community”, NOT simply a universalistic abstraction.

          The question of form, historical sequence, opportunity, is a real and open question.

          The attempt to describe that Judaism does not hold a nuclear concept of Zionism (both literal and figurative, and for multiple millenia), is a demeaning external revision of Judaism.

          The Jewish community once centered in Israel, was exiled/suppressed, retained its identity in diaspora, and returned/returning.

          Its not debatable in reality, though attempted to by some that seek some form of cultural genocide/erasure.

          Peace is not constructed by the attempt to erase the identity of another people.

          Please assert the relevance of the Palestinian people, but without the attempt to erase the relevance and identity of the Jewish people, the Zionist Jewish people.

        • GalenSword says:

          “N” is a weak consonant in Hebrew/Aramaic and often assimilates to the following consonant. It is probable that all three names are Angelos/Angelus/Angelo.

        • eljay says:

          >> Zionism is inherent in Judaism, and is multi-millenial, preceeding Islam, preceeding Christianity.
          >> Even the formation of detailed and inspiring ethical credo, occurred in the context of “how do we live spiritual real lives, in real community”, NOT simply a universalistic abstraction.

          So…the detailed and ethical credo that developed in the context of “how do we live spiritual real lives, in real community” comprised terrorism, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the creation of a religion-supremacist state. Detailed, perhaps. Ethical, not so much.

          >> Peace is not constructed by the attempt to erase the identity of another people.

          It never ceases to amuse me that a guy who accepts, approves of and justifies Zionist immorality and injustices…
          >> I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
          >> If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

          …has the gall to lecture others about how to construct peace. Too rich.

        • Shingo says:

          If Zionism was inherent in Judaism, then all Jews woudl be Zionists. Not only is that not the case, but the majority of Jews in the early 1900′s rejected Zionism.

          Thus there is no way Zionism was inherent in Judaism, be it religiously or culturally.

          Even the formation of detailed and inspiring ethical credo, occurred in the context of “how do we live spiritual real lives, in real community”, NOT simply a universalistic abstraction.

          That applies to any religion Witty and there is nothing in that credo (even if you did just make it up) that is specific to Israel.

          The attempt to describe that Judaism does not hold a nuclear concept of Zionism (both literal and figurative, and for multiple millenia), is a demeaning external revision of Judaism.

          It’s only demeanong to Zionists who seek to highjack Judaism, but Judaism clearly does not include the concept of Zionism. Zionism is a secualr political movement and as Jow Biden said, one can be Zionist without being Jewish, which further debunks your pathetic and desperate thesis.

          The Jewish community once centered in Israel, was exiled/suppressed, retained its identity in diaspora, and returned/returning.

          False. There was no exile and those that migrated (not returned) did so largely under duress and against their will.

          Peace is not constructed by the attempt to erase the identity of another people.

          You care nothign about peace and this debate is not about peace anyway. Stop tring to polute this thread with your distractions. This is not about relevance to the Palestinians people, though it’s a disgrace that you pretend to be concerned for them.

          There is no doubt that Zionism is a recent invention and only 114 years old. There is no point disputing it.

        • Cliff says:

          Jewish commentators like Shmuel, you, Avi, and Hostage restore my faith in the capacity for individuality/critical-thinking/empathy with regards to a different Jewish perspective on this conflict. To know these people exist is important. I always assumed they did, albeit in small numbers.

          Reading you guys is inspiring.

        • jonah says:

          Shingo: “There is no doubt that Zionism is a recent invention and only 114 years old. There is no point disputing it.”

          “l’shah-NAH ha-ba-AH b’y'ROO-sha-LAH-yim” – Next year in Jerusalem

          These words are recited every year at the end of the Seder since the time of the first exile. They expresses in nuce the Zionist ideal of a return to Israel, that eventually was realized through the restoration of the Jewish national home in Palestine. The injunction not to forget Jerusalem, the site of the Temple, is a major tenet of Judaism. The Hebrew language, the Torah, laws in the Talmud, the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays and festivals all originated in Israel and revolve around its seasons and conditions. Zionism is the natural and necessary completion and reunification of Judaism to its roots.

          Obviously you have no clue, neither about Judaism nor Zionism.

        • GalenSword says:

          Obviously Jonah either has no clue about Judaism or is simply another mendacious masbir (propagandist).

          Bashanah habaah birushalayim is simply a wish that the Messiah will come to rebuild the Temple so that the pilgrimage cycle can resume.

          It is no more an expression of desire for Jews to colonize Palestine than the Hajj is an express of desire for Muslims to colonize Saudi Arabia.

        • Hostage says:

          Zionism is inherent in Judaism, and is multi-millenial, preceeding Islam, preceeding Christianity.

          The notion that we are the beneficiaries of the merits of the patriarchs, matriarchs, and martyrs is also something that is inherent in Judaism. If you see the merits of the fathers slipping away, and the merit of the mothers faltering, go and occupy yourself with kind deeds. link to books.google.com

          So it’s a complete non-sequitur to hear someone call the deaths of millions of Jews who preferred to die before they would knowingly break Jewish ritual law “the Holocaust”, while at one and the same time claiming their theological thinking has been – wait for it – “discredited”. This from a bunch of so-called Zionists who combat their own lack of legitimacy, not through occupying themselves with kind deeds, but through hasbara and wars of aggression.

          It is axiomatic in the rabbinical literature that the Jews were exiled from the land because of hatred without a cause. Some of that hatred was reportedly directed toward non-Jews when a minority slaughtered the disciples of Hillel and forced the adoption of 18 decrees:

          Mishna: These are the laws which were said in the attic of Chananiah ben Chizkiya ben Garon, when they went to visit him. They counted and [found that] there were more of Beit Shammai than of Beit Hillel, and they decreed 18 decrees on that day.
          Gemara: That day was as difficult for Israel as the day that the Golden Calf was made.

          The Wikipedia article that Hophmi cited highlights the dispute between those who cite the explicit decree that Jews must repent out of love and those who cite an implied thousand year statute of limitations on the length of that decree.

          Failedmessiah has a commentary on the adoption of the xenophobic decrees which are still an integral part of Orthodoxy and Zionism, despite the fact that we all pay lip service to the teaching of Hillel that “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”:

          The Jerusalem Talmud, Shabbat 1:4 tells a story of those times. The sages were meeting at the home of a prominent supporter, on the roof of his house. Beit Shammai appeared armed, murdered several members of Beit Hillel, and blocked the exit from the roof. No member of Beit Hillel was allowed to leave until he agreed to uphold the halakha of Beit Shammai, the minority. Beit Hillel – fearing for their lives – gave in. The sages then passed 18 gezerot (decrees) proposed by Beit Shammai. Most were aimed at separating Jews from Gentiles, and included kashrut gezerot that exist to this day. The Jerusalem Talmud calls this day the blackest day ever to befall the Jewish people.

          Beit Shammai was traditionalist. Its halakhot (laws) were restrictive. Its worldview was anti-modern and anti-rational. We carry the effects of Beit Shammai’s intransigence to this day.

          If Beit Shammai had been met with arms, if Beit Shammai had been expelled from normative Judaism, our halakhot would be less strict and our reaction to the Gentile world – and its science – would be more open.

          But on a Jerusalem day 1950 years ago, fanaticism won, crushing the democracy the sages used to guide the Jewish people in the process. The 18 gezerot were left in place – removing them meant more violence, more terror, more death.

          With the destruction of the 2nd Temple, caused largely by the fractured polity of the Jewish people – it is not surprising that many zealots and sicariim appear to be from families associated with Beit Shammai – it became clear that Jewish unity must take precedence over doctrinal disputes. It was in that atmosphere that Eliezer ben Hyqanus was excommunicated and the mantra “The Torah is NOT in Heaven!” entered Jewish discourse as a response to his zealotry.

          Fast forward almost 2000 years.

          Today’s rabbis are largely traditionalists. The historical lessons of the Beit Hillel / Beit Shammai dispute are largely lost on them. Today, unity means caving in to the most extremist of traditionalists’ halakhic and theological views. Moderates are pushed out of the debate; liberals, out of Orthodoxy all together.

          link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

          All of this is embarrassing in light of the predictable disaster that has ensued in the wake of attempts to end the exile by establishing yet another Jewish commonwealth on the basis of xenophobia and fascism.

        • Hostage says:

          These words are recited every year at the end of the Seder since the time of the first exile. They expresses in nuce the Zionist ideal of a return to Israel, that eventually was realized through the restoration of the Jewish national home in Palestine.

          If the import of those words was realized by the restoration of a xenophobic and fascist little state in Palestine, then why do millions of Jews still prefer to reside elsewhere and continue to recite them at the end of the Seder? Obviously you are the one who has no clue.

        • Shingo says:

          “l’shah-NAH ha-ba-AH b’y’ROO-sha-LAH-yim” – Next year in Jerusalem

          My poor Jonah,

          You’re like a week late for the party. As Hostage has explained, you are referring to a religious prayer for God to deliver Israel, not some secular terrorist leaders as is the case with Zionism. That might explain why the word Zionism does not appear before it was invented 114 years ago.

          Though I suspect you call yourself Jewish, you obviously you have no clue, neither about Judaism nor Zionism.

        • Hostage- You seem knowledgeable and inclined towards the truth. The specific expression of longing for Jerusalem that led to the establishment of Israel which included exiling a majority of the indigenous from a given area is not part and parcel of Judaism. But to dismiss Zionism as anti Jewish or antithetical to Judaism, seems to be stretching the truth. It is part of the course of nature that the enlightenment of Europe reached the Jews living in Europe and with it ideas that weakened the attachment to religious ritual and the authority of religious leaders. If such weakened conditions had been followed by an America circa 2011 with its ideal of acceptance of the other, the result of the weakened religious values would have had different reactions. But in fact Europe’s enlightenment did not fast forward to the 21st century and had a bumpy ride through the 19th and especially the first half of the 20th century. To expect the ancient yearning for Jerusalem (aka Zion) to remain only the province of the strictest followers of ritual is to determine that human nature needs to follow the rules of strict logic. Life is not like that. So there was a Pinsker and an Ahad Ha’am and a Herzl and to maintain that their usage of the age old yearning in a new fangled way is too impure for you to handle, looks silly to me. Of course given the course of Zionism and the damage that it’s done to the Palestinians, I can understand your wish to give Judaism the benefit of the doubt and attribute Zionism as pure impurity, but it just ain’t so. There are negative aspects to Zionism as we all know. But those who shed rituals or shed the passivity of the Three Oaths, do not deserve to be blamed because they took the yearning for Jerusalem and defined it as a present tense command rather than a messianic impulse. The history of Europe turned out to be too dangerous for those who chose passivity to claim that those who took yearnings and turned them into commands to act deserve condemnation. The actual form of Zionism deserves your condemnation, but not the original impulse.

        • You stated that Zionism originated 114 years ago.

          Its false.

          Again, the question of how and when the return should happen is an open question. Are the real pogroms and holocaust, and real prohibition against mass immigration to Europe and US and continuing persecutions of Jews in Eastern Europe following WW2, the will of God?

          Or, is the theological interpretation quoted from 1947, but not 1997, the important conclusion?

          The struggle to reform Zionism is a DIFFERENT struggle than the one to erase it.

          You want to affirm Zionism, but insist that it be humane, you will have a couple million liberal Zionist allies.

          You want to mingle your opposition to the objectives and policies of some Zionist factions, with the erasure of Zionism as valid, as existing, as democratic, then you have opponents.

          You’ve then adopted “which side are you on?” in the 1948 war to the death, rather than the 1993 effort to reconcile and to institutionalize the reconciliation.

        • Hostage says:

          wondering jew, there is nothing new fangled about the legend that Jews were exiled on account of “hatred without a cause” or the lesson that legend was intended to teach us. The ancient prophets taught that kindness to strangers was a core ethical value, “for once you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” They also taught that God had brought Israel into the land in exactly the same way that he had brought other nations there, e.g. Are you not like the children of the Cushites to Me, O children of Israel? says the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and Aram from Kir? God did not promise to drive those nations out of the land like the other seven living there.

          So, yes the practices of eugenics, xenophobia, and fascism embraced by the Zionist leadership over the years deserve to be condemned wholeheartedly. After all, those things are exactly the reasons Europe turned out to be too dangerous and that’s why they have been outlawed by the international community. Granting Israel immunity to perpetuate those practices is simply not acceptable.

        • hophmi says:

          “Of course, I’m not misquoting the Talmud or what Maimonides actually said about the halakhah and the need to await the coming of the Jewish Messiah. ”

          No, you’re just decontextualizing and simplifying all of it with the intention of misleading the readers here.

          Clearly, what Maimonides said is considered extremely controversial, again, not least because he told an oppressed minority to stay where they were.

          Clearly, the Three Oaths have been the subject of considerable commentary over the years. It’s not clear at all that they are blackletter halacha in the way you presented it above.

          You acknowledged none of that when you simply quoted the Talmudic passage and Maimonides’ letter, shorn of context and complexity.

          “The State of Israel took a hard turn to the right and started propping-up its claims of legitimacy through volunteers or paid talkback commentators like yourself. ”

          I’m not a paid talkback commentator and I’m not a volunteer commentator for an organization.

          “That’s why you lurk around here and deploy the hasbara talking points or accusations of anti-semitism.”

          I’m here because you’re wrong and you lie like a rug. You are worse; you lie using otherwise credible sources that most people here won’t check.

        • john h says:

          The injunction not to forget Jerusalem, the site of the Temple, is a major tenet of Judaism.

          The major tenet of Judaism in this respect is this:

          Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.
          Where is the house that you will build me?
          And where is the place of my rest?

          All these things my hand has made,
          And so all these things are mine,
          Says the Lord.
          But on this one will I look,
          To him who is humble and contrite in spirit,
          And who trembles at my word.
          Isaiah 66:1-2

          Zionist is an attempt to replace Judaism and its divine author, which was invented and promoted by atheists who thought religion would die out.

          Quite obviously, it is not, and can never be, “the will of God”.

        • Shingo says:

          You stated that Zionism originated 114 years ago.

          Its false.

          You’ve stated a dozen times that it’s false but presented no evidence, otehr than your insistence that it’s not true becasue it upsets your sensiblities.

          The pogroms and holocaust all took place within the period of the last 114 years, so citing them is not evidnce that Zionism is older than 114 years. Arguing about what is the will of God is simply delusional and superstitious.

          You keep insisting that this is a debate about teh merits of Zionism and the criticism of it. It’s not. That is an entirely different argument.

          The fazct is Witty that you cannot debate this argument on the merits of the case, so you are trying to turn it into a tug of war about the merits of Zionism

          All you are proving by our conflation and efforts to derail the argument is that Zionism is indeed a recent and false contruct. You simply have no no argument or rebuttal.

          Zionism is only 114 years old. That is beyind dispute, so you;d best get used to the idea.

        • jonah says:

          Hostage -

          not all Diaspora Jews need or are willing to make Aliyah to Israel (maybe because of the tough neighborhood?), but the vaste majority of the Jews worldwide strongly supports the very idea and existence of the Jewish state in the land of Eretz Yisrael. So if anti-Semitism would again raise its ugly face – God forbit!, – many Jews would choose to head for Israel as their new home, simply because Israel is considered the nation of the Jewish people.

          Even though the early Zionism was primarily a political movement – and it aimed at the establishment of a secular state -, Israel can not just be considered a political national(ist) entity (on the basis, good to be ignorant, on “xenophobia and fascism”), as you inveterate anti-Zionists want us to believe. Culture, history and religion of that state, that nation, is indisputably Jewish. If you’ve read the Torah, even without being Jewish, you should know that all events and stories told in the holy book of the Jews take place in the land of Israel or in exile from the land of Israel. The Jews as people, and their religion, Judaism, are not an abstract cloud that moves across the sky, without any anchoring to the ground. Or simply a scattered, throughout history persecuted minority, without any roots nor clear identity. On the contrary they are – that is ideally and historically – strongly rooted and connected to the land of Israel.
          So Zionism acted as political movement (and it is still mainly), because the creation of any state must necessarily be a political event, but its action was aimed at the land where Jewish history, culture, religion and myths were originally born and would return to be alive. The main reason for the Zionist movement was as we know anti-Semitism in Europe, but its goal was not a Jewish homeland in Uganda or Madagascar, it was the land of Israel, homeland versus exile. Zionism gave the home back to a exiled people, with a religion of exile.
          If you deny this fundamental fact, you can not be taken seriously and you simply reveal your hidden political agenda.

        • Hostage says:

          Frankly Witty there is nothing in Judaism that requires Jews to return to Palestine either to avoid persecution or to worship properly.

          In fact, there are insurmountable theological problems with those who advocate the establishment of a state, in which Jews exercise sovereignty over Eretz Israel, but deliberately opt to delay the observance all of their 613 commandments. There’s only so much you can attempt to ascribe to God’s will.

          You keep trying, unsuccessfully, to conflate Judaism with the secular political movement. Jews didn’t use the term Zionism to describe their daily prayers or long for a secular state in Palestine prior to the discussions in the 19th century that led to the adoption of Herzl’s Basel platform.

        • if you deny this fundamental fact, you can not be taken seriously and you simply reveal your hidden political agenda.

          such hubris. don’t you mean you can not be taken seriously by me.

          also, an acronym for vaste majority of the Jews worldwide strongly supports would be helpful since so many zionists love generalizing about world jewry. how bout:

          VMJWSS

          and what about an efficient ‘VMJ’ for communicating other fundamental facts?

        • Shingo says:

          but the vaste majority of the Jews worldwide strongly supports the very idea and existence of the Jewish state in the land of Eretz Yisrael.

          True but irrelevant. This in itself does not prove whether Zionism is older than 114 years or otherwise.

          Israel can not just be considered a political national(ist) entity (on the basis, good to be ignorant, on “xenophobia and fascism”), as you inveterate anti-Zionists want us to believe.

          That is also true, because Israel is certainly headed towards becomming an apartheid and fascist entity.

          The Jews as people, and their religion, Judaism, are not an abstract cloud that moves across the sky, without any anchoring to the ground.

          On the contray. Jews like you and eee can’t even come to an agreement as to what defines Judaism and the Jewish identity, so it is very much an abstract creation.

          So Zionism acted as political movement (and it is still mainly), because the creation of any state must necessarily be a political event, but its action was aimed at the land where Jewish history, culture, religion and myths were originally born and would return to be alive.

          False again. When Hertzl envisioned a Jewish homes, Palestine was but one of a number of locations being considered. Land in Africa and Australia was also considered, which only seved to underline the fact that Zionism has no connection with Palestine. Of course, Ben Gurion and co coopted religious doctrine to strengthen the movement.

          Zionism gave the home back to a exiled people, with a religion of exile.

          There was no exile. That too was invented, along withthe lies about the creation of Israel.

        • Hostage,
          You made a very clear and assertive statement:

          “The “Zionist people” were invented 114 years ago. ”

          It just is not true. The theme of return is inherent in ALL branches of Judaism and for millenia.

          The claim that the return is not a primary component of Judaism, and the Jewish people, is an attempt at cultural genocide.

          That is what I regard as beneath you. You’ve spoken more respectfully of Jews elsewhere. It surprising to see the revisionist contortion here.

          Maybe circumstances and even theological discipline will delay that, or maybe circumstances compelled it, and subsequent theological discussion acknowledged reality (which can change again, but not without violence or suppression – in the name of “democracy”).

        • Hostage says:

          So if anti-Semitism would again raise its ugly face – God forbit!

          It’s doubtful that the Israeli ghetto/beachhead would be sustainable without the political and financial support of a large Diaspora community. Nonetheless, Israelis have left practically no stone unturned in their efforts to stimulate anti-semitism with their flagrant violations of international law and brain-dead hasbara campaigns. The Zionists have already exhausted the natural supply of water and are running desalinization plants or stealing water from the neighbors to support the existing population. Where and how would another six million Jews live in that pathetic habitat?

          not all Diaspora Jews need or are willing to make Aliyah to Israel (maybe because of the tough neighborhood?), but the vaste majority of the Jews worldwide strongly supports the very idea and existence of the Jewish state in the land of Eretz Yisrael.

          Jonah nobody cares if the vast majority of Jews support an abstract concept. The vast majority of Jews will not defend endless wars, occupation, and apartheid in order to see the concept realized.

          Even though the early Zionism was primarily a political movement – and it aimed at the establishment of a secular state -, Israel can not just be considered a political national(ist) entity (on the basis, good to be ignorant, on “xenophobia and fascism”), as you inveterate anti-Zionists want us to believe.

          I never said it was. The settlers and hilltop youth are being led by fascist and xenophobic Rabbis who are a open disgrace to the teachings attributed to the God of Israel, the ancient prophets, and Judaism, not just to political Zionism.

          The Jews as people . . . is ideally and historically – strongly rooted and connected to the land of Israel.

          No they aren’t and weren’t. The majority of Jews lived elsewhere for thousands of years without any base of operation or direct connection to Palestine. To many of them it was just an allegory in their prayers for the world to come. Even during the 2nd Commonwealth, the Jewish communities in other lands, like Alexandria, were larger than the one in Jerusalem. There is ample documentary and archeological evidence that the Jews of the Diaspora were celebrating the feasts without making pilgrimages to Palestine or Jerusalem. When Thaddeus (a local leader of the Jews of Rome) accustomed the Roman Jews to eat “helmeted” goats on the night of Passover, the sages of Babylonia sent a message to him: “If you were not Thaddeus, we would have excommunicated you.” See De Lange, and Gerber, The illustrated history of the Jewish people, Harcourt Brace, 1997, page 76.

          Nothing in traditional Judaism requires Jews to superstitiously communicate with God by slipping notes on scraps of paper in the Western Wall or starting a war over that pile of rocks.

        • The theme of return is inherent in ALL branches of Judaism and for millenia.

          so what. the ‘theme’ of zionism is not ‘return’ link to en.wikipedia.org

          Zionism (Hebrew: ציונות‎, Tsiyonut) is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland.[1] Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state and address threats to its continued existence and security. In a less common usage, the term may also refer to non-political, cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha’am; and political support for the State of Israel by non-Jews, as in Christian Zionism.

          The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum (ed note 16 May 1864 – 2 April 1937), founder of a nationalist Jewish students’ movement Kadimah, who used the term in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) .[9] Readings of the founders of Zionism shows that they lived in the same Europe which spawned fascism and Naziism, and they adopted the anti-Jewish view that Jews did not belong in Europe as the core of their ideology.[10]

          …..

          In the 19th century, a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion grew in popularity,[29] particularly in Europe, where antisemitism and hostility towards Jews were also growing, although this idea was rejected by the conferences of rabbis held in that epoch. Nonetheless, individual efforts supported the emigration of groups of Jews to Palestine, pre-Zionist Aliyah, even before 1897, the year considered as the start of practical Zionism.[30]

          The Reformed Jews rejected this idea of a return to Zion.

          so richard, what do you think this means “a current in Judaism supporting a return to Zion” ?
          ‘a current’ that was “rejected by the conferences of rabbis

          was the conference of rabbis committing cultural genocide?

          there is a difference between ‘zion’ and zionism. link to en.wikipedia.org

          Zion (Hebrew: ציון‎) (also transliterated Sion, Tzion or Tsion) is a place name often used as a synonym for Jerusalem.[1][2] The word is first found in Samuel II, 5:7 dating to c.630-540 BCE. It commonly referred to a specific mountain near Jerusalem (Mount Zion), on which stood a Jebusite fortress of the same name that was conquered by David and was named the City of David. The term Tzion came to designate the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood, and later became a metonym for Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem and generally, the World to Come.

          In Kabbalah the more esoteric reference is made to Tzion[3] being the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies of the First, Second and Third Temple.

          if , as you posit ‘The theme of return (to a physical place) is inherent in ALL branches of Judaism’ then why, pray tell, did the reform movement reject zionism at it origins, why was the support for it considered a ‘current’ of judaism, and why was it rejected by the conferences of rabbis when it was first introduced in the late 1800′s?

        • Hostage says:

          It just is not true. The theme of return is inherent in ALL branches of Judaism and for millenia.

          You’re still beating that dead horse of Zionism Witty. Herzl, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, and Ben Gurion were atheists and definitely weren’t representatives or members of any branch of covenantal Judaism. Why do you insist on unsuccessfully conflating their Zionist political movements and chartered colonial companies with branches of the Jewish religion?

          The claim that the return is not a primary component of Judaism, and the Jewish people, is an attempt at cultural genocide.

          The Jews have maintained their culture for thousands of years without any State in Palestine, even among the relatively few who “returned” from time to time. So stop conflating the two things and shreying about cultural genocide. Lakewood, New Jersey and Crown Heights, New York illustrate that there is no danger of that sort of thing happening here.

        • Shingo says:

          It just is not true. The theme of return is inherent in ALL branches of Judaism and for millenia.

          But Zionism, by your own insistence, has never been about return, but about self governance, which is separate from return. One could have had return without self governance. As Annie has already proven, Zionisn has nothig to do with return .

          The theme of return that has been repeated over millenia has insisted that return would be achieved at the hand of God, and since God has not yet returned, it clearly does not include his intervention.

          The claim that the return is not a primary component of Judaism, and the Jewish people, is an attempt at cultural genocide.

          Cut out the hysteria and hyperbole Witty. At the very worst, Hostage’s arguments migh be described as negation of a the Ziionist narrative, but certianly not genocide of any kind. You’re simply trying to blow this out of proportion with manic slurs becasue you are unable to debate this topic on the facts.

          Zionism is 114 years old. I’m going to repeat it until it sinks into what remains of that Ziocaine muddled brain of yours.

        • So if anti-Semitism would again raise its ugly face – God forbit!, – many Jews would choose to head for Israel as their new home, simply because Israel is considered the nation of the Jewish people.

          not really. not by the goi anyway. it’s only considered the nation of the Jewish people for certain jews. nuthin’ simple about that, unless you’re a racist.

          waiting for aliya

          Anti-African March , this was 4 days ago in the racist apartheid state of israel.

          you can read more about this racist affliction here:

          link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        • RoHa says:

          ” Jews to superstitiously communicate with God by slipping notes on scraps of paper in the Western Wall ”

          Just as a side issue, does God gather up the notes every evening, and read them in his study, or does he read them in situ the way other Gods read notes tied to trees?

        • Shmuel says:

          WJ,

          We can argue until the red heifers come home, whether Zionism is a Judaisation of secular nationalism or a secularisation of Judaism. The fact is however, that Judaism didn’t have to modernise in this fashion. Zionism was only one way of confronting modernity (just as Fascism and Islamism are ways of confronting modernity – see e.g. Buruma and Margalit, Occidentalism). There were other options out there, and many other layers of Judaism upon which to draw for inspiration and/or confirmation.

          At this point, Zionism itself is an anachronism. Other blood-and-soil ethnic nationalisms have either passed from the world or are rightly condemned as racist and undemocratic. It’s high time for Israel and Jewish nationalism to move on.

        • Shmuel says:

          Just as a side issue, does God gather up the notes every evening, and read them in his study, or does he read them in situ the way other Gods read notes tied to trees?

          I believe the messages are miraculously texted to one of the Almighty’s two tablets.

        • “No they aren’t and weren’t. The majority of Jews lived elsewhere for thousands of years without any base of operation or direct connection to Palestine. ”

          This is now false. Approximately half of the Jews in the world live in Israel. If that percentage declined to even 1/3, that would still be a critical mass to confirm the live nature of Zionism (return).

          The only relevant questions to a progressive, to a moralist, to an advocate of justice, is how that is conducted.

          Important questions. But, the delegitimization effort that includes ANY implication of post-1948 forced removal is opportunist, not justice-seeking.

        • “You keep trying, unsuccessfully, to conflate Judaism with the secular political movement. ”

          The oppossite. I’m insisting that you not misuse language to deny the sentimental long-standing connection and urge of return of Jews to Israel/Palestine.

          To not seek to erase the Jewish religion from the planet, as it is with its diverse streams and interpretations, and as the Jewish religion has historically been the nut of what kept the Jewish people coherent over multiple generations, that you not abuse it by making politically motivated assertions about what the Jewish people are.

        • “The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian Nathan Birnbaum (ed note 16 May 1864 – 2 April 1937), founder of a nationalist Jewish students’ movement Kadimah, who used the term in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) .[9] ”

          The first use of the term as a modern political movement occurred at that period.

          The first use of the term “return” as a primary component of Jewish thought occurred in the first exile, to Assyria (?), then another to Babylonia.

          Please try to engage in respectful discussion on this, rather than the political hope for the invisibility of the theme in Jewish life.

        • jonah says:

          Nonetheless, Israelis have left practically no stone unturned in their efforts to stimulate anti-semitism with their flagrant violations of international law and brain-dead hasbara campaigns.

          This is a anti-Zionist argument that goes beyond objective verification of the facts. It stems from a partial and biased view of the ME-conflict.

          Besides, fervent anti-Zionists deny on the one hand the connection between the Land of Israel and Judaism/Jewish people, but on the other hand they are the first to link Israel with anti-Semitism in the world, a phenomenon of racist hatred of the Judaism/Jewish people as a whole. Actually, they should slowly acknowledge that anti-Semitism to Zionism and Israel is earlier, and that Israel is often just an excuse to revive old anti-Semitic pattern.

          The vast majority of Jews will not defend endless wars, occupation, and apartheid in order to see the concept realized.

          Again, Hostage, this generalization stems from a biased view of the ME-conflict, it doesn’t correspond to reality and defies a factual objective analysis.

          Nobody cares if the vast majority of Jews support an abstract concept.

          If you consider Israel an abstract concept, what shall we say about the majority of world countries. Are “Egypt”, “Jordan”, “Saudi Arabia” …. – but even Switzerland (you remember, the legend of William Tell …), the US, Italy and so on not “abstract concept” too? Think about the essence of the concept of state.

          - The Jews as people . . . is ideally and historically – strongly rooted and connected to the land of Israel.-

          No they aren’t and weren’t. The majority of Jews lived elsewhere for thousands of years without any base of operation or direct connection to Palestine. To many of them it was just an allegory in their prayers for the world to come.

          If reality were as you say, we can not explain why so many Jews, also religious Jews – that means the largest majority in world – are living today in Israel. Why this, if Israel has no connection with Jews and their religion?

        • “You’re still beating that dead horse of Zionism Witty. Herzl, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, and Ben Gurion were atheists and definitely weren’t representatives or members of any branch of covenantal Judaism. Why do you insist on unsuccessfully conflating their Zionist political movements and chartered colonial companies with branches of the Jewish religion? ”

          Their visions were differing responses to the real world of Jewish life.

          Its possible that Zionism wouldn’t have occurred, if they hadn’t articulated their proposals, lived their lives. But, that is itself a fantastic revisionistic approach to history (‘If only Herzl hadn’t lived.’ ‘If only Dreifus hadn’t lived’. How far back d0 you want to extend the fantasy revision?)

          It was a reality though that pogroms occurred, that the holocaust occurred, that the resurgence of suppression of Jews in the Arab diaspora occurred, which precipitated the NECESSITY for physical haven, for return. That combined with the post-WW2 harrassment of Jews returning to their European homes, and the prohibition against emigration to Western Europe and US following WW2 (thanks to our “America First” theme).

          You want to revise the response somehow, but the real world events that precipitated the response, you obviously can’t undo.

          The sentiment for return existed. The precipitating circumstances made the timing, whether some rabbis chose to courageously walk with spiritual heads high to their deaths in Germany/Poland, or some Zionist zealots chose to courageously lead refugees to Israel.

          Sentiment and circumstances.

          Its the same combination of reasoning for a viable political movement, and also components for a personal crime. (I’m sure that you’ll appreciate the suggestion.) “Motive and opportunity”.

          The question is the present. What do you do now? Actively seek to erase a religious cultural theme from the planet because it is not politically convenient? How will you do that without becoming one of the beasts?

        • “It’s high time for Israel and Jewish nationalism to move on.”

          Its not possible so long as any prominent pro-Palestinian solidarity articulates anything resembling the intention to disappear Israelis (Zionist ones) from their contact, from their region, or even subliminally from the planet.

          Zionism is only an anachronism if there is a confident better alternative, articulated by a confident better argument that is consented to.

          Otherwise, anti-Zionism is the reactionary historical anachronism.

        • jonah says:

          Thank you Annie for sharing these videos. Of course every form of xenophobia must be condemned, also in Israel. But racism is not an exclusive prerogative of Israel. Last week a crazy Italian racist has hunted and killed some African people in Italy. This happens all over the world. It is wrong and hypocritical to apply different standards to Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          This is now false. Approximately half of the Jews in the world live in Israel.

          And they ended up there through exile from their homes in Europe and elsehwhere, not because of a yearnign to return to Palestine.

          If that percentage declined to even 1/3, that would still be a critical mass to confirm the live nature of Zionism (return).

          They didn’t return. The majority were refugees or immigrants, thus they couldn’t have returned to a place they never originated from.

          The only relevant questions to a progressive, to a moralist, to an advocate of justice, is how that is conducted.

          No, the only elevant question is whether this was based on a religious choice to migrate (on religious grounds) or escape from persecution

          Important questions. But, the delegitimization effort that includes ANY implication of post-1948 forced removal is opportunist, not justice-seeking.

          The issue fo justice is completely irrelevant to this debate.

          Afer all, Zionism is 114 years old.

        • GalenSword says:

          So what? The entire pied noir population of Algeria left with Algerian independence.

          Once the Zionist settler colonists are given the choice either of leaving or of living on terms of mutual respect and equality with the native population that they have wronged for more than a century, there is no reason to doubt that at least 90% of the Zionist population will leave.

          Given the crimes that Zionists have committed over the last century, it would be hard to call such an outcome either wrong or particularly harsh.

        • Shingo says:

          I’m insisting that you not misuse language to deny the sentimental long-standing connection and urge of return of Jews to Israel/Palestine.

          And we’re insisting you not conflate a 114 year old secular political movement with a religious teaching that only God would deliver an Israel (be it on Earth or other dimentsion).

          To not seek to erase the Jewish religion from the planet

          No one has even suggested that, otehr that the voices in your head.
          In fact, I am pertty suer you know this but have chosen to contrct this straw man in order to boster your failed argument.

          How disgustingly dishionest of you – but how typical!!

          Zionism has nothing to do with the Jewish people are. Afer all, Zionism is ionly 114 year s old and Judaism is a good deal older than that.

        • Shingo says:

          This is a anti-Zionist argument that goes beyond objective verification of the facts.

          On the contrary Jonah, Hertzl himself regarded anti Semtism as an asset that should be nurtured and encouraged in order to further the aims of Zionism, proving again that not only that Zionism has nothig to do with Judaism but that it is antithetical to Judaism.

          Besides, fervent anti-Zionists deny on the one hand the connection between the Land of Israel and Judaism/Jewish people, but on the other hand they are the first to link Israel with anti-Semitism in the world, a phenomenon of racist hatred of the Judaism/Jewish people as a whole.

          That’s innevitable considering that Israel and Israeli leaders insist on claiming the right to speak on behalf of Jews everywhere. Nenetyahu is the lastest and most bombastic example.

          Again, Hostage, this generalization stems from a biased view of the ME-conflict, it doesn’t correspond to reality and defies a factual objective analysis.

          On the contrary Jonah, it is overwhemngly and undeniably supported by factual objective analysis. Israelis leaders not only aknowledge this, but enourage it.

          If reality were as you say, we can not explain why so many Jews, also religious Jews – that means the largest majority in world – are living today in Israel.

          Only if you deny the role played by the pogroms and the Holocaust. How strange that you and Witty have been so determined to dismiss these events – you have both suddenly become Holocaust deniers of sort.

          Then again, there’s nothing you Zionists wouldn’t do to denfend such a repugnant ideology.

        • Shingo says:

          Its possible that Zionism wouldn’t have occurred, if they hadn’t articulated their proposals, lived their lives. But, that is itself a fantastic revisionistic approach to history (‘If only Herzl hadn’t lived.’ ‘If only Dreifus hadn’t lived’. How far back d0 you want to extend the fantasy revision?)

          Back far enough to when Zionism was invented if Herzl hadn’t thought of it first.

          It was a reality though that pogroms occurred, that the holocaust occurred, that the resurgence of suppression of Jews in the Arab diaspora occurred, which precipitated the NECESSITY for physical haven, for return.

          Yes, and all those events took place within the last 114 years, so you still haven’t proven that Zionism was older than 114 years.

          That combined with the post-WW2 harrassment of Jews returning to their European homes, and the prohibition against emigration to Western Europe and US following WW2 (thanks to our “America First” theme).

          Right. This in fact proves that not only did very few Jews have any desire to mograte or “return” to Palestine, which means that Zionism cannto possibly be an inherent component of Judaism.

          The sentiment for return existed.

          Onthe contrary, it existed in only a small minority. If the entiment for return existed, then why did any Jewish refugees have any desire to migrate to Western Europe and US following WW2? Circumstances and circumstances alone.

          The question is the present.

          No it’s not Witty. The question is when was Zionism born and it is clear it was born 114 years ago. It has nothing to do with what we do now. That is another topic of debate.

          Stay on topic and stop trolling.

        • Shingo says:

          Its not possible so long as any prominent pro-Palestinian solidarity articulates anything resembling the intention to disappear Israelis (Zionist ones) from their contact, from their region, or even subliminally from the planet.

          Yes it is, because there is no prominent pro-Palestinian solidarity able to make that happen even if it were true.

          Zionism is only an anachronism if there is a confident better alternative, articulated by a confident better argument that is consented to.

          Zionism is an anachronism becasue it is colonialism and racism.

        • Shingo says:

          This happens all over the world. It is wrong and hypocritical to apply different standards to Israel.

          Except that unlike Italy, Israel had racist and xenophobia written into the foundation of it’s ideology and it’s laws.

        • Shmuel says:

          Zionism is an anachronism becasue it is colonialism and racism.

          Exactly.

        • “Zionism is an anachronism becasue it is colonialism and racism.

          Exactly.”

          Zionism is the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, the portion that reside in Israel.

          You want to call self-determination colonialism and racism. It ain’t so.

          There are racist expressions of Zionism, but the idea of a people having a home is not racism in the slightest. In fact the denial of a home is a form of racism.

          What’s worse, is that to the extent that critics of racist forms of Zionism adopt the view that Zionism itself is racist, eliminate themselves voluntarily from participation in social change in Israel.

          They can only then war (including propaganda) and never live as a participant. (To be a participant does not require agreement. It does require acceptance of the entity’s existence.)

        • Cliff says:

          ****Richard Witty on the Nakba:

          I, like Morris, do conclude that in 1948, the need for haven and for self-governance, and the possibility of it, were so compelling as to make ends justify means.

          I cannot possibly imagine myself undertaking the means of either intense ethically disciplined warfare (against guerillas, a difficult task), nor cruel terror.

          And, maybe that is opportunistic on my part. I don’t eat meat (and haven’t for 40 years) partially because I am unwilling to kill, or even to ask others to kill on my behalf. So, maybe my appreciation of that willingness on the part of Zionist pioneers is hypocritical.

          I don’t think so. Need is compelling. The art in politics by those actually committed to non-violence is to construct paths by which war is unnecessary.

          After war, comes some quiet, with inevitably compromised results. Why not skip the animosity and go right to reconciliation and clarity.

          LINK: link to mondoweiss.net

          ****Richard Witty, trivializing the Nakba as ‘academic’, while simultaneously comparing the removal of ILLEGAL JEWISH COLONIES to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their historic homeland by Jewish terrorists during the 1948 war (during WAR):

          It means that mass forced removal is still forced mass removal.

          Are you serious North?

          Don’t go to the convenient collective hatred theme. Lots of people hate groups that they think don’t belong in a place, for plausible even legal reasons.

          But, the remedy of forced removal of a population, in the present (not in some academic 1948) is a wrong, if not overtly fascist.

          Please find another approach.

          You propose invoking “international law” but would prohibit their individual day in court, in the name of “human rights”.

          LINK: link to mondoweiss.net

          ****Richard Witty saying intentional murder is “never justified”:

          They were murdered in 1920 because of the bigotry of those that associated all Jews with their fears.

          It was politically motivated, ideological, not all that different from much of the ideology cited here by some of the maximalists.

          Rationalized by some stimuli to bigotry. Never justified.

          Is intentional mass murder of teenage boys EVER justified? That anyone would attempt to, is sickening.

          LINK: link to mondoweiss.net

          ****Conclusion:

          Richard Witty – like every single other Zionist on MW – is a racist, bigot and ethno-religious nationalist fanatic.

          ———————————————-

          No one is saying self-determination is racist in and of itself. We are saying based on the historical reality, past, present, and future – Zionism is racism, apartheid and colonialism.

          Right now, and for the past 50 years – Israel has been colonizing the occupied territories. It’s short existence is defined by the occupation, wars, and racism/bigotry/etc.

        • jonah says:

          Shingo -
          This in itself does not prove whether Zionism is older than 114 years or otherwise.

          Ok. And do you know also what anniversary does Italy celebrates this year?

          link to quirinale.it

          Italy – not Jordan or Saudi Arabia – exists as modern state since 150 years, not longer.

          Israel is certainly headed towards becomming an apartheid and fascist entity.

          And where do you get this “certainty” from?

          Jews like you and eee can’t even come to an agreement as to what defines Judaism and the Jewish identity, so it is very much an abstract creation.

          Judaism is not a monolithic religion, there are different currents, however originating from the same ancient Mosaic source born in the land of Israel, the foundation of the entire Judaism.

          When Hertzl envisioned a Jewish homes, Palestine was but one of a number of locations being considered. Land in Africa and Australia was also considered, which only seved to underline the fact that Zionism has no connection with Palestine.

          But it is no surprise that Zionism, beyond the pragmatism of circumstances, then opted for the ancient land of Israel.
          Can you imagine Switzerland placed somewhere in africa or Asia, without its Alpine culture, its mountains, its founding myths whose places are there to be seen and experienced, its dairy cows, its Swiss federalism, its clocks, although a nation comprised of different linguistic and cultural groups?
          This applies to all nations of the world, including Israel.

          There was no exile. That too was invented, along withthe lies about the creation of Israel.

          No exile? Don’t you know the meaning of “Diaspora”? link to en.wikipedia.org

        • jonah says:

          Except that unlike Italy, Israel had racist and xenophobia written into the foundation of it’s ideology and it’s laws.

          Really? Where? Show me where exactly. Or is it another of your puerile allegations.

        • Hostage says:

          If that percentage declined to even 1/3, that would still be a critical mass to confirm the live nature of Zionism (return).

          Richard we all know that Israel is running television ads to get their ex-pats to come home because Jews have already been bailing out in droves.

          I could care less about Israel’s so-called critical mass and neither do my children and their families. Our representatives know that we do not support Israel too. Jewish support for Israel is diminishing in every western country. In a few years time it will be just another third world country unless it mends its ways.

        • Hostage says:

          How far back d0 you want to extend the fantasy revision?

          Richard it’s more like how long are petrified old farts like you going to cling to your fantasy? The experts at the Israeli Foreign Ministry have advised the cabinets for the last decade that Israel is becoming a pariah state, and that day has finally arrived. The new President of the EU Parliament reflects the attitude of the international community. He says that deals with Israel will be blocked until Israel makes progress on human rights and ending the conflict with the Palestinians. Nobody in the US government can afford to bail Israel out if the EU starts adopting sanctions. Get a clue.

        • Hostage says:

          To not seek to erase the Jewish religion from the planet, as it is with its diverse streams and interpretations, and as the Jewish religion has historically been the nut of what kept the Jewish people coherent over multiple generations, that you not abuse it by making politically motivated assertions about what the Jewish people are.

          I’m telling you to stop claiming that a Zionist racist colonial state is necessary to the existence of Jews living elsewhere. We got along fine without it before and would be content to do it again. I have no sentimental attachment to apartheid.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Hostage: Don’t forget that Israel is so indispensable to my continued existence as a Jew that I’ve visited it exactly twice in my entire 55 years, for a grand total of a few weeks, most recently in 1986.’

        • Shmuel says:

          originating from the same ancient Mosaic source born in the land of Israel

          Which source is that? The one that originated in the monotheism of Akhenaten, or the Sinaitic revelation?

        • Hostage says:

          Again, Hostage, this generalization stems from a biased view of the ME-conflict, it doesn’t correspond to reality and defies a factual objective analysis.

          In 2004 fourteen of the most qualified jurists in the World disagreed. The ICJ stated that with the exception of Israeli citizens, Israel was systematically violating the basic human rights of the inhabitants of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Court cited illegal interference by the government of Israel with the Palestinian’s national right to self-determination, land confiscations, house demolitions, the creation of isolated ethnic enclaves, and restrictions on movement and access to supplies of water, food, education, health care, work, and an adequate standard of living. The Court also noted that Israeli settlements had been established in violation of international law and that Palestinians had been displaced in violation of Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Gaza Fact Finding Mission and several UN Rapporteurs subsequently noted that in the movement and access policy there has been a violation of the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of race or national origin. All of those things happen to be constituent acts of the crime of apartheid that are enumerated in article 2 of the convention. BTW, those findings of fact are all prima facie evidence which – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact by a criminal prosecutor.

        • jonah says:

          “Don’t forget that Israel is so indispensable to my continued existence as a Jew that I’ve visited it exactly twice in my entire 55 years, for a grand total of a few weeks, most recently in 1986.”

          Maybe not for Witty in particular, but definitely for the Jewish people as a whole. However, the ceaseless mockery of the individual in your comments alludes to the real, offensive character of your tacit criticism of the universal.

        • “Richard it’s more like how long are petrified old farts like you going to cling to your fantasy?”

          Why shift from the identity of Zionism to the practice of Zionism.

          I’ve stated very clearly and repeatedly that I believe that the modern practice of Zionism requires reform, to the original standard of Jewish (nationalist) #and# democratic.

          The straw man shift to criticism of practice from criticism of identity is petty.

          “petrified old farts” – Don’t get ageist as well as politically bigoted. Phil is the same age as I (a year younger), Norman Finkelstein is the same age.

          I agree that conditions on Israel making progress on human rights and peace are reasonable.

          They should accomplish that realization of the Zionist dream already, rather than deferring it by petty forms of nationalism.

        • Hostage says:

          Really? Where? Show me where exactly. Or is it another of your puerile allegations.

          The failure of Israel to adopt constitutional guarantees of equal rights for minorities and the loopholes in Articles 8 & 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty have been discussed before:
          link to mondoweiss.net
          link to mondoweiss.net
          link to mondoweiss.net
          link to mondoweiss.net
          link to mondoweiss.net

        • You stated that the “Zionist people originated 114 years ago”.

          I replied that Zionism is inherent in the Jewish religion, and that the Jewish religion has been the glue that kept Judaism coherent for millenia.

          You hear Zionism and all you hear is the political form, not the social unity, not the religious aspiration.

          Maybe you think that you are making sense in your arguments. I hear you not distinguishing between meanings of the term, preferring to name Zionism as only the specific practice, and not the varying ideas (with the unifying theme of Jewish residence and self-governance in Israel).

          For partisan political ends.

          That 55% of Jews live outside Israel is wonderful. Most of my family that did live in Israel at some point, made aliyah, moved out to Great Britain, US, Canada.

          It does not however diminish the relevance of the 45% of world Jews that remain there, intend to continue to, and have the right to without threat of ideology that seeks for their removal.

          I have no ideological attachment to racist forms of “progressive” ideas. You do get that anti-Zionism is a prejudicial approach.

          Anti-Zionism as distinct from criticism of Israeli policies.

        • GalenSword says:

          The wikipedia article is confused.

          There was no galut rom.

          The Magnes Zionist explains the issue in link to jeremiahhaber.com .

          The Greco-Roman Judaic populations outside of Palestine were almost entirely descendants of converts, who had no ancestors that had ever lived anywhere in the territory of the Kingdom of Judea.

          The Roman historian Dio Cassius wrote about this situation in the late 2nd/early 3rd century.

          The Talmudic current of Judaism was thoroughly deterritorialized by the completion of the Jerusalem Talmud. One could make a good case that Talmudic sages were responding to the needs of the Diaspora convert Judaic populations that were funding the Talmudic centers of learning in Palestine and in Babylonia because Palestinian Judaism (and especially its funding system associated with the pilgrimage cycle) had been shattered in the aftermath of the defeat of the Bar Kochba rebellion.

          Here is a summary of the research I was doing while I was an undergraduate at Harvard.

          [The reaction to my first three hypotheses below convinced me that I probably had no future in Jewish studies. I have the impression that nowadays my ideas are much closer to the mainstream.]

          The hypotheses were:

          1. Classical Greco-Roman Judean and (convert) Judaic populations must be distinguished. Palestinians descend from the native Judean population while (convert) Judaic populations are the foundation of Medieval and modern Jewish populations.

          Hellenistic Judaism arises as a development of the Greek colonies planted in Palestine in the wake of Alexander’s conquests, for the descendants of the Greek colonists began to practice Judaic religion and then began to emigrate to Alexandria and other parts of the Hellenistic world to create the Greek-speaking Judaic Diaspora communities, which then sent funds to the Jerusalem Temple for sacrifices.

          Not only could Greek-speaking Judeans emigrating to the Diaspora find scriptural justification for taking pagan wives in the Book of Ruth, but the Book of Esther could also be read to rationalize proselytizing gentiles.

          The later Hasmoneans and the Herodians seem to have developed some awareness that Judaizing pagans increased the wealth and power of Kingdom of Judea especially if the Kings of Judea came to be perceived by Romans and Greeks as the Judaic Kings and if the Diaspora Judaic populations could be persuaded to send contributions to the Jerusalem Temple.

          According to the Latin texts, the title of the ruler of Judea develops from Rex Iudaeae (King of Judea) to Rex Iudaeus (Judean King) and finally to Rex Iudaicus (Judaic King).

          The Gospels indicate another possible title. Jesus is called Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum (Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων), which means Jesus the Nazarene King of the Judeans.

          An expansion of the Greek-speaking Diaspora dovetailed with road and port building within Judea as well as

          (a) with the expansion of the Temple complex,

          (b) with the earliest beginnings of a Judaic trade network connecting the Greco-Roman Judaic communities to those of the Persian-Aramaic regions , and

          (c) with the development of the intellectual culture of Ioudaismos that could either rival or complement Hellenismos.

          John 4:22 might be an oblique or garbled reference to Judaic proselytization.

          ὑμεῖς προσκυνεῖτε ὁ οὐκ οἴδατε· ἡμεῖς προσκυνοῦμεν ὃ οἴδαμεν, ὅτιἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν.

          KJV

          Ye worship ye know not what we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews

          I think there is a material difference in Greek between

          ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν (Septuagint)

          for salvation is from the Jews (KJV: of the Jews)

          and

          ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία τοις Ιουδαίοις ἐστίν

          for salvation is to/for/of the Jews

          The later is more consistent with Septuagint conceptualization and phraseology.

          Here is a use of σωτηρία (salvation) from Obadiah.

          1:17 ᾿Εν δὲ τῷ ὄρει Σιὼν ἔσται ἡ σωτηρία, καὶ ἔσται ἅγιον· καὶ κατακληρονομήσουσιν ὁ οἶκος ᾿Ιακὼβ τοὺς κατακληρονομήσαντας αὐτούς.

          But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance and there shall be holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions

          Esther 4:14 provides a grammatical construction that should be compared with John 4:22.

          ὡς ὅτι ἐὰν παρακούσῃς ἐν τούτῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἄλλοθεν βοήθεια καὶ σκέπη ἔσται τοῖς ιουδαίοις σὺ δὲ καὶ ὁ οἶκος τοῦ πατρός σου ἀπολεῖσθε καὶ τίς οἶδεν εἰ εἰς τὸν καιρὸν τοῦτον ἐβασίλευσας

          For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise (will be) to the Jewsfrom another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

          In other words John 4:22 can be read to suggest that Judeans are bringing salvation to non-Judeans and are not merely the beneficiaries of salvation, which is the more usual Old Testament/Hebrew Bible conceptualization. (According to the normal Christian interpretation Jesus is referring to himself.)

          If Judaic proselytization targeted gentiles as Romans and Greeks seemed to believe, the apostle Paul had good reason to reject requiring a pagan to practice Judaism before he became a follower of Jesus because a gentile convert to Judaism might join a Judaic community and never take the final step to Christianity. (The subtext of the Paul’s disagreement with other early Judean Christians may have been economic. The Jerusalem church under the control of Jesus’ family was running out of money.)

          Thus Hasmonean and Herodian period Judaic proselytization

          (a) may haved served as a model or competitor for early Christian missionaries and

          (b) may also have made it possible to reconstruct Judaism in the Diaspora after Second Temple Judaism is shattered in Judea with the crushing of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion.

          Constantinian Christianity crystallizes in the 4th century. Islam seems to be a reaction among some Judaic and Judean Christians to “idolatrous” ideas incorporated in Christianity while Rabbinic Judaism crystalizes (out of the geonic/talmudic Judaic religious current) at least in part as a reaction to the growth of Islam.

          2. Peripheral Romano-Frankish, Romano-Arabic, and Turko-Slavic populations constructed the Medieval world.

          Romano-Franks created the Medieval Christian West.

          Romano-Arabs created the Medieval Islamic East.

          Turko-Slavs and the last Geonim created the Medieval Jewish trade networks, (a) which were the “territory” of Medieval Rabbinic Judaism and (b) without which the Medieval world did not function economically.

          For a long period the Medieval Jewish trade networks were the main source of Slavic slaves, who played such a large role throughout Medieval Europe and Islam that many modern languages still use derivatives of the word slav to mean slave.

          As a corollary to this Jewish slave trade, many Jews went into medicine because Jewish slave dealers needed to make sure that their “stock” was in reasonably good health.

          Because purchases of slaves often had to be financed, the Jewish slave trade also gave a big incentive to the development of Jewish lending and banking businesses.

          3. Nineteenth century Jews inherited a superior form of social networking from the international Jewish trade networks of the Middle Ages.

          Even though pre-modern forms of Jewish business activity were in decline since the late 18th century, the associated Jewish networks of trust increased in size and cohesiveness with the development of international telecommunications technology and the growth of the associated international media industries in the 19th century.

          At the same time, (1) because Jewish population was growing rapidly, (2) because many traditional Jewish economic niches had become obsolete, and (3) because more non-Jews had begun to enter traditionally Jewish types of business, Jewish social networks were becoming more aggressive and often tried to establish effectively exclusive claim to new economic sectors.

          Increasing numbers of non-Jews began to view Jews as economic cheaters, and despite self-serving Jewish efforts to blame Christianity for rising hostility toward Jews (in an era of declining religious belief!), classic late 19th anti-Semitism was really a response to the growing effectiveness of Jewish social networking and can be primarily attributed to antisocial Jewish behavior associated with certain aspects of economic modernization and technological innovation that advantaged the Jewish meta-population.

          4. Political science and the historical discussion of the nature of the nation are too restrictive because they assume that the elemental nation-state must be consolidated on the basis of a territory and language.

          From the early 19th century onward Jewish communities undergo a process of virtual national consolidation on a foundation with two key components.

          The first component consisted of the remnants of pre-modern Jewish trade networks that had been constructed around a common faith requiring a commitment to Jewish sacred law. Jewish sacred law (or Halakhah) provided a uniform commercial code that regulated Jewish networks of trust in mercantile and financial industries.

          The second component was a new national consciousness associated with the new idea of a Jewish Volk that must take possession and control of Palestine even if the vast majority of Jews never migrate there.

          Evolving (and somewhat different) political and economic interests of Western, Central and Eastern European Jews worked together to create the Zionist Virtual Colonial Motherland

          (a) that partnered with the UK and

          (b) that managed the New Settlement and now the State of Israel as a colonial dependency.

          Since the end of the British Mandatory, the Zionist colonial system has evolved into a vastly profitable mostly financial empire that has rendered the US government an intimidated and dependent client state within an extremely flexible imperial system.

        • 57 years North.

          two months total.

          Its important for me to preserve the self-governance of those that I feel a connection with. I oppose the racist forms of Zionism AND the racist forms of “progressive” anti-Zionism.

          Its a rock in my shoe.

        • richard, what ‘social unity’? what ‘unifying theme of Jewish residence and self-governance in Israel’ might you be referencing when the conference of rabbis rejected zionism as did reform jews in the 19th century when zionism was first introduced (as per my earlier comment/evidence). you’re completely ignoring history and creating some fantasy of unification that did not exist. yes these are now aspirations but you can’t turn back the clock and pretend it always existed when it didn’t. check out these dates:

          Until 1917, the World Zionist Organization pursued a strategy of building a Jewish National Home through persistent small-scale immigration and the founding of such bodies as the Jewish National Fund (1901—a charity that bought land for Jewish settlement) and the Anglo-Palestine Bank (1903 – provided loans for Jewish businesses and farmers). In 1942, at the Biltmore Conference, the movement included for the first time an express objective of the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

          The 28th Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem in 1968, adopted the five points of the “Jerusalem Program” as the aims of Zionism today. They are:[12]

          Unity of the Jewish People and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life
          Ingathering of the Jewish People in its historic homeland, Eretz Israel, through Aliyah from all countries
          Strengthening of the State of Israel, based on the prophetic vision of justice and peace
          Preservation of the identity of the Jewish People through fostering of Jewish and Hebrew education, and of Jewish spiritual and cultural values
          Protection of Jewish rights everywhere

          Since the creation of modern Israel, the role of the movement has declined and it is now a peripheral factor in Israeli politics, though different perceptions of Zionism continue to play a role in Israeli and Jewish political discussion.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          but you do not want to acknowledge different perceptions of Zionism, you want unification and therefore you claim it exists. it doesn’t.

        • Cliff says:

          ‘ancient land of Israel’?

          Are you you a descendant of ancient Isralites, jonah? Are most Israelis descendants of ancient Israelites? Is a convert to Judaism a descendant of ancient Israelites? And what about the people who lived there before ‘the land of Israel’?

          Why didn’t Jews move back to the ‘land of Israel’? What were they doing, continuing to live in Europe and America and elsewhere?

          If I convert, do I get to ‘return’ to the land of Israel?

          3000 years is more than enough time for a cut-off point. Unless you want to bring back slavery as well (which you might).

          Israel could only exist presently as it does, through ethnic cleansing, war, occupation and apartheid.

          Jews are transplanted to Palestine and then you call it ‘the land of Israel’.

          Your nationalistic myth is still a nationalistic myth in spite of your insistence to the contrary.

          I thought you were here to confront the anti-Israel front? Who do you think you’re convincing? Anyone who believes this garbage already believes this garbage. They are religious nuts or Zionist Jews. That’s the pool you get to choose from.

          There aren’t any middle-of-the-road reasonable people who have no ties to the conflict who will be swayed by your logic.

        • Mooser says:

          “l’shah-NAH ha-ba-AH b’y’ROO-sha-LAH-yim” – Next year in Jerusalem These words are recited every year at the end of the Seder since the time of the first exile.

          I remember those words very clearly. My Dad used to recite them after finishing his tax returns. He had some funny ideas about how low the tax rate was in Israel.

        • Why shift from the identity of Zionism to the practice of Zionism.

          because there is no unified ‘identity of zionism’ in judaism, on a spiritual level. zionism exists politically in practice but you want to gloss over that because as practiced, it’s racist and responsible for the horrid apartheid conditions of the state. so you’d rather create some spiritualized unified fantasy of zionism as a basis for your argument and for practical reasons as a form of argument pretend it’s always been present and the founders of zionism just kind of uncovered it or exposed it or something. you’re being crazy.

        • definitely for the Jewish people as a whole

          ah, one upping the VMJ are we? you’ve moved the goal posts from the vast majority to definitely all jews. pleeeease jonah.

        • Cliff says:

          Witty, why haven’t you been able to back up any of your claims? You aren’t debating Hostage.

          You’re just affirming your original comments by repeating them over and over without substantiation.

          Stop trolling the blog.

        • RW wrote:

          “Zionism is inherent in the Jewish religion, and that the Jewish religion has been the glue that kept Judaism coherent for millenia.”

          Agree completely with the first phrase, “Zionism is inherent in the Jewish religion.”

          Quibbles with the second phrase revolve around whether “Judaism” is the tag assigned to the “religion” of the Jewish people, or “Jewish” is the tag applied to the “religion” of the “Judaic” people. in my view, the former makes more sense: Judaism = the religious expression of the Jewish people, and one can be a non-religious, ie. non-Judaic, person who nevertheless is of the Jewish habitus, or shared mytho-ethnic branch of the tree of humanity.

        • Shingo says:

          Italy – not Jordan or Saudi Arabia – exists as modern state since 150 years, not longer.

          Interesting but irrelevant.

          And where do you get this “certainty” from?

          From Israel.

          Judaism is not a monolithic religion, there are different currents, however originating from the same ancient Mosaic source born in the land of Israel, the foundation of the entire Judaism.

          Most Jews are not born in the land of Israel.

          But it is no surprise that Zionism, beyond the pragmatism of circumstances, then opted for the ancient land of Israel.

          No surprise, but it proves that Palestine was not essential and that Zionism’s exietence was not conditional upon Palestine being taken from the Palestinians alone. As Hertzl stated in his diaries, the Zionist project would have required the trasnfer of the local population no matter where the Jewish State ended up.

          Don’t you know the meaning of “Diaspora”?

          There was no exile.

        • Mooser says:

          “I oppose the racist forms of Zionism AND the racist forms of “progressive” anti-Zionism.”

          I’m sorry Richard, there must be something wrong with the commenting software. All the citations of your letters, blog entries and actions directed at Aipac, JNF and Commentary and the rest were lost in transmission. Could you send them in again?
          And you might want to tell us how you find time to live two completely seperate lives, one here, and one as this Richard Witty who “opposes” all those things.

        • Shingo says:

          For the benefit of your puerile brain Jonah.

          1. 93% of the land is held in trust by the Jewish National Fund for the use of Jews wherever they may be in the world. That means the Palestinians (20% of the population) are only entitled to use 3% of the land. No provision to accommodate natural growth.

          2. ID papers coded to differentiate Jews from Muslims

          3. Intense airport security, where all items are removed from the cases of Arabs

          4. Demotion of Arab homes

          5. Refusal of permits to rebuild them

          6. Prohibitions on Arab land purchases and the resulting overcrowding in Arab towns

          7. Re architecting roads and bridges so that only Jews can travel on them

          8. Gross neglect of infrastructure and services such a water, electricity, clinics and schools, especially in the Negev.

          9. Exclusion of Arab workers from wealth generating sectors of the economy

          10. Firing workers who speak Arab rather than Hebrew

          11. Diverting or manipulating water supplies

          12. Erasure of Arab presence and history by building parks and forests over Arab villages

          13. Desecrating a Palestinian cemetery to build a Museum of tolerance

          14. Removing former Arab place names from maps and roads.

          15. Arab school curriculums are rewritten to remove Arab history and replace it with the Zionist history.

          16. Massiovely disproportionate water allocations

        • American says:

          “They should accomplish that realization of the Zionist dream already, rather than deferring it by petty forms of nationalism”…witty

          What was the zionist dream witty?
          To live seperately from other people to avoid anti semitism. ..that is what it was…what it said it was.
          We know returning to kingdom in Palestine they left over 200 years ago wasn’t even the first choice, other places were considered, they finally chose Palestine against the wishes of the inhabitants, against the wishes of a billion Arabs, a place they knew they weren’t welcome because they would usurp the land and rights of current inhabitants.

          If the Jews/Zionist were right now living seperately and peacefully on land they obtained fairly it wouldn’t be an issue….no one would care and the world wouldn’t be involved.

          But that isn’t what they did is it?
          What matters now is what Israel and zionism are and what they are doing. The majority of the world doesn’t care about your self determination or references to Israel in your prayers or any of the rest of the zionist mumbo jumbo. Israel is a hostile, agressive, destructive, parastic, troublemaking, racist state to ‘all others’…..no one cares if it’s democratic and good for the Jews, it’s not good for anyone else in the world…..that is what people care about and believe should be stopped.

          If you want to continue to go against the basic values of most people of the world, go ahead. …..keep taking your chances for all those mumbo jumbo delusions.

        • Shingo says:

          I oppose the racist forms of Zionism AND the racist forms of “progressive” anti-Zionism.

          But you support massive human rights abuses, mass murder, ethnic cleasing and war crimes by Zionism uncondtionally.

        • Shingo says:

          Agree completely with the first phrase, “Zionism is inherent in the Jewish religion.”

          It might be today, but a century ago it was not.

        • “Social” unity applies to the social nature of Jewish identification in contrast to political.

          The criticism of Zionism is of politics.

          The return is constructed of people, social. The social happened. The state was needed given the contempt and harrassment that the people experienced upon arriving.

          Hostage’s statement was that the concept of Zionist people has existed for 114 years. That is a false statement. The concept of Zionism, the return, is multi-millenial.

        • The concept of return exists universally in Judaism.

          The only dispute at all is of the timing and conditions. Only a small fraction of Jews, including the ultra-orthodox oppose Zionism currently. Many are indifferent to Zionist political structures, regarding it as any other secular state.

          None regard the protection that Jews have in Israel as inconsequential.

        • jonah says:

          1. 93% of the land is held in trust by the Jewish National Fund for the use of Jews wherever they may be in the world. That means the Palestinians (20% of the population) are only entitled to use 3% of the land. No provision to accommodate natural growth.
          2. ID papers coded to differentiate Jews from Muslims
          3. Intense airport security, where all items are removed from the cases of Arabs
          4. Demotion of Arab homes
          5. Refusal of permits to rebuild them
          6. Prohibitions on Arab land purchases and the resulting overcrowding in Arab towns
          7. Re architecting roads and bridges so that only Jews can travel on them
          8. Gross neglect of infrastructure and services such a water, electricity, clinics and schools, especially in the Negev.
          9. Exclusion of Arab workers from wealth generating sectors of the economy
          10. Firing workers who speak Arab rather than Hebrew”

          Etc., etc.

          You are making the usual decontextualized list of allegations, but you’ve not substantiated what you said above (“Israel had racism and xenophobia written into the foundation of it’s ideology and it’s laws”): Where exactly is racism and xenophobia written into the foundation of Israel’s ideology and laws?

        • jonah says:

          “There was no exile.”

          So if there was no exile, what was then? Was there anything for you, Shingo?

        • The concept of return exists universally in Judaism.

          richard, you still have not established zionism means “the concept of return”. obviously they could have just ‘returned’ and lived with the indigenous people, they didn’t. there’s a little disconnect in your analysis.

        • Mooser says:

          “Where exactly is racism and xenophobia written into the foundation of Israel’s ideology and laws?”

          Good God on a Segway, what a jerk you are. Jews do well in America because racism and xenophobia are explicitly written out of our laws.
          When Israel has foundation documents that say “All men are created equal” and “No religious test for office…” and “Discrimination by race or religion or fender is not allowed…” you can talk. Til then keep your mouth shut. My God, using the very principles which have enabled American Jews to provide so much support to Israel against us. You are despicable.

        • Hostage says:

          I oppose the racist forms of Zionism AND the racist forms of “progressive” anti-Zionism. . . . Its a rock in my shoe.

          Richard we’ve seen over and over again in your comments here that you resort to hypocritical name calling when your vacuous arguments are exposed as nonsense. In the end you always support the criminal Israeli colonial enterprise and apartheid measures that it has employed against the Palestinian people. The rocks are in your head if you think anyone is buying-in to that useless argument about self-governance.

        • jonah says:

          In 2004 fourteen of the most qualified jurists in the World disagreed.

          Most qualified?

          First of all: the ICJ is only enabled to give advisory opinions, not binding resolutions. The latter pertains only to the Security Council.
          Secondly: its advisory opinion fails to consider the content of Resolution 242 in its entirety, namely the second principle that requires “secure and recognized boundaries”. Moreover, it seems to mention that the Resolution 242 was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter recommending “pacific resolution of dispute”, thus intended to be followed and implemented via negotiated settlements between the concerned parties – and not under Chapter VII that empowers the Security Council to “require enforcement by coercive action.” In other words, it fails to acknowledge that the occupation of the territories is to be considered lawful, the same extent as the the Six Day war is a just war according to international law (Resolution 242 – Chapter IV, sic!)).
          Thirdly: The conclusion that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law”, based on article of the Fourth Geneva Convention, is false, since there wasn’t and isn’t any “forced transfer” or “deportation” of Israel’s own population into the “occupied territories”.
          Besides, the UN Charter doesn’t entitles the ICJ or the General Assembly to assign or affect ‘ownership’ of the Territories. There is no legal international document declaring the Territories as “Arab territories” or “occupied Palestinian territories”, unless we want to believe and suggest, as the ICJ does (in violation of its own statute), that the UNGA resolutions are legal documents.
          Last but not least: Even the Oslo Accords and the Gaza-Jericho agreements recognize Israel legal presence in the Territories. Did the ICJ forget this?

          All this doesn’t mean that I do support the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the territories, and that there aren’t unlawful situations in the Territories that need to be addressed, even urgently (settler violence for instance) – it means simply that a just solution of the issue of the settlements, as well as all the other issues of the conflict (for instance Arab Palestinian terrorist activities) must, can and will be reached only through direct peace negotiations, as required by Res. 242. The Palestinians need to understand that nobody can and will dispense them from their part of responsability.

        • eljay says:

          >> “petrified old farts” – Don’t get ageist as well as politically bigoted. Phil is the same age as I (a year younger) …

          RW proves the point by failing to grasp that age does not always equal mindset.

        • Hostage says:

          The straw man shift to criticism of practice from criticism of identity is petty.

          There is nothing petty about criticizing the practices of colonialism and apartheid, they have been declared crimes against humanity. You can reform ethnic nationalism. It’s time for Zionism to pass from the pages of history, and Israel too if the government refuses to grant equal rights to the Palestinians and refugees.

        • eljay says:

          >> Zionism is the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, the portion that reside in Israel.

          I love this. It has been explained to RW numerous times that self-determination is a process that the majority of people within a geographic region undertake to assert some form of autonomy or independence from those around them, and to create a political entity that respects the rights of all individuals within the new entity.

          Zionism – whose purpose was/is to relocate Jews from around the world into Palestine, to displace the indigenous population and to steal land and resources in order to create an oppressive, colonialist and religion-supremacist state – is not self-determination.

          So RW, using Zio-supremacist “common sense”, argues instead that “self-determination” is the right of the thief to keep all he has stolen.

          He also argues that the concept of “return” to a place where people have never been is inherent in Judaism. He fails to brush this aside like so much “academic speculation”, however. More importantly, however – and entirely unlike his view regarding ethnically-cleansed Palestinians – he never suggests that Jews should have bided their time, and should continue to bide their time, for the opportunity to make their case before a “colour-blind” court. Nope. Zionist terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was the right way to go about it, and he fully supports those crimes.

          RW’s true, Zio-supremacist colours continue to shine ever brighter.

        • Hostage says:

          Agree completely with the first phrase, “Zionism is inherent in the Jewish religion.”

          Then you need to read the Philadelphia platform of the Reform movement (1869) and the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform. The Reform movement rejected the doctrine of return and the notion of a Jewish nationality.

        • jonah says:

          Dear Mooses, I see you have a little bit difficulty to discern between law and reality. There aren’t laws in Israel that state: “The men are not created equal”, “Discrimination by race or religion or gender is allowed” and so on. Or do you believe that racial discrimination in your beloved country is written in your basic Laws?

        • jonah says:

          Correction: Moreover, it seems !fails! to mention that the Resolution 242 was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter recommending “pacific resolution of dispute”

        • Hostage says:

          You aren’t debating Hostage.

          No he and Jonah have energetically spammed the site to bury the discussion about the belief in an “exile” for hatred without a cause; the story of the 18 decrees aimed at separating Jews from Gentiles; and the need for repentance out of love before there can be a allegorical return as part of the doctrine of the Three Oaths. Xenophobia wasn’t an integral part of ancient Judaism, it was part of the pseudo-history introduced in the era of Ezra by the Jews of the Persian Empire.

        • wow.
          Xenophobia wasn’t an integral part of ancient Judaism, it was part of the pseudo-history introduced in the era of Ezra by the Jews of the Persian Empire.

          more tell us more, Hostage.

          I’m reading “The Book of Hiding,” by Timothy Beal. It’s an explication of the story of Esther. Beal is messing with my mind. Actually, I’ve concluded that Beal’s mind is messed up such that he is incapable of assessing the tale rationally. He BEGINS with the premise that, I guess, is characteristic of Protestants, that the Bible is the INERRANT word of god and must be believed as such. That being the case, and he being a trained Protestant theologian, how is he to understand a story that strikes all his other Protestant/Presbyterian learning as immoral?

          I take a far simpler position. The Esther story is an adaptation of a contemporaneous myth in the Babylonian world. Some young woman in the Exile heard the story, chafed at her situation in exile, felt the not unusual emotions of a young woman who was not able to do and have all that she wished, and worked out her frustration creatively. End of story.

          Not every syllable written has to have life-changing significance for all time.

        • the denial of “self-determination” –of the nationalist aspirations of the Arab states of the fractured Ottoman empire, as promised by Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points, is the seed of all that is still raging in the region today.

          Instead of ensuring self-determination to Arabs, Wilson was influenced by zionists at Versailles to endorse and enforce instead the Balfour Declaration, as Edwin Black spells out unequivocally in “The Transfer Agreement:”

          After the war, the question of who would represent Jewish interests at the Peace Conference was bitterly contested. A delegation cutting across Committee and Congress lines finally did assemble at Versailles. . . .Majority Jewish sentiments won out at Versailles, assuring a Jewish homeland in Palestine . . .American Jewish Congress [the zionist faction] leaders returned from Versailles in triumph. They had helped create a Jewish homeland . . .”

        • Hostage says:

          3000 years is more than enough time for a cut-off point. Unless you want to bring back slavery as well (which you might).

          There are several Orthodox sects who teach that each Jewish soul is reincarnated until it fulfills each of the 613 commandments in word thought and deed, e.g.
          * link to chabad.org
          *http://www.kabbalaonline.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1287922/jewish/Fulfilling-All-613-Commandments-161.htm

          There is no single definitive list of the 613 commandments, but all of them have one or more related to the practice of slavery. Here is a page that provides two such lists: link to hebrew4christians.com

          Number 347 in the first one, “You shall be able to transfer a gentile slave to your children” might be something that would be dangerous to leave undone;-)

          Maimonides’ list contains the commandments regarding 290 To blow the Shofar on the tenth of Tishrei to free the slaves; 504 Purchase of a Hebrew slave in accordance with the prescribed laws & et seq; 514 Canaanite slaves must work forever unless injured in one of their limbs, & etc,

        • “obviously they could have just ‘returned’ and lived with the indigenous people, they didn’t. there’s a little disconnect in your analysis.”

          Read of the history of Zionism, Annie. You are not aware of the harrassment that Jewish immigrants experienced when arriving. Sniping of residences, periodic massacres.

          “Give me your tired, your poor” is a progressive value.

          ‘You are not indigenous. Leave.’ is not a progressive value.

        • An advocate of democracy would “buy in” to the “vacuus argument” of self-governance.

          You know that I and the majority of the world regard the argument that “Zionism is racism” to be a racist, vacuus argument, a reactionary one.

        • RoHa says:

          “The state was needed given the contempt and harrassment that the people experienced upon arriving.”

          You simply cannot face the truth, can you? That is why you keep deceiving yourself and trying to deceive the rest of us.

          The harrassment was the result of their intention to set up a state. The people of Palestine understood perfectly well that this bunch of European settlers intended to take the land from them, and this intention was there even before the settlers arrived.

          If the Europeans had entered modestly wiht the intent of becoming part of the community instead of rejecting and replacing it, things would have been very different.

        • jonah says:

          “No he and Jonah have energetically spammed the site…”

          So you consider the arguments that we’ve “energically” brought in support of our belief simply spam? That is your opinion about an open debate? Anyway, it may also explain your bad opinion of Judaism, expressed in the revealing statement: “There is no single definitive list of the 613 commandments, but all of them have one or more related to the practice of slavery.” Check your “account”, Hostage.

        • RoHa says:

          “There are several Orthodox sects who teach that each Jewish soul is reincarnated until it fulfills each of the 613 commandments in word thought and deed,”

          And we non-Jewish souls….?

        • RoHa says:

          “It has been explained to RW numerous times that self-determination is …”

          Come on, now, eljay! It should be obvious to you by now that RW is impervious to explanations. His position is essentially emotional. He is desperately trying to keep convinced that Israel and Zionism and Jewishness are Good Things because he has an emotional investment in the ideas.

          That is why he does not grasp the concept that words have denotations. He is only interested in the emotional connotations. He uses “self-determination”, “liberation”, “cultural genocide”, etc., just as “Hooray” and “Boo”.*

          That is why all his writings are just emotional effusions, so that to us it seems he thinks grammar is his mother’s mother and syntax is levied by the Catholic Church.

          Mere rational argument will not sway him. We only frustrate ourselves.
          Let us just concentrate on mockery, instead. That might not sway him, either, but at least it will be fun.

          *A. J. Ayer and C. L. Stevenson would have loved him.

        • Hostage says:

          So if there was no exile, what was then? Was there anything for you, Shingo?

          The exile was a metaphor introduced in the narratives of the patriarchs dummy. Even during the period of the Second Commonwealth there were entire communities of Jewish sages and proselytes living in self-imposed exile in the Judean wilderness. The rabbincal leadership asked Vespasian for permission to setup their academy on one of the Emperor’s private estates at Yavneh and pragmatically discouraged the re-establishment of the fanatical Temple cult. They adopted the popular legend of a broad or universal exile of the Jews. See for example:
          *Israel Jacob Yuval, “The Myth of the Jewish Exile from the Land of Israel: A Demonstration of Irenic Scholarship”, Common Knowledge – Volume 12, Issue 1, Winter 2006, pp. 16-33 link to muse.jhu.edu
          *Or visit The Orion Center for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Hebrew University and read some of the online articles and Symposium papers. link to orion.mscc.huji.ac.il

        • Hostage says:

          The concept of return exists universally in Judaism.

          Once again, quite a few generations of Reform Jews rejected a physical return and viewed it as an allegorical or metaphorical literary device. Here is a link to the Pittsburgh Program at the Jewish Virtual Library. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

          Please read that and stop spamming the thread.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage’s statement was that the concept of Zionist people has existed for 114 years. That is a false statement. The concept of Zionism, the return, is multi-millenial.

          Richard apparently won’t admit that formal Rabbinical gatherings from both the Orthodox and Reform streams totally rejected Herzl’s proposals and his movement. e.g. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

          So, Witty simply keeps spamming the thread.

        • Hostage says:

          >> “petrified old farts” – Don’t get ageist as well as politically bigoted.

          There’s nothing wrong with us old farts, just the ones who are permanently stuck in their outmoded ways of life.

        • Hostage says:

          First of all: the ICJ is only enabled to give advisory opinions, not binding resolutions.

          That’s totally incorrect, but beside the point. The applicable international laws aren’t non-binding and neither are the legal determinations made by any of the primary UN organs made within the area of their competence.

          FYI, the General Assembly acknowledged that both Israel and Palestine had made declarations in-line with their acceptance of resolution 181(II) and its minority protection plan. See General Assembly resolutions 273/3; 43/177; and the discussion about the resolution 181(II) guarantees in Chapter “III The United Nations Charter and the treaties concluded after the war”, starting on page 22, in E/CN.4/367

          Resolution 181(II) contained a compromissory clause which gives the ICJ compulsory jurisdiction to settle any dispute between Israel or Palestine concerning the rights of the people that were placed under the protection of the UN. Palestine introduced the request for the Emergency Session that resulted in the referral to the ICJ and that emergency session endorsed the ICJ findings in resolution ES-10/15, 2 August 2004. Here is the applicable portion of resolution 181(II):

          Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Provisions

          The provisions of chapters 1 and 2 of the declaration shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Any Member of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the General Assembly any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these stipulations, and the General Assembly may thereupon make such recommendations as it may deem proper in the circumstances.

          Any dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this declaration shall be referred, at the request of either party, to the International Court of Justice, unless the parties agree to another mode of settlement.

        • Hostage says:

          Jonah: Moreover, it seems !fails! to mention that the Resolution 242 was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter recommending “pacific resolution of dispute”

          The ICJ, the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, and the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs explain that the Security Council seldom issues resolutions under any single chapter of the Charter and that in any event the members have a treaty obligation to accept its decisions in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 (Chapter V) of the Charter.

          The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, a UN legal publication, says that during the United Nations Conference on International Organization which met in San Francisco in 1945, attempts to limit obligations of Members under Article 25 of the Charter to those decisions taken by the Council in the exercise of its specific powers under Chapters VI, VII and VIII of the Charter failed. It was stated at the time that those obligations also flowed from the authority conferred on the Council under Article 24(1) to act on the behalf of the members while exercising its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. See page 5, The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Extracts Relating to Article 25. link to untreaty.un.org

          The Repertory explains that Article 24, interpreted in this sense, becomes a source of authority which can be drawn upon to meet situations which are not covered by the more detailed provisions in the succeeding articles of Chapter VI, VII, and VIII. See The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Extracts Relating to Article 24. link to untreaty.un.org

          Note 2 on Page 1 of the Repertory says: “The question whether Article 24 confers general powers on the Security Council ceased to be a subject of discussion following the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice rendered on 21 June 1971 in connection with the question of Namibia (ICJ Reports, 1971, page 16).” link to untreaty.un.org

          In the 2004 Wall case Judge Higgins agreed with the majority opinion that the Israeli settlements, including East Jerusalem, had been established in breach of international law. In her separate opinion (para 38), she cited the Namibia case and wrote “It follows from a finding of an unlawful situation by the Security Council, in accordance with Articles 24 and 25 of the Charter entails “decisions [that] are consequently binding on all States Members of the United Nations, which are thus under obligation to accept and carry them out”.

          In any event, the Security Council directed all of the parties to immediately implement resolution 242 in accordance with resolution 338, which the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council described as an exercise of the Council’s Chapter VII powers.

        • Michael W. says:

          Hostage, I read your link about the Pittsburgh Platform (1885), and it doesn’t reject “Herzel’s proposals” since they couldn’t possibly know what they were going to be. Der Judenstaat (1896) hasn’t been published yet. The Dreyfus Affair (1895) hasn’t even occurred yet.

          I don’t know which comment by Witty you were responding to so I don’t see the relevance of the Platform for today’s problems. But a good educational link none the less.

        • Hostage says:

          Dear Mooses, I see you have a little bit difficulty to discern between law and reality.

          Not really, I’ve supplied you and your friends a list of laws and military orders that explicitly discriminate against citizens of the non-Jewish nationalities and Palestinians on several occasions: “Equality” is not entrenched as a fundamental human right. Discrimination is permitted without limitation against persons on the basis of “Nationality” (in lieu of race, citizenship, or religion). See Articles 8 & 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992) as amended (1994) for complete details. The discriminatory statutes include, but are not limited to the following: Law of Return (1950); Nationality Law (1952); Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (2003) Temporary Order 5763 (2003) extended to present; Absentee Property Law (1950); Status Law of Israel (1952); Basic Law: Israel Lands (1960); Land Acquisition Law (1953) as amended (2010); Planning and Construction Law (1965); Law on Agricultural Settlement (1967); Israel Lands Authority Law (2009).

          In the Occupied Territories military orders have been used to establish an administrative regime. In the 2004 Wall case the International Court of Justice determined that the regime was illegal. Some of the relevant orders are:
          *Orders Nº 29 (1967) and Nº 378 (1970) establish procedures to detain and prosecute Palestinians;
          *Military Orders Nº 561 (1974), Nº 783 (1979), Nº 892 (1980), and Nº 981 (1982) establish an entirely separate legal system for Israeli settlers;
          *Military Orders Nº 107 (1967), Nº 50 (1967), Nº 101 (1967), and Amendment Orders Nº 1079 and 1423 impose a system of military censorship, and set severe limits on freedom of speech and public assemblies by Palestinians;
          *Military Orders Nº 58 (1967), Order Nº 59 (1967), Nº 291 (1968), Nº 1060 (1983) grant Israeli Military Authorities custody, control, and dispute resolution authority concerning state and private property, land, and water; and the right to confiscate private property without compensation.
          *Special Military Order Nº 224 (1967) restores the mandate era “Emergency Regulations” (1945); Military Order Nº 92 (1967) concerns provision and control of water; Military Order Nº 5 concerns closure of the West Bank; Military Order Nº 537 (1974) concerning powers of the Area Commander to set municipal boundaries; direct municipal services and planning; and the power to dismiss democratically-elected officials; Military Order Nº 297 establishes a pass system that restricts freedom of movement.

        • “Richard apparently won’t admit that formal Rabbinical gatherings from both the Orthodox and Reform streams totally rejected Herzl’s proposals and his movement.”

          They temporarily rejected the political movement. They have since recanted in varying degrees about the political movement.

          ALL have prominent communities intentionallly residing in Israel and supporting efforts for some element of Zionism currently.

          You want to say, “Judaism should change”. Wonderful. Make the argument.

          You want to say, “Judaism has never held the component of return in its credo”, then you are an “idiot wind” propagandistic revisionist.

          You get to choose. NOONE is forcing you to reside in Israel. You are arguing in ways for the prohibition of Jews to reside in Israel.

          Finkelstein argued against the propagandistic use of the holocaust for opportunistic political ends. But, you argue for the denial of the theme of return in Judaism, for opportunistic political ends.

          Propaganda, in the very negative sense of denial of reality.

        • “spamming this thread”, “petrified old farts”.

          Address the point already.

          You stated that the Zionist people never existed before 114 years ago. You want me to find some prayer books from 1850?

          Will that at least suggest to you that you acknowledge that the return has been a theme in Jewish life for millenia?

          Rather than your political motivated, propagandistic denial?

        • Hostage says:

          They temporarily rejected the political movement. They have since recanted in varying degrees about the political movement.

          You know perfectly well that 19th century and 20th century Rabbis, like Samuel Holdheim and Elmer Berger, died without ever recanting their beliefs. The Reform movement simply changed with the times and accepted the Zionist national movement. But they don’t claim it has always been an integral part of Jewish theology. About a third of Reform Jews surveyed say they feel distant from Israel.

          In 1983, the Reform movement discarded the traditional Orthodox definition of person qualifying as a born Jew so as to include anyone who had one Jewish parent of either sex and who took part in public acts of Jewish identification, like synagogue attendance. They also accept interfaith marriages. Over 25 percent of the member families in Reform temples are intermarried. So it would be utter nonsense for them to claim that Jews can’t co-exist with Gentiles or that they need their own Jewish State.

        • Shingo says:

          An advocate of democracy would “buy in” to the “vacuus argument” of self-governance.

          That would be like saying an advocate of human rights would “buy in” to the “vacuus argument” of torture and rendition.

        • Shingo says:

          You are not aware of the harrassment that Jewish immigrants experienced when arriving.

          That’s a bit liek saying that the gang of hoodlums armed with switch blades and machettes that crashed our Xmass party was not given a warn welcome.

          ‘You are not indigenous. Leave.’ is not a progressive value.

          Neither is ethnic cleasing or Hafrada.

        • Shingo says:

          They temporarily rejected the political movement. They have since recanted in varying degrees about the political movement.

          All that proves is that Zionism was accepted by some Rabbinical very recently, and that Zionism was not only rejected, but a recent invention.

          ALL have prominent communities intentionallly residing in Israel and supporting efforts for some element of Zionism currently.

          That is so vague to the point of being completely devoid of any meaning.

          You want to say, “Judaism should change”. Wonderful. Make the argument.

          That’s another therad. No one is making that argument in this thread except you, in an effort to derail the discussion.

          You want to say, “Judaism has never held the component of return in its credo”, then you are an “idiot wind” propagandistic revisionist.

          You haven’t proven otherwise Witty, other than to stamp your feet and insist it’s not true – like a true idiot in the wind.

          You are arguing in ways for the prohibition of Jews to reside in Israel.

          False. Anotehr lousy and failes straw man.

          Propaganda, in the very negative sense of denial of reality.

          But you do denial of relaity so effortlessly Witty.

        • Hostage says:

          You want me to find some prayer books from 1850?

          Not unless you can establish that they are the raison d’être of all the atheists that convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel and wrote about a Socialist Jewish State.

          You are still not explaining why a bunch of Marxist-Zionists like Ber Borochov needed to have their own Westphalian nation state and could not live in one of the existing polities along side the Gentiles. They weren’t susceptible to persecution because of their Jewish religious beliefs and they certainly didn’t think the words in your prayer books had any divine origin or purpose. So please explain the existence of these actual Zionist people and stop bullshitting us about their Judaism.

        • MRW says:

          And let me add to what Hostage wrote, Witty, with this by the eminent historian (and Jewish) Gabriel Kolko. It is far more nuanced and detailed than your one shot fits all:
          “Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident”
          link to antiwar.com

          (Kolko worked in Israel at the time of its formation as a skipper taking people back and forth to Cyprus. He speaks Hebrew too.)

        • Just acknowledge that the concept of eventual return (Zionism), is a fundamental component of historical Judaism, as at least Shmuel was man enough to do.

          Then we can proceed to the questions of the historical circumstances of the 19th and 20th century politics and forms and conditions for return.

          Your initial denial and unwillingness to consider that our difference in definition may be semantic (a war for the usage of words), is childish.

        • Again,
          I addressed the simple statement that you made of “There was no Zionist people before 114 years ago”.

          Its just untrue.

          You bringing in the question of the specific response of political Zionism is irrelevant to that first assertion.

        • eljay says:

          >> RW: ‘You are not indigenous. Leave.’ is not a progressive value.

          Excising non-Jewish Israeli minorities from their own nation and stripping them of their citizenship and nationality in order to maintain a Jewish majority in a religion-supremacist state isn’t particularly progressive, either:
          >> RW: I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.

        • eljay says:

          >> Just acknowledge that the concept of eventual return (Zionism), is a fundamental component of historical Judaism …

          Yeah! And while you’re at it, hold your nose and acknowledge that Zionist terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the establishment of an ever-expanding, religion-supremacist and colonialist state – rather than a day before a colour-blind court – was the right way for Jews to realize a Biblical “concept of eventual return” (to a place to which ties consisted primarily of “academic speculation”)!

        • Shingo says:

          Its just untrue.

          No it’s not, no matter how badly you want to believe it.

          Zionism was an invention from 114 years ago. It was rejected by the maority of Jews at the time, therefore, it could not have been inherent to Judaism before then.

          The fact that it is more widely accepted today does not prove it’s older than 114 years.

          Simple.

        • You (collectively) are consistently misrepresenting my view of addressing Hostage’s ridiculous assertion to extend to support for existing Israeli policies.

          Take one step at a time.

        • Shingo says:

          Just acknowledge that the concept of eventual return (Zionism), is a fundamental component of historical Judaism, as at least Shmuel was man enough to do.

          Why would you want us to lie Witty and why are you lying about Shmuel’s statement that return it linked exclusively to religious doctrine, not physical or politcal ideology?

          You’re argument has failed. It’s time you accepted that Zionism is a 114 year old idea. No more.

        • GalenSword says:

          Witty’s ignorance of Judaism could fill the Rose Bowl, and his slicing and dicing of Judaism to justify Zionist crimes puts him in the ethical category of the serial killer.

          Eventual return to Zion was never a fundamental component of any Judaic religious current. The sages of the Talmudic, Geonic, and Rabbinic religious currents in particular reinterpreted shuvah (return) in terms of teshuvah (repentance) — something that seems completely alien to Witty’s despicable worldview.

          From Pesikta Rabati, Shabbat v’Rosh Chodesh 2, we learn that when the Messiah comes, the holiness of the Holy of Holies will encompass the whole Temple, the holiness of the Temple will encompass all Jerusalem, the holiness of Jerusalem will encompass the whole land of Israel and the holiness of the whole land of Israel will encompass the entire world.

          Thus in the Messianic period no Jew need relocate to the Land of Israel to live in the holiness of the Land of Israel.

          Witty should read Zechariah 14.

          If we wish to apply it to current events, Zionists, who represent anti-Judaism and who come from all the nations to terrorize, to plunder, and to kill the Palestinians, who are the descendants of ancient Judeans, “gather … against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the residue of the people [the Palestinians] shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations [the criminal Zionist conglomeration], as when He fighteth in the day of battle.”

        • Hostage says:

          Just acknowledge that the concept of eventual return (Zionism), is a fundamental component of historical Judaism, as at least Shmuel was man enough to do.

          No, I’ve explained to you that many viewed the so-called return as an allegory for the world to come and that, in any event, return did not equal the establishment of a state for the pilgrims that actually did go there. I’ve also pointed out the halakhah relative to the tradition regarding the return, so I haven’t been denying that, only its applicability to all of the atheist Zionist people we are actually discussing here.

          The Marxists in the Labor Socialist parties wanted to free the people from their religious myths in favor of a Marxist national liberation movement. None of that had anything to do with the beliefs of historical Judaism.

        • GalenSword says:

          Galut is not equivalent to the English word exile. Galut has a root concept of exposure (to vicissitudes). In the Talmudic period the idea expanded to include subjugation (to injustice) and ultimately (spiritual) alienation.

          The idea that Jews were in physical exile comes from Christianity and should be credited to Augustine.

          When conversos left Spain and Portugal to return to Judaism, they often brought confused Catholic ideas into the community (easy because they themselves were experiencing physical exile) and created a mishmash theology. This mishmash may be the ultimate source of Sabbatian ideas, which included a large component that can be termed concretization of the spiritual.

          This sort of nonsense spread to other Jewish communities that former conversos joined or that were under the influence of Sabbatianism or later under the influence of the derivative Frankist movement.

        • Hostage says:

          You (collectively) are consistently misrepresenting my view of addressing Hostage’s ridiculous assertion to extend to support for existing Israeli policies.

          I believe you are the one who misrepresented what I said about the halakhah and the three oaths. If want want to claim that a bunch of besotted anarchists, communists, and atheists were “the stone that the builders rejected” and were actually the “faithful remnant”, then be my guest. But please don’t ask me to subscribe to that nonsense.

        • “I’ve also pointed out the halakhah relative to the tradition regarding the return, so I haven’t been denying that”

          You certainly have been denying the relevance of return in Jewish credo. I so wish you had simply acknowledged that the theme was in Jewish tradition for millenia, and then proceeded to discuss the desirability and/or necessity of it.

          The concept of return has always been BOTH literal and allegorical.

          I don’t deny that the allegorical is and was important in Jewish life historically. But, the literal is also real.

          Judaism is not solely a metaphysical ever-present meditation (it is that). It also was a historical chain of a specific promise for specific land, and was honored as that.

          The adoption of waiting during the long exile gave rise to the emphasis on the metaphysical and the ethical, but never renounced the literal.

          Those that settled in Israel in the yishuv’s and in the post-WW2 immigration, were a mix of atheistic and religious. Zionism extended beyond the singular definition of who is a Jew.

          And, I hope that you acknowledge that in addition to sentiment, circumstances compelled a migration to their only feasible residence, and that the very vast majority of subsequent religious interpretation acknowledges a significance of Zionism, if not the messianic.

          You have been arguing for the irrelevance and unjustness of ANY Zionism here, not for the criticism of certain actions and policies.

          The seed of return is in the Jewish credo, for millenia. The circumstances that precipitated the return is in history. The opportunity is in history.

          The ethical application is also in history, a work in progress.

        • “I believe you are the one who misrepresented what I said about the halakhah and the three oaths.”

          You are speaking skew to my comments Hostage.

          Please try to address just the argument that I am presenting, pro or con, and restrain yourself from projection as to what I might have meant.

          I simply responded to your assertion that “There was no Zionist people before 114 years ago” (forgive my paraphrasing).

          Which is a ludicrous comment. The word “no” means NONE.

          1/2 of the world’s Jews live in Israel. By virtue of that fact, 1/2 of the world’s Jews are active Zionists. Of the remainder, probably 90+% are Zionist sympathizers, at least to the extent of residence.

          Likely, the majority of Jews on the planet affirm the right of Palestinians to self-govern, but only in the context of the acceptance of Israeli Jews’ right to similarly self-govern.

        • jonah says:

          The ICJ, the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, and the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs explain ………

          Reality itself exposes your captious arguments, lost in multiple streams of documents of secondary importance, to be what they are in truth: irrelevant. Israel has no legal obligation to comply with non-binding resolutions and advisory opinions, as much as you claim the opposite. You know better than me that only the Security Council has the legal power to decide binding resolutions, as it did with Resolution 242 (again: which was adopted under Chapter VI, recommending “pacific resolution of dispute”, not requiring “enforcement by coercive action”.)

          So go on to quote your thousand and one non-binding resolutions and advisory opinions, Hostage. Those who can not swim in the river must be content to soak their feets in the many side streams. Unless they really lern to swim.

          I have a little Hanukkah joke for you here, Hostie. Hope you’ll appreciate:

          UN envoy demands ‘Palestinian steak’

          Israeli Ambassador Prosor, Palestinian Observer Mansour put on one-time stand-up show during UN gala dinner

          A bit of a friendly banter: Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor and Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour decided to leave their differences aside for one night in favor of showcasing a healthy sense of humor, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday. The two entertained UN Chief Ban Ki-moon and fellow diplomats in what can only be described as a one-time stand up show during the UN Correspondence Association’s annual gala dinner and dance last week.
          Playing on the Palestinian demand for an independent state, Mansour delivered the following lines: “I’ve waited long enough for my steak. I want it at a temperature of 67 degrees and I want the right to return it.”

          Ambassador Prosor was quick to reply, saying “The Palestinian will not get his steak until he sits at the table,” referring to the Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table.

          link to ynetnews.com

        • Mooser says:

          Richard, you are 57? Please see your doctor. For God’s sake, and apart from any argument here, please see your doctor: Your language and reasoning skills are falling apart, and your emotions become more childish every day. And the degree to which your arguments and style of argument is self-defeating really worries me. Not to mention your compulsion to keep coming back for more, instead of going to your own blog and writing a post.
          Something is going wrong. I’d make my usual joke about the long term effects of ziocaine, but something more is indubitably going wrong.
          I cannot bring myself to respond to your comments until you get a clean bill of health. I don’t kick sick people.

        • captious? irrelevant? what are you talking about jonah? this:

          link to mondoweiss.net

          Israel has no legal obligation to comply with non-binding resolutions and advisory opinions, as much as you claim the opposite.

          since when are treaties non-binding resolutions?

          The Palestinian will not get his steak until he sits at the table

          do you really think you can insert occupation propaganda one-up-man-ship ‘comedy’ into this dialogue and slide out of addressing the corner israel has painted itself into on the world stage?

          the very fact you are here littering up these threads speaks more to the allegations of ‘irrelevant’ than any of your diversionary arguments. we know that, you know that, everyone knows that.

          if anyone on team i honestly believed your chutzpa declarations of what is or is not ‘irrelevant’ you wouldn’t be wasting your time posting here. the proof is in the pudding.

          ciao

        • Hostage says:

          You certainly have been denying the relevance of return in Jewish credo.

          I’m denying that the founders of the Zionist Organization gave a shit about your credo. I no longer care what you have to say on the subject, just go on and beat those dead horses all you want. Blah, Blah, Blah

        • Hostage says:

          So go on to quote your thousand and one non-binding resolutions and advisory opinions, Hostage.

          I quoted the provisions of a minority rights treaty agreement that Israel “accepted” Jonah. We all know that the Israeli government is dishonest.

          I have a little Hanukkah joke for you here, Hostie.

          You are a little joke Jonah.

        • “I no longer care what you have to say on the subject, just go on and beat those dead horses all you want. Blah, Blah, Blah”

          Effective argument.

          You can’t revise reality, certainly not for political purposes.

        • jonah says:

          If that would be relevant, annie, it would have been enforced long time ago. It was not and it will not be, because any kind of “enforcement by coercive action” has no legal basis. But please, continue to fool yourself.

          On one thing you’re right, in any case: I am indeed wasting my time here trying to bring some reason and balance in this group of radical anti-Zionist activists, who can not help but make wall around their specious beliefs.

          My respect goes to Phil, however, to allow an open debate on the Middle East conflict, even if I disagree with his anti-Zionist positions. But at least he, unlike many visitors to his website (as well as certain despicable contributions here that border on libel), shows a certain degree of tolerance for divergent opinions.

          So, since I’m not so masochistic, I’ll stop for some time to interfere in your holy cause, leaving the field open to your delusions – without further (my) objection.

          Have your fun!

          Ciao!

        • Hostage says:

          On one thing you’re right, in any case: I am indeed wasting my time here trying to bring some reason and balance in this group of radical anti-Zionist activists, who can not help but make wall around their specious beliefs.

          Of course there is nothing specious about the comments above, that’s why I supplied readers with links to verify what we were saying. You’ve only responded by saying that it’s okay for Israels to lie and steal, so long as they can get away with it. Most people are not impressed by insolent pricks, so you end up wasting your time and efforts here and dig yourself a deeper hole.

          No matter how much time you spend here trying to defend Israel using those methods it will still be a pariah state that ranks alongside Iran and North Korea at the end of the day.

        • Hostage says:

          You can’t revise reality, certainly not for political purposes.

          Richard you are ridiculed here so much because your comments are so incoherent and detached from any reality.

          The founding fathers of Zionism deliberately co-opted Judaism and exploited its myths for propaganda purposes to invent a “New Jew” and obtain a global empire, not just some barren little patch of land. Zionism was a typical ethnic nationalist movement like Naziism or Fascism. Even the founders admitted all of this at the time and after the fact in their own memoirs. You are simply regurgitating their propaganda. Here is a description:

          Herzl’s major goal was to create a “New Jewish Man” through various Zionist cultural and educational programs, and to disseminate these ideas in the print and visual media. For example, Herzl’s statement after the First Zionist Congress (held in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897) that he had “created the Jewish state” must be seen in the context of generating excitement for the new movement. Herzl himself was presented as the archetype of the “New Jew” that Zionism sought to create through art and literature.

          – Nicholas John Cull, David Holbrook Culbert, David Welch, “Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present”, Political Science, 2003, page 165. link to books.google.com

        • RoHa says:

          “‘You are not indigenous. Leave.’ is not a progressive value.”

          But that isn’t what the indigenous Palestinians said. They said “Don’t try to take our country away from us.”

          The Jewish “immigrants” planned to take over the country, and set up a Jewish State. Non-Jews were to be either expelled or subjugated. And the indigenous people knew of this plan. That was the cause of the harassment, and you know it.

          Your refusal to acknowledge it just shows the depth of self-deceit you have sunk into. It is pointless. You convince no-one. You only reveal how deeply enmired in lies you are.

        • What do you say now?

          “Leave?” or

          “Welcome” or

          “Lets figure out how we can both live here well?”

        • RoHa says:

          ‘What do you say now? “Leave?” ‘

          That’s what the Zionists say to the Palestinians.

          ‘ or “Lets figure out how we can both live here well?”’

          That’s what sensible people say. But it seems the Israeli Jews (and not just the settlers) are not sensible people.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          And what do you say to the Palestinians who rightfully invoke Right of Return to Israel?

          “Stay out, goyim. This is Jewish land now.”

        • The masses that migrated to Israel held a wide variety of views and migrated to Israel for a wide variety of purposes.

          Most for haven from persecution.

          Zionist leaders also varied considerably. To paint them with a single brush is a misrepresentation.

          And, you know it well, but you continue at misrepresentation for your partisan political agenda.

        • “Richard you are ridiculed here so much because your comments are so incoherent and detached from any reality. ”

          Read them again. Ask if you don’t understand what I mean. Try to understand others words through their own logic rather than insisting on your own filter through political language.

          The migration to Israel was of return, of safe haven, and then of self-determination (the urge to form a state). Those are fundamentally social (people) needs, only incidentally political in goal.

          All of those are justifiable, even noble urges.

          The unfinished work is to reconcile, not to castigate or to reject.

          There is no undoing what is. The only thing that can be done is from the present forward. Any outcome that results in any being suppressed, is regressive, the opposite of justice.

        • “And what do you say to the Palestinians who rightfully invoke Right of Return to Israel?”

          I say, assert your title claims in a color-blind court of law.

          I personally say, that anyone that was born in the state of Israel should be entitled to be a citizen and reside in Israel.

          You?

        • Donald says:

          ““Lets figure out how we can both live here well?””

          More evidence if any is needed that Richard really doesn’t understand the meaning of the words he writes.

        • GalenSword says:

          In point of fact Displaced Persons were forced to Palestine against their will in the aftermath of WW2.

          Yosef Grodzinsky investigates the origin of the equation of Judaism with Zionism in his book In the Shadow of the Holocaust, The Struggle Between Jews and Zionists in the Aftermath of World War II. He found

          (1) that the idea can be traced to Zionist education at least as far back as the 1930s and

          (2) that both the international organized Jewish community and the WW2 Allies acquiesced in this idea when the Zionist leadership of Palestine in concert with Zionists in the DP camps thwarted the evacuation of Jewish children to Britain in 1945 and began drafting adult male Jewish Holocaust survivors as cannon fodder in the Zionist program of stealing Palestine from the native population.

          Not only do accusations of anti-Semitism in the equation of Jew and Zionist provide a tactical benefit in Israel advocacy, but they also serve the deeper purpose of concealing the fundamental inhumanity of Zionism toward Jews in the sacrifice of the interests of Holocaust survivors to the interests of the Zionist movement.

          While the first Zionist principle postulates that Jews may plunder and kill non-Jews with impunity, the second principle of Zionism postulates that the Zionist leadership may sacrifice any Jew for the sake of Zionist goals.

        • jonah says:

          Hostage -

          Of course there is nothing specious about the comments above, that’s why I supplied readers with links to verify what we were saying.

          If the ICJ advisory opinion and GA resolutions you are referring to are ‘binding’ for Israel, as you state, you’ve so far quite pathetically failed to explain and provide evidence about why these decisions are still awaiting – even after more than 40 long years of “unlawful situation” – to be implemented by the competent UN organs by virtue of the same international law, that means through coercive enforcement, since Israel is in so flagrant “breach of international law”, as you state above.

          But don’t bring me more quotes please. Just answer this simple question if you can, Hostele.

        • Shingo says:

          you’ve so far quite pathetically failed to explain and provide evidence about why these decisions are still awaiting – even after more than 40 long years of “unlawful situation” – to be implemented by the competent UN organs by virtue of the same international law..

          You can’t be that thick Jonah. The US has been dutifully vetoing and blocking all measures to do so. It’s hardly a secret.

        • Shingo says:

          The masses that migrated to Israel held a wide variety of views and migrated to Israel for a wide variety of purposes.

          Does not challenge the factt hat Zionism is 114 years old.

          Zionist leaders also varied considerably. To paint them with a single brush is a misrepresentation.

          No it’s a reality. Zionism was created 114 years ago. That there are varied interpretatios of it is beside the point.

        • Shingo says:

          I say, assert your title claims in a color-blind court of law.

          What color-blind court of law are you referrign to? Teh only court fo law that will hear such cases is a Zionist one.

        • Shingo says:

          Try to understand others words through their own logic rather than insisting on your own filter through political language.

          Undertsanding your words through your own logic would require a very racist mindset and intense decryption.

          The migration to Israel was of return, of safe haven, and then of self-determination (the urge to form a state). Those are fundamentally social (people) needs, only incidentally political in goal.

          Nothing to do with the fact that Zionism is 114 years old.

          The unfinished work is to reconcile, not to castigate or to reject.

          Another topic on another thread. Stop trolling.

          Any outcome that results in any being suppressed, is regressive, the opposite of justice.

          But you have opposed justice all along Witty. Why the sudden change of heart?

        • RoHa says:

          “The masses that migrated to Israel held a wide variety of views and migrated to Israel for a wide variety of purposes.

          Most for haven from persecution.”

          But as soon as they supported the push for a Jewish State, they became invaders.

        • RoHa says:

          “The migration to Israel was of return,”

          How can people return to a place they have never been to before?

          ” … and then of self-determination (the urge to form a state). Those are fundamentally social (people) needs, only incidentally political in goal.

          All of those are justifiable, even noble urges.”

          1. How can “forming a state” be “incidentally” political? It is the very essence of political.

          2. How can forming a state for a single (immigrant invader) ethnicity be noble, especially if that state is to be formed against the wishes of, and at the expense of, the indigenous people of the territory?

          “The unfinished work is to reconcile”

          Tell it to the Israeli Jews and their supporters. They are the ones who must start dismantling the Jewish state to make a state that will allow reconcilation.

        • jonah says:

          You can’t be that thick Jonah. The US has been dutifully vetoing and blocking all measures to do so. It’s hardly a secret.

          Was waiting for this, Shingo.

          What if instead the world body was taken hostage by the anti-Israel lobby (build on the power of oil), and if America had remained as the only guarantor of a balanced handling of international law? What if the resolutions condemning Israel, mostly proposed by her foes and passively (slavishly, I would add) seconded by the automatic majority in both Councils, were in fact biased, the result of hostility and double standards? – resolutions which ask only from Israel but nothing in exchange from the Palestinians?

          You find this funny, isn’t it?

          But let me ask: Why should the UN mother’s body be any different from its various “children”, among which the most recent is the HRC, created in 2006 ostensibly ad hoc both to produce and adopt on the same breath one-sided resolution against Israel after another, while most of its constituent nations, far from being democratic or pacifist, get away with a cynical laugh – maybe like yours?

        • Hostage says:

          There is no undoing what is. The only thing that can be done is from the present forward.

          Exactly. The ancient Jewish and Israelite kingdoms became defunct in very short order and disappeared. People are very mobile. When commentators here look at Jewish settlements and Jewish roads, they sometimes get the mistaken impression that those things are permanent and irreversible facts on the ground. That’s simply not the case. When the Roman Legions were withdrawn, they left behind “Roman” roads, amphitheaters, aqueducts, & etc. that other peoples continued to utilize. There’s an old military cliche that advises you to put your finger in a glass of water and look at the size of the hole you leave behind when you take it out.

        • Hostage says:

          If the ICJ advisory opinion and GA resolutions you are referring to are ‘binding’ for Israel, as you state, you’ve so far quite pathetically failed to explain and provide evidence about why these decisions are still awaiting

          Don’t be silly. The UN took several decades to get South Africa out of Namibia after the first ICJ decision. The EU’s top diplomat has recommended that the Security Council recognize the State of Palestine and impose a solution. Eventually the United States will have to step aside and allow that to happen, just as it did in the case of South Africa (which it also protected for decades).
          *http://www.geneva-accord.org/mainmenu/israel-rejects-solana-call-for-imposed-peace-solution?Itemid=0

          Customary international law is simply the sum total of the rules that states have adopted to govern their mutual relations. Israel doesn’t have very good relations with many members of the international community of states – and that is a direct result of its failure to abide by those customary international laws or to demonstrate a decent respect for the opinion of mankind. I pointed out some of the consequences to you just the other day with regard to the 2005 EU-Israel Association Agreement:
          *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/turn-of-the-screw-eu-considers-making-inequality-of-israeli-palestinians-a-core-issue.html/comment-page-1#comment-404280
          *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/turn-of-the-screw-eu-considers-making-inequality-of-israeli-palestinians-a-core-issue.html/comment-page-1#comment-404265
          *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/turn-of-the-screw-eu-considers-making-inequality-of-israeli-palestinians-a-core-issue.html/comment-page-1#comment-404271
          *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/turn-of-the-screw-eu-considers-making-inequality-of-israeli-palestinians-a-core-issue.html/comment-page-1#comment-404278

          Modern international law dates back to the era of Grotius and the Peace of Westphalia. There were no international courts or formal international organizations with coercive powers until the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Participation remains largely voluntary. Nonetheless there are long term consequences for states that violate international law. For example, the links above demonstrate the EU has frozen the upgrade of economic and political relations with Israel under their association agreement because Israel has failed to address EU concerns over human rights abuses and the peace process. That is typical of the use of shunning, inclusion, and exclusion to reward or punish other states. If you need links to Israeli government and think tank websites bemoaning the costs to Israel of the human rights campaigns by the UN, EU, and NGOs or the effects of delegitimization I’ll be happy to provide them.

          The Yale Law School and Opinio Juris recently conducted a symposium on the organized use of exclusion or shunning of pariah states as a function of international law. See the announcement and related links at the bottom here: Opinio Juris/Yale Law Journal Symposium: Hathaway and Shapiro on Outcasting link to opiniojuris.org

        • Hostage says:

          What if instead the world body was taken hostage by the anti-Israel lobby (build on the power of oil), and if America had remained as the only guarantor of a balanced handling of international law?

          Jonah international law is whatever the majority of the international community of states says that it is. Neither the United States nor the other permanent members of the Security Council can veto that fact. South Africans, like Israelis caused trouble for decades by claiming the League of Nations gave them the territory of another people. There were several ICJ cases which declared South Africa in breach of its obligations under international law and the UN Charter in South West Africa/Namibia, just like the resolutions and case involving the Occupied Palestinian territory.

          The United States kept the Security Council from taking action against South Africa, even while the General Assembly was adopting resolutions opening treaties for signature that a) declared its occupation of Southwest Africa illegal and b) its apartheid policies there and at home a crime against humanity. The General Assembly did exactly the same thing when it created the International Criminal Court over US objections. The majority of other states are already member states and no state enjoys a veto.

        • Shingo says:

          Was waiting for this, Shingo.

          So it turns out you ARE that think.

          So according to your “what if” scenario, the US vetos resolutions in contradiction to it’s own foreing policy because, according to you, those resolutions are unablanced and violate international law.

          The absurdity of this has already been ample illustrated by Hostage, but according to this scenario, US foreign policy (which is largly in agreement with these resolutions) must therefore be based on opposition to international law. After all, according to Susan Rice, the US policy was in full agreement with the last UNSC Resolution the US veto’d.

          Yeah that makes sense.

          Of course, even the Israeli High Court has aknowledged that the settlements are a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention on human rights.

          The only explanatioon, which is widely aknowledged, is that it is US foreign policy that has been taken hostage by tbhe Israeli lobby.

          But let me ask: Why should the UN mother’s body be any different from its various “children”

          You nean the UNSC, which cfor the past 3 decades, has been little more than an instrument of the US? You seem the UN also came up with many anti Iraq resolutions, as well as anti Iranian resolutions. Are you suggesting that these is anti Iran and anti Iraqi bias at the UN too?

          May I ask what you are smoking these days Jonah?

        • jonah says:

          Rather, I wonder what kind of stuff you are sniffing throughout the year Shingo.

          even the Israeli High Court has aknowledged that the settlements are a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention on human rights.

          Where exactly is written in the High Court judgement (about the route of security fence) that the settlements in genere are a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention on human rights? Can you support this claim indicating the passage verbatim in the text(s)?

          You mean the UNSC, which cfor the past 3 decades, has been little more than an instrument of the US?

          This is the usual anti-American cospiracy theory. We need only to have a look in the “clean” record of the other members sitting in the UNSC to see how your statement appears to be hypocritical at least. Russia/former USSR?! Construction of the Berlin Wall, bloody repression of democratic movements in their own country and in its sphere of influence, the war in Afghanistan and Chechnya, support of dictatorial regimes such as Iran and Syria, imperialistic aims …… China?! Repression of democratic movements in their own country, widespread death penalty (4000 executed a year), invasion and illegal occupation of Tibet since 1950 (one million deaths, ethnic cleansing against the Tibetan people, destroyed thousands of monasteries, systematic struggle against Tibetan culture), support of dictatorial regimes in neighboring countries, expansionist intentions …….

          So according to your “what if” scenario, the US vetos resolutions in contradiction to it’s own foreing policy because, according to you, those resolutions are unablanced and violate international law.

          Never heard about the Negroponte docrine?!

          UN also came up with many anti Iraq resolutions, as well as anti Iranian resolutions. Are you suggesting that these is anti Iran and anti Iraqi bias at the UN too?

          Are you maybe an Iranian agent? The resolutions against Iran were all unanimously adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, thus with the power to impose sanctions. This is not the case for the resolutions about the I-P-conflict. The US rightly defends Israel against one-sided resolutions which only aim to target and damage Israel, neglecting to consider the real causes of the conflict.

        • jonah says:

          The EU’s top diplomat has recommended that the Security Council recognize the State of Palestine and impose a solution. Eventually the United States will have to step aside and allow that to happen, just as it did in the case of South Africa (which it also protected for decades).

          I know this is your hope and your goal. But it is not going to happen so easily. Israel itself is a democracy in which all minorities, also the Palestinian, have recognized civil rights such as to vote their own political representatives, to freely appeal to the courts, to openly express their opinions (Tibi docet!), to enjoy social welfare and medical care without restriction. The Israeli settlement policy in the Territories, which is often stylized as the primary cause of the conflict, it is actually the consequence. The attempt by the Palestinians and their supporters to internationally brand Israel as the main culprit is doomed to fail, because the lack of democracy and transparency on their side does not go unnoticed. It’s a foul play.

          So I’m sorry to disappoint you, Hosteleh. You will probably have to wait for another sixty years.

        • Hostage says:

          Never heard about the Negroponte docrine?!

          Yes, it was a Bush administration policy that was not adopted by the Obama administration. See for example UN SC resolution 1860 link to un.org

          The Negroponte Doctrine isn’t a binding principle of international law or incorporated in any international treaties. By way of contrast the Monroe Doctrine was enshrined in international law when it was incorporated in Article 21 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        • Hostage says:

          I know this is your hope and your goal.

          No it was the policy recommendation of the EU foreign policy chief‎ at the time. If Netanyahu doesn’t submit a proposal to the Quartet on security and boundaries based upon the 67 borders with minor swaps, I’ll wager that the EU raises the subject again. It will almost certainly join Russia and China in pressing the Security Council to recognize Palestine and impose sanctions on Israel after the 2012 deadline. No one is going to reward the Netanyahu regime for building settlements.

          Israel itself is a democracy in which all minorities, also the Palestinian, have recognized civil rights such as to vote their own political representatives, to freely appeal to the courts, to openly express their opinions (Tibi docet!), to enjoy social welfare and medical care without restriction.

          Spare us the hasbara bullshit. I’ve supplied you and your friends a list of laws and military orders that explicitly discriminate against Israeli citizens registered as members of non-Jewish nationalities and Palestinians on several occasions. Here’s the list again:
          “Equality” is not entrenched as a fundamental human right in any Basic Law. Discrimination is permitted without limitation against persons on the basis of “Nationality” (in lieu of race, citizenship, or religion). See Articles 8 & 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (1992) as amended (1994) for complete details. The discriminatory statutes include, but are not limited to the following: Law of Return (1950); Nationality Law (1952); Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (2003) Temporary Order 5763 (2003) extended to present; Absentee Property Law (1950); Status Law of Israel (1952); Basic Law: Israel Lands (1960); Land Acquisition Law (1953) as amended (2010); Planning and Construction Law (1965); Law on Agricultural Settlement (1967); Israel Lands Authority Law (2009).

          In the Occupied Territories military orders have been used to establish an administrative regime. In the 2004 Wall case the International Court of Justice determined that the regime was illegal. Some of the relevant orders are:
          *Orders Nº 29 (1967) and Nº 378 (1970) establish procedures to detain and prosecute Palestinians;
          *Military Orders Nº 561 (1974), Nº 783 (1979), Nº 892 (1980), and Nº 981 (1982) establish an entirely separate legal system for Israeli settlers;
          *Military Orders Nº 107 (1967), Nº 50 (1967), Nº 101 (1967), and Amendment Orders Nº 1079 and 1423 impose a system of military censorship, and set severe limits on freedom of speech and public assemblies by Palestinians;
          *Military Orders Nº 58 (1967), Order Nº 59 (1967), Nº 291 (1968), Nº 1060 (1983) grant Israeli Military Authorities custody, control, and dispute resolution authority concerning state and private property, land, and water; and the right to confiscate private property without compensation.
          *Special Military Order Nº 224 (1967) restores the mandate era “Emergency Regulations” (1945); Military Order Nº 92 (1967) concerns provision and control of water; Military Order Nº 5 concerns closure of the West Bank; Military Order Nº 537 (1974) concerning powers of the Area Commander to set municipal boundaries; direct municipal services and planning; and the power to dismiss democratically-elected officials; Military Order Nº 297 establishes a pass system that restricts freedom of movement.

        • Shingo says:

          Where exactly is written in the High Court judgement (about the route of security fence) that the settlements in genere are a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention on human rights?

          The judgement was made long before the apartheid wall was erected. Theodore Meron stated that the building of settlements in the OT was a violation of the 4th GC. The Israeli High Court agreed with that opinion.

          >

          This is the usual anti-American cospiracy theory. .

          Wrong. After the US bypassed the UNSC with regard to the attack on Iraq, China and Russia have realized that the only way to prevent the US from going rogue is to placate them.

          >

          Never heard about the Negroponte docrine?!

          Susan Rice made no reference to terrorism when explaining the veto last year. In fact, she stated that according to the US, settlements were illegitimate but that the UNSC resolution condemning them would have led to Israel acting even more irrationally.

          In fact what Rice stated, was that Israel is irrational, unreasonable and cannot be negotiated with.

          Are you maybe an Iranian agent? The resolutions against Iran were all unanimously adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, thus with the power to impose sanctions. This is not the case for the resolutions about the I-P-conflict.

          Not only is that beside the point, it also goes to show how hypocritical US policy is towards Israel and Iran. The vote was unanimous because China and Russia see it as the only means to keep a leash on the US. While they have voted for the resolutions, they have ensured the sanctions are always watered down.

          But that doesn’t't a swer the questions Jonah, is the UNSC biased against Iran passing these resolutions?

          While the settlement enter are real and illegal, ate US continues to vote contrary to US policy on the settlements and excuse them, while pushing for sanctions against Iran for pursuing it’s legal rights to enrich uranium.

          US rightly defends Israel against one-sided resolutions which only aim to target and damage Israel, neglecting to consider the real causes of the conflict.

          Rubbish. The occupations is one sided, so as the settlements, the home demolitions, the ethnic cleansing.

          Or are you of the opinion that the victim of rape should share responsibility for the crime?

        • MRW says:

          I missed this post of yours, Hostage. It should be highlighted.

        • MRW says:

          Mooser’s right, Shmuel, even though if you and I were sitting at a table breaking bread (and me drinking copious amounts of wine) our conversation would get liveliest over the discussion of Atzmon and climate science. But that discussion would be recordable and a great delight, and one I would value.

        • Shmuel says:

          But that discussion would be recordable and a great delight, and one I would value.

          That would make two of us.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage, I read your link about the Pittsburgh Platform (1885), and it doesn’t reject “Herzel’s proposals” since they couldn’t possibly know what they were going to be. Der Judenstaat (1896) hasn’t been published yet.

          Nonetheless, the members and leadership of the Reform movement cited their existing platforms when Herzl’s proposals were finally presented. This principle from the platform was obviously incompatible with the idea of establishing a “national” home because there was no Jewish nation as such:

          We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.

  29. lysias says:

    Has the New Yorker erased David Remnick?

    I got my copy of this week’s issue (Dec. 19 & 26 double issue) in the mail yesterday, and I was reading it on the way in to work this morning. It has a piece in it by Remnick on Russia, but not this piece on Gingrich and his comment about the Palestinians. Checking the Gingrich piece on line, I saw it was dated Dec. 11, so I took another look at last week’s issue (Dec. 12). But it’s not there either.

    • eGuard says:

      It is published in their section News Desk
      Notes on Washington and the world by the staff of The New Yorker
      , which says “online only” on the page.

      Then, Remnick in Haaretz playes it down by calling it a “blog piece”.

  30. lysias says:

    By the way, speaking of Gingrich, he appears to be in trouble in Iowa. The Hill: Poll: Front-runner Newt Gingrich’s lead in early-voting Iowa has evaporated:

    Newt Gingrich’s onetime 9-point lead over the GOP field in Iowa is down to 1 point, and it’s Ron Paul who’s breathing down his neck.

    Gingrich is at 22 percent, according to a Public Policy Poll released on Tuesday. He’s followed by Paul at 21 percent, Mitt Romney at 16 percent, Michele Bachmann at 11 percent, Rick Perry at 9 percent, Rick Santorum at 8 percent, Jon Huntsman at 5 percent, and Gary Johnson at 1 percent.

    Gingrich’s favorability with Tea Party supporters plummeted this week from 35 percent to 24 percent, bringing his overall favorability down from 62 percent favorable versus 31 percent unfavorable, to only 52 percent favorable versus 40 percent unfavorable.

    Paul’s favorability numbers meanwhile, were almost the inverse of Gingrich’s. The Texas lawmaker is now at 61 percent favorable versus 31 percent unfavorable, compared to last week when he was at 52 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable.

    I think we’ve got to get ready for a Ron Paul victory in the Iowa caucuses.

    • dahoit says:

      Oh,Allah,that that is true!America needs Dr.Paul like a fish needs water.

    • Kathleen says:

      I think you are right. If this happens will be huge. Totally agree with almost everything Ron Paul says about US foreign policy

      • lysias says:

        Philip Klein, Senior Editorial Writer for the Washington Examiner, makes it clear that he opposes voting for Ron Paul precisely because of what it would mean for support of Israel: Don’t support Ron Paul just to send a message :

        There is no question that a Paul victory would rattle Washington’s GOP establishment. But a Paul victory in Iowa would also help mainstream his noxious foreign policy views — particularly on Israel.

        . . .

        Nearly three years ago, Israel launched a counterattack on Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who had been firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. In early January 2009, Paul released a web video in which he charged that Israel was launching a “pre-emptive war,” that Palestinians were living in a “concentration camp” and that they merely had “a few small missiles.”

        He then repeated this claim on Press TV — the state-owned propaganda channel of Iran’s Islamist government. “To me, I look at it like a concentration camp, and people are making homemade bombs,” he said of the situation in Gaza, adding sarcastically, “like they’re they aggressors?”

        Not only did Paul inaccurately portray Israel as the aggressor, and ignore the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks, but he also played into the global propaganda campaign to delegitimize Israel. Israel’s enemies think that Jews have exploited global sympathy for the Holocaust, so they routinely liken Israelis to Nazis with phrases like “concentration camp.” That isn’t an isolated instance of Paul employing the term.

        He also used it in 2010, when the Israeli navy blocked a flotilla funded by a group with terrorist ties as it attempted to break the blockade of Gaza — a blockade designed to prevent weapons from reaching Gaza terrorists. Nine of the “activists” aboard one ship were killed in the act of attacking the Israeli commandos who intercepted them — an event well documented on video. In response, Paul again condemned Israel, reiterating his claim that Palestinians were living in “concentration camps” in Gaza.

        If Paul won Iowa, his elevated status, at a minimum, would give more credibility to his foreign policy views. It could also allow global propaganda outlets to boast that a leading contender for the U.S. presidency thinks Gaza is a “concentration camp,” and argued that the raid that killed Osama bin Laden violated international law. And that’s just for starters.

        Those who want Paul to win Iowa merely to “send a message” should realize that a Paul victory won’t send the message that they hope it will.

        • If you read the comment section for that article, his views are being almost universally rejected. I think the days of the Israel-firsters are drawing to a close – not that they will suddenly disappear, but they are more likely to challenged with greater frequency now.

          This is a milestone to rejoice.

        • Check out this video supporting Ron Paul’s foreign policy. It is very well done – highly recommended viewing.

      • hophmi says:

        “Totally agree with almost everything Ron Paul says about US foreign policy”

        Then I guess you’re not a human rights activist.

        • Mooser says:

          “Then I guess you’re not a human rights activist.”

          Yes, I hear that Hitler once chewed Kathleen out for not being an animal lover.

  31. Kathleen says:

    These are great clips of Norman Finkelstein on a panel with Wolf Blitzer. Had not watched in awhile.

    CNN Wolf Blitzer: Norman G. Finkelstein Debate Israel A.k.a Palestine
    link to youtube.com

  32. Kathleen says:

    Norman Finkelstein/ Martin Indyk

    Norman Finkelstein vs Martin Indyk over Gaza and the “Peace Process” 1/8/09 Democracy Now 1 of 4
    link to youtube.com

    Norman knocks out Indyks’ lies
    “MARTIN INDYK: Good morning, Amy. Thanks very much for having me on the show. I feel a little bit sandbagged here. I was not told that I was going to be in some kind of debate with Norman Finkelstein. I’m not interested in doing that. I’m also not here as a spokesman for Israel. But I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

    I think that what happened here was that there was a ceasefire, an informal ceasefire, between Hamas and Israel that had lasted for about five months. Hamas decided to break that ceasefire with a prolonged series of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians in southern Israel. And the Israeli government responded with overwhelming force, designed, as they have said, to try to reestablish deterrence, to prevent Hamas from doing that again, and to try to get a ceasefire in place that would prevent Hamas from smuggling in offensive weapons into Gaza, the better to attack Israel.

    AMY GOODMAN: Norman Finkelstein, your assessment of why Israel attacked now?

    NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Mr. Indyk is correct that Hamas had adhered to the ceasefire from June 17th until November 4th. On November 4th, here Mr. Indyk, I think, goes awry. The record is clear: Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point — and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website — Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.

    Now, as to the reason why, the record is fairly clear as well. According to Ha’aretz, Defense Minister Barak began plans for this invasion before the ceasefire even began. In fact, according to yesterday’s Ha’aretz, the plans for the invasion began in March. And the main reasons for the invasion, I think, are twofold. Number one, as Mr. Indyk I think correctly points out, to enhance what Israel calls its deterrence capacity, which in layman’s language basically means Israel’s capacity to terrorize the region into submission. After their defeat in July 2006 in Lebanon, they felt it important to transmit the message that Israel is still a fighting force, still capable of terrorizing those who dare defy its word.

    And the second main reason for the attack is because Hamas was signaling that it wanted a diplomatic settlement of the conflict along the June 1967 border. That is to say, Hamas was signaling they had joined the international consensus, they had joined most of the international community, overwhelmingly the international community, in seeking a diplomatic settlement. And at that point, Israel was faced with what Israelis call a Palestinian peace offensive. And in order to defeat the peace offensive, they sought to dismantle Hamas.”

  33. iamuglow says:

    “I feel a little bit sandbagged here. I was not told that I was going to be in some kind of debate with Norman Finkelstein. ”

    LMAO!

  34. Mr Finkelstein is not only about facts. He also puts his heart and soul into it.
    He puts very high standards not only for his scholarly work, but he applies them in every aspect of his life, professional and personal. And he manages stay humble about it.
    Very interesting person. One may not have to agree with him on everything, but one has to respect him, and to a degree admire him.
    Admire his incredible honesty, perseverance, hard work, intelligence, wisdom ,his simplicity and modesty. Many young people ,( and not only) see it, and they love him for being the man of his words. The one, who talks the talk, and walks the walk.
    Wonderful role model for many.
    And he’s got those beautiful , warm, deep,thoughtful eyes of a great thinker.

  35. VR says:

    For quite some time now the community has been trying to banish Mr. Finkelstein from the equation, some like Mr. Remnick try to do it by minimization. Others who cannot stand the mounted barrage of facts Mr. Finkelstein marshals try to dismiss him with vilification, lies and innuendo, saying they don’t like his “spirit” or his manner of delivery is too harsh, etc. – very familiar to the current group of “intellectuals” bag of tricks.

    I keep wondering why Mr. Finkelstein even bothers to dignify those he opposes by treating them to a logical appeal, because we know they are not capable of handing adult arguments. He knows full well that there is nothing redeemable within the systemic arena, yet he keeps appealing to it as a voice of dissent, as if it has any real legitimacy. This is what I would call for lack of a better term almost futile (I apologize to those who think some headway has been made on this subject, I disagree), and he should join those of us which wish to dismantle this entire fiasco. Once you have seen that the emperor has no clothes, it is impossible to go back and appeal thinking an essential difference will be made. I say this with the highest respect to Mr. Finklestein, who is one of the few that is addressing these issues with great distinction, and knows that what I am saying is the bottom line truth.

    MARCH OR FIGHT

    • Kathleen says:

      I think Finkelsteins persistent and factual efforts have made huge cracks in the wall of silence and lies.

      • VR says:

        What has “essentially” (to a vital degree, elementally) changed, in Israel or its ardent supporter the USA? The pace is glacial and the problem is acute, it is never going to be addressed until the economic foundation beneath this settler colonial state is destroyed – but it will never cease until people are willing to address the entire issue.

        • droog says:

          I remember when Apartheid SA fell,
          it just went, almost overnight, dissappeared.. gone..
          Rabid International debate suddenly dissolved into the South African T&R process and there was no more fight. ‘in yer face” became ‘nowhere to be seen’, almost overnight. Issues with maximalist principles I believe, leads to a very poor defense, no depth, vulnerable to losing large segements of the line to small breakthroughs, and the whole war to a change in the winds.

        • VR says:

          That s because Apartheid SA got a good deal droog, all they has to do is renounce the Apartheid in the public political arena, while the same wealth is in the same hands to this day (with no prosecutions, only “reconciliation”). Perhaps some day Israel will get a similar deal, lets hope the Palestinians do not languish in economic Apartheid like the South Africans – I dread this happening eventually in the region, the same almost fruitless compromise. Hopefully the champions of the Palestinians will not repeat history while the Israelis laugh all the way to the bank.

        • Kathleen says:

          And on campuses across the US and people around the world had been speaking out against and pushing for divestment. Collective actions around the globe. Hey without facebook and twitter

  36. a song dedicated for Mr Finkelstein. One of his favourites :)

  37. Another important person who published information that seriously contradicted Joan Peters – much of it before her book came out – was Sami Hadawi. From Wikipedia:

    Hadawi’s wife died of a heart attack shortly after their departure [from their Jerusalem home, when the Israelis came to west Jerusalem in 1948]. Hadawi had similar work with Jordanian land authorities as he did with the British. He retained that job until 1952 when he became a land specialist for the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine in New York. His job was to determine the extent of property that Palestinian refugees left behind after the 1948 War. This led him to co-found the Palestinian Information Office in 1959 and then two Arab League offices in the United States. His final work years were as Director of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) in Beirut throughout 1960-70 in which he published Palestine – Loss of a Heritage.

    He retired in 1970, moved to Toronto and began writing books on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including Palestinian Rights and Losses in 1948 (1988) and Bitter Harvest: a Modern History of Palestine (1989). Hadawi died on April 22, 2004 at the age of 100. He was buried in Toronto instead of his desired request to be buried in his hometown of Jerusalem.

    In late 1982, when I was converted from ardent Zionist to ardent supporter of Palestinian rights, one of my new Palestinian friends loaned me Hadawi’s 1967 version of Bitter Harvest, his chronicle of Palestinian losses up to the 1967 War. He kept updating the book, its last publication being in 1989, IIRC.

    • Mooser says:

      “In late 1982, when I was converted from ardent Zionist to ardent supporter of Palestinian rights…”

      Since I am a Jew for whom Zionism never had the slightest attraction (although I am always ready to follow a pillar of fire) I have to ask you, Phillip; did you write anything about that process of de-converting from Zionism, in 1982 and is it available on the Web? I would very much like to read it.

  38. Castellio says:

    I think its a shame that the work of Moshe Menuhin has been edited out of our consciousness. The father of Yehudi Menuhin, he was an ardent anti-Zionist. He wrote both ‘The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time’ (1965) and ‘Jewish Critics of Zionism’.

    He was prescient in much that he said.

    I seriously wish more time was spent with many of the strong anti-Zionists of the past, Moshe Menuhin certainly being one of them.

  39. Memphis says:

    even if this book was true,who gives a shit. The findings are irrelevant. It does not diminish Palestinian claims to their rightful land.

    I understand what she was trying to do, and why people use the book. I just wanted to point out that it doesn’t matter.

    Finkelstein is GOAT !!!

    I almost feel sorry for this woman, who wants to be remembered for writing a complete hoax. but, you reap what you sow

  40. eGuard says:

    Tellingly, Wikipedia plays the same trick: putting “Israeli historian” Porath in front of Finkelstein.

  41. yourstruly says:

    as long as palestine is liberated does it matter who’s in the pantheon of its historical heroes and martyrs, or whatever their ranking therein?

    • It is not about building the “pantheon of historical heroes and martyrs”,
      it is about distorting the Truth. Truth should not be purposely distorted or manipulated.
      Mr Finkelstein was the first one ,who revealed all the hokey pokey that Joan Peters’s book contained, and the credit shoud be given to him for that. That’s all.
      I don’t think that he cares about being placed in the “panthenon”.

    • Kathleen says:

      No it ultimately does not matter. Still no need to create a myth about who was out there on the front lines decades ago. No need.

      And if one is going to celebrate those who have get the chonology correct. Give credit where credit is due if one is going to give credit at all. No need to create a new myth

  42. MHughes976 says:

    Well, I think that the future of Free Palestine will be influenced by their choice of heroes.

    • agree and moreso, MHughes.

      A short while ago MW posted an article about the readings of imprisoned Palestinians. It seemed to me that their ‘library’ was overloaded with Marxist and socialist literature and a bit thin on what I consider more universal and foundational works. Of course something is better than nothing, but one can get the impression that Marxism represents the universe of intellectual discourse if that is all one is exposed to. Grapple with Confucius, with Cicero, and Plutarch, Bacon and Filangieri; then you will approximate the intellectual resource center of the US Founding Fathers.
      They weren’t perfect by any means, and I abhor the notion that everyone should be like the USA, but compare the intellectual matrix of the US founders to that of zionism and try to make an argument that “we share values.”

  43. Proton Soup says:

    it doesn’t matter so much in the short run if Finkelstein is ignored. the important thing is getting the info out there with less chance of it getting ignored or beaten down. when the facts become accepted over the myth, then worry about credit.

  44. “The record is fairly clear”.

    Norman has said that a thousand times publicly, in 990 cases (an arbitrary number) where the record was nowhere near clear.

    • Mooser says:

      “Norman has said that a thousand times publicly, in 990 cases (an arbitrary number) where the record was nowhere near clear.”

      Phil Weiss, I don’t know you, and I have no “pull” here at Mondoweiss. And I have no right to address you directly But I greatly admire what you are doing here, and I extrapolate from that you are a person of admirable personal characteristics. Please don’t lower my opinion of you. Whatever offense Witty has committed, however he has hurt you, haven’t you had your satisfaction by now? Haven’t you been vindicated by now? Please, my God please, don’t make me think you are the kind of person who would watch an elderly drunk in the middle of a psychotic episode wander out on to a busy freeway and laugh at them as the traffic reduces what was once a human being to a bloody spot on the macadam.
      Just think of it as a rhetorical mercy killing, a digital euthanasia.

      • Mooser says:

        “The record is fairly clear”.

        I’m sorry, Richard, but I haven’t got time to go over the entire thread. Is that a quote from Finklestein? It doesn’t seem to be a quote from any of the preceding comments.
        Would you mind identifying the quote, please?

        • Memphis says:

          NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, the record is fairly clear. You can find it on the Israeli website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Mr. Indyk is correct that Hamas had adhered to the ceasefire from June 17th until November 4th. On November 4th, here Mr. Indyk, I think, goes awry. The record is clear: Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point — and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website — Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.”

          That is the quote Mooser

          And Finkelstein is right.

          The truce was broken on November 4th (By Israel). But Witty probably doesn’t remember, something significant in the U.S was happening that day

        • Every statement that I’ve heard Norman Finkelstein state “the record is fairly clear”, I’ve noted plausible explanations that conflicted with his thesis, from the same selective set of data considered.

          Similarly for Noam Chomsky’s cliche “what other alternative explanation is there?”

          The gullible buy it. The intelligent remain skeptical.

        • plausible explanations aside do you have any evidence that refutes the facts?

        • Mooser says:

          “The gullible buy it. The intelligent remain skeptical.”

          I’m telling you Richard, just give it a try. One little klop from a ball-peen hammer, or even a rap from a ruler, and your perfidious little fingers wouldn’t dare to do this to you.
          Think about it Richard; after reading the kind of goobly-gook you posit as comments, we are supposed to accept you as “the intelligent”?

        • Which “facts” are you referring to?

        • mig says:

          What selective set of data RW ?

  45. GalenSword says:

    The invention of Zionism should probably be dated to 1861/1862 when Moses Hess published Rome and Jerusalem, The Last National Question.

    • some present day Jewish historians — David Ruderman comes to mind — date the “invention of zionism” to Juda Halevi, 11th-12th century Jewish Andalusian poet who migrated to Palestine, where he died in 1141.

      • Shmuel says:

        some present day Jewish historians — David Ruderman comes to mind — date the “invention of zionism” to Juda Halevi

        That is true – even with regard to Halevi’s anomalous position regarding collective physical return to Palestine – only in a very limited, religious sense. Halevi explains this view in the conclusion of his Kuzari, in which he interprets Ps. 102:14-15 to mean that divine redemption will not come without prior human initiative – i.e. the physical return to and rebuilding of Zion. This is a purely religious – almost theurgic – idea, that has little or nothing to do with modern political Zionism.

        Halevi’s decision to “go up” to the Holy Land and call to others to do so was also coloured by his dismay at the “multiculturalism” of Al-Andalus and particularly Jewish involvement in the flourishing of the arts and sciences (which he called “the chains of Arabia”), and his sense of personal spiritual decline as a result of his attraction to Arabian wisdom and beauty. As a very wealthy man, Halevi was also in the fortunate position of not having to worry about how he might earn a living in Palestine, and of being able to devote himself entirely to study and contemplation of the words of the prophets in his old age.

        Leading scholars of Halevi’s time, such as Moses Ibn Gikatilla and Abraham Ibn Ezra took a very different view, stressing prayer for redemption and the imperative of awaiting “the appointed time”.

        With all due respect to Ruderman (who is a serious historian), Zionist scholarship has sought evidence of Jewish “proto-Zionism” in figures as diverse as Spinoza, Mendelssohn and the students of Elijah of Vilna, while ignoring Central and Eastern European ethnic nationalisms, their romanticism and supporting mythologies. Witty and Jonah feel a desperate need to prove that Zionism is a natural outgrowth of traditional Jewish “longing for Zion”, but nothing could be further from the truth.

        • Hostage says:

          That is true – even with regard to Halevi’s anomalous position

          Yes, we don’t even know for certain if he ever actually arrived at the destination of his pilgrimage. He certainly had no (anachronistic) aspirations of founding an ethnically-based Westphalian nation state.

          The canonical legend about his demise claimed that he was killed by an enraged Arab as he attempted to enter the city of Jerusalem. Raymond Scheindlin explains that’s an improbable account because the Christian Crusaders had closed the city to both Muslims and Jews in 1099. He thought it was unsurprising that something like this legend would emerge as a result of the fact that surviving correspondence and poetry about the pilgrimage left the question unanswered. So, in the tradition of Moses, popular folklore asserted that he died as a martyr when he laid eyes on the goal of his journey. See The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage , Oxford University Press, 2007, page 249-250

        • Zionism is a natural outgrowth of traditional Jewish “longing for Zion”.

          The thing that changed the attitudes of really all but a very few parties to accept and adopt Zionism, was the sequence of circumstances of the pogroms, Western European prejudices, the holocaust (originating in morally and scientifically enlightened Germany), the persecution of Jews upon their return to their former “homes” in Eastern Europe, dangerous but possible invitation to reside in Israel.

          The holocaust was the most significant. People were confused, still are confused, about what the holocaust was in Jewish tradition. A punishment by God for some unknown crime? Some motivation for a greater good? Chance residue of habitual malevolent superstitious ignorance?

          Or, a religious stimuli to the return, God’s voice unexpectedly from unexpected sources? Or, a stimuli to the social utopia described both in aspects of Torah and Marx?

          Or, just the way things turned out?

        • eljay says:

          >> People were confused, still are confused, about what the holocaust [sic] was in Jewish tradition.

          Embracing and thriving on eternal victimhood makes for pretty dismal tradition.

          That being said, while the Holocaust was unquestionably a brutal chapter in human history, it took / takes a healthy dose of wilful immorality and injustice to twist and distort suffering into self-righteous justification for terrorism, ethnic cleansing, destruction, oppression, theft, colonization and the creation of a religion-supremacist state.

          >> Or, a religious stimuli [sic] to the return, God’s voice unexpectedly from unexpected sources?

          That’s certainly convenient.

        • One thing that Zionism did represent is the transition from actual victim to assertive self-advocate.

          I pray, in an act of compassion, that you never have to grapple with the question of why some political entity might seek to murder every one of your family, community, people.

        • eljay says:

          >> I pray, in an act of compassion, that you never have to grapple with the question of why some political entity might seek to murder every one of your family, community, people.

          My goodness, how very patronizing!

          RW really should spare his “prayers” and “compassion” for Palestinians who have been grappling with a similar question for over 60 years.

          Instead, he accepts and justifies:
          - Zionist terrorism and murder;
          - the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and land; and
          - the creation of an oppressive, expansionist, religion-supremacist state.

          And he has no problem with the idea of excising non-Jewish Israelis from their own country – stripping them of their citizenship and rendering them stateless – in order to preserve a Jewish majority in Israel.

          He remains a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

        • It was for you Eljay.

          Every Jew that regards themselves as Jewish has to grapple with what the holocaust means.

          I have a habad rabbi friend who presents spiritual life in respect of faith (meaning the faith that everything that has happened is for good), and of trust (meaning the trust that everything that will happen is for good, including our own).

          In presentation after presentation, someone brings up, “how do you explain the holocaust?”.

          He squirms, and then says “I don’t know what specific good came of that. I do know in my own experience that everything that has ever occurred to me is both a result of some past seed and an opportunity for some present healing.”

          You articulate sadly the theme that Jews living where they live is “Zio-supremacism”, which I regard as a racist theme.

          I regard your accusations frankly as hindering the movement that you pretend to support.

        • Hostage says:

          You articulate sadly the theme that Jews living where they live is “Zio-supremacism”, which I regard as a racist theme.

          Richard a color blind international court advised that Israel established its settlements in Palestine in violation of its obligations under the applicable international law. The UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, and the Human Rights Treaty Monitoring bodies had previously determined that the settlements are illegal. You sadly articulate the theme that Zionist colonists are nonetheless above the law and that the determinations of the competent international organs should somehow be held in abeyance and have no legal consequences. Eljay and many of the other commentators here label that form of exceptionalism as “Zio-supremacism”. There is ample evidence that Zio-supremacism, or whatever else you choose to call it, is a patent example of racism.

        • Cliff says:

          Dick Witty,

          When will you substantiate anything you say? All you keep talking about is ‘feelings’ (with the usual gobbledygook).

        • eljay says:

          >> You articulate sadly the theme that Jews living where they live is “Zio-supremacism” …

          RW knows full well that Zio-supremacism has nothing to do with his benign-sounding and misleading phrase “Jews living where they live”. His smear is nothing more than a bold-faced lie.

          >> I regard your accusations frankly as hindering the movement that you pretend to support.

          I regard RW’s sad articulation as meaningless, given that he is a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist who accepts and justifies Zionist terrorism and murder, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands, and the creation of an oppressive, expansionist and religion-supremacist state.

        • I articulate that the state-sponsored settlement enterprise is illegal under international law and in relation to property rights.

          I also articulate that the settlers are human beings, who deserve equal due process under the law, same as I advocate for Palestinians.

          Equal due process is not “Zio-supremacism”.

          That is a catchy self-talking phrase that you use to dismiss logic that you don’t want to consider. You trash the messenger, and dismiss the message.

          Find the pursuit of justice already, not cruelty.

        • eljay says:

          >> That is a catchy self-talking phrase that you use to dismiss logic that you don’t want to consider.

          RW dismisses logic which states that it is unjust and immoral to use the Holocaust as justification for Zionist terrorism and murder, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and land, and the creation of an oppressive, expansionist, religion-supremacist state. For him, Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis justifies the past crimes of Jews and of Jewish Israelis.

          >> Find the pursuit of justice already, not cruelty.

          And yet, cruelly, RW routinely dismisses or trivializes the pursuit of justice – that is to say, accountability for crimes committed – when it comes to Zionist terrorism and murder, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and land, and the creation of a religion-supremacist (i.e., non-egalitarian) state engaged in an ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder (which it has the power to halt immediately and completely, but which it refuses to do).

          He remains a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I articulate that the state-sponsored settlement enterprise is illegal under international law and in relation to property rights.”

          “I also articulate that the settlers are human beings, who deserve equal due process under the law, same as I advocate for Palestinians.”

          If you concede the first, (i.e., that the settlers obtain no legal property rights) then what process, exactly, are they due? The first point presents an insurmountable hurdle to them.

        • They are civilians, now children growing up in the settlements, the only home they have.

          The status of law is not cut and dried, not black/white. It is on a continuum, with different individuals bearing different relative rights.

          It’s got to be decided case by case, not by mass.

        • MRW says:

          The status of law is not cut and dried, not black/white. . . . It’s got to be decided case by case, not by mass.

          No, you are wrong, Richard. The settlers are told before they move in that they will be living on occupied land and may have to give their houses up, and they have to sign a piece of paper acknowledging it.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Notice how I indict Israel, without realizing it.

          The status of law is not cut and dried, not black/white.

          ‘What I’m really saying is that there is one law for Israelis, another for Palestinians. Shmuel, Hostage and others have spent quite literally years pointing this out to me, citing law after Israeli law, chapter and verse, but I continue to ignore them.’

        • “The settlers are told before they move in that they will be living on occupied land and may have to give their houses up, and they have to sign a piece of paper acknowledging it.”

          This is the first that I’ve heard that. Many others have told me that the settlers were duped in buying inexpensive apartments.

          How do you know this?

          That would be a different status.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Look at this hilarious statement from me:

          Many others have told me that the settlers were duped in buying inexpensive apartments.

          ‘The “many others” is the clincher. I’m suggesting that Mondoweiss visitors are suckers who will believe anything. Any Israeli who did not know the West Bank was disputed territory would have to be living in a cave. But I expect people to believe that “many” people told me the settlers were “duped,” and what’s more, I BELIEVED THESE MYSTERIOUS INFORMANTS — instead of first-hand evidence to the contrary posted on Mondoweiss every day by Israelis, Palestinians, and ex-Israelis.
          ‘How can anyone on Mondoweiss take me seriously after this preposterous statement? I’m not interested in the truth; I’m just interested in defending my Exodus view of Israel.’

        • Cliff says:

          You rock James. You’re always able to cut through Witty’s bs.

        • MRW says:

          “How do you know this?”

          Check the archives here. It was reported on this blog with the link.

        • MRW says:

          “I pray, in an act of compassion, that you never have to grapple with the question of why some political entity might seek to murder every one of your family, community, people.”

          Talk to a Palestinian.

        • Lies?

          I still don’t know. Waiting for MRW to fill me in accurately.

          “The settlers are told before they move in that they will be living on occupied land and may have to give their houses up, and they have to sign a piece of paper acknowledging it.”

        • American says:

          “They are civilians, now children growing up in the settlements, the only home they have.”…..witty

          Question:…why should anyone care about your children when you don’t care about other people’s children?

          You and eee constantly say that it is only natural that people put their own families first. That is true. But when you put first in a way that is immoral or illegal and harmful to others then you have a war with them…and most everyone else.

          I know you won’t answer this because there is no way for you to answer except to babble about peers and other obfuscating nonsense.

        • Cliff says:

          Another Palestinian protester was shot by your favorite country’s colonial army, Witty.

          Are you going to say anything in that thread? Or will you ignore it like you ignored the murder of Mustafa Tamimi?

          Regale us with tales of the humanity of the Jewish colonists though.

        • Cliff says:

          Witty, you made a claim without research. Figure it out on your own.

          It’s not the first time you’ve spouted lies/misconceptions/half-truths/hasbara garbage while feigning innocence.

        • Hostage says:

          I also articulate that the settlers are human beings, who deserve equal due process under the law, same as I advocate for Palestinians.

          Richard you are being obnoxious. The Israeli High Court of Justice has already made a binding determination that Israeli citizens only have a temporary right to live in the occupied territories. That temporary right is strictly limited to the duration of the occupation.

          Furthermore, the Court ruled that the military commander represents the State of Israel in the territories and that his powers are strictly limited by public international law. He cannot grant a better title to third parties than the title that he holds, i.e. usufruct only. The Palestinians aren’t occupying any territory on Israel’s side of the Green Line. So, the notion of due process that you are advancing is that a) illegal Israeli settlers have the right of residency until they are given a hearing in a Palestinian Court, and b) Palestinian refugees have no right of residency until after they successfully petition an Israeli Court. That’s not the “same” due process right.

        • You think that granting settlers equal due process before the law, access to courts, is obnoxious.

          What planet do you live on, and call yourself an advocate of human rights?

          I don’t for a minute believe that a military court is a non-biased court, but to claim that they should just be forcefully removed en masse is ludicrous, cruel.

          I’m still waiting for the substantiation to MRW’s post that claimed that settlers are informed at the time of their signing of a leasehold that their rights are conditional.

          The current status of jurisdiction is hopefully temporary, and new law will apply in Palestine.

          If Palestine adopts a politically based law, rather than a rights based law, then the struggle will have been for advocacy of a prejudicial system, rather than a just system.

          My own impression is that forced removal of 550,000 is a cruel action, especially if there are other lawful remedies, which I’m confident that there are.

        • American says:

          “Every Jew that regards themselves as Jewish has to grapple with what the holocaust means.
          In presentation after presentation, someone brings up, “how do you explain the holocaust?”….witty

          Let me help you understand the Jewish holocaust Richard.

          It’s the same as the Turk’s holocaust of the Armenians.
          It’s the same as the French slaughtering 15% of the Algerians.
          It’s the same as Sharon facilitating the slaughter of Palestine refugees in the Sabra and Shatila.
          It’s the same as the Jews killing 60,000 Christians in 614 when the Persians took Jerusalem.
          It’s the same as the Christian Crusaders slaughtering the Muslims and Jews.

          There is no divine message to the Jews in the German holocaust, no bigger meaning, they were just a group someone in power hated, like all the other groups of the world that have been despised at some time by some ruler, conqueror, or other tribe of people and were slaughtered for whatever reason.

        • Hostage says:

          The settlers are told before they move in that they will be living on occupied land and may have to give their houses up

          Okay Richard one more time: In the 1979 Elon Moreh case, Justice Landau of the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the establishment of the settlement met:

          an insuperable legal obstacle, because no military government can create in its area facts for its military purposes that are intended from the very outset to exist even after the termination of military rule in that area.

          See David Kretzmer, The occupation of justice: the Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories, SUNY Press, 2002, page 88.
          The Hague Convention only allows the military commander to expropriate property in situations of “military necessity”. So, the Court’s ruling implied that the “necessity” of settlements can only be temporary, like the occupation itself. That landmark ruling was handed down when there were only a few thousand settlers.

          In the 2005 Regional Council, Coast of Gaza v. Knesset of Israel case, H.C.J. 1661/05, the Court reaffirmed those findings and dismissed the arguments regarding the petitioners rights of residency. The Court ruled that:
          *Gaza, Judea, and Samaria were being held in a state of belligerent occupation;
          *that Israeli civilians are not protected persons there according to the applicable international conventions;
          *that the military commander only has the right of usufruct and cannot convey a better title to others for state or private land than the one he possesses in accordance with public international law (i.e. none);
          * that the settler’s residency and property rights are only temporary, like the occupation itself.
          The Court ruled:

          “In determining the substance of the impingement and the rate of compensation, one must take into consideration the fact that the rights impinged upon are the rights of Israelis in territory under belligerent occupation. The temporariness of the belligerent occupation affects the substance of the right impinged upon, and thus also, automatically, the compensation for the impingement (Id., paragraph 126 of the opinion of the Court).

          While discussing the property right of Israelis evacuated from the Gaza Strip, the Court stated:

          “This property right is limited in scope . . . most Israelis do not have ownership of the land on which they built their houses and businesses in the territory to be evacuated. They acquired their rights from the military commander, or from persons acting on his behalf. Neither the military commander nor those acting on his behalf are owners of the property, and they cannot transfer rights better than those they have. To the extent that the Israelis built their homes and assets on land which is not private (‘state land’), that land is not owned by the military commander. His authority is defined in regulation 55 of The Hague Regulations. . . . The State of Israel acts . . . as the administrator of the state property and as usufructuary of it . . . ” (Id., paragraph 127 of the opinion of the Court).

        • Shmuel says:

          The settlers are told before they move in that they will be living on occupied land and may have to give their houses up, and they have to sign a piece of paper acknowledging it.

          I haven’t heard of any such document, and find it hard to believe that many would sign (or that it would not be challenged in the High Court, media, Knesset, etc.).

          It makes little difference however, because the fact remains that a settler or potential settler would have to be a complete astronaut (more Laika than Gagarin) to have failed to notice the precedents of Yamit, Katif, Ganim, Kadim, etc., the Oslo accords and the entire peace process, to believe that there is no difference between a flat in Be’er Sheva or Karmiel and a flat in Nokdim or Ariel.

          Every Israeli knows of the existence of the “Green Line”, that territory beyond it is considered “occupied” by most of the world (anti-Semites the lot of them), and that any and every peace plan has and will involve the removal of Israeli settlements. They may argue and speculate, pontificate and prognisticate about which settlements might be involved, but they know – every single last one of them – that nothing over the Green Line is a sure thing. So they take their very considerable benefit packages (an alternative welfare system for some), and hope and pray and fight and vote for the best.

          The only exception to this rule might be the settlements in “East” Jerusalem (not including Givat Zeev or Ma’aleh Adumim), where settlers or potential settlers might not know that it is considered occupied land or believe that the precedents from Yamit to Homesh have any bearing, because “Jerusalem is different”.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Shmuel, Hostage: Watch what I do next. I will ignore all your thoughtful, sourced explanations. Instead, I will seize on the fact that MRM’s allegation about settlers signing documents is wrong, and I will use that to justify my view that all 550,000 of them have the right to stay there. I will feel vindicated, and I will accuse you two and other Mondoweiss visitors of cruelty and racism because you insist that international law must be respected.’

        • Hostage says:

          Lies? . . . I still don’t know. Waiting for MRW to fill me in accurately. . . . and they have to sign a piece of paper acknowledging it.”

          The State of Israel and its citizens can’t enter into private agreements that create obligations for third parties, like the State of Palestine and its citizens. Consequently, the doctrine of waiver and estoppel would only constitute the basis of a claim against the parties to the agreements, not the Palestinians. See the quote about compensation in my other comment in this thread regarding the Regional Council, Coast of Gaza v. Knesset of Israel case, H.C.J. 1661/05.

        • Hostage says:

          What planet do you live on, and call yourself an advocate of human rights?

          Richard your studied ignorance of the equitable doctrine of unclean hands is still obnoxious.

          FYI, the United States is a signatory of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), but the Senate ratification stipulated that the human rights in the covenant do not create a private cause of action in U.S. Courts. I’ve also pointed out on dozens of occasions that the State of Israel has similarly denied that human rights in the the Palestinian territories are enforceable in its Courts. Israel claims they are “not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction” inasmuch as they are part and parcel of the context of an extraterritorial armed conflict. See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

          So, just exactly what “due process” right can you possibly have in mind?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “They are civilians, now children growing up in the settlements, the only home they have.”

          So what? None of those facts are relevant to the issue of whether they have title. And on equitable grounds, the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed to make way for these Jewish colonies have a greater claim to equity and these properties.

          “The status of law is not cut and dried, not black/white.”

          You said it was. You said that it was illegal under international law, specifically in relation to property rights.

          “It is on a continuum, with different individuals bearing different relative rights.”

          How so, exactly? If none of these people received title from someone who had legal title, which you conceded was the case by asserting that it was illegal under international law regarding property rights, they cannot obtain good title. They may have a claim against the person from whom they got title, but they have no good title.

          “It’s got to be decided case by case, not by mass.”

          Not so. If there is one relevant legal issue which will decide all of the cases, as is the case here, then judicial economy and the interest in uniform resolution of the matter argues in favor of deciding it in a single instance and not on a case by case basis, because every case will be legally the same.

          What process — specifically — do you believe they are entitled? What EXACTLY do you propose that they be given the opportunity to establish?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Witty finds the removal of 550,000 settlers — illegal immigrants, effectively — to be reprehensible… because they are Jewish. Self-same Witty characterized the removal of 750,000 natives — Palestinians — to merely be “no longer necessary.” Meaning he believes that removing people is only necessary when they’re not Jewish.

          And then he has the nerve to call us “gullible.” Who does he think is going to mistake him for anything other than an anti-Arab bigot?

        • MRW says:

          “I’m still waiting for the substantiation to MRW’s post that claimed that settlers are informed at the time of their signing of a leasehold that their rights are conditional.”

          Well, you can stand on your substantiation tippy-toes until your ass turns blue because I refuse to do the work you should be doing yourself. I’ve done it in the past for you, and you have neither thanked me for spending the time, nor even bothered to read what I came up with for you (which I knew because in pre-moderated days replies were instant). So. The information is in the MW archives and there’s a search function. (It’s also in the NYT morgue.) Get busy.

  46. Mooser says:

    “Witty and Jonah feel a desperate need to prove that Zionism is a natural outgrowth of traditional Jewish “longing for Zion”, but nothing could be further from the truth.”

    Furthermore, if it can be proved that Zionism is a natural outgrowth of the traditional Jewish “longing for Zion” does that prove that the way Zionism was done, the way it manifested itself, is therefore part of traditional Judaism? Cause if that is true, you have just given the entire rest of the world a good reason to dislike and mistrust Jews.
    Oh, sorry. Of course Zionists want to conflate the two. There’s nothing they would like better than for the world, especially the West, to believe that Jews were an alien people ready to attain their religious ends through violence. And I’m sure Israel would be glad to relieve them of their Jews, for the proper price.

    • Shmuel says:

      Furthermore, if it can be proved that Zionism is a natural outgrowth of the traditional Jewish “longing for Zion” does that prove that the way Zionism was done, the way it manifested itself, is therefore part of traditional Judaism? Cause if that is true, you have just given the entire rest of the world a good reason to dislike and mistrust Jews.

      Not really. Even if Zionism were a natural outgrowth of traditional Judaism, it would only represent a particular aspect of Jewish civilisation. Saying that Zionism represents an element – even an important element – of historical Judaism, is not the same as equating Zionism with totality of Judaism. You are right however, that Zionists do want the world to conflate the two.

      • “Not really. Even if Zionism were a natural outgrowth of traditional Judaism, it would only represent a particular aspect of Jewish civilisation. Saying that Zionism represents an element – even an important element – of historical Judaism, is not the same as equating Zionism with totality of Judaism. ”

        Finally, some rational acknowledgement, in contrast to the anti-Zionist DENIAL of Hostage and others.

        • Shmuel says:

          “Finally, some rational acknowledgement …”

          I thought I put a conditional in there. The only “rational acknowledgement” missing here is that the modern, European political construct of Zionism is fundamentally different from the age-old religious longing for redemption. Calling the two by the same name does not make them the same any more than calling a Milikovsky “Netanyahu” creates an authentic bond to an ancient signet ring.

        • That’s a subject for subsequent discussion.

          The first 100 interations of the comment was of denial only.

          I think the only conclusion to the theological questions are a resounding “I don’t know” (from every commentator, historical, present or future).

          The presumption of knowledge of “God’s intent” is an unreconcilable one, even for those that tell the orthodox story that Torah was conveyed complete and directly to Moses at Sinai and conveyed accurately from generation to generation, and that that could possibly capture essence, detail and application.

          Other than that, “I don’t know”, but keeping to the nut of the covenant, is what is reliable.

        • Hostage says:

          The first 100 interations of the comment was of denial only.

          Richard I mentioned the halakhah about the return in connection with the three oaths of traditional Judaism. You’re so dense, you simply called that a denial.

          Prior to the first Zionist Congress there was no tradition of a massive return of atheists to Zion either with or without the faithful. It had been thousands of years since Jews had a common language or nationality – and the leadership of the various Jewish Orthodox and Reform organizations repudiated the secular Zionists. So yes, this group of Zionist people were invented 114 years ago by Herzl and his organization. They were not then, and are not now, synonymous with the Jews or Judaism.

        • As you didn’t acknowledge the historical theme of return, but ONLY presented a rationalization for the artificiality of Zionism, yes, it was a denial, a denial of the theme of return.

          You could have acknowledged that I described that many ultra-orthodox regarded the state as an imposition of messianic time or an overt idolatry, rather than seek to bury the concept and circumstances.

          As I said, the attempt to bury a multi-millenial theme, an originating theme, is a form of cultural genocide. I don’t understand why you undertake to tell Jews “you don’t believe what you do. you don’t choose what you do”.

          Rather than saying “other options are possible”.

        • American says:

          As I said, the attempt to bury a multi-millenial theme, an originating theme, is a form of cultural genocide.”…witty

          No one has buried your multi-millenial theme……you’re still as primitive as ever.

        • Hostage says:

          As you didn’t acknowledge the historical theme of return, but ONLY presented a rationalization for the artificiality of Zionism, yes, it was a denial, a denial of the theme of return.

          Richard for the very last time, the historical theme of return has nothing to do with establishing a Westphalian ethnic nation state or Socialist Republic populated by anarchists, communists, and atheists. I deny that you have a clue, so our discussion of this topic is over.

        • Hostage,
          There is a difference between the word “a” and “the”.

          You do acknowledge that 90% of the Jewish world either live in Israel or are sympathetic to Zionism (defined as return and self-determination, NOT as expansion necessarily), including all established denominations.

          How did the Jewish world get from 1947 (ultra-orthodox rejection of political Zionism) to 1997 (near universal acceptance of Zionism)?

          What changed?

          1. Knowledge of circumstances (pogroms, holocaust)
          2. Israeli viability
          3. Reduction of global anti-semitism (not a risk of alienation anymore)
          4. “Victim” of Arab surrounding assault (last remaining risk of anti-semitism)

          What changed between 1997 and 2011?

          1. Knowledge of circumstances (new circumstances coming to be known of Israeli harms to Palestinians)
          2. Israeli viability (stronger)
          3. Reduction of global anti-semitism (slowly resurfacing in Europe, often under guise of anti-Zionism, resurfacing AND diminishing in Arab world, more diminishing)
          4. Victim of Arab surrounding assault (diminishing)

          And still, the global support for “enough Israel” (Zionism, 67 borders) is very strong. The advocacy for a single state is a sliver.

          The “idiot wind” likud approach (“idiot wind” meaning dogmatic self-talk) thinks that the reduction of threats gives them carte-blanche to expand slowly, while the resumption of some threats creates and impetus to expedite expansion.

        • GalenSword says:

          100% of the pieds noirs in the world used to live in Algeria. Now none do, and the pied noir identity has mostly vanished with no loss whatsoever and probably a lot of benefit to the world.

          I can safely predict that within one generation no Zionists will live in stolen or occupied Palestine and that within two generations the Zionist identity will almost be completely vanished (as Sabbatian and Frankist identities have almost completely disappeared) with no loss whatsoever and almost certainly a lot benefit to the world.

          The vanishing of Zionist identity will certainly be good for America and Americans will — I hope — be able to undo the damage that Zionists have done to the US political, legal, tax, cultural, and academic systems.

        • Shingo says:

          How did the Jewish world get from 1947 (ultra-orthodox rejection of political Zionism) to 1997 (near universal acceptance of Zionism)?

          It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it changed only very recently, which debunks your argument that Zionism is ineherent to Judaism as in millenia old.

          And still, the global support for “enough Israel” (Zionism, 67 borders) is very strong.

          There is no evidence of global support for “enough Israel” . There is support for Israel among some commnities, but it’s falsr to suggest the global support is strong. The advocacy for a single state is growing fast. Indeed, the acceptance that a single state is the only option is becommming the majority view.

          Zionism is 114 years old.

        • Political Zionism is prominent starting at 114 years ago, and that was on a continuum.

          Sentimental Zionism is millenial.

          The advocacy for single state is nil still Shingo and will remain so.

          The only thing that could threaten that is continued expansion of the settlements and unwillingness of the state to allow the settlers to remain but as Palestinian citizens, instead continued incremental annexation.

          But, for that to reach critical mass will take a lot longer than a decade.

          The two-state is the most democratic solution, clearly.

        • Shingo says:

          Sentimental Zionism is millenial.

          No such thing. You made up that term a few days ago for the first time.

          The advocacy for single state is nil still Shingo and will remain so.

          It’s not nill, it’s significant and gaining momentum. The 2ss is dead, but thsi thread is not about a 2ss. Wshy do you insist on introducing superfluous arguments to this thread?

          The two-state is the dead, clearly.

          The only thing that could threaten that is continued expansion of the settlements and unwillingness of the state to allow the settlers to remain but as Palestinian citizens, instead continued incremental annexation.

          Which is precisely what is taking place, which is why the single state option is gathering speed.

        • Cliff says:

          Witty,

          Substantiate your claims with something other than your ‘feelings’ – which are meaningless.

          Stop trolling the blog as is your MO. Mutual respect, Witty.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Witty doesn’t respect anyone who isn’t Jewish. And even then his parameters are limited to his fellow zealots in arms.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      Mooser, I have privately sent you an email asking you for a Mooser Hanukkah Celebration post. Evidently you have chosen to ignore that email. I am therefore makig this request publicly and asking you to get down off your high horse and do some of the heavy lifting of scouring your childhood for us. The other readers are now going to start hitting you with pillows to make you come across. Pls send whatever you have to me privately weissphilip@yahoo. Thank you, Phil Weiss

      • Mooser says:

        Phil, of course I answered your e-mail, as soon as I saw it. I wish I could provide you with something, but all I can remember of Hannukah was a fairly happy holiday, involving two of my favorite avtivities: Lighting fires and getting presents. And I like potato latkes, very much.
        Please bear in mind, pal, my family was pretty well broken up internally by the time I was fifteen-sixteen, and my Father was dead when I was 17, and I was out on my ass, and making Aliyah to the streets of America with no skills and a sixth-grade education. What happy childhood memories I do have of Jewish Holidays I’ll keep, thank you.
        Seems to me if you want to mine the pathologically extended childhood of the elite Jewish male first-born for comedy gold, you have a much better source much nearer at hand.

        • marc b. says:

          Seems to me if you want to mine the pathologically extended childhood of the elite Jewish male first-born for comedy gold, you have a much better source much nearer at hand.

          thank you, mooser, this holiday for your acerbic wit. i almost typed LOL as a lead in but thought better of it.

        • Kathleen says:

          Go for it Mooser. I grew up on potato latkes too!

    • jonah says:

      …is (Zionism) therefore part of traditional Judaism? Cause if that is true, you have justgiven the entire rest of the world a good reason to dislike and mistrust Jews.

      Quelle incroyable naïveté!

      • Cliff says:

        If Zionism and Judaism are one in the same, then you should not expect anyone to like Jews or Jewishness. Especially not the Palestinians, who continue to suffer due to Zionism.

        It’s your sick sense of entitlement here that is the problem jonah.

        You are not an ancient Israelite. They don’t exist anymore. The Palestinians are simply an amalgam of all the people who have lived on that land continuously for thousands of years.

        Zionism was a movement spearheaded by European Jews. You could not make a Jewish majority without war, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. That is Zionism.

        You aren’t confronting the anti-Israel line, you are reaffirming it with your grotesque indignation.

      • Mooser says:

        “Quelle incroyable naïveté!”

        Oh, I am naive, Jonah, I’ll never deny it. For this fawn, it’s still morning.
        Maybe you could wise me up if you give me some examples of the way people have mistrusted and dislike you, and how it’s affected your life, and made you the hardened cynic you are today. Of course, by “people” I mean non-Jews, of course. I may be naive, but naive enough to believe that one Jew would ever do anything bad to another I’m not.

  47. Happy Hannukkah all.

    Remember the light that comes your way. Remember to pass on light further. Remember the light that originates deep within that is a never-ending free well. Remember the light that originates deep within all others.