Israel isn’t good for the Jews anymore

Israel/Palestine
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Brandeis
Brandeis

Israel isn’t good for the Jews anymore. That’s the news from New York.

It happened in the last week, or the last two years. A feeling has taken root deep in the American Jewish community that Israel is hurting us, hurting our standing in the world and our future. The restrictions on democracy, the curbs on women, the intransigence vis-a-vis the Palestinians when Obama has demanded movement, the indifference to the Arab Spring– Israel is a society we no longer recognize as Jewish like we’re Jewish, and worst of all, its militarism is exposing American Jews to the accusation that we are dually loyal. And we don’t like that: We’re Americans.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was clearly the oafish ad campaign that targeted Christmas and intermarriage– the ad campaign that Netanyahu cancelled. Even rightwing Israel lobbyists were stunned by how clueless the ad campaign was. But it was an expression of genuine Israeli attitudes. And that is what’s so scary: American Jews are waking up to the fact that Israeli society is nothing like ours. Hillary Clinton could only launch her criticism of religious restrictions on women in Israel because she knows that American Jews feel this way. Ambassador Howard Gutman was speaking for many sensible American Jews when he said that Israeli policies are hurting Jews by fostering anti-Semitism. 

We are integrators. We live in America because we want to be Jews in a diverse society. That is the spirit of American Jewish life by and large. And now these Zionists–separatists whom we never completely trusted when we were arguing with them in Eastern Europe–are quietly understood to have hijacked Jewishness and taken it to a dark ugly place. And their cake is cooked; Israel has produced “apartheid on steroids,” as a Jewish leader in the Nation wrote this fall; he wanted no part of it.

Still, the separatists, the neoconservatives, including Elliott Abrams–who said that Jews must stand apart in every society they live in except Israel, the very opposite of the integrationist creed– are trying to take our country even further, to an attack on Iran! On Friday the Secretary of Defense said emphatically this is not in America’s interests:

[Attacking Iran] would only, I think, ultimately not destroy their ability to produce an atomic weapon, but simply delay it – number one.  Of greater concern to me are the unintended consequences, which would be that ultimately it would have a backlash and the regime that is weak now, a regime that is isolated would suddenly be able to reestablish itself, suddenly be able to get support in the region, and suddenly instead of being isolated would get the greater support in a region that right now views it as a pariah.  Thirdly, the United States would obviously be blamed and we could possibly be the target of retaliation from Iran, striking our ships, striking our military bases.  Fourthly – there are economic consequences to that attack – severe economic consequences that could impact a very fragile economy in Europe and a fragile economy here in the United States.  

            And lastly I think that the consequence could be that we would have an escalation that would take place that would not only involve many lives, but I think could consume the Middle East in a confrontation and a conflict that we would regret. 

Could anyone be more clear? And still the hard right Israel lobby pushes for us to attack Iran. But we Jews are Americans!

A hundred years ago Louis Brandeis’s dubious achievement was to mingle American Jewish identity with Zionism. Brandeis converted to Zionism (in order to get a Supreme Court seat; Wilson wanted a representative Jew, not a rich German Jew), and declared that to be a good American Jew was to be a Zionist, that love for two ideas of homeland was just fine.

And now Brandeis’s achievement is being reversed. Who can love that “homeland”? Israeli values are incompatible with American Jewish values. Even Jeffrey Goldberg says the occupation is a “moral disaster.” Well guess what, it’s been going on for 44 years! In its segregated buses and roads, in its ad campaigns that targets intermarriage and Christmas, in the refusal to end the occupation– Israel is a different society than ours. 

Here our children marry non-Jews and even celebrate Christmas, and it’s all good. Here intolerance is definitely not cool.

J Street saw this coming a couple of years ago–Our staff is all intermarried and they have Buddhist seders, said Jeremy Ben-Ami. Now that consciousness is taking hold in the larger Jewish community. We’re integrators, we like our privilege in American society and understand that it carries obligations. And the petulant rage of the neocons at Leon Panetta’s statement is merely a reflection of the neocons’ growing isolation. Norman Finkelstein has been saying this for months now: American Jews are liberals, they will part ways with Israel out of profound differences. Donna Nevel has said it too: American Jews believe in social justice.

Years ago Walt and Mearsheimer described the profound risks of the Israel lobby to the Jewish presence in the U.S. The neocons smeared them as anti-Semites, as they are smearing Howard Gutman now. But take heart, Gutman, today Walt and Mearsheimer’s view is common place, and echoed in the heart of Jewish life. David Remnick bristles that the American Jewish community is no longer going to be a patsy to rightwing Israel: “Sorry, it can’t go on this way. The  Jewish community is not just a nice breakfast at the Regency.” Tom Friedman says that Obama is being held “hostage” by the powerful Israel lobby. Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken says that the “Jewish lobby” in the U.S. is standing by apartheid. At the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations in Denver, a woman from Encounter admitted that all that pro-Israel history they fed the children was a “snowjob.”

Ben Smith’s piece in Politico today, “Israel rift roils Democratic ranks,” is an announcement that these disturbances are now reaching the political establishment. The American Jewish community, which is the backbone of the Democratic Party, is breaking in two over support for Israel, and the presidential election campaign this year will at last bring that support out into the political battlefield, with Jews on both sides of the question, and non-Jews invited to speak their minds.

And the best Americans will speak up for Palestinian rights. When Jews Say No! came out against the Gaza slaughter that massacred 400  innocent children in 22 efficient days, when Jewish Voice for Peace endorsed the boycott, they did so as members of a Jewish community, participating openly in a diverse society. 

Hannah Arendt predicted this 60 years ago, when she wrote that by launching its existence violently, Israel was on its way to becoming a small warrior tribe like Sparta:

“Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large numbers of Jews lived. Palestinian Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people.”

That separation has now happened. Because more and more of us who care about Jewish life, as an integral part of western society, need to separate ourselves from an ethos of separation. We understand, Israel isn’t good for the Jews.

No Responses Yet

  1. Newclench
    December 7, 2011, 1:28 pm

    And because Israel is no longer good for the Jews, we need to talk about the identity of Israeli Jews as something other than ‘Zionists.’ It sure as hell won’t be ‘Palestinian.’ In this context, the emergence of an Israeli identity that is inclusive, secular, not tied to worldwide Jewry, and adhering to democratic values is essential. It will be somewhat Jew-ish, but not Jewish. It will be much more embracing of the Arab and Muslim identities. It will be tied at the hip to the Palestinian identity.

    • Krauss
      December 7, 2011, 2:12 pm

      No, they’ll be bailed out. It’ll be like the Soviet Exodus, only this time much larger and faster. And mostly across the Atlantic but quite a few to the Old Continent too, Germany especially.

    • patm
      December 7, 2011, 2:55 pm

      Israeli Jews as something other than ‘Zionists.’ It sure as hell won’t be ‘Palestinian.

      Why not call P/I the Republic of Jerusalem, with Jerusalem as the capital?

      Here is taxi outlining this idea in a comment addressed to Sumud:

      link to mondoweiss.net

      • Annie Robbins
        December 7, 2011, 7:23 pm

        this is an excellent link. i just got around to reading it last night. thank you patm.

        • patm
          December 7, 2011, 7:47 pm

          The Republic of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together in harmony. What could be a better solution, annie?

        • john h
          December 7, 2011, 8:05 pm

          please keep us posted on that, annie.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 4:37 pm

      “And because Israel is no longer good for the Jews, we need to talk about the identity of Israeli Jews as something other than ‘Zionists.’”

      Excuse me, Clenchner, but how the hell is that my problem? That’s the Israeli’s problem.

      “It will be much more embracing of the Arab and Muslim identities.”

      Typical conciliatory Hasbara. Try saying “Equal rights under the rule of law for all” and “No religious tests or declarations” instead. And even, (I know, you’ll get an attack of the vapors if you try) “Justice, return, and reparations.”

    • eee
      December 7, 2011, 5:33 pm

      Newclench,

      So from the US you are going to tell us what kind of society we will have in Israel?
      How exactly is that going to work? Are you planning a coup in Israel?

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2011, 6:11 pm

        You tell him, “eee”! And if Newclench should be hurt and say something like ‘Well, as a Jew, I am concerned about the future of the Jews in Israel and want what is best for them’, you can quickly disabuse him of that ridiculous notion, huh, eee!

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 6:29 pm

          Mooser,

          You miss the point. It is quite clear to me Newclench (unlike you) cares about the Jews in Israel. When you write:
          “Excuse me, Clenchner, but how the hell is that my problem? That’s the Israeli’s problem” you make clear you don’t care about Jews in Israel.

          I am just wondering if Newclench is wishful thinking aloud or he has some actual plan that he thinks will work.

        • Newclench
          December 7, 2011, 7:27 pm

          eee,
          Just to be clear, I don’t see concern for my fellow Jews and Israelis and Americans as a zero sum game. There is no solution that is good for the Jews that isn’t at the same time a vast improvement in the situation of the Palestinians.

      • Newclench
        December 7, 2011, 6:25 pm

        eee,
        Kol yisrael areivim…. it would be wrong of me to withhold good advice from my brothers and sisters. Israel is indeed not very good for the Jews right now. My preference is for a plan B that keeps them there, somehow, but it won’t look like what you’ve got right now.

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 7:25 pm

          Newclench,

          I am sure you know why no one “makes kids” on Dizengoff street. Because everyone would stop to give advice.

          If you respect the Jews in Israel, you would ask them what they want, not tell them what they want. And if 6 million of them are going to tell you that Israel is good for them, what are you going to do? You are welcome to influence our views in democratic ways of course, but since you have no chance that way, what is your plan? You have a right to your opinions of course. I am just trying to figure out if you will respect the opinions of the Jews in Israel.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 8:20 pm

          “Israel is indeed not very good for the Jews right now.”

          Don’t wait, eee, get it before it spreads! Kick Clenchner out right away! De-Jew the man, and pronto!

      • LanceThruster
        December 8, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Israel can dismiss US concerns much more readily if they operate their apartheid state on their own dime. Until then, the US gets to be a voting shareholder.

      • dahoit
        December 9, 2011, 12:15 pm

        The Israelites sure have a lot to do with our society don’t they?Aren’t they planning a coup against Obomba(their boy toy)with Newt the slippery?Or if that fails one of the other usual suspects?How about the exclusion of Dr.Paul,an affront to American values(alleged)?Or sending lies to the media about all of Israels self made enemies so we go get them for the Zionists?
        You know,Dr.Paul will rescue Israel from its madness,he deserves your support,or at least recognize his way will save you,not destroy you,as your survival rests on inclusion and peace,not exclusion and war against imaginary or self made enemies.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 7, 2011, 7:26 pm

      we need to talk about the identity of Israeli Jews as something other than ‘Zionists.’”

      not yet, because for the most part they are zionists. we have to be honest about it. we can’t make change by calling them something other than what they are. when they start denouncing zionism i’ll be on board. but i don’t get the point of using another definition when they proudly call themselves zionist.

  2. Krauss
    December 7, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Beautifully written. You speak for a lot of us.

    • patm
      December 7, 2011, 2:58 pm

      I agree, Krauss. Phil’s essay is beautifully written.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 7, 2011, 7:38 pm

      i know i have said this before but i think this may be phil’s finest.

      it made me cry when he wrote

      We are integrators. We live in America because we want to be Jews in a diverse society. That is the spirit of American Jewish life by and large.

      yes yes yes, this is what i believe and i will continue to believe. i will not throw my own countrymen/women under a bus because a bunch of rightwingers claim to speak for them all. i will not. the proof is in the pudding. they are here and they will remain here and that speaks for itself.

      and it makes no difference if those rightwingers are american or israeli. they do not speak, they cannot speak for american jewish culture.

      Norman Finkelstein has been saying this for months now: American Jews are liberals, they will part ways with Israel out of profound differences. Donna Nevel has said it too: American Jews believe in social justice.

      they will, if push comes to shove they will part ways because they are more like us then they are like them and they couldn’t live in an intolerant society for perpetuity any more than i could.

      this reminds me of an incredible conversation i had the other night at the aipac protest when i was standing on the corner right next to an american supporter of israel standing there with her israeli flag and me with mine palestinian one both fluttering in the wind. maybe i will write about it. i can’t stop thinking about it. she was young and beautiful and we had, on one level, so much in common.

      • Kathleen
        December 8, 2011, 11:08 am

        “We are integrators” Generalizing like this is more bull. Attempting to feed a myth.

  3. NormanF
    December 7, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I thought the ads were well done. Assimilation won’t preserve the Jewish identity. Within a generation or two , today’s liberal Jews will be extinct. The few Jews left will be Orthodox and nearly all of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. We’re seeing the Jewish Diaspora come to an end for a variety of reasons. As for loving Israel, liberal Jews loved Israel only when Israelis all lived on the kibbutz and now that they no longer do, they don’t feel comfortable loving Jews who are different from them. True love means accepting others for who they are and such a love is not only for a season but for all time.

    • patm
      December 7, 2011, 3:02 pm

      The few Jews left will be Orthodox and nearly all of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel.

      I don’t understand these two sentences at all, NormanF. They don’t add up!

    • Shingo
      December 7, 2011, 3:05 pm

      True love means accepting others for who they are and such a love is not only for a season but for all time.

      This comming from a derranged tribalist who says liberla Jews will become extinct for not being Jewish enough.

      Take it easy with the Ziocaine addiction NormanF. It’s detroyign what few brain cells you have left.

    • MarkF
      December 7, 2011, 3:17 pm

      As we see, it’s been a one way love affair. Israeli Jews have contempt for us American Jews, yet they sure do love our money.

      Good luck my friend, the neocons are butt-ugly. I wouldn’t want to wake up next to one in the morning.

    • dimadok
      December 7, 2011, 3:55 pm

      Wonderful comment-especially upon Chanukah coming soon.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 4:30 pm

      “they don’t feel comfortable loving Jews who are different from them.”

      First of all, Norm, I find your writing manifestly unclear. But let me make one thing clear: I got no problem loving Jews who are very different than me. I have a big problem loving Jews who are criminals.
      Norman, I am a Jew, and I see what the Jews in Israel do to the Palestinians. Why on earth should I have any reason to think they won’t do that to me? Because if there is one thing I know, it is that I am no better than an Arab.

      • john h
        December 7, 2011, 8:13 pm

        Because if there is one thing I know, it is that I am no better than an Arab.

        Now that’s the voice of the Jew of the future, and of more and more today.

        Kudos, Mooser.

        • Rania
          December 8, 2011, 10:16 pm

          Mooser, you are wonderful. I mean that sincerely.

        • Mooser
          December 9, 2011, 7:17 pm

          Gee, I’m sorta disappointed! I was sorta hoping eee or dimadok (forgive me, Rania and john h, for mentioning them in a reply to your encouraging replies) was gonna come forward and explain why I was so much better than an “Arab”.
          So I guess I know where I stand, huh?

    • Annie Robbins
      December 7, 2011, 7:44 pm

      We’re seeing the Jewish Diaspora come to an end for a variety of reasons.

      but they seem to be thriving. this kind of thinking is demented and hurtful.

  4. Dan Crowther
    December 7, 2011, 2:29 pm

    So, whatcha gonna do about it? And what are American Jews gonna do when the Christian Zionists step in between them and Israel?

    Finkelstein says, “American Jews are Liberal” – but what does that mean? When I saw him speak, he defined liberal as voting for Obama. Ok, but Obama(picking up where “liberal” Bill Clinton – nafta,the balkans etc.- left off) has killed american citizens with zero due process; played emperor in Libya, Yemen, Somalia etc. to say nothing of the doubling down on the patriot act, extending of the bush tax cuts, new free trade deals etc – all of this has been under the “liberal” umbrella, what does that word even mean?

    you mean, I can be liberal and support war, lawlessness and neo-liberal economic policies?

    The thing is, Phil – you say jews are liberal like they wouldn’t be down with these things – but it’s worth noting that as the number of jews in the democratic congressional caucus has increased, so too has the consensus in the caucus behind these ideas. Any repudiation of Israel would first mean a repudiation of “the jewish american establishment”; I would say, it would require a repudiation of the idea of jewishness, period. Are american jews really ready to be Americans who happen to be jewish? Im not buying it……(written in one go, sort of in haste, apologies)

    • G. Seauton
      December 8, 2011, 1:36 am

      Of course, American Jews have traditionally been described as liberal because of their majority Democratic Party affiliation–and also because of their majority support (as evidenced by polls) for positions traditionally considered to be liberal: abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, and so on.

      However, many prominent American Jews aren’t even pretending to be part of this game. I’m thinking of people such as David Brooks, David Horowitz, Bill Kristol, Doug Feith, Ari Fleischer, Richard Perle, etc. Of course, you say, they’re neocons. Well, almost all of them are, and they’re certainly not liberal.

      But what of the Democrats? You raise an excellent point, Dan. In the U.S., we think of the Democrats as liberal because they stand in opposition, so to speak, to the Republicans. Or used to, anyway. But I’d say it’s more accurate to describe the Democrats as a party made up mostly of conservatives. They’re certainly not actively seeking any real reforms. They’re mostly trying to defend the established order. This was liberal when FDR or Kennedy was president. Not now. And certainly, with Obama’s recent actions, it’s debatable whether even the word “conservative” applies to supporters of such policies.

      As for the Republicans, well, let’s not use any specific labels, but let’s just say that they’re significantly to the right of what would traditionally have been called conservative.

      So what about the Jews? Maybe they’re not as liberal these days as they’d like to think they are. The American political spectrum is so skewed to the right in general, that any discussion of the Left in this country tends to make people who are not American just laugh.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 8, 2011, 5:05 pm

        great post “know thy self” haha ( awesome handle)

        “The American political spectrum is so skewed to the right in general, that any discussion of the Left in this country tends to make people who are not American just laugh.”

        To Be Sure.

      • Dan Kelly
        December 8, 2011, 6:17 pm

        The Democrats were destroyed as an independent party by jobs offshoring and so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA. The effect of “globalism” has been to destroy the industrial and manufacturing unions, thus leaving the Democrats without a power base and source of funding.

        Obama and the Democrats cannot be an opposition party, because Democrats are as dependent as Republicans on corporate interest groups for campaign funding.

        The Democrats have to support war and the police state if they want funding from the military/security complex. They have to make the health care bill into a subsidy for private insurance if they want funding from the insurance companies. They have to abandon the American people for the rich banksters if they want funding from the financial lobby.

        Now that the five Republicans on the Supreme Court have overturned decades of U.S. law and given corporations the ability to buy every American election, Democrats and Republicans can be nothing but pawns for a plutocracy.

  5. teta mother me
    December 7, 2011, 2:46 pm

    smashing news: Newt to RJC: If I am elected, I will ask John Bolton to be Secretary of State.
    link to c-span.org

    pleeeeease say that loud & often, Newtie!!

    • MRW
      December 7, 2011, 6:04 pm

      Yeah, teta mother me, Newt needs to pound the pavement with that choice. We should all help him. ;-)

  6. DICKERSON3870
    December 7, 2011, 2:55 pm

    RE: “In its segregated buses and roads, in its ad campaigns that targets intermarriage and Christmas, in the refusal to end the occupation– Israel is a different society than ours.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: Israel’s bizarre decision to give up on education – and its future, by Ami Kaufman, +972 Magazine, 12/03/11

    (excerpt) Last week I came across a disturbing story, one of many recently, where Haredi school boys threw stones at secular Jewish school girls. [because] The schoolgirls were singing. . .
    . . . what bothered me more about this particular incident was the age of the perpetrators. These were young boys or teenagers, already well versed on the issues of female singing and its dangers.
    What this incident shows more than anything else, is the education factor and how it will change this country. And it shows how incidents like the one above are going to happen again, and again and again.
    Much has been said on the demographics of the Haredi community and the pace at which it grows. But not many know of how huge an impact Haredi education already has on this state.
    These Haredi rock-throwing boys learn in a Haredi school. That’s because there are four sectors to the Israeli education system: State, State-Religious, Arab, and ultra-Orthodox (Haredi). The major problem with this is that the level of study in the Arab and Haredi schools is much lower than in the state schools. And what makes the problem even worse, is that the level in the state schools themselves has never been lower. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to 972mag.com

    • patm
      December 7, 2011, 6:43 pm

      Dickerson,

      I saw your notice of Ami Kaufman’s article in a post the other day, and I have promoted it on four different threads. It is a dynamite article. Thank you.

      The education statistics Kaufman cites are appalling.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    December 7, 2011, 3:05 pm

    RE: “Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken says that the ‘Jewish lobby’ in the U.S. is standing by apartheid.”

    MY COMMENT: And the “Christian Zionist” lobby is standing by apartheid even more so! But that’s certainly no surprise.

  8. Shunra
    December 7, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Israel’s been a moral disaster for more than 44 years, Phil.

    Military regime for Arabs was in place between 1948 and 1966. To this day the schools (inside Israel, not in the settlements) are segregated by ethnic origin, and Arabic schools have their staff vetted by the Shabak.

    The Orr commission report (following the police killing of peacefully demonstrating citizens inside Israel in October 2000) highlighted a plethora of institutionalized inequality by the state and its forces, at all levels. As far as I can see, NONE of their recommendations were put into place.

    Inside Israel. Not in the settlements. INSIDE Israel. This started in 1948, not in 1967.

    • RoHa
      December 7, 2011, 6:43 pm

      “Israel’s been a moral disaster for more than 44 years, Phil.”

      The very concept was a moral disaster, right from the beginnings of Zionism.

    • john h
      December 7, 2011, 7:57 pm

      Absolutely, RoHa.

      This started in 1948, not in 1967.

      Yes, the state, which was the fruit of an idea going back many decades.

      • Shunra
        December 7, 2011, 10:54 pm

        I think that the disaster came into being in 1948 – beforehand it was a threat, because the Zionists had only the power and force of a civic (and quasi-military) group. As of 1948 they wielded the full power of a state, including the power to make arbitrary laws to dispossess or imprison Palestinians – laws which were indeed made, and used.

        The idea of a Jewish state is indeed disastrous, I think, for the simple reason that the religion is too large and varied to fit into the confines of statehood and must perforce collapse under the weight of its own contradictions (a process we are seeing at the moment). But the adoption of a disastrous idea by even a large group of people is not, in itself, a disaster. The EDL/BNP/JDL and their ilk can all exist in this world without being disastrous. It is only when a madman shows up in Norway, machine-guns blaring, that we cannot – as a world, as a global civilization – contain them.

        Hence, 1948 counts in my mind as the beginning point of the disaster, with the years before that being merely a tense lead-up full of thugs-in-the-name-of-Judaism but not a foregone inevitability.

        • Philip Weiss
          December 7, 2011, 10:57 pm

          Oh my, thank you Shunra for this wonderful inclusion. I’m going to post something amazing from Hannah Arendt tomorrow. Such a joy in recognition, of the positiveness of Jewishness in a non Zionist frame…

  9. Kathleen
    December 7, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Walt and Mearsheimers paper and book came out five years ago. Some Jews were out on the edge of this issue decades ago. Not many. I believe many Jews were aware of what was going on and just ignored and denied. Whether the willingness to face the facts on the ground in Israel (apartheid) has been because of real empathy and compassion or because Jews know this criminal situation is bad for Israel is a question. But trying to spin the situation as Jews just being unaware of what has and is going on is disingenuous.
    Whatever the reasons for the change (Carter, Finkelstein, Art Gish, Mearsheimer, Walt, this site and the accumulative work of many for deades) awareness and reaction to the crimes is spreading by leaps and bounds amongst many

    • G. Seauton
      December 8, 2011, 2:11 am

      A propos of reacting to Israeli crimes, Noam Chomsky is usually panned on this site — mostly, if I’m not mistaken, for his rejection of the Walt and Mearsheimer thesis of AIPAC’s role in U.S. policy in the Middle East. I find Walt and Mearsheimer’s view more persuasive, but I think Chomsky deserves credit as one of those who condemned Israeli actions at a time when doing so was considered even worse than beyond the pale. He certainly came well before Finkelstein, whom I also admire.

      Phil, your comments about the direction of the Jewish community in America may be a bit ahead of the times. I would like to think you are right but find little confirmation of your points outside of the few — albeit surprising — positions taken by otherwise notable Zionists such as Jeffrey Goldberg. Maybe people are keeping their cards close to the vest?

      In any case, I agree that this post is beautiful and inspiring. This is the Jewish spirit we admire–the liberal, universalist, morally focused vision of the world that many Jews have made it their mission to achieve — a mission that has been stunningly betrayed by the actions of the neocolonialist state of Israel, with its permanent occupation and apartheid regime that dare not speak its name.

  10. Sin Nombre
    December 7, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Incredibly well-written thing, Phil. Not to say that I think your predictions as to the direction that American jews will take will come true (there’s an awful lot of “profit” in particularism, especially psychological/emotional/spiritual), but it’s so finely and powerfully wrought it oughta be reproduced as a sort of combination Constitution and Declaration of Independence for what exists of your side in that argument.

  11. tod
    December 7, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Israel was never good for the Jews, it was a bad idea from the start. Never mind the current abomination that is Israel, any other Jewish country in the world, even without the racism and the native displacement would have been problematic.

    I see Jews like the perfect minority, time and time again they move to different countries on this planet and did pretty good. But they always had a country where to live, and always had the possibility to switch between being a national of that country and being a Jew. And most of the time their success was hated by the natives and they had to move again when the economic situation worsened. Nothing exceptional here, people tend to stick with their kind when the situation is dire. But anyway, this willingness to move was one of the greatest qualities of the Jewish people in the last couple of centuries. While the rich natives stayed on their land and lost a lot, the Jewish mobility meant most of the wealth could be preserved.

    My little pet theory is followed by Israel exactly. Israel is not a state. Israel functions like a “global” minority, or more likely a US minority. Israel is not independent economically, it lives on the back of the USA. It has nothing that a real state has, like an independent economy, like the power to defend itself through diplomacy or military might. What would Israel be with a regime like those in Cuba, or Iran, or Serbia in the nineties? It would most likely disappear and, sorry, but many of the people in Israel will pack their bags at the smallest sign of impeding doom, like countless times again. It’s hard to think: “I’ll die here, no matter what!” when you know your ancestors survived just fine by moving from one place to another.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 8:06 pm

      “But they always had a country where to live, and always had the possibility to switch between being a national of that country and being a Jew.”

      I’m sorry, Tod, I don’t quite get what you mean. Can you supply an example of a country where Jews were presented with that choice? Can you tell me what changes such a switch entails? I mean, apart from Zionism, and Israel, what do Jews do when they are “switched” to being a national of their country, and what do they do when the “switch” is on “Jew”?
      After all, since you packed so many real anti-Semitic tropes into one comment, I’m sure you had a good reason.

      Tod, do yourself a favor, and don’t read Gilad Atzmon. You’ll save a lot of time, and seem to know the material already.

      • Citizen
        December 7, 2011, 11:59 pm

        While I agree that Tod’s statement too glibly paints the history of the Jews throughout Europe as a simple matter of choice, the Jews quite often had more choice than the peasants below them who were even more locked into their birth role; as well, there was the adage of many German Jews in later times to be a German in the street, and a Jew at home which was normal during Bismarck and until Hitler came along. Have you actually read The Wandering Who, Mooser? Have you read Esau’s Tears? Have you read 200 Years Together, the part that was translated online by volunteers?

      • tod
        December 8, 2011, 7:19 am

        Unfortunately my reply has not been accepted, so I’ll follow my initial stance and end the discussion here, calling me an anti-Semite was the end of it anyway.

        • Mooser
          December 10, 2011, 8:52 pm

          Essentialist explanations of the Jewish situation- ie, that there are inborn traits in Jews which have gotten them in trouble, or conversely, have helped them out, always raise my hackles. And I’m not even sure that I have hackles, damn it!
          The Wandering Who is full of such nonsense.

          “Unfortunately my reply has not been accepted”

          What do you mean, “not been accepted” I have not seen a reply. And I have no input on what comments are “accepted”, if that’s what you mean.

          “calling me an anti-Semite” That’s a serious accusation, and not something I do. Let me check again. No, I did not call you an anti-Semite, I said you “packed so many real anti-Semitic tropes into one comment.” We can argue about whether you are using anti-semitic tropes if you like, or even your reason for using them. But I did not call you an anti-Semite.

  12. radii
    December 7, 2011, 4:56 pm

    I’ve thought all along that it will take American Jews to bring out-of-control israel to heel, but I sincerely doubt there is the will to do it – American Jews get hit with the “you’re not a real Jew” “You’re undermining our security” “Know where your priorities are!” “How could you do this to your own?” etc etc … it has taken decades of war crimes and an immoral occupation and severe oppression of an ethnically-cleansed indigenous population before the tide finally shifted due to the gross excesses of Netanyahu, Lieberman, et al and newly powerful settlers for the self-reflection … now, to manifest to action

    • Citizen
      December 7, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Somewhere here on a recent thread someone said Israel is Bernie Madoff. A most interesting analogy in so many ways. He went on for a long time with his lucrative fraud. He didn’t accomplish that all by himself, did he?

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2011, 8:12 pm

        “He didn’t accomplish that all by himself, did he?”

        Yes, it looks like a couple of family members or employees may have been in on it.

        • Mooser
          December 10, 2011, 9:01 pm

          Citizen, are you implying (or inferring, it’s up to you) that Bernie Madoff had a lot of co-conspirators in his fraud that were tied to him by ties of religion?

  13. eee
    December 7, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Keep dreaming. The question is who is the engine and who is the caboose. You seem to think American Liberal Jews are the engine when in fact they are the caboose when it comes to deciding the future of Judaism. Through assimilation and low fertility, American Liberal Jews are disappearing. You are an example of both. You are married to a non-Jew and you have no kids. Nothing wrong with the choices you made, except they provide no future for the Jewish people.

    I wish I could be sure you are worried about the future of the Jewish people but unfortunately, after reading what you write, my conclusion is that you are only interested in the Jewish people as an object to achieve your political goals and not because you care about the Jewish community. You are trying to divide the Jews and create acrimony between those in Israel and those in the US. Do you really think Jews are that stupid to let this happen? As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, the Jewish community will understand what you are attempting to do and you will find yourself on the outside of it, if that is not already the case.

    • Potsherd2
      December 7, 2011, 5:15 pm

      You are going to find yourself outside it, too, eee. How miserable you will be out there on the street with the door locked, while the real Jews spit on you as they go inside.

      • eee
        December 7, 2011, 5:26 pm

        Potsherd2,

        Outside of what? The 6 million Jews of Israel who mostly think like me? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. How many seats in the Knesset would a party pursuing your ideology get? A big fat ZERO.

        Has JVP been able to join any Hillel? Let me know when that happens.

        You are the fringe of the fringe. You talk a big game, but when it comes to actual organizations and representation in the Jewish community, you do not deliver.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 5:57 pm

          “You are the fringe of the fringe. You talk a big game, but when it comes to actual organizations and representation in the Jewish community, you do not deliver.”

          Hey, maybe Mondo is fringe-fringe, but it does a hell of a job keeping you glued to the screen and clicking, doesn’t it? You do understand, don’t you, eee, that a website’s rating are based on how many clicks or page views it gets, not on whether those clicking or viewing like it or not. I’m sure Phil is grateful for your support.

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 6:31 pm

          So tell me Mooser, if you want to help Phil why are you telling me to stop commenting? It seems you are contradicting yourself as usual.

        • Potsherd2
          December 7, 2011, 9:05 pm

          You’ve taken a poll, eee? I doubt it. Because any poll would reveal that 6 million Jews of Israel don’t think alike on any subject.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 5:26 pm

      “the Jewish community will”

      “eee” You figure the ultra-orthodox, the settlers, the haredim and the ultra-religious really dislike Phil that much?

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 5:35 pm

      “The question is who is the engine and who is the caboose. You seem to think American Liberal Jews are the engine when in fact they are the caboose when it comes to deciding the future of Judaism. Through assimilation and low fertility, American Liberal Jews are disappearing. You are an example of both. You are married to a non-Jew and you have no kids. Nothing wrong with the choices you made, except they provide no future for the Jewish people.”

      Unlike atheism? Yes sir, if only all Jews were atheists, our religion would go on forever!
      But that aside, eee, I must congratulate you on the smooth way you are ingratiating yourself with American Jews. Of course, if Israel prefers Zionist Christians to Jews, you just stick with them.
      And anytime you wanna give up the support or even incur the enmity of American Jews to show us who is the engine and who is the caboose, you go right ahead. We could use the money.
      Because as you have stated so many times, there’s no one the Jews can count on like they can count on Christians. Yes sir, why listen to Jews? Hasn’t history shown you that Zonist Christians are the ones who really have the interest of the “Jewish Community” at heart?

      • eee
        December 7, 2011, 5:52 pm

        Mooser,

        My nation will go on forever because of atheists like Herzl and Ben-Gurion and countless others that built Israel with their sweat and blood. The future of the Jewish people is in Israel. That is where most of the growth in the number of Jews is and where the majority of Jews will reside. That is a fact and American Jews of course recognize that. Recognizing a simple fact is not an act of enmity. What you and Phil are trying to do, divide the Jewish community based on geographical lines, is an act of enmity.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 6:06 pm

          Wow, eee! I bet if somebody put a match near your comment, it would catch on fire! Smells like it, anyway.

        • john h
          December 7, 2011, 6:25 pm

          My No nation will go on forever… The future of the Jewish people is in [more likely outside] Israel. That is where most of the growth in the number of Jews is and where the majority of Jews will reside. That is a fact and American Jews of course recognize that. Recognizing a simple fact is not an act of enmity.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

        • Citizen
          December 7, 2011, 6:50 pm

          Israel will not survive as it is now without a powerful non-Jewish host nation enabling it to do so. England, France, USA. Next? I think China’s a bit shaky for the role.

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 7:14 pm

          John,

          The data you link to is from 2002 and it states that the number of Jews in the world is declining at a pace of 50,000 per year. In Israel the number of Jews grew from 5 million to 5.85 million in the last 9 years. So, the number of Jews in the diaspora is going down very quickly as the number of Jews in Israel rises. Thank you for proving my point.

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 7:18 pm

          “Israel will not survive as it is now without a powerful non-Jewish host nation enabling it to do so”

          You really think so? Let’s wait and see. First though, let’s see the relationships between Israel and the US change. When I see ONE congress person boo Bibi next time he gets 26 standing ovations, I will start believing your nonsense.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:39 pm
        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:58 pm

          “What you and Phil are trying to do, divide the Jewish community based on geographical lines,”

          Hey, eee, landsmann, listen up, huh? Ix-nay o-nay the order-bay stuff, m’okay? You really, really don’t want to keep talking about “geographical lines” pal. I know you can’t quite grasp why, but take my word for it.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 8:16 pm

          “My nation will go on forever because of atheists like Herzl and Ben-Gurion and countless others that built Israel with their sweat and blood.”

          You bet, eee! Why when I think of the overwhelming number of tiny, badly located, ethno-religious supremacist countries dotting the globe today, and poised, due to the lack of internal strife and external enemies, for an explosion of growth, I can only slap my forehead and say (with Festus): “Dag-nabbit! Why didn’t I-all get in on the ground floor?”

        • flyod
          December 7, 2011, 10:11 pm

          Ironic that you would idolize Herzl. In fact he was left rejected by the Talmudic Russian rabbinate, the true leaders of your Zionist project. For all practical purposes excommunicated for daring to suggest a national home in Uganda rather than Palestine at the Sixth Zionist Congress. The Russian delegation literally turned their backs and walked out on him. Dr. Weizmann, who would later take his place, describes Herzl’s final humiliation;
          “He came in, looking haggard and exhausted. He was received in dead silence. Nobody rose from his seat to greet him, nobody applauded him when he ended … It was probably the first time that Herzl was thus received at any Zionist gathering: he, the idol of all Zionists.”
          Within a year he was dead at 44.

        • Philip Weiss
          December 7, 2011, 10:18 pm

          flyod, what do you think herzl died of? you know there’s some rumors on this score. I buy: weak heart. But I do find it interesting that a rangy man world traveler with wife and 2 kids dies so young

        • flyod
          December 7, 2011, 10:27 pm

          maybe a broken heart…
          he was carrying a significant majority into that congress. the power, however, was not with the people

        • john h
          December 7, 2011, 11:06 pm

          Thanks eee, you just illustrated your research skills in accepting a statement as a reliable guide to the future without checking why it was made, and finding more recent actual statistics. It also illustrates how you read what is in front of you.

          it states that the number of Jews in the world is declining at a pace of 50,000 per year. So, the number of Jews in the diaspora is going down very quickly

          Nah, better to believe the actual figures put out by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, don’t you think?

          Their figures show there are around 2 million more Jews living outside Israel than in Israel, and that difference was much the same in 2009 as in 2000. The number of diaspora Jews is continuing to rise.

          link to cbs.gov.il

          The reason the Jewish Agency gave was the obvious one, that 1 million Jews exited Russia to live in Israel, over the period 1989 to 2002.

          link to smh.com.au

        • Taxi
          December 7, 2011, 11:22 pm

          eee,

          You’re a known racist and violent settler (all three of you who take turn posting on MW). You would love to defeat the Arabs so you can get on with your ‘jewish’ civil war and your plans for inter-religio purification – yes we know this.

          Well you ain’t gonna defeat no one and you ain’t gonna ‘purify’ NOTHING. You’ll always be outnumbered by decent jews just like Osama Bin Laden and his gangbangers will always be outnumbered by decent moslems.

          Without the financial and diplomatic support of American liberal jews, zionism becomes a ropey raft tossed about in stormy seas.

          Phil talks about American jews as being ” integrators” and you talk about israeli zionists as being ‘interrogators’.

          But psycho-talk is cheap so talk all you want. The way Apartheid israel is going, it’s days are clearly and surely numbered whether you like it or not.

          If you lived in the olden days, you’d be considered a violent and fake jew that Abraham would have no problem chasing out of his Arab land with a stick.

        • kalithea
          December 7, 2011, 11:54 pm

          I agree with you on one thing, Herzl and Gurion were atheists. No God-fearing man would put lust for land above God and love for humanity. Israel IS the golden calf that you all worship. Zionism is killing Judaism not American non or anti-Zionist Jews.

          And by the way, Herzl and Gurion didn’t build Israel with THEIR blood and sweat; they built it based on lies and machinations and with the blood and sweat of PALESTINIANS. Respect that! Palestinians are forced to build your homes and dig your swimming pools to survive! And their water is rationed so that you can have the luxury of swimming pools. Shame on you!!

        • Citizen
          December 8, 2011, 12:10 am

          The division, eee, is not between borders, but between contemporary American and Jewish values versus Zionist-Israeli-Apartheid Afrikanner-Jim Crow-Nazi values.

        • dimadok
          December 8, 2011, 9:17 am

          He died of syphilis complications.

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 10:30 am

          “Nah, better to believe the actual figures put out by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, don’t you think?”

          Sure, and they also show clearly that the number of Jews in Israel is going up while the number of Jews in the diaspora is going down. It also clearly shows the long term trend of the percent of total Jews in the world living in Israel has consistently gone up. Furthermore it shows that Israel has the largest Jewish community worldwide. How does any of this help your point except proving you are wrong? Israel is the most important Jewish community and its importance will only keep growing.

        • Taxi
          December 8, 2011, 12:06 pm

          From Wiki: According to a 2002 study by the Jewish Agency, “the number of Jews in the world is declining at an average of 50,000 per year.”
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          Pretty soon you’re gonna be begging the diaspora to make more babies instead of looking down at their lifestyles and making yourself more superior to other world jews.

          Apartheid israel sucks because of jews like you.

        • Theo
          December 8, 2011, 12:33 pm

          Sure, eee, per immigration.
          At the same time there were that many jews less on this globe.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 1:38 pm

          How does any of this help your point except proving you are wrong?

          Well done eee, you are right, it does prove me wrong to have said The number of diaspora Jews is continuing to rise.

          However, it also proves you wrong to have said the number of Jews in the diaspora is going down very quickly

          The decline in the two most recent years was only 12,000 and 14,000, which is below the radar out of nearly 8 million, and these are both less than a third of the figure for the previous year. The fall is lessening and could soon become a rise.

          Furthermore, aliyah is in steady decline. It fell from 22,000 in 2005 to 15,000 in 2008, the lowest figure since 1988.

          link to jewishagency.org

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 1:59 pm

          You nailed it again, kalithea.

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 2:00 pm

          John H
          The facts are simple:
          1) The Jewish community in Israel is the largest in the world
          2) The number of Jews in Israel is growing at about 2% per year
          3) The number of Jews in the diaspora is decreasing or is flat.

          Therefore the future of the Jewish people is in Israel. In a generation, a large majority of the Jews worldwide will be living in Israel.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 2:29 pm

          Exactly, eee, the facts are simple. One of those facts is that you love to exaggerate and dream, rather than sticking to the plain truth.

          2) The number of Jews in Israel is growing at about 2% per year

          The simple fact is that Jews in Israel comprised 41% of all Jews in 2005 and 43% in 2010. The plain truth is Jews in Israel are growing at about 2% per 5 years.

          In a generation, a large majority of the Jews worldwide will be living in Israel.

          Dream on, the nightmare is coming.

        • LanceThruster
          December 8, 2011, 2:32 pm

          And atheists such as Alan Dershowitz will continue to lobby for the legitimacy of spilling the blood of the regions non-Jews by arguing against the advisability of assimilation as he feels they need to preserve their bloodline though he dismisses any theological basis for such. This seems to allow him to rationalize all the other abuses of the Israeli state as being not just “good” for Jews, but “necessary” for their continued untainted identity.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 2:48 pm

          Well whaddya know eee, you did have your facts about right!

          So were mine, we were just talking about two different things.

          Yes, it looks like I scored an own goal. Enjoy!

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 3:23 pm

          John H.,

          Oh the nightmare is coming! Can you please describe the nightmare? What will make the number of Jews in Israel come down?
          According to your link in 1882 there were 24,000 Jews in the area of Israel and in 2010 there were 5.8 million. That is a growth rate of about 2.5% per year. The math is simple to do. You are mixing up growth of the population in Israel and the growth of the population as a percentage of Jews worldwide.

        • Woody Tanaka
          December 8, 2011, 3:38 pm

          “The facts are simple:…
          Therefore the future of the Jewish people is in Israel. ”

          LMAO. Of course you fail to even recognize that you have assumed a conclusion based on the assumption that the rate of change will continue into the future, without establishing a basis for that assumption. This may be one of the most common logical errors.

          It is cute when you try to reason, though.

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 4:00 pm

          What a sore loser you are. Tsk, tsk. If the growth rate did not go down during the second intifada or years with hardships and wars what could likely make it go down in the future?

        • Woody Tanaka
          December 8, 2011, 4:29 pm

          “What a sore loser you are.”

          LOL. Still trying to master English idioms, I see. Maybe this makes sense in Hebrew. In English, not so much.

          “If the growth rate did not go down during the second intifada or years with hardships and wars what could likely make it go down in the future?”

          LMAO. Really?? You’re going to argue against the unassailable assertion that the future is inherently unpredictable by challenging me to predict the future?

          As I said, watching you try to reason is cute.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 5:40 pm

          Can you please describe the nightmare? What will make the number of Jews in Israel come down?

          Of course not, eee. No one knows the future in detail.

          What we see as the likely future depends on what eyes we have on the past and present.

          We have discussed Jewish statistics and trends of past years. Present and projected future trends may give a better idea. And events.

          link to en.wikipedia.org
          link to justworldnews.org
          link to jewishdailyreport.wordpress.com
          link to dailywiki.org
          link to consortiumnews.com

        • Mooser
          December 10, 2011, 8:56 pm

          “He (Herzl) died of syphilis complications.”

          Unthinkable. Couldn’t happen. Why are you slandering the man?

        • Taxi
          December 10, 2011, 9:06 pm

          Al Capone died of syphilis complications too.

        • Hostage
          December 10, 2011, 9:17 pm

          John H
          The facts are simple:
          1) The Jewish community in Israel is the largest in the world
          2) The number of Jews in Israel is growing at about 2% per year
          3) The number of Jews in the diaspora is decreasing or is flat.

          How’s that work if two million of Israel’s Jews are ex-pats that no longer live there? BTW, the US doesn’t gather census population statistics on Jews, so demographers are only taking a wild-assed guess about the exact numbers of indigenous Jews here.

        • Hostage
          December 11, 2011, 1:07 am

          For all practical purposes excommunicated for daring to suggest a national home in Uganda rather than Palestine at the Sixth Zionist Congress.

          We’ve been here before. Herzl had absolutely no intention of abandoning the conquest of Palestine when he proposed accepting territory in East Africa He said:

          “It is precisely the duty of the leader to set the people on the path which, by apparent detours, leads to the goal. You refuse the life which is offered you out of fear, cowardice. Miserable eunuchs that you are, you sacrifice the sources of your power. Look at Britain! It pours its excess popula­tion into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first- fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel. If we accept Chamberlain’s offer with gratitude, we strengthen our position, we oblige him to do something wise for us should our commission of enquiry reject the land proposed. In our transactions with this mighty nation we shall acquire the status of a national power. We will not stop there! Other States will follow Britain’s example, new “reserves of power” will be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo aith the Belgians, in Tripolitania with the Italians.”

        • patm
          December 11, 2011, 1:48 pm

          “so demographers are only taking a wild-assed guess about the exact numbers of indigenous Jews here.

          john h, that turn of phrase is quite inappropriate in North America. The word “indigenous” is reserved exclusively for the First Nations of Canada and for the native peoples of the U.S.

          Remember, there are very likely natives from both countries reading mondo, and to hear you use that word would cause them great distress.

        • Hostage
          December 11, 2011, 9:31 pm

          Remember, there are very likely natives from both countries reading mondo, and to hear you use that word would cause them great distress.

          That was me. I was distinguishing between domestic Jews born in the United States and Israeli ex-pat immigrants. The terms “born” and “domestic” are synonyms for the word indigenous. Merriam-Webster doesn’t say that those terms are reserved exclusively for members of First Nations.

        • patm
          December 12, 2011, 8:00 am

          So, hostage, you are a stickler for dictionary definitions, not willing to budge an inch for a just cause.

          Then riddle me this: Why do you use the word ‘anti-Semitism’ and not ‘Judeophobia’?

        • Hostage
          December 12, 2011, 2:07 pm

          So, hostage, you are a stickler for dictionary definitions, not willing to budge an inch for a just cause.

          I have first cousins who are members of the Cherokee Nation and none of them have ever claimed that indigenous (vs indigenous peoples) is a term which must be reserved exclusively for application to themselves or members of First Nations. In my view that would be semantically incorrect, and not a very just cause for great distress.

          Then riddle me this: Why do you use the word ‘anti-Semitism’ and not ‘Judeophobia’?

          I only mention anti-semitism when I’m discussing claims made by others. Those two terms are used interchangeably, but I’ve commented here before that Leon Pinsker, one of the founders and chairman of the Hovevei Zion movement, wrote that “Judeophobia” is an incurable hereditary disease, e.g. link to mondoweiss.net

          Pinsker wrote that “we must draw the important conclusion that we must give’ up contending against these hostile impulses as we must against every other inherited predisposition.” In any event, Zionists usually employ the terms “Judeaphobia” and “anti-semitism” to insult and blame others.

        • patm
          December 12, 2011, 4:41 pm

          Hostage, your Cherokee cousins are correct, the phrase “indigenous peoples” is used around the world to depict peoples who were present on the lands that our imperialist ancestors invaded and colonized. To refuse to use “indigenous” in any other context seems to me a small but worthy effort to atone for the sins of our fathers.

          Thanks for the Leon Pinsker link.

          Judeophobia is of course not an “inherited predisposition.” It is learned behaviour. People are taught to be haters.

        • Hostage
          December 12, 2011, 9:58 pm

          Hostage, your Cherokee cousins are correct, the phrase “indigenous peoples” is used around the world to depict peoples who were present on the lands that our imperialist ancestors invaded and colonized.

          I mentioned “Indigenous peoples”. It is a legal term of art used in international law for First Nations. For example, see The United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Adopted By The General Assembly 13 September 2007 link to un.org

          I don’t think that implies that the ordinary term “indigenous” has been reserved for exclusive use by any particular group or that it’s other original meanings have become archaic.

        • patm
          December 13, 2011, 11:38 am

          “I don’t think that implies that the ordinary term “indigenous” has been reserved for exclusive use by any particular group or that it’s other original meanings have become archaic.”

          We could help send the original meanings of ‘indigenous’ into the obsolete category by not using the word in our own writings except in reference to indigenous peoples.

          In terms of length of existence in different areas of planet earth, the 3000 or so years of biblical history we hear so much about on MW is a blink of the eye compared to that of indigenous peoples.

          Scientists now claim that the indigenous people of Australia go back at least 40 thousand years. In North America the debate still goes on, and the figures ranges from 18 to 40 thousand years, and beyond.

    • MRW
      December 7, 2011, 5:36 pm

      eee,

      “you are only interested in the Jewish people as an object to achieve your political goals and not because you care about the Jewish community.”

      Phil lives in the Jewish community. What do you think NYC (metro) is?

      • eee
        December 7, 2011, 5:54 pm

        “Phil lives in the Jewish community. What do you think NYC (metro) is?”

        Since Phil moved to upstate NY, maybe you want to reconsider your comment?

        • MRW
          December 7, 2011, 6:01 pm

          eee,

          He did not move to “upstate NY.” He lives in the Hudson Valley. Metro NY.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 6:02 pm

          What, Phil left Manhattan for upstate New York? A traitor to the Jewish people, that’s what he is!

        • eGuard
          December 7, 2011, 6:06 pm

          eee: Phil moved to upstate NY

          Did the Catskills ever put someone out of the Jewish community?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 6:15 pm

          “Did the Catskills ever put someone out of the Jewish community?

          “Look at me, Bloom! I’m so poor I’m wearing a borscht belt!”

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 5:44 pm

      “….and you have no kids”

      Wow, they sure teach you Israelis some fine, fine manners. Of course, you have a sworn statement from the Weiss’s doctor that the only reason they don’t have kids is to squelch the future of the Jewish people, right?
      And of course, whether or not the Weiss’s have children, and the reasons for it, are so manifestly your business, right?
      Well, I guess you got promoted from Jewish Pope to God, huh?

      • eee
        December 7, 2011, 5:57 pm

        Mooser,

        For a person who has no problem demonizing all Zionists, you sure are sensitive when it comes to pointing out that someone has no kids. How would I know this fact except that Phil wrote about it himself on this blog? What is there to be ashamed of? Like many liberal American Jews he married late and to a non-Jew. Nothing wrong about it, but again, doesn’t help the future of the Jewish people.

        • Philip Weiss
          December 7, 2011, 6:11 pm

          are there nonracial ways of helping jews and the jewish future?

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 6:22 pm

          “are there nonracial ways of helping jews and the jewish future?”

          Yeah, right. If you make the world a “better place” you will be helping Jews also. We can all recite these generalizations and kumbaya BS.

          Helping Jews and the Jewish future is done bottom up through hard work by finding one fellow Jew a good job, by helping a Jewish child get a better education, by helping a fellow Jew get the best health care possible, by building and helping schools in Jewish communities etc. etc.
          All very specific stuff that DIRECTLY affects the life fellow Jews for the better. Does this look like anything you are doing?

        • eee
          December 7, 2011, 6:38 pm

          “are there nonracial ways of helping jews and the jewish future?”

          And of course, let’s not forget to state the obvious, if all Jews in the US made the same choices you made, there would be no Jewish future at all in the US.

        • Citizen
          December 7, 2011, 7:12 pm

          I think the scientific consensus is the world has no short supply of humans. Arguably, it has a short supply of individualized humans, as graphed by the Maslow triangle.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:40 pm

          Does that answer your question, Phil?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:53 pm

          “For a person who has no problem demonizing all Zionists”

          You are a liar, as usual. I have never attributed anything Zionists do to supernatural or occult powers. You should know by now that I lean towards a metabolic-physiological explanation for most Zionist devilry.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 8:39 pm

          “by helping a Jewish child get a better education,”

          Off Coss! So clear! So Natcherl! You mean like this?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 9:20 pm

          “And of course, let’s not forget to state the obvious, if all Jews in the US made the same choices you made, there would be no Jewish future at all in the US.”

          You worry to much, eee. I have no doubt the US supply of Jews will be replenished by people fleeing Israel. Sure, a lot of them will end up in jail, but I’m sure most of them will bear criminal investigation without a stain on their character.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 10:28 pm

          “Helping Jews and the Jewish future is done bottom up through hard work by finding one fellow Jew a good job,”

          Shorter eee: ‘Send me money, damn it. Remember I hold the keys to your children’s Jewish future in my hands. ‘Nuf said?’

        • Citizen
          December 8, 2011, 12:19 am

          Yeah, eee, each ethnic group should only be concerned with its own tribe! Thanks for bringing your light to the whole world.

        • pjdude
          December 8, 2011, 10:27 am

          the jewish people has no future as there is no such thing. religions aren’t a people and like it or not that is all jews are despite their arrogance saying other wise. the only jewish “people’s” died out thousands of years ago.

        • libra
          December 8, 2011, 3:20 pm

          eee: “Helping Jews and the Jewish future is done bottom up through hard work by finding one fellow Jew a good job, by helping a Jewish child get a better education, by helping a fellow Jew get the best health care possible, by building and helping schools in Jewish communities etc. etc.”

          eee, you’re sometimes too cruel to Phil with these home truths. He still thinks Jewish success is down to hard work and innate ability achieving its rightful reward in a modern meritocracy, not just good, old-fashioned ethnic cronyism.

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 4:08 pm

          Libra,

          You can bring the camel to the trough but you cannot make him drink. You can help a kid afford college, but you cannot help him get A’s. You can get a person an interview, but you cannot do his job for him. Helping people attain their potential is not cronyism.

        • libra
          December 8, 2011, 4:26 pm

          eee: “Helping people attain their potential is not cronyism.”

          Oh, eee, suddenly it’s “people” not “fellow Jew” and you’re a big supporter of equal opportunity. Who are you fooling? Always afraid of looking like a freier, always ending up being one.

        • teta mother me
          December 8, 2011, 5:21 pm

          you can put Bill Kristol in front of a microphone but you can’t make him make sense.

          you can pave the way for Robert Kagan to bloviate and even publish, but you can’t make him preach American values of equal justice under law — he is of the opinion that morality should not be a concern for eeelites.

        • Rania
          December 9, 2011, 12:08 am

          eee, you can talk and talk and talk (and talk and talk and TALK) all you want, but everything that comes out of your mouth, no matter its disguise, shows you for what you are: a racist and a supremacist. Even if every Palestinian in the world converted to Judaism and adopted Jewish cultural traditions and values, you would still consider us all to be less human than you, less worthy of rights in your crumbling Israel, and just as far from “chosen” as before the conversion. This is about race and you are nothing more than an average, run-of-the-mill racist, with all of the small-mindedness and lack of intelligence that average, run-of-the-mill racism entails. What I mostly feel for you when I read your posts is pity.

        • Talkback
          December 9, 2011, 11:05 am

          So what, eee?

          Is the future of the Jewish people more important than the future of the people marrying the ones they love? It would be like putting tribalism above the individual pursuit of happiness. It was you who said that it would all be a matter of personal decision and preference (eg. to love Pollocs pictures). Still in your mind you worry, if the choice goes against tribalism and not, if it goes against individuality.

      • Citizen
        December 7, 2011, 7:08 pm

        Remember when it was the duty of every good Aryan family to breed more of the master race for the state? That state even gave out medals to breeders. Blue and white mother cross with a swastika at dead center. Silver, gold, Blue and white ribbon. The more the better.

    • Talkback
      December 7, 2011, 5:45 pm

      Hi eee

      I’m a citizen of A and raised with religion B. My heritage is a mix between A and C. But I don’t care about being A, B or C. I only care about being me.

      Can you tell me what’s so worth about preserving a Jewish identity/community or “Jewishness” (what ever that is) ?

      • Mooser
        December 7, 2011, 5:52 pm

        “Can you tell me what’s so worth about preserving a Jewish identity/community or “Jewishness” (what ever that is) ?”

        And don’t forget, eee, a God-free Jewish identity!

        • Citizen
          December 8, 2011, 12:22 am

          Glad to know a real Israeli knows there’s no God, The Real Estate Agent. I hope eee brings his message to the Christian fundies in America. I’ll do my best to help him spread his light around.

      • eee
        December 7, 2011, 5:59 pm

        Talkback,

        It is personal decision. If you don’t think the Jewish identity is worth preserving, then don’t preserve it.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 6:20 pm

          “It is personal decision. If you don’t think the Jewish identity is worth preserving, then don’t preserve it.”

          Oy, don’t dispose of that Jewish identity! God? Him you can throw in the garbage. For over two-thousand years God has been irrelevant to the Jewish identity.
          Hey, eee, did Moses chisel those tablets himself?

        • RoHa
          December 7, 2011, 6:34 pm

          “It is personal decision. If you don’t think the Jewish identity is worth preserving, then don’t preserve it.”

          That doesn’t answer the question. You think it is worth preserving. Why? What is the big deal?

        • Citizen
          December 7, 2011, 7:17 pm

          Which Jewish identity? There’s no Jewish Pope is there?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:47 pm

          “It is personal decision. If you don’t think the Jewish identity is worth preserving, then don’t preserve it.”

          Oh really? Wasn’t it just a few comments ago you were lauding a schism in which “the Jewish community” would make short work of Zionist political apostates? How many comments from you….. Oh sorry, eee, misread your comment! I see you are saying “it’s a personal decision” whether you kick anybody out of Judaism or not. Sorry, I guess that’s true, carry on.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 7:49 pm

          One thing about you, eee. I don’t know if I have ever seen someone who had the cowardice of their convictions like you do. You’re a marvel. Or do you see yourself as more of a DC character?

        • Citizen
          December 8, 2011, 12:25 am

          Sure he did; Moses was a goy, right? So he knew how to work with his hands and, gulp, may have actually enjoyed chiseling.

        • Talkback
          December 8, 2011, 8:58 am

          eee,

          see also RoHa’s answer to your comment, that you didn’t answer my question.

          Of course it’s a personal question and decision. And I can’t tell you, if the Jewish Identity is worth preserving or not, because I don’t know, what a “Jewish Identity” is. Logically it is dinctint from a Nonjewish Identity. So what is so worth seperating Jews from Nonjews and the collectiv self from your personal self?

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 10:41 am

          Talkback,

          Some people find beauty in Jackson Pollock pictures, some don’t. Those who like them can’t explain to others why they are willing to pay millions of dollars for them. If you want to figure out what “Jewish Identity” is, I suggest you live a year or two in Israel. Or maybe just see “Fiddler on the Roof”, and ask yourself why the Jews depicted there want to remain Jewish in spite of all the hardships it causes them. If you don’t get it, don’t worry about it, just be a “cosmopolitan”. Not everyone needs to be a Jew.

        • Woody Tanaka
          December 8, 2011, 12:09 pm

          “Some people find beauty in Jackson Pollock pictures, some don’t. Those who like them can’t explain to others why they are willing to pay millions of dollars for them.”

          LMAO. Yes, they can.

        • patm
          December 8, 2011, 12:26 pm

          Not everyone needs to be a Jew.

          Certainly not you, 3e. How can an atheist be a Jew? Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity, race, or nationality. Why can’t you get that through your thick skull?

        • marc b.
          December 8, 2011, 12:50 pm

          Certainly not you, 3e. How can an atheist be a Jew? Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity, race, or nationality. Why can’t you get that through your thick skull?

          judaism is what jews collectively say it is, a bit of a moving target depending on the context of the discussion admittedly. eee is an atheist who prays to his community, which seems a bit like spiritual onanism, a practice frowned upon in the old testament. what is it exactly, eee, that distinguishes an ‘atheist’ like you, who professes to ‘pray’, from a devout jew? is it simply a question of sincerity? and what kind of reaction do you get when you profess your non-belief amongst the other congregants? or is identity not a matter of religious belief but is solely defined in the negative, i.e. there is a general rough consensus about who absolutely isn’t jewish? i honestly want to know your opinion on the subject.

        • MHughes976
          December 8, 2011, 2:07 pm

          There are people who call themselves Christian atheists (Philip Pullman for one) meaning, I suppose, that they find Christian ideals, and perhaps Christian art and literature, attractive – even though they do not believe that there is a God who backs these ideals up.
          Barrie Wilson (author of How Jesus became a Christian) is a convert to Judaism from Christianity. He seems to be attracted morally to the Jewish division between Jews with their Mosaic obligations and Righteous Others with their obligation to obey only the Seven Laws of Noah, which don’t (it seems to me) call for any religious ceremony or expression of belief, though they do call for avoiding idolatry. Here we do find a sanction which has a religious nature for a position which is at least very close to atheism. I wouldn’t share Wilson’s attraction to this system myself, but that’s a matter that could be debated – reasons could be exchanged.
          What moral or aesthetic qualities of Jewish or Christian or Muslim culture make it desirable to create states and countries marked by a special affinity with one of these? What justifies imposing the costs of this creation on those of other traditions?

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 2:10 pm

          Marc,

          I do not pray to my community. I pray as a service to my community if needed. I am always happy to complete a minyan. There are so many secular and atheist Jews in Israel (about 40-50% of the Jewish population) that nobody finds the need to question me on my beliefs which are run of the mill here. You just don’t understand Jewish community at all. Do you really think that all Jews in the US that go to reform or conservative temples (even orthodox) believe in God? Many go to the temple because they are part of the community.

        • Bumblebye
          December 8, 2011, 2:47 pm

          So, here we could use a Breivikian term, and call Philip Pullman a “cultural Christian”, and from there also call eee a “cultural Jew”. We could assume they enjoy Christmas or Hanukkah, may recall various prayers and occasionally participate in religious services, but due to lack of any faith or belief, are not REAL Christian or Jew.

        • patm
          December 8, 2011, 2:55 pm

          Call me old-fashioned, MH, but I think ‘Christian atheist’ is a ‘contradiction in terms’, so too ‘Jewish atheist’ and ‘Muslim atheist’.

          You raise two crucial questions, the same questions you have raised before:

          What moral or aesthetic qualities of Jewish or Christian or Muslim culture make it desirable to create states and countries marked by a special affinity with one of these? What justifies imposing the costs of this creation on those of other traditions?

          Here’s a link to the seven laws of noah. I confess I’ve never had much time for the Noah legend.

          link to simpletoremember.com

        • patm
          December 8, 2011, 3:11 pm

          “There are so many secular and atheist Jews in Israel (about 40-50% of the Jewish population)….”

          john h, here’s another one of 3e’s statistics that needs checking out. Can you provide a source for this statement 3e?

          “secular and atheist Jews” To me, that means Israeli Zionists, full stop.

        • marc b.
          December 8, 2011, 3:46 pm

          I do not pray to my community. I pray as a service to my community if needed.

          eee, and i’m not trying to be an *sshole in this instance, but how would you explain the difference between praying to or praying for your community? who/what do you pray to when you pray ‘as a service to your community’, and what do you expect will be the effect of your prayers if you are an atheist?

          Do you really think that all Jews in the US that go to reform or conservative temples (even orthodox) believe in God?

          no, i’d be willing to bet that there are plenty of atheists in houses of worship, including members of the priesthood. i still find it odd that an atheist would attend religious services devoted to the worship of god.

          You just don’t understand Jewish community at all.

          well, i wouldn’t go that far. i think i do understand some things about ‘jewish community’. and it’s not as if you and others haven’t explained your perspectives on jewish community on this site. i’d also say that there are times when the people closest to the experience are the least able to understand its significance. i’ve had close friends, in my distant past, quickly evolve from stoners to born-again christians of the most virile type, and they couldn’t for the life of them understand my opinion that in their case they were exchanging one obsession for another. seemed pretty clear to most though.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 3:48 pm

          This seems to be rather difficult to prove or disprove, patm.

          There is a problem of definition, and whether non-Jews are included in figures cited. But I think the 2009 result probably tends to confirm what eee stated.

          link to en.wikipedia.org
          link to haaretz.com

          Israeli Zionists are not all secular or atheist; I am surprised you equate the two as if there were no Zionists in Israel that are religious. Or did I misunderstand you?

        • patm
          December 8, 2011, 4:11 pm

          Yes, Bumblebye, cultural Jew.

          I’m down with that term, as annie might say.

        • eee
          December 8, 2011, 4:22 pm

          “how would you explain the difference between praying to or praying for your community? who/what do you pray to when you pray ‘as a service to your community’, and what do you expect will be the effect of your prayers if you are an atheist?”

          Marc,

          I think I see where the problem is. I define praying as at least 10 Jews reciting passages from the sidur (book of prayers). You define praying as someone talking to or beseeching God. When I pray, I am just standing with fellow Jews reciting the same passages. All I expect to get out of it is a sense of community. It comes from the fact that at least 10 Jews are doing something non-productive together. We are not together to for work purposes or pleasure purposes. We are together, just to be together because we believe the act of being a community is an end to itself. So when I pray, I am helping to create a community and that is what I mean when I say I am praying as a service to my community.

        • patm
          December 8, 2011, 4:56 pm

          I am surprised you equate the two as if there were no Zionists in Israel that are religious. john h,

          When I wrote ““secular and atheist Jews” To me, that means Israeli Zionists, full stop,” I did not intend to include religious Jews. But now I’m not so sure.

          It seems to me the word ‘religious’ has been debased in Israel.

          Do you consider the murderous, land-thieving settlers religious?
          Or the Hasids who turn out in droves to spit on and throw filthy diapers at people who upset them?

          Of course there are righteous Jews in Israel. But they’re sure not in positions of authority these days.

          Thanks for looking up the stats.

        • Talkback
          December 8, 2011, 7:56 pm

          eee,

          “Some people find beauty in Jackson Pollock pictures, some don’t. Those who like them can’t explain to others why they are willing to pay millions of dollars for them. ”

          You cannot compare an identity with a picture. A certain collective identity is keeping you distinct and separated from the members outside this collective and yourself. I still don’t understand the worth of it. If you say, being a Jew means to see things like this or do things like that I can say that I could see it or do it without beeing a Jew. What makes a human a Jewish human?

          “If you want to figure out what “Jewish Identity” is, I suggest you live a year or two in Israel.”

          Is it not enough, if I ask you, who identifies himself with this collective?

          “Or maybe just see “Fiddler on the Roof”, and ask yourself why the Jews depicted there want to remain Jewish in spite of all the hardships it causes them. ”

          First I asked you, what’s worth preserving a Jewish identity. Now I have to ask you, what’s worth suffering to preserve a certain identity? This seems selfdestructive to me.

        • RoHa
          December 8, 2011, 8:40 pm

          I strongly suspect, Talkback, that there isn’t a secular answer.

          I suspect that religious Jews had it drummed into them that ii is a religious duty to ensure that there always be Jews and to always be one.

          Non-religious (cultural/whatever) Jews have had the same duty drummed into them, but have never articulated a secular reason for it. They just take it unquestioningly as a given, and get upset when we question it.

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 9:31 pm

          The word ‘religious’ has been debased in Israel, but it also has been, in the sense you seem to mean, everywhere else as well, by people of any and every culture and religion.

          That is why I dislike it, and usually use it as a negative term describing people in bondage to a religion’s party line and/or accepted rules and duties.

          Such people are not free to independently pursue their faith in a higher power, but instead depend on their ability to “be good” or orthodox. Jesus came to make that freedom a reality.

          The extremist settlers and others you mention are a prime example, and they are as zealous for Zionism as are the secular or atheists, at the very least.

          As per your post, they are debased religious but not righteous, just as many other Zionists are not religious and not righteous.

        • Hostage
          December 8, 2011, 11:07 pm

          When I wrote ““secular and atheist Jews” To me, that means Israeli Zionists

          I am a secular Jew, but am an anti-Zionist. There are religious Jews, like Rabbi Menachem Froman who happen to live in Palestine who do not believe that they are “Israeli” or owe allegiance to “the Jewish state”, e.g. link to richardsilverstein.com

        • Hostage
          December 8, 2011, 11:55 pm

          Non-religious (cultural/whatever) Jews have had the same duty drummed into them, but have never articulated a secular reason for it. They just take it unquestioningly as a given, and get upset when we question it.

          A person with Jewish parents, grandparents, who has been raised in secular Jewish tradition has Jewish roots. They do not have to believe in God or “give up” who they are to add Jewish identity to their self-definition. I wouldn’t question whether or not someone is a member of the Cherokee tribe on the basis of their (dis)belief in the ancient myths of the Cherokee or their residency outside the Indian Nation in Oklahoma.

          Humanistic Judaism has existed at least since the Enlightenment Era, but there is an established international Society for Humanistic Judaism which describes itself as the fifth denomination within Judaism. It holds that Judaism is simply the historic culture of the Jewish people.
          *See the FAQ link to shj.org
          *See the Philosophy link to shj.org

          P.S. Christians have a tradition of not giving “heed to fables and endless genealogies”, but Ancestry.com exists because many of us do care about or roots. The same principle applies to our multiple cultures. There is no need for it to detract from citizenship or sense of universal brotherhood.

        • RoHa
          December 9, 2011, 3:19 am

          “A person with Jewish parents, grandparents, who has been raised in secular Jewish tradition has Jewish roots.”

          Isn’t that a tautology? What does “Jewish roots” mean other than “Jewish ancestors & tradition”?

          But what Talkback and I are asking is why it is important to preserve a Jewish identity/community, whether this be religious or not.

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 7:06 am

          Isn’t that a tautology?

          In order to understand recursion, you must understand recursion;-)

          What does “Jewish roots” mean other than “Jewish ancestors & tradition”

          Judaism is the culture, learning, and literature of a civilization that has existed in many parts of the world and shared by many peoples since ancient times. It teaches kindness to strangers, that we are our brother’s keeper, and that it is best to love our neighbors as ourselves. That philosophy ain’t broke, and it don’t need fixin’. I call it secular or humanistic Judaism, but you can get the same results from the teachings of a typical Kansas Amish community. People that really believe in those things seldom launch a preemptive war or support others that do. For example, the Zionists can say many bad things about the members of Jewish Voice for Peace, but we do have “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” and they can’t really blame us for any of their war crimes, crimes against humanity, or other outrages.

          Ethnic communities and “tribal” identities are hardly restricted to the Jews. They have their own legal standing in the public international laws of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Island Nations. In Greco-Bulgarian Communities (Opinion No. 17) and Minority Schools in Albania (Opinion A/B 64) the Permanent Court of International Justice provided a standard legal definition of a “community”. It is:

          ” …. a group of persons living in a given country or locality, having a race, religion, language and traditions of their own and united by this identity of race, religion, language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, ensuring the instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering mutual assistance to each other.”

          why it is important to preserve a Jewish identity/community, whether this be religious or not.

          Why did so many White Anglo-Saxons quit worshiping trees and start worshiping the God of the Jews? I’d rather not entrust my posterity to a society that misunderstands the lessons of ancient Israel so badly that they think a pile of rocks in Jerusalem or praying at some dead guy’s grave is more important than the lives of their own next door neighbors. There is a tradition in Judaism of speaking out against the evils of our society even if it rubs the majority the wrong way.

          Preserving Jewish identity is much like the Greeks preserving the history of their democracy; literature like Homer’s Iliad; or the musings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, or Archimedes (whether this be religious teachings or not). Americans teach the children of immigrants from nearly every other land about the history a few British, Dutch, Spanish, and French colonists and call them the founding fathers. Those peoples studied and reproduced the literature of the ancient Jewish civilization in their own languages and it still has a profound effect on many of their societies today. Nonetheless, I find that on many issues we are poles apart and I’m not actually a person of British, Dutch, Spanish, French, or Native American descent.

        • patm
          December 9, 2011, 7:20 am

          ““secular and atheist Jews” To me, that means Israeli Zionists”

          Hostage, this line was meant as a snark to eee, and has come back to bite me. I’m sure there are seculars and atheists in Israel who are not Zionists.

          The news that Rabbi Froman has inoperable cancer and will soon be lost to the peace movement in Israel is saddening. Here is more from your link:

          “What is most interesting about Froman, and part of the reason he can befriend Hamas leaders like Sheikh Yassine, is that Froman’s allegiance is not to a state or nation. He sees himself as a Jew more than an Israeli. His allegiance is to his tradition and to the land in which his forefathers and mothers lived. He has no interest in political power or even nationality. For that reason, he was entirely prepared to continue living in Tekoah under Palestinian sovereignty, yet another example of his deeply principled, even iconoclastic vision of Jewish-Muslim co-existence.

          He is a man of God, a man of the Book. Not a man of the gun. Not a man of political power, but of spiritual power. All of this runs completely counter to the prevailing Israeli ethos, so he is viewed as a maverick or irrelevant by the majority of Israelis. The Shabak views him as a dangerous man and even disrupted his plan to hold a news conference with a Hamas affiliated journalist with whom he planned to present a joint peace plan.

          Apparently, Shabak is terribly threatened by Israeli settlers who talk peace. It prefers settlers who refuse any compromise or concessions. Froman also met with Turkey’s president after the Gaza flotilla massacre in an attempt to further reconciliation.”

        • MHughes976
          December 9, 2011, 7:21 am

          Thanks for interesting comments on ‘Christian atheism’.
          I don’t know if there are any French Catholics around but I’ve heard that one kind of sceptical French Catholic is called ‘pratiquant, pas croyant’.
          Definitions aren’t descriptions of the world, only ways of linking words to other words, so no definition is factually mistaken. Hostage seems to me to be defining ‘roots’ in terms of certain degrees of ancestry and of continuous culture and on the assumption that the term ‘Jewish’, which appears on both sides of his equation, is already understood. Fair enough – though I’d note that this definition permits someone who has Jewish roots to have no continuing personal commitment to the Jewish culture in which (s)he was raised.
          I think it’s clear as a matter of fact rather than of definition that Judaism, the Mosaic religion, is not alone in having related to it a culture or spectrum of cultures where religious practice or religious belief – or both – have vanished. We can then, whether or not we use words so as to call these cultures ‘Jewish’, ‘Christian’ etc., pursue the question raised by Talkback and RoHa. I would like to ask the question more widely – what is the value of preserving not just the Jewish version but any of these whole things, these whole spectra of belief?
          Many of us would begin by saying that there’s always a value in letting any individual pursue those kinds of thought or practice that seem to him or her fulfilling without suffering any kind of reduced status or insecurity thereby. This point could be used to support a Western liberal society. But it seems to call Zionism, whose aim has been to make Jewish culture (whole spectrum) very much the leading culture in the Holy Land, using force where necessary, into serious question. The Zionist proposition that only Jewish people have the relevant birthright makes the position of all others fundamentally insecure.

        • MHughes976
          December 9, 2011, 7:46 am

          You can have an ‘intuitive’ view, positive or negative, of almost anything, I suppose, though we often think of many of these views as inept because they fail to recognise variation in the things themselves. So if someone says ‘I dislike Gothic churches’ others might say ‘How can you say that when they’re so different?’
          If we can overcome this problem with ‘grand intuitions’ about ways of life, national groups etc. and give them the same status as the more focused intuitions about pictures and poems we would have to accept what that status implies. If we give the same status to the intuitions of someone who just does and someone who just doesn’t like a particular picture and make them equally valid we would have to accept that Anglophilia and Anglophobia, say, were equally valid too.
          If we say that all intuitions are not of the same value then we have to question those that are offered to us. It becomes legitimate to ask for the reasons why a particular culture is so valuable and to look at the ideas of those who have preferred to move into another cultural group.

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 10:20 am

          Fair enough – though I’d note that this definition permits someone who has Jewish roots to have no continuing personal commitment to the Jewish culture in which (s)he was raised.

          The orthodox denominations simply view non-believers as bad Jews who remain liable to the prescribed legal consequences of their conduct. Those have been pragmatically waived in situations where the orthodox minority doesn’t have the ability to impose their judgments on all of the others. We are stuck with them, like it or not. Talmudic Judaism was crystallized, in part, as a response to Christian sectarians. Orthodoxy developed, in part, as a response to the Haskalah or European Jewish Enlightenment. Perhaps today’s efforts to reform the Jewish community by non-Zionists will lead to some further, beneficial, developments.

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 10:46 am

          “secular and atheist Jews” To me, that means Israeli Zionists” . . . Hostage, this line was meant as a snark to eee

          eee subscribes to Zionist doctrines and dogmas which are part of the public religion of the State of Israel. Zionists believe that Jews and Gentiles are immiscible races that can’t co-exist peacefully.

          The national religious and haredim communities don’t accept the concept of a secular Jewish state and won’t agree to peacefully co-exist with eee if they can gain control the government. The religious fanatics are one of the fastest growing sectors of Israel’s population.

        • Talkback
          December 9, 2011, 10:56 am

          Hostage,

          I can teach and preserve Jewish history without being a Jew. The question still remains. Why preserve a Jewish IDENTITY or the IDENTIFICATION with a Jewish collective?

          I also don’t get “humanist Judaism”. It’s like saying that Judaism by default it inhumane. Same goes with “Jews for Justice” or “Jews for Peace” and so on. Is it so important to mention that someone is a Jew, if he is for justice or for peace? It’s like saying that a Jew by default is neither for justice nor for peace. Sounds quite antisemitic to me.

        • Philip Weiss
          December 9, 2011, 11:25 am

          thank you hostage for intelligence

        • Mooser
          December 9, 2011, 5:53 pm

          “I am always happy to complete a minyan.”

          Because you are to much of a goddammed yellow bellied coward to say “I’m sorry Rabbi, I cannot complete your minyan because I do not believe in God.

          Or do you think, eee, that when you “complete a minyan” you are fooling God? Or do you just get off on the fact thet you are fooling those 9 dumb religious Jews?

        • john h
          December 10, 2011, 1:37 am

          Talkback, although you addressed your post to Hostage, please allow me to make some observations.

          I just don’t think those terms you mention sound antiSemitic.

          Zionism is surely the primary reason these terms are being used. Zionism has effectively hijacked “Judaism” and “Jews” in that, effectively, most people equate them with Zionism or Israel as it is.

          As I see it, the terms are used because of an urgent need to reinforce the truth about Jews and Judaism. It is a truth that has become covered over by the twisted morality and justice espoused by Zionists, and the impression they leave of arrogance, might is right, a war mentality, and the end justifies the means.

          Your first paragraph is a riddle to me. What is the point of teaching and preserving Jewish history if the teacher has a question mark over the preservation of Jewish identity? And isn’t Jewish history mostly about identification with the Jewish collective?

        • Hostage
          December 10, 2011, 5:10 pm

          Talkback, although you addressed your post to Hostage, please allow me to make some observations.

          john h, Talkback and RoHa are certainly more civilized, but they can’t really be in any better position to teach Jewish history or culture than the people who used to ship children of aboriginal Australian and American tribes off to boarding schools or placed them with new families. I think that they are doubtful that Judaism or Zionism bring anything to the table that makes them worth retaining as part of a citizen’s identity. All of our modern-day citizens bring the best and worst things their older cultures and religions have to offer and add them to stew or “the melting pot” of western civilization. From my point of view this is something like questioning Shakespeare’s retention and use of the Jewish Bible in his works. He employed the scriptures because they have been an integral part of daily human life and the war ideas, since the day that they were first introduced.

          BTW, I have nothing against “real” Zionism, but I’ve never seen it in practice. The modern-day Israelis were following men like Herzl, Borochov, Weizmann, Ben Gurion, Jabotinsky, and Begin, not a pillar of smoke and fire. It’s debatable whether either Shakespeare or Talkback grasp all of the nuanced oriental idioms and customs at play in early Christian writings, e.g. “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” (Luke 9:54) – “And if a son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.” (Luke 10:6). That’s a corollary to the inhospitable reception given to the heavenly visitors by the ancient Sodomites and the idea that in our day and age, for the sake of even one, we should not be willing to kill the righteous along with the wicked, i.e. “What if there be found only ten?” (Genesis 18:32).

          Why do you suppose that so many spiritual people, Jews and Christians alike, forget that divine precept when their governments or religious leaders, like Pastor Hagee, or Rabbi Kahane, rush to support those who shed innocent blood and dismiss all of the innocent victims of their wars; the victims of the separation wall and buffer zones; the victims of transfer and deportation; and the victims of their oppression and apartheid? How can a follower of Abraham accept those enormous costs in exchange for a Jewish State? Justice, peace, and hospitality for strangers weren’t merely inconsequential side benefits of Abraham’s teachings and beliefs that were left to chance while he pursued an empty exercise in “nation building”. Those were fundamental articles of faith and family life with Abraham and the prophets of the Abrahamic religions and the societies that they envisioned. For that very reason they are an inseparable part of the culture of the modern-day members of groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and the societies that we envision.

          While Talkback or RoHa might be familiar with the material in the Jewish Encyclopedia or the works of Josephus, they may not have grown-up in a home where parents practiced the advice in the old Jewish maxim of teaching your children a useful trade and instructing them in the things the Jewish sages taught pertaining to the written and oral law. I also had the benefit of listening to my grandparents deconstruct the arguments in favor of secular Zionism and the establishment of a Jewish State in heated discussions with their Zionist siblings at our family gatherings. Some of them worked in the Jewish Agency for Palestine and helped invent a few of the old hasbara talking points and techniques that are still used by some of the talkback commentators here at Mondoweiss. So the war of ideas is part of my personal Jewish identity. I don’t neglect those things, or the ones I’ve learned about western law, official documentary history, or other religions in our discussions here. I don’t mind answering these questions.

        • Mooser
          December 10, 2011, 9:13 pm

          “Or maybe just see “Fiddler on the Roof”, and ask yourself why the Jews depicted there want to remain Jewish in spite of all the hardships it causes them.”

          Oh-my-f–king-God, A Israeli who bases his views of his Jewish identity on the characters in a Broadway show! Okay, no “pinkwashing” jokes! But this has got to be simultaneously the most hilarious and one of the saddest comments eee has ever passed.)

        • Annie Robbins
          December 11, 2011, 12:12 am

          has anyone seen oklahoma lately..or west side story..or cats?

        • john h
          December 11, 2011, 10:41 pm

          BTW, I have nothing against “real” Zionism, but I’ve never seen it in practice.

          I’m sure you’re well aware that this “real” is a mere fantasy. The real real is what we have seen since Zionism’s inception. There is no other.

          Why do you suppose that so many spiritual people, Jews and Christians alike, forget that divine precept…?

          Quite simply, because the land and state of Israel is what they bow the knee to, rather than the God they claim they put first. They have their golden calf to sacrifice to and celebrate, and all else must submit to the Simist version of morality and justice.

          The similarity doesn’t end there. Look at what the people said was their reason:

          Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him Exodus 32:1

          It is uncanny; that is what both Zionists and Christian Zionists have said and done. They have said, let’s wait no longer for Messiah, let’s do it our way. And both of them think God is with them in this, that he has given blanket statements or commitments that justify all they do. It is really quite sickening.

          They are false prophets, what the New Testament describes as “deceiving and being deceived”. Jesus warned us to beware of them, and said we will know them by their fruits.

          link to mondoweiss.net
          link to mondoweiss.net

          I also had the benefit of listening to my grandparents deconstruct the arguments in favor of secular Zionism…in heated discussions…So the war of ideas is part of my personal Jewish identity.

          Such experiences do define us. It reminds of what MRW told me about a great Jewish mentor he had who had such a profound effect on him.

          link to mondoweiss.net

          My own upbringing did not have such a mentor, or anything like what you had, Hostage. Religion was not spoken of except negatively, and there was no political discussion.

          However, in my teens I developed a great interest in what went on in the world, and that led to my getting into two religious cults over the next 15 years.

          Once I got out of that disaster my detection antennae was turned on and since then the war of ideas has been part of my personal identity.

          These experiences made it a piece of cake for me to detect the lies of Zionism and Christian Zionism when that became a focus.

          Once you know the real article, the counterfeit can never fool you.

        • Talkback
          December 12, 2011, 9:48 am

          “I think that [Talkback or RoHA] are doubtful that Judaism or Zionism bring anything to the table that makes them worth retaining as part of a citizen’s identity.” (Hostage)

          No Hostage, I’m not doubting I’m asking. And it’s not about what Jewishness ‘brings to the table’, but about the identity “Jew” or identyfing with being a “Jew”. What’s the difference, if you consider yourself a Jew or not?

        • Talkback
          December 12, 2011, 10:09 am

          john h,

          1.) Zionism is a way to preserve the Jewish identity, because it’s core ideology is antiassimilation and separatism from the Nonjews, whether by only being different from the Nonjews or having a nuclear protected Mega-Shtetl. Israel is just one expression of Zionism.

          2.) I could reside my citizenship tommorow and still teach about the history of this country. I don’t find the IDENTIFICATION with my country or heritage important. I don’t see the use in preserving it.

  14. yourstruly
    December 7, 2011, 5:02 pm

    as jewish-anti-zionists rapidly expand in numbers and influence, isn’t it time to begin thinking about truth and reconciliation hearings for israel-firsters? that’s not to exclude the possibility of criminal court appearances for the likes of those neocons who crossed the line of mere advocacy and committed treason.

    • Citizen
      December 7, 2011, 7:19 pm

      Those neocons are all pushing their latest books or acting as foreign policy experts for the various POTUS contenders, aren’t they?

    • emanresu
      December 8, 2011, 12:35 am

      I notice that the word “treason” features prominently in your gibberish, yourstruly.

      As political rhetoric, claims of “treason” are merely toxic, having been used effectively by Senator McCarthy and his imitators to tar and to intimidate advocates of progressive and antiwar causes. You may think it is fine to shout treason at advocates of a nonprogressive cause–but consider that, if the political ball bounces in a certain direction, the accusation of treason will be leveled against American Palestine solidarity activists.

      As law of course, your claims of “treason” are simply wrong. Treason is a wartime crime, and we are not at war with Israel. Consequently, American fans of the Israeli government– of whom I am not one– cannot be convicted of treason. It might be instructive for you to consult the actual definition of treason, provided in the US Code, and quoted below, rather than consulting the definition that comes from your personal dreamworld.

      “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.” 18 USC 115 § 2381

      • pjdude
        December 8, 2011, 10:29 am

        as often as Israel harms the US and kills or maims are citizens we damn well should be at war with them.

      • yourstruly
        December 8, 2011, 12:05 pm

        for pushing the lies that got america into the iraq war which killed more than 4000 u.s. troops, tricking us into war, if that isn’t treason, it damn well should be. and right now they’re at it again with more lies, promoting a war against iran. whatever the legal dfinition, treason, traitor, treachery, these words fit them to a t.

        • emanresu
          December 8, 2011, 5:03 pm

          “…whatever the legal definition, treason, traitor, treachery, these words fit them to a t.”-yourstruly.

          Sounds like you think we should disregard or discard the actual legal definition in so far as it conflicts with the definition that comes from your own personal dreamworld. You should have chosen the screen name “Humpty Dumpty,” who said: “When I use a word. . .it means just what I choose it to mean.”

        • yourstruly
          December 9, 2011, 12:12 am

          definition of treason (free dictionary online)

          1. Violation of allegiance towards one’s country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.

          2. A betrayal of trust or confidence

          So haven’t the neocons in government whose lies about wmd helped get america into the iraq war violated their allegiance towards their country? The legal requirement for treason hasn’t been met, but what those neocons did fits the above accepted definition. And seeing how a right-wing activist supreme court can stretch the constitution so as to permit the government to kill u.s. citizens outside america’s borders, what’s to prevent a different supreme court from doing a little stretching of its own on just what constitutes treason?

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 3:02 am

          So haven’t the neocons in government whose lies about wmd helped get america into the iraq war violated their allegiance towards their country?

          Well there were laws against that felony too. You really can’t conspire to torture or kill hundreds of thousands of members of any other national group or directly and publicly incite others to do so without violating Title 18 § 1091 http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_18_00001091—-000-.html

        • emanresu
          December 9, 2011, 5:10 am

          I appreciate that you went to the trouble to find a definition rather than make one up, yourstruly, but you went to the wrong source. The elements of the offense of treason are set forth in U.S. Const., Art III, and in 18 USC 115 § 2381, not in the free dictionary online.

          You write: “seeing how a right-wing activist supreme court can stretch the constitution so as to permit the government to kill u.s. citizens outside america’s borders, what’s to prevent a different supreme court from doing a little stretching of its own on just what constitutes treason?”

          I actually have a few comments on that terrible case, Al-Aulaqi v Obama, 727 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2010), the extrajudicial killing case, before I answer your question. First, It was not a US Supreme Court case, it was a US District Court case. Second, the Court dismissed the suit on the basis of standing, holding that the father of the citizen allegedly targeted for future killing in Yemen lacked third party standing to obtain injunctive relief. A terrible case, but not quite (yet) authoritative law from SCOTUS that US citizens outside national borders have no constitutional protection against a “targeted killing” by the executive branch. Third, unfortunate as it is to say, it was the plaintiff doing the “stretching,” as Courts have traditionally used the political questions doctrine to refuse to intervene in the President’s conduct of US foreign policy, outside the contexts of habeas corpus and takings claims.

          You ask why, in light of Al-Aulaqi, what is to prevent a different Supreme Court from “doing a little stretching” to permit previously impermissible treason prosecutions. If that is indeed what you advocate, it should repel anybody who believes in the rule of law. Let me remind you, again, that if the political ball bounces in a certain direction, the cry of treason may be raised against Palestinian solidarity activists, Arab-Americans, or Muslims. And, who knows, yourstruly, those who raise that cry might cite your “a little stretching” concept in favor of such treason prosecutions.

      • American
        December 8, 2011, 1:07 pm

        “It might be instructive for you to consult the actual definition of treason, provided in the US Code, and quoted below, rather than consulting the definition that comes from your personal dreamworld. “”…..emanresu

        I dare say everyone on here knows the legal definition of Treason…no need to instruct us.
        But the ‘legal’ definition doesn’t mean a damn thing to the public who has their own opinion and regards the activities of the Israel First politicians and zios as betrayal of loyalty and duty to this country,in effect- treason.
        I have long said we need to update and expand the legal definition of Treason to reflect current political reality.

      • Hostage
        December 8, 2011, 5:47 pm

        Treason is a wartime crime, and we are not at war with Israel. Consequently, American fans of the Israeli government– of whom I am not one– cannot be convicted of treason. . . . It might be instructive for you to consult the actual definition of treason, provided in the US Code.

        The actual definition of treason and the rules for evidence for determining guilt are contained in Article 3 Section 3 of the United States Constitution:

        Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

        The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

        The armed forces of Israel have attacked an American flagged ship and killed Americans on ships of friendly neutral states in international waters, e.g. Mavi Marmara/Comoros Island. What would prevent the people who have actively prevented formal investigations of those attacks from being investigated and convicted of treason?

        • emanresu
          December 8, 2011, 7:23 pm

          The US Constitution not only defines, but also restricts the definition of treason to the one set forth in the US Code. As the definitions set forth in U.S. Const., Art III, Sec. 3 and 18 USC 115 § 2381 are identical, either may be cited. This point must surely displease “American,” who has “long said” that the definition of treason needs to be expanded. What he really favors is changing the Constitution.

          You ask what would prevent treason convictions of “people who have actively prevented formal investigations,” of Israeli attacks on ships of friendly or neutral states.

          I took a gander at WestNext and could find no caselaw to suggest that any behavior approximating what you have described constitutes either levying war or adhering to US enemies. I note that much of the caselaw is quite archaic because, fortunately, there have been relatively few treason cases and none since 1951. However, a case still cited favorably in the most recent Supreme Court cases dealing with treason, even though it comes from a Vermont circuit court in 1808, explained that “no consultation or conspiracy to subvert the government or laws, however atrocious the offense, can amount to treason.” U.S. v. Hoxie, C.C.Vt.1808, 26 F.Cas. 397, No. 15407a

        • Hostage
          December 8, 2011, 10:17 pm

          I took a gander at WestNext and could find no caselaw to suggest that any behavior approximating what you have described constitutes either levying war or adhering to US enemies.

          When the armed forces of a foreign state launch an attack against a US-flagged ship or merchant vessel, and kill or wound hundreds of crew members or passengers, that’s ipso jure an act which allows the States (and by custom the Commander-in-Chief) to engage in war without delay or the consent of the Congress in accordance with Section 1, article 10 of the Constitution.

          The Caroline test is a formulation of customary international law which was affirmed by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. It was developed during the dispute between the United States and Great Britain over the Caroline case (1837). It states that, in order to be lawful, the necessity for preemptive self–defense must be “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” Here is a paper written by the Vice President of the American Society of International Law which explains that the entire Six Day War flunks the Caroline test on the basis of remarks made by General Rabin to Le Monde. link to asil.org

          In the S.S. Lotus case, the World Court decided, that the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form against the territory of another State, which includes vessels and aircraft. See the S.S. “Lotus” (France v. Turkey), PCIJ Series A, No. 10, at p. 18 (1927) link to icj-cij.org

          Israel has attempted to rationalize its attack on the Mavi Marmara by resorting to the guidance contained in the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflict at Sea, but autopsies revealed that some of the victims were killed deliberately in apparent violation of the applicable provisions of the Geneva Conventions. The International Criminal Court may automatically exercise jurisdiction in accordance with Article 12 of the Rome Statute, since the conduct in question took place on a vessel flagged by one of the State Parties of the ICC, Comoros Island. Intentionally directing attacks against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities is a war crime.

        • emanresu
          December 9, 2011, 1:42 am

          Every word in that post is irrelevant to the question you posed earlier, and that I answered, namely: “What would prevent the people who have actively prevented formal investigations of those attacks [by Israel, on ships of neutral or friendly states] from being investigated and convicted of treason?”

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 2:48 am

          Every word in that post is irrelevant to the question you posed earlier

          No it wasn’t. The Constitution doesn’t define the term war, any armed conflict involving the use of the uniformed military of a foreign state is certainly sufficient. The Courts here have interpreted the term broadly enough to permit the arrest and detention of civilian “combatants” who have never served on any battlefield for simply carrying-on “communications” with an enemy entity. There is no exemption in federal law or the Constitution which permits anyone to commit high crimes or misdemeanors in support of the Jewish state.

          You said that American fans of the Israeli government cannot be convicted of treason, but suggested the accusation of treason will be leveled against American Palestine solidarity activists. There are officials of the Israeli government and citizens of Israel who were members of terrorist groups, designated as such by our government. So the risk is no greater for either group of solidarity activists.

          My point was: if Israel has committed illegal acts against the United States during an armed conflict in the past, then any citizen who has assisted them before, during, or after the fact could be prosecuted for treason. On a couple of occasions the government and the courts here have concluded that individuals and organizations have conducted espionage against the United States on behalf of the State of Israel. The United States government has spied on the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Either government could decide that those activities amount to a casus belli.

        • emanresu
          December 9, 2011, 5:02 am

          You say: “The Constitution doesn’t define the term war, any armed conflict involving the use of the uniformed military of a foreign state is certainly sufficient.”

          I don’t think so. Not without a Presidential or Congressional declaration that an armed conflict between the US and another power actually exists.

          You say: “if Israel has committed illegal acts against the United States during an armed conflict in the past, then any citizen who has assisted them before, during, or after the fact could be prosecuted for treason.”

          Treason consists of levying war against the US, or adhering to an enemy of the US plus providing aid and comfort. If the US Government does not deem Israel to be an enemy, then assisting it can hardly be treason. especially “after the fact,” i.e. after the armed conflict (that was never declared) has ended.

          I note that, under your own argument, treason prosecutions against anti-Vietnam war protestors would have had considerably more merit than prosecutions against persons who “have actively prevented formal investigations” of attacks [by Israel, on ships of neutral or friendly states] since there is no question that an armed conflict existed between the US and North Vietnam. Do you join with the extreme right-wing in regretting that no such prosecutions took place? Do you call for such prosections now (there being no statute of limitations on treason)?

          You say: “On a couple of occasions the government and the courts here have concluded that individuals and organizations have conducted espionage against the United States on behalf of the State of Israel. The United States government has spied on the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Either government could decide that those activities amount to a casus belli.”

          It surprises me that you say that. If spying is regarded as a “casus belli,” then we might as well prepare for World War 3 tomorrow, since most governments engage in spying on other governents. I believe that Article 51 of the UN Charter restricts legal justification for war to defense against imminent or ongoing attacks and to uses of force that have been authorized by Security Council Resolution.

        • Hostage
          December 9, 2011, 9:19 am

          emanresu: I don’t think so. Not without a Presidential or Congressional declaration that an armed conflict between the US and another power actually exists.

          What century are you living in? The United States and Israel are both signatories of the Geneva Conventions. Those had been universally ratified by the time of the attack on the Gaza flotilla. The minute that Israel attacked the ships of any foreign country, and there were wounded civilians or sailors, its responsibilities under the conventions and the laws of war were triggered because an armed conflict had already occurred. See for example the ICRC Opinion Paper: “How is the Term “Armed Conflict” Defined in International Humanitarian Law?

          Under the laws that were in force during the Six Day War, any person who engaged in hostilities against the United States during a conflict subject to the laws of war was to be treated as an enemy belligerent. See for example the modern act: Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47A, Subchapter I, § 948a Definitions. link to law.cornell.edu

          In practice the United States no longer declares wars as a result of its adherence to the principles of customary international law contained in the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the UN and OAS Charters. Those treaties are part of “the supreme law of the land”. See Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.

          You say: “if Israel has committed illegal acts against the United States during an armed conflict in the past, then any citizen who has assisted them before, during, or after the fact could be prosecuted for treason.” . . . If the US Government does not deem Israel to be an enemy, then assisting it can hardly be treason.

          You originally claimed that supporters of Israel cannot be convicted of treason, but that’s simply not the case. Now you’re claiming that the entity waging war on the United States has to be another State. But neither the Constitution nor the U.S. Code requires that. The Burr Conspiracy only involved some planters, politicians, and army officers. A conspiracy that only involves a cover-up of the unauthorized use of a few elements of the armed forces of Israel would still amount to levying war on the United States and aiding or adhering to an enemy. Nothing would prevent the US from holding citizens liable for treason if evidence of wrong doing and a conspiracy of that nature ever comes to light.

          I note that, under your own argument, treason prosecutions against anti-Vietnam war protestors . . .

          I’m not arguing, I’m telling you that the Courts decide what the law is, and they have allowed people to be arrested and detained indefinitely as either privileged or unprivileged enemy belligerents. The government did prosecute people for espionage and conspiracy (e.g. Daniel Ellsberg , Harrisburg Seven, etc), but it was not very successful in obtaining convictions. The charges were dismissed in many cases due to government wrongdoing. Declassified records show that the Nixon camp took many actions to prolong the war during his election campaign that President Johnson felt amounted to treason. See the recording of the conversation Citation No.: 13706, Speaker: Everett Dirksen (MP3), Tape: WH6811.01, Program No.: 6, Date: 11/2/1968 link to lbjlib.utexas.edu

          It surprises me that you say that. If spying is regarded as a “casus belli

          It surprises me that anyone thinks the US government has to act rationally, instead of emotionally, when it comes to espionage. It hasn’t happened yet. The Lobby’s been trying every argument imaginable to spring Pollard and they’ve never made any progress yet.

        • American
          December 9, 2011, 1:25 pm

          “This point must surely displease “American,” who has “long said” that the definition of treason needs to be expanded. What he really favors is changing the Constitution. ”

          Yes and I will continue to say it. There are already 20+ amendments to the constitution so I don’t see how that is an objection. When times become more complicated laws need to change.

          What I actually want is a law dealing with subversion. And I want it primary to target the political class. And I want it primary to apply to foreign interest activities. I do not want it to apply to “domestic” policy differences in any way that would restrict or criminalize fights or activities over ‘domestic’ issues. And I do not want strictly for Israel. I want it for all foreign influences .
          I want it to be criminal for politicans or government officials to use their office or engage in activities specifically for the benefit of a foreign nation.
          If accused I want them to be given a public trial,(not a house ethics
          committee) and a jury of their peers decide their motivations, …personal other country allegiance or bribery or whatever quid pro quo motivated them,…. and guilt or non guilt.

          There are many definitions of subversion:

          “Subversive Political Action — A planned series of activities designed to accomplish political objectives by influencing, dominating, or displacing individuals or groups who are so placed as to affect the decisions and actions of another government.”

          “Subversion is the undermining or detachment of the loyalties of significant political and social groups within the victimized state, and their transference, under ideal conditions, to the symbols and institutions of the aggressor.”

          Subversion — “A destructive, aggressive activity aimed to destroy the country, nation, or geographical area of your enemy… [by demoralizing the cultural values and changing the population’s perception of reality

          “All willful acts that are intended to be detrimental to the best interests of the government and that do not fall into the categories of treason, sedition, sabotage, or espionage are placed in the category of subversive activity.”

          There are other groups who engage in subversive activity besides the zionist groups. But there is no way anyone can deny that the zionist, for their foreign allegiance to Israel, use propaganda to “change reality for the public” in regard to a foreign country, threats to other careers and reputations without being subject to punishment for libel or slander, money to corrupt US policy made by congress for the benefit of a foreign country, political intimidation on politicians and candidates for US office with the same libelous and slanderous tactics for the purpose of interfering in US elections to benefit a foreign country and so forth. In some cases where these people use or try to use false information to sway the US government actions toward other countries then they should prosecuted and I am thinking specifically of those like Leeden and Feith who ‘stovepiped’ what we now know to be deliberate lies to push an invasion of Iraq…whether they succeded or not their attempt to do so should be criminal
          Otherwise a subversion law should apply mostly to US officials who engage in these activities for whatever reason.

          And I want any lobby that represents a foreign country in any way to have to register as a foreign lobby. And I want registered domestic lobbies and consultants barred from representing foreign interest as part of their business or if they do, also have to register as a foreign lobby.

          This is completely reasonable and necessary today.

        • emanresu
          December 9, 2011, 10:28 pm

          “You originally claimed that supporters of Israel cannot be convicted of treason, but that’s simply not the case. Now you’re claiming that the entity waging war on the United States has to be another State.”

          Of course, I never said either of those things. I referred to the elements the offense of treason under the Constitution and the US Code, which requires levying war against the US or adhering to, and providing aid and comfort to US enemies. I said that those elements are not met in the case of (as you put it): “people who have actively prevented formal investigations of those attacks [by Israel, on ships of neutral or friendly states].”

          First, you make the claim that a particular country can be an enemy for the purposes of a treason prosecution, even if they are not designated as an enemy or a belligerent by either Presidential decree or congressional resolution, let alone by Congressional declaration of war. I challenge you to cite a single treason case that occurred under those circumstances. It seems to me that any defendant charged with treason under those circumstances has a dead-bang due process argument that he or she was not given adequate notice of the conduct forbidden under the law.

          Second, you claim that a cover-up can constitute “levying war” even if the coverup took place after the “war” (that was never announced by the government) against an enemy (who was never designated an enemy by the government) was over. Again, I challenge you to cite a single treason case under those circumstances. And, again, the defendant would have a due process argument that he was not given notice of the conduct forbidden by law.

          Third, though you rely on the Geneva Convention and Art VI in your analysis, any 1L knows that treaties are subordinate to the US Constitution, and have the status of federal statutory law. That is what is meant by “Supreme Law of the Land.”

          Fourth, other than to make the striking point that “Courts decide what the law is,” you do not address the accurate implication of your analysis– that treason prosecutions against anti-Vietnam war protestors would have had considerably more merit than prosecutions against persons who “have actively prevented formal investigations” of attacks [by Israel, on ships of neutral or friendly states] since there is no question that an armed conflict existed between the US and North Vietnam. So, too, would treason prosecutions of antiwar activists if there is a US attack on Iran. Your analysis would bring a smile to the face of John Yoo.

          Fifth, you point out that courts “have allowed people to be arrested and detained indefinitely as either privileged or unprivileged enemy belligerents.” True enough, and horrible, but that has nothing to with treason prosecutions under the US Constitution. The enemy combatant cases generally involve non-US citizens on non US-soil–i.e. persons who have no Constitutional due process rights– only the very limited rights accorded them under Constitutional or statutory habeas.

        • Hostage
          December 10, 2011, 6:59 pm

          Of course, I never said either of those things. I referred to the elements the offense of treason under the Constitution and the US Code, which requires levying war against the US or adhering to, and providing aid and comfort to US enemies.

          You were incorrectly interpreting the statute. Article 3 section 3 does actually require any war and in cases of sedition the citizens of the United States can be considered enemies: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” You still haven’t explained why it might not be a crime to assist elements of the Israeli military in avoiding an investigation and prosecution in connection with the use of deadly force against our service members or civilian passengers on ships in international waters. BTW, a military commander has plenary responsibility for the welfare of the people and resources under his or her command. Taking immediate and aggressive protective measures, including the use of deadly force, to defend a command, unit, place, or military property when attacked by any belligerent is considered a statutory duty and failure or surrender can be considered an offense without any declaration from the Congress or the President in accordance with the UCMJ (Title 10 § 899). Engaging in a cover-up that aided or assisted an enemy – even indirectly – would be punishable under § 904 Aiding the enemy. link to codes.lp.findlaw.com A former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Chief of Naval Operations, Thomas Moorer, condemned the handling of the Liberty inquiries and demanded a proper independent inquiry into the matter. So, there is ample reason for the rest of us to be concerned.

          First, you make the claim that a particular country can be an enemy for the purposes of a treason prosecution, even if they are not designated as an enemy or a belligerent by either Presidential decree or congressional resolution, let alone by Congressional declaration of war. I challenge you to cite a single treason case that occurred under those circumstances.

          In the Security Council, the United States claimed that the Egyptians could not legally close the Suez Canal or Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, since the armistice agreements with Israel had terminated the state of war. Even after the Korean Armistice Agreement of July 27, 1953, the United States has continued to treat communications or contact with the North Koreans as communications and contact with the enemy. Sgt. Charles Robert Jenkins was Court-martialed for aiding the enemy and a Board of Naval Inquiry recommended that Commander Bucher be Court-martialed for failing to take proper defensive action and obeying orders to follow North Korean vessels to an enemy port.

        • Hostage
          December 10, 2011, 8:37 pm

          P.S. John Walker Lindh was charged with acting as a soldier for the Taliban in a conflict against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan from about August to December of 2001. President Bush had given the Taliban $43 million four months before 9/11, and subsequently invaded when they asked the US to present evidence to support the extradition request regarding Osama Bin Ladin. The Bush Administration Declared a National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks, but it did not mention the Taliban or Afghanistan. The text is available here: link to fas.org

          Lindh was charged with a number of crimes related to conspiring to murder Americans or bear arms against the United States, but was finally convicted of providing the Taliban services in violation of a Title 50 §1701 declaration of national emergency and carrying an explosive (grenades) during the commission of that felony. See Title 50 §1705 link to law.cornell.edu

          US citizens or any “persons” can be treated as enemies (foreign or domestic according to Title 10 § 502) in accordance with the punitive articles of the UCMJ. Those determinations can be made as a result of attacks, sedition, or other acts of treason such as providing an illicit service, providng relief, weapons, information, and etc.

        • emanresu
          December 10, 2011, 9:56 pm

          I said “or” in most of my previous posts. That “and” in my last post was not a misinterpretation, simply a misprint.

          A treason prosecution against a civilian defendant, entitled to the full panoply of due process rights, is a different matter than the court-martial of a soldier under the UCMJ. At the core of procedural due process is the requirement of “notice”– that a citizen be given fair notice that the contemplated conduct is forbidden by law.

          I ask again: how can the US assert in a treason prosecution, with the burden of proof on the government, that a defendant has received adequate notice that he or she has adhered to and aided and abetted an “enemy,” when the country aided and abetted by that defendant was considered to be ally by the President and by Congress at the time of the defendant’s conduct?

          Since courts are guided by precedent or, as a non-lawyer might put it: “Courts decide the law,” I ask that you cite to a single treason case under the Constitution under remotely similar circumstances to what you assert to be treason– namely “actively prevent[ing] formal investigations” of attacks by a country “on ships of neutral or friendly states.” (where, moreover, the country launching the attacks was considered to to be an ally by the US government at the time of the attacks and afterwards). Mind you: we are talking about the offense of treason, not any other alleged crime.

          You might also consider and address the implications of your analysis: that treason prosecutions against anti-war activists during wartime would have considerably more merit than prosecutions against persons who “have actively prevented formal investigations” of attacks [by Israel, on ships of neutral or friendly states], after the fact.

        • emanresu
          December 11, 2011, 12:20 am

          The Lindh case was not a treason case, and is distinguishable on other grounds as well.

          First, and contrary to your post, the prosecution, in the Lindh case, did not cite Bush’s post-911 declaration of a state of emergency but, rather, President Clinton’s pre-911 Executive Order 13129, which specifically and unambiguously named the Taliban: See link to justice.gov (“On July 4, 1999, President of the United States William J. Clinton declared a national emergency to deal with the threat posed by al Qaeda and the Taliban. In his Executive Order 13129, the President prohibited, among other things, the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of the Taliban.”) This was clear notice of the conduct forbidden by law.

          Second, Lindh was never charged, let alone convicted, of treason. He was convicted of supplying arms to the Taliban under 50 U.S.C. § 1705. Clinton’s prior declaration constituted notice under 50 U.S.C. § 1701 and § 1702 which grants the President rather frightening powers “if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.” See 50 U.S.C. § 1701. (Lindh was also convicted of carrying an explosive in commission of a felony).

          Third, Lindh pleaded guilty, thereby waiving his appellate rights. Since there is no appellate decision affirming his conviction, the case has limited precedential value.

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2011, 5:57 pm

        “As political rhetoric, claims of “treason” are merely toxic, having been used effectively by Senator McCarthy and his imitators to tar and to intimidate advocates of progressive and antiwar causes.”

        Psst, Manny, ix-nay on the oMc-arthy-nay! In Israel, they say “Joe MCarthy was right” and use his as a justification. You really don’t want to mention McCarthy.
        To save you embarrassment (I’m so tribally loyal!) I won’t link to the recent article, right here on Mondoweiss, of the Israeli Knesset member lauding “tail-gunner Joe”.

        • emanresu
          December 10, 2011, 1:57 pm

          I said, and I repeat: “As political rhetoric, claims of “treason” are merely toxic, having been used effectively by Senator McCarthy and his imitators to tar and to intimidate advocates of progressive and antiwar causes.”

          Do you agree or disagree with that statement? I honestly can’t tell because you just respond with gibberish (“Psst, Manny, ix-nay on the oMc-arthy-nay! “), a non sequitur about your tribal loyalty, and I suppose, the implication that it means something to me that an Israeli politican praised Mccarthy (it does not).

          Return to my original statement, which you quoted and italicized. Do you agree or disagree?

      • Mooser
        December 10, 2011, 9:20 pm

        “As political rhetoric, claims of “treason” are merely toxic, having been used effectively by Senator McCarthy and his imitators to tar and to intimidate advocates of progressive and antiwar causes.”

        I keep on telling you, stop screaming about “McCarthy”! Israeli lawmaker says McCarthy was right”

        • emanresu
          December 11, 2011, 5:32 am

          And I keep on telling you to address the point I made, because I honestly do not know whether you agree or disagree. I said, and now say again: “As political rhetoric, claims of “treason” are merely toxic, having been used effectively by Senator McCarthy and his imitators to tar and to intimidate advocates of progressive and antiwar causes.”

          I also said, and say again, that the fact that an Israeli politician praised McCarthy it is irrelevant to my point (and to me, personally). Kapish?

        • Mooser
          December 11, 2011, 3:22 pm

          Shlog zich kop in vant, Eman.

  15. MRW
    December 7, 2011, 5:45 pm

    “Ambassador Howard Gutman was speaking for many sensible American Jews when he said that Israeli policies are hurting Jews by fostering anti-Semitism.”

    I’m hearing it here. It’s a bleak monopolistic resentment from people whose friends lost relatives in the Iraq war (again, with the bar)…they dont want war with Iran: can’t Fox News hear this? Also, from the postman yesterday picking up parcels, “We need $3 billion to save the Post Office and we give $3 billion a year to Israel? Did you know that?” This guy in all the time I’ve known him has never uttered a political word. I don’t think he dreamt the idea up himself, although I don’t know. I think it might be the rumble at the office.

    I was thinking about it this AM. The US Post Office going under might be a national trigger among non-Jews who never thought about any of this before. It affects every rural lifeline.

    • Citizen
      December 7, 2011, 7:22 pm

      The current list of contemplated post office closings is really long & nation-wide.

      • MRW
        December 7, 2011, 10:57 pm

        What I’m hearing I don’t like, Citizen. These are knee-jerk reactions from people who NOT SIX MONTHS AGO were carrying water for Israel: slavishly and disgustingly so. Stupid and low-rent.

        Now, it’s a 180. I don’t like it. The same stupidity that informed their previous position informs their new one. It’s a ‘take-all-prisoners’ approach to complex problems that involve not only a lack of knowledge of history but a deficit of morality within that has simply shifted direction, because their own circumstances, in their own eyes, justifies it.

        I don’t like it.

        But you’re right, and I believe (call me arrogant), that the closing of so many post offices nationwide is a silent trigger, a silent killer of something, if it goes through. The USPS is sacrosanct in rural communities.

        • seafoid
          December 8, 2011, 4:14 am

          I don’t like it.

          Me neither. “Israel is bad for Jews” I don’t like either. It’s the system they have now that doesn’t work but you can’t abandon them all just because the country is run by psychopaths. Israel needs a lot of remedial work on education, on the oligarchs, on the Palestinians but there is much potential there and as witty and the hasbots often say for many Israeli Jews there is nowhere else for them to go . I know many American Ashkenazi Jews think the sephardim are low rent but that is no reason to abandon them .

          link to jcollyer.wordpress.com

          They are begging us, you see, in their wordless way,
          To do something, to speak on their behalf
          Or at least not to close the door again.
          Lost people of Treblinka and Pompeii!
          ‘Save us, save us,’ they seem to say,
          ‘Let the god not abandon us
          Who have come so far in darkness and in pain.
          We too had our lives to live.
          You with your light meter and relaxed itinerary,
          Let not our naive labours have been in vain!’

        • American
          December 8, 2011, 1:29 pm

          “I don’t like it.”

          Why don’t you like it MRW?
          Not the post office closings, but the fact that more people are becoming aware of the Israel corruption in our government?
          I see that as good sign, that the public is finding and following all the bread crumbs that point to Washington’s corruption on so many issues that affect them.
          You seem to say the stupid ones will lay off ‘all’ the US problems on Israel and the Jews or Zios and be as ‘fanatical’ about that as they are on other issues, triggering some nazi outbreak. I can’t see that happening to that degree, but I can see the Israeli resentment becoming another ‘ part’ or example for them in their hatred of ‘government’ they think shafts them on everything anyway…if that is the political group you are talking about.

        • American
          December 8, 2011, 1:40 pm

          The problem with ‘saving’ seafoid, is the same one as how many people the life raft will hold without sinking and drowning them all.
          It’s always a moral dilemma.

        • libra
          December 8, 2011, 3:53 pm

          American, once again you are the rare voice of common sense here at Mondoweiss. Thanks.

        • MRW
          December 9, 2011, 6:36 am

          American, I should have made clear I was referring to the small world of my local bar. ;-) (I was typing on my iPad then, and shortening the facts.)

          I am all for them getting the truth. But I had to listen to these buzzheads root and howl for the Iraq War, and turn on me with a viciousness when I said the evidence was faked, they should try reading. I live in an intellectual Red Neck Park.

        • American
          December 9, 2011, 1:44 pm

          “I live in an intellectual Red Neck Park.”…MRW

          Yeah I do also.
          And knowing these people was the basis for my reply to eee taunting about there being no ‘real game changers’ out there on Israel. People who don’t have an intimate understanding of what makes the simple conservative or simple average people tick don’t understand how they can turn on a dime for or against something when they get wind it might affect them personally or their conception of threat or ‘country’. Once they turn, they turn, and they aren’t interested in excuses or explainations.

  16. Mooser
    December 7, 2011, 5:50 pm

    Aw, crap. I know I shouldn’t be so mad at “eee” and the rest. I forgot how much Christmas scares them, and ’tis the season, and all that. All those terrifying lights, and you got to sit up all night with a gun guarding your chimney. It’s enough to make anybody unreasonable.
    I bet Zionists tell their kids that Santa goes down the Chimney at Jewish homes to steal the Chanukah presents and re-distribute them to Christians. Socialism really frightens them Zionists.

  17. wondering jew
    December 7, 2011, 6:25 pm

    In Israel the Jews speak Hebrew, the language of the prayer book, the language of most of the tanach. Hebrew is good for the Jews.

    Intermarriage and celebrating Christmas are inevitables, like death and taxes to the individual, intermarriage and Christmas were and are inevitable side effects of “integration” for Jews. Although some new religious movement might result from the mingling, I don’t see this as “good news” for the Jews.

    We live in an individualistic society. (Did you read Barzun’s book on the last 500 years of European history where he capitalized INDIVIDUALISM.) The Jews, to state the obvious are a group and also individuals. What is good for the individual might not be what is good for the group and visa versa.

    Another point: Some Jews are born into Jewish families that have never visited Israel, who have fleeting or nonexistent feelings for Israel, other Jews and the whole Jewish thing. I wasn’t born into such a family. So, it’s the luck of the draw to a large degree how “committed” or “interested” or “connected” one feels to the religion, the collective or the land of which the religion sings and where they speak a Jewish language.

    • Citizen
      December 7, 2011, 7:34 pm

      Well yes, WJ; what you say is true of every religious and or ethnic group. In America it’s called “diversity” and Americans are world renown for being individualistic in character. The Enlightenment did not escape our Founding Fathers; quite the contrary. We here know Zionists don’t think much of the Enlightenment tradition in the West. That’s a macro for Phil’s subject here, growing tension between US liberal or humanistic Jews and Jews of the contrary mind-set.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 7:42 pm

      “In Israel the Jews speak Hebrew, the language of the prayer book, the language of most of the tanach. Hebrew is good for the Jews.”

      No they don’t. They speak a new language they made up for their own purposes. But apart from that, what is your point?

      • Philip Weiss
        December 7, 2011, 8:37 pm

        thanks mooser, i hereby offer to be your second if a elk or bear challenges you to a duel

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 8:45 pm

          Look, my parents didn’t teach me much, okay, I didn’t listen much, but I was taught it is an unforgivable breach almost of civility, let alone etiquette, to start out a conversation with “What’s your religion?” or “Why don’t you have any children?”
          But, I admit, beyond completely abysmal, I don’t know what the standards are in Israel. I hear they talk with their mouths a lot. So make sure you’ve got an umbrella.

        • tree
          December 7, 2011, 8:51 pm

          i hereby offer to be your second if a elk or bear challenges you to a duel

          i thought Mooser’s enemies were not elks and bears, but Boris and Natasha, and the infamous Fearless Leader, ably played here by our own eee.

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 9:24 pm

          “i hereby offer to be your second if a elk or bear challenges you to a duel”

          Oh, no worry. All the animals are Moosie’s friends, and I have more than once hosted my avian pals through the nesting season. Of course, I put cotton in my ears at night. What goes on in those nests you don’t want to know. But baby birds have to come from somewhere, you know?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 10:19 pm

          Tree, for any man who has had to ask himself the question “Am I man, or a moose”?, answering in the affirmative is not quite enough! After that he must wrestle with another question, and come up with an answer which best best integrates his personality. That question is, of course “How much Bullwinkle, and how much Thidwick?”
          Once that is settled, (if it ever really is) inconsiderate, bigoted things like “Funny, you don’t look Moosish” just slide off your back.
          Just don’t try it during the rut, tree, if you know what’s good for you!

        • Philip Weiss
          December 7, 2011, 11:04 pm

          Mooser at the risk of souring your mood, or worse, trying to be as clever as you, how does any man answer the question, “Am I a man or a moose?” in the affirmative? Isnt that like what we used to do when we were wiseass children and a parent asked, Do you want the dumplings or the moo goo gai pan? and we said, Yes. Or am I missing the joke? And what if a moose asks that question, and not a man?

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 11:33 pm

          “Or am I missing the joke?”

          Phil, some things are not to be joked about! And Alces alces is one of them!

        • Mooser
          December 7, 2011, 11:44 pm

          “how does any man answer the question, “Am I a man or a moose?” in the affirmative?”

          Good Lord, how do I not? If you want to know, I got the name because of my close physical resemblance to the animal. At 5′ 4″ and 125 pounds of rippling adipose, a goiter the size of a grapefruit and a nice size hump on my back, what else could they call me? My wife, of course, is the Moosette, and as you know, we live in Moosehall. What choice do I have?
          And I do believe, as a ruminate ungulate, I am perfectly kosher, which removes an awful lot of anxiety about chewing my nails.

          Phil, as I’m sure you know perfectly well, a guy has got to be who he is.

        • Mooser
          December 8, 2011, 12:09 am

          And what if a moose asks that question, and not a man?”

          Oh, Phil, everybody knows mooses can’t talk. Anyway, enough about this. I don’t want to create a distraction. Besides, in the fall, after one has fallen and I’m waiting for the other one to drop, I get tremendous headaches. However, so that you can keep the salient facts ever-ready, just remember this Mooser theme-song (Sung to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”):

          Oh, he’s a big tremendous Mooser,
          Weighing up to fifteen hundred pounds!
          With palmate antlers spreading seven feet,
          (In some cases)
          The largest member of the North American Deer family!

          He eats nuts and hay and bagels,
          With cream cheese, lox, and and a nice pond-weed salad or two.
          Everybody talks bad about him, but what the hell did I do?
          (At this point the song devolves into a sort of “rap” about my persecution, “Moosettes telling me what to do all the time…” and “all the hunters are after me”..”Moosie never hurt nobody” and etc., ending with the heartfelt cry of Schuman The Human which so perfectly captures mankind’s (and moosekind’s) existential tsimmes: “Cancel my Rumba Lesson!!”

          Anyway, let’s keep this between us and Mondoweiss readers. The whole world doesn’t need to know.

        • Mooser
          December 9, 2011, 6:19 pm

          Look, I can only offer, by way of apology for that tangential descent into ruminative whimsy last night, the explanation that my “conversion” into a Mooser happened so many years ago, well over twenty years ago, that by now it just seems natural. And, as I explained, since moose are kosher, I feel no dichotomy between my identity as an ungulate and my identity as a Jew. As long, that is, as I am not served a la Béchamel of course.

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 8:48 pm

      “the collective”

      Oy, scratch a Zionist, you’ll find a Communist, every time!

      • Hostage
        December 8, 2011, 7:05 pm

        “the collective”

        I live in a small town in Kansas that’s loosing its Post Office sorting staff. I hear that will be done somewhere in Colorado. I always smile when someone here at MW talks about being shunned by “the Jewish community”. My parents moved here in 1943 and were joined by my grandparents in the early 1950s. The nearest Reform synagogue was several hours across the state and there were never enough Orthodox Jews to even form a minyan in these parts of the country. That’s just one of the big pluses of living here;-)

    • Mooser
      December 7, 2011, 9:42 pm

      “Another point: Some Jews are born into Jewish families that have never visited Israel”

      Hey, got a great little story for you, WJ. And it’s true! So I was down at the ferry dock, when I heard people speaking, well, speaking something, which turned out to be Hebrew. Naturally, I bid this family “Shalom, and welcome to Bremerton!” you know, all that. So the lady turns to me and asks (I kid you not): “Are you Jewish” to which I replied in the affirmative of course. Than she asked: “Do you have any kids” so I pleaded the old industrial accident. Well, it was obvious she considered me pretty much of a waste-product by that time, but God bless her, she gave me a chance to redeem myself. She asked: “Have you ever been to Israel?” So I had to admit, very politely that, in fact, I had not. She shot me a look which I’m sure could burn or uproot a Palestinian olive tree from half-a-mile away, and then demanded, loudly: “WELL, WHY NOT?” My answer probably went unheard, as she was busy herding her precious offspring away from contagion.
      Gosh, I bet they make fiends everywhere they go, those Israelis.

      • john h
        December 7, 2011, 9:58 pm

        Gosh, I bet they make fiends everywhere they go, those Israelis.

        Priceless, as usual, you self-hater you!

        • MRW
          December 7, 2011, 10:41 pm

          john H,

          Mooser is our mascot, the MW mascot, but the johnnie-come-latelies around here never bother to read the archives so they don’t know. (It’s an Israeli feature to ignore, or deride, past and future, with apologies to Shmuel and Danaa, and couple of others we love here.) Remember that ad that said, “Let Mikey do it.” Mooser is our Mikey. For a lot longer than the archives that started in July 2009 recorded.

        • Mooser
          December 8, 2011, 12:33 am

          MRW, that’s very nice, but it’s not all that pleasant. Quite frankly, I very often hate myself for goading those ziocaine addled nincompoops. And they are so damn predictable, it’s like I’m paying them to be my straight men. Don’t ever, ever get the idea that I like to peek inside the brains and “feelings” of those jerks. It feels like I’m kicking cripples, or teasing a spoiled child.
          And recognising myself, and people close to me in them is again, and using that recognition to guide me is hardly pleasant.

          And then there’s the “I was proved f—cking right” which is very uncomfortable for me. I know how to be wrong, but I really don’t know how to be right about something like this.

          But damn it, I steel myself. Take a quick shot out of the bottle in the lower left-hand drawer (so that’s where she keeps the drain cleaner!) and dive in! It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it!

        • john h
          December 8, 2011, 12:36 am

          Oops, sorry!

      • MRW
        December 7, 2011, 10:45 pm

        “fiends,” indeed. ;-)

      • Shunra
        December 7, 2011, 10:59 pm

        If I had a dollar for every time I was asked if I’m Jewish (I’m not) based on my profession (I translate Hebrew-English) I would be able to quit that profession and not get into that conversation in the first place.

        French translators aren’t asked if they’re Catholic; Dutch translators don’t get the Calvinist guilt thing laid on them. Hebrew? I keep having to remind them that there’s no such thing as a Jewish gene.

        I swear, I will NEVER translate Yiddish. NEVER!

        (And apparently we’re pretty close to being neighbors, Mooser. I’m a ways northwest of you.)

        • Mooser
          December 9, 2011, 6:02 pm

          “(And apparently we’re pretty close to being neighbors, Mooser. I’m a ways northwest of you.)”

          Northwest of me? You must be out on the Olympic Pennisula! Oy, it’s pretty raw there this time of year, but lovely most other times.

  18. atime forpeace
    December 7, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Preach it Philip, God knows America needs to wake the f-up rapido.

  19. Richard Witty
    December 7, 2011, 10:23 pm

    “Israel isn’t good for the Jews anymore. That’s the news from New York. ”

    Israel’s behavior isn’t good for the American Jews, slightly more than its been historically.

    Its connection is still of content, two sisters that remain sisters, even though they hate how the other conducts themselves.

    You’ve been saying the same theme for years. “Its already occurred” (single state, severance of key relationship, change in American Jewish “identity”).

    Haven’t you been around for the last 56 years? You think that Americans loved Israel during our 20′s? Did you? I didn’t. I put up with them, my irritating cousins.

    • Richard Witty
      December 8, 2011, 7:13 am

      My real cousins I loved, just for clarification, so you don’t get any wrong ideas that I am “inferring”.

      • Mooser
        December 9, 2011, 6:05 pm

        Richard, for God’s sake, learn how to write an English language sentence, would’ya?
        You know, an awful lot of people would say that imprecision (to be extremely generous) of language indicates confusion of mind.

  20. Pixel
    December 8, 2011, 12:17 am

    “Now that consciousness [conscience] is taking hold in the larger Jewish community…”

  21. kalithea
    December 8, 2011, 1:31 am

    This is good:

    “Well guess what, it’s been going on for 44 years! In its segregated buses and roads, in its ad campaigns that targets intermarriage and Christmas, in the refusal to end the occupation– Israel is a different society than ours.”

    But with the exception that the ethnic cleansing started a couple of decades earlier, and the ethnic cleansing is an important part of the injustice of Zionism that shouldn’t be forgotten.

    eee, is very tribal, very clannish – not good at all.

    This is very bad:

    eee: “What you and Phil are trying to do, divide the Jewish community based on geographical lines, is an act of enmity.”

    Oh, and here I thought they were dividing the Jewish community along ethical/ideological lines. If dividing them geographically is an enmity, dividing them along the former probably warrants excommunication according to eee.

    Who cares as long as one doesn’t have to sell ones soul for the tribe!

    I wish this divide were happening, but I’m just not that optimistic, and something tells me the whole Iran situation will change the discussion and everyone will end up kissing and making up because the Jewish State will play the victim card to perfection and Palestinians will again be thrown to the curb while the spotlight shines on the “existential” threat against Zionists and becomes the next distraction and obsession.

    But don’t give up. Never give up.

    • Mooser
      December 9, 2011, 6:07 pm

      “divide the Jewish community based on geographical lines”

      Well, whenever Israel decides where its borders are, we can argue about those divisions on “geographical lines”. Till then, eee would do better not to mention it.

  22. kalithea
    December 8, 2011, 2:27 am

    On creating division in the community:

    If people refuse to heed their conscience and come into the light; you can’t drag them away from the darkness and therefore separation (in this case from Zionism and the State of Israel) will be necessary so they don’t try to pull you back in, but remaining steadfast on this righteous path (i.e. following what you know is right with conviction) is fulfilling one’s true destiny in the greater scheme of life.

    I see the truth as Shaw once wrote: “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”
    Especially blashphemous to those who are driven by fear.

  23. rjcrawford33
    December 8, 2011, 2:37 am

    Eloquently written, but from my anecdotal observation, I do not think it is true in any demographically measurable sense.

  24. bijou
    December 8, 2011, 12:24 pm

    “We need $3 billion to save the Post Office and we give $3 billion a year to Israel? Did you know that?”

    Whoah – quick – someone please make a NATIONAL CAMPAIGN and put this statement on every billboard across the land…. It’s brilliant.

    But seriously, folks, if the postman is saying this when delivering the mail, does’t it speak volumes???

    • Hamishe_Sabz
      December 9, 2011, 11:19 am

      unless the post office needs $3B in guns and tanks, i dont think it will help much.

  25. tony greenstein
    December 8, 2011, 7:11 pm

    A very good and interesting article. A few comments. Zionism is a political system and ideology. It serves a purpose. Herzl wrote words to the effect that it would be a European outpost on the ramparts of Asiatic barbarism.

    Israel is the guard dog and protector of western interests in an area that is vital strategically. It is a stable settler-colonial state and the $3 billion it receives is cheap at the price. And it has fractured Arab politics, both directly against Nasserism and indirectly in support of the most reactionary forces in the Arab world whose anti-Israeli rhetoric covered their own collaboration.

    When the British established their Empire they didn’t say, we are coming to destroy the handlooms of India in order that we can create a cotton industry in England and turn the Indians into supplies of raw materials. They talked about ‘civilisation’ ‘education’ – it was the rhetoric of MacCaulay and Bentinck who railed against Sutthi, the burning of widows on the pyres of their husbands. Barbaric to be sure, but insignificant compared to the starving to death of 2.5 million in Bengal alone as the price of free market economics.

    Likewise the US ruling elites use the holocaust and ‘anti-semitism’ as the cover for their interests, just as the war in Iraq was fought for ‘democracy’. So it is good to know that some US Jews and hopefully more as time goes by are distancing themselves from Israel and Zionism. But we are not living in the separate communities of feudalism behind ghetto walls. Today there is no material basis for the separate existence of Jewish communities. It is a fact that Jewish communities nearly everywhere bar Germany (ironically) are declining as half their Jews ‘marry out’. This is a process of free choice not compulsion but Zionist and Orthodox leaders have compared the ‘lost’ souls of those who marry non-Jews to the victims of Hitler.

    But those with a sense of history will recall that Zionism was first and foremost a Christian Evangelical cause. It was the Lords Shaftesbury and Palmerstone, Disraeli and Ernest Laharanne (Napoleon III Secretary) and an assorted group of anti-Semites who were most in favour of Zionism. When Herzl wrote his ‘Judenstaat’ he took his pamphlet round to Eduard Drumont, editor of the anti-Semitic paper ‘La Libre Parole’ and an MP for Algiers. Drumont was the foremost anti-Semite and anti-Dreyfusard which gives the lie to the fairy story that Herzl was motivated by the injustice to Capt. Dreyfuss.

    Yes Israeli Jews are destined to part company with the rest of world Jewry. Their interests are different, especially American Jews. But they cannot form a nation of their own as the only reason for so doing would be to separate from Palestinian Arabs. Their fate is that of white South Africans which is to form one nation with those they have oppressed. True there will be 2 languages and culture and it is also the case, as with South Africa, that Israeli Jews will be more prosperous. And unlike South Africa there is already rough demographic parity between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. But the only solution which won’t entrench existing racist privilege is a single nation on the common territory of Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river.

    • patm
      December 9, 2011, 3:26 pm

      Tony Greenstein, welcome aboard. There was one member of the 1817 war cabinet who refused to sign the Balfour Declaration, the Jew Edwin Montagu. Here are his reasons:

      Memorandum of Edwin Montagu on the Anti-Semitism of the Present (British) Government – Submitted to the British Cabinet, 23 August 1917

      “I have chosen the above title for this memorandum, not in any hostile sense, not by any means as quarrelling with an anti-Semitic view which may be held by my colleagues, not with a desire to deny that anti-Semitism can be held by rational men, not even with a view to suggesting that the Government is deliberately anti-Semitic; but I wish to place on record my view that the policy of His Majesty’s Government is anti-Semitic in result will prove a rallying ground for Anti-Semites in every country in the world.

      This view is prompted by the receipt yesterday of a correspondence between Lord Rothschild and Mr. Balfour.

      Lord Rothschild’s letter is dated the 18th July and Mr. Balfour’s answer is to be dated August 1917. I fear that my protest comes too late, and it may well be that the Government were practically committed when Lord Rothschild wrote and before I became a member of the Government, for there has obviously been some correspondence or conversation before this letter. But I do feel that as the one Jewish Minister in the Government I may be allowed by my colleagues an opportunity of expressing views which may be peculiar to myself, but which I hold very strongly and which I must ask permission to express when opportunity affords.

      I believe most firmly that this war has been a death-blow to Internationalism, and that it has proved an opportunity for a renewal of the slackening sense of Nationality, for it is has not only been tacitly agreed by most statesmen in most countries that the redistribution of territory resulting from the war should be more or less on national grounds, but we have learned to realise that our country stands for principles, for aims, for civilisation which no other country stands for in the same degree, and that in the future, whatever may have been the case in the past, we must live and fight in peace and in war for those aims and aspirations, and so equip and regulate our lives and industries as to be ready whenever and if ever we are challenged. To take one instance, the science of Political Economy, which in its purity knows no Nationalism, will hereafter be tempered and viewed in the light of this national need of defence and security. The war has indeed justified patriotism as the prime motive of political thought.

      It is in this atmosphere that the Government proposes to endorse the formation of a new nation with a new home in Palestine. This nation will presumably be formed of Jewish Russians, Jewish Englishmen, Jewish Roumanians, Jewish Bulgarians, and Jewish citizens of all nations – survivors or relations of those who have fought or laid down their lives for the different countries which I have mentioned, at a time when the three years that they have lived through have united their outlook and thought more closely than ever with the countries of which they are citizens.

      Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to b! e inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the “national home of the Jewish people”. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.

      I lay down with emphasis four principles:

      1. I assert that there is not a Jewish nation. The members of my family, for instance, who have been in this country for generations, have no sort or kind of community of view or of desire with any Jewish family in any other country beyond the fact that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion. It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation: of the same race, perhaps, traced back through the centuries – through centuries of the history of a peculiarly adaptable race. The Prime Minister and M. Briand are, I suppose, related through the ages, one as a Welshman and the other as a Breton, but they certainly do not belong to the same nation.

      2. When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn from all quarters of the globe, speaking every language on the face of the earth, and incapable of communicating with one another except by means of an interpreter. I have always understood that this was the consequence of the building of the Tower of Babel, if ever it was built, and I certainly do not dissent from the view, commonly held, as I have always understood, by the Jews before Zionism was invented, that to bring the Jews back to form a nation in the country from which they were dispersed would require Divine leadership. I have never heard it suggested, even by their most fervent admirers, that either Mr. Balfour or Lord Rothschild would prove to be the Messiah.

      I claim that the lives that British Jews have led, that the aims that they have had before them, that the part that they have played in our public life and our public institutions, have entitled them to be regarded, not as British Jews, but as Jewish Britons. I would willingly disfranchise every Zionist. I would be almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal and against the national interest. But I would ask of a British Government sufficient tolerance to refuse a conclusion which makes aliens and foreigners by implication, if not at once by law, of all their Jewish fellow-citizens.

      3. I deny that Palestine is to-day associated with the Jews or properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in. The Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so it does in modern Mahommendan history, and, after the time of the Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in Christian history. The Temple may have been in Palestine, but so was the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion. I would not deny to Jews in Palestine equal rights to colonisation with those who profess other religions, but a religious test of citizenship seems to me to be the only admitted by those who take a bigoted and narrow view of one particular epoch of the history of Palestine, and claim for the Jews a position to which they! are not entitled.

      If my memory serves me right, there are three times as many Jews in the world as could possible get into Palestine if you drove out all the population that remains there now. So that only one-third will get back at the most, and what will happen to the remainder?

      4. I can easily understand the editors of the Morning Post and of the New Witness being Zionists, and I am not in the least surprised that the non-Jews of England may welcome this policy. I have always recognised the unpopularity, much greater than some people think, of my community. We have obtained a far greater share of this country’s goods and opportunities than we are numerically entitled to. We reach on the whole maturity earlier, and therefore with people of our own age we compete unfairly. Many of us have been exclusive in our friendships and intolerant in our attitude, and I can easily understand that many a non-Jew in England wants to get rid of us. But just as there is no community of thought and mode of life among Christian Englishmen, so there is not among Jewish Englishmen. More and more we are edu! cated in public schools and at the Universities, and take our part in the politics, in the Army, in the Civil Service, of our country. And I am glad to think that the prejudices against inter-marriage are breaking down. But when the Jew has a national home, surely it follows that the impetus to deprive us of the rights of British citizenship must be enormously increased. Palestine will become the world’s Ghetto. Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights? His national home is Palestine. Why does Lord Rothschild attach so much importance to the difference between British and foreign Jews? All Jews will be foreign Jews, inhabitants of the great country of Palestine.

      I do not know how the fortunate third will be chosen, but the Jew will have the choice, whatever country he belongs to, whatever country he loves, whatever country he regards himself as an integral part of, between going to live with people who are foreigners to him, but to whom his Christian fellow-countrymen have told him he shall belong, and of remaining as an unwelcome guest in the country that he thought he belonged to.

      I am not surprised that the Government should take this step after the formation of a Jewish Regiment, and I am waiting to learn that my brother, who has been wounded in the Naval Division, or my nephew, who is in the Grenadier Guards, will be forced by public opinion or by Army regulations to become an officer in a regiment which will mainly be composed of people who will not understand the only language which he speaks – English. I can well understand that when it was decided, and quite rightly, to force foreign Jews in this country to serve in the Army, it was difficult to put them in British regiments because of the language difficulty, but that was because they were foreigners, and not because they were Jews, and a Foreign Legion would seem to me to have been the right thing to establish. A Jewish Legion makes the position of Jews in other regiments more difficult and forces a nationality upon people who have nothing in common.

      I feel that the Government are asked to be the instrument for carrying out the wishes of a Zionist organisation largely run, as my information goes, at any rate in the past, by men of enemy descent or birth, and by this means have dealt a severe blow to the liberties, position and opportunities of service of their Jewish fellow-countrymen.

      I would say to Lord Rothschild that the Government will be prepared to do everything in their power to obtain for Jews in Palestine complete liberty of settlement and life on an equality with the inhabitants of that country who profess other religious beliefs. I would ask that the Government should go no further.

      E.S.M.”

  26. jayn0t
    December 8, 2011, 7:52 pm

    “A feeling has taken root deep in the American Jewish community that Israel is hurting us, hurting our standing in the world and our future” – Philip Weiss

    If this were true, we would expect, not just a few Jews, but the ‘American Jewish community’ to put boycotting Israel at the center of its political activities. It would continue to support the liberal causes it has always supported, but the struggle against apartheid would become paramount among them. I think we have a testable hypothesis.

  27. patm
    December 9, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Forgive me, that date at the top should of course be 1917.

  28. eugnid
    December 9, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Mosr Diaspora Jews are loyal citizens of their native nations. More Israelis are emigrating than Diasporics immigrating. As a result, the radical Zionists are desperately fomenting anti-Semitism in the Diaspora because they deeply believe that without TOTAL Jewish aliyah, Israel can neither expand to “Greater Israel”– far “greater” than what it is now– nor survive. Zionism is an idea that needs serious and responsible discussion, not slanderous “self-hating Jew” insults such as non-Zionists confront at the hands of secular neocons whom themselves live in the West, not in Israel. The “DUAL” passports of Israeli leaders is quite worrisome from the point of view of most Israelis with no where else to go but the Israel homeland where they were born. Dialogue now is the only solution unless Zionists seek to turn Diaspora Jews against Israel.

    • john h
      December 10, 2011, 1:57 am

      More Israelis are emigrating than Diasporics immigrating.

      Can you cite any sources to support that?

      Even if true, it appears that the population of Israel is still growing, and slightly faster than is the diaspora. So what is the problem?

  29. jayn0t
    December 9, 2011, 10:52 pm

    Tony Greenstein says “Israel is the guard dog and protector of western interests in an area that is vital strategically. It is a stable settler-colonial state and the $3 billion it receives is cheap at the price. And it has fractured Arab politics”.

    Well, of course it’s fractured Arab politics. But why is it in ‘western interests’ to defend Jewish politics against Arab politics? It isn’t. Yes, the oil-rich Middle East is ‘vital strategically’. But Israel does not ‘help the strategic interests’ of the USA and the European Union. This is the lie of the century, defended by Zionists left and right.

    Greenstein says Israel is a ‘settler-colonial state’. But the evil racist West has ditched most of those kind of states, like Rhodesia and South Africa. So why does it still defend the one remaining ‘settler-colonial state’? Oh, because “Zionism was first and foremost a Christian Evangelical cause”.

    Give us a break. Zionism is Jewish supremacy. It’s the only kind of racial supremacy still defended by the Western countries. The left-Zionists who deny it would be accomplices of the current Zionist war drive, were it not so transparently obvious.

    • Mooser
      December 11, 2011, 3:31 pm

      “Give us a break. Zionism is Jewish supremacy.”

      I think Tony Greenstein was pointing out the ways in which Zionism’s Jewish supremacy was useful and usable to non-Jews with political designs in the ME.

      • jayn0t
        December 17, 2011, 7:41 pm

        Mooser’s phrase ‘pointing out the ways’ implies that Greenstein points to something, and surreptitiously insinuates that it is true. But Greenstein goes further. “Zionism was first and foremost a Christian Evangelical cause”. “Israel is the guard dog and protector of western interests”. “It is a stable settler-colonial state and the $3 billion it receives is cheap at the price”. These lies, along with emotional blackmail and political correctness, defended by left Zionists, in decreasing order of consciousness, from Chomsky to Zunes to Greenstein, keep the left weak on Zionism.

        Crypto-Zionists NEVER use the term ‘Jewish supremacy’. Their purpose is to claim that Western and Zionist interests coincide. They carry out the same task on the left as people like Newt Gingrich carry out on the right. In contrast, those who wish to defeat apartheid have to ‘point out’ the complete conflict of interests between the West and Jewish supremacy.

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