Beinart and the crisis of liberal Zionism

Beinart
Beinart

In April this year Peter Beinart is scheduled to publish a book called The Crisis of Liberal Zionism, a book that originated in a 2010 article in the NY Review of Books slamming the American Jewish establishment for blind support of Israel.

Because Beinart has intellectual honesty– and his publisher could use a bombshell– I’ve wondered if he isn’t planning to extend his 2010 argument by coming out for democracy for everyone in a country halfway around the world from us, Palestinians and Jews. I was encouraged last month after Beinart’s appearance at the Jewish Federations annual assembly, where he said honestly that there is only one state right now between the river and the sea, and for Israel truly to be a democracy, it must extend citizenship to everyone who lives there–”complete equality of social and political rights.” Here are excerpts:

The Palestinians of the West Bank have been under Israeli sovereignty since 1967. So to my mind that makes them, whether we like it or not, till we have a Palestinian state, Israelis. There is only one state that has sovereignty and dominion over their lives. They’re not Israeli citizens, but Israel is the state that controls much of their lives…

[The] delegitimization of Israel will rise in  direct proportion to the degree that people believe that Israel is no longer living up to its own founding principles. If Israel can become again a country that offers citizenship to everyone in its borders, irrespective of race, religion, sex annd ethnicity, it will not need PR firms.

When I say Israel, I mean all the territory under Israeli domain. Some parts of which I wish were not under Israeli sovereignty. That is Israel. The people there might not be Israeli citizens, but that’s Israel. We have to take ownership of the fact that until a Palestinian state is created, that’s Israel…

I’ve interpreted these statements as meaning that Beinart is calling for voting rights for Palestinians in the West Bank– in this post, for instance. But after I published that, Beinart tweeted that I’m wrong:

Fair enough. Beinart, who used to give private sessions to AIPAC audiences, and who employs a word (Pals) that offends some Palestinians, has always said that he’s a Zionist. “I believe in Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state,” he said in the Federations talk I trumpeted. This is a man who puts an Israeli flag in his kids’ room.

Still: color me confused. 

The “belief” in Israel as a Jewish and democratic state can more properly be described as blind faith given the fact that for 45 years Israel has controlled the lives of millions of people who don’t have a right to vote. Israel’s military induction policy is more racist than our army’s induction policy of World War II. Israel’s governing coalitions are as racist as the Jim Crow south. The utter dissonance between Jewish governance and democracy is truly the “crisis of liberal Zionism.”

Again, though, this is not some fresh crisis. Hannah Arendt pointed this out in 1948 when Israel was founded in violence against Arabs. The Palestinian crisis has been continual since the Nakba. Today Palestinians under occupation are rightsless, while Palestinians in Israel say they are second-class citizens. 

If he hopes to maintain his reputation for intellectual honesty, and speak to a wider audience than Jews whose blood runs blue and white, Beinart has a responsibility to explain: When is the Palestinian crisis going to end? What real likelihood is there of creating a viable Palestinian state, after 21 years of a sham peace process, and following a year in which Israel broke all records for settlement expansion? 

How long should the Tamimi family–whose son Mustafa was killed merely for insisting that his village should have access to its only well– have to wait for privileged American Zionists to work out their views of Israeli borders and constitution?

This is the problem inherent in Beinart’s project. He has set out to resolve the contradictions between Jewish and democratic, sort of like a Soviet propagandist trying to resolve the contradictions between Communism and freedom in the 1980s. Given what Israel has become, you cannot resolve these contradictions. And so Beinart has made a choice: Jewish over democratic.

(Jeffrey Goldberg has echoed Beinart, saying that “we’re only a few years away, at most, from a total South-Africanization of this issue.” So he too gives himself an open window of years in which to perform mental exercises for an American audience as the occupation marches on.)

Update. A reader has pointed me to Beinart’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, the drill sergeant of American Zionist orthodoxy, after Beinart was reported to have slept through reveille and not kept his uniform ironed in that 2010 article. Emphasis mine. Ouch.

PB: I’m not asking Israel to be Utopian. I’m not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state. What I am asking is that Israel not do things that foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, because if it is does that it will become–and I’m quoting Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak here–an “apartheid state.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East | Tagged

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

  1. seafoid says:

    I saw that Beinart Jewish federations appearance on video and he comes across as having a problem akin to that of a gay activist who can’t come around to telling his family that he is homosexual . He says he’s a Zionist but he knows himself that the extremists have destroyed the project.

  2. Dan Crowther says:

    My main man brother Phil for the Win!!

    Beinarts lil tweet got my man riled up!! ha. And I should say, this is gets right to the heart of the matter: Liberal Zionists think we all are stupid. They think we don’t know what is going on and can’t comprehend the complexity of the issue, therefore we need the high priests of liberal zionism to explain things to us. It’s gotten to the point now where they are telling Phil Weiss he can’t read english. How much more of this do we have to take, eh Phil? ha. my man…

  3. American says:

    “How long should the Tamimi family–whose son Mustafa was killed merely for insisting that his village should have access to its only well– have to wait for privileged American Zionists to work out their views of Israeli borders and constitution?”

    Yup…….the example of Mustafa says all that needs to be said about US zionist and US politicians support of Israel. I can’t think of anything bad enough to say about them I haven’t already said.

  4. Les says:

    When push comes to shove Beinart, is a supporter of the newly created and promoted state created by our media called USrael.

  5. Censored again.

    I thank Peter for clarifying that the meaning of his presentation is NOT what Phil summarized, as I brought to his attention in the original posts.

    Peter is definitively a liberal Zionist. He values BOTH values of that formula, Jewish AND democratic, and probably more the democratic.

    I am attempting to arrange a speaking engagement for Peter in Amherst, MA associated with the release of his book. I invite Phil, Adam, other mondoweiss editors, writers, readers, commentators, to come up this way and we can discuss (hopefully) face to face.

    From what I’ve read about the book, it does include commentary on the crisis of Zionism from a few perspectives, relative to American Jewry (particularly youth), relative to internal Israeli/Palestinian relations, relative to BDS and international relations.

    Peter is an excellent writer, very clearly articulating tensions, some inherent tensions, some policy related.

    I’m sorry that Phil is so angry about Peter’s clarifications.

    • Donald says:

      Compare and contrast. Here’s Richard talking about Peter Beinart–

      “Peter is definitively a liberal Zionist. He values BOTH values of that formula, Jewish AND democratic, and probably more the democratic.”

      And here his Peter Beinart in the interview Phil quotes above–

      “I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state.”

      • snowdrift says:

        Shorter Beinart: “When it comes to my tribe, anything goes!” At least he’s being honest. Liberal principles are nice and all but when it comes to Israel let’s not get carried away now. So once again, under all the liberal Zionist contortions and heartwrenching personal questioning it all boils down to: be a little nicer to the Palestinians because you’re making my double life as liberal by day, supremacist by night that much harder.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “Peter is definitively a liberal Zionist. He values BOTH values of that formula, Jewish AND democratic, and probably more the democratic.”

      “probably more the democratic”??? Richard, do you actually believe what you write or do think that the rest of us are stupid?

      Beinart recognizes that Israel has had control over their lives for 44 years, but that they have no say in that government, and yet is not calling for them to have a say in that government, and you think that he is more about the democracy than the Zionism?

      Someone valued democracy more than Zionism would conclude that the right of everyone to have a say in the government which controls their lives was paramount, as that is the essence of the democratic ideal. Since it is paramount, it would take precident over the ideals of Zionsim. That person could favor either an immediate withdraw from Palestine by the Israelis or one-person, one-vote for everyone in the land.

      In fact, the only situation which a person who valued democracy more than Zionsim could not stomach is the status quo. However, someone who valued Zionism more that democracy could stomach the status quo, because, to him, the value in the Jews having a state is paramount over the value in everyone having a say in their government, without regard to ethnicity, etc.

      Beinart stomaches the status quo. Uncomfortably, perhaps, but he does it.

      And the update really clenches it, don’t you think Richard?? I mean, he is clearly saying, “democracy and human rights be damned if Zionism is threatened.” How can you say “probably more the democratic” in the face of that???

      • Yes,
        Peter values democracy, in spite of Phil’s and Donald’s repetition of the quote taken out of context.

        Have you read him?

        Its a dilemma IF war occurs. The point is to prevent that either/or, rather than urge it.

        Will those that criticize Israel go so far as to actively fight for its loss, for its destruction? How about the US if it turns out that the US contains corruption, even is mostly corrupt?

        Phil for example.

        Are you willing to war? Are you eager to war? I’m not. I’m eager to prevent war.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Your spinning. I did not say that Beinart doesn’t “value democracy.” I took issue with your position that he favors democracy over Zionism. That is simply not supportable, given his positions, as he has stated them. I have read him and one thing that comes across is the fact that he is willing to entertain a huge exception in his mind, when it comes to democracy. That is the problem. If one believes in it, then he must follow that belief to where it leads or admit that he does not, in fact, believe in democracy. Because “I believe in democracy, except where it is inconvenient for people who share my ethnicity in dealing with those who are of different ethnicities” is self-deception. That is what Beinart (and most liberal Zionists, so-called) demonstrate.

        • I’m sure that in the #and# construction of Jewish #AND# democratic, he highly values the democratic.

          Its only an either/or in war, not in peace. In peace, it is a tension between two simultaneious values/characteristics.

          Is this another good person that is being trashed here? Phil?

        • eljay says:

          >> Peter values democracy, in spite of Phil’s and Donald’s repetition of the quote taken out of context.

          The quote is not taken out of context. Beinart advocates for the creation of a Palestinian state so that Israel:
          - will not become an “apartheid state”; and
          - will remain, as is Beinart’s (and RW’s) preference, a religion-supremacist “Jewish state” with preferential rights for Jews within Israel (a permanent-majority status for Jewish Israelis) and without Israel (a right of “return” for non-Israeli Jews).

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Witty and “liberal zionists” like Beinart are playing the role of the soviet officials who put more time on the clock after the US had beat the USSR for the gold medal in basketbal in 1972… we’ll just keep playing until the game ends the way they want it to….

        • I expect that he values the creation of a Palestinian state so that Palestinians have the opportunity to self-govern.

        • libra says:

          RW: “Are you willing to war? Are you eager to war? I’m not. I’m eager to prevent war.”

          Richard, please remind us how you wish to prevent war with Iran?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I’m sure that in the #and# construction of Jewish #AND# democratic, he highly values the democratic.”

          That’s not the issue. This issue is that you said that he favors the democratic. However, by his own words he refutes that assertion. Are you conceding that you were wrong?

          “Its only an either/or in war, not in peace. In peace, it is a tension between two simultaneious values/characteristics.”

          War or peace, the Palestinians have still no say in the government that controls their lives. You and Beinart may have the luxury of examining your tension, but it will still not change the fact that you both — two Americans — could fairly easily have a say in the next election to determine who controls the lives of millions of Palestinians, whereas they are subject to that Zionist decision-making, with no say, no matter what they do.

          I would suggest that anyone who would stomach that status quo does not really “highly value democracy,” at least when it conflicts with something else. In this case, Beinart’s own words show that he values Zionism more than he values democracy. I’m not saying he’s evil for that; I’m just saying that that’s what it is. You want to fool yourself? Go ahead, but no one else is fooled.

          “Is this another good person that is being trashed here? Phil?”

          Who’s being trashed? Beinart’s opinions are what they are. It’s not trashing him to point out the implications of his statements and his views.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I expect that he values the creation of a Palestinian state so that Palestinians have the opportunity to self-govern.”

          So what? The “Palestinian state to self-govern” stuff is a Zionist issue, not a democratic one. A democrat would not excuse present-day deprivation of self-governance for some proposed pie-in-the-sky promise, designed to protect the Zionist project. (If might be a different story if Israel was offering full soverignty NOW on the 1967 border. Since it are not, the idea is not a democratic-value one, but a Zionist-value one.)

        • Shingo says:

           Peter values democracy, in spite of Phil’s and Donald’s repetition of the quote taken out of context.

          His quote is self explanatory. He values democracy, but only to a point. He certainly does not value it more than Zionism, do you are wrong – as usual.

          Its a dilemma IF war occurs. The point is to prevent that either/or, rather than urge it..

          No mention if war is made by him. His reference to security is clearly referring to Israel’s Jewish majority.

          You’re making up shit again Witty.

          As he clearly said in his own words, he is perfectly willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state”.

          End if story.

        • Shingo says:

          I’m sure that in the #and# construction of Jewish #AND# democratic, he highly values the democratic.

          You’ve been caught in yet another one of your lies Witty. You originally argued that he valued democracy MORE than Zionism. Now you’re retreating to the position that he blues them both – which does not prove he values democracy more.

          Its only an either/or in war, not in peace.

          Except when it comes to Israel, in which case it’s also an either/or when it comes to Jewish supremacy.

        • Shingo says:

          I expect that he values the creation of a Palestinian state so that Palestinians have the opportunity to self-govern.

          In his next comment, Witty wil change that from “I expect”, to “I hope”.

        • libra says:

          RW: “Is this another good person that is being trashed here? Phil?”

          Richard, let’s face it. Recently, for whatever reason, Phil’s been knocking down the giants of “liberal Zionism”. Perhaps, as you suggest, it’s the inherent tension of balancing Jewish #AND# democratic; the difficulty of maintaining a point of equilibrium. Just one little push and over they go, like those statues on Easter Island.

          Soon you’ll be the only one left standing. Forlorn.

        • Actually, Phil will be left alone.

          He’ll have your company.

        • RoHa says:

          “I expect that he values the creation of a Palestinian state so that Palestinians have the opportunity to self-govern.”

          If the Palestinians were given equal rights to Jews in a single state, they would be able to vote and run for office. They would have the opportunity to self-govern then, too.

        • eljay says:

          >> Actually, Phil will be left alone. He’ll have your company.

          Companionship is the best kind of solitude.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “The statement above is wrong because it leads to ridiculous conclusions.”

          That is a fallacy. The fact that a statement lead to conclusions that you a priori judge to be ridiculous is not conclusive of — or even significant evidence of — the truth of the statement. One might reject the descriptions of quantum physics because they lead to ridiculous conclusions, but they are nevertheless true.

          “If the above sentence is right the following is right also:
          People who are democrats would never support dictatorships.

          However, if that sentence is true, there are not many democrats in the world. ”

          Your example is a non-sequitur because it assumes that these self-proclamed democrats, who are supporting dictatorships, are, in fact, democrats. It very well may be that there are not very many democrats in the world. The fact that you are discomforted by that notion is irrelevant to whether it is true.

          “In short, democracy is one value among many that we juggle in our daily life. Because some other value may trump it in some cases, does not mean we do not believe in democracy.”

          No one said anything about Beinart not “believ[ing] in democracy.” The crux of the matter is this: You’ve wrenched out one portion of a larger discussion between Witty and me, tore it from its context, and presented it as a stand-alone proposition. If you go back and read carefully, the entire discussion — of which my statement that you quoted is just one part — is about which value Beinart valued more, the democratic or the Jewish/Zionist.

          Witty argued that it was “probably more the democratic” and my statement that someone who was willing to endure three generations of an insult to democracy in exchange for fanciful promises from known liars, like “Israel” may value both, but he does not value democracy more.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “It is clear that by ‘ridiculous’ I mean false.”

          No, it isn’t. In fact, why would it? “Ridiculous” does not mean false. At least in English. In your native language, perhaps “ridiculous” and “false” are synonyms.

          “Again, your extremism shows in your urge to define who is a democrat in such a narrow way.”

          False. You appear to have a reading and/or thinking problem. My statement was not made to “urge” any definition, but to demonstrate why your nonsensical statement was a non-sequitur. I understand they probably don’t engage in complex thinking in the I”D”F, because you have to spend so much time destroying children’s lives and terrorizing old women, so you probably don’t have much experience with it, but suffice it to say that offering a possibility to demonstrate a logical fallacy does not require one to accept that possibility as reality.

          “RW is so obviously right in this case that it beggars belief you would argue against him.”

          No, Witty is wrong and so are you. The question isn’t whether Beinart doesn’t value democracy. The only issue is whether he values Zionism more than he values democracy, and he’s pretty much flat out said that he would permit the value he holds for Zionism to trump whatever value he holds democracy. That is the entirety of the conversation.

          “Beinart did not choose to grew up Jewish in a Jewish family. He cannot but feel responsible for the fate of the millions of Jews in Israel and that is why he is a Zionist as most Jews are.”

          Yes, he could. he could very much decide that the evil nonsense you fuckers do to the people from whom you stole the land should trump any feelings he could have to you as co-religionists. That he does not simply demonstrates a deficiency of character, nothing more.

          “On the other hand, he made a choice to be a liberal.”

          And in that choice, he could have chosen to apply his liberal ideas to Israel, but chooses not to. Which means that he values that Jewish identity and Zionist ideas more than he does the value to which he hold democracy. Which is all I am arguing.

          “To help you understand: You do not choose to love your parents or family, but you do choose your political orientation.”

          First, the implied notion that one’s views for your shithole Zionist state is like “loving your parents” may be the most vomit-inducing thing you’ve ever said, and you’ve said quite a few. Second, to help you understand, I have no doubt that, if asked Beinart would say that he values both. But he’s also said, and his statements make clear, that he favors his Zionist values more than his democratic ones.

          Witty, because he is in denial about the fact that his liberal values are in unavoidable conflict with his Zionist values, does not understand that the rest of us (except, apparently, you) are not blind to the conflict as he is.

        • Donald says:

          “Peter values democracy, in spite of Phil’s and Donald’s repetition of the quote taken out of context.”

          It wasn’t taken out of context. The meaning is clear and if you read the interview (which I have), the context doesn’t change its meaning. You do this a lot, Richard. Faced with evidence that falsifies one of your claims you just flatly deny the evidence, as though your mere assertion about context constitutes a rebuttal. Peter values democracy, but he values Israel’s status as a Jewish state more. This isn’t hard to follow.

        • Again,
          You’ll have to ask him which he values more. I’m sure that he would give the question serious attention.

          From everything that I’ve read, he seems to hold a similar balance to my emphasis, which in the balance is for more emphasis on democracy than on Jewish nationalism, though neither are renouncable for Israel to remain Israel.

          Phil states that he is confused, but expresses anger at it.

          I get his anger and his confusion, both on the content and on the relationship.

          I’ve accused Phil of USING Beinart, Goldstone, others. Before his initiation into solidarity, Bennie Morris was used by Palestinian solidarity, and is now hated for their disloyalty to the cause.

          Hated more than if they had not appeared to be advocates of the ‘Israel should disappear’ theme.

          Its a wierd construction, a common one in political solidarity, in fighting “wars” of ideas, rather than understanding and accepting the other, rather than organizing even big tents to make substantive electoral change.

          Its constructed by the marking of red lines that other concepts must be consistent with, and by the reminder to conform to solidarity by those that are ‘really fighting the fight’.

          The question of primary references is a valid intellectual discussion. The question of conformity to a political correctness, even slightly, is a renunciation of one’s intellectual independence, one’s intellectual honesty.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          If the Palestinians were given equal rights to Jews in a single state, they would be able to vote and run for office. They would have the opportunity to self-govern then, too.

          Palestinians in Israel do have equal rights and they do vote and run for office. If you’re talking about non-Israeli Palestinians though, what would be the point in trying to force them into a single bi-national state? What advantages could be gained over the widely accepted two state plan? And if we were to make Palestine into an annex of an existing state then why would Israel be anywhere close to the first choice over a place like Jordan? Is this a plan born of hope for the future or from a desire to punish Israel and reallocate its resources?

        • Shingo says:

          Palestinians in Israel do have equal rights and they do vote and run for office.

          This rubbish has been completely debunked Shaktimaan,

          Palestiniasn do not have equal right and the political parties are banned from forming coalitions.

          What advantages could be gained over the widely accepted two state plan?

          There is no two state plan and while some have endorsed it, it is not widely accepted at all.

          And if we were to make Palestine into an annex of an existing state then why would Israel be anywhere close to the first choice over a place like Jordan?

          Maybe becasue Jordan is not home to any of the Palestinians in question.

          Is this a plan born of hope for the future or from a desire to punish Israel and reallocate its resources?

          Yuo meran the resources it stole right?

        • Cliff says:

          Shank, the ‘widely’ supported 2ss is rejected by Israel.

          Israel continues settlement building and rejects the continued concessions of the PA negotiators. See: the Palestine Papers.

          I also quoted Dr. Ben-Ami in his debate w/ Norman Finkelstein.

          I don’t know why but mystery moderators at MW might have DailyKos’d it. Not sure why, all I did was quote Ben-Ami and NF…

          But anyways, the point is that the 2ss is dead. Not because of Palestinian intransigence (LOL) but because of Israeli desire to eat the pie while negotiating over the crumbs.

          No amount of your verbal diarrhea and constant commenting on the commenting (LOL) is going to change these uncontroversial facts.

        • Citizen says:

          Shaktimaan, Palestinians in Israel do not have equal rights, and they are always excluded when governing coalitions are formed . In this sense, Israel today is like the 1964 Jim Crow South in USA. Further, Israel’s legal system does not afford Palestinians equal rights as they are known and effected in the USA or anywhere in the Western World.
          link to mondoweiss.net

          Palestinians in the OT are basically prisoners.

        • Citizen says:

          Zionism has always required a Jewish majority population from its theoretical inception, whether in a “homeland” within a geographical area, or as a full-fledged state. The logic of all Jewish action in establishing this goal since the later 19th Century to the present day is the aging face of Israel, the factual state born in 1948. Israeli settler activity is the Zionist’s most directly extended means to make Israel ever more sufficiently defensible from attack from the outside. In short, from the Zionist POV, the Palestinian people are simply in the way. Nothing will change this set Israeli POV. Diaspora Jews are regarded, hence, as being “with us, or against us.” Gentiles, from this POV, are also “in the way” if they don’t support whatever Israel decides to do at any given time; moreover, Gentiles are born as the ideological opponent of Israel, and are always suspect.

    • Shingo says:

       I’m sorry that Phil is so angry about Peter’s clarifications.

      I’m sorry that you are so illiterate.

      Peter is definitively a liberal Zionist.

      Yes, especially given his explanation of what it means to be a liberal Zionist

       ”I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state”.

      Which is a perfect description of you also Witty.  In fact, not only are you both perfectly willing to compromise your liberal values for Israel, you are more than happy to reject democracy.

    • Hostage says:

      Peter is definitively a liberal Zionist. He values BOTH values of that formula, Jewish AND democratic, and probably more the democratic.

      Obviously not, based upon this portion of the Phil’s update: I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state.

      You see, the liberal Zionist founders were forced to mention democracy and equal rights in a declaration to the UN, so they jury-rigged one into the announcement regarding the establishment of their all singing, all dancing Jewish State. They’ve been paying lip service to the close inter-relatedness of those two completely incompatible declarations ever since. It isn’t fooling most people anymore, much less those of us who are familiar with the deliberations and arm twisting that went on behind the scenes regarding the wording of the Zionist proclamation and its utter lack of values.

      Ben Gurion assured the members of the People’s Council voting on the draft declaration on 14 May 1948 that it was not a constitution or part of the the law of the land – this despite the fact that the UN had stipulated exactly the opposite. The provisions of the declaration were supposed to be fundamental law and have constitutional authority that would prevail over any conflicting statute or regulation – until such time as they had been incorporated into the constitution itself. Ben Gurion did not permit any debate or a vote on proposed amendments regarding freedom of the press and freedom of assembly or any statements in opposition. He suggested that those issues would be addressed in the future:

      “This is not a constitution. There will be a separate constitution, and none of us disagrees with freedom of speech, assembly, and etc. We have put in the basic phrases demanded by the UN, and I am sure that they, and more will be included in the law of the land. — Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, printed page 53″

      The religious parties have always prevented the adoption of a constitutionally entrenched right of equality for the citizens. During the First Sitting of the Provisional Government on 16 May, Rabbi Kahane (Aguda) spoke out against a proposal for the inclusion of a provision regarding the separation of religion and state in the transitional laws and ordinances of the new state. He was appointed to serve on a 5 person committee tasked with formulating the proposed ordinance. During the same session, D. Lowenstein (Aguda) complained:

      “The secular form and content of the Declaration, which functions as the basic Charter of the State of Israel, has deeply wounded my feelings and those of all religious Jews. It ignores our exclusive right to the Land of Israel . . .” See Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981: People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, JCPA/University Press of America, 1993, page 76

      I’m sorry that Phil is so angry about Peter’s clarifications.

      Well I’m glad that Peter’s clarifications spared all of us a trip to Amherst, MA just to listen to another example of Zionist dissimulation and self-deceit.

      • Somehow you regard the Israeli declaration of independence as only a snow-job, not fundamental formative principles?

        • Hostage says:

          Somehow you regard the Israeli declaration of independence as only a snow-job, not fundamental formative principles?

          Somehow? Here we go again. These lying bastards explicitly cited the declaration and stated during the hearings on Israel’s membership in the UN that it had been promulgated as a fundamental law of the State of Israel as required by the General Assembly’s resolution and customary international law.

          *During the 48th session of the Ad Hoc Political Committee that was considering Israel’s application for membership, the representative of Cuba asked if Israel had supplied the required declaration? He noted that the rights were under United Nations guarantee. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48 Mr Abba Eban said he could answer in the affirmative and needed a little time to produce the documents, but said that a declaration had been made by the Foreign Minister to the Secretary General on 15 May 1948.

          *At the 51st session Mr Eban said that the rights stipulated in section C. Declaration, chapters 1 and 2 of UN resolution 181(II) had been constitutionally embodied as the fundamental law of the state of Israel as required by the resolution when the Declaration of Independence had been promulgated as law in the official gazette. See The Palestine Question, Henry Cattan, page 86-87 and the verbatim UN record, A/AC.24/SR.51
          Mr. Eban’s explanations and Israel’s acknowledgment of those undertakings were specifically noted in the text and footnotes of General Assembly Resolution 273 (III) “Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations”, 11 May 1949.

          FYI, Jews helped patent the idea of granting cessions of territory and recognition of sovereignty on the basis of a new government’s acceptance of minority treaties. At the Versailles Peace Conference the Supreme Council established “The Committee on New States and for The Protection of Minorities” and the the terms of the agreements were negotiated by Jewish leaders, like Lucien Wolf. Jews took part in the European Congress of National Minorities, like Jacob Robinson in Lithuania, who from 1922 to 1926 represented not only the Jews, but all minority groups. See for example Mr. Lucien Wolf’s Diary of Peace Conference Negotiations for Minority Treaties Bequeathed to Jewish link to archive.jta.org

          In 1932 the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on the basis of a recommendation of the Permanent Mandates Commission that termination of a mandate regime and recognition of independence would be based upon acceptance of a minority rights undertaking by the new governments in line with the longstanding norm of public international law.

          Jacob Robinson was a legal counsel for the Jewish Agency during the hearings on the partition plan and he served as a member of the UN delegation of the State of Israel. He was an advocate for the minority treaties and wrote many journal articles on the subject, but never mentioned the fact that the State of Israel was bound by an agreement or that it had refused to fulfill its obligations. So naturally, I consider the whole Jewish and democratic State shtick to be nothing but a snow-job.

        • They said it because they meant it.

          That you consider the declaration a “snow-job” says more about you than about Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          They said it because they meant it.

          Because everyone knows that Israelis mean what they say right?

          Israel subsidizes West Bank housing, breaking promise to U.S.
          link to haaretz.com

    • Richard Witty says:
      January 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Censored again.

      hi witty, my suggestion (if you feel you are being censored) would be either one of two options. 1) stop posting the first comment on a thread. 2) if you do, copy it somewhere else and save it. after a few people have posted try posting it again.

      ciao

      • Thats what Phil said.

        If you notice, I’ve not posted first since the “enemy” question a few days ago.

        Even before then, I was one out of twenty or so.

        In this case, I know of Peter’s work, and had something meaningful to contribute, and in some respects, Phil’s comments were directed at ones that I posed to him (though he might have ignored).

        Censorship is censorship, whether you allow my posts to not be seen, or seen 12 hours after submitted, or only after five initial posts.

        There are other ways to moderate, or even to mediate which is probably more effective. Mediation makes sense, and in that sense is not an esoteric learned skill but takes personal discipline and clear intention to do well which is learned.

        It is more of an art than just giving equal time, or going around in a circle, or than insulting a poster (especially an invited one).

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘More hot air above from me. Here are facts: I’ve made 11,662 comments here on Mondoweiss, and I have the nerve to accuse the site of “censorship.” I even used to promote my own site here regularly. I could post and comment to my heart’s content over there, but I haven’t put anything up since September 12, 2011. I guess no one was paying attention.
          ‘My jealousy at the attention Phil, Adam and others get here just jumps off the page. That explains why I’ve grown increasingly nasty. No longer do I encourage visitors to “humanize the other.”
          ‘What’s more, regular Mondoweiss visitors have noticed that I can become particularly condescending to women — whether we are talking about annie robbins, Lillian Rosengarten, or, more recently, MRE. What’s up with that?’

  6. pabelmont says:

    Let’s suppose Beinart really means (no crossed-fingers!) that Israel should be Jewish and democratic. If I had his ear, I’d then ask him this question:

    How big does this Israel you want have to be, or how small could it be as far as you are concerned? Is the return into Israel of Palestinian exiles from 1948 (or even just the so-called refugees, a smaller class) part of what you mean by “democratic”? Or is it Kosher for any country to expel and exclude people born there and having no other country or citizenship, but calling themselves “democracies”?

    • My own proposal would be 67 borders with the Jewish portions of the old city as Israel. (Or, if too close to mediate tensions – joint international/national)

      I would apply the rule of law as far as property title indefinitely, so that any property title that is contested by any objective individual basis, be permitted to be addressed in a color-blind court, with no time limit. If title is not perfect, its just not perfect, until compensation or other remedy to perfect title.

      For right of return, I would suggest that Israel allow any that were born within Israel to return, and conditional for any first generation descendants on the basis of desiring to be Israeli citizens.

      Any that held demonstrable title to land that is not currently occupied should be allowed to return, regardless of duration or number of generations.

      Ask Beinart for his impression, or Jerome Slater for that matter.

      I would also ask the question that Eljay asks me, of what “cracked eggs to make omelettes”, would you regard as legitimate vs illegitimate.

      The term “you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs” is attributed to Bennie Morris, in his description that he regarded the actions of Haganah, and even Irgun as legitimate in forced removal of Arabs from Israel in the warring effort to create a Jewish state.

      Its a difficult question for all Zionists that consider morality as an important component of their life. I would ask Jerome Slater his opinion.

      There is no convenient answer, short of just starting one’s thinking later.

      As there would be no convenient answer for Palestinians and pan-Arab community, should the result of 1948 been the removal of hundreds of thousands of Jewish residents.

      War.

      • eljay says:

        >> My own proposal …

        RW’s own proposals also include:
        - Maintaining Israel as a religion-supremacist “Jewish state” with a permanent-majority status for Jews: ” … I assertively support the right of Israelis to self-govern, and by Israelis I do mean a Jewish majority, comprising a site of self-governance for the Jewish people.”
        - A preferential right of “return” to non-Israeli Jews, but not to non-Israeli non-Jews.
        - A proposal to bureaucratically cleanse from their own country any non-Jewish Israelis whose demographic threatens the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis: “I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.”

        >> I would also ask the question that Eljay asks me, of what “cracked eggs to make omelettes”, would you regard as legitimate vs illegitimate.

        I have never asked RW about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of using cracked eggs to make omelettes.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “If title is not perfect, its just not perfect, until compensation or other remedy to perfect title.”

        The problem with this approach is simply that you favor the settlers. If the title is not perfect (and no title to any of the settlements can be perfected, as they were all done in defiance of international law against the acquisition of land by force), then the solution is to remove the person from the land, as title means nothign more than having a right to land. Since these people do not, they should move.

        What you are really saying (but apparently are unwilling to say) is that you think that, no matter what, the settlers must be permitted to stay, and the only issue is how much “compensation” the Palestinians would get.

        Again, there is nothing “liberal” and a lot of “Zionism” in that idea.

        • You think thats what equal due process under the law means?

          It means that the status of title is contested (imperfect), until by the magic of court-deliberation and remedy, title is changed to consented (perfected).

          Law works to protect residing civilians, that is true. I like that feature of law, that it protects and restores people, and in the best cases finds a kind way to do so.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You think thats what equal due process under the law means? ”

          Yes. If a person has no right to possession of a piece of property, he should be removed and the land restored to the party with title. That is due process.

          “It means that the status of title is contested (imperfect), until by the magic of court-deliberation and remedy, title is changed to consented (perfected).”

          Perfecting title can correct a defect in title, but the settler/colonialists have no title, nor even a viable claim to one. They took possession in defiance of known international law.

          “Law works to protect residing civilians, that is true.”

          No, it doesn’t. It works to protect those with the legal interest. If I steal your house and “reside” there as a civilian, the law will kick me out, as it should in every case.

          “that it protects and restores people, and in the best cases finds a kind way to do so.”

          The only way it could protect and restore people is to take it from the current residing usurpers and to give it back to the people from whom it was stolen.

          What you want it to do is to give the settler/colonialists the chance to get away with the crime. That’s not law.

        • Where title is contested, a court or some other mutually agreed mediation, is required to address the various claims.

          There is no general prejudicial, “everyone knows” in law.

          Except that everyone deserves their day in court to make their case.

          You saying “they” have no right to be there, does not make it so. That is an assertion merely, even if you describe “international law” as your basis.

          Law applies both ways. The 49-51 knesset laws prohibiting Palestinian return, right to make title claims, and then expropriation of land are also legal by assertion, but still leave the state of the property as contested, not as consented.

          How did this get shifted to settlers anyway? You looking for an angle to declare others “racist”?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Where title is contested, a court or some other mutually agreed mediation, is required to address the various claims.”

          And do you honestly think that these Israeli Jews, who themselves or whose parents and grandparents brutally expelled, at the point of a gun, the innocent owners of the land that the Jews coveted, are going to be willing to put their right to that land before a tribunal whose decision they can’t dictate beforehand? They’ve done nothing in their history that would indicate to any reasonable person that they seek nothing other than to get away with their crime.

          “There is no general prejudicial, ‘everyone knows’ in law.”

          Is this relevant to anything or are you just making stuff up? Who said “everyone knows”??

          “Except that everyone deserves their day in court to make their case.”

          Yes, and the Israeli Jews are not going to show up unless they can rig the outcome ahead of time, regardless of whether the victim is inside Israel or outside it.

          “You saying ‘they’ have no right to be there, does not make it so. That is an assertion merely, even if you describe ‘international law’ as your basis.”

          I am saying that it is against international law to acquire land by force and to transfer population to occupied territory. As such, the settler/colonialists are there illegal and all must go.

          “The 49-51 knesset laws prohibiting Palestinian return, right to make title claims, and then expropriation of land are also legal by assertion, but still leave the state of the property as contested, not as consented.”

          Only if one recognizes the Israeli government as legitimate. It is not. It never had the consent of the people in whose land it operated (i.e., the Palestinians), so it is wholly a usurper regime. If they were to permit all of the people from the Med to the Jordan to participate in government, vote, etc., or the Palestinian people agreed to a peace with the Israeli state, then it would be legitimate. Until then, nothing which that government says should be binding on anyone. It can enforce it’s wishes with the barrel of a gun, but so can a mafia godfather.

          “How did this get shifted to settlers anyway?”

          Because the settler/colonialists are the easy, test case. It is so clear and obvious that they have no legitimate claim to the land that one who does not agree that they all must go is simply not interested in justice. (At least, not enough to overcome their ethnocentrism.)

          “You looking for an angle to declare others ‘racist’?”

          LOL. If I was looking to do that, all I’d have to do is point out that Zionism, as practiced, is a racist ideology. As a consequence, there is no shortage of racists among the Zionists. (That is not to say, of course, that every Zionist is a racist.)

        • American says:

          “You looking for an angle to declare others “racist”?”…witty

          Dont’ have to look, everyone knows what Israelis did. Every thing they have belongs to someone else. They stole it.

          ‘Absentees’ property’ laws were several laws which were first introduced as emergency ordinances issued by the Jewish leadership but which after the war were incorporated into the laws of Israel. As examples of the first type of laws are the Emergency Regulations (Absentees’ Property) Law, 5709-1948 (December) which according to article 37 of the Absentees Property Law, 5710-1950 was replaced by the latter; the Emergency Regulations (Requisition of Property) Law, 5709-1949, and other related laws.

          Unlike other laws that were designed to establish Israel’s ‘legal’ control over lands, this body of law focused on formulating a ‘legal’ definition for the people (mostly Arabs) who had left or been forced to flee from these lands. Specific laws in this category include:

          The Absentees’ Property Law, 5710- 1950
          The Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law, 5713-1953
          Absentees’ Property (Eviction) Law, 5718-1958
          Absentees’ Property (Amendment No.3) (Release and Use of Endowment Property) Law, 5725-1965
          Absentees’ Property (Amendment No. 4) (Release and Use of Property of Evangelical Episcopal Church) Law, 5727-1967
          Absentees’ Property (Compensation) Law, 5733-1973
          As a result, two million dunams were confiscated and given to the custodian, who later transferred the land to the development authority. This law created the novel citizenship category of “present absentees” (nifkadim nohahim), persons present at the time but considered absent for the purpose of the law. These Israeli Arabs enjoyed all civil rights-including the right to vote in the Knesset elections-except one: the right to use and dispose of their property”. About 30,000-35,000 Palestinians became “present absentees”.

          According to Flapan, “a detailed account of exactly how “abandoned” Arab property assisted in the absorption of the new immigrants was prepared by Joseph Schechtman:

          It is difficult to overestimate the tremendous role this lot of abandoned Arab property has played in the settlement of hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants who have reached Israel since the proclamation of the state in May 1948. Forty-seven new rural settlements established on the sites of abandoned Arab villages had by October 1949 already absorbed 25,255 new immigrants. By the spring of 1950 over 1 million dunams had been leased by the custodian to Jewish settlements and individual farmers for the raising of grain crops.

          Large tracts of land belonging to Arab absentees have also been leased to Jewish settlers, old and new, for the raising of vegetables. In the south alone, 15,000 dunams of vineyards and fruit trees have been leased to cooperative settlements; a similar area has been rented by the Yemenites Association, the Farmers Association, and the Soldiers Settlement and Rehabilitation Board. This has saved the Jewish Agency and the government millions of dollars. While the average cost of establishing an immigrant family in a new settlement was from $7,500 to $9,000, the cost in abandoned Arab villages did not exceed $1,500 ($750 for building repairs and $750 for livestock and equipment).

          Abandoned Arab dwellings in towns have also not remained empty. By the end of July 1948, 170,000 people, notably new immigrants and ex-soldiers, in addition to about 40,000 former tenants, both Jewish and Arab, had been housed in premises under the custodian’s control; and 7,000 shops, workshops and stores were sublet to new arrivals. The existence of these Arab houses-vacant and ready for occupation-has, to a large extent, solved the greatest immediate problem which faced the Israeli authorities in the absorption of immigrants. It also considerably relieved the financial burden of absorption.

          How much of Israel’s territory consists of land confiscated with the Absentee Property Law is uncertain and much disputed. Robert Fisk interviewed the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property, who estimates this could amount to up to 70% of the territory of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip:

          The Custodian of Absentee Property does not choose to discuss politics. But when asked how much of the land of the state of Israel might potentially have two claimants — an Arab and a Jew holding respectively a British Mandate and an Israeli deed to the same property — Mr. Manor [the Custodian in 1980] believes that ‘about 70 percent’ might fall into that category (Robert Fisk, ‘The Land of Palestine, Part Eight: The Custodian of Absentee Property’, The Times, December 24, 1980, quoted in his book Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War).

          Ruling Palestine, A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine. Publishers: COHRE & BADIL, May 2005, .

        • Citizen says:

          Did Nuremberg law trump the law of the Third Reich? No. International law follows most especially from the legal principles applied during the Nuremberg Trials, which trials did their best to go above a mere trial by the war victors. Read Arndt. Read the Nuremberg trial documents themselves.

          Adverse possession requires a willing consent by the original owner for some period of adverse use by, say a squatter or easement user. It does not apply to Israeli land since the Palestinians never consented to the theft of their multi-generational homeland. If somebody “allows” you to squat on their land only because you force them to essentially at point of a gun, that’s worse than theft or burglary. No adverse possession case lies there–and never has.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “How is it clear at all?”

          Because the state of the Jews-occupying-Palestine, who supposedly granted title to the colonialist/settler pigs, attempted to do so, if at all, based on the acquisition of land through armed conflict, which is against international law.

          “There are many issues that a court needs to decide:
          1) Does international law trump local law?”

          When it deals with human rights, yes. This was estabslihed at Nuremberg, because otherwise then no prosecution or conviction could have been borne of the murder of the Jews of Europe, because that action, though illegal under international law, was absolutely, postively, 100% legal under local law, namely, the laws of the German Reich.

          “2) Adverse possession issues”

          While it is cute that you cite to wikipedia — as if I would have no knowledge of what adverse possession was — adverse possession does not apply here, because in no case can the Palestinians have the power to oust the adverse possessor, as the colonialist/settler pigs hold the land by force of arms. They are not sleeping on their rights, they are being oppressed.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Clearly not the issue at hand when it comes to possession of a dwelling.”

          False. Having your land stolen from you by a bunch of foreigners is a human rights issue.

          “They will have to determine whether each dispossessed Palestinian actually did enough…”

          False. The theory doesn’t apply because of the way the settler/colonialists obtained the land. You don’t even reach the question of what the Palestinians did.

          “But to claim that this is an open and shut case is absurd.”

          It’s only absurd to you because you are in the business of defending evil.

      • MHughes976 says:

        The first full statement in English of the phrase ‘you can’t make omelettes…’ seems to be found in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1897 novel ‘St.Ives’ – a French prisoner, escaping from Edinburgh Castle, seriously injures his hands and uses the phrase ruefully. The ‘brutalist’ use is attested for Walter Duranty, reporting to the NYT on March 31, 1933 and seeming to excuse the Soviet famines. At least since then the phrase has not had a good reputation.

      • Bumblebye says:

        RW
        How hideously prejudiced you are.
        You demand that land thieves in the West Bank be allowed to somehow, thru’ rigged Israeli laws obviously, “perfect” title to the stolen land, but also insist that only those refugees with title to currently unoccupied land be permitted to return to the land of their or their fathers birth. That’s how you’d make your “color-blind” law work for the only people you give a damn about! Prevent access TO your “color-blind” law! Huh.
        Mendacity writ large.

      • Shingo says:

        My own proposal would be 67 borders with the Jewish portions of the old city as Israel.

        Is there no limit to your narcissism Witty? Are you so removed from reality that you believe the rest of us visit this forum to hear your proposal?

        As if we haven’t suffered already after your 11,000 posts of incoherent diatribe, now you’ve assumed the role of spokesperson for Beinart.

        If you’re so convinced of your credibility and pre-eminence on this topic, why not stick to your own blog Witth? Surely, all those people who hang on your every word should be flocking there by now.

        • Citizen says:

          I guess Witty is still here because Phil & Adam allowed it for too long without trying to boot him off as a troll–aka, by adverse possession. Palestinians never had such a choice.

      • Hostage says:

        They said it because they meant it.

        No they did not – and you’ve even quibbled over the protections against unlawful expropriation of property and equality of rights contained in the UN minority protection plan.

        The Permanent Court of International Justice and the International Court of Justice have both advised that oral declarations regarding acceptance of the terms of a resolution made by the representatives of a State to an organ of an international organization are legally binding. Nonetheless, the representatives of the State of Israel have publicly denied that they had undertaken to provide for the rights outlined in the minority protection plan contained in General Assembly resolution 181(II) or that they have any continuing legal obligation to do so. The Secretariat included the plan in a catalog of minority rights treaties concluded after WWII and UN organs still consider it valid. Here are the facts:

        *A cablegram, subject “Proclamation of State of Israel”, was forwarded by the Foreign Minister on behalf of the Provisional Government of Israel to the UN Secretary General. It cited Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the portion of the UN resolution that required a public body in each State to draft a democratic constitution for its State and choose a provisional government for itself. It also required the Constitutions of the States to embody Chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration on religious, minority, and women’s rights provided for in “Part C. Declaration” of the General Assembly’s resolution. link to unispal.un.org

        *”Part C. Declaration, Chapter 4″ of the UN resolution had stated:

        “The provisions of chapters 1 and 2 of the declaration shall be under the guarantee of the United Nations, and no modifications shall be made in them without the assent of the General Assembly of the United Nations.”

        *I mentioned above that the representative of Cuba had asked the representative of Israel, Mr. Eban, if the required declaration had been submitted? Eban cited the cablegram the Foreign Secretary had provided to the Secretary General. “Section F. Admission To Membership In The United Nations” of resolution 181(II) stated:

        When the independence of either the Arab or the Jewish State as envisaged in this plan has become effective and the declaration and undertaking, as envisaged in this plan, have been signed by either of them, sympathetic consideration should be given to its application for admission to membership in the United Nations in accordance with article 4 of the Charter of the United Nations.

        *I mentioned above that Mr. Eban subsequently testified that the rights had been constitutionally embodied as the fundamental law of the state of Israel as required by the resolution when the Declaration of Independence had been promulgated as law in the official gazette.

        *According to the Official Gazette: Number 1; Tel Aviv, 5 Iyar 5708, 14 May 1948, Page 1 the signatories to the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel were:

        David Ben-Gurion, Daniel Auster, Mordecai Bentov, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Eliyahu Berligne, Fritz Bernstein, Rabbi Wolf Gold, Meir Grabowski, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, Dr. Abraham Granowsky, Eliyahu Dobkin, Meir Wilner-Kovner, Zerah Warhaftig, Herzl Vardi, Rachel Cohen, Rabbi Kalman Kahana, Saadia Kobashi, Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Levin, Meir David Lowenstein, Zvi Luria, Golda Myerson, Nahum Nir, Zvi Segal, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Hacohen Fishman, David Zvi Pinkas, Aharon Zisling, Moshe Kolodny, Eliezer Kaplan, Abraham Katznelson, Felix Rosenblueth, David Remez, Berl Repetur, Mordecai Shattner, Benzion Sternberg, Behor Shitrit, Moshe Shapira, and Moshe Shertok. An image and the text are available here:
        # link to knesset.gov.il
        # link to knesset.gov.il

        *General Assembly Resolution 273 (III) Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations, 11 May 1949 contains a footnote (5) regarding “”’the declarations”’ and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel”. The footnote cites the minutes of the 45th-48th, 50th, and 51st meetings of the Ad Hoc Political Committee contained in documents A/AC.24/SR.45-48, 50 and 51. link to unispal.un.org

        *The UN considers the instruments and accessions that it concluded after WWII to be agreements in force. E/CN.4/367, Date: 7 April 1950 (see Chapter III The United Nations Charter And The Treaties Concluded After The War, resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, “The Future Government of Palestine”, pages 22-23)

        *In 1950 the representative of Israel made the remarkable claim that, although Israel had expressed its willingness to provide a signed instrument, it had been admitted to membership in the United Nations without providing any declaration. See the Yearbook of the International Law Commission: 1950 , vol. II, Law of Treaties, UN Document: A/CN.4/19, page 21, paragraphs 21–23, link to untreaty.un.org

        *The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People reported to the Security Council that:

        19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

        So how about it Witty, did they mean to safeguard the rights of the Palestinians they drove into exile or placed under martial law and did they expropriate their property without the due process required by the UN resolution?

    • seafoid says:

      I wonder how far away Israel has to go from Judaism before people like Beinart abandon it. How fascist would the police state need to become. Would it have to go to a full Jew on Jew civil war for the scales to be lifted ? Would all women need to be banned from buses before the travelers could jump ship ?

  7. Sin Nombre says:

    In other words … Beinart is just one of those “liberal advocates” for Israel that we’ve just talked about in another thread, and who, unlike Lieberman, want to avoid bringing up into the open the solution they favor to the problem they know they’ve already got with arabs who are Israeli citizens.

    So how do such “liberal advocates” see such a “Second”state for Palestinians really? Not only as a place for those non-Israeli arabs who they don’t want as citizens, but as a place the Israeli arab citizens can be … encouraged to leave to. Deny ‘em enough rights, enough equality, don’t pick up their garbage, etc., etc., in any and every way possible “privilege” jews, and cleanse the others from your system.

    As Beinart so gently says of such views, it’s just a little “compromise” on his liberalism.

    (By which he means of course that he’s still a liberal and not a racist because over *here* in the U.S., vis a vis *it’s* policies and etc., he’s so liberal and anti-racist.)

    And then, after doing so (and indeed right now, and while you’re doing it!) go about talking about how “jewish values” and “ethics” are lights unto the world and embrace equality and how per se anti-semitic it is to accuse any jews of ever favoring or participating in any systems or schemes that regards non-jews as lesser entitled souls or that privileges jews over everyone else.

    Judging by it’s endurance, it’s a good racket for sure. Beinart is in no danger whatsoever of being not welcomed anymore in polite company here. And no doubt he’ll go right back tomorrow telling us however all those here (conservatives, immigration restrictionists and etc.) who are unwelcomed.

  8. patm says:

    Peter Beinart comes across as an awfully arrogant fellow. And confused to boot!

    Liberal Zionists, eh?? What a bunch of swell folks!

  9. Peter falls in the awkward position of having his views used for purposes that he did not author.

    The conflict here over the wording of Phil’s repeated quote that Peter claimed to endorse one-person one-vote, now, is a case in point.

    Peter’s earlier comments on generational stresses were also adopted as if Peter had “converted”. So, Peter was quoted at length, to support Phil’s thesis of inter-generational struggle around Israel. Moreso than just intense mutually respectful probing discussion, actual intra-familial civil war. “Which side are you on?” as the prevailing question.

    But, in retrospect, Peter was likely misquoted, at length.

    Phil is in the same boat. When the Walt/Mearsheimer book came out, posts of his here supporting the thesis of ‘Israel lobby caused the Iraq War’ were published in neo-fascist publications, with attribution.

    Better to get back to respect, no, rather than such tribal political identifications allowing for the dehumanization of one’s neighbors?

    • john h says:

      Richard, ask yourself which side you are on, and what is your own tribal political identification.

      Then for once in your life recognize you are partisan just like everyone else.

      Better still, recognize for the rest of your life it’s not about which side, and it’s not about any tribal identification.

      That is, it is not about being Zionist, liberal Zionist, anti-Zionist, or anything similar. And it is not about being Jew or Arab or Palestinian.

      Recognize that rather, it is in fact all about true morality, true justice done and seen to be done, true accountability, true peace, and, only then, true reconciliation.

      • How is Israeli self-governance anything less than democracy?

        How is Palestinian self-governance anything less than democracy?

        How is an imposed single state, democracy if the majority prefer national governments?

        Just for reference, there is no living being that is not associated. Having a body (as distinct from the rest of the world), implies a preference for one’s own survival and well-being (rational). Having a family implies a preference for one’s family’s survival and well-being.

        Having an extended family similarly. Having a community similarly. Having a nation similarly, moreso for the coherence of defending something articulated and shared.

        The idea of dissolution into “true” democracy is a youthful version of ideal, an imagination that ideology and some supporting international institutions (and some conflicting) encode that ideology into “reality”.

        When in fact, the MOST progressive view, the most democratic, is the one that optimizes self-determination, self-governance, NOT the one that imposes either one nationalist urge over another’s in a single-state, nor the fantasy of a single-state onto those that don’t regard it as their nation. If the degree of consent changed materially, say indicated by election results, you might have a point to your proposal and the underlying ideal.

        Otherwise, you are engaging in denial of the other, rather than reconciliation of people, or of ideas.

        I come back to a great irony, a great joke on us, of a Bob Marley song “Got to realize that we are one people. Or there will be no love at all.”

        Us liberal idealistic hippies thought he was singing about the unity of all people’s, “one people”, and he was singing about that. But, he was also singing about the distinct return to Zion of the African people to Africa, specific, tribal.

        There were common visions with Jewish Zionism of “live and let live”.

        An #and# construction.

        • Shingo says:

          How is Israeli self-governance anything less than democracy?

          Self-governance has nothing to do with democracy.

          How is an imposed single state, democracy if the majority prefer national governments?

          If the majority decide they want a single state, then tat’s democracy.

        • eljay says:

          >> When in fact, the MOST progressive view, the most democratic, is the one that optimizes self-determination, self-governance …

          Unfortunately, this MOST progressive view is not shared by Zionists, who do not optimize the self-determination and self-governance of Israelis, but only of Jewish Israelis. How? By means of:
          - laws which discriminate against non-Jewish Israelis;
          - a permanent-majority status for Jews; and
          - a “preferential invitation” to non-Israeli Jews (but not to non-Israeli non-Jews) to “return” to Israel.

          And of course there’s always the possibility that the “RW option” – excising from their own country non-Jewish Israelis whose demographics threaten the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis – may be put into effect.

  10. American says:

    Beinart is no different from other liberal zionist.

    Here’s the thing about zionist, liberal or other, —they have already made a grand decision about what they believe in regard to Israel, namely that a Jewish state is ‘necessary”…and necesary in Palestine because that’s where 7 million Jews are now.

    So then they go try to find ‘justifications’ for it. And if they think of themselves as having liberal values they try to rationalize some way that Israel can be Jewish and Democratic–which of course it can’t. Democracy, other than for Jews, is not what a zionist state ever was or is now about…it was about seperation of Jews from others and still is.

    Liberal or Uber zionist are sort of like the old joke about the man trying to pick up some woman/hooker and after some conversation says……”now that we have established what you are all we need to do is settle on your price.”
    Or words to that effect.

  11. Krauss says:

    I can’t make up my mind on Beinart.

    The interview on the end of your piece is disgusting. No liberal can say things like that. You cannot say you’re okay with apartheid because you want the state to be Jewish.

    On the other hand, Beinart is chillingly effective in his critique.
    I’ve always been of the opinion that Zionism isn’t inherently racist, like any other nationalism, such as Chinese. It has the potential of ethnic chauvinism, like all nationalisms, but it depends how you use it.

    The problem is, however, that Zionism for many decades has now been corrupted by a ruling of a foreign people without giving than any basic rights, including access to clean water at times and electricity.

    Beinart is willing to say that he doens’t mind – as long as the state of Israel is Jewish.
    My charitable view of him is that he wants the state to be Jewish and want the occupation to end. He’s only willing not to give Arabs full rights while he is waiting for a 2SS.

    The problem is that the 2SS has sailed. In fact, it remains a question to this day if the Israelis were ever serious, despite the media propaganda. Even Barak and/or Olmert wanted the state of the Palestinians without any means of defending themselves and allowing Israel to gobble up all the water and critical resources for themselves.

    So how long can Beinart adopt his position of letting Apartheid happen in his name, as a committed Zionist Jew who claims he is worried about Israel, while he is waiting for a 2SS and the years go by?

    I’ll probably read his book. I find him very intelligent and I will be looking to what he is doing the coming years. But I have an inkling that he’ll let his deep-seated ethnocentrism rule over his (very strong) liberal instincts. I hope I’m wrong. I truly do.

    • Please have the integrity to ask the context that the quote is taken from.

    • seafoid says:

      I think Peter Beinart wants Israel to be a kind of Jewish that doesn’t have any more power in Israel. That Labor Ashkenazi half decent (except towards the Palestinians) , a bit cultured, Amos Oz sort of Jewish , cosmopolitan, a bit Yiddish, looking towards Europe and the US, open to the world . They lost the 1977 election and since then it has been the ignorant to the downright vicious Israel that has taken over. The Torah driven brutal self righteous fiercely anti intellectual Russian/settler/Sephardi Orthodox combo. Couldn’t care less about Europe or what Americans think. F#ck you. The best thinking represented by someone like Caroline Glick. In your face aggression. A very devalued Hebrew Tea Party sort of Jewishness.

    • seafoid says:

      “I’ve always been of the opinion that Zionism isn’t inherently racist, like any other nationalism, such as Chinese”

      Krauss

      Zionism is different to chinese nationalism because the land was taken by force within the last 2 generations. The sort of violence unleashed can’t be put back into the box and it really shows now whether it is the settlers with their price tags or the orthodox assault on the women of Israel.
      The US is another settler colonial state and if you look at US history pre the 60s the levels of civilian violence were also appalling. It wasn’t just native people who were victims- there were many lynchings, union reps were murdered , robberies often used guns etc. Even now the US’s gun culture is partly a reflection of the incredibly violent origins of the state. Israel has the same gift from the past.

      On the surface Israel looks like a normal society but if you look underneath the hood Zionism is a closed movement . It defines itself as not Arab. Racism is inbuilt. And incredibly violent.

  12. MHughes976 says:

    I can’t see much moral merit in denying people their rights until they accept, as a whole group, some status which they have not even been offered and which will bear several marks of dependency and inferiority. This is not treating rights as inalienable or even taking them very seriously. I can’t see much intelligence, unless it’s in mere wordplay, in endlessly failing to see that this position is not only illiberal but indefensible and endlessly making noisy accusations of intellectual failure against other people.

    • patm says:

      I can’t see much intelligence, unless it’s in mere wordplay, in endlessly failing to see that this position is not only illiberal but indefensible and endlessly making noisy accusations of intellectual failure against other people.

      Well said, Martin. Intelligence is not in play here, only self-deception and self-delusion.

  13. I have a little, naive question.
    What are the chances, requirements for a person ,who is not Jewish, who was not born in Israel to obtain Israeli Citizenship??
    No that I’m planning , I am just curious.
    Does marrying an Israeli citizen gives a right to his/her spouse to aquire citizenship??

  14. “If he hopes to maintain his reputation for intellectual honesty, and speak to a wider audience than Jews whose blood runs blue and white”

    This is now your phrase “intellectual honesty”, determined by which thought-police?

    Do you have any opinions on issues in which there are contradictions or tensions that must be reconciled? ANY, honestly, intellectually honestly?

    Or, is your going after others a form of going after yourself, but not quite candidly?

    The approach of valuing the self-governance of one’s family’s own community AND valuing the self-governance of others, even former and periodically current enemies, is noble, not “intellectually dishonest”.

    When since Oslo has there been a willing and authoritative Israeli and a willing and authoritative Palestinian negotiating potential? And, during that period of time, is there any period of time when you’ve ENHANCED that likelihood, by your words, your actions?

    Say the Olmert/Abbas discusssions. What was your position on them? More power to them? Or, dismiss them or worse?

    Why do you think that Beinart is morally exposed for saying that he desires a free Palestine, ALSO for the logic that it affords a clear, safe, accepted Israel, but you are not morally exposed for your confusion, inconsistencies, spoken large and carelessly impugning?

    You USED Beinart in the past, exagerated his positions repeatedly, because they fed your fixated positions. Now, that he has clarified, and by name, that you misrepresented his views, why are you not at least partially apologizing for that misrepresentation?

    Talking about moral responsibility.

  15. Sin Nombre says:

    Peter Beinart said:

    “I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security….”

    I know that many Nazi analogies are invidious but I get a kick out of this “security” allusion that the Beinarts of the world use.

    For what does it come down to but the idea that, no matter what, arabs will always be mortal enemies of the jews. Hence, there’s just no way Israel can ever be asked to live with them in any numbers, and of course demonizing the arabs as someone irredeemably violent, crazy and etc. has indeed been a relatively new meme that’s being pushed to the max.

    Yet, isn’t this *precisely* what Hitler said about the jews? That no matter what they could never be trusted, they would always form a lethal threat to Germany and Germans and thus the only solution was a jew-free Germany.

    Interesting that especially in liberal/Left circles spotting analogies with Nazism is almost an art form, done at the drop of a hat, drawing the most ingenious (if often also bogus) parallels.

    And yet here’s this “liberal advocate” Beinart, talking essentially about some ineradicable, race-based threat to jews necessitating them to at the very least limit the numbers and rights of the non-jews amongst them…

    Have to remember this next time we see Beinart savaging some American for espousing “fascist” or “Nazi” views about this or that. No matter what, it’s bound to pale in comparison to what Beinart is oh-so-delicately saying here.

  16. ToivoS says:

    Phil notes in passing who employs a word (Pals) that offends some Palestinians

    I am curious about this. I would imagine that it would offend most Palestinians. My thinking goes like this: I have noted over the last decade that the only people who use that term are Zionists (most examples being American Zionists). That is the oppressor class has developed its own slang to refer to those they oppress. In other situations involving Southern white terms for blacks, or colonialist terms for natives in Asia and Africa, the slang words were very offensive. I am not a Palestinian and perhaps I am not one to complain. However, whenever I hear the term ‘Pals’ from usually highly educated Americans I have a highly negative reaction and brand the speaker in my mind a chauvinist.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      I believe it is generally agreed that it is an offensive term in the same way that “Heeb” is offensive.

    • chet says:

      I have some Palestinian friends and, believe me, they find the term offensive.

      • libra says:

        Complete speculation on my part but it sounds like the sort of casually dismissive (but not necessarily hostile) diminutive that a South African immigrant might have used towards his new “natives” which then caught on.

  17. MHughes976 says:

    Among us Brits you would be regarded as really or nearly in the sphere of the British National Party or the English Defence League if you referred to people from Pakistan as ‘Pakis’.

  18. There is a profound lesson for you personally here Phil.

    You’d better not dare forming independent views that do not conform with your posse’s prejudices.

    You’ve seen how when you divert an iota from the party line, how they turn on you, how they turn on Jerome Slater, and now Peter Beinart.

    You really think that the urge to form Israel from the ashes is racism, the urge to realize actual acceptance and safety for Israeli civilians is racism?

    Don’t dare to say even a qualified “yes” to those questions.

    • James North says:

      Richard Witty said, ‘Another failed presumptuous effort by me to engage Phil in “dialog.” I know he’s running a website that has a worldwide and growing reach, but I expect him to drop everything and answer my silly comments.
      ‘I’m still steaming over my failed effort to elbow my way into the Professor Jerry Slater threads.
      ‘Meanwhile, I used to trumpet my own “liberal Zionist” blog. But I haven’t found the time to post anything on my own site since last September.’

      • Shingo says:

        ‘Meanwhile, I used to trumpet my own “liberal Zionist” blog. But I haven’t found the time to post anything on my own site since last September.’

        The fact that no one reads it might have something to do with that. Not even Witty reads Witty’s blog.

        It’s better to hang out with the crowd and drag on Phil’s coat tails here. Witty’s like a roadie, who hangs around with the band after the gigs like a parasite, hoping to pick up the chicks the musicians are not interested in.

        • You’d have to ask him what he honestly believes and values.

          He’s stated that he doesn’t support what Zionism has become, and sees some connection to originating themes in what it has become.

          I see the same thing in myself, varying originating themes, that I choose what I do with that original material, you know LIFE.

          I hope Phil assertively doesn’t hold the view of ‘fuck em, they deserve what they’ve got coming’, that he actually cares about his mother’s close friends in Israel, about some of his friends, that he wishes and works for their health, safety, security in their old and young age.

          So, if he cares at all about people, people that he knows, people that he’s known, he will seek an intersection of needs (peace), an intersection of values.

          To not take on multiple values, multiple positive cares, is to either be callous in the name of political ideology, actively callous, not some vain arbitrary litmus test of political correctness; or to be confused and actively confusing.

          I’ve always assumed that Phil is seeking good, not seeking political correctness.

          Maybe I’m wrong. There are days when I think I”m grossly wrong in that rosy hope.

        • john h says:

          Richard, my take on your “form Israel from the ashes” is that you referred to the Holocaust.

          I am so very tired of your word combinations that, presumably, to you are clear and are your special way of saying what you want to say.

          If only you would write in plain simple English like others do, Zionist or otherwise.

          “An intersection”, “multiple”, “assertively”, “originating”; that’s just from your last post.

          You can do much better. Sometimes you do. But the question is, can the leopard change his spots? Or want to? Or see any need to? Or see what the spots are?

        • Shingo says:

          You can do much better. But the question is, can the leopard change his spots? Or want to? Or see any need to? Or see what the spots are?

          Believe it or not, there have been posts from Witty that have been coherent, though few and far between.

          I’m sure you’re aware that the reason for Witty’s lack of coherence is that he can’t bring himself to say what he really thinks, because then he would sound like eee. Witty is a racist and supremacist who clings to the belief that so long as he keeps his statements fluffy and non confrontational, that this makes him the vice of reason and moderation…even though no one can make heads or tails of his sentences.

        • Citizen says:

          Ever hear a serial killer justify his life? No, Witty is not a serial killer, but Palestinians are being greatly harmed daily & that’s a fact for decades; meanwhile Witty worries about a safe haven for Jews when Israel has 300 nukes, lone superpower backing & diplomatic cover, and one of the highest life expectancies in the world, one on par with Iceland’s.

        • “I am so tired of your word combinations”.

          Live with it. My word combinations are intended to convey concepts that I hold. I’m writing on the fly here, without editing for publication.

          Phil, however, is publishing.

          His comments are sometimes incoherent, sometimes vacillating, emotional.

        • Shingo says:

          My word combinations are intended to convey concepts that I hold.

          On the contrary Witty, they are intended to cloud the concepts that you hold because they are repugnant and you don’t have the courage or honesty to state them clearly.

          His comments are sometimes incoherent, sometimes vacillating, emotional.

          You’re much more consistent in that regard. All of your comments are incoherent, vacillating and emotional.

        • LeaNder says:

          john h, I think he blended two metaphors. The ashes no doubt function as the root metaphor, but it feels beyond the Holocaust it is connected to Phoenix reborn from the ashes.

          In my humble opinion this is his main point and always was:
          You’d better not dare forming independent views that do not conform with your posse’s prejudices.

          So Phil is a sycophant catering to our prejudices? Might have to do with Mondoweiss growth? A year ago Richard was still demanding that Phil analyze his own anti-Jewish prejudices, now it’s all our fault. Never forget your duties!:

          Do not presume that asking that question is prejudicial. It is an honest question, a real one, one that every Jew asks.

          “God said to Abraham, kill me a son.” Abe said “here I am”.

          If you don’t know what that means, then ask. It is not insignificant. A real question resisted for its discomfort is the opposite of honest self-inquiry.

        • “here I am”.

          Hineni. I am willing to be seen and act for God’s will.

          A constant humility.

          The irony was of the shift from Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, to the invocation in the akedah of Abraham’s response to being called to by God, then by Isaac, then by God again, implying a meditation on what it means for God’s will relative to God alone, to humanity dear, and then to God alone.

          Its a beautiful sentiment that incorporates the epitome of all the contemplative religious traditions. Ready, aware, willing, humble, not knowing rather than pretending to know (humble).

    • Shingo says:

      You’ve seen how when you divert an iota from the party line, how they turn on you, how they turn on Jerome Slater, and now Peter Beinart.

      Put your racist, ethnocentric supremacist mind to rest Witty. That’s not going to happen for a number of reasons:

      1. Phil is not a liberal Zionist, which means he’s not an insufferable hypocrite who is always prepared to make exceptions and exemptions for Israel
      2. Phil fundamentally holds human rights as a value above all others, whereas human right is only optional for liberal Zionists
      3. Because he’s not a liberal Zionist, lies, myths and false narratives are nit the bedrock of Phil’s argumnts.

      You really think that the urge to form Israel from the ashes is racism, the urge to realize actual acceptance and safety for Israeli civilians is racism?

      Zionism is only 114 years old. There were no ashes to begin with because it was a recent invention.

      • “form Israel from the ashes ”

        -Palestine was a blank slate, I thought — “a land without a people.” A desert waiting to be made to bloom, yes, but not “ashes.”

        or

        -The ‘ashes’ are what remained of Palestinian farms, ports, businesses, libraries, homes, olive groves, orange groves, schools, and lives.

        Which one, Witty?

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “You’ve seen how when you divert an iota from the party line, how they turn on you, how they turn on Jerome Slater, and now Peter Beinart.”

      Good lord, stop being such a wilting flower… No one is “turning” on anyone. We’re criticizing, debating, evaluating, discussing, and, yes, not always in the nicest language. So what? I’ve got some significant differences (to say the least) with the Paul contingent here. Big deal. So we disagree. What you want, people to be robots?

  19. Bumblebye says:

    RW
    You are stating that antiZionism = antiSemitism.
    Then you attempt to claim that the “urge” to found Israel only came after WWII, in the “ashes” of the Holocaust, despite being an ideology half a century old at the time.
    Yes. Zionism in practice has ALWAYS been racism. Only in hasbara fogged brains has it ever been a rosy dream.
    The “posse’s prejudices” are against Zionism, they are not antiSemitic.
    Only people like you can continue justifying a decades old ongoing violent criminal enterprise.

    • I only tend to use anti-Semitic in an ironic sense these days, because the word is essentially meaningless.

      Zionist dumbkoffs like that Beinart tart would probably like everyone to believe that discrimination against Jews is just so darned special that a very special word had to be invented to express this very special discrimination. And yet that very special word that had to be invented ended up bearing no meaningful relation to the concept of Jew, whilst simultaneously and conveniently linking the concept of Jew with that of Semitic“, with the tacit implication being that ALL Jews are somehow inherently linked to the Levant and that to claim otherwise is to somehow discriminate against all Jews; I utterly reject the current meaning that’s been attributed to the word anti-Semitic (as meaningless Zionist induced propaganda).

      So, in a nutshell:

      abuse of Jews = Judeophobia

      anti-Semitism = obfuscation/an abuse of the English Language for propaganda purposes (instigated by Zionists).

      • patm says:

        So, in a nutshell: abuse of Jews = Judeophobia; anti-Semitism = obfuscation/an abuse of the English Language for propaganda purposes (instigated by Zionists).”

        Couldn’t agree more! I’ve been encouraging mondo readers for some months to start using “Judeophobia” instead of anti-Semitism. Without much luck I must add.

        I now have five reasons for making the switch:

        1. It’s the correct word, as you say.

        2. It would give some degree of comfort to the long-suffering Palestinians and other Arabs to have the use of the word anti-Semitism back again.

        3. The word Judeophobia provides a welcome symmetry with the word Islamophobia.

        4. The word Judeophobia, I’m told, is ‘red-lined’ in the power centres in Israel and thus would serve as a useful irritant.

        5. Judeophobia has only eleven letters and is MUCH easier to type than anti-Semitism. The word seemed awkward when I first started using it, but I soon got used to it.

        • Citizen says:

          Did not a German Gentile invent the term “anti-Semitism”? And did he not use it to be the contrary of Germanic/Aryan? And at a time and place when eugenics was growing in USA & race theory was hot?

      • Citizen says:

        From Wiki:
        In 1873 German journalist Wilhelm Marr published a pamphlet “The Victory of the Jewish Spirit over the Germanic Spirit. Observed from a non-religious perspective.” (“Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet.”)[14] in which he used the word “Semitismus” interchangeably with the word “Judentum” to denote both “Jewry” (the Jews as a collective) and “jewishness” (the quality of being Jewish, or the Jewish spirit). Although he did not use the word “Antisemitismus” in the pamphlet, the coining of the latter word followed naturally from the word “Semitismus”, and indicated either opposition to the Jews as a people, or else opposition to Jewishness or the Jewish spirit, which he saw as infiltrating German culture. In his next pamphlet, “The Way to Victory of the Germanic Spirit over the Jewish Spirit”, published in 1880, Marr developed his ideas further and coined the related German word Antisemitismus – antisemitism, derived from the word “Semitismus” that he had earlier used.

        • patm says:

          Wilhelm Marr has a lot to answer for in my book, Citizen.

          Why did he conflate the word “Semitismus” with the word “Judentum”?
          Was he not in command of a dictionary or encyclopedia?

          More from Wiki:

          “The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. They constitute a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. The most widely spoken Semitic languages today are Arabic[1] (206 million native speakers),[2] Amharic (27 million),[3][4] Hebrew (about 7 million)[5] Tigrinya (6.7 million),[6] and Aramaic (about 2.2 million).

          Semitic languages are attested in written form from a very early date, with texts in Eblaite and Akkadian appearing from around the middle of the third millennium BC,….”

      • john h says:

        So, in a nutshell:

        abuse of JewsJudeophobia = Judeophobia abuse of Jews because they are Jews.

        anti-Semitism = obfuscation/an abuse of the English Language for propaganda purposes (instigated by Zionists) as including abuse of what Zionist Israel or Israelis have done and/or because they are Zionists or Israelis.

      • LeaNder says:

        Antisemitism, was a political term coined in the late 19th century. The coinage at the time meant to convey that German Jews didn’t belong to the newly founded German state, since they were non-Germans or “Semites”, Wilhelm Marr coined the term

        According to him, the struggle between Jews and Germans would only be resolved by the victory of one and the ultimate death of the other. A Jewish victory, he concluded, would result in finis Germaniae (the end of the German people). To prevent this from happening, in 1879 Marr founded the League of Antisemites (Antisemiten-Liga), the first German organization committed specifically to combating the alleged threat to Germany posed by the Jews and advocating their forced removal from the country.

  20. Patrick says:

    Beinart stated: “I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state.”

    Why on earth would giving equal citizenship to the 20% of its population that is not Jewish mean that Israel is no longer a ‘Jewish state’? What would it take away from the other 80%? Is the Jewishness of Israel so fragile and tenuous that it needs to constantly suppress its minorities? Why should Israel not be a state for all of its citizens?

    At least Beinart admits that Israel discriminates systematically against its minorities. But it’s baffling that he would defend such a proposition.

  21. There’s another error in your post. That is that the title of the book is “The Crisis of Zionism”, not “The Crisis of Liberal Zionism”.

    If you want to write a book entitled the “The Crisis of Liberal Zionism”, you’re free to without any risk of plagiarism on the title.

    • richb says:

      I thought you were just — as is tediously typical — have your facts wrong again but instead you accidentally revealed another Hasbara trick. If you Google for the The Crisis of Liberal Zionism you get a number of hits where the cached text differs from the current text. For example, the following web page of the New American Foundation. First the Google cached blurb:

      His latest book, The Crisis of Liberal Zionism, which expands his New York Review of Books essay, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” will be

      If you click on the link you get:

      link to newamerica.net

      His latest book, The Crisis of Zionism, which expands his New York Review of Books essay, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” will be published by Times Books in April 2012.

      Some people haven’t gotten with the program such as the Jewish Community Center:

      link to events.sfgate.com

      The 92nd Street Y has however:

      http://www.92y.org/Uptown/Event/Peter-Beinart—David-Remnick.aspx

      Hmm. Internal consumption in the Jewish community gets the topic right but for public consumption it’s obfuscated. You don’t want us to find out that Zionism is fundamentally illiberal do you?

      • Tell it to Phil.

        The book title is innaccurate. Its not a very big deal, unless left unchanged.

        He’s projecting his own wishes (I imagine).

        • richb says:

          I have no problem with Phil. Beinhart quietly changed the title of the book. And it’s very recent or the Google blurb wouldn’t have diverged and you wouldn’t have event announcements with different titles. Perhaps it is in reaction to Phil and this site getting to the heart of the matter of the vacuousness of liberal Zionism.

      • Citizen says:

        richb’s conclusion is the same one I draw. What’s that very old yiddish expression admonishing Jews not to air their dirty laundry in full view of the Goys? Shade fur de goyhim, or something like that.

        I also conclude that exactly that is what prompts Witty to be here all the time instead of on his own blog–he’s doing utmost to curb Phil’s willingness to air dirty Jewish laundry in front of the goys, who just happen to be 98% of the American population, that American population who has been led down a path not in its best interest, not in Israel’s best interest, and not in the world’s best interest. Neither Witty nor I will live long enough to see just how much devastation will result, but I’d guess we will see the springboard, the bombing of Iran. Should be entertaining, eh, Witty?

    • kalithea says:

      How about: “Liberal” Zionism: OXYMORON?

  22. So this much-heralded “intellectual” is also a deluded idiot who can’t separate Judaism and Zionism. Great. Beinart probably also thinks that his grandfather lived right there in the Holy City of Jerusalem, no matter that the inhabitants of the Levante have slightly dark skin, while Beinart is pale as an Eskimo.

    At least Phil is honest with himself and says that his family stems from Russia.

    NEXT!

    • I heard Beinart speak a few months ago and the experience was fingernails on chalkboard. His speaking voice/manner is infantile. Take some speech therapy, man.

    • Are Eskimos pale? Is Beinart pale? Beinart’s roots include middle eastern roots if I’m not mistaken.

      • wondering jew,

        maybe I did not evaluate Beinarts skin long enough. But even if he has “middle eastern roots”, they can not be called “Jewish”, only “direct Hebrew-descendant”. So if he wants to have a right to some land around Jerusalem, he must say “We direct Hebrew-descendants have a right to live where our ancestors lived”. He cannot say “oh and all other Judaism-believers from Russia and Europe and Arabia and North Africa have that right, too!”.

        So the “intellectual” shoud explain what exactly he means by “I believe in Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state”.

  23. kalithea says:

    This is the comment that should appear:

    I knew it was only a question of time before “Liberal” Zionists would start suffering a serious identity crisis, because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LIBERAL ZIONIST.

    The difference between Zionists and “Liberal” Zionists is the STAGGERING HYPOCRISY of the latter.

    The difference between a Liberal and a Zionist Liberal is COWARDICE, because the Liberal goes out on a limb for what he believes while the Zionist Liberal has a chicken heart and will betray everything he believes for the good of the Zionist tribe.

    One more thing, “Liberal” Zionists are recognized by a very particular idiosyncrasy; they do lip service very well but mostly it’s selfishly oriented: It gets them lots of attention, appeases their conscience while crimes are committed in their name by those doing the dirty work for them, and gives them a “higher” purpose. But upon closer inspection it’s even more ignoble than that: they’re just buying time at the expense of the rights of others and kicking the can down the road to the next guy who might have the guts to actually utter something like this at every important forum: “The TRUTH is, there is no viable Palestinian State left; let’s face it, it’s impossible to remove the settlers from Palestinian land, and so Palestinians are really Israelis and should be regarded as equal citizens, and equality means equal rights for all under the law, including the vote.”

  24. Elisabeth says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is giving Beinard such a hard time. He is after all willing to compromise. Yes, he is willing to give up his liberalism (!!) for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state.
    Who could ask more? What do the Palestinians care for the right to return to their homes? What does full, equal citizenship mean to Arab Israelis? Nothing, compared to what Beinard is willing to give up. I wish there was just a little more appreciation here for the sacrifices this guy is making.

    • Citizen says:

      Still, Elisabeth, it’s not like he’s giving up his Mom’s matzo ball soup. It’s also not like he’s being frisked before he crosses the street to go to his favorite deli.

  25. patm says:

    “Who could ask more? What do the Palestinians care for the right to return to their homes? What does full, equal citizenship mean to Arab Israelis? Nothing, compared to what Beinard is willing to give up. I wish there was just a little more appreciation here for the sacrifices this guy is making.” (my bold)

    Do you realize what you’ve written here, Elizabeth?

  26. patm says:

    I hope so, Donald. I’d not read any of Elizabeth’s comments before, and I was floored by this one. Thanks.

  27. piotr says:

    “Jeffrey Goldberg has echoed Beinart, saying that “we’re only a few years away, at most, from a total South-Africanization of this issue.” ”

    This reminds me a joke. A professor of logic sits in a street car. A women ask him: “How many stops from here to the central station?” “Three”. After one stop she asks, just to make sure: “So now there are two stops?” “No, four”.

    History of “total South-Africanization” is quite long. My favorite two first dates: 1912, South African Act. 1917, Balfour Declaration.