Benny Morris dreams of a ‘less Arab’ Israel

on 105 Comments
Benny Morris
Benny Morris

Moment, a Jewish site, has a forum up on what it means to be pro-Israel today. It is remarkable for historian Benny Morris’s frank racism and political ordinations (Morris who helped to document the Nakba, then endorsed it):

But the Israel I want to see is more humane, more open, less religious and—to put it frankly—less Arab. I want less input from the ultra-Orthodox and from the Arab minorities.

Martin Peretz has a vicious comment about Jews who are critical of Israel:

I don’t want to say that there are political genes, but typologically, the Jews who are anti-Israel were also pro-Stalin and pro-Castro. I think this is actually a sickness that goes from generation to generation. There are no great left-wing causes that people can associate with anymore, but you can always go home to Mama and complain, and I think that’s what anti-Israel Jews are doing.

(Mom, I told you to stop emailing Marty Peretz!) Eric Alterman strikes me as very realistic about what is happening. I wonder when he’s going to jump ship to democracy:

under the “pro-Israel” mantle, traditional American Jewish organizations, as well as conservative Christian ones, focus exclusively on external threats and have encouraged these destructive tendencies, helping empower those who would make them permanent. And they’ve done so, necessarily, at the expense of Israel’s democracy and its standing in the world as a nation that lives according to its values. Those of us who believe in the values of the founding and necessity of the state, need to resist the urge to be yes-men and -women and face up to the bad habits created by Israel’s long-term state of emergency. These habits are now the greatest threat to Israel, greater than Hamas or Hezbollah or any other external enemy. If recent unfortunate trends continue, Israel may not have much of a democracy left to defend, nor much of connection to secular diaspora Jewry to help fight for it.

Marc Tracy of Tablet seems to include Jews on this site in his statement. He says that leftwing awareness of the issue is growing and maybe it’s ok to be anti-Israel: 

 What I’m realizing in talking with you is that to not be pro-Israel is clearly a “bad thing.” You’re not “supposed” to not be pro-Israel. It’s an insult to call someone anti-Israel. I’m uneasy about that.

Daniel Sieradski expresses fear of non-Jews. In fairness, I believe he is alarmed by the treatment of Christians in Egypt. (I understand the feeling, but Egypt is a different place and what we have now is Jewish tyranny.)

If one views Zionism as a struggle for Jewish autonomy and self-determination and wishes to keep Jews from submitting to the tyranny of a non-Jewish ethnic majority, it is absolutely imperative to achieve an amicable and just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts.

Cecilie Surasky of JVP takes the cake. She knows what Alterman is saying but brings a universalist message.

For diaspora Jews, being pro-Israel means holding Israel up to the same standards that we have for the democracies in which we live—especially the United States. The things we fight for as an ethnic and religious minority—freedom of religion, separation of church and state, equal treatment under the law—cannot be suspended just because we are the majority in Israel.

… Extremist settlers aren’t just attacking Palestinians, they’re attacking Israeli soldiers; and the Knesset isn’t just targeting Arab Israelis, they’re targeting Jews involved with human rights groups. And the seemingly endless expansion of settlements and occupation has all but made a two-state solution impossible. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending these things haven’t been going on for years is the worst thing we can do if we care about Israel. As minorities in the United States, we know what a healthy democracy looks like, and we’ve always been at the forefront of those battles for ourselves and others. We need to fight for the same in Israel, and that in my mind is the only way to be pro-Israel.

George Bisharat at Hastings law school has a wonderful statement. Can’t Americans help these people to imagine a different future?

I have two thoughts on the two-state solution: First, that it’s not going to happen in any way that approximates a just and stable resolution to the situation. The Palestinian state, if created, will be so shorn of substantive sovereignty that it won’t satisfy the purposes for which a state exists. Second, the two-state solution is undesirable in principle because the two populations are inextricably intermingled: 20 percent of Israel’s population is Palestinian-Arab, and there are about 600,000 Jews living in what would presumably become the Palestinian state….

What I’m advocating would take a major shift in thinking, both for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. It would require thinking deeply about what’s important: Do I need to have a flag with my own people’s symbol on it to the exclusion of others? Do I need to have laws in place that guarantee special rights for some and negate those of others?

Thanks to Joseph Dana, who tweets: “Mr. Morris should be commended for the willingness to say what is sadly on the minds of many. Honesty is in damn short supply here.”

And note that Benny Morris’s view is held by Obama’s rabbi friend Eric Yoffie, who doesn’t want “too many Arabs” in Israel.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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105 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    January 12, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Here’s what I don’t understand: Morris can say that and no one in America blinks an eye. But if I say that I want America to less Jewish, people just don’t understand. I don’t get it… {sarcasm off}

    • lysias
      January 12, 2012, 1:47 pm

      Imagine the reaction if you said you wanted America to be less black.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 12, 2012, 2:13 pm

        “Imagine the reaction if you said you wanted America to be less black.”

        Such a person would be rightly shunned. And that is the fundamental difference, for all our faults, our culture has some humanity to it.

  2. lysias
    January 12, 2012, 1:47 pm

    No great left-wing causes left, Marty? What about Occupy Wall Street?

  3. Richard Witty
    January 12, 2012, 2:06 pm

    “Peter Beinart

    For me being pro-Israel means helping Israel live out the words of its declaration of independence, which promises a Jewish state that will provide complete social and political equality, irrespective of race, religion and sex. I think that one could argue about how to interpret those documents, but American Jewish leaders too often equate being pro-Israel with supporting the policies of the Israeli government. If we think about how we approach being pro-America, we’re more likely to think in terms of helping America achieve the vision that’s set out in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, rather than just helping the government achieve its policies. Israel doesn’t have a constitution, but it does have a declaration of independence, so that should be our North Star in terms of our support. We want Israel to live up to its own principles.

    Peter Beinart is a senior political writer at The Daily Beast. His latest book is The Icarus Syndrome: How American Triumph produces American Tragedy.

    Benny Morris

    I live in Israel. When you live here, you are making a statement. You have the option to live elsewhere, but you chose instead to live in Israel. But the Israel I want to see is more humane, more open, less religious and—to put it frankly—less Arab. I want less input from the ultra-Orthodox and from the Arab minorities. The ultra-Orthodox are milking the state for all it’s worth without contributing to the collective, not serving in the army and, in most cases, not contributing to the economy (many don’t work and don’t pay taxes). Israeli-Arab society, which is 90 to 95 percent Muslim, is intolerant and treats women as inferior; honor killings are something of a norm; and, in general, the Arab minority—to listen to its leaders—rejects the idea of Jewish statehood. Both are intolerant and, if they had their way, would push Israel away from open, democratic, Western values.

    Benny Morris is professor of history at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His most recent book is One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict.

    What is your personal impression Phil. Are Arabs intolerant, mysoginist? Or, are some, and not others. Or, is the effort to generalize at all the error?

    This is old material anyway.

    A little different meaning than your snippet of Morris. He does equate Arab society with misogyny, and with rejection of Israel. That’s what he says is the “less Arabs” that he’d like to see.

    Also,
    Thanks for the appreciative words for Eric Alterman, who you earlier criticized more than sharply.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 12, 2012, 2:27 pm

      “A little different meaning than your snippet of Morris. He does equate Arab society with misogyny, and with rejection of Israel. That’s what he says is the ‘less Arabs’ that he’d like to see.”

      So if I equate “Jewish” with some random sterotypes (say, about banking or Wall Street), would it be okay if I said that I wanted America to be “less Jewish”? Would that be okay?

      • Chaos4700
        January 12, 2012, 10:29 pm

        Do you suppose Witty knows there are buses in Israel where women are required to sit at the back? Do you suppose he even cares?

      • Mayhem
        January 13, 2012, 10:24 am

        @Chaos4700, that kind of behaviour is not endorsed by the Israeli government or the majority of its people. It is a red herring. Compare the fact that Arab buses stop only in Arab communities and no Jew would dare to ride one of those buses or enter an Arab town, if he values his life.

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:20 pm

        that kind of behaviour is not endorsed by the Israeli government or the majority of its people.

        Not endorsed, but allowed to continue and certainly not remedied. In fact, it would be interesting to see how much it is truly opposed were it not for the bad press it attracts.

      • Donald
        January 13, 2012, 4:30 pm

        “Compare the fact that Arab buses stop only in Arab communities and no Jew would dare to ride one of those buses or enter an Arab town, if he values his life.”

        Ah, that brings back my youth, when I used to hear white people say almost the exact same thing about black people.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 11:21 am

        And let’s not mention that Jews are disproportionately not in the US armed services, quite a feat in itself since the US Jewish population of America is a tad less than 2%. In contrast, many more Arab Americans are in the US military.

    • richb
      January 12, 2012, 4:22 pm

      “A little different meaning than your snippet of Morris. He does equate Arab society with misogyny, and with rejection of Israel. That’s what he says is the “less Arabs” that he’d like to see.”

      See this from Suad Amiry (who will be participating in the upcoming occupy AIPAC):

      link to palestinevideo.blogspot.com

      According to her, the misogyny started in 2006 with Hamas. If you really went back in time you would have embroidered dresses and not hijabs. She also noted the secular history of the PLO and when she was involved with the peace negotiations in the 90s she was the only woman on either side. She also noted how truly unserious the Israelis were when she was willing not to return to her father’s stolen home in Jaffa. The life of women in Palestine would be much better if the Israelis didn’t decide to woo Hamas in the 80s in order to compete against the secular PLO. The blowback from that decision was truly tragic for all involved.

      link to online.wsj.com

      • dahoit
        January 13, 2012, 8:50 am

        Why is Hamas bad?Because they won’t give up and prostrate themselves like the PLO and Fatah?Their adherence to religious diktats,and not being hypocrites?I guarantee you the Israeli boosting of Hamas back in the 80s would have happened without their involvement,as religion is the fallback option for people under stress,witness our and Israels religious revival of crazy nuts have actually eschew the tenets of their religions basic admonitions in their rage,hypocritically,unlike Hamas more faithful approach.

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 9:11 am

        They are bad because they shell civilians, in acts of collective punishment.

        They are bad (at war) because they publicly declare that they will never accept their neighbors’ existence.

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:28 pm

        They are bad because they shell civilians, in acts of collective punishment.

        So you therefore nto agree that the IDF are bad becasue they have shelled and bombed civlians, in acts of collective punishment?

        They are bad (at war) because they publicly declare that they will never accept their neighbors’ existence.

        Is Israel bad becasue they never accept their neighbors’ existence?

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 11:27 am

        So then, Dick Witty, by your logic, aren’t the Israeli Jews at least as bad because they punish collectively the Palestinians in a much more severe degree? And Is not Israel at least as bad because it assumes and declares often that the establishment and maintenance of Israel as Israel does assumes and accepts that Jews have a right superior to the native Palestinians to live in Israel, who have lived there for thousands of years, and that the Nakba merely and justly secured that superior right–despite the fact the Palestinians never participated or benefited from the Shoa, which happened in Europe?

    • pabelmont
      January 12, 2012, 4:31 pm

      Alterman is quoted: “under the “pro-Israel” mantle, traditional American Jewish organizations, as well as conservative Christian ones, focus exclusively on external threats and have encouraged these destructive tendencies, helping empower those who would make them permanent. And they’ve done so, necessarily, at the expense of Israel’s democracy and its standing in the world as a nation that lives according to its values.” ERIC, DEAR, “its values” are becoming quite clear and may not be what they once were (or were once supposed to be or said to be or wished to be).

      I am now convinced that Israel’s dominant values are racist, acquisitive, anti-Arab, anti-democratic, pro-war (in an active way, whereas pro-war Americans are more passive — I hope!) anti-law (or at least international law and agreements), brutal, in short pretty horrible. This is not what the declaration of independence said, but what you see today and have seen for many years, certainly since 1967.

      Those in Israel who are made uncomfortable by all (or much) of this are apparently fairly silent and entirely powerless. I don’t know why they stay. what magic do they hope for? The same magic the Palestinians have been hoping for, for all these years? It’s all tunnel and no end and no light — that I can see.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 11:36 am

        The US Declaration Of Independence was, is the source for American values, and the US Constitution is the governing (and counter-balancing) framework to carry those values out in a land with many factions and a diversity of opinion and direct interests. Israel has the 1st, not the second, which is like having a dream, but no effective tools to make that dream come true. That Israel has no Constitution since 1948–is intentional. A simple analogy is when the US Congress passes a nice law, a mandate glowing with full-blown humanism, but it is not federally funded. It’s already been noted on this site that 1948 Israel was required by the conditions of its acceptance as a nation among nations at the UN to articulate its Declaration Of Independence. It performed the conditional pro forma documentation, and since its birth has never tried to honor it.

    • Hostage
      January 12, 2012, 8:06 pm

      For me being pro-Israel means helping Israel live out the words of its declaration of independence, which promises a Jewish state that will provide complete social and political equality, irrespective of race, religion and sex.

      He seems to be suffering from multiple personality disorder. This is the same guy who wrote:

      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.

      In any event Witty, I’ve pointed out to you that the People’s Council only inserted those words because the UN had demanded it. By 1950 the same leadership denied they’d meant anything when they said all of those things. Despite the fact that resolution 181(II) placed the rights under UN guarantee, Israel has unilaterally declared its undertaking and the resolution null and void. If the entire international community has been unable to get Israel to live up to its word, what is Peter Beinart going to do about it?

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 1:47 am

        “In any event Witty, I’ve pointed out to you that the People’s Council only inserted those words because the UN had demanded it. ”

        A loopy argument. Sometimes you speak intelligently, and then sometimes you project wildly.

        The declaration IS. Its like saying that the US declaration of independence doesn’t mean that “all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights”, because there was some prior discussion with some with different emphasis than the result.

        Lame.

      • Hostage
        January 13, 2012, 6:08 am

        A loopy argument. Sometimes you speak intelligently, and then sometimes you project wildly.

        Richard you’re so dizzy that the only thing keeping you bolt-upright is the constant angular velocity of the shit spinning around in your otherwise empty head.

        In the Status Quo Agreement with World Agudat Israel, Ben Gurion assured them that no body would be able to retroactively dictate the terms of the constitution after independence was obtained and that they would then be able to adopt terms to suit themselves.

        Here is a verbatim quote from UN General Assembly resolution 181(II) which dictated the terms of the Constitution and placed them under UN guarantee:

        The Constitutions of the States shall embody Chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration provided for in section C below . . .

        C. DECLARATION

        A declaration shall be made to the United Nations by the Provisional Government of each proposed State before independence. It shall contain, inter alia, the following clauses:
        General Provision

        The stipulations contained in the Declaration are recognized as fundamental laws of the State and no law, regulation or official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them.

        Chapter 2: Religious and Minority Rights . . .
        No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex.

        All persons within the jurisdiction of the State shall be entitled to equal protection of the laws. . . .

        No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be paid previous to dispossession.

        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.

        Here is the verbatim quote from the minutes of the Sitting of the Peoples Council on 14 May 1948. Ben Gurion:

        “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″

        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? Mr Abba Eban said he could answer in the affirmative and cited the Declaration of Independence. See pages 2-3 of the .pdf A/AC.24/SR.48 link to doc.un.org

        At the 51st session of the Ad Hoc Committee on Israel’s membership in the UN Mr Eban affirmed 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 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.

        In 1950 the representative of Israel claim that, although Israel had expressed its willingness to provide the required declaration, it had been admitted to membership in the United Nations without ever providing one. 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 first President of the Supreme Court Justice M. Smoira ruled that:

        The Declaration expresses the vision and credo of the people; but it is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes.

        The Israeli UN representatives and Israeli Foreign Ministers subsequently declared that General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was “null and
        void”. e.g. link to un.org

        During the Eichmann trial Hannah Arendt wrote that Israeli officials agreed outside the courtroom upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which racially discriminatory laws would embarrassingly have to be spelled out. — Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7

        In recent years the members of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee have openly rejected the idea of “ensurance of equality” in the Constitution, saying it would contradict Judaism. See MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution link to haaretz.com

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 7:03 am

        A loopy argument. Sometimes you speak intelligently, and then sometimes you project wildly.

        For Christs sake Witty, Hostage is suporting every step of his argument with detailed links, quotes and reference. You’re just spouting hot air and bovine excrement about your feelings and what the meaning of “IS” is.

        Seriously, having you accuse Hostage of loopy arguments, project wildly and being lame is like Dubya givign a lecture to Stephen Hawking on theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity. It’s too painful to even watch.

      • john h
        January 14, 2012, 1:26 am

        Take a dose of reality, Richard.

        Human rights equated with national suicide

        12 Jan, 2012. Israel’s high court upholds a law preventing Palestinians from living with their spouses in Israel.

        On Wednesday, Israel’s High Court rejected a legal challenge to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, by a six to five vote. The law, first passed as a ‘temporary’ measure in 2003 and renewed ever since, prevents Palestinians from the Occupied Territories (and those from ‘enemy states’) from living with their spouses in Israel.

        For thousands of Palestinian families, Israel’s law means a choice between moving abroad, living apart, or living in Israel illegally. No wonder that the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) condemned what it described as a “racist law” for the way it harms “the very texture of the lives of families whose only sin is the Palestinian blood that runs in their veins”.

        Legal rights centre Adalah, who have been deeply involved with challenges to the law, said that the High Court had “approved a law the likes of which does not exist in any democratic state in the world, depriving citizens from maintaining a family life in Israel only on the basis of the ethnicity or national belonging of their spouse”.

        In the majority opinion, Justice Asher Grunis wrote that “human rights are not a prescription for national suicide”, a term often invoked by those worrying about what realising Palestinian rights would mean for Israel’s Jewish majority.

        This same phrase was invoked by the Interior Minister Eli Yishai, while coalition chair and Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin applauded the High Court judges for understanding, as he put it, that “human rights cannot jeopardize the State”.

        in Israel, demography is by no means a ‘fringe’ concern, as this week’s news shows. Indeed, it has shaped government policy on immigration, land, and planning since 1948, for the brutal fact is that the ‘Jewish majority’ was only realised in the first place by the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and their exclusion by both violent and ‘legal’ means.

        Still lauded as a progressive beacon by some, Israel continues to lay increasingly bare the hollow meaning of its ‘democracy’.

        link to aljazeera.com

        The Declaration promises have never been kept, which means nationhood and UN membership was claimed under false pretences.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 11:56 am

        Witty, the US Declaration only means something because the US Constitution set up a framework for unbiased results via its system of checks and balances and the subsequent Bill Of Rights. Yes, Israel’s Declaration of Independence IS, is a piece of paper without teeth. Considering Israel’s laws and judicial case decisions and the weak power of its highest court, the Basic Laws don’t mean much to nonJews under Jewish power and control in that state, let alone the OT. You yourself would never live in an America with the same reality, regardless of America’s wonderful Declaration of Independence.

    • Shingo
      January 13, 2012, 6:55 am

      For me being pro-Israel means helping Israel live out the words of its declaration of independence, which promises a Jewish state that will provide complete social and political equality, irrespective of race, religion and sex.

      The only state that would provide complete social and political equality, irrespective of race, religion and sex would be completely secular and not defined by any ethnicity. In other words, a non Jewish state.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 11:58 am

        Yes, exactly as the US is not a white christian state and does not characterize itself as such although (even now) the majority of its citizens are both white and Christian.

    • American
      January 13, 2012, 10:07 am

      The Israeli Declaration of Independence witty?

      It’s a much a lie as the US Bill of Rights originally was regarding blacks in America.
      The Israeli Supreme Court already ruled it merely a “guide” that can be ignored, not constitutional law.

      “The declaration stated that the State of Israel would ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex, and guaranteed freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. However, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.[22] The Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes.”

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      And unlike the US Israel doesn’t have a 100 years left to get it right.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 12:02 pm

        And unlike the US, Israel was established AFTER the guiding legal principles laid down at Nuremberg in 1945. If those now world-wide recognized legal principles were enforced by God, the neocons/zionists of the Bush Jr regime, and the Zionist regime, at very least, would now be on trial at the Hague.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        January 15, 2012, 12:33 pm

        guiding legal principles laid down at Nuremberg in 1945 Oh but there are indications the guiding legal principles were immediately implemented in the war of 1948. The principles were “don’t put anything in writing that might be used against you later on.” Here’s Peretz Kidron on the matter link to groups.yahoo.com
        I know, the site doesn’t need extra sarcasm.

    • Koshiro
      January 13, 2012, 11:21 am

      A little different meaning than your snippet of Morris. He does equate Arab society with misogyny, and with rejection of Israel. That’s what he says is the “less Arabs” that he’d like to see.

      Nonsense.

      If he wanted to see less misogyny and rejection and Israel by Israeli Arabs, he would have said: “I would like to see the misogynist and rejectionist elements of Israeli Arab society reduced.” Which would still make him an arrogant asshole, talking down to an oppressed minority from a privileged position, but not necessarily a racist.

      But he didn’t say that. What he said was “less Arab”, which means that a) he considers all of Arab society to be misogynist and rejectionist and b) that this is an unchangeable feature of being Arab.

      Both of these elements, separately, show Morris to be what everybody with even the the slightest ability to put 2 and 2 together already knows he is: A racist. It is no different than claiming that Jews are inherently greedy parasites.

  4. Dan Crowther
    January 12, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I’ll take Benny Morris and Marty Peretz all day over liberal zionists and “jews for….” groups. At least they are honest about their ethno-centricity…..

    • seafoid
      January 12, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Morris and Marty are no good to Israel. Israel needs pragmatists rather than signposters to Masada.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 12, 2012, 5:33 pm

        Seafoid – so you do sort of agree with me? I agree with your point as well, the more people in the chorus of “dissent” the better for its democratic bona fides

      • seafoid
        January 13, 2012, 5:01 am

        I agree on the honesty part, Dan. At least Lieberman is honest. But he and Perez are a disaster for Israeli citizens. I think the system is going to crash .

    • Hostage
      January 12, 2012, 8:39 pm

      I’ll take Benny Morris and Marty Peretz all day over liberal zionists and “jews for….” groups. At least they are honest about their ethno-centricity…..

      Wow! As a member of Jewish Voice for Peace I’d advise against that. It’ll just confirm their belief that they really are the chosen people :-(

      • Dan Crowther
        January 13, 2012, 7:19 pm

        I just can’t get down with associations that exclude based on birth….

      • Hostage
        January 14, 2012, 8:26 am

        I just can’t get down with associations that exclude based on birth….

        JVP is a national organization of Jews and allies. We are open to non-Jews as well, and work in coalition with Arab, Muslim, Palestinian and Christian groups to fight bigotry and end the occupation:

        Q: Do I have to be Jewish to join JVP?

        A: No. At JVP, we are inspired by Jewish values and traditions that call for peace and justice. At the same time, we welcome both Jews and allies who advocate for an end to the Israeli occupation and oppose anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia.

        link to jewishvoiceforpeace.org

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Yes, for the simple reason, Dan C, that nobody chooses who their parents are, and are not. Simple fairness. But what they hey, lots of parents don’t see that point either, even as they are propelled by it in their own cycle of inequities.

      • Dan Crowther
        January 15, 2012, 12:31 pm

        heres my thing with the JVP thing though —

        it says “Jews” (understood to be humans) and “allies” — what is an ally? Ive never been to that country, where is it?

        So, Jews can join, no problem – but for non jew humans ( which is what i presume the “allies” to be) there is a litmus test – namely, you have to prove to the jews that you are an ally….

        how is this not giving preferential treatment to “groups” of people? If I think its bullsht for a jew from jersey to be able to move to Israel based on who they are, why should I (really, ‘we’) give any sort of priority to speech based on who it comes from?

        my answer is, we shouldn’t and we should question those who would perpetuate this type of thing (even if, and maybe especially, if we find common ground with them and respect many of their views, as I do with Hostage)

      • Donald
        January 15, 2012, 12:48 pm

        I just joined. Should have done it sooner, but you know, a name like “Jewish Voice for Peace” does make it sound like you’d have to be Jewish, which I’m not. But I read their FAQ and and their stance on the issues and agreed with all of it.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    January 12, 2012, 2:24 pm

    tsk, tsk. That’s not even half-way up to your normal excuse-mongering for your evil state. You’re slipping, Zionist.

  6. eljay
    January 12, 2012, 3:04 pm

    >> Beinart: For me being pro-Israel means helping Israel live out the words of its declaration of independence, which promises a Jewish state that will provide complete social and political equality, irrespective of race, religion and sex.

    Israel as a “Jewish state” does not and will not provide complete equality as long as:
    – a right of “return” for Jews only exists; and
    – a permanent-majority status for Jews only is enshrined in law.

    >> Morris: But the Israel I want to see is more humane, more open, less religious and—to put it frankly—less Arab. I want less input from the ultra-Orthodox and from the Arab minorities. The ultra-Orthodox are milking the state for all it’s worth without contributing to the collective … Israeli-Arab society, which is 90 to 95 percent Muslim, is intolerant … and, in general, the Arab minority—to listen to its leaders—rejects the idea of Jewish statehood. Both are intolerant …

    So, his idea of a “humane” Israel is one that’s more religion-supremacist and less secular, egalitarian and democratic. It really shouldn’t surprise him that all those dirty, evil Israeli “Arabs” reject a religion-supremacist “Jewish statehood” (as opposed to a secular, egalitarian and democratic Israeli statehood) that will permanently relegate it to second-class-citizen status.

    • piotr
      January 12, 2012, 9:11 pm

      I think that you are wrong. Morris is pro-secular. The ideal would be to expel the Arabs, populate the West Bank with the religious types and have “west Israel” for comfortable, “humane” living by Jewish secularists.

      • eljay
        January 13, 2012, 7:41 am

        >> I think that you are wrong. Morris is pro-secular.

        If Morris advocates for a secular and democratic Israeli state for all Israelis equally, I stand corrected. But my understanding is that he advocates for a “Jewish state”, which cannot be secular or egalitarian as long as:
        – non-Jews are required to undergo religious conversion to become Jewish; and
        – non-Israeli Jews have a “preferential invitation” to “return” to Israel; and
        – the “RW option” exists to excise non-Jewish Israelis whose demographics threaten the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 12:12 pm

        piotr, what I read Morris as writing is that he wants a secular Jewish state.

  7. Donald
    January 12, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Look at what David Shipler (Friedman’s predecessor as the NYT reporter in Israel and widely praised author of “Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land”) said–

    “There was once a quaint notion that land could be traded for peace. Israel tried it in 2005 by withdrawing unilaterally from Gaza, and Hamas answered with rocket attacks. Nevertheless, 70 percent of Israelis, in a recent poll by Hebrew University, still favor a Palestinian state.

    That suggests Israelis might want to see most of the West Bank become Palestine one day, if they can get a reliable peace in exchange. If so, then Israel might do well to keep open the possibility of withdrawing instead of slamming doors in its face by continuing to build Jewish settlements there. ”

    I don’t get why supposedly well-intentioned people interested in reconciliation repeat one-sided nonsense like this. Well, I do get it, but it’s frustrating. He wants Israel to stop building settlements, but he also wants to put as much blame as possible on the Palestinians for the lack of peace. There’s no way to understand the conflict if one constantly portrays the Israelis as largely reasonable, but facing a bunch of intransigent rocket-firing terrorists, but if you want to ever so gently nudge the Israelis while still assuring them that you are on their side then you’d write like this. But I see no reason why the pro-settlement Israelis would want to change if all they face in America are critics like Shipler.

    I read his book too, a long time ago. It was considered daring for its time, in that it recognized that Palestinians were actual human beings with a few legitimate grievances, but he obviously identified with the Israelis. If anything, he’s gotten worse.

  8. HarryLaw
    January 12, 2012, 5:11 pm

    People like Morris can never walk back these racist comments, I am glad he made them, now he can be called a true racist at any meetings he attends.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    January 12, 2012, 7:14 pm

    RE: “Benny Morris dreams of a ‘less Arab’ Israel”

    MY COMMENT: Much as Pat Buchanan dreams of a less colored (whiter) America!

    • Chaos4700
      January 12, 2012, 10:30 pm

      And apparently so does Witty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him bend over backward farther, even during Operation Cast Lead.

  10. RoHa
    January 12, 2012, 8:15 pm

    “to keep Jews from submitting to the tyranny of a non-Jewish ethnic majority”

    Just as the poor Australian Jews have to submit to the tyranny of a non-Jewish ethnic majority in Australia.

  11. Chaos4700
    January 12, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Racism and harvesting wealth (often through violent mechanisms) is something fatally indemic to white European colonial culture — whether it is the United States or Israel.

    I agree with you 100% — the United States looks way too much like Israel and it makes us like ugly.

  12. yourstruly
    January 13, 2012, 1:34 am

    benny morris dreams of a less arab israel?

    i dream of the dissolution of israel*

    and in its place?

    palestine, just and free

    *the entity, not its people

  13. Richard Witty
    January 13, 2012, 7:11 am

    There are a few facts that are difficult to reconcile, but must be:

    1. Israel exists, is not disappearing. Birth happened.
    2. The 67 borders, and moreso the maze of current settlement is far less defensible than the rectangle of river to sea.
    3. Palestinian in the West Bank are disenfranchised, don’t have self-determination, self-government.

    So, how do you reconcile those three currently?

    The way that I do is the two-state solution.

    Many here hold the fantasy that from those tensions, the one that “solves” it is the removal of Israel, but that is similar to the same theme that willing genocidalists adopt, “I wish they weren’t there”.

    Better that we work towards creating an environment of mutual acceptance, acceptance of the people and their right to self-govern (Israelis AND Palestinians), and drop the fantasies that slip too damn close to wishing that the other didn’t exist.

    • Cliff
      January 13, 2012, 7:43 am

      You are repeating things you’ve said for years. Everyone knows that Israel exist. You are only assuring yourself, not anyone else.

      Israel as a racist, apartheid State with privilege for Jews over non-Jews should disappear. It may not happen anytime soon though.

      You compare us to genocidalists and thus trivialize the concept. Totally idiotic and irresponsible as is your disgusting characterizations of historical Palestinian suffering and the Nakba as ‘academic’.

      • eljay
        January 13, 2012, 8:22 am

        >> Totally idiotic and irresponsible as is your disgusting characterizations of historical Palestinian suffering and the Nakba as ‘academic’.

        And let’s not forget “necessary”. RW – like eee – believes that Zionist terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and land was “necessary”. That’s a sentiment which should never be left unacknowledged.

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 9:05 am

        Cliff,
        If you hold a view of “I wish they just weren’t there”, I hope that you will acknowledge that that is the beginning of a genocidal permission.

        The standard applies to Zionists as well, and may apply to Morris, I don’t know. I don’t think so.

        The academic element of the question is about what happened 6 years before my birth. Most avoid the question. I stuck my neck out and applied the math of you have to cross a line to get from point a to point b.

        Most anti-Zionists also avoid the question of the ethnic cleansing intent of the organized Palestinian anti-Zionist movement and Arab League war of 1948.

        You (yes you) also ignore that academic question.

        On the REAL question of current status for Palestinians, I oppose the settlement expansion effort, as a state sovereignty extension.

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:37 pm

        If you hold a view of “I wish they just weren’t there”, I hope that you will acknowledge that that is the beginning of a genocidal permission.

        That would make Zionist a genocidal ideology from the outset. After all, the man who created Zionist, Hertzl, spoke of transfer from the day he dreamed it up 114 years ago.

        Does that not make you pro genocide Witty?

        The standard applies to Zionists as well, and may apply to Morris, I don’t know. I don’t think so.

        He lays it out in plain English, but you don’t know?

        The academic element of the question is about what happened 6 years before my birth.

        No, the academic element of the question is about what Zionism has always been.

        Most anti-Zionists also avoid the question of the ethnic cleansing intent of the organized Palestinian anti-Zionist movement and Arab League war of 1948.

        There wasn’t any ethnic cleansing intent. The Palestinians, who were overwhelmingly overpowered, tried in vain to defended their villaghes while the Zionists were expelling them beginning November 1947.

        You o ignore that academic question becasue you support that genocidal policy as necessary for the greater good.

    • eljay
      January 13, 2012, 7:47 am

      >> Better that we work towards creating an environment of mutual acceptance …

      But we dare not start by requiring Israel to halt it’s 60+ years, ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. Oh, no, not that!

      Imagine – just imagine! – the cruelty of requiring the rapist to immediately halt his rape as the first step “towards creating an environment of mutual acceptance”!

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 9:06 am

        Lets work to stop the expansion.

        Do you think that posing and then abusively repeating litmus test questions about the long past, to potential allies in that effort, helps or hurts your cause?

      • eljay
        January 13, 2012, 10:45 am

        >> Do you think that posing and then abusively repeating litmus test questions about the long past, to potential allies in that effort, helps or hurts your cause?

        RW is perhaps not aware that Israel’s 60+ years, ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder (and not just the expansion he limits himself to in his post) is not a “litmus test question about the long past”, it’s a very current and very real travesty of justice and morality.

        Also not “litmus test questions about the long past” are RW’s equally current and real:
        – support for a religion-supremacist “Jewish state” and “preferential invitation” for non-Israeli Jews (but not non-Israeli non-Jews) to “return” to Israel; and
        – proposal to excise non-Jewish Israelis from their own country should their demographics threaten the permanent-majority status of Jews Zio-supremacism.

        Not much of a potential ally.

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 11:15 am

        Opposing the occupation, opposing the settlement expansion.

        What other allies could you possibly have?

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Yes Witty,

        Frauds like you and Beinart oppose the occupation and settlement expansion, but only rhetorically. The two of you are like those impotent talking heads at the US State Department who call for “restraint” every time Israel bombs Gaza or murders a dozen Palestinians, or describes plans to build another 1,600 units in East Jerusalem as unhelpful.

        Neither of you will ever agree to end the occupation and settlement expansion. In fact, if ever came the day that it did end, you’d both be squealing that Israel was committing suicide.

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Lets work to stop the expansion.

        Why not end the expansion, end the settlemtns and end the occupation completely? Or are you simply ssatisfied with the state of settlements as they are?

      • Donald
        January 13, 2012, 4:25 pm

        “opposing the settlement expansion.”

        Carefully chosen words for once. Opposing the settlement EXPANSION. Supporting the ones that are there. And if the settlements expand today, you’ll support those tomorrow and oppose expansion. Then after some more expansion, you’ll support those and oppose future expansion. Then…

      • Shingo
        January 13, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Carefully chosen words for once. Opposing the settlement EXPANSION. Supporting the ones that are there.

        Yes indeed Donald, that sticks out like a sore thumb. Not oppoing the settements or the occupation, just keeping it as it is.

        And Witty wants ut to support his position to boot.

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 4:34 pm

        You guys should KNOW that I regard the forced dispossession of hundreds of thousands to be a cruelty. If necessary, then hold your noses and do it.

        Don’t rationalize that it is inconsequential though, and then rant at me about 1948.

        The principle of residence over Israeli citizenship is critical. Allowing those that regard their residence in the land as more important than their Israeli citizenship, changes the nature of their residence from state expansion to personal residence.

        State expansion is unjust. Residence is civilian life.

      • James North
        January 13, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Ouch, Donald. You noticed that I can write carefully and precisely when I have to; I am an accountant after all.
        ‘Over the past couple of years, I’ve made more than 11,000 comments on Mondoweiss. I’ve done absolutely nothing to argue against settlement EXPANSION. So now thousands more settler/colonists have illegally gone into Occupied Palestine.
        ‘We should just forget about them. The future is what counts.’

      • eljay
        January 13, 2012, 4:47 pm

        >> What other allies could you possibly have?

        Lillian Rosengarten

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 4:48 pm

        We’ve both argued against settlement expansion North. Neither of our arguments have done any good yet.

        What do you think would affect a change in Israeli policy? Ranting and dividing around an issue, or unifying around an issue.

      • Donald
        January 13, 2012, 4:56 pm

        “You guys should KNOW that I regard the forced dispossession of hundreds of thousands to be a cruelty. If necessary, then hold your noses and do it.”

        Shooting and crying, Witty style.

        “Don’t rationalize that it is inconsequential though, and then rant at me about 1948.”

        So if someone takes your land, builds a house on it (or just takes yours), it would be unjust to make that person leave. Truly, Richard, you have a dizzying intellect.

        The settlers aren’t innocent victims, Richard. But if they are, why do you oppose having more of them? Is it okay up to the present, and then it stops being okay? There’s a metaphysical problem here, though, Richard–the moment we label “the present” is a moving target.

      • James North
        January 13, 2012, 4:59 pm

        Richard Witty said, ‘Another fake effort by me to engage in dialog (sic). I know most Mondoweiss visitors endorse BDS as a first step toward “affect[ing] a change in Israeli policy. (I should have written “effect[ing]“, but I was in a hurry.)
        ‘Now watch me squawk as I misrepresent BDS for the 11,000th time.’

      • eljay
        January 13, 2012, 5:00 pm

        >> Carefully chosen words for once. Opposing the settlement EXPANSION.

        I see that I wasn’t the only person who noticed that.

        >> And if the settlements expand today, you’ll support those tomorrow and oppose expansion. Then after some more expansion, you’ll support those and oppose future expansion. Then…

        Ah, yes, but only until “enough Israel” has been acquired. After that, the Palestinians will be permitted to “negotiate” for the scraps. Anything else would be “academic speculation” (or perhaps “maximalism” or “Hamas”).

      • john h
        January 13, 2012, 5:03 pm

        You stated, Richard, “opposing the occupation”; your critics fastened on what you said after that.

        So tell us, what do you mean by that quoted statement? Does it mean your position is that you want the occupation (and therefore all settlements outside legal Israel) to end, or not?

      • Richard Witty
        January 14, 2012, 5:23 am

        What I mean by “opposing the occupation” is that the state of Israel should not govern what occurs in the areas where Palestinians are the solid majority (West Bank, Gaza). That the land, and the people, should self-govern.

        I distinguish between the three critical issues of: sovereignty, title, and residence.

        I do so in a color-blind manner relative to Israel and to Palestine. In ALL cases, where people reside, unless there is a current compelling reason (not just an idea or an assertion) to remove a resident, I oppose it. It happens, but when applied en masse whether people have a “right” to be there, or not, it is a cruelty. The concepts of international law, that are asserted to be definitive on the subject of mass forced removal of an unwelcome population, are not definitive, and gravely risk repeating a gross injustice.

        I will NEVER take that risk of willingly undertaking what could be a gross cruelty in presuming that I know what international law compels, more to fulfil my emotional angers.

        Title issues remain, and greatly affect rights to residence and vice-versa. An imperfect title remains contested until a legal remedy is applied that perfects that title to a status of consented. (Not by all people, people can object to the legal determination indefinitely based on their own sense of individual or collective entitlement, but by the “reasonable man” test under the law.)

        All systems of law have some method of reconciling that discrepancy between what an emotional individual or emotional mob conclude and what is just, fair, heard.

        If you want a color-blind application of law, and not a mob-oriented application of law, you will give EVERYONE their day in court, and abandon all prejudicial judgments in favor of supportive arguments, hopefully based on real humanism (which values humans, not ideologiies).

      • eljay
        January 14, 2012, 10:20 am

        >> In ALL cases, where people reside, unless there is a current compelling reason (not just an idea or an assertion) to remove a resident, I oppose it. It happens, but when applied en masse whether people have a “right” to be there, or not, it is a cruelty.

        Hmmm…so, when it happens in small numbers, it is not a cruelty. Interesting.

        —————————
        Dear Israel,

        The days of mass ethnic cleansing – which I continue to justify and defend, despite having only an assertion, and not any compelling evidence, to support my position – are over.

        Please refrain from removing residents en masse, as this is a cruelty, and focus on removing only small and more easily-excusable numbers at any one time.

        But only until “enough Israel” has been achieved! (I am certain you have the wisdom necessary to determine the correct size of “enough Israel”.)

        Yours in tribal allegiance,

        A “humanist” Zio-supremacist

      • Donald
        January 14, 2012, 11:22 am

        Under the Richard Witty doctrine, Israelis would be well-advised to take as much land as possible and settle while the settling is good, with the full assurance that they will be able to “perfect their title” at some later date and any attempt to toss them off the land they had no business settling will be regarded as a great cruelty.

        Needless to say, Palestinians are unable to benefit from the same set of rules by moving back into their homeland from which they were forcibly expelled in a series of war crimes.

      • Shingo
        January 14, 2012, 4:44 pm

        What I mean by “opposing the occupation” is that the state of Israel should not govern what occurs in the areas where Palestinians are the solid majority (West Bank, Gaza).

        That’s not the same thing as demanding an end to the occupation. Israel techically do not govern parts of the West Bank, but they still occupy it.

        IS that what you had in mind Witty?

        In ALL cases, where people reside, unless there is a current compelling reason (not just an idea or an assertion) to remove a resident, I oppose it.

        Yes we know Witty, the one exception being the creation of a racist spremacist state of ISrael.

        It happens, but when applied en masse whether people have a “right” to be there, or not, it is a cruelty.

        It’s only cruelty now that Israelis live there. It wasn’t cruelty when Israel did it in 1947 – 1948 right Witty? Or rather, it was cruelty that you supported.

        The concepts of international law, that are asserted to be definitive on the subject of mass forced removal of an unwelcome population, are not definitive, and gravely risk repeating a gross injustice.

        Yes Witty, better to keep perpetrating the gross injustice on the Palestinians only. No need to get the Israelis involved.

        I will NEVER take that risk of willingly undertaking what could be a gross cruelty in presuming that I know what international law compels, more to fulfil my emotional angers.

        Of course, you have said that ethnic cleasing is currebtly not necessary, so wjhat you mean by “never” is only if it affects Israelis Jews, but if you had to for he better good of Israel, you would hold your nose right?

      • Shingo
        January 14, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Needless to say, Palestinians are unable to benefit from the same set of rules by moving back into their homeland from which they were forcibly expelled in a series of war crimes.

        Right on the money Donald. That’s why “Liberal Zionists” never seem to be in a hurry to resolve this dispute, while givign lip service to a 2ss and wanting peace. They are happy to drag it out as long as possible.

      • john h
        January 14, 2012, 10:30 pm

        I will NEVER take that risk of willingly undertaking what could be a gross cruelty in presuming that I know what international law compels, more to fulfil my emotional angers.

        International law does not compel. If it did then we wouldn’t be writing as we do. Israel simply ignores it with impunity because no one compels it to do otherwise.

        International law states clearly what the world considers legal and just. Anyone can know what that is without presuming anything.

        This has nothing to do with fulfilling emotional anger.

        The gross cruelty comes from precisely what I have just talked about. That is, Israeli impunity from the failure of the will of the powers to compel it to keep international law.

        That is a continuing gross cruelty to Palestinians. Only a Zionist, liberal or otherwise, has a perverted morality that says it is gross cruelty to compel it to vacate stolen lands and to cease oppressively ruling over another people.

      • Richard Witty
        January 15, 2012, 12:45 pm

        Try considering what forcefully removing 550,000 PEOPLE means.

        Its not justifiable on political grounds, now, by your current advocacy.

        Try to find another way to accomplish self-governance for Palestinians than by cruelty to another, however motivated.

      • Donald
        January 15, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “Try to find another way to accomplish self-governance for Palestinians than by cruelty to another, however motivated.”

        So let Israel show good faith by subsidizing 550,000 Palestinians willing to move into some choice property inside Israel.

      • john h
        January 16, 2012, 4:56 am

        As usual you ignore almost all of what anyone says, and wander on with what you want to say about one tiny bit, if we’re lucky.

        Try to find another way to accomplish self-governance for Palestinians

        No Richard, it is not about that, that is what it is about for you, the self-named “liberal Zionist.” For you it’s about Palestinian self-governing in bantustans and Palestine meeting Israel’s “needs” for “enough” Israel and Israeli security.

        What it is about is Palestinian sovereignty with all that that means, and it is about Palestinian security with all that that means.

        In the final analysis, it is about justice, accountability, peace, and reconciliation for both Palestine and Israel, or Palestinians and Jews, with all that that means for each.

      • Shingo
        January 16, 2012, 5:20 am

        Nicely put John.

        Witty also has this sleazy and sneaky habbit fo describing every post on Phi’s blog as “dissent”, which is a blatant attempt to dismiss them as lacking objectivity or credibility.

        We really need the “ignore this person” button. It would really remove the Witty noise from these threads. He doesnt even try to engage the topic or anyone anymore – he’s to busy having debates with himself and uses this forum as platform.

      • Richard Witty
        January 16, 2012, 6:12 am

        “So let Israel show good faith by subsidizing 550,000 Palestinians willing to move into some choice property inside Israel.”

        Its a proposal to state that “forced removal stops NOW”, not later, not ‘after this last one’.

      • eljay
        January 16, 2012, 7:38 am

        >> Try considering what forcefully removing 550,000 PEOPLE means.

        RW has tried considering what that means, and these are the conclusions he has reached:
        >> I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.
        >> If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.
        – … I feel that the nakba [sic] was a necessary wrong …

        Perhaps he has a kinder, gentler vision for the future. Let’s see:
        >> I am a Zionist in the sense that 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.
        >> 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.

        Hmmm…RW’s vision includes bureaucratic cleansing of non-Jewish Israelis from their own country should their demographic threaten the permanent-majority status of Jewish Israelis in the religion-surpemacist “Jewish state” of Israel.

        Surprise, surprise. (not)

      • Donald
        January 16, 2012, 7:59 am

        “Its a proposal to state that “forced removal stops NOW”, not later, not ‘after this last one’.”

        I don’t get it Richard. If 550,000 Israeli Jews get to benefit from a criminal policy and don’t have to move if they don’t want to, then in fairness shouldn’t Israel also subsidize 550,000 Palestinians who are willing to move inside the 67 lines? The only unfairness here would be in deciding which Palestinians get the subsidy.

        I’m thinking a lot of beachfront property handed over to the Palestinians might go a long way to showing good faith, but the Palestinians should decide, again in the interests of fairness.

      • Richard Witty
        January 16, 2012, 8:07 am

        My proposal contains compassion for people.

        The settlers also understand that they are living in their homeland, and the emotional ties are deep.

        Lets stop forced removal now. Lets not say, “this one is ok, but that one isn’t.’

        In the case of the Jewish refugees following WW2, and then of those forced out of their Arab then home countries, if there was a path for them to exist anywhere else, then that would have made your argument that the Jews/Zionists are acting for a strictly political agenda, for intentional political expropriation.

        And, to the extent that there is no other path for Palestinians, they face the same dilemma. In the name of solidarity, they are not being allowed to migrate, or to remain where they live.

        In Lebanon and Syria, they are denied equal rights, as pronounced as the denial of equal rights in Palestine, but without the idiot-wind hilltop youth harrassment.

        The 67 borders make a home, a path. Equal rights for Palestinian Israelis make a path. Equal rights in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt make a path.

        Acceptance of the other makes a path.

    • Shingo
      January 13, 2012, 7:47 am

      1. Israel exists, is not disappearing. Birth happened.

      Of course Israel exists, but the birth didn’t happen. It was forced upon the Palestinians.

      2. The 67 borders, and moreso the maze of current settlement is far less defensible than the rectangle of river to sea.

      Bullshit. In this day and age fo long range weaponry, that’s an anachronism.

      3. Palestinian in the West Bank are disenfranchised, don’t have self-determination, self-government.

      By whom? The partheid expasionist state of Israel. Of course, the same goes for Gaza and East Jerusalem.

      So, how do you reconcile those three currently?

      Force Israel to withdaw to the 1967 border without any ifs ands or buts.

      The way that I do is the two-state solution.

      Yes, you keep telling us what you would do, as though anyone gives a toss what you would do or what you think.

      Many here hold the fantasy that from those tensions, the one that “solves” it is the removal of Israel, but that is similar to the same theme that willing genocidalists adopt, “I wish they weren’t there”.

      Whereas you adopt the genocidalists approach of “let’s pretend that we want a solution, but do nothing and maintain the status quo, so that we can buy more time for Israel to steal more land and do more damage.”

      Of course, this is all off topic. The topic being discussed here is the racism of Morris and Peretz and how that racism was shared by the founders of Israel, becasue ultimately, the 114 year old Zionist ideologyis racism.

      This is becomming a familiar pattern with you Witty. Every time a nasty fact or juicy bit of information comes out that casts a bad light on Israel, you first try to deny it, then you wander off into Kumbaya land and highjack the thead by turning it into a vaccuous discussion about mutual acceptance, acceptance of the people and their right to self-govern.

      Yawn. Go fix your own blog Witty. It’s as sad, negelcted and dillapidated as your mind.

      • Richard Witty
        January 13, 2012, 9:08 am

        The “three facts” relate to the Morris gang up.

    • Citizen
      January 15, 2012, 12:24 pm

      Witty, in this case, you sound sincere, so I ask you, has there ever been an Israeli leader’s vision of a Palestinian state that describes a sovereign state like any other in existence?

  14. dahoit
    January 13, 2012, 8:58 am

    Israel obviously exists,but to say it won’t disappear seems a stretch,as nothing lasts forever,and it existed in the past,only to disappear.
    And it’s government and people don’t seem to want it to stand the test of time,as they act like they don’t,with all their terrible decisions that undermine world opinion of it daily.

    • Richard Witty
      January 13, 2012, 9:09 am

      As Palestine will disappear in the sands of time.

      How is that relevant to actions and proposals made by otherwise intelligent people, to dissolve it?

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 12:30 pm

        Witty, Israel won’t last due to it’s own conduct, same as any other state.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2012, 12:35 pm

        Witty, it’s relevant to how any ism lives or dies when immersed in reality.

    • Froggy
      January 13, 2012, 1:50 pm

      It doesn’t matter to them if Israel disappears, as they’ve planned their escape. They’re planning to move over here.

      link to ynetnews.com

      link to haaretz.com

  15. American
    January 13, 2012, 10:29 am

    You can’t have a Jewish ‘and’ a Democratic State…Period. Period. Period.

    Trying to pretend such a ‘contradiction’ can exist makes up 99.9% of all the useless liberal zionist whining and excusing and pleading and all the dog chasing it’s tail discussions the rest of us have about this impossibility.

  16. Talkback
    January 13, 2012, 2:51 pm

    I dream of a less Benny Morris world.

    • john h
      January 14, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I dream of a non-Zionist world.

      • Talkback
        January 15, 2012, 6:53 am

        I don’t have a problem with cultural or binational Zionism.

      • john h
        January 16, 2012, 1:33 pm

        You appear to dream of a less Zionist world. How would/could that work in practice?

  17. Citizen
    January 15, 2012, 11:13 am

    eee, in America, anyone can live where they can afford to, and that right is backed up by state force. Also, the American welfare system disproportionately benefits blacks. It is exactly the contrary in Israel on both points as to such freedom and as to who benefits most from Israel’s welfare system. Further, anybody in USA can live with, or marry anyone without any loss of rights at all, and full freedom to practice their choice of personal relationships and religious practice, under force of law and police power. Again, not so in your country. Nobody on earth wants to live in a country where where they are treated in a myriad of ways as second class citizens. And they want the right to buy their way out of, and into, a location they feel most comfortable in. If there’s a better way to do this regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, than the US demonstrates now, where is it? In an ideal world wealth and income would not be the paramount tool to gain maximum freedom and liberty and pursuit of happiness, but we all live in the real world, yes? Your Israel can no more be justified than the former apartheid South Africa’s, or the former US Jim Crow world, or the former colonial Algeria–not to mention Israel’s laws echo Nazi Nuremberg Laws in many ways. Remember the Nuremberg Trials?

  18. dbroncos
    January 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

    eee:
    “Non black Americans do not say this but act upon it. They move out of black neighborhoods and they make sure that not much of their taxes go to the black community except in the case of prisons.”

    eee has stumbled onto a truism here. I would add that altruistic ideals concerning integration are further compromised when white Americans who choose to live in mixed neighborhoods non the less decide to send their kids to mostly white, expensive private schools instead of the mixed public ones. I know white parents who enjoy living in a mixed, middle class neighborhood in Philly but who are absolutely determined to send their kids to a mostly white private school rather than then the mixed public school in their neighborhood. Their concern is that the public schools offer an inferior education and that the black students in those schools will put a daily beatdown on their children. These views, accurate or not, are widespread and they prompt white parents (and some black parents) and their children to head for the exits from Philly’s public school system. No parent wants to be accused of turning their child into a proving ground for their atruistic ideals about integration.

    Equity in public education through more funding (good salaries for good teachers, new and better schools that aren’t crumbling into the ground) would be a good place to start. The financing we provide for facist trends in Israel would be better spent on flagging public education in America. Equity in education is a key component to a more integrated society. This ideal is still alive in America. In Israel it has never existed.

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