My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)

Israel/Palestine
on 224 Comments
Norman R  Morrison
Norman R Morrison

One of the worst things about the Israel lobby is the demands it makes on an American Jew’s spirituality. As Jewish identity has been merged with support for Israel, all the mythic horse feathers of the Israeli project get dumped on an American Jew. Israel is your “birthright,” say the rightwingers. At J Street, Peter Beinart says that the lands of the West Bank have “deep meaning to us,” and the collapse of the Jewish state would leave tremendous spiritual rubble, also for “us.” In Raritan Todd Gitlin says American liberal Jews have lost touch with the spirit of chosenness and messianism that gave “the project of founding a Jewish state… a transcendent dimension.”

These are alien spiritual claims to me. I’m an American Jew, emphasis on America. I didn’t ever get to Israel till I was 50, and only then after I woke up politically and realized it was hurting my country. I refuse to fake devotions: My spiritual life has never had anything to do with Judea and Samaria any more than the father and the son and the holy ghost or the white salamander. It’s cool when Gitlin speaks of “Israel’s wild and foundational God, its God of both mystery and justice,” but I can find that god right here with a little g. I do not want anyone to tell me what my beliefs are because I call myself a Jew; it is a hard enough process for me to figure out my beliefs on my own, let alone with some pious minder.

American visions and myths resonated for me from when I was 9 years old. In 1965 Norman Morrison burned himself to death outside the Pentagon. He was from my city, Baltimore, and my mother went across town to the Quaker meeting to honor him. Norman Morrison’s noble act of resistance touched millions of souls. A year or so later, my 6th grade class took a field trip to Harpers Ferry, WV. It was where John Brown the American moralist and terrorist tried to destroy slavery, the raid for which he was hanged. And in middle age now I am reading a biography of Brown that says that raid helped destroy slavery and spark the Civil War and lead to the civil rights movement.

Religious ideas ran all through abolitionism: Brown was fueled by fundamentalist Calvinism, while the proper New England radicals who paid for Brown’s guns, “the Secret Six,” were “disestablished Protestants.”

This disestablished Jew grew up with these glorious myths more prominently in his spiritual life than anything in Israel. The Six-Day war was not important to me. Julius Krevans ran up to tell me about it in elementary school, that the Israeli planes had destroyed the Egyptian planes on the runways, and I had no idea what he was talking about. I tuned out the ’73 war too. Why should I care about a Jewish state? I was resonating already to an American mythology of equality. I chose to go to a high school that was almost entirely black because I believed in American diversity and Jewish integration; I did not think other people wanted to kill Jews.

The authors I loved came out of the Jewish world and the American transcendentalist world. Today I feel companionship in the fact that Emily Dickinson was nurtured by T.W. Higginson, one of the Secret Six who funded John Brown. “Lad of Athens faithful be, to thyself and mystery, all the rest is perjury,” said Dickinson. Let no one tell you what your beliefs are.

Looking back on it, I see that it was because of my explorations and those of hundreds of thousands of other young Jews that the Jewish community panicked in the 90s. They worried about assimilation, the 52 percent intermarriage rate announced in 1990, the year before I went over Shiksa Falls. They had to fire up the troops with religious nationalism, and so at the very time I was being disestablished, American Judaism became more conservative and Orthodox. So today, even in the Nation, it matters to liberal Jews that Beinart is a religious person:

Beinart attends an Orthodox synagogue and sends his children to Jewish day school.

I thought liberal means enlightened– that you don’t care about that fundamentalist hokum and Marcus Garvey separationism. But now all the synagogues have all-weather banners outside them, “We stand with Israel in her quest for peace.” And birthright offers the hope that American Jews will have sex or even lose their virginities over there and thank the Israelis for that, which is what Democratic activist Ilyse Hogue bragged about at J Street last week: getting laid in the Galilee, which seems to have made her loyal forever, and to want her nieces to have the same transcontinental experience.

This was never my way. Nor the way of countless other Jews. But our way has been repudiated by the establishment. They staked out a new trail, they wanted the grass to grow over mine. Well…. f that.

I think it was when I was watching this video of Peter Beinart talking below about his South African childhood and his grandmother’s insecurity there and the importance of Israel to take in vulnerable Jews that I snapped about all this stuff– the Ethiopian Jews, “separated from our people since the days of the Second Temple.” This is not my mythology or ethos… I have always felt secure here. I am not an immigrant, like Beinart’s parents, who when they had a choice didn’t even go there, no, they came here, for a reason. His generation missed the antiwar movement that formed my generation. He missed Berrigan spilling blood on the draft records and Bob Feldman and the Jewish SDS boys exposing the military industrial complex at Columbia. “We’re searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating modes of living,” Hillary Clinton said at her commencement in 1969, and I believe her. 

I need to reclaim my American spiritual roots. This website has been about Jewishness for me because the neoconservative project for the Middle East made me Jewish (as I have said many times) but I will have a Jewishness that is authentic to my experience. I love the Passover deliverance story only if it is shared. I hate the Purim story, I don’t even know what my Torah portion was about. The story of the binding of Isaac has helped me understand my relationship with my father, and all authority, but honestly I was more thrilled by getting to the place it took place in Minnesota when I was 21 — Dylan’s Highway 61– than by Mount Moriah in occupied East Jerusalem.

I don’t need Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount to believe in the binding. Any more than my wife needed Christian sovereignty in Jerusalem to bring me along when a group of English nuns she’d met took her on the Stations of the Cross last year, a powerful story about heresy and excommunication. 

I find as much power in Jim’s beating his deaf daughter in Huck Finn as I do in the binding of Isaac, and I want an identity politics that respects my spirit and the American winds that move it, from Mark Twain to Melville to Carson McCullers to Isaac Singer to Schocken’s translations of Kafka to my lapsed Protestant wife’s yoga and ayurvedhic medicine and Tarot. I don’t want chosenness. Not when I’ve learned so much from lapsed Catholics with values of humility and egalitarianism. And J Street has credibility in part because its leader’s father was in the Irgun? What does the Irgun have to teach me?

Do I sound like a nativist? I don’t care; Israel never called to me. I believe Zionism’s greatest achievement is the idea of Jewish physical labor. I don’t want my foreign policy guided by Jeffrey Goldberg who felt unsafe here and emigrated to Israel. I would rather a nativist foreign policy that is thoughtful of the Americans who are likely to have to go off and do the fighting (not us).

I can’t understand Hebrew because I was busy doing other things. I was listening to the Wailers and role-modeling Joseph Pulitzer who said that his job was to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, and Harrison Salisbury who put out the Pentagon Papers and Sy Hersh who exposed My Lai and Melville who said that all men wear muzzles on their souls and he wanted to undo the muzzles, anticipating gay liberation by 100 years.

I am sick of our media valorizing a democracy that has not had our hard lessons in liberation.

That has not integrated the armed forces—we did that in 1948.

That excludes minorities from the governing coalition – we fixed that in 1964.

That redlines Palestinian home sales—we got rid of the gentleman’s agreement in the 60s.

That has segregated schools– we attacked that in 1954.

That breaks historic compromises and extends rightlessness into the territories—we did that between 1854-1861, till that regime was washed away by “verry much bloodshed,” as John Brown prophesied.

I’m proud of a country that gave a home to Ali Abunimah when Israel wouldn’t let him or his family go to the place his parents were born. And if Israel ceases to be a Jewish state it will be no spiritual rubble for me, no, it will be because it honors a principle that my forefathers put down in the Declaration of Independence and our leaders are still struggling to make real.

Religion is the thing that gives your life meaning. It’s the codes and ideas and koans and dreams and stories that sustain you and give you purpose and explain your responsibilities to yourself and others and the land. It’s not a book in a church. Emerson said the dead books scatter your force, lose your time and blur the impression of your character. My codes are American ones, shot through with Jewish diaspora yearnings and my wife’s mystical explorations, and my story is American and my guides are American pantheists from Thoreau to Joan Osborne.

I honor Rabbi Hillel who understood that life is right under your feet when he said, If not now, when. I honor my Eastern European integrationist ancestors who spoke of “doykeit”– hereness. I am going to be here and now, honor the place I stand and stop helping anyone locate meaning in fantasies about somebody else’s olive trees thousands of miles away.

Update: The original version of this piece stated that Peter Beinart is an immigrant. He was born in the U.S. I apologize for the error.

About Philip Weiss

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

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224 Responses

  1. Krauss
    April 2, 2012, 10:52 am

    Beautiful.

    • Newclench
      April 2, 2012, 9:17 pm

      Phil, the right wing Zionists say two things sometimes:
      a) the ancient land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria have religious and spiritual significance, and
      b) that this significance requires that Jews physically take control, etc., etc. yadda yadda.

      Can we agree that points a) and b) aren’t actually linked? There’s nothing wrong with a) as long as we reject b).

      • RoHa
        April 2, 2012, 11:31 pm

        “Can we agree that points a) and b) aren’t actually linked?”

        I certainly can agree with that.

        “There’s nothing wrong with a).”

        Calling it “the ancient land of Israel” suggests that the religious and spiritual significance is mostly to Jews, but it is of significance to Christians, Muslims, and Baha’is as well.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 3, 2012, 12:11 am

        but it is of significance to Christians, Muslims, and Baha’is as well.

        not only ‘as well’, if one were to judge from past history in terms of who was so attached they actually spent their lives on the land..it indicates a significance far greater than the dedication of the vast majority of jews. certainly enough to conclude their understanding of zion and jerusalem were not physical destinations.

      • MHughes976
        April 4, 2012, 6:30 pm

        Maybe Newclench is making it a bit too easy for us not to infer b) from a), because a) as formulated makes no reference to Jewish people. To me the phrase ‘ancient land of Israel’ would in no way limit spiritual significance to any group, any more than would ‘ancient land of Greece’.
        The argument:
        a1) Much cherished thoughts of authentically spiritual nature have power to validate political claims
        a2) A political claim to control physically the ancient land of Israel is made on behalf of Jewish people partly in the light of deeply cherished thoughts of just this kind
        a3) All purported rival thoughts lack spiritual authenticity
        So b) Jewish people should physically take control…
        is logically valid, I think.
        I’m sure that most Zionists would vehemently assert a3) and would argue for it at length.
        For my part I would think that both a1) and a3) are wrong.

      • wondering jew
        April 4, 2012, 9:25 pm

        annie robbins- The Jews were exiled from Jerusalem, if not from the rest of the Holy Land, for a period of seven hundred years? (real historians may correct me.) This contributed to their dispersal to other locales. Theory: Those who moved into the Holy Land at various times were not pilgrims or at least were not only pilgrims, but moreso were people who lived nearby. The Talmudic prohibition of reentering the land en masse, is cited to excoriate Zionism for its religious hypocrisy, but now it is entirely forgotten and the only possible explanation is not religious quietism (or humility)but one must conclude that for Jews Jerusalem was not a physical destination.

        The survival of the Jewish people is a wonder of sorts and the fact that a dispersed and small people did not find their way thousands of miles to the land does not indicate that it was of no physical importance. I think a true historian would not make conclusions so glibly and an amateur historian ought to incorporate humility into her statements.

  2. seanmcbride
    April 2, 2012, 11:01 am

    One of Phil Weiss’s most important essays, I think, and an inspiration for all Americans, from all religions and ethnic groups.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      April 2, 2012, 3:28 pm

      As Jewish identity has been merged with support for Israel, all the mythic horse feathers of the Israeli project get dumped on an American Jew. … I’m an American Jew, emphasis on America.

      I wholly agree, Sean. Only Philip Weiss can, and does, write such a moving personal story about his identity in society. I especially empathize with the statement quoted above.

      But I do wonder about the characterization “American Jew.” Why has the personal designation ‘Jewish American’ fallen out of favor over the last half-century or so? It used to be the more common appellation, but (according to a PBS production, “Jews in America”) a poll a few years back showed that most American Jews prefer to be called that and identify more with the ‘Jew’ part rather than the ‘American’ part. This has been a very significant change in the nature of American ‘Jewish identity’.

      Philip Weiss: Do you prefer to be called ‘American Jew’ rather than ‘Jewish
      American’, and, if so, would you care to explain why? I’m sure your reasons are sound, either way.

  3. Taxi
    April 2, 2012, 11:05 am

    A beautiful piece of prose, Phil. Soulful yet political.

    But, really, did you have to include “Religion is the thing that gives your life meaning”?

    Sartre, Nietzsche didn’t inform you? Socrates? LSD?

    Don’t you know that god has nothing to do with religion?

    • Pamela Olson
      April 2, 2012, 3:28 pm

      If you find meaning in LSD, or in (what you see as) meaninglessness, or in philosophy or science or psychiatry, that’s your religion (according to Phil’s definition). He didn’t say it necessarily had to do with god (which is another problematic thing to define!).

  4. hophmi
    April 2, 2012, 11:07 am

    “I am sick of our media valorizing a democracy that has not had our hard lessons in liberation.

    That has not integrated the armed forces—we did that in 1948.

    That excludes minorities from the governing coalition – we fixed that in 1964.

    That redlines Palestinian home sales—we got rid of the gentleman’s agreement in the 60s.

    That has segregated schools– we attacked that in 1954.”

    You should praise a democracy that faces challenges our never did and has a record of amazing achievements under the circumstances. These American achievements you speak of took nearly two centuries. Israel has achieved most of them in 60 years.

    The IDF has Jewish, Christian, and Muslim soldiers. Most Arab soldiers choose not to serve.

    The Knesset has several Arab representatives.

    If you think we’ve overcome school segregation in this country, you clearly haven’t spent much time in urban school districts, because there is still plenty of segregation. Moreover, Israel is not segregated. There are schools attended by both Arabs and Jews.

    You are a typical chauvinistic American. That you would compare the experience of American democracy, which is not yet complete and took two centuries to get to this point, to Israeli democracy, which is also not complete but has an amazing record for a country that is 60 years old and faces an ongoing security threat shows the depth of your intellectual disingenuousness.

    • mikeo
      April 2, 2012, 12:15 pm

      You’ve got to be joking. American democracy was formed when slavery was still common place around the world. When Israeli “democracy” was formed we had the universal declaration of human rights, and yet even with this example to look to Israel chose apartheid. Try again, to the rest of the world you’re just a bit better than Iran and North Korea
      link to haaretz.com

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 12:44 pm

        “Try again, to the rest of the world you’re just a bit better than Iran and North Korea”

        Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

        Most of world does business with China, so I can’t say most of the world has much credibility when it comes to human rights.

        The UNHCR basically ignores human rights violations in the Middle East and obsessively focuses on Israel, so there’s not much credibility there either.

        Phil knows that all he needs to do here is define American identity as mostly a rejection of his Jewish identity to draw tears from people here. Phil could have summed all of this up in one sentence: I like Jews as long as they are leftists like me and I practice Judaism insofar as I find it in accord with my leftist guilt politics. Indeed, he actually says that “the neoconservative project for the Middle East made me Jewish.” In other words, what he called Judaism is simply a byproduct of his politics of misplaced guilt, guilt taken to the extreme of self-abnegation.

        Phil’s politics are the politics of self-destruction.

      • seanmcbride
        April 2, 2012, 2:37 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote: “Phil’s politics are the politics of self-destruction.”

        Actually, hophmi, I think your politics are the politics of self-destruction and that every time you open your mouth about Israel you make matters worse.

        How has it come to pass that so much of the world now associates Zionism and Israel with these themes and images?

        1. agitation for an Iran War
        2. AIPAC
        3. anti-Arab bigotry
        4. apartheid
        5. apocalyptic melodrama and hysteria
        6. assassinations
        7. attacks on children
        8. attacks on civilians
        9. biblical militarism
        10. biblical territorialism
        11. black ops
        12. chosen people supremacism
        13. Christian Zionists
        14. ethnic cleansing
        15. false accusations of antisemitism
        16. false flag ops
        17. haredi spitting on women and Christians
        18. hate speech
        19. Holocaust exploitation
        20. hostility to free speech
        21. house demolitions
        22. Islamophobia
        23. Israeli spying on Americans
        24. Jewish religious extremists in the occupied territories
        25. land theft
        26. messianic ethno-religious nationalism
        27. neoconservatives
        28. Old Testament cultism
        29. personal attacks
        30. police state methods
        31. price tag attacks
        32. racism
        33. religious fundamentalism
        34. self-ghettoization
        35. shady billionaires
        36. state terrorism
        37. stolen passports
        38. threats and intimidation
        39. torture
        40. vandalism
        41. verbal abuse
        42. warmongering
        43. wars of aggression
        44. xenophobia

        Do you have any reason to believe that this situation is going to improve? And why would you want these items to be associated with “the Jews”?

        I just noticed this tweet today on one of the most heavily subscribed pro-Israel feeds on Twitter:

        “JIDF: RT @DavidAppletree: Fuck you, Emma Thompson, you antisemitic and hypocritical pig: link to t.co #JIDF #Jews #Israel”

        Know what I mean?

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 2:46 pm

        “How has it come to pass that so much of the world now associates Zionism and Israel with these themes and images? (followed by a long list of nonsense)

        Stop grafting your antisemitic bigotry onto others.

      • seanmcbride
        April 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

        hophmi,

        All those themes and images have appeared in many thousands of articles, books, TV stories, radio stories, etc. all around the world during the last few decades. And they are based on solid facts.

        Let’s start with the first item on the list and work our way down, item by item: do you deny that Israel and the Israel lobby have been leading the campaign to try to goad Americans into attacking Iran?

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2012, 3:37 pm

        Sean,

        LOL! FANTASTIC LIST!

        But I don’t think that hophmi understands the logic that a minority should indeed make peace with the majority (of the world) to insure it’s long term survival. It would appear that the holocaust has made illogical fools of many a zionist jew.

        It’s also enabled them to defer personal and collective responsibility for crimes they’ve committed or enabled against non-jews.

        I find it unspeakably wicked that the european zionist jews were planning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine even before WW2, and up to date, they continue, post holocaust, with this evil scheme that they themselves were victims of not too long ago.

        Have they no frigging shame?!

        The israeli zionists have spent every single day, and I mean every single day since WW2 conducting slo-mo ethnic cleansing – while using the cover of the holocaust to hide behind, or as bludgeon to whack the whole world with.

        Well the world now, after 60+ years, is ducking and avoiding the hit. Why? Because the zionist israelis have become just too insanely ridiculous by now – as sean’s long list of negative associations clearly demonstrates.

        Outta control and driving right off the cliffs of humanity and into the abysmal abyss.

        By frigging choice!

        Insisting on being fatally unique.

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

        “Let’s start with the first item on the list and work our way down, item by item: do you deny that Israel and the Israel lobby have been leading the campaign to try to goad Americans into attacking Iran?”

        Absolutely. I am aware of no such campaign. I am aware of a campaign, supported by a majority of Americans, a public majority of Western countries, and a private majority of Gulf states, to economically sanction Iran and to keep a military option on the table. I am aware of an antisemitic campaign by some in the pro-Palestinian community, most of which seems to oppose the sanctions supported by a majority of Americans and a majority of Western leaders, to blame the Jews for this.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Hophmi said:

        Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

        Most of world does business with China, so I can’t say most of the world has much credibility when it comes to human rights.

        Your sense of entitlement and indignance (at what, no one will ever know) is disgusting as usual.

        Israel supported apartheid SA. The end – the sky is falling, there is no morality! Oh wait, it’s ok for Israel to shatter this moral consistency repeatedly but not ‘the rest of the world/most of the world.’

        Did you forget your pills this morning? Climb down from the chandelier.

        Israel does business with China. To much controversy actually:

        In early 1992, for example, the George H.W. Bush administration accused Israel of illegally “transferring” to China the Patriot anti-missile system, which the Pentagon deployed in Israel during the Kuwait crisis.[5] Not satisfied with the Israeli denial, State Department inspector general Sherman Funk sent a team to Israel to investigate the allegations.[6] While investigation failed to find a “smoking gun,” the damage was, nevertheless, significant.

        Successive directors of the Central Intelligence Agency, most vocally Robert Gates[7] and R. James Woolsey, have voiced suspicion over Israel’s dealings with China. Testifying before a Senate committee in October 1993, Woolsey said, “We believe the Chinese seek from Israel advanced military technology that U.S. and Western firms are unwilling to provide.”[8]

        In 1994, U.S. media reports accused Israel of unauthorized transfer of technology associated with the Lavi jet fighter to China.[9] While Israel Aircraft Industries developed the light combat aircraft as an Israeli venture, it relied on U.S. financial support and technology transfers for such key components as the engines. The cancellation of the project in August 1987 resulted in military industry layoffs. The Israeli government looked to Chinese demand for technology to upgrade its F-10 fighters as an opportunity.

        In October 1999, President Bill Clinton formally opposed a deal for the Phalcon airborne early warning and surveillance systems on the grounds that the technology that Israel hoped to sell to China undermined U.S. security interests in the Asia-Pacific, especially across the Taiwan straits.[10] In July 2000, and in the wake of months of U.S. threats and intimidation, Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced the deal’s cancellation.[11] That the crisis escalated despite Clinton’s appreciation over progress in the peace process underlined the seriousness of U.S. concerns.

        link to meforum.org

        Is that the best hasbara you can come up with hoppy?

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Seanmcbride is not an antisemite.

        You on the other hand are an anti-Arab racist and Islamophobe and should be banned for constantly spewing hysterical bullshit and slander in ever one of your comments.

        You are the same clown who denied the racism in a depiction of Palestinian national identity as a snake up against ‘Captain Israel’ – lol.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 2, 2012, 4:24 pm

        awesome list sean!

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 4:36 pm

        “You are the same clown who denied the racism in a depiction of Palestinian national identity as a snake up against ‘Captain Israel’ – lol.”

        Coming from someone who doubtless reads Latuff comics. Hypocrite.

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 4:38 pm

        “Israel supported apartheid SA.”

        So did the US and UK. Next?

        “Israel does business with China.”

        Your point? Israelis are not endorsing a boycott of themselves. The BDS movement is, while remaining silent on human rights abuses in the Arab world and elsewhere.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 5:07 pm

        You call me a hypocrite based on an assumption.

        I don’t read Latuff.

        There, now try again you failure.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Hophmi, you made some absurdly indignant comment about ‘the world’. And I countered with the reality that your racist, apartheid State has supported other racist, apartheid States.

        I’m not constructing a fairy-tale image of Israel’s nobility. You are – by ‘blaming’ ‘the world’ for the Holocaust (carrying over into the present-day and most likely the foreseeable future so long as you have to defend the Zionist colonial project).

        Who is the BDS movement, hophmi, and where is your proof they have remained silent on human rights abuses elsewhere?

        LOL

        Let’s get one thing straight. BDS is supported by Palestian civil society. The oppressed people support this movement. You are railing against supporters of Palestinian human rights. Hence, you don’t care about human rights in principle. You simply use X,Y, and Z country as a human shield for Israeli criminality.

        It’s your own pathetic way of muddying the water. It’s not that you think the criticism is ‘one-sided’ – its that you and your cult, cannot tolerate any kind of meaningful criticism and any kind of meaningful non-violent action against Israeli crimes.

        That is one of the reasons activists are working to implement BDS.

        Why should any Palestinian solidarity activist be a one-person Amnesty International? Or HRW? Or UN?

        In fact, these same NGOs are dismissed by you and your cult when they document human rights abuses committed by Israel. So why should anyone try to emulate such anti-Israel organizations?!

        You don’t have any proof that someone who supports BDS against the apartheid and racist State of Israel, is by definition, silent on the crimes committed by other human rights abuses.

        You are a troll.

      • Keith
        April 2, 2012, 6:33 pm

        HOPHMI- Generally I ignore you, however, sometimes you are so outrageous that a response is called for.

        “Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.”

        Funny, I was under the impression that most of the world was at war, not “standing silent.” By the way, when was the last time you grieved over the 54 million Goyim that died in WWII?

        “Most of world does business with China, so I can’t say most of the world has much credibility when it comes to human rights.”

        Are you suggesting that Israel doesn’t do business with China? And when it comes to ’doing business,’ I’m sure you are aware of Israel’s military exports to various and sundry dictatorships and the training and arms they provided to South American ’death squad democracies.’

        Hypocrisy, thy name is Hophmi!

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 6:46 pm

        “By the way, when was the last time you grieved over the 54 million Goyim that died in WWII?”

        I won’t dignify this kind of ridiculous argument.

        “And when it comes to ’doing business,’ I’m sure you are aware of Israel’s military exports to various and sundry dictatorships and the training and arms they provided to South American ’death squad democracies.’ ”

        Whatever. Again, the subject is not whom Israel does business with. It’s the BDS movement who is selectively choosing Israel for a boycott while ignoring human rights violations elsewhere on the flimsy theory that it’s because Israel gets US aid, which is not an argument.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 2, 2012, 6:50 pm

        hophmi, what other people have called for a boycott that we are ignoring? this was initiated by palestinians. who are we ignoring?

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 7:01 pm

        hophmi said:

        It’s the BDS movement who is selectively choosing Israel for a boycott while ignoring human rights violations elsewhere on the flimsy theory that it’s because Israel gets US aid, which is not an argument.

        Why is the BDS movement obligated to boycott X, Y, and Z country to appease racist, Zionist fascists like yourself?

        Are you telling the Palestinians under occupation that they should boycott blah blah if they want to boycott the country occupying and colonizing them? LOL

        You are so fanatically stupid, it’s sick!

        This is a Palestinian solidarity movement, hence it focuses on an issue relevant to PALESTINIANS.

        You still haven’t proven that the people who support BDS, are silent or ignore other human rights abusers.

        hophmi said:

        I won’t dignify this kind of ridiculous argument.

        You won’t dignify it? In this same thread you are putting PERPETUAL blame on the entire planet for not ‘saving the Jews’ during the Holocaust. LOL

        While at the same time ignoring the fact that Israel is a serial human rights abuser and supporter of apartheid (as well as being an apartheid State itself).

        In another thread (or maybe this one; I lose track of your one-trick-pony hysteria), you say ‘other countries deal w/ China wah wah’ – so does Israel.

        Your argument is filmsy, nonsensical and mind-numbingly idiotic.

      • Bumblebye
        April 2, 2012, 7:34 pm

        Hophead
        The BDS movement was started by Palestinians. Why would they call for a boycott against anyone else but Israel? Are they occupied by China? Oppressed by India? Having their history erased by Brazil? Being shot at by Japanese?

      • RoHa
        April 2, 2012, 8:05 pm

        “Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust”

        You know perfectly well that a largish chunk of the world – including your own country – was involved in a knock-down-drag-out war with the very people who were doing the killing. How was this “standing silent”?

        The fact that you keep peddling this line about “standing silent” shows that you will knowingly push lying propaganda over truth. You are dishonest. Your Zionism has destroyed your sense of morality.

      • Danaa
        April 2, 2012, 10:00 pm

        hophmi, as long as you understand that we all know that the reason for the rise in the price of gas is one – Israel and its ludicrous demands that America and the rest of the world sanction Iran.

        Everyday, when I hear people complain that they pay another $60./month for gas I remind them that it’s an “Israel tax”. or rather “Lobby Tax”. If you love israel enough to pay another $1,000.-2,000./year then all is fine. Some are surprised but most realize it’s true, even if they watch Fox.

        No way israel or the jewish community that supports, advocates and shrills for sanctions, and just aches to murder Iranian people, no way they are walking away without guilt attached where it belongs.

        I think everyone should do the same – yell it from the rooftops if you must – the high cost of gas is for Israel and the settlements – and that The Lobby and the jewish establishment are what’s behind it all.

        maybe we could start a donation pool for poorer people who are hit by the cost of gas. have The Lobby open a refund line of about $60.-100./month for all who wish to receive compensation. Maybe we could even start with you, hophmi. How about setting aside a few $1,000’s for some hard hit commuters?

      • piotr
        April 2, 2012, 10:55 pm

        I would add scientific and technological achievements:

        Nobel prizes
        skunk water

      • RoHa
        April 2, 2012, 11:38 pm

        “Phil’s politics are the politics of self-destruction.”

        How so? I see nothing in Phil’s politics that imply suicide, insanity, or moral collapse.

      • mikeo
        April 3, 2012, 6:02 am

        “Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

        Most of world does business with China, so I can’t say most of the world has much credibility when it comes to human rights.”

        Russia lost 20 million people in WWII, China 10 million, many were killed by the Nazis who were not Jewish, I wouldn’t exactly say the world stood by, other countries did have some problems of their own to deal with….

        It’s pretty telling that within one comment you move from comparing Israel’s democracy to the USA, to comparing Israel’s human rights record to China… Anyway you’re going in the right direction and at least you’re in the ball-park now.

      • Chu
        April 3, 2012, 7:45 am

        Hophmi is having another meltdown. How sad. This rehashed bunk you want to reintroduce every time your feeling down about your apartheid safe haven isn’t cutting it. Israel needs some creative voices to introduce new explanations for their land scheming illegal occupation, but at this point in history, most of the global population sees Israel for what it is.

        People like you are grasping at straws. It reminds me of a Spanish father I knew, who thought that Franco was a great man and his mind couldn’t be changed. People like him become reclusive and wither away. You may want to listen to the growing voices around you Homphi and actually help Israel to resolve it’s problems instead of defending their questionable practices.

      • mikeo
        April 3, 2012, 8:03 am

        Hophmi, I think you have a serious bone to pick with Mssr’s Gere and Clooney, seriously those guys are obsessed with Tibet and South Sudan and it’s out of order. Someone should wise them up about Israel to stop their unfair and discriminatory focus!

      • seafoid
        April 3, 2012, 11:55 am

        That’s a good list

      • jahan
        April 3, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

        Not so, USA etc learn of crematories at concentration camps, as Germany was conquered. You write that we looked away. We know the phrase “good German” . How many good Germans are in Israel today? so many. How many Good Germans are in Congress today. too many. Joe “the good german” Lieberman

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2012, 9:10 pm

        Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don’t really give much weight to world opinion.

        You’re trying to lend credibility to a popular Zionist myth. The Nazis humiliated Jews, expropriated their property, and encouraged emigration to Palestine and other destinations. The United States and other governments immediately took the German government to task over reports of atrocities committed against the Jews. See for example the Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, of a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Luther), [WASHINGTON,] May 3, 1933 starting at the bottom of page 352 and continuing to page 354 of the FRUS. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The de facto policy of genocide was only incorporated into the final solution to the Jewish Question after the Wannsee Conference in late January of 1942. The Allies were very outspoken about the atrocities committed against the Jews and millions of their fellow countrymen:

        STATEMENT ON ATROCITIES

        Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin.

        The United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by Hitlerite forces in many of the countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Nazi domination are no new thing, and all peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror. What is new is that many of the territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the advancing armies of the liberating powers, and that in their desperation the recoiling Hitlerites and Huns are redoubling their ruthless cruelties. This is now evidenced with particular clearness by monstrous crimes on the territory of the Soviet Union which is being liberated from Hitlerites, and on French and Italian territory.

        Accordingly, the aforesaid three Allied powers, speaking in the interest of the thirty-two United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows:

        At the time of granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of free governments which will be erected therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy.

        Thus, Germans who take part in wholesale shooting of Polish officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian or Norwegian hostages of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Union which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know they will be brought back to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged.

        Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusors in order that justice may be done.

        The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies.

        link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      • ErsatzYisrael
        April 4, 2012, 12:13 am

        mikeo says:

        “It’s pretty telling that within one comment you move from comparing Israel’s democracy to the USA,…”

        Come on now. You can’t reasonably blame a Zio for their knee jerking reflexively. Not when it was induced, and certainly not if it was The Weiss wot did it!

        If Mr Weiss is going to insist on publicly valorizing the utterly ridiculous Israeli democracy myth, it would be extremely naive not to expect some sort of reflexive Pavlovian response to occur, especially considering the chosen forum.
        It was the Weiss’s inexplicable valoriziation of the uber rididiculous encouraging it when he valorizied the the myth of

      • stevieb
        April 4, 2012, 1:48 pm

        I take personal offense to the suggestion that ‘most people’ did nothing while Jews were persecuted by Germany – maybe you’d like to remember the 50 000 000 who died liberating those Jews from permanent extinction. Try it some time – it’s good for the soul…

      • hophmi
        April 4, 2012, 4:17 pm

        Take all the offense you want. The 50,000,000 people who died in WWII did not all die to save Jews. And whether they did for that reason or not is not the point. The point is that more than half of Europe’s Jewish population was wiped out. We cannot rely on gentiles to secure our safety. We must rely on ourselves. As Beinart says, Zionism was in part a reaction to the failure of Europe to successful extend Enlightenment values to its Jews.

      • Dan Crowther
        April 4, 2012, 5:12 pm

        OK, “they didnt all die to save jews” — Hoph, is it your opinion that ones humanity is judged by “saving Jews”?

        My view is that Hophmi isnt so much angry with the Gentiles for not saving Jews as much as Hophmi is angry at the Jews for allowing themselves to be herded into Ghettos and then trains like cattle. Cuz that is exactly what happened, and its as undeniable as the 60-70 million that died throughout the world during the war.

        If you feel a sense of shame Hoph, thats one thing – but to mitigate the sacrifice of millions in the effort to save the world from darkness by going back to the holocaust till is pretty distasteful.

        the polish side of my family who didnt emigrate to the US died the same way polish jews did – as did 3 million non jewish poles. But I aint mad at them, and I certainly dont blame their deaths on “the rest of the world”
        You gotta get over yourself Hoph

      • Shingo
        April 4, 2012, 5:23 pm

        The 50,000,000 people who died in WWII did not all die to save Jews.

        Of course not. Jews were not the only pople that died.

        We cannot rely on gentiles to secure our safety. We must rely on ourselves.

        Israel relies entirely on the US for it’s security. Without it, Israel would be just another country in the Middle East. More importantly, Israel has not provided safety to Jews. Many more Jews have dies in Israel than in the disapora since WWII.

      • Chu
        April 4, 2012, 6:03 pm

        “We cannot rely on gentiles to secure our safety. We must rely on ourselves.”
        More indications of zionist tribal paranoia. Without gentiles, your tribe and middle eastern utopia wouldn’t exist. They (those gentiles) are a necessary component to rebuilding the Zionist dream. I wish that your tribe could be self reliant, but every time a new defense system is designed it’s sent off to Israel. Self reliance is a fantasy that is so far from the truth of the real world. I wish you could be mature enough to see what damage you are to your cause. But I’m just being a gentile, how could I know?

        Just go join the IDF already or make aliyah and stop bitching to us about how history has been so tough. The story of hardship is not exclusive to your tribe. Black people in America suffer much more than you and there are plenty more examples. Everyone else in the world has had to struggle to survive. Your ethnocentric attitude alone, makes me not want to support Israel, and your emotional venting is sincerely corny.

      • Hostage
        April 4, 2012, 6:05 pm

        The point is that more than half of Europe’s Jewish population was wiped out. We cannot rely on gentiles to secure our safety. We must rely on ourselves.

        If you don’t recognize the fact that millions of gentiles died fighting against the Nazi occupations because of the concomitant atrocities that were being committed, then you’re suffering from a psychosis. BTW, Rommel’s defeat by the Allies at El Alamein prevented the implementation of the German final solution to the problem of the Zionist Jews living in Palestine. See Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Martin Cüppers, “Nazi Palestine: The Plans for the Extermination of the Jews in Palestine, Enigma Books, 2009.

        Israel counted on massive shipments of US arms to save their *sses during the Yom Kippur war, and the gentiles came to their rescue as usual.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 2, 2012, 12:21 pm

      “These American achievements you speak of took nearly two centuries. Israel has achieved most of them in 60 years. ”

      What an amazingly stupid comment. Respect for human rights is not set at “zero” when a state is founded. The Israelis in 1948 had the same examples that the Americans in 1948 had, and accomplished more in 15 years than the Israelis have in three generations.

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 12:46 pm

        “Respect for human rights is not set at “zero” when a state is founded. ”

        Have you taken a look at the rest of the Middle East, where the countries are around Israel’s age?

        “The Israelis in 1948 had the same examples that the Americans in 1948 had”

        And a totally different geopolitical reality. America is protected by two oceans. Israel is surrounded by enemies. Comparing the situations is the worst kind of geopolitical chauvinism.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 1:12 pm

        Hophmi said:

        Have you taken a look at the rest of the Middle East, where the countries are around Israel’s age?

        Wow, just a second ago you were using the US as an example and now you’re using the surrounding Arab states. Many of which are dictatorships that were supported by Israel and the US to keep the national aspirations of the people there in check.

        You’re on a roll today hoppy, literally everything you’ve said so far is bulkshit.

      • Theo
        April 2, 2012, 1:15 pm

        “Israel is surrounded by enemies”

        Did you ever bother to ask; “why are they our enemies”?
        You made them and they will never, never forget the Nakba and the constant attacks they get from their new neighbour.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 2, 2012, 1:20 pm

        “Have you taken a look at the rest of the Middle East, where the countries are around Israel’s age?”

        Your argument did not address anyone other than the US and Israel. Now that it is clear that your argument is dopey, you’re changing it? Wow, anyone with a little class and character would have said, “you know, that WAS a stupid argument I made. I apologize to all who wasted precious moments of their lives considering it.”

        But when dealing with a Zionist, “class” and “character” are rare to non-existent.

        “And a totally different geopolitical reality… Comparing the situations is the worst kind of geopolitical chauvinism.”

        LMAO. This is rich, coming from someone who regularly tries to pump up Europe’s little Jewish colony by comparing it to states who experienced “a totally different geopolitical reality,” such as those around it.

        “Israel is surrounded by enemies. ”

        And if it is surrounded by enemies, they are of its own making. If the Zionists expected that they could go into someone else’s country, steal all the land, murder, rape and plunder, commit ethnic cleansing, destroy villiage after villiage and hold millions in bondage for decades, solely to advance their racist ideology, and NOT make enemies, then the Zionists are fantastically moronic.

        If one is minding his own business and a stranger comes up and kills the guys kids, rapes his wife and steals his house, it takes a lot of chutzpah to blame the victim for not befriending the fiend.

      • marc b.
        April 2, 2012, 1:34 pm

        you are just too much. wake up dumb ass; israel was created for the express purpose of protecting minorities from violence, and now, of irony of ironies, it uses the excuse of existential threat from the outside to conduct its police state tactics on the inside. so, really, assad is your excuse for the beating and indefinite extra-judicial detention of teenagers? and the degenerates that run saudi arabia are your excuse for fostering the violent impunity of the settlers? and iran is the excuse for your religious leaders sanctioning the rape and murder of children in your ‘holy war’? israel is a potemkin village. ‘star bucks’, dance clubs and ecstasy aren’t the foundation of a democracy.

      • seafoid
        April 2, 2012, 3:32 pm

        “Israel is surrounded by enemies”

        Israel is surrounded by walls and barbed wire and marinated in fear.

        “I had heard somewhere along the line that the Palestinians were supposed to be my enemy. They are not my enemy. ”

        link to vimeo.com

    • atime forpeace
      April 2, 2012, 12:34 pm

      Phil that was awesome, i will share it with my tribey wife, she very much feels the same detachment yet concern for Israel.

      Phil is saying that he is an American, that is it, pure and simple.

      He does not feel the allegience that you feel to another nation, it would be interesting to know how many of these kids will betray the U.S because of this specialized training that you all get in dual-allegience?

      i am sure Israel loves having access to the minions who feel dual allegience and have jobs that would be of interest to their intel services.

      what a burden that must be to the us services.

    • eljay
      April 2, 2012, 12:44 pm

      >> Israeli democracy, which is also not complete but has an amazing record for a country that is 60 years old …

      True. In less than 70 years, the Jewish state:
      – was born of terrorism and ethnic cleasning;
      – expanded beyond its 1948 borders;
      – expanded beyond the 1967 armistice lines; and
      – remains engaged in an ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

      In the 21st Century, we’ve become accustomed to seeing things happen almost instantaneously, and it’s easy to forget that building a religion-supremacist state and having it mature into one which Jews, Israelis and the rest of the world can be proud of takes time!

    • Cliff
      April 2, 2012, 1:09 pm

      Hophmi said :

      You should praise a democracy that faces challenges our never did and has a record of amazing achievements under the circumstances. These American achievements you speak of took nearly two centuries. Israel has achieved most of them in 60 years.

      The IDF has Jewish, Christian, and Muslim soldiers. Most Arab soldiers choose not to serve.

      The Knesset has several Arab representatives.

      LOL

      How many Muslims are in the IDF? If there are a substantial number of Christian soldiers – are they evangelicals?

      If this picture of Israel you paint is as meaningful as the reality then why are the Israeli Arab minority not convinced of Zionism’s supposed validity?

      As usual you cannibalize what little integrity you have left to play up Israel’s qualities and to down play it’s faults.

      Challenges we haven’t faced? Lol

      You’re pathetic.

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 4:35 pm

        “How many Muslims are in the IDF? ”

        Way more than the number of Jews in the Saudi Army. There are plenty of Bedouins.

        As usual, you’re wrong.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 4:45 pm

        As usual, you’re ignorant.

        Let’s reiterate Woody’s salient rebuttal:

        What an amazingly stupid comment. Respect for human rights is not set at “zero” when a state is founded. The Israelis in 1948 had the same examples that the Americans in 1948 had, and accomplished more in 15 years than the Israelis have in three generations.

        The Saudis have no substantial Jewish population (if any at all AFAIK) whereas the Israeli Arabs and Bedouins are native to Israel-Palestine and predate their European usurpers.

        The truth is that the majority of Israeli Arabs – a vast majority – do not serve in the army. What percentage of Bedouins serve in the army?

        And you were predictably unable to answer my underlying point – that in spite of your bullshit framing, Israeli Arabs and Bedouins are not Zionists and are not recent immigrants (like most of your fellow Zionist Jews).

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 4:59 pm

        “The truth is that the majority of Israeli Arabs – a vast majority – do not serve in the army. What percentage of Bedouins serve in the army?”

        It is by choice. They are exempt from conscription, as are many yeshiva students. There are both Israeli Arabs and Bedouins in the army, and many do national service. Is it your position that they should be conscripted?

      • tree
        April 2, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Way more than the number of Jews in the Saudi Army.

        Maybe you need to re-read Phil’s column, or at least the headline. It doesn’t not say
        “My spirit is Saudi.”

        If your defense of Israel is that its better than Saudi Arabia, and you can’t even prove that point, maybe you should stop digging the hole you’ve created for yourself.

        Israel conscripts Jewish and Druze Israelis. It refuses to conscript other Arab non-Jews, although it allows them to volunteer but reserves the right to refuse them. Most don’t volunteer because they would be forced to fight and oppress fellow Palestinians. The Israeli state conditions certain benefits on being subject to conscription; a requirement which most Palestinian Israelis can never meet, due to the discrimination of Israeli state law. That’s racism.

        The Saudi Army isn’t recruiting Jewish volunteers to fight and oppress fellow Jews. Nor is it conditioning benefits on military service that some of its citizens can never meet. Even Saudi Arabia, with its myriad faults, comes out better than Israel on this score.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 5:19 pm

        Hophmi,

        How many Israeli Arabs serve in the army?

        How many Bedouins serve in the army?

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 5:47 pm

        “How many Israeli Arabs serve in the army?

        How many Bedouins serve in the army?”

        No idea. But that wasn’t the claim. The claim was that the army is segregated. That’s clearly not true. Arabs are perfectly welcome to serve. Most choose not to; many do national service. Again, is it your position that Arabs should be conscripted like Jews are?

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 6:55 pm

        So in other words hophmi, you have no f-ing clue how many actually serve in the army.

        How do you know they are welcome to serve in the army? What does that mean?

        It’s not an issue of what I think Israel should do. The probable reason why Israel does not conscript the Palestinians in Israel, is the same reason it ruled them under martial law until 1966. They are not Zionists. They are considered a fifth column – and will continue to be viewed (and treated) as such.

        It means absolutely NOTHING that some Israeli Arabs and Bedouins serve. Nothing. Until they are treated equally and fairly, and given the same ‘privileges’ as Jews, no one could give a shit that some of them police the Palestinians in the OT along w/ Zionist Jews.

      • Chu
        April 3, 2012, 7:49 am

        Cliff is destroying you Hophmi. When you’re in a hole, you need to stop digging. It’s not helping your cause when you have these emotional outbursts and then do a poor job of damage control in defending these outbursts.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 10:33 am

        “Cliff is destroying you Hophmi. When you’re in a hole, you need to stop digging. It’s not helping your cause when you have these emotional outbursts and then do a poor job of damage control in defending these outbursts.”

        I’m well aware of the back-slapping that goes on here. Obviously, I don’t think Cliff, for whom everything is a emotional meltdown and ad hominem attack, is destroying me. I’m not surprised that you do, nor that you feel the need to stand up for Cliff in a room where everyone agrees with him, as if he was a small child who needed your, um, strong support, LOL.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 10:41 am

        “How do you know they are welcome to serve in the army? What does that mean?”

        That’s the law in Israel. There is no bar on Arab army service. Most choose not to serve, which is understandable.

        “The probable reason why Israel does not conscript the Palestinians in Israel, is the same reason it ruled them under martial law until 1966. They are not Zionists. They are considered a fifth column – and will continue to be viewed (and treated) as such.”

        Then why are they not banned outright? Your argument is nonsense, Cliff. Arabs are not banned from the army. There are Arabs who can and do serve, and it is possible for Arabs to become officers. Many, 1,473 in 2010, do national service.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        “It means absolutely NOTHING that some Israeli Arabs and Bedouins serve. Nothing.”

        Of course it doesn’t, because it goes against your argument.

        “Until they are treated equally and fairly, and given the same ‘privileges’ as Jews,”

        Arabs who do national service receive the same benefits as soldiers do.

        “no one could give a shit that some of them police the Palestinians in the OT along w/ Zionist Jews.”

        And I trust you’re willing to endorse a boycott of any country that mistreats its minorities in any way, starting with the United States.

      • Chu
        April 3, 2012, 2:04 pm

        Holmes, you’re the one with the emotional meltdowns.
        Cliff made logic a weapon against your emotional
        outbursts. Your rebuttals reveal the reality that
        you have no facts. What you said to start was sloppy,
        and your cover up was even more pathetic. sorry bub.

    • MarkF
      April 3, 2012, 11:50 am

      “The Knesset has several Arab representatives”

      Any from beyond the green line? There sure are West Bank settlers serving, why no Arabs?

      This areguement is hollow considering the hypocrisy of extending Jewish representaion to Israel proper FROM the West Bank, yet no Arab representation from the SAME land.

      That;s not democracy, it’s just more of the same.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 12:02 pm

        “Any from beyond the green line? There sure are West Bank settlers serving, why no Arabs?”

        Arabs serve in the PNA. No settlers are permitted to serve in the PNA.

        “This areguement is hollow considering the hypocrisy of extending Jewish representaion to Israel proper FROM the West Bank, yet no Arab representation from the SAME land.”

        Not really. Arabs have their own representative body and have no interest in being Israeli citizens. Are you in favor of annexation?

      • MarkF
        April 3, 2012, 1:07 pm

        “Are you in favor of annexation?”

        Are you? We know what that means politically.

        Wow, different representation/governments on the same land. Sounds like a true democracy?

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 3, 2012, 1:16 pm

        “Arabs serve in the PNA. No settlers are permitted to serve in the PNA.”

        Yeah, what did the Jews need with representation in the Reichstag. They had the Judenräte all to themselves…

  5. dahoit
    April 2, 2012, 11:23 am

    As a fellow American,I say good for you.This is my promised land,a much more beautiful and wonderful land than a patch of desert with multiple ghosts of animosity,with some considered more righteous than others,a plank invisible in our Constitution,but becoming more and more prevalent among our unintelligentsia.

  6. American
    April 2, 2012, 11:44 am

    ”This was never my way. Nor the way of countless other Jews. But our way has been repudiated by the establishment. They staked out a new trail, they wanted the grass to grow over mine. Well…. f that.”

    BRAVO!
    f ‘the establishment.
    Paul Revere rides again.

  7. John Douglas
    April 2, 2012, 11:48 am

    One of the most heartfelt and beautiful tributes to the America that good people seek that I have ever read. Thank you, Phil

    John Mullen

  8. Gryfin
    April 2, 2012, 11:55 am

    A beautiful piece. Easily applicable to anyone of any faith.

  9. Matthew Taylor
    April 2, 2012, 11:57 am

    Weeping. Thank you.

  10. Shmuel
    April 2, 2012, 11:57 am

    Great essay, Phil, although I take issue with “I believe Zionism’s greatest achievement is the idea of Jewish physical labor.” How do you think our poor and barely-literate Eastern European forebears put the shmaltz on the table? Where do you think the Jewish workers’ movement came from (in Poland, Russia, England, the US)? Or the Jewish stevedores in the port of Saloniki? Is that all Zionism’s doing? Perhaps Zionism’s greatest “achievement” is our internalisation of anti-Jewish ideas of Jewish “parasitism” and “abnormality”.

    • Philip Weiss
      April 2, 2012, 12:02 pm

      Shmuel im culturally bound on that one, thanks for the information. I grew up in Upper Middle Class America. It was considered absurd to do physical labor and be paid for it. I have to mull your last line…

      • Shmuel
        April 2, 2012, 12:18 pm

        I grew up in Upper Middle Class America. It was considered absurd to do physical labor and be paid for it.

        I think someone else wrote a manifesto about that :-)

      • atime forpeace
        April 2, 2012, 1:12 pm

        I love your manifesto dude, stay thirsty my friend.

        Is shiksa falls a rollercoaster ride at some amusement park?
        Many a man has lost his family going ove shiksa falls i hear tell.

        “the year before I went over Shiksa Falls.”

      • Bumblebye
        April 2, 2012, 1:32 pm

        I thought “Shiksa Falls” must be a little up-river from Niagara Falls.
        Brilliant piece.
        Oh, hey! Suddenly loads of show/hide buttons popped up under the comments!

        Edit: Eh? Now they all disappeared again.

  11. pabelmont
    April 2, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Phil announces a roll-your-own spiritualism, not so different from many people, though far deeper than mine. Not orthodox!

    Jewish orthodoxy — the attempt by some (who have somehow seized authority) to impose belief and action on others. One imagined that the orthodoxy of Orthodox Judaism had been done away with (for many people) by Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism — and maybe, for a time, it had been; but then came Zionism, and a new orthodoxy was (somehow) imposed.

    Let’s see. Poor little Israel — created because Jews would never be safe unless they had a home, and would never have a home unless they seized it from another people-in-long-term-possession and thereby created victims whom they naturally called enemies — is IN DANGER and requires the immediate and long-continuing maximum efforts of all Jews (listen up, you Jews, this is the new orthodoxy speaking) to save it from — ITSELF?!

  12. seafoid
    April 2, 2012, 1:01 pm

    The US has this grand nation thing that doesn’t really work. I think shared humanity trumps nationalist myth every time.

    What are American values anyway ( other than plutocracy ) ? Low taxes. No to universal healthcare. The right to bear arms. Blind optimism.
    Zero growth in median income over the last 30 years. What values drove that?

    Of course there’s good stuff too but the US needs to take a good look at itself. Some of the humility of the smaller nations would go a long way.

    Zbig got it right, I think

    “He then lampoons the standard American candidate’s response to any talk of decline, which is simply to assert that America’s greatness will return if only people would believe in it. “ ‘Help is here. Smile a lot. Everything will disappear. It will be fine’ – well, sad to say, it doesn’t work that way. People are ignorant and scared. It will take more than that.””

  13. Annie Robbins
    April 2, 2012, 1:13 pm

    fantastic essay phil, one of your best ever.

  14. Jeff Klein
    April 2, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Yes, a beautiful piece of introspection. However, it goes to the very edge of the unthinkable and hesitates:

    Who is “Jewish” — and why?

    The question merits further discussion which I don’t have time for now.

    My short answer, when asked, is that “my parents considered themselves Jewish, but I am not.”

    • seafoid
      April 2, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I think Israelis * do have genuine fears about assimilation and loss of identity and it’s not going to be enough to say “hey look at the US” . It’s going to have to be more nuanced.

      Leading Israeli intellectual Danny Danon mentions the assimilation point several times in this interview and he probably speaks for a lot of less educated Israelis.

      link to youtube.com

      *Jewish Israelis. The Palestinian Israelis are cool on who they are and where they come from and the future and identity and felafel etc

      • Shmuel
        April 2, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Leading Israeli intellectual Danny Danon

        LOL. Is that Irish for strutting political hack?

      • tree
        April 2, 2012, 4:27 pm

        Leading Israeli intellectual Danny Danon…

        Ouch. That’s got to be one of the more cutting jabs at Israel!

      • seafoid
        April 2, 2012, 5:27 pm

        It’s Gaelic for “would be a janitor supervisor in any other country “

  15. Danaa
    April 2, 2012, 1:34 pm

    How come some comments come up as “show content”? seems without rhyme or reason. maybe the software is being worked on?

    • alec
      April 2, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Hi Danaa,

      The new comments feature means when you come to a page you only see new comments saving hunting through hundreds of comments to find the new ones. We are still working on the details.

      The best way to avoid having to click out the comments is to read through the full page first before refreshing. After that when you refresh you’ll see all the new comments and won’t have to hunting for new ones.

      If you aren’t logged in, you will see all comments (this feature only works for logged in users).

      We are likely going to change to expand full threads on click (rather than one comment at a time). Or we may move to a toggle (New/All).

      • Danaa
        April 2, 2012, 7:02 pm

        alec, surely you don’t expect people to read through all comments every time they read a feature? I never do. As in, never. I read when I can what I can on the fly. I might read one comment or five but certainly not all.. No one has that kind of time. Sometimes, I might read part of a comment then a day later read the rest if I decide there was something of interest there, but if it’s not there because it “aged”, well then out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

        I’ll ask again, I prefer to see ALL THE COMMENTS ALL THE TIME. I don’t suffer from ADHD or ADD or any other attention deficit, just from lack of time. Like most of your readers here, I can also scan through comment threads perfectly well, just as I scan through articles, books and everything else I read. If something catches my attention I’ll come back fro the rest. But if the “rest” disappeared, oh well, there’s more elsewhere, right?

        I know some would rather have comments that read like twitter, but put me down as one who’s bored by the typical one liners that populate so many comment blogs. And many times, when I like a comment especially well (and there are some I liked a lot more than the article itself that precipitated it) I’ll go back to it several times over.

        A comment thread I really despise is that of the dailyKos. been out of there for ages. And when the comments went to hell in a hand basket (ie, they turned into twittering fluff), I stopped reading the blog too. Good thing too. I heard there’s nothing worth reading there any longer, just electioneering and sniveling at some republican antic or two.

        If you make the comments disappear, maybe I won’t come back for the article either. The headline will suffice. Do you think that’s what people want?

      • seanmcbride
        April 2, 2012, 7:52 pm

        alec,

        You wrote:

        “We are likely going to change to expand full threads on click (rather than one comment at a time). Or we may move to a toggle (New/All).”

        Sounds good.

        Any chance of providing the option to “like” comments and to sort comments by number of likes? Sort of like the New York Times comment system?

        Is Mondoweiss built on a particular blogging platform or software package? Are you the chief programmer here?

        Thanks.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 2, 2012, 8:52 pm

        Alec, I want to second what Danaa has said above. Please continue to display all the comments every time, or at least provide a toggle (All/New). If storage requirements are a genuine problem, perhaps you can implement a cut-off of comments to a post after a certain number of comments or a certain age of the post has been reached.

      • LeaNder
        April 3, 2012, 7:40 am

        Alec, I disagree with Danaa. It’s of course close to impossibly to satisfy everybody, but I lately used the date with search-page-feature to scan specific threads for new posts or continuing debates.

        I was also slightly puzzled sometimes that if you reply to a specific comment on the “third level”–no idea what the correct technical term would be–that later comments show above much earlier ones. But I understand why it may happen, technically.

        Again its hard to satisfy everybody, Sean’s voting may be interesting for the occasional visitors. Someone who as Danaa suggests doesn’t have too much time, but still is interested in what people think, what they support.

        Good job Alec.

      • seanmcbride
        April 3, 2012, 11:10 am

        The most efficient way to track new comments on an article, and to search on all comments on an article, is to subscribe to them in email in conjunction with a first-rate mail reader like Gmail. Works like a charm.

        I use Gmail to browse, manage and reply to Mondoweiss comments much more than the Mondoweiss website. And I use the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group on Friendfeed to track new articles.

        Trying to track new comments by eyeballing the Mondoweiss website? Forget about it. :)

      • seanmcbride
        April 3, 2012, 11:18 am

        alec,

        A major item on the Mondoweiss software wish list: include *one’s own* comments in email subscriptions to threads — valuable (and indispensable) indeed for understanding, analyzing and archiving the complete structure of conversations.

      • Chu
        April 3, 2012, 7:53 am

        Thanks Alec for honing the comments section. Might color coding work? Say I make a comment and it’s red, then anyone responding is in green. Thanks again.

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2012, 12:16 pm

        alec,

        For what it’s worth, I like the new color coding of names to new comments, without hiding the old ones. This way we can see what people are responding to and what popped in as we were engaged elsewhere. Plus this system can alleviate concerns by some of our suspicious minded bretherns and sisterns that murky nefariousness is afoot.

        Plus the green is eye catching. Who wouldn’t want their smashing moniker so decorated? this comment is just to see whether I get dressed in pretty green.

      • tree
        April 4, 2012, 1:13 am

        I agree. The new color coding is great. You can still see the old comments and yet differentiate the old from the new. Best solution yet.

      • Chu
        April 5, 2012, 11:05 am

        the show comments/show recent comments feature is excellent. Saves me the headache of scrolling through layers of text. thanks.

  16. Justice Please
    April 2, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Absolutely fantastic, Phil. When I clicked the headline, I thought “manifesto” was a bit pretentious. Not anymore. You are a rightful heir to Alfred M. Lilienthal and others.

    Personally, I think you are best when you don’t give a shit about what some of your (Jewish) friends and family think. In some articles, for example the one about Sands book, you write along the lines of “A friend tells me it’s crackpot”. I imagine there are people telling you “okay you can criticize Israel and Jewish organizations, but don’t go too far. Don’t question taboo x.”

    You are at your very best when you question that very taboo.

  17. Polly
    April 2, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Fantastic and truly uplifting essay Phil. Don’t ever think your brand of honesty isn’t appreciated.

  18. Bill in Maryland
    April 2, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Beautiful piece Phil- thanks so much for sharing.

    [An aside- if Peter Beinart's 2010 New York Review of Books essay can give rise to a book, then this essay of yours today surely deserves to be expanded into a book for our time.]

    • Philip Munger
      April 2, 2012, 9:09 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. Also thinking that I should update my own, more brief version of this.

  19. DICKERSON3870
    April 2, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Have you ever considered getting “washed in the blood”, Phil?

    Daniel Day Lewis gets baptized in “There will be blood” (VIDEO, 04:36) – link to youtube.com

  20. mjrosenberg
    April 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

    This is a beautiful and important piece.
    But I disagree with the criticism of Beinart. His book destroys the right’s arguments one-by-one even if he is too careful to admit it. (My favorite is the chapter where he demonstrates that every major hasbara point is a lie).
    Al Smith could not be the first Catholic President. Too immigrant sounding. Too Catholic. It took the WASPY JFK to get to the White House.
    Peter Beinart’s Orthodox faith makes it possible for him to do what a secular leftist could not do: bring AIPAC and the other neocons to their knees. He can help free Congress from bondage (how Passover!). He can serve as role model for young Jews who might otherwise get ensnared in AIPAC or one of the other rightist organizations.
    The left always devours its own.
    As a mind exercise, pretend that Peter wasn’t really observant and that he was just faking it to make our case more credible.
    We’d applaud that.
    Even better, he isn’t faking it. And that is why he is effective.
    Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!

    • Annie Robbins
      April 2, 2012, 4:34 pm

      hey mj, thanks for

      Why Peter Beinart is driving the ‘pro-Israel’ establishment crazy .

      link to aljazeera.com

      • hophmi
        April 2, 2012, 4:39 pm

        He’s not driving the Establishment crazy. No one is really talking about him right now, frankly.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2012, 7:05 pm

        Actually people ARE talking about him.

        And the fact that you continue to troll this anti-Zionist blog, armed with nothing more than whiny cry-baby antics and delusion is a testament to his recent waves.

        Shouldn’t you be boycotting Israel for dealing w/ China and supporting apartheid SA, hoppy?

        Or is the rest of the planet cynical, only?

      • seanmcbride
        April 3, 2012, 11:14 am

        hophmi wrote: “No one is really talking about him right now, frankly.”

        This is your mind on ethnic nationalism and cultism — no mind at all. A total cognitive disconnect from reality.

      • MarkF
        April 3, 2012, 11:57 am

        Really? Looks like Israel is. Matthew Ackerman from the Times Of Israel:

        link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

        “There is one thing that can be said for Peter Beinart: He has very effectively captured the attention of nearly the entire organized American Jewish community and a fair slice of the general media world besides these past two years. “

      • Dan Crowther
        April 3, 2012, 12:03 pm

        ” I am not the Catholic nominee for president, I am the Democratic party’s nominee for president, who happens also to be Catholic”

        — John F. Kennedy

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 12:13 pm

        “This is your mind on ethnic nationalism and cultism — no mind at all. A total cognitive disconnect from reality.”

        Oh sure, he’ll get a lot of interviews. But most of the important people in the Jewish community are not going to pay as much attention now. His book will run its course, like Walt and Mearsheimer, and by this time next year, just like Walt and Mearsheimer, most people will forget he wrote it.

      • Philip Weiss
        April 3, 2012, 12:15 pm

        hop i think beinart is gaining traction, actually, in a way that W&M did not, and for a simple reason, he’s Jewish

      • Tuyzentfloot
        April 3, 2012, 12:23 pm

        hop i think beinart is gaining traction, actually, in a way that W&M did not, and for a simple reason, he’s Jewish

        And because W&M came 5 years earlier. They helped prepare the ground. Taboos have been broken since – or at least weakened.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 12:24 pm

        His book just came out. He’s a famous guy; he’s going to get a lot of press, including at the 92nd Street Y tonight with David Remnick. Let’s see where he is this time next year. He’s been very adamant about not supporting a boycott within the Green Line and about praising Israel inside the Green Line. His NY Times op-ed undermined his case because it was heavy-handed. Frankly, Phil, the peaceniks have been pillorizing the settlers for years. Yariv Oppenheimer and Dror Etkes do it regularly in their good work for Peace Now, and both boycott settlement products, as do many of the people in Americans for Peace Now. There is a difference between that and broadcasting that on the pages of the NY Times, where your BDS movement will likely distort it for their own ends by arguing that Beinart’s distinction between West and East of the Green Line is meaningless. Peter’s personal politics are his personal politics; no one has a problem with them. But when he uses his platform to promote them this way in this atmosphere, it forces a reaction in the American Jewish community and Peter risks long-term marginalization because his article hands the centrists and rightists a big club to hit him over the head with. And there’s not much to be gained from the position; the settlements do not produce very much because they are mostly bedroom communities.

        Peter can accomplish more by focusing on changing the policies rather than engaging in grandstanding. He needs to maintain his access to make that difference, and putting op-eds on the pages on the NY Times is not the way to do it.

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2012, 1:49 pm

        A concerted effort over decades. Walt and Mearsheimer put a huge crack in the wall of silence

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 3, 2012, 1:50 pm

        “Beinart’s distinction between West and East of the Green Line is meaningless.”

        As it should be. If anything, BDS doesn’t go far enough. It should be aimed at not only the Zionists in Palestine, (both pre-67 and post-67), but at every Zionist world-wide. They are the engine that drives the crimes. All should suffer for it.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 3, 2012, 2:18 pm

        From hophni: Peter can accomplish more by focusing on changing the policies rather than engaging in grandstanding. He needs to maintain his access to make that difference, and putting op-eds on the pages on the NY Times is not the way to do it.

        Sorry, hoppy, but Beinart is a writer and author, not (yet) a political activist. As a political thinker and writer, his role is to influence other people’s thinking broadly so that they will be motivated to help change policy.

        I suspect that one of the things you don’t like about Beinart’s current methods is that they inevitably will take the ‘conversation’ beyond the ‘community’ into a wider world where many are watching, transfixed – whether Beinart intends that or not.

        America needs thinkers like Beinart. He is a catalyst.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 2:56 pm

        “Sorry, hoppy, but Beinart is a writer and author, not (yet) a political activist. As a political thinker and writer, his role is to influence other people’s thinking broadly so that they will be motivated to help change policy.”

        When J Street delivered its petition to Senator Gillibrand’s and Senator Schumer’s offices calling on them to support the administration’s Middle East policy, Peter was out there with a bullhorn talking to the crowd. If he’s not a political activist, he’s certainly trying hard to look like one.

        “I suspect that one of the things you don’t like about Beinart’s current methods is that they inevitably will take the ‘conversation’ beyond the ‘community’ into a wider world where many are watching, transfixed – whether Beinart intends that or not. ”

        In the wider America, not many people are watching. If Beinart goes outside of the community, he will end up marginalized. I don’t mind if people go outside of the community to discuss these things. I’m talking tactics here, the most effective way to oppose occupation. And that is to talk to the community, not run to people on the left who already agree with you or are more radical than you are.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 4, 2012, 12:38 pm

        I’m talking tactics here, the most effective way to oppose occupation.

        Sorry, hophmi, but if you are suggesting that you are looking for effective ways to oppose the opposition your statement is not credible. If that’s the interpretation you want me to give it, it reads like pure subterfuge.

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2012, 2:54 pm

        Beinart is pro Israel. Just trying to be honest and realistic…now

    • Philip Weiss
      April 3, 2012, 11:55 am

      MJ,
      Interesting point. And I like your review.
      Though I wd note that right now on WNYC Beinart said he is not Orthodox. He goes to an Orthodox shul but he’s not Orthodox…. Interesting.
      Phil

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 12:11 pm

        Peter is not orthodox. He’s traditional, from what I understand. I think he goes to Kesher Israel in Georgetown, same as Joe Lieberman. There’s nothing really interesting about it.

        Peter’s observance is not going to make a big difference. His celebrity comes from his books and journalism; he has focused on Israel and Jewish issues like vouchers only recently. The Establishment welcomed him last year, because his piece in the NYRB was well-reasoned and avoided the polemical language of similar efforts. Most people felt Peter’s heart was in the right place. That is why he spoke at major Jewish fora, including the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum in Washington. His op-ed in the NY Times, unfortunately, will make it more difficult for Peter to get his message out, because it appeared in the NY Times, used polemical language, and was more about book promotion than anything else. Thus, the invitation to speak to the Jewish community will be less forthcoming.

        Acts of political courage are rewarded. Acts of political vanity are not. The NYRB piece was the former; the NY Times op-ed the latter.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 3, 2012, 12:53 pm

        “His op-ed in the NY Times, unfortunately, will make it more difficult for Peter to get his message out, because it appeared in the NY Times, used polemical language, and was more about book promotion than anything else. Thus, the invitation to speak to the Jewish community will be less forthcoming. ”

        LMAO. Oh, I’m sure you’re right, hoppy. The reason why the invitations to speak in the Jewish community will dry up will have nothing to do with the fact that Beinart chose not to take slight, halting exception to one minor point of the silly Israel-firster propaganda, but because he used polemical language in the New York Times, in an act of self-promotion.

        Because, you know, if the Jewish community hates anything, it is polemic self-promoters who appear in the Times. Which is exactly why the Dershbag is persona non grata in that community, and why Foxman is on footstamps…

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 1:26 pm

        “Because, you know, if the Jewish community hates anything, it is polemic self-promoters who appear in the Times.”

        No, the Jewish community doesn’t like people who give aid and comfort to the BDS movement who believes in Israel’s destruction. Peter, perhaps unintentionally, did that with his op-ed.

        I don’t expect you to understand the difference between political vanity and actually accomplishing something.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 3, 2012, 1:44 pm

        “No, the Jewish community doesn’t like people who give aid and comfort to the BDS movement who believes in Israel’s destruction. Peter, perhaps unintentionally, did that with his op-ed. ”

        Then at least have the balls to say, flat-out, that you think the Jewish community in the US has a loyalty to specifically a Judeo-supremacist state of Israel and will shun anyone who even thinks that human and political rights and equality should exist in the land between the Med. and the Jordan. (Then you can explain why, if suppression of minorities is okay there, why it would not be okay here, where you and your family are affected.) Don’t be a coward and hide behind the argument that it is because Beinart is a promoting a book or that his writing in the times was used polemical language.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 2:30 pm

        “Then at least have the balls to say, flat-out, that you think the Jewish community in the US has a loyalty to specifically a Judeo-supremacist state of Israel and will shun anyone who even thinks that human and political rights and equality should exist in the land between the Med. and the Jordan. ”

        I won’t say it because it is not true. Most of the Jewish community believes in the two-state solution. They do not believe in movements that delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state, and are not huge fans of people who help those movements, whether intentionally or through irresponsibility. The Jewish establishment is pro-Israel, just as the Black Establishment is pro-affirmative action. The black community is not especially welcoming to critics of affirmative action, and the Jewish community is not especially welcoming to people who are anti-Israel. Peter is quite pro-Israel, and has explicitly said so many times; he has said he’s very proud to be a Zionist. He should keep saying that if he wants his anti-occupation message to reach the right ears. If he articulates a pro-Zionist anti-occupation POV, he will make progress. His op-ed in the NY Times makes it too easy for him to be painted as anti-Israel, and as someone who is anti-Israel, he has no special significance.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 4, 2012, 9:31 am

        “I won’t say it because it is not true. Most of the Jewish community believes in the two-state solution. They do not believe in movements that delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state, and are not huge fans of people who help those movements, whether intentionally or through irresponsibility.”

        That is functionally the same as saying that the Jewish community in the US has a loyalty to specifically a Judeo-supremacist state of Israel. Given the fact that Israel has had forty-five years to still keep the Palestinians in bondage and have not simply maintained the status quo (if they were truly interested in anything other than amassing more living space for their Greater Israeli Empire, maintaining the status quo would be all they would do), it is clear to any reasonable, thinking person that they they seek to expand their ethnically supremecist ideology to cover all of Palestine, and not merely that portion which was stolen in 1948. (I guess Pharoah in the Genesis fairy stories aren’t the only one who’s hearts were hardened.)

        Given the fact that American Jews support this project, often expressing is by demanding of themselves, and of American politicians, “unconditional support” to this state — without any demand that the state earn the support by, for example, withdrawing to the 1967 lines or accepting the Arab peace plan. So they are on record as holding a loyalty to a specifically Jewish-supremecist state and its domination of another ethno-religious group.

        “The Jewish establishment is pro-Israel, just as the Black Establishment is pro-affirmative action.”

        Talk about comparing apples to oranges. Affirmative action is in place to correct for the kind of vile bigotry of which the evil ideology of Zionism is constituted. The black community says, “Don’t let us be dominated and oppressed by anyone.” The pro-Israeli community says, “Let the Jews in Palestine dominate and oppress the Arabs.”

      • hophmi
        April 4, 2012, 1:19 pm

        “Given the fact that American Jews support this project”

        The settlement project? I don’t think it’s accurate to say American Jews support the settlement project.

        “without any demand that the state earn the support”

        Usually allies do not have to alter internal policies to earn US support. I’m not aware of anything China did to earn our support, other than produce stuff we need.

        “So they are on record as holding a loyalty to a specifically Jewish-supremecist state and its domination of another ethno-religious group. ”

        Who is on record? Opposing public American pressure on Israel is not the same thing as supporting the settlement project just as supporting MFN status for China is not the same as supporting Chinese Tibet policy just as supporting buying oil form Saudi Arabia is not the same thing as supporting a ban on women drivers.

        “Affirmative action is in place to correct for the kind of vile bigotry of which the evil ideology of Zionism is constituted.”

        The international community supported a Jewish state after WWII to correct the vile bigotry Jews faced, leading to the slaughter of six million of them. Michael Lerner has described Israel as an example of affirmative action, actually. Anyway, this is not the point. The point is that minority communities do not tend to embrace their apostates. Peter is not in that category, but he will end up there if he’s not careful.

      • Hostage
        April 4, 2012, 5:29 pm

        I don’t think it’s accurate to say American Jews support the settlement project.

        Only 8 percent of American Jews think Israel should dismantle all of the illegal settlements in the West Bank and 61 percent say that Israel should not compromise on the status of the illegal settlements in East Jerusalem. They insist that the latter be considered part of a united city under Israeli jurisdiction as part of the framework of any permanent peace with the Palestinians. link to ajc.org

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 5, 2012, 3:31 pm

        “The settlement project? I don’t think it’s accurate to say American Jews support the settlement project. ”

        The settlements, the judeo-supremacy, all of it. You can’t say “give Israel unconditional support” and not, thereby, be supporting, in fact, these things. It’s as absurd as saying someone saying that they stand whole-heartedly behind the KKK, but are critical of the racism parts.

        “Usually allies do not have to alter internal policies to earn US support. ”

        First, according to people like you, it’s not “internal” — the West Bank is supposedly “outside” Israel. Second, you don’ tbelieve that, as there is no doubt in my mind that if, say, France, started officially persecuting its Jews that you would yawn and fully support US/French relations? No. Don’t be stupid. Third, if this nonsense that is trotted out about “shared values” isn’t just a load of garbage, then, yes, it SHOULD have to earn the US’s support.

        “Who is on record?”

        American Jews are on record as supporting a ethno-supremicist state, so long as that ethnicity is Jewish.

        “Opposing public American pressure on Israel”

        Oh, please. Israel loyalists among American Zionists goes beyond merely opposing public pressure. They demand “unconditional support.”

        “The international community supported a Jewish state after WWII to correct the vile bigotry Jews faced, leading to the slaughter of six million of them.”

        So? The international community had no right to give away someone else’s land to do it. If the UK or US wanted to give away parts of their countries, fine. They had no right to give away someone else’s.

        “Michael Lerner has described Israel as an example of affirmative action, actually.”

        Then Lerner’s point is stupid. One does not correct for one crime be committing another. It is no more “affirmative action” than would be taking over Mexico and creating a “national home” for African Americans because of the oppression they suffered in Alabama and Detroit.

    • Dex
      April 4, 2012, 3:55 am

      Beinart is a Zionist; that makes him a racist by association.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 4, 2012, 1:04 pm

        “Beinart is a Zionist; that makes him a racist by association.”

        True. He, himself may not be racist, but, as a Zionist, he follows an ideology which is bigoted equal to the most virulent forms of racism.

      • hophmi
        April 4, 2012, 1:20 pm

        “True. He, himself may not be racist, but, as a Zionist, he follows an ideology which is bigoted equal to the most virulent forms of racism.”

        That’s why Israel is the most racially and religiously diverse state in the region.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 4, 2012, 1:39 pm

        “That’s why Israel is the most racially and religiously diverse state in the region.”

        Which doesn’t mean a damn when it is ethnicity/nationality on which the bigotry is based.

      • eljay
        April 4, 2012, 1:49 pm

        >> That’s why Israel is the most racially and religiously diverse state in the region.

        But at the end of the day, it’s still a religion-supremacist Jewish state.

  21. Mndwss
    April 2, 2012, 3:26 pm

    Mr. Weiss, you are a real mensch.

  22. LanceThruster
    April 2, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Thanks for this, Phil and thanks for putting a name to Mr. Norman R Morrison for me. I knew of his act, but not who he was.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Meade (apocryphal)

  23. Keith
    April 2, 2012, 7:32 pm

    SEAFOID- I’m with you on this one. Phil seems to have rejected Jewish choseness in favor of American exceptionalism. A true red, white and blue liberal. And this even as Chris Hedges talks about the death of the liberal class in this age of neoliberal globalization. In his quest for inner meaning, one is inclined to give Phil the benefit of the doubt in regards to what might be interpreted as an emotionally manipulative tribute to the shining city on the hill. Needless to say, the post is wildly popular.

    • seafoid
      April 3, 2012, 8:32 am

      Keith- I think American exceptionalism is a crock. It’s different to Zionism but the has the same “chosen people” feel to it.

      Like the attitude of the Americans who invaded Afghanistan. They would have been better off staying at home, frankly. Sometimes your can- do attitude can’t.

  24. Keith
    April 2, 2012, 7:36 pm

    WOW- The change in comment display is just terrific. I can no longer attach a comment to a comment. When I log in to comment, all of the comments dissappear! When I click on “show comment,” nothing happens, hence, I comment at the bottom of the thread or forget about it. Whose idea was this?

    • RoHa
      April 2, 2012, 11:40 pm

      “Whose idea was this?”

      I don’t care whose it was. It is a stupid idea, and should be dropped.

  25. seanmcbride
    April 2, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Offering the option to open all the comments with a single click would solve this issue, yes?

  26. dbroncos
    April 2, 2012, 9:32 pm

    Thanks Phil.

  27. Thomson Rutherford
    April 3, 2012, 12:14 am

    Do I sound like a nativist? I don’t care; Israel never called to me. … I don’t want my foreign policy guided by Jeffrey Goldberg who felt unsafe here and emigrated to Israel. I would rather a nativist foreign policy that is thoughtful of the Americans who are likely to have to go off and do the fighting (not us).

    Very powerful words, Phil. I would like to make just one suggestion: Do as Jeffrey Blankfort (for example) seems to have done, decades ago, to try to extend your ‘conversation’ to non-Jews in the same way you do with Jews. Your story is not only potent but has a broad potential scope extending well beyond mere tribal interests. In my estimation, you are bigger than Peter Beinart.

    Do this and your book, when it comes, will influence a much greater range of Americans and people elsewhere.

    • atime forpeace
      April 3, 2012, 7:42 am

      Phil, since you are being nativist and all I would like to bring to your attention a remark made by one of the SDS boys from Columbia whom I had never heard of before you mentioned them in your manifesto, Mark Rudd, who makes this observation.

      “This year I visited Israel with my family for the first time. I learned that far from being culturally retro, which is the way I used to think of it—a small, socialist, anti-materialist nation—Israel is really an avatar, way ahead even of California. Israel is America’s future: militarized, racist, religio-nationalist, corporate, riven with so many internal splits and hatreds that only the existence of a perpetual enemy keeps the nation from exploding. If we don’t organize to stop the current direction in this country, thirty years from now we will be Israel.”

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 6:08 pm

        Uh-huh. No chance Mark walked in with a few preconceived notions, no. LOL. Israel is the Little Satan, LOL.

      • atime forpeace
        April 3, 2012, 10:14 pm

        Israel is the land flowing with milk and honey, a veritable heaven on earth made by the jews.

        alleluyah brother, congrats on your huge success in the middle east, there is noone like you guys on the face of the earth, such a successful loving people.

        and the idf is the most moral army ever on the planet and zionism should be replicated in every nation.

    • Without Walls
      April 5, 2012, 4:27 pm

      omy god, bigger than Peter Beinart.
      did that even have to be said?

      never a good idea to compare — every parent figures that out early on. But Beinart does not come close to the self-awareness Phil Weiss reflects and writes about.

  28. Jabberwocky
    April 3, 2012, 12:30 am

    A great piece Phil that provides a thoughtful insight into balancing religious and secular experiences.

    I would be interested to understand how teaching at synagogues goes beyond Judaism to build Zionist indoctrination.

  29. Patrick
    April 3, 2012, 1:03 am

    Thanks very much for this insightful and moving essay.

  30. LeaNder
    April 3, 2012, 8:12 am

    I think it was when I was watching this video of Peter Beinart

    Phil, watching this my respect for Beinart grows. Now this is the internal debate inside the Jewish community, RW always demanded. Although he surely would object you show it to us. Compared to Richard he is a huge step ahead.

    I am now going to watch this to the very end, although it’s heartbreaking, first time I stopped here:

    Golub: “We recognize one concept, there has to be a fair trade.

    a little later.

    Golub: “But in terms of the trade in general my sense is your sense. That certain things will be traded and certain things won’t. When we say we start with the green line, that is just a starting point. That’s not what we end up with. And I think, that is what the intelligent overwhelming sentiment among the Israelis is. I don’t think you give up a very fertile peace of land for an Arab piece of land.

    Beinhart: fair enough.

    ********************************************************************

    I’ve seen all these proposals for land swaps, and they all seem to agree, like swapping the equivalent percentage of the Negev.

    I see the emotional bondage: Ariel is such a beautiful Jewish community, the love shows clearly on his face. And isn’t the land actually terra nullius? All this land stretching far and wide. So why not take it? And of course always the refrain, we know we are a good people, but do the Palestinians know? – and whatever the Palestinians are, one never ever can’t be quite sure about.

  31. yourstruly
    April 3, 2012, 8:27 am

    powerful essay, phil. isn’t the fundamental problem that of believing and/or acting as if one’s group (religion, nation) is innately more deserving than that/those of others? and doesn’t the solution to said problem lie in the direction of our building a world in which everyone is considered to be equally important in the total scheme of things? rededicating ourselves, that is, to the proposition that all wo/men are created equal?

  32. Don
    April 3, 2012, 9:50 am

    1. Nice post, Phil…I think. Then again, it strikes me as so…20 minutes ago. Given how quickly and seriously we Americans are abandoning our commitment to human rights, etc. (including our own civil, legal and human rights).

    For a rather in depth approach to American Civil Religion, a link to Robert Bellah’s writings…
    link to robertbellah.com

    2. Hophmi…does indeed make some absurd points. But also makes some very good points. More on that later…if I have the time.

  33. Chu
    April 3, 2012, 10:32 am

    I stopped it at minute 20. “Many people (Jews) wish we had the Jordan too!” – Beinart.

    I see him as someone who is planted into the soil of corrupted american liberalism, there to explain that the Palestinians should take the remaining 22% of British Palestine scraps of land and move on. He will be one of the new negotiating faces of the Jewish left. -this has the feeling of ‘can’t beat em, then join them’.

    Imagine if David Frum were to turn a new leaf and speak just like Peter Beinart about how things will be, would he be accepted and embraced by the Jewish left? My point is that if your group wants to keep things inside your tribe, you may want to elevate some with authentic voices. I think that if you’re looking for Jewish voices to represent change, they are too emotionally compromised to endure in a leadership role. Beinart is a questionable model for change, history shows us that.

    • yourstruly
      April 3, 2012, 4:56 pm

      there already are leaders outside the jewish establishment in organizations such and jewish voice for peace & young jewish & proud whose voices are being heard, mostly on the internet (social media) and to to a younger audience than msm’s, but we know that as the volume for any given cause builds up on the internet, invariably msm picks up on it. how long before the message that these young champions of justice for palestine will be influencing u.s. politics? this election year, that’s when.

      • Chu
        April 3, 2012, 10:04 pm

        It’s nice to see a positive attitude about the situation. I think we are about 4 years away. Although there are rumblings in the internet realm, this issue is as dangerous for media people as is the politicians. They tiptoe around it, like it’s a sleeping giant.

  34. Kathleen
    April 3, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Damn Phil this is one of your most powerful pieces.

    Phil “I don’t need Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount to believe in the binding. Any more than my wife needed Christian sovereignty in Jerusalem to bring me along when a group of English nuns she’d met took her on the Stations of the Cross last year, a powerful story about heresy and excommunication.

    I find as much power in Jim’s beating his deaf daughter in Huck Finn as I do in the binding of Isaac, and I want an identity politics that respects my spirit and the American winds that move it, from Mark Twain to Melville to Carson McCullers to Isaac Singer to Schocken’s translations of Kafka to my lapsed Protestant wife’s yoga and ayurvedhic medicine and Tarot. I don’t want chosenness. Not when I’ve learned so much from lapsed Catholics with values of humility and egalitarianism. And J Street has credibility in part because its leader’s father was in the Irgun? What does the Irgun have to teach me?”

    I don’t need Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount to believe in the binding. Any more than my wife needed Christian sovereignty in Jerusalem to bring me along when a group of English nuns she’d met took her on the Stations of the Cross last year, a powerful story about heresy and excommunication.

    I find as much power in Jim’s beating his deaf daughter in Huck Finn as I do in the binding of Isaac, and I want an identity politics that respects my spirit and the American winds that move it, from Mark Twain to Melville to Carson McCullers to Isaac Singer to Schocken’s translations of Kafka to my lapsed Protestant wife’s yoga and ayurvedhic medicine and Tarot. I don’t want chosenness. Not when I’ve learned so much from lapsed Catholics with values of humility and egalitarianism. And J Street has credibility in part because its leader’s father was in the Irgun? What does the Irgun have to teach me?

    Spent time with Rabbi Weiss at the Occupy Aipac protest this year
    link to aljazeera.com

    Last year at the Move over aipac conference spent time with another one of the head Rabbi’s with that Jewish religious group protesting the Aipac conference. Listened closely. Asked respectful questions. Received very learned and respectful answers from these deeply religious folks. Having been raised Catholic and always interested in deeply spiritually committed people like some of the Jesuit brothers and Notre Dame nuns that I had the good fortuned to be around as a young person who not only talked about human and social justice issues but lived it and encouraged us to do so. Along with religious folks like Peggy and Art Gish who walk their talk , the Dali Lama etc The Rabbis against Zionism are a fascinating group of individuals. Their religious beliefs have nothing to do with owning and dominating a piece of land.

    My spirit is humanitarian. Not sure which country would be best to live in

  35. Kathleen
    April 3, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Did Beinarts family live in South Africa? If so under what kind of conditions? Interested in families who chose to stay or take advantage of that apartheid state? Cheap labor etc?

    • hophmi
      April 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

      From Wikipedia:

      “Beinart was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of South African Jewish immigrants.[2] His mother, Doreen Beinart Brustein, is former director of the Harvard’s Human Rights film series at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his father, Julian Beinart, is a former professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2012, 1:47 pm

        “South African immigrants” does not mean they were not living in South Africa taking advantage of cheap labor and horrific conditions in that country. Which many people participated in and supported by taking advantage of the horrific situation. Some families for decades. Wondering about Beinarts family situation in South Africa.

      • hophmi
        April 3, 2012, 2:23 pm

        Is this another one of your self-righteous digs, Kathleen? Is there a point to it? Why does it matter to you? Clearly every white person who lived in SA, especially after 1948, benefitted from apartheid in some way. Beinart’s family did not come to the US after 1948. Beinart himself was born here, so it’s a fair bet that his family came here no later than the 1960s.

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2012, 5:40 pm

        Any families or individuals history of supporting apartheid regimes whether it is in South Africa or Israel is important to know about. I know numerous families who took full advantage of the apartheid situation in South Africa. Since Beinarts familylived there would be interested in how they participated in apartheid there.

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2012, 6:07 pm

        I don’t believe that Beinart is expressing that Zionism and Israel are in trouble out of a deep sense of compassion. He would have done it long before now. I think he is being smart and trying to protect Israel.

        Now you know that racism is alive and well in some Jewish families. Far more than people will talk about. I have heard it and seen it. If Beinarts family has a history of any type of serious support for the apartheid regime in South Africa would be worth knowing

      • Theo
        April 5, 2012, 8:42 am

        ” I think he is being smart…..”

        Yes, he is being smart by jumping ship before it sinks.
        You may have the pleasure of watching a lot more old zionists doing the same.

  36. hophmi
    April 3, 2012, 6:02 pm

    “Any families or individuals history of supporting apartheid regimes whether it is in South Africa or Israel is important to know about. ”

    Why? What does it have to do with this discussion? We’re talking about Israel, not about South Africa.

    • Kathleen
      April 3, 2012, 6:07 pm

      We are talking about support for apartheid regimes and the consequences

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 2:48 pm

        “We are talking about support for apartheid regimes and the consequences”

        No, we are talking about Peter Beinart and his position on Israel. What his parents thought of South African apartheid has little to do with someone who has spent his entire life in the US. Most Americans support Israel. Most Americans have no family from South Africa.

      • Without Walls
        April 5, 2012, 4:24 pm

        your blanket generalization “most Americans support Israel” is thoroughly unfounded.
        Who are you trying to convince/provide comfort to — unthinking people that you’d like to have jump on your bandwagon, or yourself?

        Americans are TOLD they “like” Israel, and if they don’t answer properly, they are punished in some way. When push comes to shove, such coerced friends are not only going to desert you, they will resent that you used bully tactics to force them into your circle to begin with.

        Much better to take an honest approach all ’round.
        People don’t like being lied to, or conned.

    • seanmcbride
      April 5, 2012, 12:12 pm

      hophmi,

      Which types of ethnic nationalism do you support and which do you oppose?

      1. Afrikaner ethnic nationalism
      2. Arab ethnic nationalism
      3. Asian ethnic nationalism
      4. black ethnic nationalism
      5. Chinese ethnic nationalism
      6. Dutch ethnic nationalism
      7. English ethnic nationalism
      8. European ethnic nationalism
      9. French ethnic nationalism
      10. German ethnic nationalism
      11. Indian ethnic nationalism
      12. Irish ethnic nationalism
      13. Italian ethnic nationalism
      14. Japanese ethnic nationalism
      15. Jewish ethnic nationalism
      16. Latino ethnic nationalism
      17. Palestinian ethnic nationalism
      18. Swedish ethnic nationalism
      19. white ethnic nationalism

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Sean, you’re not convincing me, so stop trying. The fact of the matter is that ethnic nationalism is responsible for the homogeneity that characterizes just about every European country today, the wealth that these societies accumulated through mercantilist colonialism, and the fact that the Europeans have rhetorically abandoned it (while continuing to practice it anyway in policies toward Muslims, the current scapegoat) does not change that fact.

        I don’t have to favor ethnic nationalism to support the concept of a refuge state where Jews are in the majority. I can simply support the concept of Jewish self-determination and be proud that Israel is the most diverse, most free, most dynamic country in the region. By far.

        The problem with you, Sean, is that you’re not willing to admit your tacit support for every one of these ideas by failing to call on any state but Israel to deal with it. How do you think states in Europe came to have homogeneous populations that are more white than Israel is Jewish? You think I care that these states are less rhetorically nationalistic than Israel is? They spent hundreds of years becoming that way. You think Europe is not worrying about the “demographic threat” from Muslim immigrants? Maybe you haven’t looked at the state of European politics in awhile. And Europe doesn’t face a real demography problem or a border problem.

        You think your bullshit binationalist or one-state rhetoric means anything to a Hamas member who sees the conflict in terms of achieving an Islamic state, or a Fatah member who sees things in terms of Palestinian nationalism? You think the Palestinians are somehow different, that they’re all angelic supporters of human rights?

        You think you’re clever, Sean, but you’re not remotely. Go try this crap somewhere that is not a room full of extremists who already see things your way and see how you do.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 5, 2012, 2:11 pm

        nice divert hops. the times they are a changin’. wake up.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 2:25 pm

        “nice divert hops. the times they are a changin’. wake up.”

        You have a family. There are twenty-five people in it, 12 white, 7 black, 3 green, 3 blue. You kill the blue and green people, and 5 of the black people.

        You’re left with 12 white people and 2 black people. At this point, you proclaim your whole-hearted support for human rights and oppose nationalism.

        That is the change you are talking about.

        “What is the rationale behind your policy positions? Something more than naked and opportunistic ethnic self-interest one presumes or hopes?”

        I disagree with your assumption; there is no Jewish ethnic nationalism in Israel, not race-based, anyway, and I see no movement against much wider-spread Muslim and Arab-based ethnic nationalism in the region by you or anyone else here. European ethnic nationalism is over only because it has been successful in creating a homogeneous Europe. It means nothing that Europeans are against ethnic nationalism today; they aren’t, based on their treatment of Muslims.

        So I see no reason to answer your question, which is another figment of your bigoted mind, and would be laughed at anywhere but here, where everybody shares your skewed views.

        You yourself do nothing to oppose these things. You’re not against ethnic nationalism. You’re simply against Jewish self-determination.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 5, 2012, 2:35 pm

        there is no Jewish ethnic nationalism in Israel, not race-based, anyway

        you’re mincing words here. there is absolutely ethnic nationalism in israel. your ‘raced based’ lingo is smoke and mirrors and irrelevant.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 2:43 pm

        hophmi,

        You are being remarkably evasive.

        You support Jewish ethnic nationalism as a formal organizing political philosophy in Israel. But you oppose ethnic nationalism as a formal organizing political philosophy in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Germany, Britain and everywhere else in the world. Or are you in fact ok with the United States and Europe formally defining themselves as ethnic nationalist states that favor whites over all other ethnic groups?

        What’s your game? Is it all about naked ethnic self-interest and nothing else? Grotesque double standards?

        At least Pamela Geller is somewhat intellectually consistent: she has been in bed with the EDL (English Defence League).

        To put this another way: how is the ethnic nationalism of David Duke any more offensive than the ethnic nationalism of Benjamin Netanyahu and the entire worldwide organized Jewish establishment?

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 2:47 pm

        “you’re mincing words here. there is absolutely ethnic nationalism in israel. your ‘raced based’ lingo is smoke and mirrors and irrelevant.”

        I am not mincing words. If you’re going to criticize Israel for too much Jewish nationalism, you have to criticize other examples of ethnonationalism, including much more pervasive examples everywhere else in the region. That’s why your case is ridiculously selective and hypocritical.

        Israel is the most diverse state in the region. By far. Pick on someone else for a change. Because the human rights situation literally everywhere else in the region is worse. You pick on Israel because it’s a smaller country and there are less Jews in this world than there are Muslims, Christians, or Arabs.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 5, 2012, 2:49 pm

        You pick on Israel because it’s a smaller country and there are less Jews in this world than there are Muslims, Christians, or Arabs.

        i pick on israel because it’s ethnically cleansing palestine. it’s an apartheid state. millions with no rights. like i said, you’re delusional. denial is not a river in egypt.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 2:51 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “The problem with you, Sean, is that you’re not willing to admit your tacit support for every one of these ideas by failing to call on any state but Israel to deal with it….

        You’re not against ethnic nationalism.”

        This is false. I have spoken out strongly against ethnic nationalist movements (and their concomitant Islamophobia and antisemitism) in both the United States and Europe on many occasions, and contrasted those movements with my strong support for modern Western democratic values, which are pluralist and universalist.

        The last time Europe succumbed to ethnic nationalist urges it produced Nazism and fascism.

        Face it, hophmi: you are a Jewish version of David Duke. Your mind and personality are ruled entirely by ethnic self-interest and ethnic nationalism. You are radically out of step with contemporary American and European values.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 2:55 pm

        hophmi,

        Once again: which contemporary ethnic nationalist movements around the world do you support other than Jewish ethnic nationalism and Zionism? Can you name even one such movement?

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:01 pm

        “You are being remarkably evasive.”

        I’m not being evasive. I just don’t find your questions posed in good faith.

        “You support Jewish ethnic nationalism as a formal organizing political philosophy in Israel.”

        I support the Jewish right to self-determination. I support Israel’s democracy, which expands voting rights and representation to all of its non-Jewish citizens. I also support the expansion of the franchise to all minorities in the Arab world, should anyone get real voting rights in the Middle East.

        “But you oppose ethnic nationalism as a formal organizing political philosophy in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Germany, Britain and everywhere else in the world. ”

        The statement is very silly. European countries are what they are precisely because they have practiced ethnic nationalism in the past and continue to practice it today through their policies toward Muslims. You can’t let Europe off the hook and claim they’re not ethnically nationalist when everything Europe is is the result of centuries of exactly that. Let Europe be actually threatened with a majority non-white population and then let me know what happens. Look what has happened just since Europe has become between 5 and 10 percent Muslim. 20 or 30 percent of the polity votes for far-right candidates.

        “Or are you in fact ok with the United States and Europe formally defining themselves as ethnic nationalist states that favor whites over all other ethnic groups?”

        Formally? Israel formally allows Arabs to vote, hold office, serve in the Army, sit on the Supreme Court, and do national service. They also do so actually. There are Christian symbols on European flags, and lots of crescents on the flags of Muslim countries, all of whom define themselves formally as Muslim countries.

        “What’s your game? Is it all about naked ethnic self-interest and nothing else? Grotesque double standards?”

        It is you who is practicing a double standard here. For me, it is about survival and the right of my people to self-determination, a right Muslims have claimed dozens of times over and until very, very recently in history, Christians claimed as well. So recently, that their symbols remain on some European flags.

        You’re a bigot, Sean, and all of the nonsense you post here shows it. You have virtually nothing to say about anyone or anything but the Jewish state.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 3:08 pm

        hophmi,

        You’re losing it:

        BEGIN QUOTES

        You think your bullshit…

        Go try this crap…

        figment of your bigoted mind…

        laughed at anywhere but here…

        your skewed views…

        END QUOTES

        My “skewed views”: *consistent* support for modern Western democratic values as embodied in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and *consistent* opposition to ethnic nationalism, religious nationalism and other pre-Enlightenment ideologies.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 3:16 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “I support the Jewish right to self-determination.”

        Do you support the right to German ethnic self-determination in Germany? The right to white ethnic self-determination in the United States? The right to Afrikaner self-determination in South Africa?

        Should Germany be formally defined as the state of ethnic Germans? The United States as the state of Anglo-Christians? South Africa as the state of white South Africans?

        Your thought processes have been severely scrambled by your self-interested ethnic nationalism.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:23 pm

        “Do you support the right to German ethnic self-determination in Germany? ”

        I’m not aware of any history of Germans being stuck in ovens or being persecuted for a thousand years, and am also not aware of any UN recognition of “German ethnic self-determination”

        “Should Germany be formally defined as the state of ethnic Germans? The United States as the state of Anglo-Christians? South Africa as the state of white South Africans?”

        Germany is the state of ethnic Germans by virtue of the fact that the vast majority of the people there are ethnic Germans. It’s called Germany, isn’t it? Why do you think it’s called Germany? Because of the Turkish population?

        Israel is hardly more formal about than Germany is. Again, Arabs have full civil and political rights in Israel.

        “Your thought processes have been severely scrambled by your self-interested ethnic nationalism.”

        Your arguments ignore reality and privilege Christians and Muslims over Jews. You STILL have nothing to say about the fact that there are nearly five dozen states that define themselves as Muslim, many of them in Israel’s part of the world, virtually all less diverse and free than Israel is.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:27 pm

        “You’re losing it:”

        Not at all, Sean. I’m just tired of dealing with the same stupid argument over and over and over again, where you ignore completely history, reality, and logic, all in service of arguing the Israel is somehow the world’s only state with an official religion or ethnicity, and ignore the fact that there are plenty of similar states that you have nothing to say anything about.

        It’s simply annoying to keep having to deal with your lists of nonsense, which prove nothing other than your ability to format lists.

        “*consistent* support for modern Western democratic values as embodied in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights”

        Me too. So why is it that the only state you seem to have a problem with in the Middle East is the state in the region that most embodies those values?

        “opposition to ethnic nationalism, religious nationalism and other pre-Enlightenment ideologies.”

        Besides the fact that they are not pre-Enlightenment ideologies, your opposition seems to apply only to the Jews, and no one else.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 5, 2012, 3:34 pm

        ignore the fact that there are plenty of similar states that you have nothing to say anything about.

        by all means , name a state with a decades old apartheid government we should compare it too. specifically one that calls itse;f a democracy while withholding peoples taxes til they do the gov’s bidding, while denying them rights, while collecting billions of our citizens dollars to prop up their gross apartheid government.

        I’m just tired of dealing with the same stupid argument over and over and over again

        then do us all a favor and stop with your worthless efforts to convince us israel is normal, it isn’t.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:36 pm

        “Once again: which contemporary ethnic nationalist movements around the world do you support other than Jewish ethnic nationalism and Zionism? Can you name even one such movement?”

        Israel is not an example of Jewish ethnic nationalism. The country has many ethnicities other than Jewish. Israel is an example of a state with a Jewish majority that practices democracy that is extended to people of all ethnicities. The only real way it privileges Jews is in immigration policy, as a number of other states do, and completely understandably given history.

        There are so many ethnically-based states, including nearly six dozen Muslim ones. Which ones do you oppose besides Israel?

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:43 pm

        “This is false. I have spoken out strongly against ethnic nationalist movements ”

        Where and when?

        “contrasted those movements with my strong support for modern Western democratic values, which are pluralist and universalist.”

        That’s nice. Do you find today’s France and the way it treats Muslims universalist? Now ask yourself what will happen when Muslims are, oh, 25% of Europe, rather than 5 or 10%, since that is apparently enough to justify 25% voting for far-right candidates.

        “The last time Europe succumbed to ethnic nationalist urges it produced Nazism and fascism.”

        It’s still ethnically nationalist. It’s just a little more welcoming than it used to be.

        “Face it, hophmi: you are a Jewish version of David Duke.”

        Whatever floats your boat. If being for democracy, civil and political rights for minorities and self-determination as recognized by the UN is the same thing as being David Duke, then you can call me David Duke. You’re just a selective bigot who can fathom a world with six dozen Muslim states but not one Jewish state.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 3:44 pm

        “by all means , name a state with a decades old apartheid government we should compare it too.”

        Name a state with similar security challenges.

        “then do us all a favor and stop with your worthless efforts to convince us israel is normal, it isn’t.”

        No, you’re right. Jewish states are a lot less normal in this world than Muslim states are. Jewish democracy is way, way, less normal than Muslim authoritarianism is.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 4:11 pm

        hophmi,

        Which political issues do you care about more than, or as much as, your Jewish ethnic nationalist issues? A serious question.

        I can name many issues that I care about more than Jewish ethnic nationalist issues, and I pay no attention at all to my own ethnic nationalist issues — I don’t have any in that department. Unlike you, I am not an ethnic nationalist.

        For instance:

        1. American civil liberties and civil rights

        2. American domestic economy

        3. American foreign policy

        4. American health care

        5. American economic competition with China, India, South Korea, etc.

        6. American radical wealth inequality

        7. American infrastructure

        8. environment and climate change

        9. women’s rights

        10. animal rights

        Many American Jews share my agenda and values — they are not Israel/Zionist Firsters. Do you have any idea how alienating your narrow ethnic nationalist politics are for most Americans, Europeans and other people all around the world? Do you realize that there is a great big world out there entirely outside the confines of your suffocating ethnocentrism? Now and then you should come up air and take a look around you.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 4:15 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “there is no Jewish ethnic nationalism in Israel”

        Zionism is an ethnic nationalist movement and Israel is an ethnic nationalist state — actually an ethno-religious nationalist state.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 4:32 pm

        hophmi,

        More verbal abuse, directed by an Israeli at an American:

        BEGIN QUOTES

        stupid argument…

        lists of nonsense…

        You’re a bigot…

        all of the nonsense you post here…

        I just don’t find your questions posed in good faith…

        The statement is very silly…

        END QUOTES

        If you will allow me to don my prophet’s cap, I am predicting that the torrent of verbal abuse that is regularly sprayed at Americans, Europeans and other national groups by pro-Israel activists is going to be the most important factor in ruining Israel’s relations with the rest of the world. Policy discussions about Israel should have never deteriorated to this level. We are now past the point of no return.

        Most of us have never in our lives been addressed this way by citizens of other nations who were demanding from Americans an endless stream of special favors.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 4:39 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “I support Israel’s democracy, which expands voting rights and representation to all of its non-Jewish citizens.”

        This is the same ethnic nationalist state that is forever expanding JEWISH-ONLY settlements (largely led by Jewish religious zealots) in illegally occupied territories, in quest of fulfilling the biblical fantasy of building and consolidating Greater Israel.

        If America were constructing ANGLO-CHRISTIAN-ONLY settlements in occupied territories anywhere in the world, in defiance of international law and world opinion, humanity would rightly describe the United States as an aggressively racist state.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 4:53 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “Israel is not an example of Jewish ethnic nationalism.”

        Israel officially defines itself is the state of the Jews — all Jews worldwide. Are you now going to try to claim that Jews do not constitute an ethnic group and that Zionism is not an ethnic nationalist ideology and movement?

        Again: would you have any objections to the United States officially defining itself as the state of ethnic whites? Germany as the state of ethnic Germans? South Africa as the state of ethnic Afrikaners?

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 4:56 pm

        “This is the same ethnic nationalist state that is forever expanding JEWISH-ONLY settlements (largely led by Jewish religious zealots) in illegally occupied territories, in quest of fulfilling the biblical fantasy of building and consolidating Greater Israel.”

        Yeah, it’s so consolidated that there are several millions Arabs there and no annexation. Focus on the pre-’67 part, since you’re arguing the whole project is bad.

        “If America were constructing ANGLO-CHRISTIAN-ONLY settlements in occupied territories anywhere in the world, in defiance of international law and world opinion, humanity would rightly describe the United States as an aggressively racist state.”

        If there were 10 million Christians in the world, they had spent 1000 years being the target of persecution by members of religion 100 times the size of theirs who accused them of deicide, and had just recently lost 6 million of their number to mass murder to the same people, it would be understandable if they asked for self-determination and a plot of land to live on, particularly if that plot of land had significance to them, and particularly if the world was filled with states based on religion. To deny them that would be real racism.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 5:03 pm

        “Which political issues do you care about more than, or as much as, your Jewish ethnic nationalist issues? A serious question.”

        I care about most of your list (and vote on the basis of it) before I vote on the basis of my religion.

        “Do you have any idea how alienating your narrow ethnic nationalist politics are for most Americans”

        Most Americans support a strong US-Israel relationship.

        “Europeans”

        Most Europeans support Israel within the ’67 lines.

        “Do you realize that there is a great big world out there entirely outside the confines of your suffocating ethnocentrism?”

        Yeah, yeah. Sure, Sean. I don’t see what that has to do with anything here. I live in that world.

        “Now and then you should come up air and take a look around you.

        So should you. If you did, you would see that you live in a world with nearly 6 dozen Muslim states, and a European continent that is a very recent convert historically to the gospel of human rights. Give me billions that you stole from your colonies, kill off most of the Jews, and I’ll be all for the EU’s brand of non-nationalism too. The world did not begin yesterday.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 5:03 pm

        hophmi,

        You are a slippery fellow indeed. Do you support any ethnic nationalist movements around the world besides Zionism? Which ones? What about white ethnic nationalist movements in Europe? Support or oppose?

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 5:08 pm

        hophmi,

        You wrote:

        “Focus on the pre-’67 part, since you’re arguing the whole project is bad.”

        Racist Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are an integral part of the entire Zionist project. The Israeli government, the Israeli electorate, the Israel lobby and the worldwide organized Jewish establishment own those racist settlements and the apartheid regime which supports them. They are fully responsible for them.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 5:10 pm

        “Zionism is an ethnic nationalist movement and Israel is an ethnic nationalist state — actually an ethno-religious nationalist state.”

        Actually, it isn’t. It’s best defined as an ethnic democracy – a state where one ethnicity demographically predominates but where democracy is the form of government. Israel is a secular state. Its minorities have civil and political rights.

        Saudi Arabia is closer to an ethno-religious state. Iran is as well. So is the Holy See.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 5, 2012, 5:29 pm

        “particularly if that plot of land had significance to them, and particularly if the world was filled with states based on religion.”

        And since the Palestinans who owned that land were not among those who killed the 6 million Jews, and exactly how much crime against them on behalf of the Jews do you think was acceptable? Please, be specific. Was it okay to slaughter or ethnically cleanse all of them? Half of them? A quarter of them?

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 5, 2012, 5:31 pm

        “Yeah, it’s so consolidated that there are several millions Arabs there and no annexation. Focus on the pre-’67 part, since you’re arguing the whole project is bad.”

        Why do you ignore the post 1967 part (here in 2012)?? The fact that de facto Israel includes that part, and is the sight of the majority of the war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israel is the issue.

      • hophmi
        April 5, 2012, 5:32 pm

        “Israel officially defines itself is the state of the Jews — all Jews worldwide.”

        No, it does not. It defines itself as the Jewish state. Though all Jews worldwide can move there, it is not defined as the state of all Jews worldwide except rhetorically, which is only possible because there are very few Jews on this Earth, and only one state. If this bothers you, support the creation of a second Jewish state, and then we won’t be able to use this rhetoric anymore.

        “Are you now going to try to claim that Jews do not constitute an ethnic group and that Zionism is not an ethnic nationalist ideology and movement?”

        I think for some people, Jews will constitute whatever group is necessary to argue that they should not exercise their rights collectively as Christians did for two millenia, resulting in the predomination of Christianity in Europe, and Muslims continue to, resulting in the predomination of Islam in Arabia and elsewhere.

        First and foremost for nation-state purposes, Jews are a nationality.

        One could say we are a ethnicity, but we would be an extremely complex one. I think it is more accurate to say that Jews are a nation of many ethnicities.

        Zionism is our national liberation movement.

        “Again: would you have any objections to the United States officially defining itself as the state of ethnic whites?”

        Again, I think the question is inapposite here (and its assumptions false). The question is really whether you support Liberia, a nation of liberated blacks. Jews derive at least part of the moral basis for their state on the basis of past oppression. Afrikaners and American whites can claim no such history. And again, it really doesn’t matter how Germany defines itself. It’s called Germany because most of the people who live there are ethnic Germans. Its immigration policies, by the way, privilege ethnic Germans over others.

        Israel may call itself the Jewish state (again, it’s the only state with a Jewish majority in the world), but other than the Star of David on its flag (certainly nothing unique about a religious symbol on a flag) and the Law of Return (not all that unique either, since a couple dozen states privilege certain ethnicities and virtually the entire Western Hemisphere discriminates in immigration anyway), it has few of the trappings of ethnocracy, because it’s a democracy.

      • eljay
        April 5, 2012, 6:27 pm

        >> Israel is a secular state.

        Israel is a religion-supremacist Jewish state, conceived and executed as a state for people of the Jewish faith (people who have undergone a religious conversion, or been born to someone descended from a person who underwent a religious conversion) both within and without its 1948 1967 borders lands.

        >> Its minorities have civil and political rights.

        Non-Jewish citizens of the Jewish state do not have the same set of rights as do Jewish citizens of the Jewish state.

      • Hostage
        April 5, 2012, 7:50 pm

        Israel is not an example of Jewish ethnic nationalism. The country has many ethnicities other than Jewish. Israel is an example of a state with a Jewish majority that practices democracy that is extended to people of all ethnicities.

        Okay, let’s recall that all of the citizens held Palestinian nationality on 15 May 1948. The Jewish minority didn’t bother to conduct a plebiscite before it appointed the Jewish Agency for Palestine to serve as the Provisional Government of the State. It quickly implemented Jewish rule over the Arab majority and abolished generic Palestinian nationality.

        The UN Ad Hoc Committee report, A/AC.14/32, dated 11 November 1947 noted the updated population figures supplied by the British mandatory government which indicated that, from the outset, Arabs would constitute a majority of the population of the proposed “Jewish” state – 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. See pdf file page 42 of 69.

        When the Jewish People’s Council met for it’s third sitting on 14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708) it discussed the Draft of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The Chairman, David Ben-Gurion said the purpose of the declaration and interim constitution were to implement Jewish rule:

        “The Mandate has ended and we must establish Jewish rule.” . . .We have assembled here today to make preparations and dispositions for independent Jewish rule. You have before you two documents for consideration: the first, a declaration; the second, the first draft of an interim constitution, which is urgently needed so that the Jewish institutions will be able to function during this period.

        — Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44

        Those undemocratic acts are perpetuated in the Law of Return and Citizenship and Nationality Laws and amendments which discriminate against so-called “Israeli Arabs” and their Palestinian spouses from the OPT.

        So repeat after Israeli Supreme Court President Shimon Agranat:

        “the wish of a handful of Jews to break away from the nation and create a new concept of an Israeli nation was not a legitimate aspiration. . . . There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. . . . The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries.”– HCJ 630/70 Tamarin v. State of Israel [1970] IsrSC 26(1) 197

        In the words of the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Elon all citizens have an equal civil right to recognize that Israel is the state of the Jewish people and only the Jewish people:

        The principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people is Israel’s foundation and mission [yessoda vi-yeuda], and the principle of the equality of rights and obligations of all citizens of the State of Israel is of the State’s essence and character [mahuta ve-ofya]. The latter principle comes only to add to the former, not to modify it; there is nothing in the principle of the equality of civil rights and obligations to modify the principle that the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people. (Ben-Shalom v. CEC 1988, 272)

        None of that was ever subject to a democratic plebiscite that consulted the wishes of the Palestinian people on the subject.

      • Hostage
        April 5, 2012, 9:52 pm

        Focus on the pre-’67 part, since you’re arguing the whole project is bad.

        There aren’t any post-67 parts. I’ve already provided you cites and quotations regarding the undemocratic government that implemented Jewish minority rule on 14 May 1948 and the racist laws and court decisions.

        and had just recently lost 6 million of their number to mass murder to the same people, it would be understandable if they asked for self-determination and a plot of land to live on

        You’ve got that *ss-backwards. A few Jews invented a political movement, based upon the proposition that they could never co-exist with Gentiles and that anti-semitism was an incurable hereditary disease and you keep preaching their gospel.

        They demanded a land that was populated by another people in Palestine long before the Holocaust ever occurred. They recruited the sort of people who wanted to hold a propaganda pity party or belligerents who actively sought out opportunities to be offended by western modernity. They carried a chip around on their shoulders once they arrived in Palestine; considered the Gentile inhabitants to be their inferiors; and demanded special rights and privileges for themselves at the expense of the non-Jewish population. A member of the original Jewish Palestine Commission, Sylvain Levi of France, summed-up the looming disaster:

        In the third place, the masses of people who might wish to return to Palestine, would largely be drawn from those countries where they had been persecuted and ill-treated, and the mentality which such a regime was likely to engender could be easily realised. Those people would carry with them into Palestine highly explosive passions, conducive to very serious trouble . . . For many years the Jews had, in the countries inhabited by them, claimed equality of rights, but those claims had not yet everywhere been admitted. Under the circumstances, it seemed to him shocking that the Jews, as soon as their rights of equality were about to be recognised in all countries of the world, should already seek to obtain exceptional privileges for themselves in Palestine.

        The situation that seemed shocking to him way back then, had long term legal and moral consequences. The two states with the largest remaining Jewish communities have become despised and isolated in the larger international community of states due to their mistreatment and persecution of the Palestinian people.

      • wondering jew
        April 7, 2012, 7:05 am

        Hostage- You say that Zionism was the invention of a few Jews and then you state that the basis of their invention was the belief that Jew hatred by the nonJew was eternal.
        I would assert that Zionism was not an invention but a natural development whose source was two fold, actual present hatred in a variety of locales in Europe, but specifically in Czarist Russia and in fin de siecle Vienna, and the result of secularisms attack on traditional Judaism, which created the search for new modes of Jewish expression.
        The first father of Zionism was Pinsker who wrote auto emancipation. In reaction to the anti Jewish fervent in 1881 following the assassination of the Czar, Pinsker who had previously sought to consider himself a Russian and sought assimilation for his personal path was awakened to the need of the Jews to depend upon themselves to defend themselves through governing some territory, rather than depending on human progress to defend the rights of the Jews to survive.

        Herzl’s first inclinations were to seek acceptance into German fraternities and it was only when he was told, you are not of our nation, that he realized that his dream of assimilation was “easier said than done”.

        If Herzl and Pinsker felt that the hatred for Jews was eternal in some way, I would blame their perspective: they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Herzl came from the city that produced Freud and Hitler and the trees in that part of the world in fact contained some rather virulent Jew hatred. I suppose the view that Vienna in 1895 already contained the seed of Hitler of 1919 or 1923 or 1933 or 1941, would be considered overly emotional and not rational history, but I consider Herzl not to be deluded about the eternity of the hatred towards the Jews, but very discerning regarding the environment in which he lived.

        The Czars were no friends of the Jews. I suppose the revolution of 1917 might be viewed as the more logical salvation for the Jews rather than any other particularist impulse, but in fact, Stalin inherited the Czardom eventually and he was no friend to the Jews either, so for Pinsker to view the future that he saw in his world as inimical to Jews was also discerning rather than paranoid.

        Who can see eternity? Both Pinsker and Herzl discerned their environments and gave their prescription. You dispute the prescription. Granted. Understood. Much suffering has occurred as a result of their prescription. But they discerned something very real about their environments and you living in the US in 2012 have no right to mock their perspective on eternity, when in fact their perspective on their immediate world was “dead on”.

      • Hostage
        April 8, 2012, 1:20 am

        wondering jew, I consider the claims that Pinsker and Herzl really had a preference for assimilation to be self-serving Zionist hasbara that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

      • seanmcbride
        April 5, 2012, 12:53 pm

        hophmi,

        Let me rephrase this question to cut to the quick.

        Do you support or oppose:

        1. English ethnic nationalism in Britain?
        2. German ethnic nationalism in Germany?
        3. Afrikaner ethnic nationalism in South Africa?
        4. white ethnic nationalism in the United States?
        5. white ethnic nationalism in Europe?
        6. Jewish ethnic nationalism in Israel?

        What is the rationale behind your policy positions? Something more than naked and opportunistic ethnic self-interest one presumes or hopes?

      • MHughes976
        April 5, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Does ‘ethnic nationalism’ mean ‘the belief that members of a particular ethnic group should have a position of supremacy in the state’?

    • Bumblebye
      April 4, 2012, 9:15 pm

      Aw, you beat me! Phil’s been Dish-ed up as Quote of the Day!
      Was going to add tho’ that Morrison aint the best – he took his little daughter along when he immolated himself, and she witnessed it. Heard a radio interview with his wife a couple months ago.

  37. Klaus Bloemker
    April 4, 2012, 10:33 pm

    - Palestiniens will always be anti-Semitic, there is no reason why. – Rabbi Golub
    _________________________________________________________
    I’m somewhat late to this discussion. But here is something that struck in the interview with Beinart: Rabbi Mark Golub says about the Palestinien leadership – at 53 minutes – that with some of the leadership …

    “it’s sort of like the same question of why are people anti-semitic? There is no reason, they will always be anti-Semitic.”

    That seems to be a premise: There will always be anti-Semitism – for no reason.

    David Harris of the American Jewish Commitee put it this way: “Anti-Semitism is the world’s oldest social pathology”. The unstated implication is: The Jewish people is sound but the rest of the Gentile world is sick, it suffers from a pathology.

    I doubt that Beinart subscribes to this premise.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 5, 2012, 9:03 am

      “Palestiniens will always be anti-Semitic, there is no reason why. – Rabbi Golub”

      “…why are people anti-semitic? There is no reason, they will always be anti-Semitic.”

      I think that Mr. Golub’s prejudice is not only in full effect, but the blindness is also on display. Bigotry, such as that demonstrated by Golub here, by the Israelis against the Palestinians and true incidents of anti-semitism, are never justified.

      However, to pretend that they have no antecedents — that they arise out of nothingness — is stupid. Yet this fantasy appears to be the primary stance by Zionists. They’re living in a fantasy land. True anti-semitism in the world today is almost wholly a reaction to the actions taken by the self-proclaimed “Jewish state.” They may not like that fact, and it doesn’t excuse the actor, but it is reality.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        April 6, 2012, 12:42 pm

        Woody Tanaka says:

        “True anti-semitism in the world today is…”

        The language we use to describe things has a powerful effect on the perception of those things. By continuing to use the term anti-Semitic when we’re not engaging in a discussion about the rights and wrongs of opposing Semitic, we are altering/have likely already altered the perception of the subject being discussed, and in more severe ways than we might realize. This obfuscation is only of benefit to the Israelis. Israel needs obfuscation to survive. Israel cannot survive without this continual obfuscation of the truth.

        We give our power away; don’t give your power away.

      • wondering jew
        April 7, 2012, 7:36 am

        Woody Tanaka- “almost wholly a reaction to the actions taken by the self proclaimed “jewish state”.

        Is it your hypothesis that there would be almost zero Jew hatred in the world today if not for the actions of Israel? Is there no hatred in Islam for the Jews? Is there no hatred in Christianity for the Jews? Is there no hatred in white supremacy towards the Jews? Is there no hatred amongst universalists for the particularism of Jewishness and Judaism? Is there no hatred amongst nationalists against the Jewish nation or the so called Jewish nation? In fact, in 1947 before the UN resolution to create Israel, Jew hatred existed in the world and it would exist today in some form. It is impossible to know what form it would have taken if the history of the Jews had not included Zionism.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 7, 2012, 2:09 pm

        No, my thesis is that if Israel didn’t act like a villain and an oppressive demon against the Palestinians, the incidents of antisemitic (true antisemitism, and not criticism of Israel, which is different) acts would decrease. I’m not talking about subjective feelings, but of actions.

  38. wondering jew
    April 7, 2012, 7:24 am

    Very interesting, Phil.

    Probably in 1967 there were more Jews similar to you, oblivious to the 6 day war rather than Jews who at the time wore yarmulkas on a daily basis and studied Torah three hours a day, which was my world.

    I think the urge to assimilate, especially into a great and improving country like the US was in the 1960’s (in a way it really hasn’t quite been as great since) is perfectly natural. There is also an urge to identify that exists in many people, but having grown up in an intensely identifying small segment of the American Jewish population it is difficult to assess how strong the urge to identify really is amongst Jews who were raised secular. (David Mamet comes to mind. Secular friends from Long Island who did identify with Israel in 67 also come to mind.)

    I can’t resist some snide remarks.

    Taking the tour of the stations of the cross and seeing it as a lesson in heresy and excommunication, I think that’s how you termed it. Spinoza was a case of heresy and excommunication. Jesus was the case of an occupation and a rabble rouser being handed over by Quislings, or being handed over by Sicarii zealots because of a preference for war over pacifism, but the New Testament story of the Sanhedrin and the blaming of Jesus’s death on the Jews, to me that’s a story as thorny as his crown of thorns and I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

    A Jew who seeks to assimilate is still a Jew. (in the good old days back in the old country, Jews would convert to Christianity in order to get a better job at the office. These days Jews convert to Christianity and still claim to be Jews, whereas in the old day they would be baptised in an attempt to rinse the stink of Jewishness off their resumes.) A Jew who seeks to assimilate should not use the term, “my brethren,” (your question to Gurvitz at the tel aviv restaurant) unless he is referring to his brethren in the Dickinson, Melville, Morrison, Dylan, Kafka religion, rather than to his brethren in the religion he left behind in the rear view mirror so long ago.

    And finally, Hitler would consider you Jewish, and the state of Israel, (if you would decide to make aliya) might be forced to consider you Jewish, and any Orthodox rabbi would consider you Jewish, but I think Lenny Bruce would call you a goy.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 7, 2012, 9:33 am

      A Jew who seeks to assimilate should not use the term, “my brethren,” (your question to Gurvitz at the tel aviv restaurant) unless he is referring to his brethren in the Dickinson, Melville, Morrison, Dylan, Kafka religion, rather than to his brethren in the religion he left behind in the rear view mirror so long ago.

      what are you talking about? people do not automatically loose religion or ethnicity when they assimilate. nor do they loose their brethren.

      • wondering jew
        April 9, 2012, 11:57 pm

        annie robbins- Brotherhood in the literal sense is overrated. as woody allen said about the alan alda character in “crimes and misdemeanors”, “I love him, like a brother, david greenglass.”

        Do you have to look that up? Are you less of my sister if you don’t know who david greenglass is?

        Teens turning their back on the religion of their fathers, the history of their fathers, was/is pretty common around these parts. But those who still imply at 55, “so long sucker,” as they look into the rear view mirror are less common. it’s cool to throw off the burden of the torah and the burden of jewish history and jewish jewishness/separateness.

        one brother goes to auschwitz and the other lives in california and writes stories.

        my philosophy is one part ray walston my favorite martian and two parts richard kimble the fugitive, one part huckleberry hound one part time travelling mister peabody. my blood brother charedi learns only Talmud and listens to rabbis. Ideas and ideals trump blood.

        But blood is an idea or is it only a burden?

  39. Annie Robbins
    April 10, 2012, 1:58 am

    But blood is an idea or is it only a burden?

    is air an idea or is it only a burden? what about water and the ground beneath your feet? ideas or only burdens?

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