Trapped

Israel/Palestine
on 572 Comments
Blue sky over Bethlehem
Blue sky over wall in Bethlehem

On my last day in Jerusalem I went to the Holocaust memorial and marveled at the architecture. The exhibit hall of Yad Vashem s in the form of a long triangular box whose poured concrete walls slope overhead as you walk through the museum of horrors. You enter at the closed-in south end of the box, but by the north end, the walls peel up and apart like wings. So the box is no longer closed, and from a railing you look out at the beautiful land of Israel. The message is clear: Europe was a trap for Jews, the only way out was here.

The architecture conveys my feelings about visiting Israel and Palestine. With the obvious disclaimer that nothing compares to the extermination campaigns of the Second World War, I can’t see any way out of the conflict without tragic consequences. 

This was my 7th or 8th trip, and I was happy to leave this time. In the last 24 hours I witnessed four threatening incidents on the street, all trivial, yet all contributing to the overwhelming sense of darkness and martial law. The place simply doesn’t work politically. Hillary Clinton’s mantra that the status quo is unsustainable is a thin scraping of the truth, this is a situation of tremendous political imbalance and revolutionary feeling. I wish I could give all my friends passports. One older friend said, There is a 10 percent chance that this situation won’t end in Bosnia.

Anyone with any sense of the real conditions understands that the two state solution is over. That awareness is widespread within the elites  and intelligentsia of Israel and all over Palestine. Yossi Sarid said it in Haaretz, and the knowledge is working its way to the United States. The recent Times op-ed by Dani Dayan, the settler leader, stating that the land is ours and we’re not going away was a healthy intervention by the New York Times in our political life– trying to break the news to the fantasists that there will be no viable Palestinian state in the West Bank. Anyone who has spent many days inside the occupation can explain why this is the case. I will do so in posts in days to come: show that this is a land of inequality and apartheid and subjugation.

Here’s one example that I find crushing. When I left Israel two days ago, I walked down the great ramp of the Ben Gurion airport exit hall past two dozen images on the walls from the collection of the Israel Museum, beautiful objects showing he history of the land. And when you have gone halfway down the ramp you realize that you will see no Palestinian images. There are images from Egypt and Algeria, something from Persia too, but everything else is Jewish. Jewish coins from the 1st century BC. Beautiful Jewish sculpture and paintings. An iconic black-and-white photo of a Zionist athlete. I did not see a mention of Palestine or the indigenous people. So in this last salute from Israel to the traveler, the central political claim is restated: This place belongs to us, and we have removed all evidence of the people who were here before us. Palestinians are beneath contempt.

Another quick example: at an affluent Jewish settlement deep in Palestinian East Jerusalem that looks like a fancy development in New Jersey, there is a fine brick sidewalk. The sidewalk simply stops when the road enters the neighboring Palestinian area. Now the side of the road is dirt and trash. The settlement is served by an Israeli national bus line. The Palestinians—and mind you both groups are in “Israeli” East Jerusalem– get no such services… .

The man who showed me these apartheid conditions, Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, is a famously-ebullient spirit, for he can mix mirth with tragedy in the same breath. But as Halper said, the political despair is so profound here, and the polarization of Israel and Palestine so complete, that some activists seem to have abandoned the South Africa model and begun to turn in their hearts to the Algeria model: you Israelis are a bunch of colonialists who don’t belong here. In a word, the two sides can’t imagine a future living with one another.

I don’t know whether this is true. I spent less time in the activist community than I have on visits past. The nonviolent struggle was at an ebb because of Ramadan, and I had the impression that the nonviolent struggle is approaching a new chapter, maybe, hopefully, a more international chapter—witness the fact that Ben Ehrenreich is writing about the nonviolent movement in Nabi Saleh for the New York Times Magazine.

The great fear of course is that Palestinians will abandon a nonviolent approach. This was the fear that Mustapha Barghouti expressed at J Street in March to a room packed with 500 people in which you could hear a pin drop. Hamas leaders laughed at me when we told them nonviolence is the answer, he said in so many words, and then when we got international attention, they came to me and said, This stuff actually works. Then Barghouti challenged the largely-Jewish room: We cannot continue without a sense of progress. People in Palestine must feel that they are achieving something by this pacifist response.

I don’t think they should resort to violence, I pray that they don’t. And yet it’s difficult to understand why they haven’t. The message that Israel has dispossessed Palestine and blindered itself to Palestinians’ humanity and tossed them into Bantustans is everywhere so blunt, whether you are in an Orthodox settlement in Ramot, or in the barricaded city of Hebron, or the martial city of East Jerusalem where young Jews in uniform walk through the Muslim quarter with their fingers on the triggers of their M16s, that were I Palestinian I would be filled with dreams of rebellion.

Palestinians talk about the occupation endlessly. After visiting Yad Vashem my last day I had Iftar dinner (breaking the Ramadan fast) at the home of an old friend in East Jerusalem, and one of his relatives complained angrily of the humiliation involved in entering Palestine from Jordan–which entails a burdensome and arbitrary visa application process in Amman– even as Israelis can drive their cars into Jordan without any fuss. I’m talking about a secular highly educated household. My friend and I drank bourbon and he got out an Ipad to show the family Jon Stewart’s riff on Romney and Palestinian culture, and everyone was roaring. Yes, this was a great cross-cultural moment, and these Muslims actually feel represented in the U.S. by Jon Stewart. But will that be enough to lift the bleakness? No.

My friend drove me back to the Old City at 10 o’clock, and as we were going through East Jerusalem, we saw a soldier chasing down a boy and arresting him. It took all of 30 seconds. I don’t know how the matter began. But in the darkness the soldier pounced on the boy in the intersection like a snake, and other boys around the suspect dispersed almost calmly as the soldier dragged him back to a truck.

That was one of the four threatening incidents I saw in my last 24 hours. Another was a merchant in the Old City screaming at me, “You bitch, I will fuck you up,” because of a confrontation that began when I reached over his shoulder to look at a rug hanging from a wall. The third was two Palestinian vendors getting into a shoving match and having to be separated by the Ramadan crowd. The fourth was an Israeli army Jeep flying up behind a line of Palestinian cars outside the Damascus gate amid Ramadan celebrations and hitting its siren-buzzer and lights to force the cars out of the way. I remember the satanic grin on the soldier’s face; he took sport in the routine harassment of civilians.

All trivial incidents. Yet when people speak of the country’s toughness, and tensions so thick you can cut them with a knife, this is what they mean. And of course it’s only Israelis with guns. They have the sovereignty and the authority, the ability to deliver violence. And inasmuch as these roles are gender-defined in traditional ways, the imbalance is experienced as an insult to Palestinian manhood. That’s one way to explain the shopkeeper who kept screaming at me, You bitch, you bitch, as I walked away.

If I’d stayed in Jewish areas I could have avoided such scenes. But I didn’t want to be there, and also every time I went into the Jewish areas I had the idea of my bus or restaurant being blown up. You’re not supposed to talk about such things. But how far are we from the next rebellion? There are more than 4 million people without political rights in a box built by the misguided ideology of creating a safe place for Jews by making a Jewish state on other people’s lands. Still, Israel exists, in all its racist misguided political architecture, the people are human beings (and most are Jewish, like me), and my last gestures in the country were intentionally humane ones. I tried to be kind to people, even the interrogating guards at the airport, because I presume few of them have chosen this trap. Also I was thankful to be getting away.

An Israeli friend who does not have the luxury of leaving and who describes Palestinian conditions frankly as apartheid says that the next phase of the struggle should be an international movement for one person/one vote. Why isn’t an organization coming up with that simple message? he asks. The government that controls our lives is not one that we consent to. We have no rights. Give us the vote.

How will Israelis respond to such an appeal? I asked.

They will regard it as an existential threat, he said.

This is one reason that American Jewish organizations don’t want to declare the two state solution dead. They know what the reality is, they know how nutso Israelis are, and they prefer denial. They want to maintain the Zionist fantasy that there is a Jewish democracy, when it is neither, it is a Zionist authoritarian state. They are willing to suspend Palestinians in a situation of no-rights forever as they talk about land-swaps that will never happen. A journalist friend says that the settlers are actually more reliable actors in conceiving of a political resolution of the madness, because they actually live with Palestinians, so some of them know who Palestinians are.

Palestinians were once alien to me, but over the last three years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of them, and come to enjoy the humor and intelligence and generosity of the ordinary people I meet; and as for the noble ones, you won’t find more inspiring examples anywhere. I stood beside Badia Dweik on a corner in Hebron as he was harassed first by a settler boy on a horse, then by a soldier who ordered him to move back a few feet (just wait till you see the video of this incident), and Badia said calmly and firmly, This is my city, and under your own rules I have a right to stand where I am. I put my arm around him to have some of his strength and to express my solidarity.

But he has to live there and I don’t. I’m afraid for him, as I’m afraid for the security service woman who interrogated me at the airport two mornings ago. Neither of them chose to be born into this trap. My own despair springs from the fact that for years I thought I could do something to help them, but this time round I seem to have lost that belief.

572 Responses

  1. Carllarc
    August 5, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Removing the unreality of rose colored hope, the future for the Palestinians looks to be bleak and Israel is going to keep it that way until the ‘Palestinian problem’ is swept under the rug.

  2. just
    August 5, 2012, 5:33 pm

    “My own despair springs from the fact that for years I thought I could do something to help them, but this time round I seem to have lost that belief.”

    ==========

    Mr. Weiss, you write so very eloquently.

    Don’t lose any of your beliefs that you can help– you and your wonderful “team”do it everyday.

    And I thank you for this.

  3. Avi_G.
    August 5, 2012, 5:51 pm

    I’m afraid for him, as I’m afraid for the security service woman who interrogated me at the airport two mornings ago.

    Phil, she didn’t interrogate you. You’re an American, you’re white, and you’re Jewish. She merely questioned you.

    Interrogations are far more intrusive, humiliating and nerve racking. You would be seething in anger and reeling about it in a 5000-word essay if you were put through the grueling experience of undergoing an interrogation.

    […] as I’m afraid for the security service woman. […] Neither of them chose to be born into this trap.

    I have to disagree. The female security employee has a choice, on several levels.

    On a personal level, many Israelis choose this particular job of working as security personnel at the airport because it’s relatively easy, it pays very well and the hours are great. You may have noticed that most of them are young. There is a reason for that as many take this job after their military service, usually around the age of 22 and before they go to university.

    On a group level, that woman is privileged as she belongs to a group that has chosen to inflict pain and suffering on another group.

    Although, I must say, I find your conclusion offensive for the following reason. It is offensive that you would feel sympathy for someone who CHOOSES to do a job that requires her to discriminate against non-Jews, especially against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, all the while you claim that she had no choice when she was born into that trap of a state.

    She has the option of choosing any other job in Israel, especially since many places now require “previous military experience” — a round-about way of discriminating against non-Jewish Israelis.

    Had you lived through WWII and encountered a young Nazi soldier for whose safety you were afraid because he was born into that trap, then I would have said that it was mighty big of you to fear for him.

    My own despair springs from the fact that for years I thought I could do something to help them, but this time round I seem to have lost that belief.

    This reflects my own feelings from about twenty years ago.

    Although I’m sure that for Danaa such sentiments were rather common in the late 1960s. She saw the warning signs back then.

    You bitch, I will fuck you up,” because of a confrontation that began when I reached over his shoulder to look at a rug hanging from a wall.

    […]

    That’s one way to explain the shopkeeper who kept screaming at me, You bitch, you bitch, as I walked away.

    Were you carrying with you a bag that could have accidentally bumped into his backside as you were reaching over his shoulder?

    He may have thought that you were trying to humiliate him, sexually, especially since you stood behind him, not in front of him.

    But more importantly, do you have the same perceptions about personal space when you are in the U.S.? Do you reach over people’s shoulders like that?

    What I’m getting at is that I found it far more helpful to behave the same, without altering my behavior based on my own perceptions of what the local norms and customs may or may not be. Why? Because sometimes our perceptions of what is or is not acceptable are simply wrong.

    • Daniel Rich
      August 6, 2012, 1:51 am

      @ Avi_G,

      You’ve saved me a lot of time. I couldn’t agree more. Well said en formulated.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 10:24 am

        “How will Israelis respond to such an appeal? I asked.”

        They will regard it as an existential threat, he said.”

        I’m always grateful to have another classic Jewish joke to add to my collection. Thanx, Phil.

    • NickJOCW
      August 6, 2012, 9:49 am

      @Avi-G

      You write at the aggressive end of response to Philip’s compassion for the Security woman. If, as you propose, she is 22 then she was born around 1990 and will, I imagine, be fairly typical of her generation. One really shouldn’t be that surprised that a young person growing up in Israel during that period will have absorbed her society’s values and attitudes. One can, however, be fearful for them that they have.

      • Avi_G.
        August 6, 2012, 8:00 pm

        NickJOCW says:

        […] If, as you propose, she is 22

        I’m not proposing; I know from personal knowledge.

        One really shouldn’t be that surprised that a young person growing up in Israel during that period will have absorbed her society’s values and attitudes.

        When one considers the makeup of society, it is the sum total of its members, of individuals. But since you present members of society as blind, yet innocent and helpless sheep then at what point does personal responsibility come into play?

        Does Phil fear for Netanyahu, as well? After all, there are far more fanatic radicals in Israel who are applying pressure on Netanyahu. So how is Netanyahu any different than that female security drone?

        I have no compassion for fascism. I can’t. Alas Israeli society is a fascist society.

        So I won’t fear for that female security drone’s safety. I fear HER and her drone-like ilk. She isn’t trapped as Phil suggests. She has many choices as a member of a privileged group. And in a worse-case scenario she would have the resources and ability of leaving Israel and moving elsewhere, like others have done.

        I view Phil’s concern as exonerating her of all responsibility.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Avi_G,
        You make a good point. I never got the feeling from Phil that he would feel much for the safety of some young cracker born and bred in the USA who worked a low-paying minion job for Jim Crow in that era, and similarly for young Americans who volunteer to serve our military disasters in the Middle East, even in these times when so many can’t find a job even at McDonald’s. Maybe I’m wrong?

      • evets
        August 8, 2012, 10:25 am

        ‘I never got the feeling from Phil that he would feel much for the safety of some young cracker born and bred in the USA who worked a low-paying minion job for Jim Crow in that era etc.’

        I don’t see any reason to assume this. That’s not who he seems to be.

      • Avi_G.
        August 6, 2012, 8:34 pm

        One more thing, Nick,

        It seems that when I wrote this to Phil:

        Although, I must say, I find your conclusion offensive for the following reason. It is offensive that you would feel sympathy for someone who CHOOSES to do a job that requires her to discriminate against non-Jews, especially against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, all the while you claim that she had no choice when she was born into that trap of a state.

        She has the option of choosing any other job in Israel, especially since many places now require “previous military experience” — a round-about way of discriminating against non-Jewish Israelis.

        It didn’t sink in your head, did it?

        The fact of the matter is that just like Israelis like me HAVE/HAD the choice of realizing their folly and getting out of what Phil calls a “trap” — as he makes excuses for that female security drone — so do other Israelis.

        And I won’t be posting or commenting here anymore — ever again — as I have realized the type of clueless naivete with which I am dealing.

        Hopefully, that was aggressive enough for you.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 8:49 pm

        And I won’t be posting or commenting here anymore — ever again — as I have realized the type of clueless naivete with which I am dealing.

        avi, please do not go. it’s rare anyone agrees with everything another one says. we need your voice here. i know i do.

      • Avi_G.
        August 6, 2012, 9:08 pm

        Annie,

        Please don’t bother. I didn’t write that to get attention or to get people to beg me to stay. So please don’t do it.

        I simply cannot in good conscience continue to view this website and Phil in particular in the same light. As a result, there is no point in my ever commenting here.

      • American
        August 7, 2012, 12:22 am

        “As a result, there is no point in my ever commenting here.”…
        Avi_G

        Yes there is. We all get a lot from your comments in case no one has told you before.
        I will beg….please don’t go.
        There are already too many lights out in the tunnel…stay.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 3:02 pm

        “And I won’t be posting or commenting here anymore — ever again — as I have realized the type of clueless naivete with which I am dealing.”

        Don’t worry, there are 99 other people who say exactly the same thing you do, so rest assured, you won’t be missed in the crowd.

        “The fact of the matter is that just like Israelis like me HAVE/HAD the choice of realizing their folly and getting out of what Phil calls a “trap” — as he makes excuses for that female security drone — so do other Israelis. ”

        Right, sure. Because Israel is the worst country in human history, and of course, in countries where there is conflict, everybody immediately gives up and leaves like you did.

        “At the present, 60% of Israel’s Jewish population was born in Israel while 40% are recent arrivals. So at least 40% CHOSE to be in Israel and consciously came convinced that Palestinians are not worthy of rights and that their oppression is not only justified but warranted. ”

        Right, including my friend who made aliyah and worked for a human rights organization in Jerusalem on Palestinian housing issues. Because you assume the worst in all Israelis.

        “Furthermore, the so-called security personnel at Ben-Gurion airport are not there to make travel safer for all passengers, they are there to perpetuate the racism and discrimination that is inherent and institutionalized in Israel. ‘

        Yes, of course. Because nothing has ever happened in the Middle East, where all was perfect before the Jews came. No airplane hijackings, no suicide bombings, nothing. There’s no context for anything ever, only black and white and evil people and angels.

        “What’s truly sad, in a proverbial stab-in-the-back type of way, is that Phil knows about this racism and this systemic discrimination. ”

        But unless AviG, he just won’t HATE HARD ENOUGH.

        Good riddance, Avi. I’m glad you left Israel, and I’m glad you’re leaving here too. Trust me when I say that I am not the only one who will not miss you.

      • AlGhorear
        August 13, 2012, 1:15 pm

        @Avi_G Not everyone who reads and posts here shares Phil’s beliefs and opinions. In fact, if we all had the exact same thoughts and beliefs, there’d be no need for anyone to ever write anything. You have a unique perspective and clear sense of morality that I appreciate and respect. I always look forward to reading your comments and find them very persuasive. I hope we continue to hear from you!

    • sardelapasti
      August 6, 2012, 10:44 am

      “Had you lived through WWII and encountered a young Nazi soldier for whose safety you were afraid because he was born into that trap, then I would have said that it was mighty big of you to fear for him.”

      That is exactly what he is doing. There’s no need for a conditional and there’s no difference in the situation, present or future.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2012, 11:23 am

        @ sardelapasti
        I watched a PBS history show on what American soldiers encountered in the early days ashore after the invasion of France. One old GI veteran explained what war is by telling how he encountered a young Wehrmacht soldier with his hands up, and, upon approaching him, he saw the young man reach inside his breast buttons–assumed he was going to pull out a pistol, and so shot him dead on the spot; he was so close, when the German’s hand came out of his shirt, just before he fell, the GI saw, he explained, “It was a handful of photos of his wife and young family.”
        He said, “That’s what war is.”
        How many current US congress folks have ever fought in a combat zone? The only POTUS candidate who’s been a military veteran is Ron Paul. And he’s the only one that actually has a different take on US foreign policy, and the only one with significant support among US troopers.

        It’s all so obvious.

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 8:09 pm

        All the time I was growing up I knew that my Dad had been injured in the war, but never gave it a moment’s thought. That was just the way it was; he lived his life well and never, ever mentioned what happened or what might have been.

        After my parents died, as we were sorting their papers, we came across letters between my parents, just courting, and at the time Dad was injured. I learned about a part of my Dad — and Mother — that I had never realized before: a very lonely and uncertain young man, simultaneously injured, discharged, and orphaned (his father died while Dad was at war). He was 20 years when he had all that to handle. For several years I could not stop my soul from bleeding at the pain my Father had endured; I kept thinking of my own children at that age.

        I’ve lately come to a spot where I’m glad Dad was injured when he was, and though it dashed all his hopes and dreams for what he thought he wanted his life to be, his injury got him out of a violent environment in which he might have turned into a moral monster; he might have been harmed in so much worse a way if he had had to live with the realization that he had killed an innocent man — a man who had hopes and dreams, and a wife and child — just like he did.

        But I am even more fearful for my children; they are slowly slowly seduced and lured into a universe that, to bastardize the Bard, “Looks on homicide and is never shaken.” Killing, lying, and stealing to gain advantage have become far more than acceptable; they have become the new America, the New Jerusalem.

        My Dad, and the thousands like him, and the founders of the US, did not put Their Lives, Their Fortunes, Their Sacred Honor, on the line to enable Hillary Clinton to go around the world hiring killers.

      • Avi_G.
        August 6, 2012, 9:06 pm

        sardelapasti says:
        August 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

        That is exactly what he is doing. There’s no need for a conditional and there’s no difference in the situation, present or future.

        At the present, 60% of Israel’s Jewish population was born in Israel while 40% are recent arrivals. So at least 40% CHOSE to be in Israel and consciously came convinced that Palestinians are not worthy of rights and that their oppression is not only justified but warranted.

        This reality stands in stark contrast to what you wrote regarding Aryans in Nazi Germany concerning the so-called “trap”.

        So while you’re busy sympathizing with the victimizer, there is another reality that is entirely foreign to you and completely absent from your understanding of the issue.

        Furthermore, the so-called security personnel at Ben-Gurion airport are not there to make travel safer for all passengers, they are there to perpetuate the racism and discrimination that is inherent and institutionalized in Israel.

        What’s truly sad, in a proverbial stab-in-the-back type of way, is that Phil knows about this racism and this systemic discrimination. And yet, he’s busy feeling sorry for the victimizer while he paints himself as the Rodney King of Westchester County — Can’t we all just get along?

      • sardelapasti
        August 8, 2012, 4:39 pm

        “60% of Israel’s Jewish population was born in Israel while 40% are recent arrivals. So at least 40% CHOSE to be in Israel…”

        Correct, and whoever was not born there and came to the country without a Palestinian invitation is an aggressor, i.e. in the wider sense a criminal against peace, not only “technically” but as a conscious transgressor. I am not Palestinian. If I were, I would be adamant in my refusal of Palestinian citizenship and perhaps also staying permits to all those not born there.

        “This reality stands in stark contrast to what you wrote regarding Aryans in Nazi Germany concerning the so-called “trap”.”
        Not much in contrast. The Germans were trapped by the fact of being born German, that’s true. However, not only the guy without a choice but also the fanatic bastard, the sadistic SS or, in our case, the willing militarized Israeli still is to be pitied at the same time as he must be physically eliminated; and that was, I think, why the other poster was speaking of generosity. The need to get rid of some bastards doesn’t mean that one should not pity them.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 6:07 pm

        “Correct, and whoever was not born there and came to the country without a Palestinian invitation is an aggressor,”

        I was not aware that defenses of terrorism against civilians were permitted here.

    • American
      August 6, 2012, 4:01 pm

      ‘But more importantly, do you have the same perceptions about personal space when you are in the U.S.? Do you reach over people’s shoulders like that?”

      The better question is, if you do bump someone almost anywhere in the world do most respond with screaming….. ‘ you bitch, you bitch!”
      Seems way out of proportion to being bumped in a store or crowd.

      • Avi_G.
        August 6, 2012, 7:50 pm

        The better question is, if you do bump someone almost anywhere in the world do most respond with screaming….. ‘ you bitch, you bitch!” Seems way out of proportion to being bumped in a store or crowd.

        Yeah. I suppose you’re right.

    • piotr
      August 8, 2012, 2:05 am

      “Had you lived through WWII and encountered a young Nazi soldier for whose safety you were afraid because he was born into that trap, then I would have said that it was mighty big of you to fear for him.”

      And what would be strange about that? To have a feeling for all soldiers going through the meat grinder of the great war? Including 17 year old conscripts? A few months ago we discussed one such conscript who survived perhaps because we got a light wound and could not participate in the final battles.

    • Danaa
      August 16, 2012, 2:26 am

      Avi_G, I just had a chance to notice this thread, and wanted to say that I think I understand where you are coming from. I agree that even young people of 22 or even 20 have a choice. In Israel, like in the US, there are choices. Even the poorest of the poor don’t have to work at a slaughterhouse – if they are vegetarian – there are always hotels to clean. and there are plenty of jobs available in israel for young people that do not require brutalizing other people.

      That being said, Phil may be taking the attitude that this individual – like others – is brain-washed and not everyone can escape the soul-killing conformity of the cult. Maybe he thought of her as we do (or did) seeing the young women of that Mormon cult in Texas. It is possible – and sometimes way too easy – to conjure up the empathy for those who may be “trapped”. But it’s all about just how deep the “trap” is, isn’t it? Phil may be perhaps too quick to give the benefit of the doubt – Israel is not (at least not yet) a locked compound totally isolated from the world. Even young people in Israel are fully exposed to a range of opinions and other ways of being. They all know the Palestinians suffer. But, young – and old – they choose to turn away. Some pretend not to see. Others pretend to neither see nor hear. And still others choose to join in on the brutalization because “everyone does it” and/or “it’s just a job”. And almost everyone justifies and rationalizes the evil carried out in all their names.

      And you are right that I woke up earlier than most, but I also knew how uncommon that was, not just in the late 60’s and all the way into the 70’s, and to this very day. My own complaint is that too few are willing to wake up, even now, when it’s near-impossible to pretend that they don’t know what’s happening a few kilometers – or a few meters away. In my days, at least we all had an excuse – we truly didn’t know – or most of us didn’t. When did the first Israeli TV channel start broadcasting? when did television sets become ubiquitous? yet, even then, there were signs that all was not well. There were inklings for those who cared to notice. But that was then. Now – who has an excuse worthy of the name?

      All that being said, it would be good for us all for you to stick around, sharing insight when so moved. Besides, Phil will come around yet – if we learnt anything about him it’s that he is an evolving man.

  4. Nevada Ned
    August 5, 2012, 5:52 pm

    In today’s (Sunday) NYTimes, Avraham Burg has an opinion piece, “Israel’s Fading Democracy”, well worth reading. Burg mentions Israel’s “minorities”, mainly Palestinians, and their lack of rights. Burg is a former speaker of the Knesset, with impeccable Zionist credentials.

    Many Mondoweiss readers would go farther than Burg, who is nostalgic for the democracy and human rights that he believes were characteristic of Israel several decades ago. For Palestinians, Israel has never been a real democracy.

    Burg’s piece is important, not so much for what it says, but because of who wrote it. Even as recently as a few years ago, the NYT would not run this piece.

    I *hope* that some political organization with credentials with the Palestinians is talking with Avraham Burg now, in hope of putting together a new political force aimed at justice for the Palestinians, and peace for Israeli Jews. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t go to waste.
    I don’t know much about politics among the Palestinians, and what I do know is not encouraging.
    There is (and has always been) a handful of Israeli Jews who opposed Israel’s racist policies, mainly activists on the far left. Does Avraham Burg’s piece signal the possibility that the Israeli opposition might grow into a significant force?

    • David Doppler
      August 6, 2012, 2:45 pm

      I agree Ned. Avraham Burg, author of “The Holocaust is Over,” on the NYTimes editorial page follows Jeremy Ben-Ami and Noah Pollack on Newshour last week dissecting, if somewhat sterilely, the effect of Romney’s Israeli visit on deeply-divided-but-still-majority-Democrat American Jewish voters. Phil, your dream of an open debate is being fulfilled. It’s not the time to give up hope, but time to double down on your effort, and polish up your message, since I predict you will start finding yourself with more spots in the national limelight. No one knows how this sea change has come about better than the founder of Mondoweiss. Next stop, Phil on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 2:48 pm

        totally david. we think alike.

      • Kathleen
        August 6, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Said, Redgrave, Pappe, Barghouti, Carter, Tutu, Judt, Finkelstein were and some continue to be the heavy lifters then Walt and Mearsheimer step up to the plate and hit a home run out come Weiss and Stewart moving with the better late than never crowd. Important but let’s be honest about the slow steady sea change over decades and don’t do the dance of acting like the movement started with Weiss and Stewart. This is terribly dishonest and filled with ego and fraud

    • Roya
      August 6, 2012, 5:31 pm

      I think this particular line truly signals changing times: “However, if our shortsighted leaders miss this opportunity, the same fair and equal principles should be applied to one state for both peoples.”
      Before this, every time I heard/read Burg speak or write he always strictly advocated for a two-state solution. Slowly but surely, the one-state solution is becoming more mainstream.
      I wonder how the ADL is going to deal with him now.

  5. OlegR
    August 5, 2012, 6:01 pm

    On a brighter note ,
    reality checks in.
    We just had a major incident on the Gaza, Egypt, Israeli border.
    And in 5 hours i am there on reserve duty.

    Have fun with all the conspiracy theories about who and what and whose fault.
    Cheerio…

    • jon s
      August 6, 2012, 1:19 am

      Oleg,
      Take care,
      לך לשלום ותחזור בשלום

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 3:24 am

        jon,

        The oft-repeated cliché notwithstanding, Oleg is going to the Gaza border (reminder: currently under Israeli military closure) as a soldier. He is not exactly going “in peace”. Israeli soldiers may be our sons and brothers and nephews, but they are combatants and members of an occupation force. They are not merely civilians doing an innocuous but dangerous job.

        To Oleg,
        Try not to obey (or give) any illegal or immoral orders, and remember your duty to protect all non-combatants.

      • Theo
        August 6, 2012, 10:14 am

        Shmuel

        We must not forget that all those lads and gals in the SS and Gestapo also had loving mothers and fathers!!
        Oleg is a well indocrinated zionist, who will do anything ordered by his superiors. Someone should clear him up about the intention of the Nurenberg trials.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 10:28 am

        “To Oleg,
        Try not to obey (or give) any illegal or immoral orders, and remember your duty to protect all non-combatants.”

        The way I learned it, the capacity to do so, and the desire to do so by the person the sentence is directed to is implicit in the sentence. Very interesting. You guys never give up.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:00 pm

        Gosh, Israel must be in dire straits if IDF soldiers activated for duty have to use an
        anti-Zionist” blog to communicate their good-byes. Have Palestinians destroyed the communications infrastructure?

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 3:08 pm

        “You guys never give up…”

        ‘….hoping for improvement’, it should have read.

      • Kathleen
        August 6, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Oleg will not remember. He is a soldier that protects a system of apartheid.

      • eljay
        August 6, 2012, 10:26 pm

        >> Shmuel @ August 6, 2012 at 3:24 am

        You, sir, are a class act.

    • ColinWright
      August 6, 2012, 3:26 am

      “On a brighter note ,
      reality checks in.
      We just had a major incident on the Gaza, Egypt, Israeli border.
      And in 5 hours i am there on reserve duty.

      Have fun with all the conspiracy theories about who and what and whose fault.
      Cheerio…”

      I think Oleg’s post works very well if every word is taken literally — especially the ‘on a brighter note.’

      Whew. Man the ramparts. No need to feel unsure.

    • thankgodimatheist
      August 6, 2012, 6:27 am

      Wouldn’t it have been safer for you to stay in Russia, Oleg? But no. You had to go and do the colonial thing in brownies’ land.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 10:53 am

        “Wouldn’t it have been safer for you to stay in Russia, Oleg?”

        After the fall of the Party? No way! No, sir, when the dialectic lost its sway in Mother Russia, Oleg knew (or maybe his Dad knew) it was time to make Aliyah.

    • dimadok
      August 6, 2012, 7:14 am

      Godspeed to you brother.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 10:54 am

        Funny, I never knew a single Jew who said “Godspeed” Not one. Wonder where dimmy picked it up.

      • dimadok
        August 6, 2012, 11:56 am

        It’s called broad educational background, Mooser. Try one-you’ll like it.

      • Taxi
        August 6, 2012, 1:20 pm

        They use the word “godspeed” in England.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 1:28 pm

        “It’s called broad educational background, Mooser. Try one-you’ll like it.”

        I’ll stick to my pulps and porn, thank you. I’m not gonna end up talking a bunch of pretentious Anglophile orthography!

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 1:43 pm

        I think I’ll skip that “broad educational background” lest I court “disilusement” . That happens sometimes, you know?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 1:48 pm

        They use the word “godspeed” in England.

        i use it here too. i assumed mooser’s point was that many jews do not write (or say?) the word god. they write g-d. i think.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 3:21 pm

        “They use the word “godspeed” in England.”

        And “g-hyphen-dspeed” is so hard to pronounce when you’re in a hurry. Hurried partings are no time for misunderstandings.

    • quercus
      August 6, 2012, 7:24 am

      What the hell are you talking about when you mention “conspiracy theories”. How is someone writing about the experiences he had and based on those experiences speculating about the future a conspiracy theory?

      Do you have an English dictionary, OlegR? If so, please look up the word “conspiracy”.

      The REALITY is you are quite the fool.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 6, 2012, 7:58 am

        Just Oleg trolling and acting macho, as he likes to do. He has no interest in the article, but welcomes a chance to act the tough guy (though he is probably as mollycoddled and indulged as most of the idf)

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 10:30 am

        I don’t know, if I was really being called up, I might have better things to do than post on a blog I don’t like. He is obviously desperate to distract, and of course, he’s hoping somebody will express a wish that he be harmed.
        Now, why on earth would anybody do that?

      • marc b.
        August 6, 2012, 1:04 pm

        He is obviously desperate to distract, and of course, he’s hoping somebody will express a wish that he be harmed.

        is that what he was hoping? i can’t speak for anyone else, but i really couldn’t give a dried fig what happens to olerg as long as he’s not harming someone else when it happens. he can barely contain his glee as another handfull is croaked so he can play superhero. though there is probably a greater chance he’ll get injured driving to his reserve unit than while serving, if he wants to live by the sword, c’est la vie.

    • Citizen
      August 6, 2012, 11:26 am

      @ OlegR
      Go get ‘em, Oleg! Yours is but to do or die, not to ask why. Admirable!

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:01 pm

        And that his possible last words will be archived at Mondoweiss…priceless! The iron law of the universe is irony.

      • OlegR
        August 9, 2012, 7:11 am

        Not today.
        Maybe next time.

      • Krauss
        August 6, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Not even that, the guy’s a reservist. His job is to watch other people shoot and do all the hard work while he is covering their back by staying behind the frontlines and giving them ‘moral support’ from afar.

        Don’t worry, he makes up for his guilt and general uselessness by spamming this site in incoherent and poorly phrased rants about mostly nothing.

        Poor Oleg. Neither a brave soldier nor a sharp intellect.
        What use does he have if not to annoy people with his general uselessness?

      • Theo
        August 7, 2012, 8:24 am

        Krauss

        You have the wrong impression of what reservist means!
        Our reservist were called up during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and were fighting and dying right on the front.
        You become a reservist after you served your due time in the armed forces and may be called anytime for some more of it, at least until a certain age.
        Oleg will be sent right to the front, just like any other soldier, if Israel decides that they need another war, unless if he is in the propaganda dept. Those boys and girls have it good, their weapon is the pen and a loose mouth!!

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 8:21 pm

        Whose “our” are you talking about, Theo? I was not aware that Israeli soldiers were “fighting and dying in Iraq & Afghanistan right on the front.”

        Unless you mean what Robert Kagan & ux, & Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Ledeen, Pipes, etc. do = fighting on the front lines.

      • Theo
        August 8, 2012, 12:31 pm

        AllenBee

        I happen to be an american who served many years with OUR military, so when I say OUR, I mean Ours, not the IDF!!
        Why so aggressive, friend?

    • Taxi
      August 6, 2012, 11:59 am

      And I hope that “reality” smacks you down and hard.

    • talknic
      August 6, 2012, 12:16 pm

      OlegR August 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      “On a brighter note…”

      It relishes the job of being the occupier, sans the legal obligations of course.

    • Dexter
      August 6, 2012, 1:42 pm

      Ah, you must be very excited to go and kill some Arabs huh?

      You should you be “defending” the borders of Eastern Europe — you know, where you’re actually from.

    • mudder
      August 6, 2012, 4:27 pm

      Speaking of conspiracy theories, Michael Oren blames the Iranians for the Sinai incident.

      • piotr
        August 8, 2012, 2:20 am

        Other theories postulate that Mossad organized them. Of course, Iran is a better theory. Press hard any festering wound in the Middle East and together with pus you will squeeze out a bearded Iranian without a necktie. [Historical allusion.] On the other hand, I am puzzled why reserves are called because of an incident that required a platoon to respond on Israeli side.

    • sardelapasti
      August 8, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Cheerio? See you in the dock, criminal against peace. No doubts at all about “who”. Would be nice to have prison space for all.

  6. justicewillprevail
    August 5, 2012, 6:10 pm

    A bitter and powerful appraisal. Avraham Burg agrees with you as far as the wrecking of any hope of democracy in Israel goes:

    link to nytimes.com

    And here is an example of the petty, mean-minded, vindictive and typical israeli denial of any independent political life for Palestinians:

    link to nytimes.com

    • Annie Robbins
      August 5, 2012, 10:00 pm

      that last link is a knockout jwp

      • Hostage
        August 6, 2012, 11:11 am

        Anyone with any sense of the real conditions understands that the two state solution is over.

        In dozens of instances statehood has been reduced to nothing more than long term recognition of a legal status or capacity. South Africa claimed it had the right to annex the mandate of South West Africa in exactly the same way Zionists claim the right to annex Judea and Samaria. When the international community opposed those moves, the reactions were very different. The Israelis and the South African governments continued their illegal policies of apartheid and Bantustanization for several decades. The UN created a subsidiary organ to act on behalf of the people of Namibia and it fulfilled certain of the roles of a government in exile, like signing treaties on behalf of the inhabitants.

        The problem is that Palestine did not receive similar treatment. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was not empowered to exercise rights and sign treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions or the Rome Statute.

        that last link is a knockout jwp

        That’s what the one state solution is going to look like. There will be nothing but more of the “same old same old”, unless Israel is given some incentives or legal threats. If there’s really only one state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, then you can’t complain about the ways it secures its own borders. That’s a matter of domestic jurisdiction. But we all know that there are two widely recognized state governments there, and one of them is interfering in the foreign relations of the other in violation of the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations:

        “Israel’s treatment of Palestine as an internal issue and its attempts to isolate the Palestinian people from the rest of the world further emphasize why we need to achieve state status at the United Nations as a step towards our exercise of self-determination and freedom.”

        — PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi link to maannews.net

      • Hostage
        August 6, 2012, 11:41 am

        P.S. It’s impossible to imagine a bi-national state if you’re a Zionist ideologue who claims that there is no Palestinian nation or an “Israeli” one for that matter, separate from the Jewish people and diaspora Jewries.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2012, 11:32 am

        Israel and the United States have both denounced the Palestinians’ decision to choose a United Nations path, saying that only direct negotiations can resolve the long-running conflict. Funny, I don’t recall the United Nations ever deciding that only direct negotiations between Jews and Palestinians could ever resolve the issue of proposed Israeli statehood, not the UN.

    • NickJOCW
      August 6, 2012, 10:44 am

      @Justice…Avraham Burg has it that:

      “The modern combination between democracy and Judaism was supposed to give birth to a spectacular, pluralistic kaleidoscope. The state would be a great, robust democracy that would protect Jews against persecution and victimhood. Jewish culture, on the other hand, with its uncompromising moral standards, would guard against our becoming persecutors and victimizers of others”.

      It is a constant bafflement to me how often Jews seem to view things with such astonishingly limited perspective. The other day we had Rosen blaming the world for not doing anything to rescue Jews in the middle of a bloody global confrontation, completely ignoring the actions of Raoul Wallenberg and countless others. It was nothing as specific as ‘democracy and Judaism’ that motivated, largely left wing postwar intellectuals, to anticipate that the new Israel would be a beacon for the war torn world, demonstrating how a state, rising like a phoenix from the horror, could become an example for the rest of the 20th century and beyond. Well, left wing intellectuals are ever compulsive daydreamers.

      As for the proposition about uncompromising moral standards guarding against becoming persecutors and victimizing others, I would welcome a single shred of evidence that that hifalutin notion ever passed an immigrant’s mind. This morning I caught this which surely better reflects the truth.

      link to aljazeera.com

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 11:58 am

        ” The other day we had Rosen blaming the world for not doing anything to rescue Jews in the middle of a bloody global confrontation, completely ignoring the actions of Raoul Wallenberg and countless others.”

        Oh please. A few righteous gentile is not “the world.” We know their names because they are exceptions to the rule.

        “As for the proposition about uncompromising moral standards guarding against becoming persecutors and victimizing others, I would welcome a single shred of evidence that that hifalutin notion ever passed an immigrant’s mind.”

        I think Burg pushes it here too (most immigrants in the early state period were persecuted people looking for a place not to be persecuted), but if you compare the amount of people who died to found Israel with the amount who died to found any European country, I think things speak for themselves. Israel’s history is also a lot less bloody than most newer states, particularly those founded from former European colonies.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 1:35 pm

        “Oh please. A few righteous gentile is not “the world.” We know their names because they are exceptions to the rule.”

        Wow! Hophmi, would you someday send us photos of the bullet-proof suit you wear to work? Must be hell, every day a series of running gun battles with Gentiles. I guess you just use a RPG to clear your way, and damn the consequences! Oy! I get all tingly in the presence of a real Jewish tough-guy!

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 6, 2012, 1:57 pm

        “Oh please. A few righteous gentile is not ‘the world.’ We know their names because they are exceptions to the rule. ”

        Damn, hoppy, you are one twisted bigot.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 4:32 pm

        “Damn, hoppy, you are one twisted bigot.”

        I’m sorry, Woody, but are you arguing that it was the general rule that gentiles in Europe helped Jews flee Nazi terror during WWII? And how does it make me a bigot to point out that that was not the case?

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 6:28 pm

        “in Europe helped Jews flee Nazi terror during WWII?”

        Yeah, Hoppy, I bet the only reason Britain and France went to war was to give Germany cover for killing all the Jews.

      • Carowhat
        August 6, 2012, 8:34 pm

        Let me see if I have you right, hophmi. Gentiles owe Jews big time on account of the Holocaust? They owe them now; they owe them tomorrow; they owe them forever? And that’s also the reason American pilots should go get themselves killed bombing Iran for Israel?

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 8:23 am

        Hoppy, I’m saying:

        1) the term “righteous gentile” is inherently bigoted. It’s the equivalent of saying that a woman is “pretty, for a fat girl.”

        2) it is bigoted to note that those who non-Jews who helped the Jews were “a few” when even under the highly bigoted and otherwise offensive criteria that is used, there were thousands of people.

        3) it is higly bigoted and otherwise offensive to omit, as you do, the effort and death of the millions upon millions upon millions of people who fought, suffered and died to stop the Nazis. The “few” who you’re referring to were a minor part of saving those who survived compared to the millions who sacrificed and died in the fight against the Nazis. You really should have more respect.

      • Cliff
        August 8, 2012, 1:31 am

        This is the best Mooser post ever. Simply outstanding!

        And kudos to hoppy for the assist, for without the crazies out there, Mooser couldn’t lampoon them so thoroughly!

        I want this framed and put on the front page perma. – in this one exchange between crackpot Zionist and anti-Zionist/our resident satirist/mascot (whom hoppy desperately tries to put down; there’s more truth in jest than there is in whiny petulant hysterics of a cry-wolf narcissist nationalist like yourself) – we have Zionism in a nutshell.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:12 pm

        “It is a constant bafflement to me how often Jews seem to view things with such astonishingly limited perspective.”

        I know what you mean. Why, hardly any Jews I know care about the Rapture, or have any conception of how imminent it is! Boy, are they gonna be surprised!

      • Fredblogs
        August 6, 2012, 2:41 pm

        Come the Rapture, can I have your car?

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 3:25 pm

        What’s wrong, Fred? Being a Hasbaracthnik doesn’t pay as well as it used to? Budget no longer runs to personal transportation?

  7. Krauss
    August 5, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Speaking of the Israeli psyche.

    One of the most interesting things Eli Valley said in his talk to Occupy Israel (when he was in Israel) was when he went to the Holocaust memorial museum and then went to the diaspora museum.

    What he noticed was that the same grey, joyless figures were the dominating themes for both museums.
    In some ways, that’s the ultimate expression of Zionism and it’s militarism, it’s complete disregard for any criticism.

    He then proceeded to show early Zionist propaganda which had very clear anti-Semitic strains in it(let’s not forget that a significant portion of the early Zionist movement admired Facism, or that the neo-facist Stern gang made up the ruling elite in Israel over the next decades).

    This is why Zionism devours all things within Judaism. It does not seek to live side by side, it seeks to dominate. When the museum of the diaspora is almost identical to the Holocaust museum in Israel, there is really nothing more you need to know about the ‘state which shares our values’.

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 10:34 am

      “This is why Zionism devours all things within Judaism.”

      Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to blame Zionism for all our faults as Jews, later on. In the meantime, it might be nice if Zionism didn’t devour the Palestinians.

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 10:42 am

      I think Micheal Ledeen focused on fascism for either his Masters or Phd

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 9:08 pm

        Vladimir Jabotinsky spent the best years of his life in Rome, soaking up Mussolini, whom he greatly admired and emulated in creating the “muscular new Jew.”

  8. atime forpeace
    August 5, 2012, 7:21 pm

    “The great fear of course is that Palestinians will abandon a nonviolent approach. ”

    Is there any fear that Israel may abandon the violent approach?

    That must be terrifying.

  9. dimadok
    August 5, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Disilusement hurts. Recognition that you merely one of the many that have tried and failed hurts. Seeing the reality hurts. Welcome to the real Israel world, Philip. Happy birthday.

    • justicewillprevail
      August 6, 2012, 9:37 am

      No need to be smug. An Israeli feature.

    • Shingo
      August 6, 2012, 10:28 am

      Welcome to the real Israel world, Philip. Happy birthday.

      Yes, welcome to fascist apartheid Israel – the home of dimadok.

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 10:37 am

      “Disilusement hurts. Recognition that you merely one of the many that have tried and failed hurts. Seeing the reality hurts. Welcome to the real Israel world, Philip. Happy birthday.”

      Thank you, dimmy, for that profound and heartfelt admission of Zionist failure.

      • dimadok
        August 6, 2012, 12:04 pm

        Where did you read me admitting any failures? Have you been blessed with mind-reading abilities? I admit that it is hard to live in Israel but it will go on and prosper.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 1:39 pm

        “Have you been blessed with mind-reading abilities?”

        No, of course not. I’m simply reading your comment. It’s really quite clear, you must have written it in a moment of intense clarity. Thanks, but if you’d like to go on to protest too much, don’t let me stop you.

      • Dexter
        August 6, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Israel will either join the civilized world or fall by the wayside like every other facist, racist, criminal society.

        Tick tock…

      • Fredblogs
        August 6, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Like Saudi Arabia? Most Arab countries? Most Muslim countries? North Korea? All societies regardless of character fall eventually. Saying that fascist countries all fall by the wayside ignores a significant fraction of the countries on the planet.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 3:28 pm

        “Like Saudi Arabia? Most Arab countries?…”

        Flailing, flailing, o’er the bounding main!

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 9:54 pm

        “Like Saudi Arabia? Most Arab countries? Most Muslim countries? North Korea? All societies regardless of character fall eventually. Saying that fascist countries all fall by the wayside ignores a significant fraction of the countries on the planet.”

        Not one of the societies you mentioned are fascist. Some are thoroughly reprehensible — but none are ‘fascist.’

        Try to use words correctly. ‘Fascist’ doesn’t simply mean ‘a society I don’t like that isn’t a democracy.’

      • Carowhat
        August 7, 2012, 1:53 am

        I agree. Many critics of Israel predict her imminent demise because of the occupation (and other sins) but I personally don’t see how that is going to happen. Israel is too powerful. No one can defeat her militarily. The occupation is expensive but with America backing her she can afford it indefinitely.

        The only possibility that really comes to mind is an Iranian nuclear weapon landing on Tel Aviv. That won’t in itself destroy the country (and Iran would quickly become a smoking wasteland) but it could convince enough Jews that Israel isn’t the safe haven it was cracked up to be in which case the remaining population would move to the US, Russia, Germany, or Britain, leaving the country a shell of its former self.

      • Shingo
        August 7, 2012, 8:26 am

        Many critics of Israel predict her imminent demise because of the occupation (and other sins) but I personally don’t see how that is going to happen

        Probably because you’re too frightened to contemplate it. Israel’s power is unsustaninable and very fragile. People make the mistake of believing that the status quo can be maintained via militarism, but most powers were brought down by internal and strucutral collapse, not epic battles.

        Israel is too powerful. No one can defeat her militarily.

        Except for Hezbollah of course, who did it TWICE.

        The only possibility that really comes to mind is an Iranian nuclear weapon landing on Tel Aviv.

        No, the fear that drives Bibbi and co to be so manic about an Iranian nuke is not the danger that they will use it, but the mere danger of them having one. Netenyahu admitted to Goldberg that the concern is that an Iranian nuke would lead to a brain drain from Israel. In fact, Israel is also battling the flight of skilled workers from the country.

      • Fredblogs
        August 7, 2012, 2:09 pm

        Hezbollah made it expensive to maintain the conflict. They did not defeat Israel militarily. You can tell because Israel is still there.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 2:32 pm

        LMAO. Yeah, Fredo. And Vietnam was really a tie.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 2:42 pm

        @ Fredblogs
        Yep, and the US was not militarily defeated in Vietnam either. But the cost in treasure and blood, the fright of those more affluent increasingly getting low draft numbers, and the flagging sense of moral righteousness, the increasing education of the American public despite the best efforts of its government to keep facts from them, & the (now dead) willingness of the US MSM to present those facts to the public–did the job. Maybe there’s a lesson there, somewhere?

      • Taxi
        August 7, 2012, 3:01 pm

        So then by your (denialist) logic, israel didn’t defeat the Arab countries in the 6 Day War – “you can tell because the Arab countries are still there”.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:26 pm

        “Hezbollah made it expensive to maintain the conflict. They did not defeat Israel militarily. You can tell because Israel is still there.”

        That’s pathetic. The British invaded Afghanistan twice and were forced to leave. The Russians invaded once — and were forced to leave. We invaded — and are about to leave.

        Neither the British, nor the Russians, nor ourselves won. The Afghans won. Even if Britain, Russia, and the US are still here.

        Would you say the US ‘won’ in Viet Nam? Yet I don’t think you can name an engagement of larger than company size where we failed to prevail. And indubitably, we kept the NVA from American shores.

        Hezbollah was not created with the goal of destroying Israel. Hezbollah was created with the goal of driving Israel out of Lebanon. It drove them out, and it has kept them out. Hezbollah has won.

        But go ahead. Hold a rematch. Admittedly, none of the dead will win — but Hezbollah will.

        And Israel won’t.

        Now ask yourself why that is? Why is it that regardless of her degree of military superiority, Israel cannot win?

      • Carowhat
        August 7, 2012, 8:20 pm

        Shingo: Probably because you’re too frightened to contemplate it.

        Only someone who has never bothered to read any of my previous posts about dual loyalty, assimilation or Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty (to give a few examples) would cavalierly assume that I fear for Israel’s imminent collapse. What I really fear (as does Phil and most other people here) is the opposite–that Israel will continue to do as she’s done for the last 40 years or so, which is to say, seize more Palestinian land, send in more settlers, involve the US in a war with Iran and otherwise make America as much of an international pariah as Israel already is.

      • yourstruly
        August 7, 2012, 9:14 pm

        likewise the u.s. backed mujahideen in afghanistan did not defeat the soviet forces in that nation, just made it expensive for the soviets to sustain their involvement there, such that, just as the idf did in south lebanon, the soviet military packed up and went back home. same thing happened 37 years ago in vietnam, vis-a-vis the american invaders. technically speaking in none of these examples did the withdrawing troops suffer a formal (as in either of last centuries world wars), yet historians don’t hesitate to label the outcome in both the afghan-soviet and the u.s.-vietnam wars as defeats for the invaders. what’s the matter, is it too painful to admit that the zionist entity’s withdrawal from south lebanon was a military defeat? lest the palestinians get the wrong impression, must the myth of idf invincibility be upheld to the very last day of the zionist experiment?

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 9:15 pm

        “The only possibility that really comes to mind is an Iranian nuclear weapon landing on Tel Aviv. “

        Danielle Pletka: The Biggest Problem is an Iran that HAS Nukes but Does Not Use Them!

        “The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately…” And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.

        which is another way of saying, Iran will have chopped the moral high ground right out from under Israel and the USA.

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 9:16 pm

        “You can tell because Israel is still there.”

        so is Hezbollah.

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2012, 12:23 am

        Only someone who has never bothered to read any of my previous posts about dual loyalty, assimilation or Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty (to give a few examples) would cavalierly assume that I fear for Israel’s imminent collapse.

        My apologies Carowhat.

      • MRW
        August 8, 2012, 10:41 pm

        Try to use words correctly. ‘Fascist’ doesn’t simply mean ‘a society I don’t like that isn’t a democracy.’

        That’s what you get for schooling in Judy and Sammy.

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 6:39 pm

      The real apartheid state of Israel is being exposed. Welcome to the real world dimadok. This reality will sink in more and more and Israel will continue to swallow itself

  10. eGuard
    August 5, 2012, 7:36 pm

    The great fear of course is that Palestinians will abandon a nonviolent approach. and I don’t think they should resort to violence, I pray that they don’t.

    For which audience was this written, Phil?

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 10:42 am

      “For which audience was this written, Phil?”

      Seems to me the article, as it must be if it’s to be honest, was written first for the guy who wrote it.

  11. lobewyper
    August 5, 2012, 8:00 pm

    A very moving post, Phil. Your despair literally lept off the page at me. International pressure aside, if merely the American people were told the truth about all this, great progress could be made. But who’s going to tell them? We’re seeing movement (e.g., MW, Beinart), and it’s picking up speed, but maybe (as you yourself mention), it’s still not going to be fast enough to avoid a major catastrohe…

  12. Clif Brown
    August 5, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Phil, helpless though you may feel at the moment, you’ve taken a stand and that in itself is a major step.

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 10:44 am

      “Phil, helpless though you may feel at the moment, you’ve taken a stand and that in itself is a major step.”

      You can take a stand anytime you stop moving forward. Taking a stand is not taking a step.

      • evets
        August 8, 2012, 10:35 am

        And taking a step is not touching your toes.

  13. Citizen
    August 5, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Phil. You captured the feel of the place for us. On a brighter note, here is some reason to think the enabler of what you painted, the Israel Lobby, may just be dooming itself by its own huge success, same as the Gun Lobby: link to counterpunch.org

    Catch is what a catastrophe for America it will take to do so.

  14. hophmi
    August 5, 2012, 8:59 pm

    American Jewish organizations continue to discuss the two-state solution because it is possible and because we know the world is full of naysayers, the same types of people who said there would never be a Jewish state in the first place.

    • justicewillprevail
      August 6, 2012, 8:00 am

      They discuss it in order to hide the reality, and pose as ‘reasonable’ when they have no such interest. Carry on wearing your fig leaf. It is now very small and the sight is not a pretty one.

    • straightline
      August 6, 2012, 8:00 am

      Zionists used to say that they wanted peace but the Palestinians only wanted violence, and they practised the opposite. Eventually we all learned the truth about that. Now they are saying they want a two state solution and they practise the opposite. So hophmi, please tell us how it is going to happen? Tell us how you are going to get, what is it now, 350000 settlers to leave Palestinian land. It was hard enough remove the 8500 settlers from that other small piece of Palestinian land in Gaza. As far as I can gather that resulted in around $1.25B being paid in compensation. So on that scale the cost of a resettlement out of the West Bank would be over $50B, or after compensating for inflation over $65B; that’s around 25% of Israel’s GDP. Who will pay? Don’t answer, I think I know.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 10:20 am

        ” So hophmi, please tell us how it is going to happen?”

        The same way they’ve been talking about for 20 years, most likely. Israel withdrawing from most of the West Bank, holding the large settlement blocs, and trading land for that 2 or 3%.

        That people like Phil are disillusioned doesn’t mean much. A great deal of international relations is unpredictable; disillusionment is par for the course in human affairs. No one thought that the Berlin Wall would crumble without any violence; it happened. No one thought there would be a peaceful end to apartheid in South Africa; it largely happened. No one thought that Hitler would be stopped at the beginning of World War II; he was stopped. No one thought Israel would ever become a state; it happened. No one thinks there will ever be a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without violence; my bet is that that will happen as well, in the context of a two-state solution where both peoples will be happy enough, and eventually, will establish something approaching a mutually-beneficial relationship.

        I am fairly sure, however, that violence is more likely as long as extremists on both sides encourage their respective camps to believe that there is a violent solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, people here do not understand that refusing to condemn terrorism, violence and genocidal rhetoric on the Palestinian side is the same as condoning it. When you tell people whose leaders preach suicide violence that whatever they do is OK but that it should be non-violent, it is the same as saying whatever they do is OK. The cowardly tactic of hiding behind the post-colonialist firewall and claiming it’s not your place to dictate tactics to occupied people is not helping solve the conflict. It’s extending the conflict. It is hypocritical. Most of Phil’s fellow travelers claim they do not have the right to tell the Palestinians what to do, but they tell American Jews that that is exactly what they should do with the Israelis.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Shorter Hophmi: ‘Sit tight, keep your mouth shut, and wait for a miracle!’

      • Theo
        August 6, 2012, 12:15 pm

        “Israel keeping large block….”

        Now that would be very interesting! Isreal side by side and inside Palestina!

        In my opinion Israel must draw back behind the 1967 lines, take their wall and population with them. Sending all the settlers back where they came from will drastically improve the situation in Israel, after all what use are crazy fanatics?
        All real-estate will be given to the palestinians as part of reparation and will be needed for the returning refugees.
        Israel would do good to settle for this arrangement, because later the palestinians may want all land back, from the Med to the Jordan river.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:03 pm

        “I am fairly sure, however, that violence is more likely as long as extremists on both sides encourage”

        Gosh, Hophmi, I don’t know. If the settlers were able to prevail over the IDF, the Government of Israel, the Israeli public, and the supporters of the settlers in the US, all of whom reviled and did every thing in their power to prevent or destroy the settler “movement” and still build the settlements, do you think the Palestinians will be any match for them?

        And I’m ashamed of you, Hophmi, where’s your spirit? Going back to the old equivalency Hasbara? And the “extremists on both sides” dodge? When you know that by the immutable natural laws which govern the heaving of Hasbara, this is the time for you to make a personal and slanderous attack on Phil’s psychology, adjustment problems, differences and/or hatred for parents, stuff like that. C’mon man, have you no feeling for tradition? Where’s your talent for insinuating by way of analysis, which used to be so much in evidence? This is not the Hophmi I knew, as anybody can determine by clicking your name and accessing your comment file. I’ve heard people can even search your comment file for key words, although that can be counted as Pro-Palestinian action, huh?

      • Shingo
        August 6, 2012, 7:45 pm

        That people like Phil are disillusioned doesn’t mean much.

        Phil is disillusioned and you’re completely delusional.

        Israel has not been talking about any withdawl for 20 years. The settlements do not occupy 2-3% of the West Bank. With the associate road networks and to maintain contiguity with Israel propper, this wil consume 40% of the West Bank.

        No one thought that the Berlin Wall would crumble without any violence; it happened.

        The Berlin Wall crumbles whrn the Soviet Union collapsed. Are yo presdicting that the State of Israel will collapse?

        No one thought Israel would ever become a state; it happened.

        Huh? What do you mean no one? Zionists were working towards it for 100 years. The bribed, stole and murdered their way towards it.

        I am fairly sure, however, that violence is more likely as long as extremists on both sides encourage their respective camps to believe that there is a violent solution to the conflict.

        There goes Hop again – pretendign that this is a conflict between 2 equals.

        Unfortunately, people here do not understand that refusing to condemn terrorism, violence and genocidal rhetoric on the Palestinian side is the same as condoning it.

        Whereas Hop is only too happy to condone Israei terrorism, violence and genocidal rhetoric. It’s always the Palestinians that are supposed to renoicen terrorism and violence, but it’s fine and dandy for Israel.

        This is no doubt what Hop refers to as peace.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:33 pm

        “” So hophmi, please tell us how it is going to happen?”

        The same way they’ve been talking about for 20 years, most likely. Israel withdrawing from most of the West Bank, holding the large settlement blocs, and trading land for that 2 or 3%…”

        (Happily, in my view) that isn’t going to happen. Israel is not going to withdraw in a timely fashion because Israel is not rational. She’s going to fixedly cling to all she can, while refusing to make any of the compromises that would be necessary to permit her to do so with a vestige of morality.

        She will then find herself completely isolated in the world, will attempt to compromise when it is too late, and will be forced into agreements which will lead to so many Jews leaving the country that those who are left will be unable to maintain their domination.

        And that’ll be that. Happily, in my view.

    • Donald
      August 6, 2012, 10:59 am

      “American Jewish organizations continue to discuss the two-state solution because it is possible ”

      It’s hard to take that seriously.

      You know what someone who genuinely favors a 2SS looks like? Norman Finkelstein. Or if that’s too hard to swallow, Peter Beinart. If most American Jewish organizations truly favored a 2SS, there’d have been no Beinart book because it wouldn’t have needed to be written. And you wouldn’t have liberal Democratic politicians pandering to Israel rather than speaking out as critical friends. They would have cover from American Jewish organizations to be critical of Israeli policies that make the 2SS nearly impossible to achieve.

      I’m not even talking about a position where Palestinians are seen as human beings with equal rights to Israeli Jews. Let’s sink to the level of, say, Tom Friedman, who is sickeningly biased against Palestinians and yet even Friedman is well to the left of the American Congress on this issue. That’s a climate of opinion you can blame on American Jewish organizations, with some help on the right from the Christian Zionists.

      Advocating for a 2SS is often functions as a fig leaf as justicewillprevail said. People will say they favor it but so far it hasn’t been achieved because (here it comes) of the intransigence or corruption of the Palestinians, who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, or who won’t have peace until they love their children more than they hate ours or (fill in with some other slogan). So the settlements continue to grow.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 11:53 am

        “That’s a climate of opinion you can blame on American Jewish organizations”

        I disagree. I think most of the blame lies with Christian Zionist organizations. American Jewish organizations like the AJC and the ADL have long favored a two-state solution, as has the UJA. The Christian fundamentalists dislike the AJC and ADL; they know most of the core membership of these organizations is deeply suspicious of Christian fundamentalism; Christian Zionists undermine the work of the moderate and liberal American Jewish community. The AJC, ADL, and UJA have never gotten behind the settlement movement in any meaningful way; the ADL was the main mover and shaker behind building support for disengagement and the AJC has been a major critic of the Levy Report. By the same token, American Orthodox Jewish organizations who favor the settlers are comparatively not very politically active on the national scene. It is the Christian fundamentalist movement, both in numbers and in ideology, that constitutes the main source of right-wing political support for Israel today.

        AIPAC is without question a factor, but the main source of support on the issue of settlements is not the Jewish community, and settlements are not the focus of what AIPAC does.

      • tombishop
        August 6, 2012, 2:06 pm

        I agree that “the climate of opinion” is largely created by Christian Zionists. Something that many Jewish Zionists do not understand is that Christian Zionism has its roots in classic anti-Semitism which has been around for since the time of the Roman Empire. For Christian Zionists, Jews are pawns in the cosmic celestial drama of the Last Days.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

        “I think most of the blame lies with Christian Zionist organizations.”

        Hophmi, you dog! I actually screamed with laughter when I read this, rocked back and forth and stamped my feet, and yes, slapped my knee several times. Yes sir, those Gentiles, gotta watch out for ‘em! Don’t let the righteous ones fool ya’! You know the ones that don’t actually shoot at you.

      • Donald
        August 6, 2012, 4:22 pm

        ” I think most of the blame lies with Christian Zionist organizations. American Jewish organizations like the AJC and the ADL have long favored a two-state solution, as has the UJA.”

        I think it depends on the political party and when speaking about Congress, what part of the country you’re dealing with. With Republicans, Christian Zionists are probably a big factor. With Democrats in the Northeast it’s the Jewish organizations. I’ve googled the websites of Nadler (Manhattan) Lowey (Westchester), Engel (Westchester) and Elizabeth Warren just to see what they say about Israel and it’s pretty much the same thing. Lip service to a 2SS, but nothing that indicates they’d lift a finger to put any pressure on Israel. Instead, it’s all about how they are our wonderful allies who share our values, need to be defended and if any pressure is to be exerted it is to be exerted on the Palestinians. They’re not saying these things to pander to Christian Zionists.

        I think you have to make a distinction between people who say they support a 2SS but don’t want any pressure placed on Israel and people who are willing to exert pressure. Israel has no incentive to change what it’s doing right now without pressure. Sure, maybe in the long run the Palestinian issue will explode in their face, but for the most part people are stupid and don’t think about the long run or stick their heads in the sand so long as things are going well for them right now. So if 2SS advocates are serious, they’re going to have to do more than just mouth some platitudes and then blame the Arab side for the lack of progress. Most aren’t serious.

        As for the Levy Report, it’s so extreme it takes away the all-important fig leaf. The way the game is played Israel supporters say they want a 2SS, but Arab intransigence or whatever prevents this from happening. But if Israel openly proclaims that the West Bank is theirs, the game is up.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 4:50 pm

        “I think you have to make a distinction between people who say they support a 2SS but don’t want any pressure placed on Israel and people who are willing to exert pressure. ”

        Well, that’s a complicated question. I think you need to qualify it and say that they don’t want US pressure placed on Israel, because historically there has been pressure from nearly everywhere else – from the UN, from Israel’s neighbors, who have boycotted it and gone to war with it, and from the Europeans, who during the Yom Kippur war would have just as well let Israel die.

        Today, I think you are seeing support in some American Jewish organizations for at least some pressure. J Street certainly supports pressure on Israel, and I think you’d have to admit at this point that it is a fairly major American Jewish organization. The American Jewish Committee and Anti-Defamation League is less inclined, but both do a lot behind the scenes. On the center-left side of the spectrum, which is where much of the American Jewish establishment remains, it is an argument over how public things should be. The conventional knowledge, supported by those with experience, as well as former American peacemakers like Aaron David Miller, is that public pressure usually backfires.

        I think Israel’s inventive to change its policy is its own future, not externalities. Israel can survive a boycott. It can survive losing aid money. What it may not survive, and certainly cannot survive as a democracy, is annexing the West Bank and ruling perpetually over its people. What it cannot survive is a situation where the trends mentioned in Gershom Gorenberg’s book become the entire state. And ultimately, that is why, to this day, most Israelis will live with a 2SS, and the vast majority of those who are not crazy about the idea will still support it if enough momentum is built to get it done. Most Israelis are not hilltop youth. They are people who want to live in peace and quiet and envision a future where they are not sending their kids to the army for three years.

        As far as the Levy Report – it’s not really extreme in the sense that it’s nothing new. It’s simply an expression of the legal arguments the right has made for years. What is new is the willingness of people in the Knesset to actually state things like this publicly, which is taken as both a brazen attempt to predetermine the future and as a notion that people on the right simply have no regard at all for pragmatic politics and what the international community thinks, including the US. And that troubles me. But I know enough about the situation to see it for what it is, and to know that it was only 7 years ago that we had the Sasson report, which said something very different.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 5:25 pm

        Well, that’s a complicated question.

        actually if you review the sentence you can see that it is not a question at all.

        I think you need to qualify it and say that they don’t want US pressure placed on Israel, because historically there has been pressure from nearly everywhere else

        nah, i don’t think you can lump everyone in together wrt why some do not want pressure on israel. the ol historically there has been can be applied to virtually anything.lots of people just don’t want pressure put on israel because they know without pressure things will remain the same (more expansion) andthat’s what they want.

        it is an argument over how public things should be.

        right, not only do they not want pressure they do not want the public involved with any discussion of pressure. i’m sure there are many who would like no discussion of israel’s intransigence at all, none. like this link to mondoweiss.net

        iow, be quiet!

        The American Jewish Committee and Anti-Defamation League is less inclined, but both do a lot behind the scenes. On the center-left side of the spectrum, which is where much of the American Jewish establishment remains, it is an argument over how public things should be.

        you’re talking about confining the conversation to the 2%. that’s nuts. this is an american FP issue, it’s all our business and 2% will not cut it. is anyone advocating we keep conversation about iran behind the curtain? i didn’t think so, it’s being blathered all over the msm.

        that is why, to this day, most Israelis will live with a 2SS

        that’s kind of irrelevant if there’s no one making it happen. it’s gonna take pressure.

        What is new is the willingness of people in the Knesset to actually state things like this publicly, which is taken as both a brazen attempt to predetermine the future and as a notion that people on the right simply have no regard at all for pragmatic politics and what the international community thinks, including the US. And that troubles me.

        it is a brazen attempt to predetermine the future and people on the right have no regard for pragmatic politics or what the international community thinks. that’s why we need to talk about it openly and not keep the conversation in a closet. this issue needs exposure.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:29 pm

        “It is the Christian fundamentalist movement, both in numbers and in ideology, that constitutes the main source of right-wing political support for Israel today.”

        Hophmi, please. Are you trying to kill me? I know it’s “the best medicine” but you’re gonna give me an overdose. But then again gotta feel so sorry for those poor Israelis. They wanna do right, but Christian Zionist, American Christian Zionists at that, are forcing them to extreme right measures. Ah, us poor Jewsies. We get our own country, but we’re still not in control of our own destiny, no, the Christian Zionists dominate us from America!

      • Carowhat
        August 7, 2012, 1:58 am

        But if Israel openly proclaims that the West Bank is theirs, the game is up.

        Shoot, hasn’t Avigdor Lieberman been proclaiming that for years?

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 4:58 am

        @ hophmi

        It looks like the Christian Zionists are split on the solution, with the Hagee types favoring 1S and other types favoring 2S: link to christianpost.com

      • Hostage
        August 7, 2012, 5:19 am

        But if Israel openly proclaims that the West Bank is theirs, the game is up.

        That’s already happened with the university at Ariel. The Palestinians will pursue the UN statehood bid. If they succeed they’ll join the WTO and the ICC and ask for some sanctions the US won’t be able to veto. The Zionist right will demand that the government annex Area C or the entire West Bank.

        If the US and Israel pull out the stops and use blackmail and threats to defeat the UN bid, then there’ll be another uprising and very possibly another war in the region. The Palestinians may demand Israeli citizenship and the vote, but that’s the least likely outcome. Regardless, I don’t see how the status quo can be maintained for many more months. You’ve already got smug NYT OpEds declaring “Israel’s Settlers Are Here to Stay”. So, there’s nothing left to negotiate about.

      • Taxi
        August 7, 2012, 5:48 am

        Let me add to Hostage’s realism some knuckley grit:

        First, the 2 State Solution is dead – check map of settlements within Palestinian territories for clear visual explanation.

        Second, the so-called 1 State C0-Existance Solution is IMPOSSIBLE: The israelis are waaaaaay too paranoid to live with the Palestinians, and the Palestinians have been waaaaaaay too victimized by the israelis to be able to live with them too (try getting a rape victim to roommate with their rapist).

        So like, sorry to say but war is the only door open to both sides. And delaying it won’t stop it from happening.

        And if anyone has the inflated idea that euro jews and big international business will remain in israel once the firepower storm hits the region, including in israel, then let me deflate you as gently as I possibly can: the zionists have already lost the war and it’s just a question of time – and if you wanna help the jewish zionists in the holy lands, you should immediately and without wasting any further time, start figuring out how to raise reparation money on their behalf to pay for their vandalism and rape of Historic Palestine. Cuz the Days of Accountability will follow the war shortly thereafter.

        Why I think the zionists have already lost the war is something I have posted here on MW numerous times, but simply put: underneath the butch thug suits they wear, lies a small trembling paranoid mouse – easy to unhinge and it’s nerves alone will compel it to abandon ship before the fire and smoke break out.

        Whoever upthread thought that israel is “too powerful” to be beat, I only have this to say:
        In times of war, “it’s not the size of the dog that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”.

      • Hostage
        August 7, 2012, 6:21 am

        “I think you have to make a distinction between people who say they support a 2SS but don’t want any pressure placed on Israel and people who are willing to exert pressure. ”

        Well, that’s a complicated question. I think you need to qualify it and say that they don’t want US pressure placed on Israel

        Trolling again Hophmi? I support the idea that Israel should not be allowed to profit from its own wrongdoing. The Palestinians should obviously be insured equal human rights, including the same rights, privileges, and obligations of “stateyness” that Jews have enjoyed since 1949. Palestinians should be able to join the ICC, WTO, & etc. That would allow someone else besides the US to apply the appropriate criminal, trade, and civil sanctions.

      • Merk
        August 7, 2012, 9:15 am

        Taxi,

        OMG, what? That is nuts! You are playing w/ the lives of thousands of ppl, you must not have any friends or family in the ME.

      • Taxi
        August 7, 2012, 10:35 am

        OMG Merky! Does it shock you that the criminal status quo is unsustainable?! Get the hell outta Palestine – its YOU who is “playing w/the lives of thousands (actually millions) of ppl”!!

        And next time, show some respect and don’t abbreviate the spelling of ‘people’!

      • justicewillprevail
        August 7, 2012, 11:07 am

        Why do they have to ‘openly proclaim’ it? They have done everything else to annex it, they may have well as ‘proclaimed’ it. Just that you’re not listening. Keep your illusions about the 2SS so you don’t have to face it.

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 12:19 pm

        “if you wanna help the jewish zionists in the holy lands, you should immediately and without wasting any further time, start figuring out how to raise reparation money on their behalf to pay for their vandalism and rape of Historic Palestine. “

        got it covered

        MKs Demand Reparations from Arabs

        Today, Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Bob Turner (R-NY) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure recognition of the plight of the nearly one million Jewish refugees who were displaced from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict; it would also recognize Christian and other displaced populations. The bill would strongly encourage the President and representatives of the administration, when speaking on the issue of Middle Eastern refugees at international forums, to pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with similar reference to Jewish and other refugee populations.

        “The suffering and terrible injustices visited upon Jewish refugees in the Middle East needs to be acknowledged,” said Nadler. “It is simply wrong to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of nearly one million Jewish refugees, who suffered terrible outrages at the hands of their former compatriots. This no-nonsense legislation would help secure equal treatment of Palestinian and Jewish refugees.”

        this has been going on for years.
        I prepared a post that listed links to same kinds of resolutions in US Congress back to 2003 but the ethernet ate it. It was a thing of appalling beauty.

      • Donald
        August 7, 2012, 3:17 pm

        “Why do they have to ‘openly proclaim’ it? They have done everything else to annex it, they may have well as ‘proclaimed’ it. Just that you’re not listening. Keep your illusions about the 2SS so you don’t have to face it.”

        If you’re talking about “my illusions”, they are irrelevant. The point is the game that is played in the US, where claims of support for the 2SS are used as fig leaves (a term I borrowed from you) to cover up support for the status quo. If Israel throws away the fig leaf, that changes the discussion here. It’s already changing , when the NYT publishes opinion pieces claiming that Israel is in danger of becoming just another theocracy.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:42 pm

        “… I’ve googled the websites of Nadler (Manhattan) Lowey (Westchester), Engel (Westchester) and Elizabeth Warren just to see what they say about Israel and it’s pretty much the same thing. Lip service to a 2SS, but nothing that indicates they’d lift a finger to put any pressure on Israel. Instead, it’s all about how they are our wonderful allies who share our values, need to be defended and if any pressure is to be exerted it is to be exerted on the Palestinians. They’re not saying these things to pander to Christian Zionists…”

        Well, and on the other hand…

        I can no longer furnish a specific reference but a while back there was one of those ‘we all love Israel and let’s give her more cluster bombs for peace’ type resolutions in Congress.

        It passed, of course. There were 26 dissenting votes. I checked out the dissents. Most were from Congressmen whose constituents seemed likely to include a fair number of Jews: suburban and urban districts on the coasts, that sort of thing. None were from districts that seemed likely to contain a lot of Evangelicals.

        Your Congressman from rural Tennessee is always going to vote for Israel. Your Congressman from the Seattle suburbs — he can be a wild card.

        In my view, it’s the Christian Evangelical vote that is the backbone of Israel’s support. The more so as your typical Jewish voter seems to want a ‘nice’ Israel. Your basic Evangelical just gets happier the worse Israel gets.

      • Hostage
        August 7, 2012, 11:21 pm

        I prepared a post that listed links to same kinds of resolutions in US Congress back to 2003 but the ethernet ate it.

        The Zionists have prevented a settlement of any and all claims from the very beginning for their own selfish reasons. There are a pair of good books on the subject by Michael Fischbach, “Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict” and “Jewish Property Claims Against Arab Countries.

        The government of Israel has always preserved the results of its own wrongdoing and ethnic cleansing by refusing “to go back to 49″ or to accept the terms of UN GA resolution 194 (III) regarding compensation of the refugees. The Palestinians don’t owe any compensation to Jews from other Arab countries. It’s completely improper for MKs or members of Congress to address those unassigned third party claims to the Palestinians.

        Israel doesn’t honestly seek restoration of property or personal compensation for Jews who were forced to leave Arab countries or those who were legitimate asylum seekers. It’s a matter of public record that Israel has utilized legitimate third party claims in illegitimate attempts to offset the amount that it owes individual Palestinians, e.g. See Foreign Minister Golda Meir’s remarks in the 1958-1960 FRUS link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The fact of the matter is that Palestinians are not responsible for wrongful acts of state committed by the Egyptians, Iraqis, et al., because they didn’t profit from those schemes. The state of Israel was the largest shareholder in the banks that earned windfall profits from the Jewish refugees. They typically charged fees ranging from one third to one half for currency exchange transactions.

        Why on Earth Israel should be allowed to offset compensation that it owes, on the basis of claims belonging to Jews living in Europe, and the Americas remains a complete mystery that only makes sense to the brainwashed Zionists.

      • Hostage
        August 8, 2012, 1:17 am

        If you’re talking about “my illusions”, they are irrelevant. The point is the game that is played in the US, where claims of support for the 2SS are used as fig leaves (a term I borrowed from you) to cover up support for the status quo.

        I don’t think two states is a final solution. But I think that the status quo is inequitable, precisely because it gives the Zionists all of the rights and privileges of a state, while they dally around negotiating their own uncertain frontiers. Extending the same interim rights to Palestinians is simply equity, not a final solution.

      • Donald
        August 8, 2012, 8:23 am

        “In my view, it’s the Christian Evangelical vote that is the backbone of Israel’s support. The more so as your typical Jewish voter seems to want a ‘nice’ Israel. Your basic Evangelical just gets happier the worse Israel gets.”

        I don’t disagree about the majority of the evangelicals, though there’s a dissenting faction with them too. And I can’t say anything about the views of individual Jewish voters. I’m talking about the loudest voices that we hear from the Jewish community on the issue, which are the spokesmen for some of the Jewish groups. I sometimes get fundraising letters from the ADL (I subscribe to the liberal Jewish magazine Tikkun) and it’s always about how Israel is being unfairly criticized. I think I get similar stuff from the AJC (but my memory is hazy and I generally recycle the stuff after reading it). And Beinart was attacked after his book came out, as I believe this website has discussed.

        Even Hophmi’s comment above (LINK) partly supports what I’m saying. Some of the groups he names only want criticism behind closed doors and given that, what we get from most politicians most of the time is a lot of boilerplate about the need to stand with our best friend Israel, which exemplifies our democratic Western values as they stand up to terrorists, etc…. And again, you get that from liberals. If the mainstream Jewish organizations all started sounding like Peter Beinart I think the discussion in the US would change dramatically. The rightwing Christians might or might not change, but I think their influence would weaken with people. Possibly the I/P conflict would become partisan, with most liberal politicians favoring some pressure on Israel and conservatives opposing it.
        To some extent it’s like that already in the blogosphere, but I don’t see that reflected in Congress.

        Besides, whatever the logic behind it, some people who want to see a “nicer” Israel support some of Israel’s most brutal actions. Tom Friedman wants to see a nicer Israel, but he was pretty cavalier about the bombing of civilians in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2009 and you don’t have to search the internet very long to find Friedman taking the same view about American bombing of whoever the current enemy happens to be. (Oddly enough, he was outraged by it back in 1982, but he has changed for the worse.) They may want to see a nicer Israel, but when push comes to shove they aren’t outraged by Israeli (or American) atrocities the way they are by terrorism against Israel (or America).

      • jon s
        August 6, 2012, 1:07 pm

        On the 2 state solution, Elia Leibowitz has replied to Yossi Sarid’s article:
        link to haaretz.com

      • ritzl
        August 6, 2012, 5:11 pm

        I swear, every time I read a link posted by one of you guys I have to shake my head in disbelief at the level of straws so desperately clutched. But even then, truth is somehow stumbled onto, however inadvertently.

        From Leibowitz (your link):

        The first is the groundless belief that some situations or processes in the world are irreversible, and that Israel’s occupation and settlement of the territories is one of them. By all the known laws of physics, any process in the universe can be reversed – except death, the irreversibility of which is indeed an enigma. Another possible exception is the expansion of the universe. It’s mistaken to see the shattering of a glass that has fallen from a table to the floor as irreversible.

        Right out of the box, fail.

        From the wiki on irreversible processes:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        In science, a process that is not reversible is called irreversible. This concept arises most frequently in thermodynamics, as applied to processes.

        In thermodynamics, a change in the thermodynamic state of a system and all of its surroundings cannot be precisely restored to its initial state by infinitesimal changes in some property of the system without expenditure of energy. A system that undergoes an irreversible process may still be capable of returning to its initial state; however, the impossibility occurs in restoring the environment to its own initial conditions. An irreversible process increases the entropy of the universe. However, because entropy is a state function, the change in entropy of a system is the same whether the process is reversible or irreversible. The second law of thermodynamics can be used to determine whether a process is reversible or not.

        All complex natural processes are irreversible.[1] The phenomenon of irreversibility results from the fact that if a thermodynamic system, which is any system of sufficient complexity, of interacting molecules is brought from one thermodynamic state to another, the configuration or arrangement of the atoms and molecules in the system will change in a way that is not easily predictable.[2][3] A certain amount of “transformation energy” will be used as the molecules of the “working body” do work on each other when they change from one state to another. During this transformation, there will be a certain amount of heat energy loss or dissipation due to intermolecular friction and collisions; energy that will not be recoverable if the process is reversed.

        I’d say that the Israeli colonization process fits the physical definition of an irreversible process pretty closely. The only question is: Is there an outside force strong enough to return 60+ years of colonization to its original state (No, with the possible exception of BDS)?

        Result: One state.

        Implication: It’s (2SS) over.

        Now if Leibowitz wrote that article as a call for BDS to supply the energy for reversal, his effort would be a little more worthy of appreciation as an attempt to address an actual reality. But as it is, it’s just incorrect and futile protestation.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:50 pm

        “I’d say that the Israeli colonization process fits the physical definition of an irreversible process pretty closely. “

        Other ‘irreversible’ historical processes.

        1. Global Communist revolution.

        2. White rule in South Africa.

        3. Japanese colonization of Korea.

        4. French colonization of Algeria.

        5. The Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland.

        Going deeper…

        Slav expansion to the Elbe River.

        The Germanization of East Prussia.

        The conversion of Spain to Islam.

        Ottoman rule in the Balkans.

        The fact of the matter is that ‘irreversible historical processes’ get reversed all the time. In fact, I’d say Israel is certain to be reversed: no act of conquest based on the parameters Israel requires has ever endured.

  15. manfromatlan
    August 5, 2012, 9:10 pm

    Sadly, I don’t see a solution either, Phillip. But as long as Israel has got Abbas and his ilk to act as kapos to keep the concentration camp inmates in line, there won’t be another intifada.

  16. Dan Crowther
    August 5, 2012, 9:29 pm

    You’re in a groove, Phil.

    Im taking this as the culmination of the process that started with your interview of Yossi Gurvitz.

  17. Annie Robbins
    August 5, 2012, 10:04 pm

    you’re continually rockin’ my world phil weiss. single handedly, you can move the mountain..believe it.

    • hophmi
      August 6, 2012, 10:21 am

      “single handedly, you can move the mountain..believe it.”

      Did you not read Phil’s post? He is DISILLUSIONED. He is not moving any mountains.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:19 pm

        “Did you not read Phil’s post? He is DISILLUSIONED. He is not moving any mountains.”

        And Annie is encouraging him not to give up. Any other basic positive human interactions you need explained, Hophmi?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 1:42 pm

        He is DISILLUSIONED.

        tr.v. dis·il·lu·sioned, dis·il·lu·sion·ing, dis·il·lu·sions
        To free or deprive of illusion.

        he doesn’t sound disillusioned to me hops:

        That awareness is widespread within the elites and intelligentsia of Israel and all over Palestine. Yossi Sarid said it in Haaretz, and the knowledge is working its way to the United States. The recent Times op-ed by Dani Dayan, the settler leader, stating that the land is ours and we’re not going away was a healthy intervention by the New York Times in our political life– trying to break the news to the fantasists that there will be no viable Palestinian state in the West Bank. Anyone who has spent many days inside the occupation can explain why this is the case.

        you’re the one operating in a state of illusion as far as i can tell. truth will set you free, phil operates in truth and people listen, that is why he can move mountains. it is also why you are here, because others are listening too.

        be afraid be very afraid.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:15 pm

        “be afraid be very afraid.”

        Hophmi? Afraid? Not a chance! He’s got his escape route mapped, his tickets bought, and will get out while the gettings good. And by reading Mondoweiss, he’s even gets some practice with the lingo. Or maybe Hophmi will tell me he can’t possibly escape, he lives in New York. and is prepared to share the fate of American Jews! See you in camp, Hophmi!

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 10:40 am

      As Phil has shared his willingness to admit and learn more about what was really going on over there was a long long time coming. That his silence as well as others was dangerous and generally excepted complicity. The change is a beautiful and effective change. Phil’s willingness to add his intellect, his compassion to the movement. This website has been playing a huge role in educating people about mountain that Israel has built on illegally occupied Palestinian lands for decades. He and the MW team have made a sincere and honest effort to help educate many about the facts. But is this a case of too little too late? “Moving it”…not so sure that is ever going to happen. Reporting about what is really going on…helps open people’s eyes. Always better late than never

  18. Carowhat
    August 5, 2012, 10:26 pm

    I’m wondering, Phil, since a two-state solution is impossible, what you think is going to happen there, and when? What will be the signs that something is going to happen? When the US attacks Iran for Israel, Netanyahu will use the chaos of any Iranian attacks on Israel to clear out Gaza and the West Bank?

  19. rhipidon
    August 5, 2012, 10:28 pm

    Thanks for this honest, thorough, and rattling account. (If I wasn’t rattled, then it means I wasn’t listening.)

  20. Kathleen
    August 5, 2012, 11:23 pm

    Moving Phil. Sad and moving. Have heard stories like this from Art Gish and others who have gone to live with the Palestinians and witness the destructive situation for over 20 years. So glad you have gotten so involved. Remember Art getting a bit depressed by the worsening situation. Remember Art repeating that he had to be a witness and a receptor and example of non violent protest through his witnessing. Phil as depressing as the situation sounds your efforts are changing things not in a way readily seen on the ground but in a very deep moral and spiritual way. Helping folks reach for their own humanity that I believe resides in all of us by becoming more aware, responsive and responsible. Keep it up Phil, Adam and team. Your efforts are cultivating a more serious push for justice and accountability.

  21. Elliot
    August 6, 2012, 12:14 am

    Thank you, Phil.
    If only the American Jews who routinely go to Israel paid just one visit to the West Bank as guests of the Palestinians, we might get somewhere.
    My biggest fear is that Bibi will have no choice but to start a war with Iran. He is desperate for a distraction that will allow him to freely press the Palestinians. Israelis and Americans have to believe that Israel is at risk for his war on the Palestinians to work.

    • ColinWright
      August 6, 2012, 3:39 am

      “…My biggest fear is that Bibi will have no choice but to start a war with Iran. He is desperate for a distraction that will allow him to freely press the Palestinians. Israelis and Americans have to believe that Israel is at risk for his war on the Palestinians to work.”

      Well, there are variations on your suggestion, but in essence — of course. You don’t think all this has anything to do with any ‘Iranian threat’ do you?

      Iran is a thousand miles away, and if they ever even tried to explode a nuclear weapon in Israel, Israel would incinerate the whole country.

      Iran is a threat to Israel like I’m a threat to the Richmond Police Department. Whatever our respective attitudes are, barring a strong death wish, we’re just not a danger. Since there are absolutely no grounds to think either I or Iran is on the verge of committing suicide, there’s no actual threat to either one of our respective putative adversaries.

      Everyone knows this perfectly well. Some find it morally convenient to lie to themselves about it.

  22. radii
    August 6, 2012, 1:35 am

    you are in a despairing state, Phil … sad to see

    next time you’re talking with your Palestinian friends and acquaintances please ask them the following:

    one constantly reads that the Palestinians are the most-educated of all the Muslims and Arabs … why then can’t they seem to deploy effective messaging ??? … countless hundreds of images tell the story of their oppression and of israel’s racism, apartheid, war-crimes, deception, land-grabs … all of it

    non-violence does work but the group must be committed to it and they must have a plan and they must systematically escalate with sit-ins and boycotts and demonstrations to illustrate their plight and their specific goals … and why can’t you come up with a single leader or a set of leaders all agree upon?

    israel does not control ALL media (a great chunk of it yes, through their vast Fifth Column network and holdings) and it is possible to get the messages out

  23. ColinWright
    August 6, 2012, 3:36 am

    I’m not about to subscribe to Haaretz, but somebody who does or who knows a free link might want to add to what’s here. It seems relevant.

    “When inspectors become detectives: Hunting Palestinians on the beaches of Tel Aviv

    Inspectors are supposed to enforce bylaws and help keep the beaches clean, but it turns out they also keep an eye open for ‘suspicious characters,’ and have them arrested…”

    link to haaretz.com

    • tree
      August 6, 2012, 11:04 am

      Colin,

      You can register for free and get access to a set number of articles per month without paying anything. It might be 10 per month, I don’t remember exactly.

      In the interim,

      Six o’clock in the evening, last Thursday. The weather is pleasant. The Jerusalem Beach in Tel Aviv is full of swimmers. A perfect chance to escape the news. Two young inspectors dressed in orange with appropriate hats advance towards seven men who seem Arab, and demand their ID cards. The inspectors’ intuition is spot on: these are, indeed, Palestinians. Probably construction workers who are dividing apartments into separate units or fulfilling the holy vocation of constructing luxurious residence towers, and hoped to relax after a long day that began at sunrise.

      The Palestinians, aging between 20 and 50, some of them in bathing suits, are almost disinterested as they slowly pull out their ID’s. The inspectors examine them, and say that they don’t have work permits. The Palestinians are “shabachim,” an acronym denoting people who are illegally in Israel.

      The inspectors hold up the Palestinians until the police arrive. None of the Palestinians try to plead for their lives, beg or accuse. Maybe because they’re tired, maybe because they’re used to this humiliating ceremony, even when they were only trying to cool off after a hot day of work. They simply stare sadly into space. One of them tries to latch on to a group of men passing by and disappear without the inspectors noticing, or maybe he just wanted to move a bit, but the leaner inspector of the two shouts “hey” and he returns to his friends. They all stand there with their ID’s, seemingly indifferent. They await the cops.

      Legally, only a policeman can arrest them. Meanwhile, one of the inspectors picks out two more Palestinians on the water line, requests their ID’s and adds them to the group. They are surrounded by beachgoers in the sun, indifferent or unaware of the incident. Some of them probably notice that nine men are standing there with their ID’s, but prefer not to ruin their time at the beach, or the aftertaste of the Bulgarian cheese they ate along with watermelon.

      There’s nothing unique about this incident. I witnessed a similar scene at the beach a month earlier, beach inspectors and tired indifferent Palestinians who slowly make their way to the beach police headquarters. I’ve never seen Israelis behave so indifferently when caught at any wrongdoing.

      Beach inspectors are in charge of enforcing municipal bylaws and keeping the beaches clean. According to the municipality it employs 31 beach inspectors, in compliance with the 1964 law regulating beaches. It’s an insipid job, whose only benefit is the occasional flirt with tourists. Wherever the beach is filthy, they clean it up. If someone lets his dog of the leash they can request his ID, land him a fine, and be sworn at. Rather boring in comparison to hunting down Palestinians. I film the scene with my cellular phone from my beach mat. For a moment the balance is broken – the hunter becomes the hunted. For one fleeting moment the inspectors managed to locate someone beneath their social status, and that moment is gone. The double misery of the inspectors and the Palestinians suddenly surfaces as the sun shines.

      They grunt something to the effect that when the policeman comes, they’ll complain that I filmed them illegally. One of them approaches me and asks for my ID. But I have my bathing suit and nothing else. No one ever goes to the beach with an ID, except illegal Palestinians.

      I become a problem, but they’re no more than beach inspectors and have absolutely no authority over Jews or European tourists, as long as you’re not littering the beach with popsicle wrappers. They complain to their superior, but he tells them, out loud, that I have every right to film them, and they shouldn’t be afraid because they did no wrong. One of them comes up to me and shows me his inspector’s ID, to prove his point. It says they can request and ID as part of their job. But what is, exactly, their job? How did they transform from cleanliness inspectors to Palestinian hunters? How did “Green Patrol” officials, another municipal branch of Mayor Ron Huldai, that were originally supposed to prevent the disposal of agricultural waste on the wrong day, to central players in a political struggle? What next? Will parking inspectors be armed with artillery?

      Translator Ilana Hamerman, who helps smuggle groups of Palestinian women to beaches in Israel, and aids arrested workers, told me about the sad fate of those caught. First and second time offenders sign some document and are returned to the Palestinian Authority. Third time offenders are fined, jailed and receive suspended sentences. At present she is handling the case of “A”, an unemployed worker with a poor family who I happened to meet a few months back. In order to make a living, he entered Israel for the fourth time, in spite of the suspended sentence, but his only alternative is hunger. He was caught in Kiryat Gat, and is now facing six months in prison and a NIS 12,000 fine. He has no idea how he’s going to pay the fine.

      “We’re talking about thousands of people who can’t make a living,” says Hamerman. “Thousands of them cross the border because they can’t find a job. There are two crossing points that are inspected by the IDF. They leave at impossible hours and are constantly in danger. If it really was a security issue, Israel would close the crossings. But if they close the crossings, there will be widespread hunger in the West Bank, which might destabilize the PA. ultimately, Israel has become a nation of informers. In Jerusalem I was asked to inform about workers. And that’s what the beach inspectors are, informers.”

      Tamar Zandberg, Tel Aviv council member for Meretz, who recently left Huldai’s coalition, is shocked by the tale: “What we’re seeing here is a constant process of exceeding authority by the inspectors. We can see the same phenomenon with the “Green Patrol” against the social protest. It’s a very serious matter. When I asked several officials, including the municipality’s legal advisor, I was told that the beach inspectors are authorized to deal only with parking tickets, cleanliness, smoking, and similar issues. I can say unequivocally that they have no authority as to criminal or security issues. This is a troubling phenomenon that the municipality is remarketing them as a patrol with colorful uniforms, when in reality they exceed their authority. It is not coincidental that the inspectors were not trained or authorized to deal with matters concerning the police and security forces.”

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Take a look at the powers and authourity given to bus-drivers in the pre-Civil Rights law US South. These powers and authourity were given to bus drivers (and others) in pursuance of enforcing the segregation laws.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Yeah, Mooser, Ralph Kramden had that power. Oops, that’s right, he didn’t live in the South.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:26 pm

        If I am not mistaken, the bus drivers in, as an example, Birmingham were given authority to enforce segregation rules. As in the example of the Tel Aviv I believe the bus drivers had to summon a policeman if an arrest was needed.
        In fact, if I’m not mistaken, this is what gave the driver of one bus the idea that he could and should order Rosa Parks “to the back of the bus”.
        I hope I’m not giving the impression that I think these kinds of powers are a good thing. They are a bad thing, and typical of discriminatory and colonial regimes.

        Not that I’m by any means deficient in admiration for “The Honeymooners”.

  24. lareineblanche
    August 6, 2012, 8:15 am

    Thank you for writing this, Phil. It’s what I’ve always admired about you, your forthrightness, honesty, and refusal to simplify the situation into easily-digested slogans in favor of a more humanistic approach. It’s clear from your writing that Zionism, the occupation and apartheid policies poison the well of personal relations and affect everyone right down to the little details of everyday life.
    Even though, as Avi says, Israelis (and Americans, I’d add) bear more responsibility for the situation, and possess more options and freedom to change it than do Palestinians, we also have to remember that they for the most part are subjected to a deep indoctrination, a kind of spell that apparently not everyone is able to break out of so easily.

  25. justicewillprevail
    August 6, 2012, 9:58 am

    You are feeling the despair which Israeli has gleefully tried to sow in Palestinian hearts. Meticulously designed, remorselessly applied, the crushing of any hope has been an Israeli project for a long time. It is calculated to make you, and Palestinians, feel that they are powerless individuals who have no hope of a normal life. The destruction of civic life, the attacks on building and institutions, the obstruction of the most basic freedoms of free assembly and passage, the right to water and land – anybody would be overwhelmed by such assiduous, systematic cruelty and barbarism. The only solution, or at least help we can give, is to show that we, and they, are not individuals to be picked off and silenced by the wall of hasbara and torrent of perpetual lies and deceit. Strength is in numbers and collective action, and more importantly knowing you are part of that – the negation of everything Israel has planned to break your spirit. So in that respect I believe you will realise that any of us can only every be a small part in the wider picture, but together we can bring pressure to bear. You are an important part of that, don’t underestimate it. The ceaseless attempts to censor and silence voices who speak out bears witness to the acknowledged weakness of their position. The shattering, brutal truth of the occupation and the existential threat to Palestine is emerging in the public arena, as the overreach typified by Romney and his billionaire mafia demonstrate. Keep chipping away, and value the fact that you are doing the right thing.

  26. Klaus Bloemker
    August 6, 2012, 10:08 am

    Yad Vashem is simultaneously a memorial of Jewish suffering as it is a memorial and affirmation of Judaism’s religious racism.
    —————————————————————————-
    There is the “Avenue of the Righteous” at Yad Vashem.
    This term goes back to a saying by Maimonides: “The righteous among the [gentile] nations will have a place in the world to come.”
    “Righteous” doesn’t mean “just”, as we use the term. It means “agreeable to God.”

    Who are these righteous gentiles? Gentiles who saved Jews, because – as the talmudic motto of Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’ says – “who saves one life [of Israel] saves the world entire.”

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 12:32 pm

      Because, Klaus, every Jew, in every situation, acts in rigid conformity with Talmudic Law, as explicated in Schindler’s List. Just amazing how they inculcate it in all of us, and enforce adherence to it.
      It’s daunting to consider, but a person who understands all this, and has seen Schindler’s List, will always be one step ahead of ‘em!

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 12:35 pm

        Klaus, if you want to say that belonging to the Jewish religion or being Jewish makes one a bad person, and this badness can be extrapolated from and exposed in Jewish theology and writings, well, all I can say is you’ll be in distinguished company.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 3:38 pm

        -“you’ll be in distinguished company” – blaming Jewish theology

        Yes I am, Immanuel Kant said so in his philosophy of religion in 1793.
        And Kant had quite a following among the enlightened Jews of his times.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2012, 1:45 pm

        @ Mooser, are you vainly trying to say that the term “Righteous Gentile” has something to do with saving even one Gentile life at the expense, if needed, of a Jew? Can we see where you went to find that monument? To the home of Rachel Corrie’s parents? Last I heard Rachel ‘s not on any governmental or tax-funded list of the Righteous. And, last I heard, she was never part of killing any Jew, or even making one eat a pork chop.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:45 pm

        No, I’m wondering if racism among Jews can be put down to religious teaching (Oh, I’m sure it can in some cases) or more mundane, proximate causes. Given the wildly differing nature, amount, context and retention of religious teaching among Jews, not to mention wildly different perspectives on race I wonder if Klaus hasn’t maybe got the cart before the horse. Which is about the nicest way I can put it. But it sorta seems to me like the same schtick as selecting verses from the Koran to prove why Muslims are this, or that.

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

        But it sorta seems to me like the same schtick as selecting verses from the Koran to prove why Muslims are this, or that.

        Exactly. It sounds very much like the “Dar al-Harb/Dar al-Islam” theory of Middle-Eastern politics (with a little “Dhimmitude” thrown in for good measure). We dismiss it for the crap it is when Pipes and Geller do it about Islam, but it’s “obvious” when it comes to Zionism?

      • Kathleen
        August 6, 2012, 6:43 pm

        Racism inherent in the chosen people hooey

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 5:22 am

        @ Mooser
        Yes, I understand that’s your question, and it’s a good one. So who can distinguish between the proximate cause and any and all intervening ones? Maybe the analogy of a pin ball machine operating is helpful? There’s the particular machine itself, the operator, and the operation.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:01 am

        “There’s the particular machine itself, the operator, and the operation.”

        Well, all I can say is; that deaf dumb and blind Klaus, he sure plays a mean pinball! And my scoreboard is screaming “TILT”

    • jon s
      August 7, 2012, 2:14 am

      Klaus,
      I don’t see why you have a problem with Yad Vashem paying tribute to “righteous gentiles” -non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews in the Holocaust.
      I can imagine what would be said if no such tribute existed : “Yad Vashem ignores courageous rescue efforts”. Can’t win.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 5:27 am

        @ jon s
        Maybe the Palestinians will make a few monuments to “righteous jews”?
        You know, the exception proves the rule? Didn’t Adolph do that with a few jews, such as his mother’s doctor? Of course he didn’t actually put up a plaque…

        Compare, either way you turn the coin, “Some of my best friends are…”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 8:31 am

        “I don’t see why you have a problem with Yad Vashem paying tribute to ‘righteous gentiles'”

        I won’t speak for Klaus, but the problem I have with it is two-fold

        1) they built this structure on the site of an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village. Kinda misses the whole point of the thing, when you put your memorial against this kind of thing on the site of an occurrance of this type of thing.

        2) the phrase “righteous gentile” is inherently and irredemably bigoted as it presumes that non-Jews are inherently unrighteous and that only those who follow Jewish law (in the biblical sense of the term) or who helped Jews in a very specific way (in the Yad Vashem sense) could be “righteous.”

        And even with regard to the latter, I have major problems with the critera. For example, if I saved a million Jews by converting them to Catholicism, I wouldn’t be “righteous”, but if I saved two Jews by hiding them in a shed, I would be. Further, if I saved 10 Roma by hiding them in a shed, I’m not righteous. But if I do the exact same thing with 10 Jews, I am.

      • Shmuel
        August 7, 2012, 9:31 am

        I attended a ceremony a couple of years ago, honouring as a “Righteous Gentile”, a man who had hidden my wife’s great-grandparents on his farm and, after the war, returned the family printing business (that had been signed over to him, when Jews were prohibited from owning such businesses), lock, stock and barrel.

        What bugged me (in no particular order) was:

        1. The hypocrisy in the State of Israel granting recognition of courageous, moral behaviour toward Jews, when Israel itself was founded upon and has continuously engaged in the oppression of non-Jews.

        2. The propaganda use made of the Holocaust, the ideology of “eternal anti-Semitism” and the condescending recognition of a few “righteous gentiles”.

        3. The Zionist/Israeli expropriation of the Holocaust, its victims, their property and cultural legacy.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 10:33 am

        You guys will find a way to criticize anything, we get it. If we honor righteous gentiles, we’re racist for suggesting something nefarious about gentile. If we don’t, we’re racist for not honoring them.

        And actually, you’re incorrect. The actual term is not “Righteous Gentile.” It’s Righteous Among the Nations.

        In any event, even it was righteous gentile, it’s quite clear that honoring righteous gentiles is not a general statement that gentiles are not in general righteous, but a statement that during the war, most gentiles did not help Jews. Maybe we should call them “People who helped Jews during WWII” or “Unusually Great People.” I do not know of any honoree who especially minded the terminology, and please save yourselves the effort of finding me an exception that proves the rule. Woody has shown himself to be someone who is quick to cry bigotry; this is the same guy who said I was a bigot because I think that marriage between a religious Jew and religious Catholic would be difficult.

        As far as saving others in addition to Jews, this is old Jews-are-responsible-for-everybody-else line. Yad Vashem is in the Jewish state. The survivors whose testimonies form the basis for a righteous Gentile application are mostly Jews; it is pretty unlikely that there will be Roma testimony.

        The Roma are free to build a museum of their own and honor those who saved them during the war. Other museums that are not focused only on the Jewish part of the Holocaust, such as the USHMM, are free to focus on those who saved others during the war.

        Woody also suggests that those who converted Jews to Catholicism during the war should be honored. I’m not exactly sure why, and I am not sure Woody is correct. The rule is simply that converting someone to Catholicism is not a criteria for recognition, not that someone who converted Jews to Catholicism is ineligible altogether. So if you were a nun, and you took in 10 Jewish children and converted them to Catholicism in order to better hide them from the authorities, and you then gave the children back to their parents after the war, I see no reason why you would not be eligible.

        @Shmuel:

        “1. The hypocrisy in the State of Israel granting recognition of courageous, moral behaviour toward Jews, when Israel itself was founded upon and has continuously engaged in the oppression of non-Jews.”

        Sorry it bothers you. Does it bother you that the US honors soldiers with the Medal of Honor even if a war in unjust? How about you acknowledge that since no state is perfect, no state will be able to avoid some charge of hypocrisy?

        “2. The propaganda use made of the Holocaust, the ideology of “eternal anti-Semitism” and the condescending recognition of a few “righteous gentiles”.”

        How is this manifest in a Righteous Among the Nations ceremony? And how is it condescending? You talk about “a few.” As of 2012, Israel has honored 24,355 people this way. There is no great effort to limit the numbers. It is very simple. There was a war. 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis. Most people in occupied countries did not do much to keep it from happening. The ones who went to extraordinary lengths deserve some honor, and I don’t see anyone else extending it to them.

        “3. The Zionist/Israeli expropriation of the Holocaust, its victims, their property and cultural legacy.”

        More complaining. Anytime you have an alternative, you let us know. Complaining about something like the Righteous Among the Nations program at Yad Vashem is a great example of why people like you simply have little credibility to talk about the conflict. You’re not interested in any solution. You simply want to take any opportunity to complain and criticize anything the state of Israel does. It is YOU who politicizes the Holocaust by asserting that there is something wrong with Yad Vashem honoring non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust. It is you who complains and complains for no other reason than to help the Palestinian cause.

        Because outside of the extreme wing of the pro-Palestinian community, nobody registers these complaints.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 11:01 am

        Woody –

        ‘as it presumes that non-Jews are inherently unrighteous and that only those who follow Jewish law (in the biblical sense of the term) or who helped Jews in a very specific way (in the Yad Vashem sense) could be “righteous.”’

        Some may understand the Yad Vashem’s use of ‘righteous’ in this way. But that’s not necessarily how it was intended. I think it’s based on the presumption that none of us, Jew or Gentile, is inherently righteous, that righteousness is a rare quality, and that those Gentiles who demonstrated this quality in the Holocaust deserve special recognition for their courage.

        By concluding that Yad Vashem would not consider those who saved the Roma as ‘righteous’ you make the same assumption you accuse Yad Vashem of — that one group of people, in this case the Jews, is inherently and always self-interested and therefore unrighteous. (Actually a quick google search shows that yadvashem.org includes much documentation on the Roma — though I don’t know if anything is mentioned in the museum itself, having not been there in decades).

        BTW – I understand the Palestinians are missing from this equation and I’m not try to excuse that.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 12:06 pm

        ” If we honor righteous gentiles,”

        Who’s “we” hoppy? We’re talking about a distinction awarded by the state of israel. Last I heard, you were not israeli, but American. Why the “we”?

        “The actual term is not “Righteous Gentile.” It’s Righteous Among the Nations. ”

        Better tell Wikipedia. They use both.

        And you think “Righteous Among the Nations” is any better? Again, the notion that a non-Jew is only “Righteous” if abides by Jewish law or performed specific acts to help Jews in the war is disgusting. Would you respond well to an award by the Catholic Church which was called “Generous Among the Jews” or would you see it as a backhanded compliment?

        “it’s quite clear that honoring righteous gentiles is not a general statement that gentiles are not in general righteous, but a statement that during the war, most gentiles did not help Jews.”

        And, again, you don’t have the character to recognized the millions of non-Jews that died in helping the Jews by defeating Hitler and the Nazis. I guess you’d rather spit on their graves.

        “Woody has shown himself to be someone who is quick to cry bigotry; this is the same guy who said I was a bigot because I think that marriage between a religious Jew and religious Catholic would be difficult.”

        No, hoppy. You’re quick to demonstrate bigotry. And that’s not the only reason why I said you were a bigot.

        “As far as saving others in addition to Jews, this is old Jews-are-responsible-for-everybody-else line. ”

        Nope. It’s simply a recognition that “righteousness” in this context, is tied exclusively with Jews. And given the fact that the main lesson of the Holocaust should be that only bad can come from splitting the world into different groups based on things like ancestry and ethnicity, one would hope that Yad Vashem would term anyone who helped anybody avoid death in the Holocaust would earn the term “righteous” and not merely those that helped a subset. But no one’s ever accused israel of understanding the reall leason from the Holocaust. (and it isn’t “we better become an aparthied garrison state…)

        “Woody also suggests that those who converted Jews to Catholicism during the war should be honored. I’m not exactly sure why, and I am not sure Woody is correct.”

        Well, again, talk to Wikipedia. They’re the one who notes that, among the criteria is this: “helping a family member or Jewish person convert to Christianity is not a criterion for recognition.” So if someone saved a bunch of Jews by converting them to Christianity, they’re not “righteous.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 12:26 pm

        “But that’s not necessarily how it was intended. I think it’s based on the presumption that none of us, Jew or Gentile, is inherently righteous, that righteousness is a rare quality, and that those Gentiles who demonstrated this quality in the Holocaust deserve special recognition for their courage.

        I don’t think this is the case. Where in Jewish theology is there discussions about righteousness among the Jews and what needs to be done by a Jew in order to be considered “righteous”??
        I know that for a non-Jew to be considered “righteous,” one must be an adherent to part of Jewish law, the Noahide laws. And it is very offensive to suggest that one cannot be righteous is one practices “idolatry,” or who blasphemes — two fairly innocuous pasttimes — or who commits “sexual immorality” (considering much of what the religions consider to be sexually immoral).

        I have seen no eqivalence regarding Jews, which would make me suggest that your reading is simply what you wish is the case. For example, I know of nothing which, in Jewish theology, would suggest that only those Jews who abide by all of the Jewish law can be considered “righteous” with the rest being wicked and without virtue. If I am wrong, I would be interested in what you consider to be pursuasive on this point.

        “By concluding that Yad Vashem would not consider those who saved the Roma as ‘righteous’ you make the same assumption you accuse Yad Vashem of — that one group of people, in this case the Jews, is inherently and always self-interested and therefore unrighteous. ”

        Not at all. What I’m saying is that anyone who attempts to understand and learn from the Holocaust, which Yad Vashem claims, must know that the primary lesson is that nothing good can come from making distinctions as between people. When it states that a person cannot be considered righteous for saving Roma, it is only saving Jews that makes one “righteous,” that is a problem. Anyone who saved any person during the Holocaust was righteous and Yad Vashem should be taken to task for pretending that only those who aided the Jews were righteous.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 2:18 pm

        ” Where in Jewish theology is there discussions about righteousness among the Jews and what needs to be done by a Jew in order to be considered “righteous”??”

        Um, all over the place. Maimonides’ Hilchot Deah, Pirkei Avot, just for starters.

        “And it is very offensive to suggest that one cannot be righteous is one practices “idolatry,” or who blasphemes — two fairly innocuous pasttimes — or who commits “sexual immorality” (considering much of what the religions consider to be sexually immoral). ”

        OK. I don’t think most Jews use that biblical test today to determine righteousness.

        ” For example, I know of nothing which, in Jewish theology, would suggest that only those Jews who abide by all of the Jewish law can be considered “righteous” with the rest being wicked and without virtue. If I am wrong, I would be interested in what you consider to be pursuasive on this point.”

        There isn’t anything. What does this have to do with Yad Vashem?

        “What I’m saying is that anyone who attempts to understand and learn from the Holocaust, which Yad Vashem claims, must know that the primary lesson is that nothing good can come from making distinctions as between people.”

        Again, OK. That doesn’t change the fact that Jews were targeted during the Holocaust and that 6 million of them were murdered.

        “When it states that a person cannot be considered righteous for saving Roma, it is only saving Jews that makes one “righteous,” that is a problem.”

        Again, it’s only a problem if you look at it in the negative way you’re looking at it, which is that for you, all Holocaust museums must be all inclusive. No one, at all, has suggested that people who saved Roma are not righteous. This just happens to be a Museum dedicated to the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. That does not mean it excludes all other experiences.

        This is an issue for you; you seem not to appreciate that people are not all the same. For you, it seems like observing a religion, for instance, means excluding everybody else from it. Saying you’re black might connote a value judgment on all non-Black people based on your thinking.

        ” Anyone who saved any person during the Holocaust was righteous and Yad Vashem should be taken to task for pretending that only those who aided the Jews were righteous.”

        Right, except that this is not what they said at all.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 2:51 pm

        “Better tell Wikipedia. They use both. ”

        Why don’t you actually check the Yad Vashem website?

        Here’s the page: link to www1.yadvashem.org

        “And you think “Righteous Among the Nations” is any better? Again, the notion that a non-Jew is only “Righteous” if abides by Jewish law or performed specific acts to help Jews in the war is disgusting. ”

        There is seriously something wrong with you. The criteria say nothing about “abiding by Jewish law.” You’re entitled to think honoring people who saved Jews during the war is disgusting. Once again, you’ll be in a very small minority.

        “Would you respond well to an award by the Catholic Church which was called “Generous Among the Jews” or would you see it as a backhanded compliment?”

        Would you try not to be a complete moron who takes every situation out of its context to make dumb arguments? If from 1000-1945, Europe was 95% Jewish and 3% Catholic, and the Jews spent much of that time accusing the Catholics of blood libels and deicide, and periodically massacred the Catholics, and then killed six million of them in systematic mass murder, and the vast majority of the Jews in places where this happened did nothing to prevent the slaughter, I would not be surprised or offended as a Jews if the Catholic Church decided to recognize those Jews who saved Catholics, along with anyone else from outside of Europe who did so. Only a total idiot, with a serious chip on his shoulder, would look at something like the Righteous Among Nations program to honor those who saved Jews during the Holocaust and conclude that it means everyone else is not only not extraordinary, but bad.

        “And, again, you don’t have the character to recognized the millions of non-Jews that died in helping the Jews by defeating Hitler and the Nazis. I guess you’d rather spit on their graves.”

        Sorry, but what are you talking about? Who am I not recognizing that you would like recognized?

        “helping a family member or Jewish person convert to Christianity is not a criterion for recognition.” So if someone saved a bunch of Jews by converting them to Christianity, they’re not “righteous.””

        Again, stop acting like an illiterate moron. As I told you, it does not say that someone who converted Jews to Christianity in saving them is not eligible. It says that the conversion is not a criteria in and of itself for recognition. I think the reasons are fairly obvious; there were instances where Catholics converted young Jewish children to Catholicism and then refused to give them back to their survivor parents, for instance. Abe Foxman was an example of that.

        I’m also not sure who you think was saved simply by converting to Christianity. Converting certainly did not save a Jew from murder by the Nazis. And even if that act did save people, most of those saved most likely would have been young children who lost their parents in the war, and unfortunately their religion as well.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 3:23 pm

        ‘I know of nothing which, in Jewish theology, would suggest that only those Jews who abide by all of the Jewish law can be considered “righteous” with the rest being wicked and without virtue.’

        Woody –

        The Noahide laws you mention are a subset of the laws Judaism lays down for Jews to follow in order to achieve righteousness. Idolatry is a big deal in Judaism; there’s no way around it, but why take offense at a proscription which does not discriminate between Jew and non-Jew. I don’t take offense at Christianity’s belief that I’m not going to be saved. What’s it to me? Speaking of which — take a look at the New Testament, where Paul claims that Jewish law is simply too onerous to make salvation possible, and that faith should supplant works. Not saying I agree with him, but his statements on this theme make a pretty good case against any Jewish belief that Jews are righteous by default.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 3:47 pm

        “Um, all over the place. Maimonides’ Hilchot Deah, Pirkei Avot, just for starters”

        They use the expression “righteous Jews”?

        “OK. I don’t think most Jews use that biblical test today to determine righteousness.”

        But that is the biblical test. That is the point. It is an abhorrant thing to say that only those non-Jews who follow these Jewish laws are righteous.

        “There isn’t anything. What does this have to do with Yad Vashem?”

        Ask evets. He’s the one who suggested that the backhanded compliment “Righteous Gentile” was supposed to somehow suggest the belief that neither Jews nor non-Jews were inherently righteous.

        “Again, OK. That doesn’t change the fact that Jews were targeted during the Holocaust and that 6 million of them were murdered.”

        No, it doesn’t change the history, but it is an indictment on how that history is viewed by that organization.

        “Again, it’s only a problem if you look at it in the negative way you’re looking at it, which is that for you, all Holocaust museums must be all inclusive.”

        No, I’m saying that even considering parsing out among the victims from a crime which has its heart in parsing out among the population is a massive fail. A monumental historical faceplant.

        “No one, at all, has suggested that people who saved Roma are not righteous.”

        How many people have been awarded “Righteous Among the Nations” solely for saving Roma?

        “Saying you’re black might connote a value judgment on all non-Black people based on your thinking.”

        No, but when the state includes a value judgment in the very name of the award it gives, then it is hardly out of line to address the meaning of that judgment, both in the context of when it is awarded and when it is not.

        “Right, except that this is not what they said at all.”

        Except 0nly those who aided Jews are considered “righteous” by the state, by its very criteria.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:54 pm

        “And actually, you’re incorrect. The actual term is not “Righteous Gentile.” It’s Righteous Among the Nations. “

        ‘The Nations’ in this case, being a synonym for ‘gentiles.’

        I’d say that’s about par for a pro-Zionist argument.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 4:02 pm

        RE: “Again, it’s only a problem if you look at it in the negative way you’re looking at it, which is that for you, all Holocaust museums must be all inclusive. No one, at all, has suggested that people who saved Roma are not righteous. This just happens to be a Museum dedicated to the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. That does not mean it excludes all other experiences.”

        How many Holocaust museums in the USA, in part or mostly whole, are dedicated to Jewish victims of the Nazi Regime? How many make the American public who pays for them especially aware of the Roma victims?
        When did the DC Mall get a Holocaust Museum mostly filled with the Roma experience across the sea, as compared to the Jewish experience? How many museums dedicate primarily to Roma victims of the Nazi regime are in the USA? What is the comparative date of a museum in DC especially dedicated to all American dead in WW2 and the Holocaust museum there, on such sacred American ground?

        Nothing in the course of human events “just happens.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 4:06 pm

        “Why don’t you actually check the Yad Vashem website? ”

        Because we’re not just talking about Yad Vashem, but are also talking about the concept.

        “There is seriously something wrong with you. The criteria say nothing about ‘abiding by Jewish law.'”

        Learn how to read. The biblical concept of “righteous Gentile” is a non-Jew who abides by part of Jewish law: the Noachide laws. No one is saying that this is a requirement for the award of the same name. Sheesh. Try to keep up.

        “You’re entitled to think honoring people who saved Jews during the war is disgusting. Once again, you’ll be in a very small minority.”

        Can you ever comment without lying? I don’t think that honoring these people is disgusting. I think that the label that they’ve chosen to use is irredeemably bigoted, because the underlying religious concept is irredeemably bigoted. The award is not the name. Get it?

        ” I would not be surprised or offended as a Jews if the Catholic Church decided to recognize those Jews who saved Catholics, along with anyone else from outside of Europe who did so.”

        I am talking about the label, the name, not the award. Learn how to think for once.

        “Only a total idiot, with a serious chip on his shoulder, would look at something like the Righteous Among Nations program to honor those who saved Jews during the Holocaust and conclude that it means everyone else is not only not extraordinary, but bad.”

        And only a moron or someone seriously brainwashed could read the expression “Righteous Among the Nations” or “Righteous Gentile” and NOT see the implication that is inherent in the gramatical structure.

        “As I told you, it does not say that someone who converted Jews to Christianity in saving them is not eligible.”

        Yes, it does, if the motivation was religious: “The title is not attributed if the motivation is other than the rescue of persecuted Jews. Such other motivations can be: (1) financial gain; (2) the wish to religiously convert the rescued persons…”

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 4:20 pm

        “why take offense at a proscription which does not discriminate between Jew and non-Jew”

        The offense is in the implication that the only righteous non-Jews are those who follow the seven Jewish laws. And given the fact that at least three of them have nothing at all to do with virtue, but with religious dogma, and it is inherently offensive to say that a person’s virtue or righteousness depends on following some religious tenet.

        “I don’t take offense at Christianity’s belief that I’m not going to be saved. What’s it to me?”

        The religious notions of “righteous Gentile” is in a slightly different category because it purports to judge whether a person is, in the here-and-now, is virtuous or not, not what might happen after death. But putting that aside, the expression would probably not elicit anything other than a notice if israel had not chosen to adopt it — with its inherent offensive implication — in this award.

        (And to be clear to the stupid among us/hoppy, I have no qualm with the recognition or the award, other than the name and the fact that it is limited to people who did amazing things to save the lives of Jews and doesn’t include people who did amazing things to save the lives of non-Jews, too.)

      • David Samel
        August 7, 2012, 10:35 am

        jon s, there is no better example of cynical exploitation of the Holocaust than Bernadotte. This hero saved the lives of tens of thousands of camp inmates (though less than half were Jewish). His countryman Wallenberg deservedly is the most famous of the “righteous among the nations,” but Bernadotte is not on the list at all. In fact, he is virtually a non-entity at most Holocaust museums and many Holocaust histories. You know why, of course – his even-handed efforts as UN mediator to resolve the I/P conflict were rewarded with assassination. Do you need more proof that encouraging support of Israel is high on the agenda of the Holocaust commemoration crowd, even if brazen hypocrisy is required?

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 11:51 am

        Bernadotte’s involvement with the White Buses initiative is honored in Yad Vashem at the museum, so the notion that he is a non-entity is nonsense. His application for becoming a Righteous Among the Nations is controversial for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s not clear that he risked his life to save Jews (one of the criteria); the White Buses program came about through direct negotiations with Himmler in Nazi Germany; Bernadotte risked his life by going to Germany while it was under Allied bombardment, but not by saving Jews. Second, it’s not clear that he intended to rescue Jews so much as Scandinavian POWs. It’s not impossible that he could become a Righteous Among the Nations in the future; Yehuda Bauer supports his application.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-forgotten-hero-the-assassination-of-count-bernadotte–and-the-death-of-peace-934094.html

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 2:30 pm

        “His application for becoming a Righteous Among the Nations is controversial for a number of reasons.”

        And yet you didn’t even mention the biggest reason for the “controversy”: the fact that he was murdered in cold blood on the orders of yitzhak shamir.

        Boy, wouldn’t that be amusing to watch the zios explain why their own former-PM, as head of this vile, (but celebrated by israel) terrorist group, not only ethnically cleansed Palestinians but murdered a “righteous gentile.” Why that might lead them to have to question the underpinnings of their whole society. Better just to pretend that Folke Bernadotte didn’t “deserve” it.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 4:20 pm

        “And yet you didn’t even mention the biggest reason for the “controversy”: the fact that he was murdered in cold blood on the orders of yitzhak shamir. ”

        I think there’s a great deal more to it than that for the reasons I mentioned. As I made clear, Bernadotte is honored in the Museum and has been honored in the past, because as I’ve pointed out many times, his murder was universally condemned by Israel when it happened, so there would be no taboo on honoring him if he deserved it.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 7, 2012, 4:41 pm

        “…his murder was universally condemned by Israel when it happened”

        Except, of course, for those who killed him. And their supporters. And the government that pardoned all the Lehi terrorists. And then gave a military award for being in the terrorist group.

        And it must not have been that deep a condemntation, as the little bigot, shamir, was not never prosecuted for the murder, but only permitted to continuing murdering people for the mossad, but was elected PM a few years later and given a hero’s funeral upon his much-belated death.

        Such, I guess is the notion of “universal condemnation” in the zionist entity.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 6:28 pm

        “Except, of course, for those who killed him.”

        Which was a tiny splinter group.

        “And the government that pardoned all the Lehi terrorists.”

        After they arrested a whole bunch of them and dismantled the organization.

        By all means, show us how the Palestinian Authority has condemned the murder of Jews over the years, in word (let alone deed).

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2012, 12:26 am

        Which was a tiny splinter group.

        Who’s leaders went on to become Israeli Prime Minister and nomated by Israel as Most Important Israeli in 2005.

        After they arrested a whole bunch of them and dismantled the organization.

        Correction, they absorbed them in to the IDF/Haganah.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 8, 2012, 10:44 am

        “Which was a tiny splinter group.”

        Which had many supporters.

        “After they arrested a whole bunch of them and dismantled the organization.”

        No, they held them under administrative detention and then pardoned them. The organization was not dismantled, it was dissolved into the idf, with the murderers and terrorists being fully integrated into it and the mossad.

        It then awarded service ribbons to them. Not something you with people you supposedly condemn. For example, the US didn’t institute a “participant in the massacre at My Lai” ribbon. The Lehi ribbon is the equivalent, except the Lehi’s crimes extended beyond merely one massacre.

        “…the Palestinian Authority…”

        Don’t change the subject. The PA didn’t murder Bernadotte, shamir and his criminal band did, so they are irrelevant to the discussion.

      • jon s
        August 8, 2012, 1:05 pm

        David,
        I agree that Bernadotte should be acknowledged and respected. It so happens that my wife’s grandmother was one of those freed by his initiative.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 10, 2012, 11:13 am

        “I agree that Bernadotte should be acknowledged and respected.”

        Instead, I read that his murderer, shamir, is going to get a street named after him in Jaffa’s Jewish suburb of “Tel Aviv”.

  27. hophmi
    August 6, 2012, 10:24 am

    “Here’s one example that I find crushing. When I left Israel two days ago, I walked down the great ramp of the Ben Gurion airport exit hall past two dozen images on the walls from the collection of the Israel Museum, beautiful objects showing he history of the land. And when you have gone halfway down the ramp you realize that you will see no Palestinian images. ”

    When there is peace, they will put Palestinian images in Ben-Gurion. Why is any more crushing than seeing no Israeli images in the West Bank? Do you think, that if there is a Palestinian state and some of the settlers decide to live there, that the Palestinians will put up pictures of Jewish antiquity from Hebron?

    • amigo
      August 6, 2012, 1:57 pm

      “Why is any more crushing than seeing no Israeli images in the West Bank?”hophmi

      Surely you joke.

      There are some 350,000 Israeli images (illegal settlers) in the West Bank.

      As for there being peace, that will happen when Zionist land greed and oppressive colonialism ends.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 4:29 pm

        “There are some 350,000 Israeli images (illegal settlers) in the West Bank.”

        And over a million Arabs in Israel. I don’t think Phil was arguing that they make up for the lack of Palestinian images at Ben-Gurion.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:36 pm

        “There are some 350,000 Israeli images (illegal settlers) in the West Bank.”

        “And over a million Arabs in Israel.”

        So Hophmi, you think the “Arabs” in Israel are the same as the settlers in the occupied territory? So tell me, whose houses did those “Arabs” in Israel steal?

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 6:01 pm

        There’s no comparison here other than to say it’s a two-sided conflict, and just like the Palestinians are not likely to put up images of Jews, regardless of whether they are settlers or not, in their government and state-controlled institutions, the Israelis are not likely to put up images of Arabs in their airport. I do believe, however, that once there is peace, you will see Arabs play a more integrated role in Israeli society, and concurrently, you’ll see pictures of Arabs in Ben-Gurion’s airport to promote the country to tourists.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 1:15 am

        “…the Israelis are not likely to put up images of Arabs in their airport…”

        From which it follows that the 20% of Israel’s citizens that are non-Jewish Arabs are not really considered to be part of the country.

        Not that I thought otherwise — just interesting to hear you cite evidence to that effect.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 5:33 am

        @ Colin Wright,

        Do you mean to imply hophmi was projecting in the freudian sense the future of what Palestinians might do in a state of their own by using what Jewish Israelis have been, and are, doing with their state?

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 3:58 pm

        ‘@ Colin Wright,

        Do you mean to imply hophmi was projecting in the freudian sense the future of what Palestinians might do in a state of their own by using what Jewish Israelis have been, and are, doing with their state?’

        No. I meant to imply that Israel at heart is a state for Jews and for Jews alone.

        Technically, I didn’t imply it. I said it.

    • Shingo
      August 7, 2012, 12:38 am

      When there is peace, they will put Palestinian images in Ben-Gurion.

      In the mean time, the beatings will continue until moral improves.

  28. Kathleen
    August 6, 2012, 10:29 am

    Israel has closed the door to a two state solution. Mearsheimer and others have been saying this now for years. Weiss jumps on that bus after seeing once again that the two state solution door has been closed and sealed shut by Israel’s unwillingness to stop building and expanding illegal settlements. And as Mearsheimer as so clearly pointed out in the past that the APARTHEID situation will become even more clear to Americanas (even if Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed, Al (you know those LIBERALS) never report the facts on the ground in this conflict) and has been clear to others around the world for so long.

    ONE PERSON ONE VOTE is clearly what should be repeated over and over again. The Israeli resistance to this is and will continue to be LOUD AND CLEAR and Israel’s resistance will expose once and for all who the Palestinians have been dealing with

  29. American
    August 6, 2012, 10:45 am

    “I can’t see any way out of the conflict without tragic consequences.””

    “Yet all contributing to the overwhelming sense of darkness “……………Phil

    I think most of us non Jewish observers who aren’t emotionally involved realized some time ago that zionism can only end in tragedy in Palestine-Israel.
    Practically speaking I see no way to ‘turn around a cult like zionism before it culminates in something horrific.
    We can tell US Jews— denounce and run, run, run from zionism and Israel— but that would not even be enough now—time has run out. Zionism doesn’t really even need the Jews any longer because it has captured US politicians who are truly removed from and totally oblivious to everything in the world except their career politics.

    The truth is the ending is dependent on the US and the US is thoroughly corrupted in this by the inner core of political US zionist.
    It would take a very serious intervention on Israel by an outside power to prevent
    a catastrophe —and that isn’t happening.
    So I guess we all despair and wait.

    • NickJOCW
      August 6, 2012, 4:21 pm

      It would take a very serious intervention on Israel by an outside power to prevent a catastrophe —and that isn’t happening.

      Not necessarily, the US might just slowly get cooler. The position of Russia, and to a lesser degree China, is a factor. Both are growling at the US for a variety of reasons that have nothing whatever to do with Israel, and not overly much to do with the ME, nothing like US ‘defense’ plans for Poland or sabre rattling in the China Sea. Syria is a corner where Russia threatens to remove a glove; probably won’t. Then you have nuclear armed Iran which most of the world regards as an Israeli constructed bogeyman. Given the volatile situation all around it’s not hard to see Israel becoming viewed as the US Achilles heel both abroad and at home where Israel is easily equated with the likes of Sheldon Adelson, a sort of Bugsy Malone with more money than teeth, whose blatant interventions in US domestic politics are symptomatic of much broader weaknesses on which US public opinion is beginning to focus

      There is also increasing social unrest in Israel itself Doubtless there are other storm clouds looming over Tel Aviv and I wouldn’t take any one of them too seriously, but cumulatively they don’t look that good for Israel as is, particularly when one cannot readily identify a single more positive counterbalancing element.

      • American
        August 6, 2012, 4:34 pm

        @ Nick

        Maybe, maybe not.
        But remember, Israel has never let the US ‘cool’…Israel can’t surivive, do what it does, with the US on cool……they will always turn up the heat with another threat or emergency if that starts to happen.

      • NickJOCW
        August 6, 2012, 9:21 pm

        I agree, the balls are all in the air. But there’ll come a time, surely, when Israel will have cried wolf too often. Many already believe Israel capable of almost any devious shenanigan; this morning I read claims Mossad was behind the attack on the 16 Egyptian border guards. It was of course dismissively denied as nonsense but the denial did not unsay it and since no one knows some will think it at least possible.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 10:04 pm

        “…Not necessarily, the US might just slowly get cooler…”

        Relative to the rest of the world, the US is also rapidly getting weaker. When I was a kid, we had a GNP that was greater than the rest of the world’s combined.

        Now it’s down to around 20%. Well, largely that was inevitable, and it’s not particularly to be decried — but it implies that there may come a day where it doesn’t matter how much we support Israel.

        How much would it matter if Great Britain was Israel’s staunch friend? Just Great Britain — and no one else?

      • NickJOCW
        August 7, 2012, 4:44 am

        GB is a US acolyte but, hypothetically, yes, you are right – not much. That is why I think Russia (and China) may have a role. They do not find the US philosophy of confrontation helpful regardless of where it is applied, and turning the Persian Gulf into a war zone for the benefit of an entity that cocks a snook at international law is all downside. I don’t hold a torch for either of them (a Chinese mine manager was murdered in Zambia the other day in what appears to have been a more than reasonable pay dispute) but their approaches are more nuanced; the same exploitive purposes but less noise and blood. I doubt either gives two hoots for the Palestinians but given the global view of their predicament it might be a suitable place for a bit of a standoff. At the UN perhaps?

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 4:03 pm

        “… That is why I think Russia (and China) may have a role…”

        You seem to be suggesting that if the US stops being able to sponsor Israel, Russia or China would step up to the plate.

        This begs the question of why either one of these would have a motive to support Israel. There would always be more to be gained by opposing Israel. This will become all the truer as US hegemony evaporates and Israel becomes correspondingly more vulnerable.

        To put it another way, we support Israel out of irrational motives that owe nothing to our own self-interest. Why should any other party — lacking those irrational motives but retaining the motive of self-interest — support Israel? Whatever the benefits, they’d be outweighed by the costs.

      • American
        August 7, 2012, 7:42 pm

        “To put it another way, we support Israel out of irrational motives that owe nothing to our own self-interest. Why should any other party — lacking those irrational motives but retaining the motive of self-interest — support Israel? Whatever the benefits, they’d be outweighed by the costs.”..Colin

        That is true. Israel has no material or security benefit to the US or to anyone else . Particularly security wise, because to the countries in ME Israel is a plague and a regional problem.
        Russia would never adopt Israel, Russia is smarter than us, they would go with one of the regional powers with influence on other states like Iran and Egypt.
        And China is way smarter. Go read up on China’s partnership with and moving into South Africa….China goes after the resource riches China needs and is smart about setting up partnerships that also benefit the other country. To benefit both themselves and Africa when a China firm or project moves in Africa China moves in some Chinese workers or trainers but keep the employment of Chinese workers to Africa workers very low, like 10 Chinese for every 100 and some cases 1000’s of African workers….giving some employments benefits to both China and Africa…and is paying their own way by also giving aid to Africa.
        I doubt if you could pay Russia or China or any other country to take on Israel as a client state.

  30. Kathleen
    August 6, 2012, 10:57 am

    Phil seeing the reality on the ground has made so many folks who I know who have dug in as far as you feel depressed. One of the folks I was inspired by as a young person besides the Catholic nuns I grew up with and did incredibly great works of compassion and justice, family members focused on justice, Ram Dass who said “you get and stay involved because your conscience is guiding you. You may or may not see the results that you and others want. But allow your conscience to guide you” George Carlin is another one of my gurus that man really knew how to tell it like it is. (tee hee) Hope you focus your keen mind on why the New York Bloody Times banned Gore Vidal’s writings( he had very clear things to say about the Israel lobby and accessing the U.S. treasury 25 years ago) and why the NYBT would not review his books. Interesting

  31. Mooser
    August 6, 2012, 10:58 am

    “My own despair springs from the fact that for years I thought I could do something to help them, but this time round I seem to have lost that belief.”

    Are you sure there isn’t a small chunk of Kryptonite somewhere in your luggage? Maybe stuck to the bottom of your shoe?

    • Citizen
      August 6, 2012, 1:54 pm

      @ Mooser, perhaps that historical small chunk of Kryptonite is not so hidden, for example, why don’t you go to this Zionist rag bragging about Natalie Portman’s Wedding 2 a Goy in Jewish Ceremony a la Trump’s Jewish wife. Esther story lives! Still packs a punch! link to algemeiner.com

      Well, yeah, we do have to go outside Persia at the moment. Then again, Persia’s not powerful like the USA these days. See, you can always find some Kyrptonite somewhere. Ask Harvey Pekar.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:39 pm

        Citizen, I’m not aware of who “Natalie Portman” is, and I can’t see why I’d want to know. I wish her nuptials every success, but you know me, I never disparage marriage.

      • Hostage
        August 7, 2012, 6:38 am

        Citizen, I’m not aware of who “Natalie Portman” is, and I can’t see why I’d want to know.

        From the New York Post and Uri Dan in Jerusalem ;-)

        February 24, 2005 — Memo to Natalie Portman: It’s called the Western Wall, not the Kissing Wall.

        The Oscar-nominated star was chased off her Jerusalem set by a large group of Orthodox Jews who were enraged when she and actor Aki Avni kissed near Judaism’s holiest site, the Yediot Ahronoth newspaper reported.

        Portman and Avni were performing the supposedly salacious act in a parking lot near the Western Wall — the last surviving relic of the sacred Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

        “Whores! Whores!” chanted dozens of Orthodox Jewish men, the paper reported. The cast and crew packed up abruptly and fled.

        The Israel-born Portman and Israeli star Avni were filming a scene for the forthcoming movie “Free Zone,” which is being directed by Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai.

        According to the paper, Gitai had not asked for permission to shoot the scene so close to the hallowed spot.

        He denied that the incident occurred, but the paper, quoting the wall’s site manager and a source in the Jerusalem Police Department, confirmed that the actors and crew had, indeed, been chased.

        –http://web.archive.org/web/20050225064919/http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/22120.htm

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 6:45 pm

      How long has Phil been involved with this issue? Not even a decade. But involved deeply he is. His efforts have added to opening up the dialogue while Israel closed the two state solution. So many experts have been saying this. ONE PERSON ONE VOTE. Now lets really get to exposing the apartheid state of Israel

  32. Klaus Bloemker
    August 6, 2012, 11:24 am

    - “Israel exists, in all its racist misguided political architecture.”
    ———————————————————————————————-
    But where does that come from? You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
    Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.

    • Shmuel
      August 6, 2012, 11:54 am

      You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
      Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.

      That obvious is it? I could have sworn that Zionism’s racism was virtually indistinguishable from that of other ethnic-nationalist and colonialist movements not fortunate enough to have been instructed in the “religious racism of traditional Judaism.”

      • seanmcbride
        August 6, 2012, 1:41 pm

        Shmuel,

        What do you think Yossi Gurvitz meant by the phrase “drawing from proto-Nazi sources within Judaism” in the paragraph below?

        link to 972mag.com

        BEGIN QUOTE
        We are sliding fast, yes, and it will soon be much, much worse; Israeli Jews are abandoning their identity as Israelis and retreating to a tribal and religious Jewish identity, incapable of tolerance, and drawing from proto-Nazi sources within Judaism, which speak of the destruction or enslavement of the other nations; but that is not reason enough to fabricate a mythical, liberal Israel that never was.
        END QUOTE

        Isn’t the racist and apocalyptic rhetoric of pro-Israel militants (including Likud Zionists) supersaturated with myths, symbols and memes from ancient Judaism?

        The Enlightenment version of Judaism represents only a relatively small fraction of Judaism as a whole, and it seems to be rapidly receding as a significant force in contemporary Judaism — it is being completely overtaken and gutted by religious Zionism.

        The Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) is in full ideological and cultural retreat in Israel, the United States and Europe. Apparently its roots and convictions were never very sturdy.

        During recent decades we have been witnessing the devolution and collapse of Enlightenment Jewish civilization — rather a big deal from the standpoint of world history.

      • Citizen
        August 6, 2012, 2:08 pm

        @ seanmcbride,

        Yeah. Shumel said, “I could have sworn that Zionism’s racism was virtually indistinguishable from that of other ethnic-nationalist and colonialist movements not fortunate enough to have been instructed in the “religious racism of traditional Judaism.”

        But it’s not like Shmuel is talking about the Sermon On The Mount as a fountain of ethnic privilege, or not, as distinguished from subsequent Christian leaders’ attempts at canon analysis and/or prescription. He’s talking about Judaism, as handed down by the Talmudic scholars when and if he’s not talking about Torah prescriptions direct or directly implied from the holy bible, the “old testament.”

        Is there something about the bipolar world of original Judaism that makes it not so? If not, isn’t that endless fodder for discrimination? Compare Jesus’s POV. BTW, I am not religious.

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

        Sean,

        You’ll have to ask Yossi. He and I share a somewhat similar background, but we don’t necessarily agree on everything.

        I don’t believe that Zionism was an admirable ideology that went wrong at some point – atavistically or otherwise (“abandoning their Israeli identity and retreating …”) – although Israeli society has certainly not been getting any better in recent years. It was a colonialist, ethno/religio-nationalist movement from the very outset, drawing primarily on European ideas, which it expressed (for cultural as well as propagandistic purposes) in Jewish religious idiom. These ideas have further developed in Israel, as has the culture within which they are expressed.

        Such cherrypicking from Jewish sources is no less forced or less a product of Modernity than the expression of Enlightenment ideas through a Jewish cultural medium. I won’t argue which undertaking is the easier one but, I repeat, both are thoroughly modern, and neither has a greater claim to “authenticity” – just as the Judaisms of every time and place have been products of their environments, with none representing a more “authentic” version of the culture or the faith than any other.

        To assert that the Jewish religion is inherently and immutably something or other, and that any and everything Jews do (individually or in groups of various sizes) is a product of that essence, good or bad, strikes me as ahistorical, illogical and frankly, racist. In the case of Zionism, I see no evidence of anything beyond the selection of some of the worst ideas in Jewish tradition, in support of some of the worst ideas in European tradition. This was not a Jewish imperative and, were it not for external events, would, in all likelihood, never have become a significant Jewish ideology.

        As for “proto-Nazi”, I’m guessing that Yossi simply meant that these sources preceded Nazism in time, not that they were some sort of precursor to that ideology.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 2:55 pm

        “During recent decades we have been witnessing the devolution and collapse of Enlightenment Jewish civilization — rather a big deal from the standpoint of world history.”

        Oh, don’t be such a worry-wart! Anybody is liable to get exhausted after a long stint in the leadership, the intellectual forefront, and I have no doubt that the Gentiles won’t be distracted or discouraged (or maybe will even empathise) by Jewish backsliding and will keep up their end of the Enlightenment till such time as we get back on our feet. And, you know what? And if you can’t, don’t try to blame it on me, you hear?

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 3:44 pm

        “…During recent decades we have been witnessing the devolution and collapse of Enlightenment Jewish civilization — rather a big deal from the standpoint of world history…”

        It’s hard not to notice the rather excessive sense of self-importance this implies. It could even be called megalomania — a kind of transfer into the secular realm of the belief in being ‘the chosen people’?

        I have gotten a lot of flak when I go off on this tangent. Let me make my position perfectly clear. Jews have contributed very disproportionately to their numbers — sometimes spectacularly disproportionately.

        But Jews will just have to settle for that. The base we’re talking about making that ‘disproportionate contribution’ from is tiny. They make up about 0.2% of the world’s population, and even in the West, have usually run around 1-2% of the total population.

        And so a ‘disproportionate contribution’ comes to perhaps 10%. Have 20% if you like. Jews have indeed been significant players.

        They have never been the whole game. The author of the passage quoted above seems to think ‘rather a big deal’ is dry understatement. It’s probably a more accurate summation than intended. It may be a significant event. Like Britain’s decline from great power status or something.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 4:56 pm

        “The author of the passage quoted above seems to think ‘rather a big deal’ is dry understatement.”

        The “author of the passage quoted above” is our very own Seanmcbride, in a comment visible if you scroll up the page. As to whether or not is is intended as a”dry understatement”, he could tell you.

      • seanmcbride
        August 6, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Shmuel,

        I understand that Zionism emerged from the same racialist/racist/colonialist ideological soil that produced European fascism in all its forms, including Nazism. But contemporary Zionism is substantially dominated by religious Zionists, and religious Zionists draw their inspiration from ancient Judaism, Torah and the Talmud. Religious Zionists, and the propagandistic rhetoric of ancient Judaism, also largely control the Israeli government and claim to speak for “the Jewish people” (all of them) and Judaism, with Benjamin Netanyahu as their current “pope.”

        From the perspective of most attentive and informed observers, humanist Jews from the Enlightenment Jewish tradition are being completely overwhelmed in this ideological and cultural struggle by Zionists who are steeped in the most racist and violent themes of the Bible. Furthermore, all the key trendlines, demographic and otherwise, indicate that this situation will continue to grow worse.

        The worldwide Jewish community as a whole has permitted religious Zionists to define contemporary Zionism, Judaism and the Jewish tradition for the world at large in terms of the most backward, superstitious and anti-Enlightenment values of the Old Testament.

        Do you really not see a world class crisis in the making for Jews in general from this development? Actually, the crisis isn’t in the making — we’re in the midst of it now, heading towards the endgame — possibly an apocalyptic endgame.

        Humanist Jews like you, Phil Weiss and Hostage are fighting a losing battle. You are vastly outnumbered and terribly underfinanced. Your political position now is much weaker than it was one, two or three decades ago.

        Even Reform Judaism has been been swept up and twisted out of shape by Zionism — there is little meaningful daylight between Reform Judaism and the Israeli government, which is controlled by an alliance of Likud and religious Zionists. The occasional mild verbal protests by leading Reform Jews against Israeli policies have been utterly ineffective.

      • seanmcbride
        August 6, 2012, 5:08 pm

        Yes, it was dry understatement. If we were to witness a total collapse of the Jewish Enlightenment tradition under overwhelming pressure from religious Zionists (and their secular allies and enablers), I think the results would be quite severe for everyone concerned — for both Jews and non-Jews worldwide. (And, yes, “quite severe” is more dry understatement.)

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:45 pm

        “Jews have contributed very disproportionately to their numbers…”

        Well, I can hardly see who else was gonna do it? Were Gentiles supposed to start handing their kids over to us? That’s hardly to be expected, even among the most ecumenical.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Sean, this is just nonsense, from beginning to end.

        It is NOT the view of mainstream scholarship on Zionism that Zionism comes from the same intellectual tradition as European fascist movement. You repeat this again, and it is still the same nonsense that it was before. It is a minority view, not held by serious scholars.

        ” Religious Zionists, and the propagandistic rhetoric of ancient Judaism, also largely control the Israeli government and claim to speak for “the Jewish people” (all of them) and Judaism, with Benjamin Netanyahu as their current “pope.””

        Again, pure nonsense. The current Israeli government has 28 Kadima representative. Kadima is not religious or messianist. It has 15 Yisrael Beitenu reps. YB is secular, rather militantly so, and wants things like civil marriage. The government has 13 Labor reps. It has 4 Arab List reps. It has 3 Balad reps. It has 3 Meretz Reps. There are 27 Likud MKs and 11 Shas MKs. UTJ, a party that has been all over the map, has 6 MKs. Likud + Shas + UTJ equals 43. That is Likud plus the religious parties. So the notion that a combination of Likud plus religious Zionist control the government simply isn’t born out by the facts. The government has a lot of people opposed to negotiation with the Palestinians, not people wedded to a religio-messianic view of politics. At the end of the day, the biggest party in the Knesset is a centrist party that is most well known for standing first in opposition to the government’s stance on negotiations with the Palestinians and then leaving the government because it was cutting a deal to allow too many religious Jews to stay out of the IDF. That is hardly evidence that Israel is a religio-messianic state.

        “Do you really not see a world class crisis in the making for Jews in general from this development? ”

        You’ve been predicting it for a long time, haven’t you? It hasn’t happened, and it’s largely because your assumptions are alarmist, not based on fact.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 6:17 pm

        Touche. A good point. It’s hardly reasonable to accuse Jews of megalomania if the author of the evidence is named McBride. My apologies to anyone who was offended.

        I actually looked for the original source — but gave up.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 7:29 pm

        “…Yes, it was dry understatement. If we were to witness a total collapse of the Jewish Enlightenment tradition under overwhelming pressure from religious Zionists (and their secular allies and enablers), I think the results would be quite severe for everyone concerned — for both Jews and non-Jews worldwide. “

        I question the reality of this ‘Jewish enlightenment tradition.’ Isn’t what you’re describing just a momentary phase between the shtetl and assimilation? Aren’t most of the figures you have in mind above all simply assimilated Jews?

        What I think is going to happen — what is happening — is that Jews are trifurcating into three groups. There are the ultra-orthodox. They certainly aren’t a ‘Jewish enlightenment tradition.’ There are the occupants of Israel. Whatever you want to say is going on there, it certainly isn’t ‘the Jewish enlightenment.’ Finally, there are Jews such as Paul Krugman who just basically said ‘I refuse to deal with this. It’s too big a distraction.’

        So what ‘Jewish enlightenment tradition’? That sounds more offensive than I want it to — but this really seems like something that is 90% hot air and the rest just a couple of generations en route to something else.

      • Shingo
        August 7, 2012, 12:36 am

        t the end of the day, the biggest party in the Knesset is a centrist party that is most well known for standing first in opposition to the government’s stance on negotiations with the Palestinians and then leaving the government because it was cutting a deal to allow too many religious Jews to stay out of the IDF. That is hardly evidence that Israel is a religio-messianic state.

        You know things are nuts in Israel when the most right wing fascist parties are described as “centrist”.

        The Israeli Prime Minister thinks he’s King David adn that every year in 1939, but hey, that doesn’t prove Israel is a religio-messianic state.

        NOT!!

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:11 am

        “I actually looked for the original source — but gave up.”

        You might try reading the comment thread you’re contributing to. That helps sometimes. Oh, not every time (don’t I know it!) but it’s a good start.
        The way the comments and replies threads expand as they are sent in is confusing, but no solution has been devised.

      • Eva Smagacz
        August 7, 2012, 12:02 pm

        Nehanyahu government contains 4 Arab list MKs?

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 12:22 pm

        hophmi,

        Every time that Israeli prime ministers like Benjamin Netanyahu define their politics in a grandiose messianic tone with terms like Eretz Yisrael, Judea and Samaria, Amalek, the nations, the Jewish people, the Land of Israel, Esther, Haman, Hashem, Moshiach, etc., they are situating contempory Zionism firmly within the ideological framework of ancient Judaism — they are in fact merging Zionism and Judaism into a single ideology.

        The Israeli government has done everything in its power to convince Christian evangelicals that Zionism = Judaism, and it has largely succeeded.

        Several Jewish groups, like Neturei Karta, have warned that this is a dangerous course that will probably lead to a disaster, but the worldwide Jewish establishment and the Israeli government have successfully marginalized those dissidents.

        What could go wrong with this political strategy? The real question is, what *won’t* go wrong. Mixing politics and religion is almost always a bad idea.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 12:27 pm

        Mooser –

        I notice you use ‘s’ in many cases where American spelling would use ‘z’ (see ‘empathise’). I once assumed you were British, yet apparently you grew up on Long Island (according to at least one moving post). The phenomenon is baffling. What explains it?

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 2:26 pm

        “Every time that Israeli prime ministers like Benjamin Netanyahu define their politics in a grandiose messianic tone with terms like Eretz Yisrael, Judea and Samaria, Amalek, the nations, the Jewish people, the Land of Israel, Esther, Haman, Hashem, Moshiach, etc.,”

        How many times has Bibi mentioned Amalek, Esther, Haman, Hashem, or Moshiach in an official speech?

        As far as mentioning “the Jewish people”, please. It’s a Jewish state. Mentioning the Jewish people does not mesh Zionism and Judaism into one thing any more than mentioning the French people meshes Gaulism and Catholicism into one thing or mentioning the Palestinian people meshes Palestinian nationalism and Islam into one thing. Jews constitute a nation. That is not all Jews are.

        Mentioning the “Land of Israel” does not mesh Zionism and Judaism either. It’s a land conflict. Palestinians talk about land too. It doesn’t mesh their movement with Islam.

        “Several Jewish groups, like Neturei Karta, have warned that this is a dangerous course that will probably lead to a disaster”

        Yes, the extreme anti-Zionist sect of yahoos who say Jews are condemned to live in subservience to other nations until the coming of the Messiah and went to hang out with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he held his Holocaust denial conference. Thank you, I’m familiar with them.

        Thank you.

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 2:49 pm

        hophmi,

        Can we compare notes on what books we’ve each read on the subject of religious Zionism? Below (see the following comment) are some of the books (not a full list) I have relied on to wrap my mind around the subject.

        Which of these books have you read? Which books on religious Zionism (and the connections between Zionism and Judaism, ancient and modern) do you recommend that don’t appear on my list?

        The single most valuable book I have found so far is this one:

        1988; Yehoshafat Harkabi; Israel’s Fateful Hour; Harper & Row

        Harkabi, a true visionary and big league strategic thinker, was the head of Israeli military intelligence from 1955 through 1959.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 2:52 pm

        No, the Knesset does.

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 3:06 pm

        hophmi,

        A perfect example of the fusion of Zionism with Judaism, hot off the press. The money quote:

        “He [Perry Farrell] also claimed Jews had been present in Palestine for “3,300 years” and that ISRAEL’S EXISTENCE WAS JUSTIFIED BY THE TORAH.” [my emphasis]

        BEGIN ARTICLE
        TITLE Promoter who raised money for Israeli army to hold Lollapalooza on ruins of Palestinian village
        AUTHOR Benjamin Doherty
        PUBLICATION Electronic Intifada
        DATE August 5, 2012
        URL link to electronicintifada.net
        BEGIN QUOTES
        Lollapalooza, the corporate concert franchise founded by Jane’s Addiction frontman, pro-Israeli fundraiser and activist Perry Farrell, is to launch in Tel Aviv in August 2013. The lineup will be announced in January 2013 according to Haaretz.

        Farrell previously raised money for Israeli army soldiers during Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

        The Lollapalooza music festival — held annually in Chicago — is run by the company of noted Hollywood agent and brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It will also be held next year in an Israeli park built over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha whose residents were forced to flee their homes under attack by Zionist militias in 1948.

        When asked in another interview whether Tel Aviv had any “personal significance” to him as a choice of venue for Lollapalooza, Farrell responded, “let’s just say that I think that it’s a place that needs good music. It deserves it, it demands it, and so it shall be.”

        What Farrell (born Peretz Bernstein) did not discuss is that he has been an avid supporter and political activist on behalf of Israel who has previously raised money for Zionist causes — including the Israeli army — and also has attempted to launch concert festivals in Israel.

        In another video interview at the 2009 fundraiser for Israeli soldiers, Farrell spoke about his love of Israel and his belief that it needed better public relations. It would appear that with Lollapalooza Israel, he is putting that belief into practice.

        Farrell specifically called for people to pass around “viral” anti-Palestinian videos about “the children of Hamas, about how they raise their children.” Pro-Israel activists have often circulated videos demonizing Palestinian children in order to justify or excuse Israel’s killing of hundreds of them.

        He also claimed Jews had been present in Palestine for “3,300 years” and that Israel’s existence was justified by the Torah.
        END QUOTES
        END ARTICLE

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 3:20 pm

        hophmi,

        To be clear about my views:

        I think there are great and positive things in Judaism.

        I think there are great and positive things (to say the least) in the Enlightenment/humanist Jewish tradition.

        I think there could have been great and positive things in Zionism, if it had made the right decisions, which it hasn’t.

        Currently Zionism and Judaism are locked in an embrace that is destroying both traditions, while the Enlightenment/humanist Jewish tradition is disappearing entirely. The Jewish tradition has been hijacked by religious Zionists and they are driving it into the ground.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 3:27 pm

        “What explains it?”

        Oh, it jus’ dat ol’ pretentious Anglophile orthography what done give me the heebee-jeebies, honey-chile! Or maybe I just couldn’t afford to “Dress British and speak Yiddish“, so I do the next best thing.
        But you got me, dead to rights, I do, for some reason not entirely clear, prefer the “s” spellings.
        And I was raised on Long Island. I most certainly did not “grow up” there. Good Lord, evets, haven’t you read enough of my comments to form a reasonable opinion on how much I’ve grown up? And of course my posts are moving, it makes them harder to hit.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 4:08 pm

        “Sean, this is just nonsense, from beginning to end.

        It is NOT the view of mainstream scholarship on Zionism that Zionism comes from the same intellectual tradition as European fascist movement. You repeat this again, and it is still the same nonsense that it was before. It is a minority view, not held by serious scholars…”

        I note that you don’t actually rebut the argument. You merely appeal to ‘serious scholars.’

        Which ones? And in any case, their verdict wouldn’t be conclusive. Until the sixteenth century, ‘serious scholars’ held that the sun rotated around the earth. That didn’t cause it to be so.

        Go ahead. Rebut the argument. Would you like me to state it for you?

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 4:20 pm

        hophmi,

        Google [netanyahu amalek]
        Google [netanyahu esther]

        Two of thousands of hits:

        “Netanyahu Sees Iran as Amalek, Advisor Says”
        link to israelnationalnews.com

        “Netanyahu gives Obama the Book of Esther. Biblical parable for nuclear Iran?”
        link to csmonitor.com

        Benjamin Netanyahu, and Likud in general (Israel’s ruling political party) is drenched in symbols, myths, themes and memes from ancient Judaism.

        The core biblical theme: Eretz Yisrael vs. the nations. Likud is officially committed to building Eretz Yisrael (mythical Greater Israel).

        “The Jewish people” and “the Land of Israel” are mystical concepts in Likud rhetoric — in the same tradition as Nazi rhetoric about the mystical “German volk.” This is why Lehi (the ideological predecessor of Likud, Yitzhak Shamir’s gang) felt fully comfortable in referring to the “volkish-national Hebrium” when it tried to forge an alliance with Nazi Germany. These are racial and genetic concepts packaged as religious ideologies.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 4:30 pm

        Mooser –

        Thanks for clearing things up. I guess it’s just what happens when you contain multitudes.

      • Kris
        August 7, 2012, 6:03 pm

        //The Israeli government has done everything in its power to convince Christian evangelicals that Zionism = Judaism, and it has largely succeeded.//

        True, but it would be more accurate to say that the Israeli government has tried to convince EVERYONE that Zionism = Judaism. This has been how the Israelis have been able to block awareness of their crimes for so long–any criticism of Zionism has been criticized as “antisemitism.”

        People are losing their fear of criticizing Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, and also increasingly aware of the malign influence of wealthy Zionist Jews on our government and news media. As you say, “Mixing politics and religion is almost always a bad idea,” and in this case, it is extremely dangerous, especially as economic and social conditions continue to deteriorate, since we know that it is times like these that lead to dangerous scapegoating and violence.

        I am an extremely average Christian baby-boomer, and throughout my life, as soon as I became interested in something, suddenly there were millions of women just like me who were also interested in it. It has been affirming in a way, but also, because so many experiences throughout my life have affirmed how average and predictable I am, very humbling. No one wants to be ordinary!

        So I have no doubt that many, many people just like me have stopped caring if someone accuses them of “antisemitism” for criticizing Israel, and have started looking at their Jewish friends, who are so silent on the one issue where they could make a difference, and wondering how our Jewish friends could believe that the lesson of the Holocaust was that Jews are entitled to steal and murder in the Middle East, and everyone else should look the other way. “Never again” turns out to apply to Jews only.

        I know that lots of other boomers grew up on Bible stories, just like me, and I’m sure there were many like me who were also repelled by the hateful story of Esther, as well as all the other stories in which the Jews imagined that God endorsed their wholesale slaughter of men, women, children, babies, and animals.

        Now, as we are becoming aware of what the “Jewish state” of Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, it will not be surprising if many people think back to those stories in which the “chosen people” thought God was on the side of violence and murder, and imagine that it is Judaism itself that fuels Israel’s murderous rampages.

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 9:17 am

        When Netanyahu started talking about his ring the symbol what it represents to him…nuts hooey scary. Voices from god. We are talking about people who either believe in science fiction and myths or clearly just use them to do as they please

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 10:39 am

        “Thanks for clearing things up. I guess it’s just what happens when you contain multitudes.”

        I might have contained millipedes once, but the doctor gave me some medicine. Wormed me like a puppy, and they never came back.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 11:47 am

        For the reading list on religious Zionism I mentioned, see here:

        Books on religious Zionism by newest
        link to seanmcbride.tumblr.com

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 11:52 am

        hophmi,

        Some key datapoints on religious Zionism — how many dots can you connect in how many ways?

        1. 700 Club 2. Abraham 3. Abraham Isaac Kook 4. Amalek 5. Anders Breivik 6. Ariel Sharon 7. Armageddon 8. Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) 9. Aviezer Ravitzky 10. Baruch Goldstein 11. Benjamin Netanyahu 12. Bible 13. Cal Thomas 14. CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) 15. Chabad Lubavitch 16. Christian Coalition 17. Christian Zionism 18. Chuck Schumer 19. CNP (Council for National Policy) 20. Confederacy 21. CUFI (Christians United for Israel) 22. Cyrus Scofield 23. Dan Quayle 24. Daniel Lapin 25. David Brog 26. David Horowitz 27. David Shipler 28. Dennis Prager 29. Deuteronomy 30. Dore Gold 31. Ehud Sprinzak 32. Elliott Abrams 33. Elliott Horowitz 34. Eretz Yisrael 35. Eric Cantor 36. Erik Prince 37. Esther 38. Exodus 39. Franklin Graham 40. Gary Bauer 41. George W. Bush 42. Gershom Gorenberg 43. Glenn Beck 44. God 45. Gog and Magog 46. goyim 47. Grace Halsell 48. Gush Emunim 49. Hal Lindsey 50. Ham 51. haredim 52. Hashem 53. Hebron 54. Ian Lustick 55. IFCJ (International Fellowship of Chistians and Jews) 56. Irving Kristol 57. Ishmael 58. Israel Shahak 59. Israeli settlers 60. Isser Harel 61. Jack Abramoff 62. James Woolsey 63. Jerry Falwell 64. Jerusalem 65. Jewish messianism 66. Jewish Press 67. Jewish World Review 68. Joe Lieberman 69. Joel C. Rosenberg 70. John Ashcroft 71. John Hagee 72. Joseph Farah 73. Judea and Samaria 74. Kahanism 75. Karen Armstrong 76. Kenn Starr 77. Kevin Phillips 78. Likud 79. Maccabees 80. Maimonides 81. Meir Kahane 82. Menachem Begin 83. Menachem Schneerson 84. Michael Ledeen 85. Michael Oren 86. Mike Evans 87. Mike Huckabee 88. Mitt Romney 89. Mizrachi 90. Mormon Zionism 91. Moshe Feiglin 92. Moshiach 93. Natan Sharansky 94. National Religious Party 95. Nelson Darby 96. Neturei Karta 97. Newt Gingrich 98. Noachide Laws 99. Norman Podhoretz 100. Norton Mevinsky 101. Oliver North 102. One Jerusalem 103. Oral Roberts University 104. Orthodox Judaism 105. Ovadia Yosef 106. Pat Robertson 107. Purim 108. Ralph Reed 109. Rick Santorum 110. Robert I. Friedman 111. Rosemary Ruether 112. Sarah Palin 113. Scofield Bible 114. Shas 115. spitting 116. Stephen Harper 117. Stephen Sizer 118. Stephen Spector 119. Talmud 120. the chosen people 121. the nations 122. the promised land 123. Third Temple 124. Tim LaHaye 125. Timothy Weber 126. Torah 127. True Torah Jews Against Zionism 128. ultra-Orthodox 129. Victoria Clark 130. William Boykin 131. William Kristol 132. WorldNetDaily 133. Yechiel Eckstein 134. Yehoshafat Harkabi 135. Yigal Amir 136. Yitzhak Shapira

      • jon s
        August 9, 2012, 1:27 am

        Kris,
        “The hateful story of Esther”- The story of Esther is a wonderful story of the Jews succesfully dodging a premeditated genocide and the holiday of Purim is a happy, harmless, kid-friendly festival.
        What’s “hateful” is the hate that oozes from virtually every word in your post.

      • Kris
        August 9, 2012, 4:41 am

        Jon s,
        Here’s the gist of the story: Prime Minister Haman gets the King to okay the massacre of all the Jews. Then Esther and her uncle convince the King to change his mind–there will be no massacre of the Jews. Haman, who had plotted the massacre with his wife and advisers, is executed.

        This is not enough for Esther and her uncle. They get the King’s permission to massacre all of their enemies, and have 78,800 people killed.

        Happy, harmless, kid-friendly???? Not unless you think kids should be taught to celebrate ruthless killers.

        This is what would have made it a good story: Esther and her uncle rejoice that they have saved their own people. Because they take the sixth commandment seriously, they decide that instead of killing the 78,800 non-Jews, they will invite them all to a series of big feasts with the Jews and find ways that the Jews can befriend them.

        That would be kid-friendly, and might have set a better example to the Zionists who decided to move to Palestine. Imagine if they had decided to become friends and brothers with the Palestinians, instead of robbing and killing them.

      • jon s
        August 9, 2012, 11:41 am

        Kris,
        Do you really think that the appropriate way of dealing with people indoctrinated and trained to kill the Jews should have been to invite them to a feast? Sure , works evey time…
        Purim, in practice, is indeed happy and kid-friendly, celebrating succesful self-defense in avoiding genocide. And we eat Haman’s ears.
        Apparently you also think that the Zionists simply “decided” to rob and kill, instead of becoming friends and brothers. When did that happen?

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 11:47 am

        “The hateful story of Esther”- The story of Esther is a wonderful story of the Jews succesfully dodging a premeditated genocide and the holiday of Purim is a happy, harmless, kid-friendly festival.

        I’ve commented in the past on the proposition that many Jews have used charges of “blood libel” and Purim to excuse and conceal violence against others. That fact is fairly incontrovertible. See for example:
        *Elliott Horowitz, “Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence”, link to press.princeton.edu
        *The report about the pipe bomb concealed in a Purim basket delivered to to a Messianic household link to usatoday.com
        *Sheikh Jarrah Jews praise Baruch Goldstein on Purim: Residents of east Jerusalem neighborhood celebrate holiday with songs of praise for Cave of Patriarchs massacre. link to ynetnews.com

      • lysias
        August 9, 2012, 12:27 pm

        And Netanyahu gave Obama a copy of the Book of Esther back in May. Netanyahu gives Obama the Book of Esther. Biblical parable for nuclear Iran?. The book is clearly of more than historic interest.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 1:16 pm

        This is another antisemitic game. No celebration of Purim that I have been to has emphasized the military aspect of Purim. In most Haggadot used in synagogues across the United States, the verses regarding the battle between the Jews and the Hamanites are not translated. Purim is seen as a holiday of redemption.

        And there is no evidence of any genocide. The most you can read is that there was a war between Jews and others in the Persian Empire. But again, it’s not the part of the story Jews emphasize today.

        To put a genocide gloss on it is just another example of the anti-Jewish bigotry here. To suggest Jews celebrate murdering 78,000 people is untrue, and the equivalent of a massive blood libel.

      • lysias
        August 9, 2012, 1:55 pm

        You don’t think Netanyahu had military matters in mind when he gave Obama a copy of the Book of Esther in May?

      • tree
        August 9, 2012, 2:40 pm

        … the holiday of Purim is a happy, harmless, kid-friendly festival.

        Being in Israel, you should know better, jon.

        From the Intro to Elliot Horowitz’ “Reckless Rites:Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence”:

        In May of 1982, shortly before I immigrated to the state of Israel, the “Karp Commission” issued its findings regarding Jewish violence on the West Bank–under Israeli control since 1967–including events that had transpired in Hebron over the (extended) holiday of Purim, 1981. Although at that point the Jewish presence in Hebron itself had not yet been renewed–most Jews had abandoned the “City of the Patriarchs” after the massacre of 1929, and the last had departed in 1947–on Friday (March 20), the first day of Purim, settlers from neighboring Kiryat Arbah came to celebrate the holiday in Beit Hadassah, which had once housed a Jewish infirmary and a synagogue. By Friday evening they had managed, allegedly through their spirited dancing, to bring the roof down over the Arab-owned upholstery shop downstairs. Since Purim in Hebron is traditionally celebrated over two days (the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar) the settlers settled down in Beit Hadassah for another day of boisterous festivity, which in 1981 coincided with the Jewish Sabbath.

        The Arab upholsterer, who had closed his shop before noon on Friday as was his custom, returned the next day to find a large hole in his ceiling, and proceeded to the local (Israeli) police station, but did not file a formal complaint–hoping, he later explained to investigators, that after repairing the hole quiet could be restored. He began work on repairing the ceiling, as he had been advised by the (Arab) municipality, but his new neighbors upstairs insisted that he stop, “on account of the sanctity of the Sabbath.” When the upholsterer returned on Saturday evening, he was forcibly prevented by the settlers from continuing with the repairs. Around midnight an officer from the (Israeli) military governor’s office arrived and saw that the entire ceiling had collapsed, and that young settlers were removing the contents of the shop. When he asked them what was going on, they replied that the shop’s ceiling had collapsed and that they were removing the cotton fabric so that it would not get soiled. When the same officer returned some two and a half hours later, after having been informed that the shop’s door was open, one of the settlers reportedly told him (in Hebrew) that he was witnessing the renewal of Hebron’s Jewish community.

        On Sunday the upholsterer returned to find his shop devastated. While he was sitting at its entrance mourning his fate, three armed settlers emerged from Beit Hadassah and asked him to leave. When he replied that it was his shop, they pushed him away violently. He then returned to the police station and filed a formal complaint. The police investigation was completed nearly a year later, in February of 1982. The state attorney’s office decided the following March to close the case, both on the grounds of insufficient evidence and because the Arab upholsterer had by then received financial compensation. The Karp Report, however, found it both “highly disturbing” and worthy of note that, according to the police superintendent’s affidavit, Hebron’s military governor had instructed the commander of the local police station not to investigate the incident.8

        On Purim of 1986, five years after the festive reconquest of Beit Hadassah, Jewish settlers paraded through Hebron carrying puppets of various images from the book of Esther, including, of course, that of Haman. When they arrived at Beit Romano, one of the other local buildings that had been owned by Jews prior to 1948, one of the settlers, as reported by Haaretz correspondent Uri Nir, placed a kaffiyeh on the effigy of Haman, which was being hung. The local Arabs, understandably, took offense, and only the timely intervention by a representative of the military government–who demanded that the settlers remove the kaffiyeh–prevented a violent confrontation. It is not unlikely that Dr. Baruch Goldstein, who immigrated from the United States to Kiryat Arbah in 1983–and who by 1984 already had a police record in Hebron–participated in the Purim parade of 1986.9

        Three years later, according to the same correspondent’s report, the (by then) traditional Purim parade through Arab Hebron was even more provocative. Jewish settlers carried a skeleton with a kaffiyeh on its head and a noose around its neck, and also burned Palestinian flags. Some Jewish children carried toy rifles, which they pointed menacingly at their Palestinian counterparts. From the city’s central square the festive settlers, many in masquerade, continued to the Tomb of the Patriarchs into which they sought to introduce a Torah ark–contrary to regulations–during the time normally set aside for Muslim prayer. “The shoving match . . . continued for some time,” reported Nir, “and provided such surreal scenes as [Israeli soldiers] struggling with [Jewish] settlers dressed as Arabs, in an effort to protect the ‘real’ Arabs who were in the vicinity.”10

        The following year, in 1990, the Purim parade departed from Beit Hadassah toward the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and in that year, too, Palestinian flags were burned in the streets of Arab Hebron. Some of the Jewish participants were again provocatively dressed as Palestinians, but Noam Arnon, then spokesman for the settler organization Gush Emunim, chose to wear a “Peace Now” t-shirt with a kaffiyeh on his head–suggesting an inner affinity between those two sartorial objects. Four years later the holiday of Purim coincided with the first Friday of Ramadan–as delicate a situation as one could imagine in the embattled city of the Patriarchs. On that fateful Friday morning Dr. Goldstein brought his semiautomatic rifle with him to Purim prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs and fired into the neighboring room where Muslims were at prayer. Since then, for me and for many others, Purim has never been the same.

        In Hebron, however, little changed, even after the murder, in November 1995, of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir, a law student at Bar-Ilan University (where I was then teaching) and an admirer of Goldstein.11 On Purim of 1997, according to Haaretz correspondent Amira Segev, Hebron’s traditional Purim parade, which by then departed from the Jewish “neighborhood” of Tel Rumeida, was headed by a Lubavitch “mitzvah tank,” and Noam Arnon, who by then had become spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, (cross-) dressed as the outspoken left-wing parliamentarian Shulamit Aloni, who had been a minister in Rabin’s government. One young woman was dressed as Margalit Har-Shefi, a Bar-Ilan law student and West Bank resident who had been arrested in connection with her classmate’s assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

        In 1998 the Purim parade again stretched from Tel Rumeida to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the site of the 1994 Purim massacre. Noam Federman, a Kahanist resident of Tel Rumeida, was dressed, according to Haaretz correspondent Tami Sokol, as Leah Rabin in witch’s garb, with a sticker that ominously read “Shalom, Leah”–a ghoulish allusion to Bill Clinton’s famous words of farewell to Yitzhak Rabin at the latter’s funeral. And one of the settler children was dressed as the local Jewish saint, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, wearing a stethoscope and carrying a rifle. He was apparently one of many local Jewish children that year who chose that macabre masquerade–presumably with the approval of their parents.12

        Purim in Hebron after 1994 was like Purim in Hebron since 1981, only more so–with a new Jewish hero for Jewish children to dress up as. And in Jerusalem the fashion of categorizing fellow Jews as Amalekites reached new highs–or lows. In late February of 1996, after a bus blew up on Jaffa road, a reporter for Ma’ariv heard a passerby exclaim: “This is all due to the leftists of Meretz. We will take care of them. For us they are Amalek.”13 Four years later Israel’s controversial Education Minister Yossi Sarid, one of the founders–with the aforementioned Shulamit Aloni–of Meretz, had the distinction of being designated an Amalekite by no less an authority than Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, the founder and spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party, and the most widely respected rabbinical figure among Oriental and Sephardic Jews throughout the world. In a public address delivered in March of 2000, shortly before the holiday of Purim, Rabbi Yosef compared the veteran left-wing politician to Haman, adding that “he is wicked and satanic and must be erased like Amalek.” The office of Israel’s attorney general pursued a criminal investigation (on grounds of possible incitement to violence) but the great rabbi was never charged.14

        link to press.princeton.edu

        NONE of this is “kid-friendly”, jon. It is inculcating hate in Israeli Jewish children, through the use (or misuse) of the Purim “festival”. Celebrating doing unto others what you would not want done to you, as Israeli Jewish participants in the Purim festival over the years have celebrated, is, as eloquently spoken by Rabbi Hillel, against the sacred tenets of Judaism.

      • Kris
        August 9, 2012, 3:01 pm

        Pre-emptive killing is not self-defense, Jon s. Not when Obama does it, not when Esther does it, not when Israel does it, and not when anybody does it. I think it partially the example of stories like Esther’s that has influenced many Jews and Christians to think that killing is “the appropriate way of dealing with people indoctrinated and trained to kill the Jews” or anyone else. (As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.) But pre-emptive killing is a stupid, as well as evil, strategy. How many more enemies do you suppose Esther’s mass murder gained for the Jews? How many more enemies are Israel and the U.S. creating every single day?

        Should we pre-emptively kill every Aryan nation sympathizer, as well as every Israeli who has been advocating death to Arabs? How about every white racist who expresses satisfaction that famine wipes out blacks in Africa? While we’re at it, should we kill everyone who hates the U.S. and Israel? The problem with your philosophy is that it breeds more and more justifiable hatred, and more and more killing.

        Esther and her uncle could have been generous and compassionate in victory, and tried to make friends with their enemies. This would have involved hospitality (which carries a huge value in the Middle East), and trying to find out why their enemies hated them, and then trying to make amends and common cause. In order to do this, they would have had to treat their enemies with respect, as if they were people, too.

        But we have seen from hateful stories like Esther’s, as well other Old Testament accounts of massacres by the Jews, and from rabbis in Israel today, that many Jews consider non-Jews to be sub-human, worthy of no respect or consideration at all.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 4:40 pm

        This is another antisemitic game. No celebration of Purim that I have been to

        Hophmi you’re function here is to play the antisemite card. I provided a book from Princeton University Press about the legacy of Jewish violence associated with Purim and two notable and recent examples. Here are some more articles which note that Purim and the eternal war against Amalek can be used as an excuse for modern-day Jewish aggression:
        *The Ghosts of Purim Past: The holiday’s violent beginnings—and what they mean for the Jewish future. link to slate.com
        *Israel’s Orthodox Rabbis: ‘Palestinians to the Ovens!’ link to richardsilverstein.com
        * Judaism: Amalek: War Against the Root of Evil: The obligation to kill every single Amalekite, only applies in a case where they refuse to accept the fundamental mitzvoth which the Torah places upon all of the Children of Noah. Today, the seed of Amalek has been lost; however, if becomes clear that a certain person is an Amalekite, following in their ways, it would be a mitzvah to kill him (see, Kol Mevaser 2:42). link to israelnationalnews.com
        *Israeli settlers in Hebron attack a Palestinian school during the festival of Purim link to youtube.com

        Here is an example where this particular form of hate speech was the object of a lengthy exercise in wishy-washy apologetics:

        The point, of course, is that an invocation of Amalek is serious business. Rabbi Reimer wasn’t issuing a literal call to arms, but by associating “Islamo-Fascists” with Amalek, Rabbi Reimer was referencing the Jewish tradition’s genocidal instincts. Jewish authorities have struggled with this commandment for centuries, but the issue is perhaps even more urgent now.

        For the last 2,000 years the Jewish people have lacked political sovereignty. With the return to the land of Israel, however, this is no longer the case. Invoking Amalek during the centuries of military impotency was one thing. Today, when there is a Jewish state with an army–and armed citizenry–it is quite another. . . . . Even if most people would not invoke the commandment to destroy Amalek today, there are certainly those, like Rabbi Riemer, who have ventured to do so. And there has been no dearth of similar, violent invocations in reference to the Palestinians, as well. For example, Benzi Lieberman, the chairman of the Council of Settlements said in no uncertain terms: “The Palestinians are Amalek! We will destroy them. We won’t kill them all. But we will destroy their ability to think as a nation. We will destroy Palestinian nationalism.”

        The general consensus among today’s Jewish community seems to be that our energies can and must be used to stop the perpetuation of genocidal activity occurring throughout the world, to become agents for peace, and to dismiss any contemporary comparisons to the biblical paradigm. But clearly there are difficult texts and teaching that remain in our tradition that must be remembered and reckoned with.

        link to myjewishlearning.com

        Regardless of the nature of your Purim celebrations, it’s not antisemetic to call attention to the undeniable beliefs of other practitioners of Judaism who are not so circumspect in their words and deeds.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 4:58 pm

        “Hophmi you’re function here is to play the antisemite card.”

        It tends to happens when people are antisemites.

        Like I said, I’ve never been a Purim celebration where people focused on what happens at the end of the Megillah. That there are few crazy extremists out there does not change that fact. They are the exception that proves the rule. Some theoretical statement that if we knew who it was it would be a mitzvah is beside the point. We don’t know, and theologically, we are not going to know in this day and age. Like Norman Finkelstein once said, it’s like saying if grandma had wheels, would she be a baby buggy? It’s irrelevant.

      • Citizen
        August 9, 2012, 5:27 pm

        @ hophmi
        Except, in Purim celebrations the Jewish grandma has wheels these days because Israel is a nuclear-armed state rubber-stamped by the sole superpower state–so loose talk about Amalek is very troubling indeed; and Bibi N uses the term in association with Iran–he’s hoping both Obama
        and/or Mitt will be seduced–he’s Esther in his own mind, or at least, Esther’s uncle: link to thedailybeast.com

        The concept of preemptive war/genocide is clearly a lesson in the story of Esther. It’s not hard to find right-wing orthodox Jewish Israeli sorts who’d carry this lesson into the present. Bibi clearly thinks he’s battling Amalek, and he want’s POTUS support. I doubt whether either goy candidate looked at just what all’s justified in the Story of Esther.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 5:42 pm

        Some theoretical statement that if we knew who it was it would be a mitzvah is beside the point.

        There’s nothing theoretical about the Rabbis above who’ve publicly targeted the Palestinians for destruction or ethnic cleansing. They are not a few crazy extremists, they’ve included the Chief Rabbis of the State of Israel and the IDF:

        *No Safe Place – The Report of the Arab League’s Independent Fact Finding Committee Following “Operation Cast Lead” noted that some individual IDF soldiers may have had the mens rea and actus reus of crimes of genocide and might therefore be prosecuted for this crime. That finding was based on the brutality of some of the killing and reliable public reports that some soldiers had acted under the influence of rabbis who had encouraged them to believe that the Holy Land should be cleansed of non-Jews.
        link to idi.org.il
        *Stories circulated in the wake of Operation Cast Lead that an IDF officer handed out booklets to troops during Israel’s military incursion in the Gaza Strip urging soldiers to show no mercy to their enemies. The IDF merely reprimanded the officer. Several months later the IDF did nothing at all when its Chief Rabbi engaged in the same form of incitement saying: Troops who show mercy to the enemy will be ‘damned’ –
        #link to haaretz.com
        #link to haaretz.com
        *Former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza. Eliyahu delivered the ruling in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert published in Olam Katan, a weekly pamphlet distributed in synagogues nationwide. He called for carpet bombing and cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides’ commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision. Eliyahu wrote that according to Jewish war ethics an entire city holds collective responsibility and said the entire populace of Gaza is responsible. The former chief rabbi also said it was forbidden to risk the lives of IDF soldiers for fear of injuring or killing Palestinian noncombatants living in Gaza. link to jpost.com
        *Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira, Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar and Rabbi Dov Lior have written that “The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew.” and that Non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature” and attacks on them “curb their evil inclination,” while babies and children of Israel’s enemies may be killed since “it is clear that they will grow to harm us.” The State Rabbinate has refused to comment and Knesset members from Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism and National Union have introduced bills which seek to absolve rabbis of criminal responsibility, and make them immune to legal action in such cases.
        link to ynetnews.com
        link to forward.com
        *Moment Magazine quoted Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman as saying: “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children and cattle. link to haaretz.com

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 6:17 pm

        I doubt whether either goy candidate looked at just what all’s justified in the Story of Esther.

        Now there’s a guarded understatement. According to Jewish legend, Mordechai was pimping his wife to the King of Persia:

        The Book of Esther says, “And he adopted Haddasah, i.e., Esther…and when her mother and father died, Mordechai took her to him as a daughter.” (Esther 2)

        There are three apparent snags in this verse. First, since the verse says that Mordechai “adopted Haddasah,” why does it seem to repeat the fact that he “took her to him as a daughter?” Isn’t that the same thing? Second, there is no legal status of “adoptive parent” in Judaism; that is, you raise an orphan girl in your home, but you don’t “take her as a daughter.” Finally and most notably, “took her to him” is always used in the Torah to refer to marriage.

        Literally, then, the verse is saying that he married her.

        Why does it use the term “daughter?” The terms “sister” and “daughter” are common expressions of endearment, as we see in other places in the Torah (e.g., Ruth 2:8, Shir Hashirim 4:9) and Talmud (e.g., Shabbat 13b). The idea is that a husband and wife should develop a loving and giving relationship as one naturally has with one’s child and sibling.

        So, it’s not hard to see how the Talmudic Sages saw in this verse support for the oral tradition that says Mordechai, Esther’s cousin, was also her husband.

        From Ask The Rabbi at Ohr Somayach link to ohr.edu

        Here’s Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky, “Tzarich Iyun: Mordechai and Esther” from the Orthodox Union website:

        There is an additional relationship found in the midrash. Rashi (on Esther 2:7) cites the Talmudic (Megillah 13a) exegesis that Mordechai not only raised, but later married, Esther.[4] The Talmud (Megillah 13b) further derives from Esther 2:20 that they actually lived as husband and wife even subsequent to Esther’s being taken to the royal residence, up until the time she voluntarily went to Achashverosh. [5] However, these rabbinic interpretations supplement the straightforward meaning of the text, and do not contradict it. In contrast, I have been unable to find any traditional source that says that Mordechai was Esther’s uncle, for to say so would contradict the text. . . .4. This exegesis is already found in the Septuagint (Esther 2:7) which reads: “When her parents were dead, he [Mordechai] brought her up as a wife for himself …” Some modern commentators suggest that the Greek translator may have misread “bayit” instead of “bat,” a difference of a small yud. It is more likely he was familiar with the already well-known oral tradition that was later recorded in the Talmud.

        link to ou.org

      • jon s
        August 11, 2012, 1:58 am

        I’m well aware of the despicable actions of the settlers in Hebron, including their “take” on Purim. They are as representative of Israeli society as the KKK is of American. Even their use of the “Amalekite” label is at odds with Jewish tradition, which has always regarded the Arabs as “Yishmaelim”, fellow children of Abraham, our “cousins”.
        By and large Purim is celebrated throughout the Jewish world as a happy, funny, festival, as anyone who has attended a Purim party knows. It’s not taken as a justification for genocide especially since there’s no “genocide” in the megillah itself, except the one that was to be perpetrated on the Jews.

        As to pre-emptive action, I wouldn’t rule it out in all cases. The opening of the 6 Days War is a good example of a justified pre-empive strike. Or think of this: imagine that 9/11 could have been prevented by a pre-empive strike on an AlQaeda training facility.
        On the other hand I’m very much opposed to the plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, for a variety of reasons. So I would take a case-by-case approach to the issue of pre-emption.

        Shmuel, do you have a good translation for:
        הקם להורגך השכם להורגו

      • Shmuel
        August 11, 2012, 5:44 am

        Shmuel, do you have a good translation for:
        הקם להורגך השכם להורגו

        It is the principle of individual self-defence or justifiable homicide, with all of the usual qualifications (homicidal intent, stopping the attacker by other means, etc.). Its application to pre-emptive military action (or extrajudicial killing, or political assassination or terrorist attack) is problematic, to say the least.

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2012, 8:47 am

        They are as representative of Israeli society as the KKK is of American.

        I cited articles about a Conservative Rabbi who served as an advisor to President Clinton, A popular American Chabad Rabbi, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, the head of the regional council for Judea and Samaria, and several members of the Knesset who wish to immunize them from incitement laws. They all publicly targeted the Palestinians for destruction or ethnic cleansing and many of them figuratively invoked Amalek.

        It’s not taken as a justification for genocide especially since there’s no “genocide” in the megillah itself, except the one that was to be perpetrated on the Jews.

        The 9th chapter of the scroll of Esther says that 75,800 Gentiles were killed. See The Megillah: link to chabad.org

        As to pre-emptive action, I wouldn’t rule it out in all cases. The opening of the 6 Days War is a good example of a justified pre-empive strike.

        The American Society of International Law created a President’s Task Force on Terrorism in 2002. Society Vice President, Mary Ellen O’Connell, published a report “The Myth of Preemptive Self-Defense”. O’Connell said that in the past commentators had defended Israel’s attack on Egypt on the grounds that it was anticipatory self-defense. She cited contrary evidence, like General Rabin’s remarks in the now infamous Le Monde interview, and said: “Israel stated that it had convincing intelligence that Egypt would attack and that Egyptian preparations were underway. We now know that the Israel acted on less than convincing evidence. Thus, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war does not provide an actual example of lawful anticipatory self-defense.”

        In “Assessing Claims of a New Doctrine of Preemptive War Under the Doctrine of Sources”, James Thuo Gathii says that many scholars and state officials do not support the notion that customary law permits the unilateral use of preemptive force without UN approval. He notes that State practice, opinio juris, and some legal scholars do distinguish between preemptive wars (which are illegal) and preemptive strikes under certain rare circumstances, i.e. anticipatory self-defense when a threat is imminent. He says ‘there has yet to be a good case in which the very limited and contested notion of anticipatory self-defense met the Caroline test. The closest case that might have, but is now regarded as not having met the criteria, was Israel’s first strike against Egypt in the 1967. Few regarded it as a good example of a permissible anticipatory attack, especially after it became clear following the attack that there was no overwhelming threat that justified the measure to ensure Israel’s survival. Many States criticized the attack, which made it clear that the attack would not serve as a precedent to legitimize “a general right of anticipatory self defense.” see Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 1-34
        link to ssrn.com

      • Citizen
        August 11, 2012, 11:58 am

        @ Hostage
        Very quick glance looks like 500 + 300 + 75,800.

        Saw one hour show on ’67 war on cable TV a day or so ago. Conclusion was that Egypt had prepared for its army to go on parade, while over the years before the war Israel had been preparing to attack Egypt: Israel intelligence had the exact time the entire Egyptian air force would be standing down in unison, eating their dinner. Israel had micro-reconned and mapped out every conceivable narrow pathway across the S desert, most especially where the Egyptians had figured nobody could cross the array of giant dunes with tanks, which they could not. The Israelis found the streaky narrow pathways, and they had learned how to travel with jeeps in the softest sands–by reducing the air in the tires. Not only did Israel spends years planning their attack, they did the dame on the Golan Heights, where a Mossad double spy mapped out every Syrian defense post, and then convinced the Syrian regime to plant trees around each of them to shield the good Syrian soldiers at the outposts from the sun. Otherwise the area was barren and the Israeli air force used the trees as target markers.

        Also, the Arab soldiers who died in that war mostly died from dehydration. They carried very little water. The Israelis trained their soldiers to drink a canteen full of water every hour, which kept them in ready shape.

        The Israelis also purchased thousands of US Army tanks of late 50s make and upgraded them in preparation for dealing with the Russian tanks the Arabs had.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 2:23 pm

        - “Zionism’s racism was virtually indistinguishable from that of other ethnic-nationalist and colonialist movements” – Shmuel

        I bet most Zionists/Israelis will contest your assertion. When you leave out “racist” and just say: ‘Our movement is indistinguishable from other ethnic-nationalist movements’, I bet most will say: ‘No, we are unique.’

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 2:41 pm

        I bet most Zionists/Israelis will contest your assertion.

        Are we trying to understand the phenomenon, or are we just going to take “true believers” at their word? That Zionists or Israelis may perceive their ideology/nation in a certain way certainly doesn’t make it so. Just look at some of the myths many of them believe.

        I would also not make such a sweeping generalisation about Zionists or Israelis. How often have we heard that Zionism is simply the Jewish national movement and that Israel is Jewish the way France is French or, if you insist on the religious aspect, like the UK is Anglican? So is Israel the product of uniquely Jewish values, or is it merely the Jewish “place under the sun”? Is Israel a modern nation state, or the [secular] Kingdom of Shaddai? You believe the answer is obvious – if only because that is what some Zionists and Israelis assert. But what if other Zionists and Israelis assert the opposite, and what if they are simply wrong?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 2:59 pm

        -“are we just going to take “true believers” at their word?” – Shmuel
        ———–
        Their beliefs may be metaphysical – but it’s real in its consequences.

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 3:08 pm

        Their beliefs may be metaphysical – but it’s real in its consequences.

        That is a truism, but not the point you were trying to make in your original comment:

        You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
        Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Shmuel,
        I can only refer you to what I said about the ‘Avenue of the Righteous’ in my comment on Yad Vashem above. This Avenue is a memorial to Maimonides’ religious Jewish racism. – And obviously Israel officially identifies with it.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 4:15 pm

        Shmuel,
        There is a logical possibility that you seem to favor

        1. Israel has secular racism (Phil says so)
        2. Traditional Judaism has a religious racism (Maimonides)

        But the two aren’t related. Israel’s racism doesn’t stem from her religious Jewishness but from her being nationalist-colonial like others.

      • hophmi
        August 6, 2012, 4:30 pm

        “This Avenue is a memorial to Maimonides’ religious Jewish racism.”

        Whatever. More craziness from the cult.

      • Shmuel
        August 6, 2012, 4:58 pm

        I can only refer you to what I said about the ‘Avenue of the Righteous’ in my comment on Yad Vashem above. This Avenue is a memorial to Maimonides’ religious Jewish racism. – And obviously Israel officially identifies with it.

        The name “Yad Vashem” is taken from Isaiah 56. It is God’s promise to the righteous eunuchs. Although they cannot have children, God comforts them and tells them that he will give them “a memorial and a name”. Did the Knesset (another term very imprecisely borrowed from Jewish tradition as a substitute for the modern concept of “parliament”) mean to imply that Holocaust victims were all eunuchs, when they chose that name for Israel’s Holocaust memorial? Did they fail to notice the references to “justice and righteousness” and refraining from doing “any evil” in the first two verses of the same chapter, or did their “secular version” of these concepts include the creation of a modern ethnic nation-state (evidently it did, because they even claimed that their state was established “in the spirit of the vision of the prophets of Israel” – a rather selective if not downright dishonest assertion)?

        Similarly, the term “righteous of the nations” has little if anything to do with the concept expounded by Maimonides. It is a pretty and “authentic” Hebrew turn of phrase to express a modern concept, not without modern, ideological and political connotations.

        It is what nationalist/fascist regimes do. The Italian Fascists sought to evoke the glory of ancient Rome and to banish foreign words (especially Anglicisms) from the sacred national tongue – whether through the revival of ancient words or the creation of neologisms in the “national spirit” (one of D’Annunzio’s crusades). Was there anything authentically “Roman” about Mussolini’s movement, or was it merely a modern political movement, the product of modern political needs and thought, that employed ancient rhetoric and the illusion of continuity to lend itself that populist je ne sais quoi?

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:00 pm

        “But the two aren’t related. Israel’s racism doesn’t stem from her religious Jewishness but from her being nationalist-colonial like others.”

        or:

        “You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
        Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.”

        So which is it, Klaus?

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

        “The name “Yad Vashem” is taken from Isaiah 56. It is God’s promise to the righteous eunuchs”

        That changes everything. So with circumcision, they’re actually giving us a break. I mean it could have been a lot worse. Looks-like those ancient Bible-ites had the schvantz-cutting compulsion, real bad.
        Well, then I’ll look at the bright side. Just think what my parents might have done if they were really religious!

      • Kathleen
        August 6, 2012, 6:46 pm

        Zionist cult

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 11:38 pm

        My point was:
        There is no point in discussing Israel without pointing at Judaism.
        After all, Israel calls itself a “Jewish state”.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:15 am

        “After all, Israel calls itself a “Jewish state”.”

        Hey Klaus, if I said that Jews lie just as often as anybody else, would you accuse me of anti-Semitism?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 1:26 pm

        “If I said that Jews lie just as often as anybody else, would you accuse me of anti-Semitism?” – Mooser

        No, I would accuse you of deception for calling deceptions “lies”.

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Klaus has an extremely important argument, in the realm of “ideas not people,” as Dennis Prager emphasizes in his books, that should be considered objectively and intelligently. Dennis Prager is allowed to interpret, judge, and condemn other people’s beliefs but those who subscribe to those beliefs are not permitted to defend their own beliefs without being slammed with “antisemite;” having their claims deliberately distorted as “racist,” and shut down, even imprisoned, as “neo-Nazis.” This has been going on for decades, perhaps centuries, and it affects not just Jewish-non-Jewish relations but also Christianity’s interpretation of itself.

        The core of the conflict is seated in the meaning of — or thoughtless affirmation of — “monotheism”. The god of the Hebrew scriptures demands that his chosen people — and that does not include anyone other than Hebrews/Jews — worship hm alone, under pain of death to Jews under varying circumstances, and under a broad grant to Jews to take the lives of non-Jews for their failure to worship the “one god, yahweh.” In “Still the Best Hope,” Dennis Prager writes about what a “good thing it was” that Jews cleared out that cesspool in Canaan, where non-Yahweh was being worshipped. Canaanites might have a different pov.

        Elijah gets props for killing the 450 priests of Ba’al. How is that act any different from a white supremacist killing priests and worshipers at a Sikh temple? Yet the work of Elijah is enshrined as a holy and to be emulated.

        Monotheism is not the same as universalism. Abba Eban explains in “Heritage, Civilization & the Jews” how the god of the Hebrews becomes universalized: the Hebrew god acts in history. When, for example, the Egyptian people are seen to act in a harmful way toward Hebrews, the Hebrew process of interpreting religio-history casts Egyptians in the role of yahweh’s instrument to express yahweh’s posture toward his chosen people at the time. The Egyptian people are under the sway & control of yahweh — i.e. Yahweh has universal dominion over them — but they are decidedly not among his chosen people — by definition.

        Some people object to being the tool of a jealous and particularist god who uses them — or kills them — in order to send one message or another to his chosen people.

        Most Christians, however, endorse full incorporation of Hebrew scriptures in their own belief system, and necessarily, by extension, the right and duty of adherents to the Hebrew god to eradicate any who deviate from the ‘monotheistic’ path. Christians deal with the irrationality of this situation by claiming that Christians are the “new chosen people.” John Winthrop made that claim in staking the Massachusetts Bay colony as a Christian territory, destined to be a “light among the nations.” Roger Williams, a contemporary of Winthrop’s, held a different view, one more in line with the empirical ideas of Francis Bacon; although Thomas Jefferson, James Madison & Benjamin Franklin were closer to Williams’ view (and certainly to Bacon’s) than to Winthrop, the latter seems to have prevailed in the USA.

        Abe Foxman has made it a personal mission to disabuse the Vatican and the Christian world of the view that Christians are the successor “chosen people.”

        The British, at least from the colonial times of Winthrop, fully endorsed the incorporation of Hebrew scriptures into their mythos and ethos.

        German churchmen did not. Martin Luther was harsh and intemperate in his critique of the god of Hebrew scriptures. Four centuries later, Walter Grundmann took a more irenic approach, treading ground that Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Renan had ploughed before him — sorting out the scriptural Jesus from the human Jesus, and detaching Christianity from a Hebrew matrix.
        In “The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany,”Susannah Heschel distills the quest:

        “Most members of the Institute [for the Study and Elimination of Jewish Influence on German Church Life], particularly its academic director, Walter Grundmann, professor of New Testament at the University of Jena, regarded their work as being in the theological avant-garde, addressing and resolving a problem that had long plagued Christian theology: how to establish clear and distinct boundaries between earliest Christianity and Judaism and eliminate all traces of Jewish influence from contemporary Christian theology and religious practice.” pp. 1-2

        As Heschel notes, a large proportion of German scholars, preachers, and congregants supported Grundmann’s quest. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and large and influential groups in the American Christian community condemned Grundmann’s “rationalization” of the “inerrant” bible, and Heschel, of course, condemned the Institute as “anti-semitic” and Nazi, after first twisting herself and logic all out of shape in order to be able to call the Institute “racist.”

        At numerous junctures Heschel attacks Grundmann for “deviating from Christian tradition and doctrine.”

        That leaves wide open the question: Of what concern is it to Heschel or to any Jewish person how Christians choose to define their beliefs, and whether they choose to separate what they consider Christian beliefs and scriptures from Hebrew beliefs and scriptures? Neither Heschel nor any Jewish person has any standing whatsoever to define Christianity to Christians, any more than Dennis Prager has standing to define–and condemn– Shari’a law for Muslims.

        In the wake of the Colorado killings, a letter in a local newspaper declaimed on the necessity of “returning to God” to solve the ills manifest by the shooter’s acts.

        I’m forced to ask, What god? The god who endorsed and enabled the killing of the first-born of Egyptians? The god who endorsed Elijah’s killing of the 450 priests of Ba’al? The god who affirmed the killing and plunder of the Canaanites and Jericho? I don’t want anything to do with that god. Aren’t the American people doing the same thing as that god — killing those who are not monotheistically committed to the same beliefs as we are?

        Jefferson, Madison, Franklin established the United States Constitutional republic on notions that included the moral code of a de-scripturalized Jesus. I don’t find in that moral code of Jesus any endorsement of killing one’s enemies OR friends, real or imagined. I think that’s the Jesus Grundmann was trying to get at. Pity he did not succeed.

        Grundmann and the thousands of German people who supported his views sought to diverge from that monotheistic path, in a principled and non-violent way.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 3:33 pm

        “No, I would accuse you of deception for calling deceptions “lies”.”

        To which I would, of course, reply: “You would, wouldn’t you?”. And you have no idea, my friend, of the kind of insinuations I can freight the “wouldn’t” with. They’re nasty. I can almost hiss the word, even if it hasn’t got an “s”. Just try me, Klaus, just try me.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

        “…Some people object to being the tool of a jealous and particularist god who uses them — or kills them — in order to send one message or another to his chosen people…”

        Lol. Sounds like God needs to take a parenting class or something. His communication techniques leave a lot to be desired.

      • Carowhat
        August 7, 2012, 9:14 pm

        AllenBee, fascinating post on monotheism. It reminds me of something I’ve often wondered. Why are people so worshipful toward the idea of monotheism? Your post was the first answer to that I’ve ever seen. It allows tree believers a useful rationalization for smiting their enemies, which is to say, everyone else.

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 10:09 pm

        Biblical monotheism is a license to commit genocide against unbelievers, with the utmost self-righteousness. At least that is the way that many Abrahamic cults and cultists have interpreted it throughout history.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 11:21 am

        I bet most Zionists/Israelis will contest your assertion. When you leave out “racist” and just say: ‘Our movement is indistinguishable from other ethnic-nationalist movements’, I bet most will say: ‘No, we are unique.’

        No doubt Nicolas Chauvin thought the French people were unique. Nonetheless, that and the many other examples of Chauvinism are all pretty much the same.

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 12:44 pm

      “Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.”

      There you go, Klaus! You finally got it out in words of one syllable, clear, accessible to all. Good for you. Now, all you have to do to prove you’re not an anti-Semitic fool, is prove that these Jewish religious teachings have been unfailingly transmitted to all Jews, and they all act in rigid conformity to them, and for religious reasons. That should be a snap! Oh, did I mention you will have to determine exactly what those teachings are, and a few other….Oh never mind, Klaus, for you, it’ll be a walk in the park. Having studied Jews and all.
      But you just go on “pointing at the obvious”, Klaus. That’s the way knowledge progresses!

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 6, 2012, 2:41 pm

        -“you have to prove you’re not an anti-Semitic fool”
        ” ‘pointing at the ovious’ ”
        ——————————————–
        Fools always point at the obvious – that’s the privilege of the king’s jester.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 8:53 pm

        “Fools always point at the obvious – that’s the privilege of the king’s jester.”

        Glad you agree with me- it is obvious.

    • American
      August 6, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Could we go 24 hours on here without tunneling into Judaism re the I/P and Israel issue?
      Even if it had something to do with it for some zionist zealots you’re not going to get them to change their religious views.
      Religion is a bottomless pit discussion.

      • MHughes976
        August 6, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Yes it is! Religions always take many forms, some of them bad, some of them humane. Determining which forms are authentic is very difficult.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:18 am

        “Determining which forms are authentic is very difficult.”

        Where did you get that crazy idea? It’s easy to determine which are authentic. God never lies! So just ask Him and He’ll tell you.

    • evets
      August 6, 2012, 3:42 pm

      Klaus –

      Why the need to ascribe Israel’s misdeeds to some primal, ineradicable flaw in Jewish religion, culture and sensibility? Is it comforting to then feel that the Jews are to blame for whatever comes their way (or did in past)?

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 7:36 pm

        “Why the need to ascribe Israel’s misdeeds to some primal, ineradicable flaw in Jewish religion, culture and sensibility? Is it comforting to then feel that the Jews are to blame for whatever comes their way (or did in past)?”

        I don’t think that’s fair. The converse you imply is far more unlikely. It would be:

        ‘How could it be that Israel’s actions have nothing to do with Jewish religion, culture, and sensibility?’

        That seems improbable. This isn’t to say that ‘Jewish religion, culture, and sensibility’ (henceforth to be abbreviated JRCaS) are therefore necessarily particularly good or bad. It is, however, intrinsically unlikely that they bear no connection to Israel.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:22 am

        So please, Colin, now that you’ve decided to step in it (I knew you couldn’t resist) please tell us which teachings of Judaism should be eliminated or changed to eliminate these terrible tendencies? Don’t forget to show us how they are equally well inculcated in all Jews, and all Jews believe them in the same way.
        Of course, it would be nice if you finished up with a plea for all us Jews to improve ourselves through the Saving Power of Jesus Christ. Sort of round the thing off nicely. and don’t forget to put in a plug for torture, and the rule of the gun.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 11:36 am

        Colin –

        I happen to think Klaus is partly motivated by a desire to absolve non-Jews for whatever they’ve done to the Jews — since the Jews are inherently perfidious and basically asked for it.

        I also wonder if he’s delved that deeply into the origins of the actions of other political entities he opposes. Let’s assume he opposed apartheid. Did he seek to explain it as the inevitable result of some incurable virus in Dutch/Teutonic culture and religion.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 12:35 pm

        Evets, never argue with a man who has “walked the Judenstrasse” in Vienna and “studied the Jews”!

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 12:41 pm

        “I happen to think Klaus is partly motivated by a desire to absolve non-Jews for whatever they’ve done to the Jews — since the Jews are inherently perfidious and basically asked for it…”

        I think that’s a real stretch. On the other hand, delving into Klaus’ possible motives is also a way of avoiding dealing with the substantial content of his posts.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 12:55 pm

        @ Mooser
        Has there ever been a religious or ideological group wherein all its members were “equally well inculcated” in their terrible (or good) taught tendencies? And where all the members “believed” what they were taught “in the same way?” Can you name one? If Colin’s point is half-baked, so seems yours. Between the real and the ideal (good or bad), falls the shadow (the degrees of gray?).

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 1:51 pm

        “So please, Colin, now that you’ve decided to step in it (I knew you couldn’t resist) please tell us which teachings of Judaism should be eliminated or changed to eliminate these terrible tendencies? Don’t forget to show us how they are equally well inculcated in all Jews, and all Jews believe them in the same way.
        Of course, it would be nice if you finished up with a plea for all us Jews to improve ourselves through the Saving Power of Jesus Christ. Sort of round the thing off nicely. and don’t forget to put in a plug for torture, and the rule of the gun.”

        Thanks for the self-reviewing post. I really don’t need to say anything about it at all, do I?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 2:28 pm

        ” a man who has “walked the Judenstrasse” in Vienna and “studied the Jews”!

        Yes, I walked the “Judengasse” (not “strasse”) but I never “studied the Jews”.
        I’m not in ethnology.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 2:49 pm

        evets
        “I also wonder if he’s delved that deeply into the origins of the actions of other political entities he opposes.” –
        —————————–
        You made an assuption – in a previous post – about Jewishness that was disturbing to me, the “ineradicable flaw”. You again talk about “some incurable virus”.

        I used to strongly oppose the communist/socialist system. After thinking the whole Marxist, socialist theory to the end, I found there was indeed an ‘ineradicable flaw’ why it must collapse. That may happen with Israel also because of a flaw in Judaism. The flaw being religious racism. But is it ineradicable?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 3:39 pm

        “I really don’t need to say anything about it at all, do I?”

        I’m amazed (okay, sorry, I’m fibbing, I’m not surprised at all) it took you so long to catch on.

      • evets
        August 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

        Colin –

        I think I’ve responded to the substantive claims on prior threads.

        Others have as well — Shmuel has done so on various occasions, with erudition and panache.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Klaus says “…That may happen with Israel also because of a flaw in Judaism. The flaw being religious racism. But is it ineradicable?”

        I think that your thinking here reveals a failing Germans are particularly susceptible to — although not in the derogatory sense evets et al seem to imply.

        You overemphasize the importance of ideas. Yes, some elements in Judaism have proven convenient to the Zionists.

        At the same time, what I see as far more important is the objective situation they have created simply by positing and attempting to enforce an exclusive claim to a land populated by another people.

        I’m saying that what Judaism says is if not irrelevant, decidedly secondary to the situation Israel has created — irrespective of its ideology. Given Israel, I suspect that most groups of people placed in the role of the Jews in that state would behave about as the Jews have behaved. They would manage to find within their culture and traditions ample justification for the course of action the situation seemed to require.

        ‘The Talmud is a sea’ suggests that there’s a whole lot in it. It wouldn’t surprise me if you could draw from it justification for almost any conceivable course of action. Certainly all the major religions have proven amendable to any needed interpretation. Christianity has justified everything from perfect Communism to unrestrained capitalism, from ‘revolution theology’ to the divine right of kings, from unconditional pacifism to wholesale slaughter. Ditto, I suspect, for Islam. Why wouldn’t it be the same for Judaism? After all, Jews in America do very few of the things we see Jews in Israel doing — in some respects, they couldn’t be more different. That immediately suggests Judaism itself is not the primary cause of the behavior we see in Israel.

        Whatever Judaism teaches, it is secondary to what the material situation encourages. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness suddenly seems peculiarly relevant. I’m not sure this has all that much to do with Judaism in particular.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 6:13 pm

        “Others have as well — Shmuel has done so on various occasions, with erudition and panache.”

        Not to mention astounding patience, and a admirable feeling for knowing when it’s time to quit.

        I think maybe we could say one thing about Colin’s “delving into Klaus’ possible motives is also a way of avoiding dealing with the substantial content” nonsense. It’s that when people go looking for the explanation for a fault or an evil action in another religion’s text, you can be sure they will find it.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 8, 2012, 12:24 am

        “delving into Klaus’ possible motives – Mooser
        ———————————————————————–
        Here are my real motives:

        When I would hear for instance that Germans who bought houses in Spain, or Germans who travel to Thailand or Turkey, or German football fans in Belgium etc. – if they all encountered animosity.

        Would I say: The Spaniards, the Thais, the Turks and the Belgians don’t understand what a wonderful people the Germans are ? – They all suffer from an anti-German virus.

      • ColinWright
        August 10, 2012, 4:04 pm

        “…I think maybe we could say one thing about Colin’s “delving into Klaus’ possible motives is also a way of avoiding dealing with the substantial content” nonsense. It’s that when people go looking for the explanation for a fault or an evil action in another religion’s text, you can be sure they will find it…”

        There’s something vaguely belligerent here — but closely parsed, the sentences appear to be non-sequiturs.

        Once again, the similarity to a barking dog is striking.

    • lareineblanche
      August 6, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Klaus Bloemker:

      You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
      Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.

      Please do elaborate. Cite sources, too – sources beside the voices in your head, that is…

    • ColinWright
      August 6, 2012, 6:35 pm

      “But where does that come from? You keep avoiding pointing at the obvious:
      Zionism’s racism is a secular version of traditional Judaism’s religious one.”

      That’s probably a good point: how fair a one it is is another question.

      I really can’t say to what extent traditional Judaism is permeated by racism, xenophobia, etc. Is it actually pervasive — or merely an element in a culture that felt no need to conform to our standards of political correctness? To employ an analogy, Kipling is racist as hell — but I’d object to any attempt to reduce the value of his literature to his racism.

      I find myself in a bit of a quandrary when it comes to this. ‘The Talmud is a sea’ becomes a saying with a bitter edge to it. There’s no way one can casually wade through it — and besides, the English translations are allegedly bowdlerized.

      One has difficulty forming a balanced impression on one’s own. It’s not like — say — British rule in India, where one can readily get a fair view of the matter if one cares to.

      I have to take what others have to say about Judaism on faith. And those others seem to fall into two camps: apologists, who are concerned to make the religion and culture all sweetness, light, and a perfect fit with all our ethics in the latest 2012 model — and polemicists, who are determined to attack it.

      In other words, I can bestir myself to find and read Israel Shahak’s Jewish History Jewish Religion, and I’m prepared to grant it’s substantially accurate –but it’s obviously polemic, and I am getting exactly one side of the story. At the same time, I am not interested in reading something that simply distorts matters in the opposite direction. Please, no ‘Three Thousand Years of Just How Brilliant and Unfairly Treated Jews Were.’

      There’s a crying need — does anyone know of a source that meets this criteria? — for a sympathetic but critical history of Judaism. There’s some fiction that approaches this, but no straight history that I’m aware of.

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 7:16 am

        @ Colin Wright,

        RE: “I find myself in a bit of a quandrary when it comes to this. ‘The Talmud is a sea’ becomes a saying with a bitter edge to it. There’s no way one can casually wade through it — and besides, the English translations are allegedly bowdlerized.”

        To my knowledge there is no uncensored English translation of the Talmud available to the public. Israel Shahak borrowed heavily from
        Eisenmenger’s opus on the Talmud, which came in two volumes at over 2000 pages. The entire original run of that opus was bought by rabbis, and no later runs were allowed to be printed and sold to the public; Eisenmenger spent 19 years writing his book, and he studied the Talmud in its original language. Full versions of Eisenmenger’s two volume work today are available and used only by Hebrew rabbinic-
        talmudic scholars. There is a heavily abridged version available in English:
        link to amazon.com

        Is there another single man that wrote a more comprehensive, fully sourced book on the contents of the Talmud, and used its original language text, fully sourced? Critics say Eisenmenger took talmudic passages out of context, and picked and chose from the “written sea” that is the Talmud, but it appears those critics made their points by picking and choosing within Eisenmenger’s “little sea.”

        Good luck finding a source that meets your criteria.
        Maybe somebody else will respond here.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:28 am

        “Maybe somebody else will respond here.”

        Okay, I knew it would come to this! And I am prepared to take the big step, even tho they may take and “O” out of my last name (Mooser). So here it is, the suppressed part of the Talmud:
        Recipe for “special” Matzohs
        Take two Gentile babies, beat well, and strain blood, you should have about 3 cups, combine with 6 cups white unbleached blonde …..”

        There, happy now?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:36 am

        Oh, it’s not as if I don’t understand your confusion, guys. Since Non-Jews have never practiced colonialism, used “race” as a dividing point to oppress people, or gained territory by manipulation or aggression, there’s just such a complete paucity of things to compare Israel to. So it’s only natural to look for the one thing all Jews have in equal measure, the one thing all Jews comprehend exactly the same way, and have been equally indoctrinated in, their religion. I understand. After all, doesn’t the Holy Flat-screen of God tell us that all conflicts must be easily understood through one easily visible signifier, lest the exposition and back story take too long, committing the ultimate sin, confusing the viewers?

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 11:53 am

        @ Mooser, no, I want the more contemporary recipe for how Jews make soap out of Gentile fat and lampshades out of Gentile skin.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 12:44 pm

        “Is there another single man that wrote a more comprehensive, fully sourced book on the contents of the Talmud, and used its original language text, fully sourced?”

        Actually, I was thinking more of Jewish history and culture in general.

      • AllenBee
        August 7, 2012, 2:27 pm

        “Good luck finding a source that meets your criteria.”

        Most scholars of Judaism affirm that the central beliefs of Jews are “God, Torah, and Israel.”

        Reading Torah might provide an appropriate “source.”

        Ben Gurion relied on Torah.
        Bnejamin Netanyahu is a passionate student of Hebrew scriptures, as is his son.

        It seems reasonable to attempt to understand Jewish beliefs based upon celebrations in the Jewish calendar — Purim, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.

        It’s also instructive to observe how Israeli military operations are named for elements in Hebrew scripture; for example, Cast Lead, the assault on Gaza, is named for the “lots” cast in the festival of Purim; the Sampson option = mess with me and your temple goes down with me. Mike Evans and/or Joel Rosenberg (I forget which; both are Bibi’s acolytes) run the “David Project.”

        It’s also useful to view Jewish mythos in bas relief against the myths/epics of other nations with whom Israel is in an adversarial relationship. The Iranian people have a yin-yang relationship with Islam: Islam was imposed on Persia; some Iranians are devout Muslims, others are not, others still seethe with resentment at the imposition of Arab-ness on the Persian character. But ALL Iranians are united around the Persian epic, The Shahnameh, which most Iranians can recite and which forms their inner architecture. The Shahnameh celebrates Zoroaster, the ethos at Persia’s heart. It’s enormously unifying. Superimpose the conflictful Israeli thinking about Torah, Talmud, etc. against Iran’s Shahnameh, and the gold goes to Iran, while Israelis argue over who will walk first in line on the way to the training camp.

        (The US does not have a unifying mythos; that is its tragic flaw. Most people think “the bible” is the most meaningful & unifying thing that can be said about the US; the 23 busts in the US House of Representatives, and the painting in the Dome of the Capitol tell a much richer story. )

      • AlGhorear
        August 13, 2012, 8:44 pm

        “The US does not have a unifying mythos; that is its tragic flaw.”

        So that’s why I don’t get all of Phil’s angst related to being a member of the tribe. I’m mythos-less and don’t have a tribe! I can only identify as being a human being. Hmmm. Allenbee, you might think that’s a tragic flaw. I consider it a blessing.

      • Shmuel
        August 7, 2012, 8:25 am

        and besides, the English translations are allegedly bowdlerized

        The Soncino Talmud – available online, at link to halakhah.com – offers a fairly accurate rendition of the standard edition of the Talmud in use today. It is only bowdlerised in the sense that certain passages (mostly unflattering references to Jesus and Christianity) were removed from the original text by Christian censors. The missing passages can be found in the original language in a modest volume called “Hesronot ha-Shas”, and in uncensored manuscripts (readily accessible at the Israeli National Library website). The standard version however, has become canonic, and the censored passages of interest only to specialised scholars (i.e. not part of your standard Yeshiva curriculum, and most rabbis – even Orthodox – have never studied them). There is nothing secret about these passages, and you may find scholarly articles on the subject in various languages.

        But why the quest? What is the hypothesis you would like to test, and how would you judge the results?

        If you are interested in a good, critical history of Judaism, I suggest David Biale’s Cultures of the Jews: A New History.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 11:51 am

        Shmuel,
        – “But why the quest? What is the hypothesis?”

        To understand for instance why Isarel exchanged 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli soldier. Or to understand what is meant by “Avenue of the Righteous among the Nations”, i.e. not to delve into something arcane but to understand the ideological and moral roots of Israeli policies.
        ——————————-
        Would someone question the sense of understanding Karl Marx’ and Lenin’s writings in order to understand the former Soviet Union’s policies?

        Is it a far fetched hypothesis to assume there is an ideological connection?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 12:18 pm

        “But why the quest? What is the hypothesis you would like to test, and how would you judge the results?”

        Shmuel, I think Colin answered your question very well. Colin Wright: “I really can’t say to what extent traditional Judaism is permeated by racism, xenophobia, etc. Is it actually pervasive — or merely an element in a culture that felt no need to conform to our standards of political correctness?” By “felt no need to conform to our standards of political correctness” I assume he meant that Jews don’t advocate torture, look to blame Native Peoples, or encourage gun worship.

        So there you go, we need to find out how much the Jewish religion has tainted Zionism with it’s pervasive (or just nearly pervasive) racism. Now, if that isn’t a perfectly respectable hypothesis to test and so easily tested, to boot, why, I don’t know what is!

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 12:24 pm

        I see from the first reviewer’s comment on Biale’s collection of essays about Jewish cultures, that the theme is the success of Jewish adaptability of Judaism’s concepts through the diverse course of the Jewish people’s travels in antiquity and over the centuries, both to survive and live well. This first reviewer, Yehezkel Dror, praises the book as also essential reading for students of the dynamics of cultures.
        Professor Yehezkel Dror is the Founding President of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (established by the Jewish Agency of Israel) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

        Biale himself says the most important thing to get is that the Holocaust seems to have limited, or suspended the historical variety of creative Jewish cultures. This seems to almost amount to a prediction that the state of israel is a negative watershed in the past ability of Judaism and its leaders to adapt by morphing its own myriad of cultures. Old Greco-Roman adage: The test of virtue is power.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 12:48 pm

        “But why the quest? What is the hypothesis you would like to test, and how would you judge the results?”

        Believe it or not, I actually don’t have a hypothesis. That’s probably a rarity, but it’s so.

        However, it’s not the Talmud per se I’m interested in; it’s merely a good, critical but not hostile history of Judaism. As noted between Shahak and ‘Light unto the Nations’ bumph there seems to be quite a gulf.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 3:47 pm

        “However, it’s not the Talmud per se I’m interested in; it’s merely a good, critical but not hostile history of Judaism.”

        Of course, you could actually meet, know and interact with Jews of all types, but that might be too dangerous. Nobody wants their kid to end up in a cracker, even if he is a crumb.
        Besides, what if you read a “good, critical but not hostile history of Judaism, and the Jews you met refused to conform to its conclusions? Wouldn’t you feel compelled to correct them? For their own good, of course.

        This discussion is ridiculous, especially so in light of the fact that the entire thing was summed up by a very smart person whose name I forget. He said “The Jews are just like other people, only more so”
        I don’t think anything significant can be added to that, and there’s no point in trying. Why, it’s nearly as dumb as looking for a history of Judaism in the “Organised Religion” section of the library!

      • Shmuel
        August 7, 2012, 3:52 pm

        To understand for instance why Isarel exchanged 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli soldier.

        Maybe because Israel held thousands of Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinians only 1, or because the IDF is a citizens’ army, or because the Shalit family mounted an amazing campaign?

        Or to understand what is meant by “Avenue of the Righteous among the Nations”

        Since the meaning of the term doesn’t actually correspond to its meaning in Maimonides, perhaps we should simply accept Yad Vashem’s explanation: An avenue on the museum’s grounds, lined with trees planted in honour of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

        not to delve into something arcane but to understand the ideological and moral roots of Israeli policies.

        Why do you presume that a modern, secular, ethnic-nationalist movement that developed in 18th-19th-century Europe, and resembles other ethnic-nationalist movements of the period (also in its use of national mythology), must have its “ideological and moral roots” in a religion from which most of its founders and leaders have been estranged? In terms of current Israeli policy, can you see no other factors – economic, political, military, nationalist, colonialist, expansionist, electoral, etc. – beyond that one, “obvious” element? If the secular leaders of Israel act in a certain way, it must be inspired by a religion they hardly know anything about? (That is not to say that religious leaders derive all of their positions from pure, untainted, religious sources, either.)

        Would someone question the sense of understanding Karl Marx’ and Lenin’s writings in order to understand the former Soviet Union’s policies?

        At least nominally, Soviet leaders claimed to adhere to Marxist-Leninist ideology, and quibbling aside, it is not that difficult to define Marxist-Leninism. Even in the case of the USSR however, a decent historian would treat such “sources” as only one component of Soviet decision-making.

        The founders of Zionism and virtually all Israeli leaders have not been adherents – even nominally – of the Jewish religion (with the possible exception of Menachem Begin). Furthermore, the sources of Judaism are far greater and more diverse (originally and in subsequent interpretation) than those of Marxist-Leninism. There is no “Jewish ideology”.

        Remember Occam, Klaus. The “ideological and moral roots” of a modern, European, political movement can probably be found in modern, European, political history – whatever fairy tales the adherents of that movement may tell themselves about the mists of time and the glorious destiny of their nation.

      • seanmcbride
        August 7, 2012, 4:50 pm

        Shmuel,

        David Ben-Gurion on the Bible:

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

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        One could write a very long scholarly essay (or even book) on the centrality of imagery and themes from ancient Judaism for the beliefs and rhetoric of Zionism’s secular founders. The Jewish Bible is largely an ethnic (or ethno-religious) nationalist document (and propaganda construct).

        Google [david ben gurion bible] to wade in. Fascinating stuff.

        David Ben-Gurion to the British Royal Commission of 1936: “The Bible is our mandate.”
        link to mailstar.net

        (I don’t endorse this author or article in whole — I haven’t had time to look into the background.)

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 4:50 pm

        @ Shmuel

        RE: “There is no “Jewish ideology”.”
        Really? None when one considers that, although Mooser says every Jew thinks differently about what he or she has been taught, and there is no Jewish Pope, both of which are truism, same as any other group of self-identified members, even those, in their everyday lives, that are Roman Catholics, although that’s a matter of degree, that the Jewish “ideology” might simply mean, in essence, “What’s good for the Jews?” This question, of course, is not for the rank and file Jews to base a policy or united community action on, but for the Establishment Jews to decide and implement. Isn’t that a big part of the historical and more especially, in the contemporary age of more freedom, the problem? Why else AIPAC, and belatedly, this blog started by Phil Weiss? It would mean nothing to Gentiles except, they are caught up in the Jewish Establishment version of reality because their leaders have been, are being bribed. And they are paying the price even if they don’t know it, and now, war, as the latest example, a war on Iran is being set up, day by day.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Klaus says “Would someone question the sense of understanding Karl Marx’ and Lenin’s writings in order to understand the former Soviet Union’s policies?

        Is it a far fetched hypothesis to assume there is an ideological connection?”

        Well, there you are. This gets back to that excessive fascination with ideas I mentioned earlier.

        Speaking of Soviet foreign policy in the Thirties, Orwell once pointed out that while ideologues found it extremely difficult to justify the twists and turns in terms of Marxist-Leninism, it was all perfectly explicable if one simply assumed that Russia was playing traditional power politics.

        Similarly, in reading Solzhenitsyn et al, I’ve noticed the persistence of traditional Russian class distinctions in Soviet society. After all, whatever the Marxist justification, Stalin did essentially restore serfdom.

        Obviously, the Soviet Union was heavily shaped by Marxist-Leninism. At the same time, it was equally shaped by other ideas, and by other factors.

        To return to Israel, while sure one can see a Jewish connection, other elements are at least visible, and just as the Soviets would find a Marxist justification for whatever they were inclined to do anyway, I assume a Jewish state would seek to find a justification within Jewish tradition for whatever it chose to do.

        I think that given your approach, you are going to be continually betrayed into assigning more importance to Judaism in understanding Israel’s behavior than you should. Naturally, they will say that’s why they’re doing this or that — and they may even believe it. However, it doesn’t mean that this is the case. The motive may just be generic nationalism, or the objective situation, or ordinary human psychology.

        Delving into Judaism may help to explain Israel’s behavior. Finding in it a comprehensive explanation strikes me as essentially misconceived.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 5:14 pm

        “…Of course, you could actually meet, know and interact with Jews of all types, but that might be too dangerous. Nobody wants their kid to end up in a cracker, even if he is a crumb…”

        You have no idea how far off base you are. This is all the less forgivable as I have posted material that would make it clear.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 5:20 pm

        Shmuel says: “Remember Occam, Klaus. The “ideological and moral roots” of a modern, European, political movement can probably be found in modern, European, political history – whatever fairy tales the adherents of that movement may tell themselves about the mists of time and the glorious destiny of their nation.”

        Yep. Thinking about it, didn’t the desire for a nationalist identity for Jewry come first and the secular reading of the Torah second?

        To argue otherwise would be the equivalent of asserting that the myths of Frederick Barbarossa and all that mumbo-jumbo about the Eurasian heartland actually drove the Nazis eastward. On the contrary: they wanted to go east first and found the justifications for it second.

      • hophmi
        August 7, 2012, 6:26 pm

        Curious if you believe everything David Ben-Gurion says or only the stuff you find you can use to smear Zionism. But yes, Ben-Gurion knew his bible. He also knew his socialism, his government, his diplomacy, and his state-building.

        “One could write a very long scholarly essay (or even book) on the centrality of imagery and themes from ancient Judaism for the beliefs and rhetoric of Zionism’s secular founders.”

        Yeah, I’m sure. You could also write one about the use of biblical imagery by America’s founding fathers, most of whom probably would have cited the Bible as an important book in their lives.

        But since you’re not a scholar, and since you have a clear bias. it probably shouldn’t be you.

        “Google [david ben gurion bible] to wade in. Fascinating stuff.”

        I searched and found this quote from Jerold Auerbach, an actual professor of history from Wellesley:

        “Ben-Gurion should not be made to serve current political or polemical purposes.”

        See if you can process that.

        “I don’t endorse this author or article in whole”

        Figures. It actually says positive things about the affect of the bible on the involvement of Jews in social justice movements.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 6:28 pm

        Well, Citizen, if you think you can gain a greater understanding of the situation you describe (“Establishment Jews” stealing reality by bribing politicians) by studying the Torah and the Talmud, have at it! But if you find out you have a talent for and a predilection towards dahvaning, don’t blame me. Yup, I’ll walk by the Schul and you’ll be in their, swaying slightly, tranced out on ancient Hebrew verses. Hey, it could happen.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 6:35 pm

        “This is all the less forgivable…”

        Unforgivable, that’s what I are,
        Unforgivable, both near and far….

        I don’t know Colin, you think maybe a little torture is what’s needed? You gettin’ dat ol’ “unqualified loathing” feeling, again for the first time?

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 6:53 pm

        Colin:
        “they [Nazis] wanted to go east first and found the justifications for it second.”

        – Yes Colin, but you wouldn’t understand Hitler’s overall policies towards the Jews, the Slaves etc. if you didn’t know about the racial theories of the pre WW I period that Hitler sucked in when he lived in Vienna.
        —————————————–
        Sean,
        “David Ben-Gurion on the Bible: “their [early Zionist’s] passion for this land stemmed from the Book of Books…. ”

        Yes, here is another quote by Ben-Gurion:
        “My concept of the messianic ideal and vision is not a metaphysical one but a socio-cultural-moral one … I believe in our moral and intetellectual superiority … ” (Hertzberg/Hirt-Manheimer, ‘Jews’, HarperCollins,1998, page 17)

        Here is what I mean:
        Ben-Gurion had a secular, “socio-cultural-moral” undesrstanding of Judaism’s religious/metaphysical concept, but based in it. – It’s still the same with today’s Israeli ‘secular Jews’ – same chauvinism.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 7, 2012, 9:20 pm

        Shmuel,

        Yad Vashem’s “Avenue of the Righteous among the Nations” named after Maimonides’ saying: “The righteous among the [gentile] nations will have
        a place in the world to come”, means plain and simple:

        A Gentile who saved a Jewish life will have a place in the world to come.

        Someone who saved the life of a Catholic Pole (under German occupation)
        will NOT have a place in the world to come – sitting face to face with God.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 3:00 am

        A Gentile who saved a Jewish life will have a place in the world to come.

        Someone who saved the life of a Catholic Pole (under German occupation)
        will NOT have a place in the world to come – sitting face to face with God.

        Interesting interpretation, but that is not Maimonides’ definition of a “righteous gentile”; 99% of Israelis have no idea that the the expression was borrowed from Maimonides or has anything to do with divine reward (in which many/most do not believe anyway); and your inference about someone who saved a Catholic is entirely unwarranted (although the ideological and political implications of recognising only non-Jews who saved Jews are consistent with the Zionist exploitation and expropriation of the Holocaust, in which Yad Vashem plays a central role).

        To come back to the origin of the name Yad Vashem for a moment, Isaiah 56 (from which it is taken) offers a universal vision of salvation, including the famous verse “for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Were the Israeli naming committees actually drawing their “racist ideology” from religious sources, there would be a glaring contradiction between the name “Yad Vashem” (a comfort for the eunuchs, who – like the “foreigner that has joined himself to the Lord” – fear they may be denied divine grace) and the term “Righteous among the Nations” as you define it. Unless of course, modern usage and ideology are imposed on the “resurrected” ancient words, rather than deriving from them.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 3:20 am

        sean,

        Ben Gurion used the Bible as a tool to serve his modern ethnic nationalism. He wasn’t particularly fond of the Talmud or Rabbinic Judaism in general, because it clashed with his nationalist and socialist beliefs, but he sure loved those biblical myths, and the pseudo-history with which they provided his movement and its claim to Palestine. The parts of the Bible that didn’t fit his political vision, he treated as mythology and literature and primitive superstition. Every self-respecting national movement needs a good epic. BG didn’t have to look very far.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 10:48 am

        “This is all the less forgivable as I have posted material that would make it clear.”

        Wow, that is the fanciest way of saying “Some of my best friends are….” I ever did see!

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 11:00 am

        Shmuel,

        I’m not sure if we have a disagreement here: many secular founders of Zionism, like David Ben Gurion, were heavily steeped in and inspired by the messianic ethnic nationalism of ancient Judaism and its core myths, symbols and narratives — and many contemporary Israeli leaders on the Israeli right (like the Netanyahus, father and son) even more so.

        But this is the main point: the contemporary worldwide *religious* Jewish establishment, with few exceptions, has *itself* completely meshed Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli government.

        In the minds of most people around the world, thanks to endless propagandizing by the worldwide Jewish establishment, “the Jews,” “the Jewish people,” Judaism, Zionism and the Israeli government are all one and the same thing, synonyms for one another. What an extraordinarily dangerous notion to promote — but promote it Jewish establishment leaders have done. They own it. And they will own the catastrophe that this false belief may well instigate.

        Enlightenment and humanist Jews like Phil Weiss are attempting to push back against this pernicious propaganda, but I fear they face an uphill battle, to put it mildly. For every Phil Weiss out there in the Jewish community there are a thousand Benjamin Netanyahus or Meir Kahanes — quite a few of them in command of substantial financial resources.

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 11:42 am

        @Mooser
        Yeah, right, you can’t find anything relevant to understanding historical Germany by reading Luther either. No dahvaning required. Just an oopah band and leather shorts, nicht wahr? I can see you doing the local folk dance; your antlers fit right in! 46 people account for 99% of SuperPac money, on a bipartisan basis yet. Of course the one we know most of all, and love dearly, is our very own casino macher, Shelly Adelson–why? Because we love a guy so open, so honest with his proud self-identified single agenda that just happens to be a foreign country–we certainly empathize with his wish he could trade his old US Army uniform in for a real one a guy could be proud of, an IDF one; Shelly’s so perfect as a sampling of what is best in and for America….you do still live in America, don’t you? Kinda hard to keep track of you moose creatures, constantly crossing back and forth borders to make sure every knows you are both unique and yet part of a collective, as if that does not apply to all moose. I think by now we all get your persistent point, and I think it was made before you by Einstein, who never though of a moose, but said a snail walks around under his shell, which changes according to where the snail finds himself, but even if you took off his shell, he’d still be a snail.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 11:52 am

        many secular founders of Zionism, like David Ben Gurion, were heavily steeped in … ancient Judaism and its core myths, symbols and narratives

        So were Hermann Cohen (German humanist/anti-Zionist), Yoilish Teitelbaum (Hungarian reactionary/anti-Zionist) and Judah Magnes (American cultural Zionist) – to name three of BG’s contemporaries. All 4 were products of modernity, who developed thoroughly modern ideologies, which they expressed in the idiom of their (more-or-less) common religious culture. Were Jewish religious thought to possess a single ideological core, a single axiology, how could these men (three of whom were ordained rabbis) have reached such wildly divergent worldviews (each with clear parallels in other religious, cultural and political traditions – not surprisingly, in their immediate environments)?

        And by way of demonstration, I’ll leave you with a couple of apt Talmudic aphorisms (and if you don’t like them, I’ve got others, as a famous Marxist once said):

        – “Delve and delve in it [the Torah], for all can be found therein.”
        – “Man sees [var. is shown] only what is in his own heart”

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 12:23 pm

        Shmuel,

        But here is the problem: Cohen, Teitelbaum and Magnes (whose works I know) have very little influence over the contemporary worldwide Jewish establishment. Revisionist Zionists and religious Zionists have acquired dominating control over “the Jews,” “the Jewish people,” Judaism and Zionism.

        When Jews like Peter Beinart have attempted to express even mild criticism of the Jewish establishment, they have come under vicious attack by their fellow Jews. When an Israeli prime minister tried to deviate from the Revisionist Zionist line, he was “eliminated” (in the words of Yigal Amir’s brother).

        What is worse, the Israeli government and the Jewish establishment have encouraged the worst and most ignorant extremists among Christian Zionists to believe that Zionism and Judaism are absolutely seamless and synonymous.

        Not all Germans in the 1930s and 1940s were Nazis, but enough were to bring disgrace and ruin on Germany. The voices of Enlightenment and humanist Germans were easily drowned out by German ethnic nationalists.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 12:45 pm

        But here is the problem: Cohen, Teitelbaum and Magnes (whose works I know) have very little influence over the contemporary worldwide Jewish establishment. Revisionist Zionists and religious Zionists have acquired dominating control over “the Jews,” “the Jewish people,” Judaism and Zionism.

        There is no doubt that Judaism and Zionism are inexorably linked today, but that is not the same as the categorical assertion that the “ideological and moral roots” of Zionism lie in “traditional Judaism’s religious racism”. The religious racism that can be found in Judaism (and in just about every other pre-modern culture) is not a foregone conclusion (as Cohen and Magnes and many others have demonstrated), but something that must be actively cultivated. Modern organic nationalism is not an ancient Jewish “value” (our prophets weren’t that prophetic), but it is one that can easily be (and has been) grafted onto certain elements within a vast religious tradition.

        If I haven’t managed to make this point clear by now, I never will.

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 12:52 pm

        @ seanmcbride,
        I agree, case in point, one: Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And now, in present USA, an Evangelist who is a Bonhoeffer scholar has enlisted that moral icon in the fight against state funding of condoms.

      • evets
        August 8, 2012, 1:35 pm

        seanmcbride –

        Aggressive right-wing voices currently dominate the conversation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam — thus the ‘ignorant extremists among Christian Zionists’ you decry. Let’s hope this general conversation takes a different turn and voices like Hermann Cohen’s can be heard again in the land.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 8, 2012, 1:49 pm

        Shmuel,

        I based my interpretation of the “Avenue of the Righteous”on Peter Novick’s book The Holocaust in American Life, chap. 9.

        He says that Maimonides’ concept of “the righteous gentiles have a place in the world to come” (all of Jewry will but only a tiny number of gentiles) – that this concept was a traditional orthodox dogma that was considered anathema and an embarrassing burden by the Jews of the enlightenment.

        Modern Israel “resurrected” this orthodox dogma of religious racism.
        (At odds with what you say “Yad Vashem” means.)

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 1:56 pm

        “When Jews like Peter Beinart have attempted to express even mild criticism of the Jewish establishment, they have come under vicious attack by their fellow Jews. ”

        Beinart’s been attacked, but he’s also been welcome pretty much everywhere in the mainstream Jewish world.

        “When an Israeli prime minister tried to deviate from the Revisionist Zionist line, he was “eliminated” (in the words of Yigal Amir’s brother).”

        That’s a silly argument. It’s not like Yigal Amir was a mainstream figure. He was an extremist. You cannot define every movement by its extremists. By this logic, you can define the Palestinians by Islamic Jihad.

        “What is worse, the Israeli government and the Jewish establishment have encouraged the worst and most ignorant extremists among Christian Zionists to believe that Zionism and Judaism are absolutely seamless and synonymous.”

        It may be somewhat true of the Israeli government, for what are clearly American political reasons. It is not true of the American Jewish establishment, which by and large still views the Evangelicals with suspicion on this issue.

        “Not all Germans in the 1930s and 1940s were Nazis, but enough were to bring disgrace and ruin on Germany. The voices of Enlightenment and humanist Germans were easily drowned out by German ethnic nationalists.”

        Again, it’s a silly argument because it assumes that Zionists and Nazis are the same phenomenon. They simply are not. No major scholarship supports this thesis.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 8, 2012, 2:39 pm

        That’s a silly argument. It’s not like Yigal Amir was a mainstream figure. He was an extremist.

        not when extremism goes mainstream.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 2:41 pm

        “not when extremism goes mainstream.”

        You mean like Hamas in the PA?

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Yigal Amir’s main political objective behind assassinating Yitzhak Rabin — to destroy the Mideast peace process — was shared by the Likud/Revisionist Zionist wing of the Israeli political establishment which now rules Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu helped incite hatred against Rabin before the assassination. Amir succeeded in his mission — the peace process is indeed dead for all time.

        Regarding assassination as a political tool: leading and mainstream Zionists have been assassinating their political opponents from before the creation of Israel to the present day.

        Hophmi continues to evade the main point: the worldwide Jewish establishment has endorsed and continues to promote the dangerous propaganda theme that “the Jews,” Judaism, Zionism and the Israeli government constitute a single unified entity.

        Militant antisemites couldn’t dream up a more insidious and sinister vision than that which has been concocted and cooked up by the worldwide Jewish establishment.

        Within the conceptual framework developed by the Jewish establishment, “the Jews” and Judaism now own and and are responsible for all the policies of the Israeli government — including a wide array of human rights abuses.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Klaus,

        I also recall reading that passage in Peter Novick’s book. Perhaps Shmuel can comment.

        One should also consult Yehoshafat Harkabi on the subject of racist themes in the writings of Maimonides:

        book; Yehoshafat Harkabi; Israel’s Fateful Hour; 1988; Harper & Row link to amazon.com

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Shmuel,

        Ancient Judaism is brimming over with racist (and even genocidal) themes based on messianic ethnic nationalism, and contemporary Zionists rely heavily on those racist themes in their propaganda and political program. This is a fact, and a highly significant fact.

        Much (most? nearly all?) of contemporary Zionist ideology is based *explicitly* on ancient Judaism.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 3:20 pm

        “Nationalistic Judaism” — from chapter 5 of “Israel’s Fateful Hour” by Yehoshafat Harkabi:

        link to members.tripod.com

        Typical Maimonides quote:

        “It is forbidden to show them mercy, as it was said, “nor show mercy unto them” (Deut. 7:2). Hence, if one sees one of them who worships idols perishing or drowning, one is not to save him. . . . Hence you learn that it is forbidden to heal idolators even for a fee. But if one is afraid of them or apprehends that refusal might cause ill will, medical treatment may be given for a fee but not gratuitously. . . . The foregoing rules apply to the time when the people of Israel live exiled among the nations, or when the Gentiles’ power is predominant. But when Israel is predominant over the nations of the world, we are forbidden to permit a gentile who is an idolator to dwell among us. He must not enter our land, even as a temporary resident; or even as a traveler, journeying with merchandise from place to place, until he has undertaken to keep the seven precepts which the Noachides were commanded to observe (Hilkhot Avodah Zara, ch. 10:8).”

        Say, what about this: “when Israel is predominant over the nations of the world”???

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 4:04 pm

        He says that Maimonides’ concept of “the righteous gentiles have a place in the world to come” (all of Jewry will but only a tiny number of gentiles) – that this concept was a traditional orthodox dogma that was considered anathema and an embarrassing burden by the Jews of the enlightenment.

        This is utter nonsense that corresponds neither to “traditional orthodox dogma” (whatever that may be) nor to the opinion of Maimonides himself.

        Ch. 3 of Maimonides’ “Laws of Repentance” (the chapter in which the expression in question appears) reads:

        “Each and every human being (ben adam) has merits and sins. One whose merits exceed his sins is righteous, and one whose sins exceed his merits is wicked. [One who has] an equal number of merits and sins is intermediate. And so a country: if the merits of all of its inhabitants exceed their sins it is righteous, and if their sins are greater it is wicked. And so the entire world.”

        In the paragraph that deals with reward in the afterlife, Maimonides writes that even wicked Jews have a share in the World to Come, “and so the righteous of the nations of the world have a share in the World to Come”. The phrase itself is widely understood (also based on another passage in Maimonides) to mean non-Jews who observe the 7 Noahide Laws. Maimonides then goes on to list (in 24 categories running over two pages) which Jews will be denied reward in the afterlife – including, inter alia, those who embarrass others in public or engage in malicious gossip.

        In other words, when it comes to heavenly reward, we Jews are guaranteed nothing (why do you think repentance and atonement are so important in Jewish tradition?), and you non-Jews have a pretty good shot.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 4:41 pm

        “Ancient Judaism is brimming over with racist (and even genocidal) themes based on messianic ethnic nationalism”

        Whatever.

        “Much (most? nearly all?) of contemporary Zionist ideology is based *explicitly* on ancient Judaism.”

        You have to choose. Is it a 19th century movement based on 19th century ethnonationalism? Or is it based on ancient Judaism?

        Of course, it’s neither, but your game is to suggest it’s based on whatever bogeyman theory you can find.

        In any event, ancient Judaism is brimming over with values of universal justice, civil rights, self-defense against aggressive enemies, subservience to G-d and miracles.

        To the extent that ancient Judaism reflects certain values of the ancient world, those values are not present in Judaism today. Jews have perpetrated no genocides or mass murders. Christians and Muslims unfortunately have, and they comprise 3 billion people on Earth. Try worrying about them for a change.

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 5:25 pm

        @ Shmuel

        That’s mighty big of Jewish Tradition (or at least one tributary in it) to give non-jews a “pretty good shot” at “the life to come.” Never knew any Jewish person who didn’t thrill to the song about Tradition in Fiddler On The Roof.
        So, I’d say, it’s fair game for anyone, especially Americans, to ask about this tradition–especially since there clearly is a practical symbiotic relationship today between Zionism and Judaism, and US foreign policy enabling Israel to do what it does affects the whole world today–Israel is a nuclear-armed state bristling with the latest US weapons, smack dab in the middle of the most strategic area of the world, which runs on oil. Hence, Shmuel, take another look at this practical issue here, again, from the point of view of Jewish Tradition, or if you prefer, Judaism, or if you prefer, one tradition within the many traditions and cultures of Judaism: link to myjewishlearning.com

        Whether or not there’s a tradition of Christian, especially of Roman Catholic or Lutheran tradition (whatever the cut of any canon at any time) that is anti-semitic has long been a major topic of interfaith debate, and there’s good historical reason for this debate and the ascent of awareness it brings, but now, so to speak, the Pope has no legions, but Israel does.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Ancient Judaism is brimming over with racist (and even genocidal) themes based on messianic ethnic nationalism, and contemporary Zionists rely heavily on those racist themes in their propaganda and political program. This is a fact, and a highly significant fact.

        I’ll give it one last try, and then call it quits. Yes there are many racist (and even genocidal) themes in ancient Judaism. I would not say that they are based on “ethnic nationalism”, because that is a modern concept. There are also many universal, lion ‘n lamb themes in ancient Judaism, and the genocidal themes are not always directed outwards. It is important to distinguish between ancient themes and changing mores, interpretations and attitudes to the ancient sources, when trying to understand the behaviour of Jews in a given period, whether as individuals or as groups. The same goes for any culture, religious or otherwise.

        Modern political Zionism is a thoroughly modern movement that has expressed its own ideologies (Zionism is not a single ideology) employing thoroughly modern concepts and language: state/nation-state, emancipation, socialism, self-determination, democracy, colonisation, technology, self-defence, national security, citizenship, population exchange, national identity, national territory, patriotism, etc. Many more modern, political and ideological terms can be applied to Israel and Zionism that it would not necessarily apply to itself, but would nevertheless be apt.

        Zionism views itself as the Jewish national movement, and as such draws heavily upon ancient Jewish themes and language – primarily to justify its claim to this particular piece of land (and it is no coincidence that these themes feature so prominently in discourse concerning Israel’s post-67 conquests), and as a motivating/justifying national epic. It is what all expansionist organic nationalisms do.

        Much (most? nearly all?) of contemporary Zionist ideology is based *explicitly* on ancient Judaism.

        Apart from the epic and perhaps the very useful dogma of “eternal anti-Semitism”, this is not really true of secular Zionism, which has used everything from socialism to market capitalism (not to mention gender equality and gay rights) to explain itself at home and abroad. You might have a point about religious Zionism, which may become the dominant stream in Zionism one day, but that day has not yet arrived.

        Even in the case of religious Zionism (the ideology I was raised in) however, there is so much reading into tradition, innovative interpretation and departure from traditional mores – as well as searching for specific currents and elements in religious tradition that affirm the kind of modern ultra-nationalism that has become so popular among the “national religious”, that it is hard to say unequivocally that the primary source of the ideology lies within the tradition. The “national religious” have, historically, been religious innovators, seeking compromises with religion (and even ignoring religious imperatives at times) in order to accommodate modern life and values.

        If you look for racism in pre-modern Judaism, you will find it. If you look for universalism, you will find it. It really does depend on what you are looking for. The Zionist reaction to European anti-Semitism and organic nationalism (embracing both to one extent or another), further coloured by both socialism and fascism, needed to assert that Jews are a modern nation with a national territory and a national story. Where else would they look for it but in religious tradition and the Bible (which was also instrumental in convincing crucial Christian leaders to support such a movement)? I presume you have read Sand on the “invention of the Jewish People”. I am now reading his latest book (not out in translation yet) on “the invention of Eretz Yisrael”. Historiography and religion have both been moulded to fit the needs of political Zionism.

        Colonialism, segregation and slavery can all be justified by the Bible and even appear to be inspired by the Bible, if you like, but the Bible was not what made European monarchs and merchants seek out new lands, plantation owners use slaves, or the descendants of white settlers insist on separate toilets and buses. As with Zionism, there were other, far simpler reasons – even if it was conveniently supposed to be “God’s will”.

      • hophmi
        August 8, 2012, 6:06 pm

        “Yigal Amir’s main political objective behind assassinating Yitzhak Rabin — to destroy the Mideast peace process — was shared by the Likud/Revisionist Zionist wing of the Israeli political establishment which now rules Israel. ”

        So what? Hamas’s main objective was to destroy the peace process as well. It was not Yigal Amir that brought Bibi to power. It was the relentless bus bombing that did it. Bibi beat Peres by the smallest of margins; I think it was around 1 percent. There is no question – at all – that without the suicide campaign, that never would have happened.

        “Regarding assassination as a political tool: leading and mainstream Zionists have been assassinating their political opponents from before the creation of Israel to the present day.”

        Oh, come on already. How many political assassinations have there been since 1948? Rabin is the only one. There have been more American Presidents assassinated proportionally than Israelis heads of state. The last minister assassinated was Ze’evi, by a Palestinian. Amir is an extremist. He is not the rule.

        “Hophmi continues to evade the main point: the worldwide Jewish establishment has endorsed and continues to promote the dangerous propaganda theme that “the Jews,” Judaism, Zionism and the Israeli government constitute a single unified entity.”

        We do not. It’s simply a lie you keep repeating. The organization I identify with most closely, the AJC, absolutely does not subscribe to this view, and never has.

        “Militant antisemites couldn’t dream up a more insidious and sinister vision than that which has been concocted and cooked up by the worldwide Jewish establishment.”

        Militant antisemites are, in fact, the only ones who promote this view.

        “Within the conceptual framework developed by the Jewish establishment, “the Jews” and Judaism now own and and are responsible for all the policies of the Israeli government — including a wide array of human rights abuses.”

        Again, it’s just a complete lie and fabrication on your part, reminiscent of the argument antisemites make, not member of the the American Jewish establishment and not most Israelis either.

      • MHughes976
        August 8, 2012, 6:07 pm

        One of the basic ideas of Judaism, it seems to me, is that closeness to God in unique degrees and alienation from God in unique degrees go together. Only Jewish people, who are closest to God, can offend and anger God in that special and intimate way of which the Bible speaks. The redemption of humanity, at which everything is directed, has to be the work of a minority. To me this is a very piquant, rather beautiful idea, though I can see why a minority within Judaism came to find it unsatisfactory, even dangerous, and then half-departed from it by founding Christianity, which God knows has faced theological dangers of its own. It is from the coexistence, conflict and mutual influence (it wasn’t hostility all the way) of Judaism and Christianity, rather than from Judaism alone, that Zionism has arisen.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 6:09 pm

        That’s mighty big of Jewish Tradition (or at least one tributary in it) to give non-jews a “pretty good shot” at “the life to come.”

        Come on, Citizen. We’re talking about a 12th-century theologian and the question of salvation for those who are not of the faith (by no means an exclusively Jewish issue). The point is that Maimonides did not say what Klaus said he did (based on Novick). Jews are by no means guaranteed salvation and non-Jews are by no means rewarded “only in tiny numbers”. In fact, judging by the fine print, the Jewish “edge” in the afterlife would appear to be entirely symbolic (mostly to reconcile 1 cryptic biblical verse and 1 cryptic Mishnah with weighty theological considerations to the contrary).

        The supposed theology behind Yad Vashem’s naming committee is thus entirely without basis, as is the preposterous claim that this is some sort of deep dark secret that modern Jews are terribly ashamed of.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 6:12 pm

        Shmuel,

        To pick up just one point of the many interesting points you made:

        “Colonialism, segregation and slavery can all be justified by the Bible and even appear to be inspired by the Bible, if you like, but the Bible was not what made European monarchs and merchants seek out new lands, plantation owners use slaves, or the descendants of white settlers insist on separate toilets and buses. As with Zionism, there were other, far simpler reasons.”

        Of course the Bible — the Old Testament in particular — is not the source of all the evils in the world, but it *is* remarkable that white racists in the American Confederate tradition (still with us today, some of them Christian Zionists) and racist Afrikaners in apartheid South Africa relied heavily on Old Testament imagery and themes to justify their behavior — just like Revisionist and religious Zionists in contemporary Israel.

        My point here is *not* that Jews are more evil than other groups — one could argue that usually they are less evil — but that for some reason the Old Testament has served as a spark plug for quite a few evil deeds. We really need to make a full catalog of all of those deeds, which are continuing as we speak.

        I think the terms “ethnic nationalism” or even “ethnic supremacism” describe the core ideology of ancient Judaism quite accurately — the main narrative describes a long succession of violent struggles between “the chosen people” (largely an ethnic group) and “the nations” (all the other ethnic groups in the world), culminating in the final apocalyptic triumph of the former over the latter (with the aid of Moshiach — the Messiah).

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 8, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Shmuel,
        “you non-Jews have a pretty good shot” – having a place in the world to come.

        That’s a brilliant remark. – So come and join us, welcome to the Gentiles.

      • Shmuel
        August 8, 2012, 6:32 pm

        That’s a brilliant remark. – So come and join us, welcome to the Gentiles.

        Not that brilliant, apparently. I don’t believe in the “World to Come” and I don’t believe this world is divided into Jews and gentiles.

      • seanmcbride
        August 8, 2012, 6:55 pm

        hophmi,

        Your posts are so weak that I can’t stir myself to bother to reply to most of them. Typically you make simple, flat, unsupported assertions, backed up by no documentation or knowledge of any kind. You argue like an infant. Every remark you made in this post is dead wrong — laughably so.

        For example: Zionist/Israeli assassinations: just recently we have before us the Dubai assassination (ineptly and comically executed) and the murders of numerous Iranian scientists.

        Regarding the embrace by the Jewish religious establishment worldwide of Israel and Zionism, and the merging of Judaism and Zionism in the beliefs of that establishment, no reasonable person would deny that this is the case. Those religious Jews who have attempted to draw a careful line between Judaism and Zionism have been abused and marginalized by the Jewish establishment. Contemporary Judaism — and “the Jewish people” — now bear full responsibility for all the actions of the Israeli government, thanks to the relentless efforts by the Jewish establishment to dissolve all barriers between Judaism, “the Jews,” Zionism and Israel.

        There is no truth or truth-seeking spirit in you — just an endless stream of tawdry self-justifying propaganda — lying propaganda. People like you are turning educated Western elites against Israel permanently.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 8, 2012, 8:57 pm

        Shmuel, you said:
        “you non-Jews have a pretty good shot” – at the ‘world to come’.
        ————————————————————————————————–
        Now you say:
        “I don’t believe in the “World to Come” and I don’t believe this world is divided into Jews and gentiles.”

        Okay, but by saying “YOU NON-JEWS” – you divided the world into Jews and non-Jews. – You can’t escape your Jewish worldview, although you try.
        – Maybe, my argument is unfair.

      • RoHa
        August 8, 2012, 10:48 pm

        “we Jews are guaranteed nothing … and you non-Jews have a pretty good shot.”

        So what’s the point of being a Jew, then?

        You struggle through Hebrew school, wash two sets of pots and pans, wear the funny hats, and then when you get to the next life, you find me there.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 12:12 am

        You have to choose. Is it a 19th century movement based on 19th century ethnonationalism? Or is it based on ancient Judaism?

        A while back I noted that:

        On the day he introduced the Law of Return and the Nationality Laws, during the 160th Sitting of the First Knesset, David Ben Gurion said that Israel was the revival of the ancient Jewish State. He quoted the Jewish historian Josephus and also said: “These two laws determine the special character and destiny of Israel as bearer of the vision of the redemption of the Jewish Nation. . . . On 14 May 1948 the Jewish State was established not as something completely new but as the restoration of our ancient glory, 1813 years after our independence had been destroyed, supposedly forever, at the time of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva. . . . Neither can the revival of the Jewish State be understood without knowing the history of the Jewish people during the period of the First and Second Temples, the history of Jewish prophecy, spirit and vision, the history of the Jewish diaspora and the concept of messianism, and its various manifestations, the incessant attempts of the wandering nation throughout the generations to return to its land and the history of the eternal culture which was forged in this land and its influence on the Jews and the rest of the world.” The motives for unconditional immigration to Israel that he cited were “yearning for redemption, ancient memories, religious sentiments and love of the homeland”. He said “The Law of Return is one of the State of Israel’s Basic Laws. It encompasses one of the central missions of our country, the in-gathering of the exiles.” See Lorch, Netanel (ed), Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 2, JCPA/University Press of America, 1993, pp 611 – 613 (pdf pages 142-143)

        link to jcpa.org

        So, he invoked the First and Second Temples, the prophets, messianism, redemption, The Antiquities of The Jews by Josephus (aka the Bible), the in-gathering of purported exiles, and the revival of the Jewish State.

        Hitler’s movement was based upon a fusion of old German myths and legends and a new Aryan mythology that was largely a product of the 19th century. The same could be said for the Zionist national movement.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 1:25 am

        In any event, ancient Judaism is brimming over with values of universal justice, civil rights, self-defense against aggressive enemies, subservience to G-d and miracles.

        True enough, but that particular prophetic vision wasn’t realized in the days of leaders like Ezra, Nehemiah, and the disciples of Beit Shammai. They rejected universalism. In fact, they persecuted and killed people who subscribed to those beliefs and destroyed their families. Works like the Zohar, Shulchan Aruch, and Tanya offer very little encouragement for universalist beliefs. Even Reform Rabbis preach about “the disease of assimilation”. Those sentiments have become part of Israeli culture. Hanah Arendt wrote:

        Hence it is hardly respect for the faith or the power of the fanatically religious minority that prevents the government of Israel from substituting secular jurisdiction for rabbinical law in matters of marriage and divorce. Israeli citizens, religious and nonreligious, seem agreed upon the desirability of having a law which pro­hibits intermarriage, and it is chiefly for this reason—as Israeli officials outside the courtroom were willing to admit—that they are also agreed upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which such a law would embarrassingly have to be spelled out.

        Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7

        There are plenty of religious Jews in this country who subscribe to universalist views, civil rights, and modernity. Hannah Arendt also discussed the habit of Jews and Gentiles to construct distorted historical views in Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and tolerance: studies in Jewish-Gentile relations in medieval and modern times, Behrman House, Inc, 1961:

        The history of antisemitism, like the history of Jew-hatred, is part and parcel of the long and intricate story of Jewish-Gentile relations under the conditions of Jewish dispersion. Interest in this history was practically nonexistent prior to the middle of the nineteenth century, when it coincided with the rise of antisemitism and its furious reaction to emancipated and assimilated Jewry—obviously the worst possible constellation for establishing reliable historical records.

        Since then, it has been the common fallacy of Jewish and non-Jewish historiography—though mostly for opposite reasons—to isolate the hostile elements in Christian and Jewish sources and to stress the series of catastrophes, expulsions, and massacres that have punctuated Jewish history just as armed and unarmed conflicts, war, famine, and pestilence have punctuated the history of Europe. Needless to add, it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history, while it was left to the antisemites to trace an intellectually not too dissimilar record from ancient Jewish authorities. When this Jewish tradition of an often violent antagonism to Christians and Gentiles came to light, “the general Jewish public was not only outraged but genuinely astonished,” so well had its spokesmen succeeded in convincing themselves and everybody else of the non-fact that Jewish separateness was due exclusively to Gentile hostility and lack of enlightenment. Judaism, it was now maintained chiefly by Jewish historians, had always been superior to other religions in that it believed in human equality and tolerance. That this self-deceiving theory, accompanied by the belief that the Jewish people had always been the passive, suffering object of Christian persecutions, actually amounted to a prolongation and modernization of the old myth of chosenness and was bound to end in new and often very complicated practices of separation, destined to uphold the ancient dichotomy, is perhaps one of those ironies which seem to be in store for those who, for whatever reasons, try to embellish and manipulate political facts and historical records.

        Jews have perpetrated no genocides or mass murders.

        The history of modern Israel is punctuated by small wars and massacres (i.e. the act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly) at places like Gaza City, Kafr Qasim, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Qibya, Sammu, Sabra, Shatila, and Qana.

      • Shmuel
        August 9, 2012, 3:02 am

        Okay, but by saying “YOU NON-JEWS” – you divided the world into Jews and non-Jews.

        I was paraphrasing Maimonides.

        You can’t escape your Jewish worldview, although you try.

        Must be the circumcision.

        Maybe, my argument is unfair.

        No, just wrong.

      • Shmuel
        August 9, 2012, 3:04 am

        and then when you get to the next life, you find me there.

        A chilling thought indeed. Good thing I don’t stand a chance.

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 3:56 am

        ” Jews have perpetrated no genocides or mass murders.

        The history of modern Israel is punctuated by small wars and massacres (i.e. the act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly) at places like Gaza City, Kafr Qasim, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Qibya, Sammu, Sabra, Shatila, and Qana.”

        There was also some kind of shadowy Jewish uprising in the second century or something in which they supposedly overran Libya, Cyprus, and I would suppose much of Egypt. As I recall, they were accused of massacring several hundred thousand gentiles — although such a figure from an ancient source is almost meaningless. It tells us a lot of people died. That’s all.

        More to the point, though, Bretons haven’t perpetrated any genocides or mass murders either. Failure to perpetrate mass murders or genocides isn’t evidence of moral superiority — but simply evidence of never having been in both a position to perpetrate one and having the motive to do so. I for one have no trouble at all imagining Israel killing millions if the situation made it feasible and the act happened to serve her ends.

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 4:08 am

        “Of course the Bible — the Old Testament in particular — is not the source of all the evils in the world, but it *is* remarkable that white racists in the American Confederate tradition (still with us today, some of them Christian Zionists) and racist Afrikaners in apartheid South Africa relied heavily on Old Testament imagery and themes to justify their behavior — just like Revisionist and religious Zionists in contemporary Israel.

        My point here is *not* that Jews are more evil than other groups — one could argue that usually they are less evil — but that for some reason the Old Testament has served as a spark plug for quite a few evil deeds…”

        I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. The Old Testament has certainly provided justification for quite a few evil deeds — but that’s a different matter from being the cause of those deeds.

        Rather, I would say that when Christians have needed some justification for exterminating whoever, they’ve found the New Testament singularly unhelpful…turning the other cheek isn’t the advice they were looking for at the moment.

        So you flip open your handy-dandy Old Testament and find that stuff about the Amalekites or whoever. Now you’re set.

        There’s some two-way flow of course — but in general, the impulse to commit violence comes first and the resort to the Old Testament second, not the other way around. The Old Testament, per se is no more a cause of evil than reading too much Homer is. After all, go ahead and read through the Iliad. If you need a moral guide that will helpfully let you do whatever it is you want to do in the way of slaughter and rapine, it’ll work. That doesn’t mean reading it made you do it.

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 4:32 am

        “…Hophmi continues to evade the main point: the worldwide Jewish establishment has endorsed and continues to promote the dangerous propaganda theme that “the Jews,” Judaism, Zionism and the Israeli government constitute a single unified entity.

        Militant antisemites couldn’t dream up a more insidious and sinister vision than that which has been concocted and cooked up by the worldwide Jewish establishment.

        Within the conceptual framework developed by the Jewish establishment, “the Jews” and Judaism now own and and are responsible for all the policies of the Israeli government — including a wide array of human rights abuses…”

        But if that conceptual framework is invalid, then all Jews are not responsible. Romney might become president, declare that ‘America has no choice but to attack Iran,’ and proceed to do so, and I am American, but that doesn’t make me responsible for something that was done in my name but without my consent.

        I also question the existence of a ‘world-wide Jewish establishment’ supporting Israel. There are people who have rather loudly appointed themselves head of such an establishment — but the extent to which it exists and how many Jews it actually comprehends are another matter.

        I’ve said it before, but I think the ‘support’ of a lot of Jews for Israel is rather reluctant and lackluster. They really do seem to look on Israel about the way one would look on a ne’er-do-well cousin. One is not about to publically vilify him, and if he hits you up for a thousand dollars, you really feel you have to give it to him — but you really, really wish he’d just shape up. Maybe move to the other side of the country?

        The situation with Jews and Israel strikes me as a matter of all the worst being full of sound and fury — and most of the rest being silenced or feeling obliged to make ritual gestures of support. The old ‘of course we support Israel but…’ schtick. J Street.

        Now to get flamed by Mooser. The sage of Bremerton. He knows all about all Jews.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 9, 2012, 9:46 am

        Shmuel,

        “Each and every human being (ben adam) has merits and sins. … And so a country … And so the entire world.” – Maimonides
        —————–
        If the above is true (and what Novick says about orthodox teaching is wrong) – then there is indeed no point in being Jewish.

        A religious, observant Jew has to struggle with hundreds of rules to be ‘righteous’ (agreeable to God) whereas a gentile has to follow just the 7 simple Noachic rules to become ‘righteous’ — and go to paradise.

        And what idiot would make his life miserable by converting to Judaism?
        You may be right. – But it defies the cost/benefit analysis of life.
        (Are there some hidden benefits to being Jewish that I don’t know of ???)

      • lysias
        August 9, 2012, 10:42 am

        After all, go ahead and read through the Iliad. If you need a moral guide that will helpfully let you do whatever it is you want to do in the way of slaughter and rapine, it’ll work.

        I don’t think that’s the lesson of the Iliad. Achilles goes too far in fighting — he won’t allow Hector’s body to be buried but abuses the body, he kills a boy who asks for mercy — and in the last book of the epic he learns that he has gone too far and must give way on Hector’s body. (I read the last eight books of the Iliad in Greek in my senior year in high school, that was the lesson I drew from it then, and it has always affected my thinking, especially during the years of my military service.)

      • Shmuel
        August 9, 2012, 11:03 am

        If the above is true … then there is indeed no point in being Jewish.

        From a strictly theological perspective (the only context in which this argument makes any sense), some have indeed argued that all paths to God are equally valid, others have asserted Jewish advantages, and yet others have viewed Judaism as an unshakable burden. Judaism is not the only monotheistic faith to have struggled with the question of heavenly reward or salvation for adherents of other faiths. If all paths to God are equally valid, what makes one’s own faith truer or more worthwhile than any other?

        A religious, observant Jew has to struggle with hundreds of rules to be ‘righteous’ (agreeable to God) whereas a gentile has to follow just the 7 simple Noachic rules to become ‘righteous’ — and go to paradise.

        To give you an example of one of the ways in which this problem has been approached in Jewish thought, there is a Mishnah that states “The Holy One blessed be He wished to make Israel meritorious. He therefore lavished Torah and commandments upon them, as it is written ‘God desires righteousness [of Israel, and therefore] will increase Torah and make it great’ [Isaiah 42:21, taken out of context for the sake of the homily].”

        A 19th-century Galician Orthodox rabbi by the name of Zvi Hirsch Chajes explained this Mishnah as a reference to man’s inherent tendency to ethical behaviour. God’s gift to the Jews was to provide them with greater and more specific (objective-divine) ethical guidance. If they follow the path laid out for them by God, they will be at a decided advantage; if they don’t, they will find themselves at a terrible disadvantage.

        See also MHughes’ insightful comment @ August 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm.

        And what idiot would make his life miserable by converting to Judaism?

        From a purely theological perspective, you are absolutely right.

        But it defies the cost/benefit analysis of life.

        Are you suggesting that human spirituality is both omniscient and self-regulating?

        Are there some hidden benefits to being Jewish that I don’t know of ???

        We’re not allowed to tell.

      • hophmi
        August 9, 2012, 11:48 am

        “And what idiot would make his life miserable by converting to Judaism?”

        That’s more or less what we tell prospective converts. But there are people who enjoy the idea of a system that is a way of life as Judaism is. The idea that each and every act we do can be sanctified in some way is certainly a compelling notion, at least for some.

      • Hostage
        August 9, 2012, 12:51 pm

        A religious, observant Jew has to struggle with hundreds of rules to be ‘righteous’ (agreeable to God) whereas a gentile has to follow just the 7 simple Noachic rules to become ‘righteous’ — and go to paradise.

        And what idiot would make his life miserable by converting to Judaism?

        The idea is that people get more blessings and rewards on the basis of their merits or calling in this world and the world to come. Christianity has similar teachings about gifts, the calling, and the concomitant eternal rewards and punishments. In fact, according to Christian theology some Jews will get a hotter place in Hell than the ancient Sodomites:

        – Matthew 11:24 “But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”

        The book of Revelations indicates that the vast majority of Jews are destined for damnation, while the Christian saints assume the roles formerly reserved for their brethren, the Angels. For example, the 24 Elders and the 4 “Living Beasts” appear to be redeemed men in their new, glorified forms:

        And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

        And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

        That is in-line with the belief that mankind was made a little lower than the Angels, but will eventually be elevated above them through the works of the Messiah. So neither Judaism nor Christianity have closed-up Heaven to others on the basis of a person’s race, just on the grounds of their beliefs and deeds.

        I tend to agree with the proposition that Christian and Jewish eschatology is a bunch of superstitious nonsense.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 9, 2012, 1:05 pm

        Shmuel,

        thanks for the answer. You got to be tired by now of explaining.
        The comment by MHughes you refered me to is insightful. (The ‘vanguard theeory’ of the Jews. Lenin must have gotten it from them?)

      • manfromatlan
        August 9, 2012, 1:21 pm

        When extremism controls the discourse in the U.S., that’s when we should be concerned.

        And Israel is quite happy to live with Islamic extremists, it’s Arab (and Palestinian) nationalism it is scared of.

      • eljay
        August 9, 2012, 1:55 pm

        >> The idea that each and every act we do can be sanctified in some way is certainly a compelling notion, at least for some.

        Nothing helps a Zio-supremacist sleep better at night than knowing that all his hateful, immoral, unethical, unjust and illegal actions and undertakings are “sanctified in some way”.

      • Taxi
        August 9, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Bulls-eye!

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 9, 2012, 8:00 pm

        - “each and every act we [Jews] do can be sanctified in some way”

        Glad you said that hophmi, I appreciate your honesty. And I believe you that you don’t celebrate Purim as an anti-gentile feast, although … but never mind.

      • ColinWright
        August 10, 2012, 4:08 pm

        Mooser: read over your last three posts on this thread.

        You make no positive contribution whatsoever and betray an almost hysterical objection to anyone being aware of Jews as a group at all. I inquired about the existence of a balanced history of Jews. You got upset about that.

        ! Maybe you should stay away from this site. The contents are going to keep inflaming your neuroses.

      • ColinWright
        August 10, 2012, 4:17 pm

        “I don’t think that’s the lesson of the Iliad…”

        No doubt it’s not. But that’s more or less my point.

        Whatever the main thrust of the Iliad, if one wanted to mine it for examples of thought-crime, one could come up with a pretty bountiful crop.

        So I wonder if it’s the same with the Talmud. No doubt one can find all kinds of awful injunctions in it. The extent to which these injunctions are indicative of the whole remains something of an unknown — since (a) the thing seems too damned big to read, and (b) everyone who aspires to tell us all about it seems to have an agenda, either to vilify or to sanitize.

      • Shmuel
        August 10, 2012, 6:42 pm

        So I wonder if it’s the same with the Talmud. No doubt one can find all kinds of awful injunctions in it. The extent to which these injunctions are indicative of the whole remains something of an unknown — since (a) the thing seems too damned big to read, and (b) everyone who aspires to tell us all about it seems to have an agenda, either to vilify or to sanitize.

        (a) I have read heaps of it, in the original, including quite a few of the censored bits. If you wish to answer your own question (although again I wonder what the purpose or premise might be), you are welcome to read as much of it as you like in English, online, for free. The question you pose (are the nasty, un-PC bits of a work redacted some 1500 years ago indicative of the entire corpus) seems to be of the “when did you stop beating your wife” variety – especially if you are unwilling to study the matter seriously for yourself.

        (b) Klaus may think that I “cannot escape my Jewish worldview”, but I’m not interested in vilifying or sanitizing the Talmud or any other ancient Jewish text, and I think the Iliad is a pretty good analogy.

      • AlGhorear
        August 13, 2012, 9:27 pm

        “So what’s the point of being a Jew, then?

        You struggle through Hebrew school, wash two sets of pots and pans, wear the funny hats, and then when you get to the next life, you find me there.”

        Roha, this is a priceless response to our Schmuel , whose patience appears to have no bounds. Thanks for the chuckle.

  33. Denis
    August 6, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Phil and the other anti-Zionist Jews on this site and in America are admirable in many respects, not the least of which is their perspicacity and how clearly and eloquently they talk the talk.

    But how many actually walk the walk? How many American Jews publicly and unequivocally reject the position that Israel, and not America, is their homeland? That would require a public denunciation of the Law of Return and to any rights Israel has granted them on the basis of their religion or ancestry, which “rights” are, after all, blatant racism. I guess what I’m asking is how many Jews reject the idea that they are special creations or a member of a “chosen people,” and that they are, by the sole virtue of being Jewish, any better than anybody else?

    By analogy I can say that as an American of Catholic Irish descent, I absolutely reject the idea that I have any allegiance to Ireland or the Church. The idea that Christians are special or superior is as revolting to me as the idea that Jews or Muslims are, and the idea of a “Catholic state” is as disgusting as the idea of a Jewish state or an Islamic one. If the UK were to follow Israel’s example and pass a law saying that as a descendant of Ireland I have a right of return to Ireland, I would promptly and publicly write Parliament a letter, cc to the Queen, and tell them where to stick their law and the country. Aliyah my a….

    • Dexter
      August 6, 2012, 8:22 pm

      Well said Denis.

    • Tobias
      August 7, 2012, 6:41 am

      Hate to be pedestrian Denis, but your right of return analogy is somewhat flawed. It would not be up to the UK, to pass a law saying that as a descendant of Ireland you would have a right of return to Ireland, as this is a right only an Irish government could possibly bestow.

      And as a matter of fact Ireland does offer a right of return of sorts. Perhaps you are eligible. The requirement is simple; if one of your four grandparents were born on the island of Ireland, as their grandchild, you have a right to Irish citizenship.

      Happily this comes without the need to make aliyah to Ireland or the need to relinquish US citizenship.

      link to citizensinformation.ie

      • Denis
        August 8, 2012, 1:20 am

        Tobias, you are a wizard! Thank you. How did you find that?

        I believe your post sniffs of a “put-up-or-shut-up” demand, and I would promptly draft the letter I threatened to draft if the Irish “right of return” applied to me. But, alas, all my Irish fore-folks came over as steerage too many generations ago for me to now qualify for a right of return to Ireland. Thank goodness.

        The other shortcoming of my Ireland homeland analogy is that Ireland doesn’t brow-beat Americans of Irish descent to make them think they have some sort of moral duty to support Ireland the way Israelis and American Israeli-firsters like Foxman and Dersowitz try to convince American Jews they have a moral obligation to support Israel or to be a part of that whole Israel apartheid thing. What horse-poop these people throw.

      • Tobias
        August 13, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Wasn’t putting it up to you at all, Denis. Just thought there might be an outside chance you’d qualify. Quite a few of my American friends in New York have availed of this right to Irish (and EU) citizenship; some to avoid the need of a work permit when offered positions in EU countries, others to avoid the non-EU line at European immigration entry points.

        Interestingly enough, Mossad obviously see the benefits of an Irish passport. In 2010, five of their team that murdered Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, travelled in and out of Dubai on (stolen) Irish passports.

  34. Krauss
    August 6, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but I do find it hilarious to read the frenzied Zionist responses to Phil’s article.

    That many Zionist defenders have jumped on this glumness, this fear of the future is really indicative of how starved they are on victories. It’s now not even important of what the context is, all that is important is to somehow, by any means necessary, halt the momentum.

    Rabbi Eric Yoffe, the former head of Reform, wrote a recent article in Haaretz about the declining support for Zionism.

    One of the articles he references was this one, by strongly hinting that he has debated him and knows him well:
    link to chronicle.com

    The author specifically mentions this site, and if the author is a friend of the former head of the Reform movement, and that same author mentions Mondoweiss as an inspiration, then yes, you are changing the situation.

    Yet, we shouldn’t underestimate the deep, extensive networks that the Palestinian diaspora now have. All of them understand full well how important it is with non-violence. Even Hamas has pledged to do non-violent resistance. Not that they’re liberals, but the fact that an extremist organization like Hamas is being pulled from the left, and not from the reactionary right, is a strong sign who is winning the moral argument among the Palestinians.

    What Phil is clearly articulating in his piece isn’t a support of Zionism – it’s a fear of Zionism going too far than it already has, snuffing out the last hope of a peaceful resolution.

    Britain’s ambassador to Israel said that ‘mainstream support for Israel’ inside the centrist Parliament is ‘slipping’.

    Eric Yoffe’s piece today in Haaretz speaks of the same phenomenom.

    A piece in the Atlantic by the managing editor of Foreign Affairs, who is Jewish, basically advocates that Israel unilaterially retreats from the West Bank.

    All these people know what we know. The game is up.

    And this is what Phil understands, on a deeper level than just about any of us, since he is there. He feels it.

    It’s now over. And he fears for the future because at least before, there was an order to the brutality, there was a systematic approach that you could wrap your head around.

    Now we’re going into unchartered territory, as the 2SS is finally buried and mainstream support for Israel is slowly beginning to fade. Nobody knows how long this process will take. It will take years, to be sure. Perhaps more than a decade. But judging by only the last 5 years we’ve seen nothing short of a revolution. And the momentum is picking up, a fact that Yoffe laments.

    The road to democracy may be bumpy, but we should have no illusions about the righteousness of the course.
    And the tinge of personal melodrama, Phil, is irrelevant here. You’re already doing great things. But your leadership is intellectual, moral and spiritual.

    Your physical help is simply not needed, even if it may feel better and more ‘real’. Mondoweiss is now partnered with Salon. This site is being linked on a consistent basis in the Atlantic, by pieces in Haaretz and even has it’s own article devoted to it by the necons at Commentary.

    Early Zionist leaders always overestimated the value of manual labor, to the point of worshipping it. They forgot that it wasn’t their hands which created their Apartheid state, but their intellectual efforts.

    And you won’t help usher in democracy by your manual labor.
    It must be done intellectually.

    You’re that intellectual leader, a gatherer of pro-democracy voices.
    I would even be inclined to, in an ironic touch, to call you our Herzl.

    • American
      August 6, 2012, 3:26 pm

      “All these people know what we know. The game is up.”…Krauss

      I don’t think the Uber Zionist know the game is up at all.
      They think their specialness will triumph over all opposing forces.
      They think that’s what the past 65 years of zionism and Israel hubris has proven–the magical destiny of zionism—-they won’t stop now.
      And certainly not with Netanyahu in charge.

    • ColinWright
      August 6, 2012, 6:48 pm

      “…Yet, we shouldn’t underestimate the deep, extensive networks that the Palestinian diaspora now have. All of them understand full well how important it is with non-violence. Even Hamas has pledged to do non-violent resistance. Not that they’re liberals, but the fact that an extremist organization like Hamas is being pulled from the left, and not from the reactionary right, is a strong sign who is winning the moral argument among the Palestinians…”

      I suspect that the Palestinians are being played if they believe non-violence is going to do it.

      First, non-violence assumes that the rulers in question are susceptible to ethical appeals. This was true of British parliamentarians of eighty years ago and middle-class Americans of fifty years ago — how true it is of Israeli Jews is another question.

      Second, it gets papered over, but all successful movements of ‘non-violent’ resistance worked in concert with a good dollop of violence. Violence was a constant throughout the Indian campaign for independence (No, Gandhi is not a historically accurate film), there was Martin Luther King on one side and the ‘long hot summers’ on the other, and there was violence aplenty in South Africa. It’s a whipsaw: done right, your professed ‘non-violence’ gets you the moral high ground, and your actual violence forces your opponent to visibly abandon that same ground. General Dyer didn’t shoot down the demonstrators in Amritsar because he was frustrated with Gandhi’s brilliant non-violence tactics. He did it because he was outraged that White women had been openly attacked in the streets.

      If the Palestinians stick to real non-violence, and win their freedom that way, it’ll be a first. The fact of the matter is that violence may not be pretty but (a) it seems inevitable and may even be necessary, and (b) it works. It has to be applied intelligently of course, and with an eye to the reaction it will elicit from your opponent, but it works. Apologies to any wistful idealists who wish the world was some other way. It ain’t.

      I have no doubt that the Palestinians are going to have to pretend to advocate non-violence. Whether it’s a good idea for them to be sincere about it is another matter. Netanyahu’s not going to give them the vote because the scales fall from his eyes and he realizes how wrong he’s been. The game is much dirtier than that, and has to be played accordingly.

    • Mooser
      August 7, 2012, 3:55 pm

      “I would even be inclined to, in an ironic touch, to call you our Herzl”

      Really got it in for Weiss, don’t you? Would you really like to compare what Phil is doing to what Herzl did?

  35. DICKERSON3870
    August 6, 2012, 1:25 pm

    RE: “On my last day in Jerusalem I went to the Holocaust memorial and marveled at the architecture. The exhibit hall of Yad Vashem s in the form of a long triangular box… The message is clear: Europe was a trap for Jews, the only way out was here.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: The notion that European Jews (or Roma/Gypsies, gays, etc., for that matter) “went like sheep to the slaughter” (during the Holocaust) and therefore would only be safe in a Jewish nation-state is what I consider to be one of the most thoroughly disgusting propaganda creations of the Zionists. That is one travesty I will never forgive the Zionists for!

    ALSO SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

    (excerpt). . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around , that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to commondreams.org
    ALSO SEE – “Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons”, by Ira Chernus, Tikkun Magazine, November/December 2010
    LINK – link to tikkun.org

  36. GJB
    August 6, 2012, 2:04 pm

    Eloquent as always, Phil. Your gut is telling you that something fundamental is changing over there. Maybe it’s just that you’re in a particularly more pessimistic mood this time, but I have a feeling that your experienced journalistic mind would not allow your gut to speak that way without good cause.

    I haven’t been there, but what I’m beginning to hear also tells me that something is changing, even within the green line and in the perceptions of visitors who might not be expected to see it. Example: A colleague of mine has a granddaughter who did a Birthright trip last year. Loved it, couldn’t wait to go back. Went back this year, on her own with a friend. When she got home, grandma expected to hear gushing about how great it was. Instead, the granddaughter hated it. Couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it sounded like part of it might have been the pervasiveness of the ultra-orthodox and gender discrimination, partly that many of the Israelis seemed to her rather harsh and uninviting. All this from a self described supporter of Zionism, who went with a totally positive expectation; out of the “Birthright bubble” it just wasn’t what she anticipated. And I’ve heard recently from other people, visiting for the second or third time, who have said they found a very different feel this time; “uncomfortable” was a word I heard more than once from such visitors.

    So something may indeed be changing, on both sides of the green line. Yes, there is good reason for pessimism. But, as we all know, the status quo is untenable. Change is essential. So it can’t hurt that some of the folks who usually engage in “happy talk” are feeling more than a little disturbed over there. Maybe, just maybe, there are some chinks in the Zionist armor beginning to show. And maybe, in these wisps of change, there is still hope – and opportunity.

  37. giladg
    August 6, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Philip, it is time to shut down your cesspool of hate. You need to admit to yourself that there is an aspect to the conflict that you have not been able to understand and thus you refrain from criticizing one side. This is what traps you. Move on Philip. You tried, you failed thankfully. Now move on, get a real job. The Palestinians do not deserve the type of support Black South African did. Were any of your friends in the armored car that crashed into Israel yesterday? The region is out of control. Only that some Jews have preferred to fantasize. The world you think the Palestinians belong to, has only a few of your friends in it. They are not representative of the bigger picture.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 6, 2012, 2:41 pm

      lol! omg this is classic giladg. you’re sounding unhinged.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 6, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Were any of your friends in the armored car that crashed into Israel yesterday? The region is out of control.

      and what, pray tell, has this to do with palestinians? are you saying the attack supports or justifies israel’s apartheid? palestinians did not attack israel yesterday.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 4:14 pm

        “and what, pray tell, has this to do with palestinians?”

        You don’t see? The poor Israelis are so worried, so famisht they can’t drive. Or maybe the woman with them said she was a witch and would prove it by turning into a motel?

      • giladg
        August 6, 2012, 5:07 pm

        Oh, Gazan’s aren’t Palestinians. Is this what you are telling us Annie? I guarantee you that at least some, if not all, of those involved in the terrorist attack yesterday are (were) Palestinian.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 6, 2012, 5:16 pm

        guarentee? cough up the link.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 6, 2012, 6:05 pm

        “in the terrorist attack”

        How was this a terrorist attack, zio? Gunmen engaged Egyptian military, commendeered a military transport, and sought to engage the occupying force in Palestine. No “terror” here.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 7, 2012, 12:34 am

        “guarentee? cough up the link.”

        Given that he talks from his ass it should be “crap up the link”. Lol.

      • giladg
        August 8, 2012, 1:03 am

        link to m.aljazeera.com

        Here’s one link from Al Jazeera. The info will eventually come in and we will learn some of the names, but for most it will be yesterday’s news, except during the next prisoner swap, guess who will be requesting the bodies of those killed in the attack?

        Just in case the paragraph gets scrubbed, I quote “Egypt and Israel say both Islamist fighters from the Sinai and Palestinian allies from the Gaza Strip are active in northern Sinai, attacking both Egyptian security forces and staging raids across the border into Israel”.

      • giladg
        August 8, 2012, 5:18 am

        Here’s another one from the NY Times

        Palestinians involved in the attack

        “After the attack, some of Mr. Morsi’s critics cast his relationship with the group as a liability. Security officials have said that Palestinians played some role in the attack on the soldiers, who were killed on Sunday when 35 gunmen stormed their checkpoint, spraying the soldiers with machine gun fire. Officials said that militants based in the Sinai Peninsula carried out the attack, along with Palestinians who infiltrated the country through smuggling tunnels from the Gaza Strip.”

        Are you still lol?

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2012, 6:36 am

        “Security officials have said that Palestinians played some role in the attack on the soldiers”

        Played some role? Wow, how vague can one possibly be? What role did they play?

        This smells like BS and it’s hardly a surprise that it comes on the heels of Morsi opening the Rafah crossing. Israel were livid , so they probably carried out a false flag to create a pretext to close it again.

      • Taxi
        August 8, 2012, 6:48 am

        gilad,
        The problem you will more and more come across is that more and more people around the world just simply don’t believe what israel or her apologists say anymore – cried wolf too many times.

        For years israelis have been committing massacres, thieving land and water and felling thousands of ancient trees in the name of their ‘security’ (code for landgrab), doing so blatantly and unapologetically and without accountability, telling us they don’t care what the world thinks anyway – and so now, years later, the tables are turned and world doesn’t care what YOU think and doesn’t believe what YOU say.

        For most of humanity, it’s clear to them that israel is an apartheid country with an active policy for ethnic cleansing, a rogue and racist state that is NOT to be trusted or appreciated.

        Live with this or give back Palestine to it’s rightful owners, the Palestinians.

      • Hostage
        August 8, 2012, 10:02 am

        Here’s another one from the NY Times . . . Are you still lol?

        Yes. Here is a bogus NYT story which reports that “Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb”. — link to nytimes.com

        Here’s another NYT story from last August which falsely claimed that Gazans crossed into Egypt and were responsible for attacks near Eilat. Only the part about the Israeli Defense Minister murdering Gazans in a retaliatory strike was correct. Please note that these stories remain online with no updates, corrections, or retractions. You have to look elsewhere to find that sort of thing:

        JERUSALEM — Armed attackers, described by the authorities as Gazans who had crossed into Israel from Egypt, carried out multiple deadly attacks near the popular Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday, prompting a fierce Israeli bombing raid on Gaza and threatening to escalate tensions there.

        –http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/world/middleeast/19israel.html/

        See:
        *Evidence undermines gov’t’s claim that terrorists were Gazans
        link to 972mag.com
        *IDF mum on Eilat attacks that justified Gaza bombing
        link to 972mag.com
        *Escalation in south: IDF takes summer Gaza spin out for 2nd round
        link to 972mag.com

        You shouldn’t base your judgement on a NYT report that simply echos vague government allegations, as if they are reliable. That’s especially true when they’re repeating self-serving claims made by Egyptian and Israeli security sources.

    • Krauss
      August 6, 2012, 3:00 pm

      Philip, it is time to shut down your cesspool of hate

      Hilarious! How dare he advocate democracy and liberalism! He should stop NOW!

      Gilad is about to cry.

      • MHughes976
        August 6, 2012, 3:51 pm

        This site advocates humanity and equality and though bad deeds are deplored the perpetrators are not hated.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 7, 2012, 6:27 am

        “the perpetrators are not hated.”

        The problem is not the hatred itself; it’s what provokes and nourishes it. I have no problem admitting deep hatred for those who inflicted on my people unfathomable misery.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 4:06 pm

        “…Philip, it is time to shut down your cesspool of hate…”

        That is pretty impressively inappropriate. I could reasonably be accused of operating ‘a cesspool of hate.’ I seem to be a rather good hater, and I’ve fastened on Israel.

        However, it doesn’t fit Phil. It just doesn’t.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:08 pm

        “I seem to be a rather good hater, and I’ve fastened on Israel.”

        You should be more sure of yourself, Colin! What’s all this “seem to be”? Anyone who can advocate torture, and blame the Washington Native Americans for the disappearance of salmon, is an expert hater in my book. Why just add in all that 2nd Amendment crap, and you’ve hit the trifecta of hate, as far as I’m concerned. I’ll never doubt your capacity for it.

      • giladg
        August 6, 2012, 6:20 pm

        You see Philip, they celebrate each other, Mooser and Colin, in the open. Go read about the antisemitism in the 1930’s that is returning in a big way. How does it feel to be lending a hand? With a name like Weiss, you know they will come after you as well.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 6:57 pm

        And anyone who refuses to read posts all the way through should realize that it’s entirely possible their remarks have neither accuracy nor relevance.

      • Shingo
        August 7, 2012, 12:32 am

        Go read about the antisemitism in the 1930′s that is returning in a big way.

        In a big way? So big that no one has notriced it or documented it.

        How does it feel to be delusional and paranoid?

      • giladg
        August 7, 2012, 1:09 am

        Go read the latest report from the US State Department about global freedom. It’s in there.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 7, 2012, 6:31 am

        “Go read about the antisemitism in the 1930′s that is returning”

        Can you for once act out of character and stop playing the victim? This whining business has been played out too many times. Petty, small, mendacious! Yuk!

      • giladg
        August 7, 2012, 10:48 am

        So I take it that you are not going to read the report.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:40 am

        “And anyone who refuses to read posts all the way through should realize that it’s entirely possible their remarks have neither accuracy nor relevance.”

        Well, well, look who’s talking! Does the name “Seanmcbride” have any resonance for you, Colin?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:48 am

        “So I take it that you are not going to read the report.”

        I’m not going to, brother giladg. You see, I know I can depend on your generosity, and tribal unity! At the last minute, just before those boxcar doors close once and for all, I’ll throw myself in your arms and plead for help in broken Yiddish. And you’ll protect me, you big handsome pious wonderful Zionist you. Remember, giladg, tribal unity! We’se a nation, daddy! I may not be much, but I’m all you got, your own little Jew-boy. No giladg, you can’t touch me there, try and be a mensch, okay?
        Please, giladg, stop my trembling and tell me you will, at the last moment, in spite of the many ways I’ve betrayed you, hear the me-to-you, Jew-to-Jew voice of tribal unity and help me? You will, won’t you?

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 12:40 pm

        That’s a point — but there at least I read all of your post. I even went back and tried to find the original source of the quote.

        Admittedly, I gave up — but some of your cyber-spittle pretty clearly indicates you can’t even be bothered to make it past the first sentence before you get out the torches and the pitchforks and go into your little lynch mob routine.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “You see Philip, they celebrate each other, Mooser and Colin, in the open. “

        If Mooser and I get to celebrating each other much more joyously, some mediation is going to be in order. How far off base can you be?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 4:10 pm

        “torches and the pitchforks and go into your little lynch mob routine.”

        “lynch mob routine”? Listen Colin, if you’re gonna play victim, you really should use another simile or find another meta for it. Maybe you could say I was “torturing” you. You don’t really want to bring up lynching, do you?

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 5:27 pm

        “… You don’t really want to bring up lynching, do you?”

        Why not? I’m curious: just what do you imagine my background to be?

        While we’re on the subject, what do you imagine you’re accomplishing in general? If you find your own behavior amusing, it only speaks the worse for you.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 6:48 pm

        “Why not? I’m curious: just what do you imagine my background to be?”

        Well, somebody who turns comments from a single person, comments which demand no action, threaten nothing, into a “lynch mob”. That kind of person.
        And don’t worry about how badly my comments speak for me. People who know me know how much worse I really am!

      • ColinWright
        August 8, 2012, 3:33 am

        “…Well, somebody who turns comments from a single person, comments which demand no action, threaten nothing, into a “lynch mob”. ..”

        Mm. I guess I was thinking of the quality of unreasoning hostility, the inane fascination with single phrases in preference to dealing with the actual point of the post, the indiscriminate spittle flying at all and sundry…

        But you’re right. You are just one individual. You’re not a mob.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 10:55 am

        “But you’re right. You are just one individual. You’re not a mob.”

        Didn’t you read “evet’s” comment, above? I contain millipedes, and their names are lesion!

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 7:31 pm

        @ giladg
        You mean read about the 1930’s Holodomor, which Muggeridge (writing for the Manchester Guardian) takes the trouble to say that this mass starvation was imposed largely by Jews? Lazar M. Kaganovich is often identified as an architect of the policy. A photograph in Montefiore, Red Tsar, shows him personally searching a farm for concealed food. In Muggeridge’s novel Winter in Moscow (1934) he appears as Kokoshkin, “a Jew” and “Stalin’s chief lieutenant.”

    • Taxi
      August 6, 2012, 3:27 pm

      You get the frig outta Palestine first and take your racist “cesspool of hate” widya!

      You’re worried about the neighbors? Then get the hell outta their garden buster!

      And don’t come back ya hear!

      The turmoil you’re referring to has greedy, violent israel’s fingerprints all over it. You ain’t a victim – you, arrogant, criminal zionists are the absolute perpetrators of everything you see around you and fear.

      And fear, you should cuz the natives are gonna rip to shreds every racist policy you ever imposed on them. They gave you a 64 year chance to rip it up yourselves and now it’s outta your hands. If I were you and so full of fear, I’d get the hell outta Palestine cuz it ain’t EVER gonna get cooler with your asses squatting on their lands.

    • ColinWright
      August 6, 2012, 4:03 pm

      “…Now move on, get a real job. The Palestinians do not deserve the type of support Black South African did…”

      This is obscene. It probably rests on some very inaccurate assumptions as well — but it’s primary quality is its obscenity. It’s exactly the sort of remark that restores my unqualified loathing for Israel.

      • Mooser
        August 6, 2012, 5:12 pm

        “It’s exactly the sort of remark that restores my unqualified loathing for Israel.”

        So you’ve got proof Giladg is an Israeli, except his own word? Oh, I see, you trust him, cause Jews don’t lie? And of course, you have proof positive that he both typifies and represents Israel. Oh, I see, it doesn’t matter. Yup Colin, if there is anything you are accomplished at (in a petty, nonviolent way, of course) it’s hating. You are ready to hate, any time anyplace. (In a petty, non-violent way, of course, and as long as “some of my best friends” aren’t listening.

      • ColinWright
        August 6, 2012, 7:01 pm

        You’re starting to bore me. Since you refuse to either read or respond to the entirety of posts, talking to you is roughly like attempting to debate a barking dog.

        However…I feel pretty good about my feelings for Israel. Actually, your fantasies notwithstanding, Israel is unique in that it’s one of the few things I can summon up unqualified contempt for. Almost everything else, I can see both sides of the issue.

        …but what’s the point of typing that? If you looked at the post at all, you only read the first line.

        However, proceeding on the apparently absurd assumption you do read posts all the way through, what does this mean?

        ” You are ready to hate, any time anyplace. (In a petty, non-violent way, of course, and as long as “some of my best friends” aren’t listening.”

        Well…you know what you can do. There is a certain irony in that you are the one being as viciously hostile as possible whilst simultaneously accusing me of ‘being ready to hate, any time any place.’ Would that be hypocrisy, intense stupidity, or both?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 11:53 am

        Well Colin, you just persist in your “unqualified loathing”. It’ll do you good.
        But if you want to advocate torture, blame Native Americans for disappearing salmon (wonder how the kept them going for sao many years before the white man was here to stop their over-fishing) and worship the gun, you can’t expect me to like you. I know, I know, if I see it that way, no decent God-fearing American is going to like me.

        And I’m still waiting for the definitive word on why Judaism is the most likely cause and key to understanding Zionism’s actions.

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 12:03 pm

        “Would that be hypocrisy, intense stupidity, or both?”

        Have I ever, even once (and please, go through my entire comment archive) denied that? Maybe I just don’t know how to deal with people who lack those qualities.

        ” Since you refuse to either read or respond to the entirety of posts”

        cough…seancoughmcbride…cough

      • Citizen
        August 7, 2012, 3:27 pm

        @Mooser
        I’m still waiting for your definitive word on why Christianity is the most likely cause and key to understanding Gentile actions. A secular Gentile is not a Christian. Do you think also that a secular Jew is not an adherent of Judaism? Einstein said by way of analogy that a snail carries a home on its back, and this home or shell changes depending on where the snail is at, but the shell is not the Jew because if you take off the snail’s shell, the snail is still a snail. Shmuel recommended a book to me that is a compilation of essays discussing the myriad of Jewish cultures since biblical times–a sort of testament to adaptability, David Biale’s book, and this discusses, I gather from summary ads on Amazon–I have not read the book, the various shells of the snail. Perhaps a better analogy is the cell color function in squids or octopus?

      • Mooser
        August 7, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Citizen, your rhetorical and intellectual dyslexia is really bad today.

      • ColinWright
        August 7, 2012, 5:31 pm

        Mooser says: “And I’m still waiting for the definitive word on why Judaism is the most likely cause and key to understanding Zionism’s actions.”

        In the context of what I’ve been concurrently posting, there’s a decided irony there.

        You know, it occurred to me. In terms of your net effect, you’re probably the most effective hasbarist on the site.

      • Mooser
        August 8, 2012, 11:05 am

        “You know, it occurred to me. In terms of your net effect, you’re probably the most effective hasbarist on the site.”

        I await (with baited breadth) your posting on Mondoweiss, titled: “An uppity Jew drove me, (and the multitudes in my head,) into the arms of the Zionists”

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 12:28 pm

        @ Mooser
        You sure that baited breath of yours is not merely you exhaling? Smell good?

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 5:16 am

        Unless you haven’t been brushing your teeth, it’s ‘bated breath,’ not ‘baited breath.’

        Edit: actually, the word was ‘breadth,’ come to think of it. Having emerged to engage in a little random vilification, Mooser may be withdrawing into his accustomed sanctuary of incomprehensibility.

        Does it get lonely up there in the rectum of the Sound, Mooser? Nothing to do but weird out the clerk in the supermarket? All you seem to have is (1) a somewhat random but vociferously jealous hug on your Judaism, (2) a kind of trivial cleverness that probably helps with your self-esteem issues, and (3) a singularly nasty disposition.

      • Citizen
        August 9, 2012, 10:44 am

        @ Colin Wright

        “Baited breadth”–just not enough depth?

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2012, 2:05 pm

        “Does it get lonely up there in the rectum of the Sound, Mooser? Nothing to do but weird out the clerk in the supermarket? All you seem to have is (1) a somewhat random but vociferously jealous hug on your Judaism, (2) a kind of trivial cleverness that probably helps with your self-esteem issues, and (3) a singularly nasty disposition.”

        Wow, It’s like you’re looking right in my window, and watching my every move, and reading my every thought. Excpet one thing, my wife does all the shopping. They banned me from Safeway for compulsive shoplifting, long time ago.

      • Philip Weiss
        August 10, 2012, 4:16 pm

        maybe you should change your handle to A Kind of Trivial Cleverness? It is distinctive.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2012, 12:07 pm

        “maybe you should change your handle to A Kind of Trivial Cleverness? It is distinctive”

        Of course, Phil, I would do anything you ask, if it was within my power, even unto half my kingdome, mit ivory, apes and peacocks included gratis but the last time I visited the “User Profile” page, it said that “user names cannot be changed”. Is that correct? I’m still wondering how “yonah” (nee “Wondering Jew”?) managed it.

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 7, 2012, 6:35 am

        “This is obscene. It probably rests on some very inaccurate assumptions as well — but it’s primary quality is its obscenity. It’s exactly the sort of remark that restores my unqualified loathing for Israel.”

        More than obscene. Pornographic.

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Giladg, baby! My man! Hophmi let me down, with his weak-ass equivalency Hasbara, but you came through, magnificently! Good to know there is still somebody under the bridge who understands and appreciates Zionist tradition, Zionist culture, and will make the effort to do the right thing.
      Now Giladg, don’t wuss out now! It’s time to move to veiled threats and intimations of power to shut the site down. Nobody but you can put out the exact right admixture of churlishness and thuggishness combined with a clumsy and obvious attempt at deniability.
      Remember Giladg, you’re fighting for Israel’s honor, which of course, is more than she ever did!

    • Mooser
      August 6, 2012, 4:21 pm

      Hey Giladg, did it ever occur to you, chump, that the aspect of the situation that Phil doesn’t understand is the one Klaus does understand? Now, which explanation would you rather have people understand, that there is a terrible stituation in Israel, but an accountably human one which can be solved (even if you don’t like what it would take to solve it), or would you rather the view that Zionism is the way it is due to defects in the Jewish religion (which unaccountably transmits itself to all Jews, no matter what the extent or context of their religious education) prevail?
      What am I saying? I know better than this, of course Giladg prefers Klaus’s view, it ensures alienation between Jews and others, and that’s what Zionism runs on. And if Judaism has to be both scapegoat and hostage for Zionism, well, it’s just doing its job. What has Judaism ever done to protect Jews?

      • Citizen
        August 8, 2012, 12:21 pm

        @ Mooser, maybe the question is, is there a symbiotic relationship between Judaism and Zionism? And, if so, is it a defect? And if so, to whom? And, why?

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 4:58 pm

      gilag’s words and attitude demonstrate the hatred, racism and elitism that the Israeli government, many Israeli’s and many Israel firsters here in the states are drenched in. Pathetic and very dangerous

    • talknic
      August 7, 2012, 12:17 am

      “the bigger picture “

      People who support Israel’s illegal activities are a tiny minority entirely dependent on the US veto vote in the UNSC to protect Israel from the consequences of the laws it obliged itself to uphold.

    • eljay
      August 8, 2012, 8:12 am

      >> Philip, it is time to shut down your cesspool of hate.

      Coming from a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist, that’s quite the curious comment.

      Anyway, speaking of cesspools of hate, when will the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel halt its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder?

    • Citizen
      August 8, 2012, 1:03 pm

      @ giladg
      ” The Palestinians do not deserve the type of support Black South African did.”

      Why is that, giladg? Because the latter were not invented? How so?

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 8, 2012, 3:29 pm

        @ giladg
        ” The Palestinians do not deserve the type of support Black South African did.”

        Why is that, giladg?

        No, it’s because Afrikaners aren’t Jewish.

  38. gracie fr
    August 6, 2012, 2:52 pm

    After 10 annual trips to Israel/Palestine, my own feelings dovetail with those of Philip Weiss and yet I keep hoping for a miraculous change to the status quo. Despite the spring protests in Tel Aviv focused on Jewish economic inequality, the government has fulfilled its promise of providing security to average Israelis. The Palestinians are sequestrated behind what it really is, a “Separation barrier” (Mikhshol HaHafrada) and not a security barrier, controlled by a internal police force trained by the Americans and inhibited from moving freely by ID controls at hundreds of check points. Jeff Halper uses the term “warehousing” and borrowing from Niaomi Kline’s concept of “corralling surplus humanity” he elaborates further:
    Warehousing is permanent. Apartheid recognizes that there is another side. With warehousing it’s like prison. There is no other side. There is us, and then there are these people that we control, they have no rights, they have no identity, they’re inmates. It’s not political, it’s permanent, static. Apartheid you can resist. The whole brilliance of warehousing is that you can’t resist because you’re a prisoner……Prisoners can rise up in the prison yards but prison guards have all the rights in the world to put them down. That’s what Israel has come to. They are terrorists and we have the right to put them down. In a sense Israel has succeeded with the international community, and the US especially, in taking out of this situation the political. It’s now solely an issue of security, just like in prisons. It’s another concept that does not have any legal reference today but we’d like to put that in because warehousing is not only in Israel. Warehousing exists all over the capitalist world. Two-thirds of the people have been warehoused….. I’m saying that Palestine is a microcosm of what’s happening around the world. (link to aljazeera.com)
    Like the Egyptians, Tunisians Bahrainis, Palestinians desire basic human freedoms and a fair say in shaping their own destiny. As Israel’s has complete control of media and messaging, even the passive resistance efforts are met with IDF retaliation and the BDS campaign portrayed in a negative light.
    Halper’s conclusion to his May2, 2012 interview with British Ceasefire Magazine gives encouragement to the disheartened, including myself:
    There is [cause for optimism]; simply because the present situation is completely unsustainable. It is no longer a localised issue. It impacts the global system and is so disruptive that we know it isn’t going to last forever. “Collapse with agency” (the PA) is something we should put into the equation, and that will happen sometime in the near future. We must organize and create stronger relationships with the young Palestinian leadership. Our role is to hasten the end of occupation, but the problem is not ‘67, it’s ‘48….So we mustn’t just talk about occupation, we must end the oppression, the Apartheid system. We need to hasten its end, truly make it unsustainable through our organizing with churches, trade unions, the UN. The BDS campaign is very good because it keeps people involved at a local level. We have to continue to keep the issue alive and eventually Israel will lose the moral war……http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/jeff-halper-the-two-state-solution-longer-viable-stop-talking-it/

  39. Stephen Shenfield
    August 6, 2012, 4:07 pm

    I can understand the situation seeming hopeless from inside Palestine. But viewed in a world context there are signs of progress. It now appears that there will be no attack on Iran this year after all. Above all, there has been a real shift in world public opinion against Israel — a shift that the Israeli government acknowledges and worries about. Israel has lost an important ally — Turkey. Even in the US there are inroads on the Zionist propaganda monopoly, dutifully reported on this site. The trouble is that this shift gives no immediate relief to the Palestinians, though it will eventually, once it passes some critical point.

    But even if you are still convinced that the situation is hopeless I would urge you not to express this feeling in public, because it could demoralize others who do not think it is so hopeless.

    • Kathleen
      August 6, 2012, 4:59 pm

      Some believe that Israel will attack Iran before the U.S. election. What makes you so sure?

      • ToivoS
        August 6, 2012, 5:45 pm

        Look at Derfner’s 972mag article. He was extremely pessimistic just a month back but thinks now, based on new information, that Israel will not attack. I agree. The reason is purely logistical — Israel does not have the ability to deliver enough ordinance to cause any real damage. There is also the possibility that they would lose some very expensive aircraft.

      • Kathleen
        August 6, 2012, 6:49 pm

        And if Israel attacks Iran has every right to respond likewise. Every right

      • piotr
        August 8, 2012, 2:28 am

        From the point of view of IDF command, and cabinet minister, retaliation is not as bad as loosing a plane or two, inflicting little damage and having Iranian government crowing day and night that they won.

        Also, because Iranian program is to a degree smoke and mirrors rather than bones, flesh and a well defined list of buildings, Iran can always claim that the Zionist entity miserably failed in their futile endeavor to deprive Iranian their basic right to pursue happiness and uranium enrichment.

      • ColinWright
        August 8, 2012, 3:42 am

        “… The reason is purely logistical — Israel does not have the ability to deliver enough ordinance to cause any real damage…”

        There’s also Israel’s historical behavior.

        She loves surprises. Looked at in that way, all the bellowing suggests she’s not going to attack.

        To continue to follow this logic, if there’s a sudden drop in apparent tensions, watch out. The inference would be that Israel is about to go for it.

        If she does do it, it’ll depend on how the US election is going. If it looks like Obama is going to win, she’ll attack sometime around October 1, figuring (probably correctly) that Obama’s not going to risk losing his lead by saying something and that she’ll be able to extort statements of support from him in the run up to November. The bombing will probably be immediately preceded by a ‘terrorist attack.’

        If Romney looks like he will win, Israel may hold off until he’s inaugurated. She may also dispense with the ‘terrorist attack.’

      • Kathleen
        August 8, 2012, 9:14 am

        And Iran does have the right to enrich uranium

      • Nevada Ned
        August 6, 2012, 7:54 pm

        Lots of high level Israeli leaders (including the current and past directors of the Mossad, and IDF bosses) have said that an Israeli attack would be crazy. Iran fought a ten year war with Iraq, after all. So, if not war, what is Israel and the US really trying to achieve? In my opinion, the goal is economic sanctions, aimed at regime change in Iran.
        A US blockade against Cuba has been waged for a half century, aimed at regime change in Havana.
        What do Iran and Cuba have in common? Both were US colonies. Both had revolutions in which the country left the US empire. And both are now targets of US sanctions.

        The whole media propaganda war about Iran’s “nuclear program” is just baloney. Yes, Iran had a nuclear power program, which they are entitled to have under international treaty, which Iran has signed and Israel has not.

      • Kathleen
        August 7, 2012, 8:50 am

        Yep.

      • Hostage
        August 7, 2012, 5:52 pm

        A US blockade against Cuba has been waged for a half century, aimed at regime change in Havana.

        Other than the quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there has never been anything but a trade embargo. Even during the Missile Crisis, the US armed forces did not prevent most foreign vessels or aircraft from going to Cuba – only ones carrying missiles or related support items. So Cubans have not suffered under the same conditions as the people of Gaza.

        What do Iran and Cuba have in common? Both were US colonies.

        I’d agree that Cuba and Iran had puppet governments and were treated as US protectorates. In both cases the benefits accrued to US corporate interests, not to groups of US colonists. Iran was never settled by US ex-patriots. Cuba was colonized by Spain and has been occupied by the US military. Neither country has been subjected to the same regime of settlements blockades, checkpoints, and separation walls that we’ve witnessed in Palestine.

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 5:12 am

        “…So, if not war, what is Israel and the US really trying to achieve?”

        Actually, I think that is what we are trying to achieve.

        War.

        Think about it. There’s really no realistic goal here at all. Obviously, the war isn’t a means to some other end, but the end in itself.

        This is one reason why all the arguments in the world about how this war can’t achieve anything won’t work.

        Those who are advocating it aren’t in the least concerned by the prospect that it won’t achieve anything.

        They just find it desirable that there should be a war at this time.

    • ritzl
      August 6, 2012, 6:18 pm

      “But even if you are still convinced that the situation is hopeless I would urge you not to express this feeling in public, because it could demoralize others who do not think it is so hopeless.”

      Respectfully disagree. A 2D view of the forces (and the personal affect of those forces) allied and alloyed against a real, just, and viable solution to Palestinian freedom is an invitation to quick discouragement. Description and embrace of the realities, including being called and anti-semite (and all the other things the principle writers on this site have been called), lack of prospects for quick success, and the ups and downs of people committed to a just solution (Jewish or Palestinian) are things that inform people of what it takes to be fully involved in this for the long haul.

      It offers realistic choices.

      FWIW.

  40. ToivoS
    August 6, 2012, 5:59 pm

    Angry Arab has posted a very straightforward letter supporting the one state solution.

    link to angryarab.blogspot.com

    I post this here because of a little background. AA has always been opposed to the two state solution since he sees that as giving up 80% of Palestine. He genuinely supports one state for all of its citizens but if a majority wish to change the name from Israel to Palestine then so be it. Right of Return would also be allowed. If any Jews do not like those changes then they should leave.

    This has always been an undercurrent in the Palestinian movement for one state. It is this tendency within the movement that caused Finkelstein to act out, unwisely in my opinion, but understandable for anyone with fond attachments to the idea of Israel.

    • thankgodimatheist
      August 7, 2012, 6:50 am

      “Angry Arab has posted a very straightforward letter supporting the one state solution.”
      ToiviS
      Worth mentioning that it’s actually a Joseph Massad article. As’ad, obviously, endorses it by giving it the headline “Partition? Never!”.

    • Hostage
      August 7, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Angry Arab has posted a very straightforward letter supporting the one state solution. . . . link to angryarab.blogspot.com

      In a perfect world everyone supports the one state solution. But even an ex-patriot from Lebanon who teaches political science in California ought to realize that Israel has declared open season on Palestinians. So recognition of Palestinian statehood within the 4 June 1967 borders has become a humanitarian imperative. Israel has declared that it is legal to commit serious crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories, e.g. Cast Lead, & etc. that would be patently illegal if they were committed against the civilian population of any State. The Israelis don’t have any final borders, but they enjoy the protections of the UN Charter and could join the ICC if they so desired.

      The Palestinian leadership wants the borders recognized as the basis or starting point for any future negotiations. The Quartet Road map always has contained a Phase II requirement for the Quartet, including the UN, to promote recognition of interim borders; recognition of Palestinian statehood; and possible UN membership prior to the Phase III the final settlement negotiations. So no one is talking about a final decision on a partition. We’re talking about giving Palestinians the same legal rights and protections Israelis have enjoyed since 1948 while we’re all waiting around for the arrival of the all signing, all dancing, 1 state solution.

  41. atime forpeace
    August 6, 2012, 7:16 pm

    So the Israelis and the palestinians just cannot coexist?

    How terribly tragically sad.

  42. Blake
    August 6, 2012, 8:58 pm

    “Spending a week in Israel these days is like being trapped within a scene from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Like Jack Nicholson in the lead role of that classic film, you might not be insane but the doctors and nurses who run the psychiatric ward manufacture every few minutes a collective hysteria to keep everyone in the grip of fear and hatred. Everyone is an enemy, every visitor an existential threat.” – Ilan Pappe 04/18/2012

  43. Kathleen
    August 6, 2012, 11:36 pm

    Most of the folks who come here have taken a stand against the illegal occupation generally based on moral stance. Most of us are well aware that the illegal settlements have been determined to be illegal by international bodies with a great deal of credibility. And we know that none of this matters to most Israeli’s or the I lobby here in the states. Put that aside and you come to the fact that many experts including many former CIA analyst have come out and said over the last 10 years (some longer) and said that what Israel has done and continues to do is a solid threat to U.S. national security. Israel does not care at all about this threat. They continue to infuriate people in that part of the world creating more enemies for the U.S. along with the ones the U.S. creates for themselves. The 9/11 commission report even talks about how Israel’s illegal expansion of settlements is a persistent threat to U.S. National security. Why is it that Clinton, Rice, Slaughter etc do not seem to give a rats ass about this aspect of the issue. Clearly they do not give a rats ass about the Palestinian people..but what about U.S. National Security?

    • ColinWright
      August 9, 2012, 5:04 am

      Kathleen says: ” …Why is it that Clinton, Rice, Slaughter etc do not seem to give a rats ass about this aspect of the issue. Clearly they do not give a rats ass about the Palestinian people..but what about U.S. National Security?”

      You seem to be operating under the illusion that these people are constantly thinking about what would be best for the US. Actually, most of the time, they’re thinking about what they can say that will most impress the other people at the conference table, or out in the audience, or at home watching on TV.

      If they actually thought ‘a nuke for every Nigerian’ was a platform that would get them votes, they would recommend it without hesitation. These guys are real estate brokers with way too much power. They just want to make the sale.

      This dawned on me when I heard Wolfowitz advocate making Iraq ‘a secular democracy with a tilt towards Israel.’ Of course there was no chance of that happening — and our efforts to make it happen rather predictably produced the fiasco that followed. What’s more, I’m fairly sure that if Wolfowitz had set himself to study the likelihood of it working, he would have been forced to agree the policy was guaranteed to be a bust. I’m sure he’s a bright boy. He would have worked it out.

      I doubt if any of that even concerned Wolfowitz. I doubt he even considered whether what he was advocating was either wise or feasible. I’m fairly sure he said it because he figured saying it would impress whoever was at the table when he said it. And that was the ambit of his concern. He’d have advocated poisoning the drinking water if he’d thought such a proposal would have impressed whoever he was talking to.

      These guys could give a damn. They simply are not responsible individuals. Why do you think they are methodically running our country into the ground? It’s because they don’t care. They really are just like real estate brokers. It doesn’t matter to them whether the house is indeed actually right for you. They just want you to buy it — and they will say whatever it is that will make you buy it. What happens afterwards simply isn’t something they think about.

  44. Merk
    August 7, 2012, 12:02 pm

    How “trapped” are they, when the brother in-law of Hamas PM can get care in Israel.

    link to ynetnews.com

    • Kathleen
      August 7, 2012, 8:08 pm

      Are you ready to step up to the plate and trade places? A new reality show. Let’s see. Have your land taken, house destroyed, olive groves, Israeli’s kill a few of your children, checkpoints, lose your integrity, your soul. I’d say pretty well “trapped”

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 5:38 am

        “Are you ready to step up to the plate and trade places? “

        That’s exactly the thought I had — and that I always have when these ___s start talking about how great things are for the Palestinians.

        Make them try it. It’s enough to make one hope there is an afterlife — just so they’ll suffer a suitable fate.

        Next up, we’ll hear all about how it was all the Palestinian’s fault. There the nasty Palestinians were, viciously tending their sheep and picking their olives — and they savagely turned on the poor Zionists who just wanted to take their land and drive them into the desert with fire and sword. If the Palestinians would only docilely submit to it all, there could be peace…

        After that there’ll be…

    • talknic
      August 8, 2012, 8:44 am

      Merk August 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      “How “trapped” are they, when the brother in-law of Hamas PM can get care in Israel.”

      Take a holiday in Europe afterward did they? As for the care, it’s the Occupying Power’s obligation…

      • Merk
        August 8, 2012, 10:14 pm

        there is no obligation if the occupier takes up arms against the occupied.

      • Merk
        August 8, 2012, 11:09 pm

        or vice-versa :)

      • Shingo
        August 8, 2012, 11:37 pm

        there is no obligation if the occupier takes up arms against the occupied.

        Huh? How else does one do the occupying without the occupier taking up arms against the occupied?

      • talknic
        August 9, 2012, 3:05 am

        Merk August 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm / August 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

        “there is no obligation if the occupier takes up arms against the occupied “…… “or vice-versa :)””

        Pull that one out of your rrrrrs did you? Or can you cite a convention article?

      • ColinWright
        August 9, 2012, 5:40 am

        “Pull that one out of your rrrrrs did you? Or can you cite a convention article?”

        There isn’t one. You’re witnessing the miracle of Zio-logic.

        1. Everything we do is legal and justified.

        2. Therefore, if we did it, it’s written down somewhere that we can.

  45. lysias
    August 7, 2012, 5:16 pm

    On the last decade or so of French Algeria, I recommend Alistair Horne’s history A Savage War of Peace and Bruno Pontecorvo’s movie The Battle of Algiers.

    The way the pieds noirs European settlers in Algeria behaved then reminds me a lot of the way Israeli Jews are now behaving.

    • ColinWright
      August 9, 2012, 4:46 am

      “…On the last decade or so of French Algeria, I recommend Alistair Horne’s history A Savage War of Peace and Bruno Pontecorvo’s movie The Battle of Algiers…”

      Both good. Be aware that Battle of Algiers more a brilliant piece of propaganda than a brilliant work of history. It contains two strategic misstatements of fact.

      1. The Algerians, when they mounted their revolt, did not indiscriminately shoot policemen and soldiers. They indiscriminately shot any European male. Of course, it would have been hard to engage the viewer’s sympathy had the film showed that. So they mount a series of attacks on police and soldiers — and only police and soldiers.

      2. The police chief is shown retaliating with an horrific bombing. The equally horrific Algerian bombings in response then become justifiable. They’re retaliation.

      Actually, if you read Horne, to this day no one knows who planted that first bomb, nor why they did it. Again, of course, had the film suggested this uncertainty, then the Algerians’ bombings in response would be somewhat harder to condone.

      As I say, Battle of Algiers is a fine film. One of my favorites — I probably rewatch it about once every five years. Most of what you see did happen. Indeed, as far as I know, all of it happened — the events are just selectively presented and pure speculation injected as fact. It is propaganda.

      The film-maker went on to do the still good but even more polemical Burn. However, there at least he didn’t pretend that he was recounting factual events.

    • Shmuel
      August 9, 2012, 4:54 am

      Bruno Pontecorvo’s movie The Battle of Algiers

      It was Gillo Pontecorvo who directed The Battle of Algiers. His brother Bruno was the physicist.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      August 9, 2012, 11:45 pm

      There is this recurring nonsense to interpret Israel as a sort of European colonial project. It’s completely different: It’s the idea that an indigeneous ‘holy people’ returns to its ‘Holy Homeland’. – ‘Holiness’ is the key to understanding it.

      • yonah fredman
        August 10, 2012, 12:50 am

        Klaus B.- Certainly “holiness” is the key to understanding religious Zionism, I do not think that holiness is key to understanding secular Zionism. The key to understanding secular Zionism- is not colonialism which was merely what the secular Zionists were copying, but rather the desire to survive as a group. (Survival as individuals might be achieved by emigration to America, survival as a group required a territory and self rule.) Read about Pinsker and Autoemancipation. Read Amos Elon’s biography of Herzl.
        The leaders of the movement particularly before the turn of the century were concerned with survival. The choice of the land (which Pinsker never specified in his writing and which Herzl was willing to change to Uganda at least temporarily) was primarily to appeal to the masses and as Freud put it to those who contributed money. Only the sentimental attachment to the old homeland could appeal to the masses and the people with money.

        I am not saying that holiness has no role in understanding Zionism, particularly today with the increase of the influence of the religious Zionists, but it certainly was not near the thoughts of the founders, who might have thought of the Jewish people as a proud and special people with a unique destiny that deserved to survive as a group, but to whom “holiness” as a religious idea was rather foreign.

        I think “holiness” might be the key to understanding your objections to Zionism, but it is certainly not the key to understanding those who built Zionism from 1897 through 1967.

      • ColinWright
        August 10, 2012, 4:14 am

        “…I think “holiness” might be the key to understanding your objections to Zionism, but it is certainly not the key to understanding those who built Zionism from 1897 through 1967…”

        At the same time, though, the Torah was pivotal even to most of those who were secular in their motivations.

        It was the reading of the Torah as secular history that both created the notion that Jews were a single nationality (and hence entitled to a homeland, in the minds of the Zionists) and that created a claim to Palestine.

        However the book was taken, absent the Torah the whole project would have made no sense. Let us take another widely scattered group that also has no particular unity and that at the same time is strongly conscious of a unifying gap that lies between themselves and everyone else.

        Homosexuals. I was trying to think of some more neutral group, but homosexuals just happen to work — especially if you can genuinely assume there’s nothing deplorable about them at all.

        Is there a serious movement to establish a homosexual homeland? Is there ever likely to be? I doubt it — and at least provisionally, I’ll advance the idea that absent the Torah, Jews would have been in a similar position. Even given the sense of a strong and ultimately ineradicable difference between themselves and their neighbors, there’s no reason Zionism should have been the response.

      • Shmuel
        August 10, 2012, 1:47 am

        There is this recurring nonsense to interpret Israel as a sort of European colonial project. It’s completely different: It’s the idea that an indigeneous ‘holy people’ returns to its ‘Holy Homeland’. – ‘Holiness’ is the key to understanding it.

        The nonsense is that Jews inherently exist outside of history, following their own essential and immutable rationale, unaffected by the processes that govern the lives of “normal” human beings.

        Your misunderstanding of Zionism and Israel is the logical extension of your misunderstanding of Jewish identity and religion – the former you suppose to be exclusively a function of the latter, and the latter monolithic and essentially unchanging.

        In the past, you have argued that Zionism cannot be a colonialist project because it lacks a metropole (ignoring the phenomenon of settler colonialism), but that argument would seem to be entirely beside the point. It must be the “holiness” (or “chosenness”) factor, because that’s what the holy books (as you misread and misinterpret them) say. And what are Jews if not the “people of the book(s)”?

      • Taxi
        August 10, 2012, 2:01 am

        And who wrote the so-called “holy book”?
        Mortals who were paranoid of their desert neighbors.

        And why did they do this?
        So they can put the heebeejeebeez in the heart of their potential enemies.

        It’s a jungle survivalist tactic – nothing holy about it whatsoever.

        “If you hurt me, then my god will smite you!” You say this to any pagan in an ancient desert, with all the passion you can muster, and them superstitious pagans might just believe you.

      • ColinWright
        August 10, 2012, 4:04 am

        “There is this recurring nonsense to interpret Israel as a sort of European colonial project. It’s completely different: It’s the idea that an indigeneous ‘holy people’ returns to its ‘Holy Homeland’. – ‘Holiness’ is the key to understanding it.”

        You’re seeking a monocausal explanation. This is almost invariably a mistake. Every historical event has as many causes and mixtures of causes as it has participants.

        Take something like the Spanish-American War. Yes, some wanted the war so as to expand American markets. Others wanted it because a war would sell newspapers. Still others wanted it because they were indeed outraged at Spanish atrocities in Cuba. Then there were those that were just bored — not at all coincidentally, the frontier had just closed and we’d pretty much shot all Indians and all the wild game (1905 marked the lowest deer population in the United States in all time).

        Then we were waking up to the fact that we were a great power. (This calls for a demo!) And there were probably half a dozen other motives — all varying in significance according to the individual you are considering.

        Similarly with Zionism and Israel. There isn’t ‘a key.’ Doors are about the only thing in this world that has one key. Even if just I, me, walk down to the corner for a beer, one can readily list a good half-d0zen factors involved in my decision.

        Had ‘ the idea that an indigeneous ‘holy people’ returns to its ‘Holy Homeland’ ‘ been the only element involved in Zionism, the movement would have remained the province of a few nutters and never gone anywhere.

        To take your post in its entirety, I’d say it was a ‘European colonial project’ in at least several senses at the same time as it was a matter of ‘an indigeneous ‘holy people’ returning to its ‘Holy Homeland.’ Virtually all of the attitudes and assumptions of European colonialism were incorporated into the Zionist idea — most crucially, the moral invisibility of the indigenous population.

        Then I suppose one could list half a dozen other factors. Probably there was at least one Zionist settler who was there primarily because he had become entranced with the idea of owning an orange grove.

      • Hostage
        August 10, 2012, 3:39 pm

        There is this recurring nonsense to interpret Israel as a sort of European colonial project.

        There are many parallels between the European colonization of the USA by Spanish, French, British, Dutch, and Jewish chartered colonial companies and the colonization of Palestine. In both cases, charters were initially obtained from the Sultan or Pope for religious pilgrims to establish missions or settlements. In both cases there were some colonists who thought of themselves as the true successors of biblical Israel, who wished to escape persecution and those who were motivated by greed and military conquest. In both cases, the settlers themselves established new satellite colonies, once the original colonies were going concerns. In both cases rapid expansion of the population took place as a result of waves of subsequent immigration to the major cities, not through natural growth of the established agricultural settlements.

        The Ottoman government presented the Alliance Israélite Universelle, of Paris with 250 hectares (617 acres) of land near Jaffa for the Jewish children of Palestine and those of other Oriental countries. The population of this colony in 1898 totaled 225 persons, including 100 pupils in an agricultural school.

        Afterward agricultural colonies were established by Jews from various chartered colonial companies and colonial societies located in Russia, Russian Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and of course Palestine itself.

        See the article on the Agricultural Colonies from the Jewish Encyclopedia
        link to jewishencyclopedia.com

        Rothschild and Herzl had the most familiar chartered European colonial companies, but there had been and were many others, like the Bulgarian and Romanian ones. The League of Nations Mandate is associated with Europe, but many of the founding members of the League were Caribbean and Latin American States – and the USA entered into the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention. Palestine was administered by the British Secretary for the Colonies, who dealt with both the Jewish Agency and the pre-existing Jewish chartered colonies.

      • Philip Weiss
        August 10, 2012, 4:10 pm

        and what do you think of the Deutscher paradigm of person escaping burning building? im reading Koestler’s zionist history of White Paper and he tells wrenching stories of Jews fleeing Europe, and denied entry all over the place… How significant a factor was escape in building yishuv?

      • hophmi
        August 10, 2012, 4:30 pm

        I think frankly, this is where the difference lies. Israel was not a mercantile project. I don’t think you can find very many early Israelis motivated by greed and a desire for imperial conquest. You don’t have to accept the narrative that Israel was an undeveloped swamp, but it’s certainly fair to say that early settlement was not easy and did not carry with it a hope of riches. Zionism came about because Jews were tired of persecution and lost hope that they would ever be accepted for who they were in Europe. And it was certainly not for lack of trying; what finally motivated people like Herzl was that even in the Enlightenment period, with all of the promises of civil rights and full citizenship, with Jews submerging their religious identities in order to fit into European societies, things like the Dreyfus affair continued to occur. It is so completely offensive today when people suggest that what is wrong with Zionism is that Jews played into European racism by accepting the antisemitic view Europeans had of them as a separate people. That is the very definition of blaming the victim. Jews did not willingly accept the European view. It was forced upon them over and over again, and they finally began to look for a way out.

        That must be the beginning of any analysis, and that is why speaking of Israel as simply another colonialist project is very wrong-headed.

      • Philip Weiss
        August 10, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Thanks Hophmi, I find this helpful analysis

      • Hostage
        August 10, 2012, 5:52 pm

        and what do you think of the Deutscher paradigm of person escaping burning building? im reading Koestler’s zionist history of White Paper and he tells wrenching stories of Jews fleeing Europe, and denied entry all over the place… How significant a factor was escape in building yishuv?

        In my comment above I pointed out the parallels between the colonization of the New World and Palestine and noted that some colonists were motivated by greed and conquest, while many others were escaping persecution. That was true of the Christians, Jews, and Conversos who fled to the New World. In many cases they narrowly missed being tortured, massacred, or getting burnt at the stake for their religious beliefs. The Zionists were hardly a unique example of colonists who thought of themselves as holy pilgrims or a holy community. In many instances, the colonists in the New World thought of themselves as the “New Israel”.

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2012, 6:07 pm

        Shorter Hophmi: ‘The Europeans were mean to the Jews, so we can do whatever we want to the Palestinians.’

        That’s what all that blather comes down to. Assuming the listener won’t notice the jump over that amoral abyss, or will be bigoted enough to view Arabs as guilty of all wrongs (The Mufti was a Nazi!).
        Always, that conflation of the Palestinians, who just happen to live there, with all the persecutions and suffering of the Jews. If the Palestinians don’t want Zionists to wipe them out, they must be motivated by the same things the Nazis were motivated by, since both are acting on Jews.

        It won’t wash. Why they went there is a fascinating subject, I’m sure, and fraught with Jewish suffering. It takes quite a bit, a combination of motivations and serious exigencies, (and in many cases, intentional misinformation) to get people to go into a situation and committ themselves to what the ZIonists wanted to do. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change at all what they did once they got there. And if anybody in the world should have known what not to do….

      • Shmuel
        August 10, 2012, 6:27 pm

        Deutscher’s analogy is too easy. It absolves the jumper of his initial action, lays a significant amount of blame on the the man he hit, and chalks everything up to irrationality. That’s not what happened – in 1917, 1933, 1941, 1945 or 1948 – and although it might apply to individual refugees, it does not apply to the Zionist leadership that insisted on a Jewish state in Palestine as the only solution to the problem of the DPs (regardless of the needs or wishes of the survivors themselves). The countries that could have accepted large numbers of refugees but refused to do so at first (for various reasons) were like firemen who allowed the jumper to land on an innocent passerby, rather than opening up the safety net they held in their hands.

        I prefer Yiftachel’s definition of Israel as “an ethnocracy of refugees”. It expresses understanding and empathy for that aspect of Israel’s history, without justifying any part of the Israeli political programme, or blaming the Palestinians for their refusal to accept European Jewish domination (there was never a moment of innocent man landing on innocent man, with no way of predicting the outcome).

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 10, 2012, 6:52 pm

        “That must be the beginning of any analysis, and that is why speaking of Israel as simply another colonialist project is very wrong-headed.”

        Baloney. How much of a real difference does it make to the analysis of the what the Belgians did to the Congolese or the British to the Indians to dwell on what motivated them to engage in the colonial project. Sure, this particular bunch of Europeans had different motivations than others did. Does that make the land of the Palestinians less stolen?

      • eljay
        August 10, 2012, 7:39 pm

        >> Jews did not willingly accept the European view. It was forced upon them over and over again, and they finally began to look for a way out.
        >> That must be the beginning of any analysis, and that is why speaking of Israel as simply another colonialist project is very wrong-headed.

        The lesson: When the going gets tough, the tough use terrorism and ethnic cleansing to create an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state, and then engage in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder to maintain and expand their supremacist state.

        This is not “simply another colonialist project”, it’s a “Zio-supremacist Colonialist Project – the Bestest Damned Colonialist Project Ever!” (TM)

      • proudzionist777
        August 10, 2012, 8:02 pm

        @Hostage

        The Zionists WERE unique insofar as New World colonists had no historical ties to the New World whereas Jews had a two thousand year tie to Eretz Yisroel. Indeed, Jews had been persistently making aliyah to Eretz Yisroel for over a thousand years BEFORE the political Zionist movement of the late 19th century.

      • proudzionist777
        August 10, 2012, 8:20 pm

        One problem with the Duetscher paradigm is that the paradigm is rendered sterile by it’s total the lack of context.
        Moslem and Christian Arabs hated the Jews (the jumpers) way before the Jews even decided to take the plunge! How much more hateful are they now since the Jews landed on their heads.

      • Hostage
        August 10, 2012, 8:48 pm

        I don’t think you can find very many early Israelis motivated by greed and a desire for imperial conquest.

        Who cares? The the Zionist leaders who established the charters for a colonial Empire were certainly motivated by greed and a desire for conquest. Herzl met the Kaiser in Palestine to obtain his support for a draft Charter of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC) that contained an article which reserved the right of the Zionists to involuntarily transfer the non-Jewish population to other parts of the Ottoman Empire. link to jstor.org

        He also had “behind the barn” correspondence with others, like Max Nordau, about his schemes for an Empire and the conquest of Palestine from the Zionist’s colonies in Africa and elsewhere:

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

        link to books.google.com

        David Ben Gurion started out as a crooked union organizer like Jimmy Hoffa. He formed a band of Zionist thugs who extorted money for Palestine from wealthy Polish Jews, at gunpoint. The 1919 charter of Ben Gurion’s political party, Ahdut Ha’avodah, called for the establishment of a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine and demanded “the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” See Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Shabtai Teveth, page 99. For years he used the Zionist principle of The Conquest of Labor to insure that lands held in trust for persons of Jewish descendancy were lost to the Palestinians. Finally he advised the head of the JNF in Februaray of 1948 that “Jews didn’t need to purchase land anymore, but to conquer it.” See the record of the conversation between Ben Gurion and Joseph Weitz, director of the JNF Land and Forestry Department in Josef Weitz, “My Diary and Letters to the Children”, volume 3, Masada, Ramat Gan, 1965, page 279 and Shlomo Ben Ami, Scars of War Wounds of Peace, page 45

        In fact the landholdings of the JNF alone more than doubled from the proceeds of a illegal sale engineered by Ben Gurion of proterties stolen from Palestinian Arabs. See With all due respect for the ‘blue box: link to haaretz.com

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 10, 2012, 8:51 pm

        The German Zionist rabbi Joachim Prinz from Berlin, advocating ‘return to the land of our forefathers’ (although he himself emigrated in 1937 to America) wrote in 1933:
        ——————————————-
        “[Zionist/Jewish] Palestine will be a modern country. Its buildings will combine the architectural knowledge of Europe with the oriental landscape. The achievements of technology and commerce will bring it closer to Europe. It will be an essential factor in the development of the Orient. It will enhance the Orient technically , sanitarily (plumbing), scientifically and artistically.”
        ———————————————
        Isn’t that a nice European project? But it’s more a sales pitch than the real motivation and rationale. (Of course, Israel isn’t to Europe what Algeria was to France. Although they might have to come back as the pies noir did to France after Algerian independence.)

        I tend to interpret Israel and its ideology as a secular version of her ‘holy’ concept. – The secular terms that are used by many: Israel’s “uniqueness”, “exceptionalism” etc. are secular terms for the “chosen people”.
        ————————-
        Shmuel may be right when he says of me:
        “Your misunderstanding of Zionism and Israel is the logical extension of your misunderstanding of Jewish identity and religion.”

      • Shingo
        August 10, 2012, 10:37 pm

        The Zionists WERE unique insofar as New World colonists had no historical ties to the New World whereas Jews had a two thousand year tie to Eretz Yisroel.

        Not really. Both beliefs were based on provedance and the notion of a promised land.

        Indeed, Jews had been persistently making aliyah to Eretz Yisroel for over a thousand years BEFORE the political Zionist movement of the late 19th century.

        Not really. A tiny religious minority made pilgrimage, but the sheers minutia of numbers in the 18th cebtury suggests migration it was practialyl unheard of.

      • Hostage
        August 10, 2012, 11:42 pm

        “That must be the beginning of any analysis, and that is why speaking of Israel as simply another colonialist project is very wrong-headed.”

        Baloney. How much of a real difference does it make to the analysis of the what the Belgians did to the Congolese or the British to the Indians to dwell on what motivated them to engage in the colonial project?

        Actually the largest period of growth during the mandate era resulted from a partnership between the Jewish Colonial Trust Bank, the Templar Bank and the German government via the Haavara Ltd. agreement. It was a classic example of mercantilism and franchised windfall profits. On many levels, Palestine functioned as a German satellite or a colony.

        I agree that Hophmi is trying to re-frame the debate. By the time the Zionists got into the business, neomercantile-style colonialism was a standard methodology. Between 1810 and 1895, the American colonies in the northern and southern hemispheres gained their independence from their European mother countries; adopted the inherently anti-mercantile Monroe Doctrine; and started to acquire their own outlying territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. These “civilized” countries pursued economic dominance over others through neomercantilism.

        By the time that the the Monroe Doctrine and the Mandates were enshrined as principles of international law in the Covenant of the League of Nations (LoN), the prohibition against annexation of territory as a consequence of war and the LoN policy of “the Open Door” for international trade had made it all but impossible to establish new mercantile-style colonies anyway. See for example, the refusal of the US and the League to recognize the Japanese annexation of Manchuria.

        The “advanced” countries capitalized on establishing minority rule and bringing the benefits of key inventions and advanced manufacturing and agricultural methods to less advanced societies. Decolonization finally resulted in the adoption of neocolonialism, where there was no direct military or political control.

        Zionist propaganda about the economic and environmental benefits that accrued as a result of Jewish settlement in Palestine is indistinguishable from British, French, German, Belgian, and American colonial propaganda from the same era.

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2012, 1:21 am

        The Zionists WERE unique insofar as New World colonists had no historical ties to the New World whereas Jews had a two thousand year tie to Eretz Yisroel.

        There were 6 million converts to Judaism living throughout the Roman Empire. There is no reason to suspect that many of them ever visited Palestine. Even the Jews in nearby Egypt had their own Temples at Elephantine Island and in Leontopolis (aka Heliopolis in the land of Onias). We know it’s possible to make passover outside Eretz Yisroel, because the very first one was conducted in Egypt.

        The Talmud mentions how a Theudas, the leader of the Roman community, refused to change the way the paschal lamb was butchered by the Jews in the city of Rome. link to livius.org

        There is evidence of similar practices by Jews living in Alexandria. See Nils Martola, “Eating the Passover lamb in house-temples at Alexandria; some notes on Passover in Philo.” in Jewish Studies in a New Europe. Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of Jewish Studies in Copenhagen 1994, Reitzel (1998) pages 521-531. In Philo’s “Special Laws” he wrote:

        tens of thousands of sheep are offered, from noon till evening, by young and old alike: they consider themselves to be serving as priests on this occasion, and to be performing a sacrifice; their homes are given the appearance and solemn character of temples; after the sacrifice the animals are prepared for the festive meal; the guests are purified by lustrations; they follow ancestral custom, intoning prayers and hymns.

        Some scholars have proposed that the Passover lamb continued to be sacrificed for a while after the Temple was destroyed on the basis of the evidence in Pesahim 7:2, i.e. R. Gamaliel ordered his servant to go and roast a passover lamb for them on the grill. But there is no reason to suppose that Jews living elsewhere, like Philo and Theudas, felt an obligation to go to the Temple in Jerusalem while it was still standing.

      • proudzionist777
        August 11, 2012, 8:50 am

        @ Shing0

        *yawn*

        Arab Rule, 640-1099

        680:
        Arculf describes Jewish life in Jerusalem
        800:
        A Moshe of Gaza is mentioned but Jews forced to leave at end of 9
        th century.
        850:
        Muslims force Jews to wear yellow patch.
        863:
        First Gaon, Tzemach, of Eretz-Yisrael (until 1123) 890 (c.):

        Daniel b. Moses al-Qūmisī, Karaite scholar, moves to Jerusalem. He was the first to make the “mourning in Zion” a basic tenet and a hallmark of Karaism

        900s:

        Arab writer Al-Biruni describes Jews celebrating Sukkot on the Mount of Olives
        985:

        The Arab writer Muqaddasi states that, “The mosque is empty. The Jews constitute the majority of Jerusalem ’s population”.

        1025
        : Shlomo HaKohen ben Yosef, Rosh Yeshiva in Jerusalem notes community taxof 100 zehubim (dinarim). In 1053, a second tax, “municipal supply” is mentioned.
        1047:
        Nasir-i-Khusraw records Jews coming in great numbers to visit Jerusalem’s synagogues.
        1059:
        Letter of Shlomo Ben Moshe of Sepaksi, Morocco,` informing his family of his visit to Jerusalem.
        1060s:

        Evyatar son of Eliyahu the Priest writes that his father had been buried in Dalton in Safad in 1064. Dalton is mentioned in another 11th century Genizah document that lists Jewish towns and villages in the Galilee.

        Crusader Rule, 1099- 1291

        1099
        : On July 15, Crusaders take Jerusalem and massacre its Jews and later decimate Jewish communities in Haifa (1100), Caesarea (1101) and Acre (1104). Inhabitants of Jaffa and Ramleh flee. Rural Jewish settlements in the Galilee evade destruction.
        1120:

        A Christian manuscript states Jews assist Arabs conquering Hebron, for which the Jews receive permission to dwell near the Cave of Machpelah.

        1120s:

        Crusaders ban Jews from Jerusalem, yet a few Jewish families return,notably a family dealing in the dye trade who lived by Jaffa Gate.
        1153:

        Jewish community of Ashkelon banished by Crusaders.

        1165:Rambam visits Jerusalem.

        1174:
        Benjamin of Tudela testifies to Jewish community in Ashkelon and 13others. In 1180, Petahiah of Regensburg also finds a Jewish family in Jerusalem.
        1187:
        Salah A-Din conquers Jerusalem.
        1200:
        Three communities of Jews in Jerusalem: Ashkelon, Magreb and France & England.
        1205:
        Rambam buried in Tiberias.
        1211:
        Immigration of “300 Rabbis from France”, including Ba’alei Tosafot to Acre.
        1218:
        Saladin repeals the ban of Jewish residency in Jerusalem although Jews returned already in 1187.
        1229:
        Agreement between Al-Malikh Al-Kamal and Fredrich II makes Jerusalem a Crusader city and Jews prohibited from dwelling therein.
        1257:
        Rabbi Yehiel of Paris immigrates with his students to the Land of Israel after his father drowns on the way and established a Yeshiva in Acre. Avraham Abulafia arrives there on his travels.
        1260:
        Mongol invasion. Jerusalem’s Jews expelled.
        1267:
        Ramban established a synagogue in Jerusalem.
        Early 1300s:
        Church officials, including William, Bishop of Tyre, and Jacob,Bishop of Acre, rally against increased Jewish freedoms.
        Mameluke Rule, 1291-1516

        1306:
        France expels the Jews who are described as “rousing themselves and voluntarily immigrating to the Land of Israel”.
        1315:
        Immigration of Eshtor Ha-Farhi. His book,
        Kaftor va’Ferach, is published in1549. In 1321, R’ Yaakov Silki from Spain immigrates after signing a legal commitment to do so, Ktav HaShvua
        .
        1320 c.:
        Jewish ceremony at Meiron recorded held on 15 Iyyar.

        1333:
        Wilhelm von Boldensele of Germany records Jews regularly visiting graves in Jerusalem.
        1335:
        Monk Jacob of Verona records a Jewish community in Jerusalem.Franciscans-Jewish struggle over the Cappella on Mt. Zion.
        1336:
        Sir John Madenville attests to Jews traveling to visit the Cave of Machpelah, the ancestral grave of the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah and Joseph.
        1341:
        Lydolph von Suchems notes a Jewish place of worship in Hebron .
        1377:
        Arab historian Ibn Khaldun attests to Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extending for more than 1400 years.
        1380:
        R’ Yitzhak Halevi of Beilstein, Germany, dies in Jerusalem. Referred tohimself as Asir HaTikvah, Prisoner of the Hope, a messianic term.
        1384:
        Leonardo Frescobaldi and Giorgio Gucci records Jews worshipping in Hebron and living in Gaza, respectively.
        1391:
        Christian travelers record the number of Jews in Gaza as approximately equal to that in Jerusalem.
        Early 1400s:
        Jews forced to wear yellow-colored turbans.
        1422:
        John Poloner attests to a “Jewish street” in Jerusalem.
        1427:
        “Sea Edict” preventing Venetian ships from carrying Jews until 1485.
        1440:
        Rashbatz (R’ Shimon ben Zemah Doran) records 300 in synagogue inJerusalem on Shavu’ot.
        1454c.:
        Jakmak, Mameluk Sultan, expels Jews of Jerusalem.
        1460c.:
        Beginning of Spanish immigration waves.
        1474:
        A fanatic Muslim judge, a Kadi, leads a mob to destroy Jerusalem’s only
        synagogue.
        1479:
        Johann Tucher von Nuremberg records frequent Jewish pilgrimages to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron. In 1481, R’ Meshulam of Voltira records 20 households there.
        1484:
        Bernhard Von Breitenbach attests to a Hebrew-speaking community of 500 Jews in Jerusalem.

        Should I continue?

      • Citizen
        August 11, 2012, 9:05 am

        @ hophmi

        RE: …what finally motivated people like Herzl was that even in the Enlightenment period, with all of the promises of civil rights and full citizenship, with Jews submerging their religious identities in order to fit into European societies, things like the Dreyfus affair continued to occur.”

        “Although the Dreyfus Affair has become strongly linked in most accounts with the rise of modern anti-Semitism, the evidence points persuasively to the conclusion that it was not his Jewish origin that explains his arrest and conviction. Anti-Semitism certainly flared up as a result of that arrest and conviction–and even more potently when it appeared that his conviction might be overturned–but those are separate issues.” (Essau’s Tears, p 231)

        “Captain Dreyfus’s story has been too tempting, too appealing to the popular, vulgarizing kind of historian, and too appealing to various political agendas, particularly those Zionist interpretations of modern history that emphasize European decadence, ineradicable Jew-hatred, and the need for Jews to leave Europe. Intellectuals have been especially drawn to the story; it has been hard for them to accept that the majority of French, who were not intellectuals, were not as strongly moved by the issues of the Affair as they. Recent studies have shown”Captain Dreyfus’s story has been too tempting, too appealing to the popular, vulgarizing kind of historian, and too appealing to various political agendas, particularly those Zionist interpretations of modern history that emphasize European decadence, ineradicable Jew-hatred, and the need for Jews to leave Europe. Intellectuals have been especially drawn to the story; it has been hard for them to accept that the majority of French, who were not intellectuals, were not as strongly moved by the issues of the Affair as they. Recent studies have shown how little the peasantry and the population of small towns, still a heavy majority of the population of France, were touched by the Affair” (Essau’s Tears, pp 234-5)

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2012, 10:07 am

        @ proudzionist777

        Should I continue?

        Yes, seeing as you haven’t come up with any hasbra talking points that refute the sheer minutia of numbers in the 18th cebtury suggests migration it was practially unheard of.

        Yawn.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 11, 2012, 10:21 am

        Hostage –

        very interesting comments. I have to think about it.
        But then, the ‘uniqueness’ of Zionism is non-existent,
        (except in the minds of both the Jews/Zionists and their critics).

      • Klaus Bloemker
        August 11, 2012, 10:58 am

        Phil,
        – “the Deutscher paradigm of person escaping burning building?”

        The passage I quoted from Joachim Prinz was written in October 1933.
        By that time the Reichstag in Berlin was already set on fire by the Nazis.
        But Prinz doesn’t seem to worry about the Reichstag burning and Palestine as a safety net for Jews jumping. – What Koestler relates must be later, during the war and occupation. Also, what Shumel says must be right (as always).

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2012, 4:44 pm

        @ proudzionist777 . . . *yawn* Arab Rule, 640-1099

        I see you don’t bother to cite your sources. We’ve discussed Zionist historiography here before. Hannah Arendt described the habit of Jews and Gentiles to construct distorted historical views in Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and tolerance: studies in Jewish-Gentile relations in medieval and modern times, Behrman House, Inc, 1961:

        The history of antisemitism, like the history of Jew-hatred, is part and parcel of the long and intricate story of Jewish-Gentile relations under the conditions of Jewish dispersion. Interest in this history was practically nonexistent prior to the middle of the nineteenth century, when it coincided with the rise of antisemitism and its furious reaction to emancipated and assimilated Jewry—obviously the worst possible constellation for establishing reliable historical records.
        Since then, it has been the common fallacy of Jewish and non-Jewish historiography—though mostly for opposite reasons—to isolate the hostile elements in Christian and Jewish sources and to stress the series of catastrophes, expulsions, and massacres that have punctuated Jewish history just as armed and unarmed conflicts, war, famine, and pestilence have punctuated the history of Europe. Needless to add, it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history, while it was left to the antisemites to trace an intellectually not too dissimilar record from ancient Jewish authorities. When this Jewish tradition of an often violent antagonism to Christians and Gentiles came to light, “the general Jewish public was not only outraged but genuinely astonished,” so well had its spokesmen succeeded in convincing themselves and everybody else of the non-fact that Jewish separateness was due exclusively to Gentile hostility and lack of enlightenment. Judaism, it was now maintained chiefly by Jewish historians, had always been superior to other religions in that it believed in human equality and tolerance. That this self-deceiving theory, accompanied by the belief that the Jewish people had always been the passive, suffering object of Christian persecutions, actually amounted to a prolongation and modernization of the old myth of chosenness and was bound to end in new and often very complicated practices of separation, destined to uphold the ancient dichotomy, is perhaps one of those ironies which seem to be in store for those who, for whatever reasons, try to embellish and manipulate political facts and historical records.

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2012, 4:57 pm

        But then, the ‘uniqueness’ of Zionism is non-existent,
        (except in the minds of both the Jews/Zionists and their critics).

        After the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1960, many of them were emancipated and became UN member states. The worst remaining examples were Israel/Palestine and South Africa/Namibia. By the time the late Tony Judt wrote his article for the New York Review in 2003, Israel truly was something of a lone anachronism. link to nybooks.com

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2012, 5:18 pm

        I see you don’t bother to cite your sources.

        I was tempted to mention that too Hostage – but the point is that PZ didn’t even get as far as addressing my argument anyway, so I didn’t bother.

      • proudzionist777
        August 11, 2012, 6:13 pm

        A man from Rafa, living in Egypt, wrote a letter (discovered in the Cairo Genizeh) to the Rafah Jewish community in 1015. It begins:

        “To our beloved Rabbi Solomon, the Judge, may his soul rest in peace, and the elders and the rest of the holy community who dwell in Rafah, may God preserve them.”

        In 1047 the Persian traveler, Nasir-i-Khusraw, wrote:

        “From Byzantium many Christians and Jews come to Jerusalem in order to visit the church and the synagogue there.”

        Need I continue?

      • proudzionist777
        August 11, 2012, 6:26 pm

        @Shingo

        “It was the pogrom of 1720 that finally caused the kehillah [Jewish community]to flee the city. For approximately the next hundred years, the Ashkenazic community of Jerusalem ceased to exist….But the influx of olim did not stop after Jerusalem’s Ashkenazic community disbanded. There was a new wave of aliyah from all parts of the Ottoman Empire after the founding, in 1726, of the Vaad Pekidei Yerushalayim beKushta, an organization that provided assistance to the Jews of Eretz Yisrael. The immigration drew momentum from the messianic fervor that took hold of the Jewish people as the year 5500 (1740) approached. Its vanguard included some of the greatest rabbis and kabbalists of the period: Rabbi Chaim ben Attar, Rabbi Chaim De La Rosa, Rabbi Immanuel Chai Riki, Rabbi Chaim Abulafia, Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Elgazi, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, and Rabbi Gershon of Kotov, brother-inlaw of the Ba’al Shem Tov.”

        link to ou.org

        And so went 18th century Jewish life in Eretz Yiroel.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2012, 6:51 pm

        Need I continue?

        Once you provide a link, sure.

      • Shingo
        August 11, 2012, 7:27 pm

        link to ou.org

        The only reference to the population mentions “minority”.

        Thansk for proving my point PZ.

      • proudzionist777
        August 11, 2012, 8:08 pm

        What is your point? That the Ashkenazi Jewish population suffered a pogrom in 18th century Jerusalem and fled the city?
        Or is your point that twenty years after these Ashkenazi Jews were expelled from Jerusalem another wave of Oriental Jews made aliyah to Eretz Yisroel? That must be your point!

      • Hostage
        August 11, 2012, 11:10 pm

        Need I continue?

        You still aren’t citing your sources, so why bother? Those two items appear in a hasbara pamphlet, “Gerald M. Adler, LLM, JSD, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1860-2006: Legal Aspects in a Historical and Political Context, Aug. 2008″.

        The author has cobbled together anything that makes it appear that Jews maintained a link, however tenuous, with “Eretz Israel”. These two items come from a section which purports to provide evidence that Jewish aliyah attempts to return to Palestine were frustrated by Christian Millenium Crusades, but neither item supports that claim, much less that anyone wanted to make aliyah to Palestine.
        link to arab-israel-legal-issues.com

        Adler employs a variety of sources, including Wikipedia, but he doesn’t provide any source for the anecdote about the presumably undelivered letter to the Jewish community at Rafah. He simply claims there was one discovered among the +200,000 items discovered in the Cairo Genizah. I’m aware of other examples, like a letter from the community in Hebron to Joshua ben Abraham Maimonides in the Cairo Genizah cited in Brill’s. See Elinoar Bareket. ” Maimonides, Joshua ben Abraham.” Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. 12 August 2012 link to referenceworks.brillonline.com But those letters are not evidence of frustrated attempts to make aliya. They don’t establish that foreign Jews were actually exiled or that they could be considered part of the indigenous population.

        Using a reference from a travelogue written by a Persian on his way to Mecca as part of The Hajj is really no better evidence than citing Mark Twain’s travelouge from “Innocents Abroad”. The quote above is one of rare references to Jews or synagogues in the entire account. It simply says that foreign Jews visited synagogues when they came to Jerusalem. The author describes a Muslim city of Al-Quds and provides details about the Muslim and Christian shrines, but not the synagogues. In fact, there’s no description of the size of the indigenous Jewish community or any frustrated attempts by others to make Aliya. See Wheeler Thackston (translator), Naser-E Khoshraw’s Book of Travels, SUNY Press, 1986, page 10 –http://books.google.com/books?id=awQJvB6CSkcC&lpg=PA10&ots=-fR6Rbpzye&dq=&pg=PA21#v=onepage&q&f=false

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2012, 12:10 am

        “It was the pogrom of 1720 that finally caused the kehillah [Jewish community]to flee the city.

        LOL! There were only 200 Ashkenazim, including the new arrivals, there were 1,200. Many of them simply disguised themselves as Sephardim and ignored the ban on Ashkenazim. There were only about 1,000 Sephardim in all (see below).

        You’re ignoring the official structures. There were several congregations or kehillahim. They were separate, autonomous groups that regulated their own affairs, education, synagogues, properties, and communal debts. They were not considered to be members of one nationality. See Avigdor Levy, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire, Darwin Press, 1994, Chapter 3, pages 42-70. An extract is available here: link to coursesa.matrix.msu.edu

        Here is the background on the Jerusalem ban from the Jewish Virtual Library:

        They arrived in Jerusalem in on October 14, 1700 creating a variety of major crises. At that time only about 200 Ashkenazic Jews lived in Jerusalem. (There were about 1,000 Sephardic Jews.) The sudden influx of 1,000 Ashkenazic Jews created an economic crisis, because the Jerusalem community had no infrastructure or facilities to help such a large group. Imagine doubling your population overnight! To make matters worse, the new arrivals had contracted debts with their Arab guides and had been forced to offer the Turkish authorities financial guarantees from the local community in exchange for permission to enter the country. The local community didn’t have the money.

        Moreover, the local Ashkenazic Jews were not Shabbateans, and they viewed the newcomers with great hostility. They sent emissaries to the Council of the Four Lands for aid to fight the Shabbeteans. Help didn’t arrive, but there was tremendous friction in Jerusalem.

        To top off all these crises, Judah HeChassid died within days of his arrival to Jerusalem, thus depressing his followers

        Matters got worse.

        Arab creditors, fed up with waiting for their money, broke into the Ashkenazi synagogue in 1720, set it on fire, and took over the area. The Turkish authorities blamed Ashkenazic Jews for the mess. They refused to make a distinction between the Old Jerusalem community and the newcomers. They banned Ashkenazic Jews from the area. Anyone who looked like an Ashkenazic Jews was held responsible for the debts.

        The Ashkenazic community responded with typical creativity. Some moved to other cities (mainly Hebron, Tiberius, and Tzfat). Others carefully dressed themselves in white and gold striped robes. Thus costumed, they looked to the authorities like Sephardic Jews (although the Sephardic Jews could tell the difference) and were not molested. They built a small synagogue called Churvat Yehudah HeChassid, the Destroyed Place of Judah HeChassid. That synagogue later became the chief Ashkenazic synagogue in Jerusalem. Judah HeChassid’s followers can still be recognized in Jerusalem. They continue to wear the white and gold striped robes of their ancestors. They no longer have Shabbatean tendencies.

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      • Shingo
        August 12, 2012, 12:20 am

        The point is that the Jewish population in general was always tiny.

      • Hostage
        August 12, 2012, 12:22 am

        What is your point? That the Ashkenazi Jewish population suffered a pogrom in 18th century Jerusalem and fled the city?

        The point is that foreign Jews did not acquire a new “homeland” because 200 other Jews were living in Jerusalem in 1700. The Ashkenazim were banned because they did not pay their community’s debts. Many of the dead beats disguised themselves as Sephardim and never went anywhere. The rest simply moved to one of the other traditional Holy Cities.

      • Shingo
        August 12, 2012, 7:58 pm

        That the Ashkenazi Jewish population suffered a pogrom in 18th century Jerusalem and fled the city?

        You keep alluding to the Ashkenazi Jewish population without addressing the fact that they were so tiny as to be non existent. As Hostage has pointed out, they were so few, they numbered only a few hundred.

        Hostage also pointed out that there was no pogrom. Those who don’t pay their debts have to face the music.

      • ColinWright
        August 13, 2012, 12:17 am

        Klaus says: “…By that time the Reichstag in Berlin was already set on fire by the Nazis…”

        The Reichstag fire wasn’t set by the Nazis. Admittedly, they did take full advantage of it.

      • ColinWright
        August 13, 2012, 12:24 am

        ” …On July 15, Crusaders take Jerusalem and massacre its Jews and later decimate Jewish communities in Haifa (1100), Caesarea (1101) and Acre (1104). Inhabitants of Jaffa and Ramleh flee. Rural Jewish settlements in the Galilee evade destruction…”

        The Crusaders massacred both Jews and Muslims. To the meager extent that they discriminated at all, it seems to have been in favor of the Jews. One chronicler approvingly commends the Lorrainers for their piety in not raping women before killing them if they were Jewish. Obviously, of limited value to the victims, but the Crusaders don’t seem to have singled out Jews.

        Later on, your source states “Mongol invasion. Jerusalem’s Jews expelled.” The Mongols never actually took Jerusalem. They were turned back at Ain Jalut. If the Jews were expelled, I don’t see how it would have had anything to do with the Mongols.

      • ColinWright
        August 13, 2012, 12:33 am

        ““Captain Dreyfus’s story has been too tempting, too appealing to the popular, vulgarizing kind of historian, and too appealing to various political agendas, particularly those Zionist interpretations of modern history that emphasize European decadence, ineradicable Jew-hatred, and the need for Jews to leave Europe. Intellectuals have been especially drawn to the story; it has been hard for them to accept that the majority of French, who were not intellectuals, were not as strongly moved by the issues of the Affair as they. Recent studies have shown”…”

        The discussion of the the Dreyfus affair that I read in Porch’s The March to the Marne suggests that while Dreyfus’ Jewishness certainly didn’t help him, the case developed the way it did because it became a focus of clerical and militarist sentiment on one side, and anti-clerical and anti-militarist sentiment on the other. One side wanted to firmly subdue the army and the church, the other wanted to maintain the prestige and independence of the army and the church. To see the case as a battle for and against anti-semitism would be to misunderstand it. People were for Dreyfus’ acquittal primarily because they were against the army and the church, and vice-versa — their positions weren’t primarily determined by Dreyfus’ Judaism and their attitude about that.

      • Shmuel
        August 13, 2012, 5:19 am

        The Crusaders massacred both Jews and Muslims.

        And eastern Christians.

      • ColinWright
        August 13, 2012, 6:39 am

        ‘And eastern Christians.’

        Perhaps not quite as inevitably. When Bohemund went off to conquer Edessa, he wound up being adopted by some Armenian leader, and at least until 1204, the Crusaders managed to sporadically cooperate with the Byzantines (although they often commented they actually found the Turks more congenial).

        Particularly in the case of the First Crusade, these were really savage, brutal people. Their normal reaction when they came to a town — wherever it was and whoever was in it — was to sack it. That started happening as early as Hungary. This was more or less the way they behaved when at home, too. It really wasn’t anything personal.

      • proudzionist777
        August 13, 2012, 8:06 am

        @Hostage
        @Shingo

        So what you seem go be saying is that Jews lost their historical connection to Eretz Yisroel because the local Jewish population had been wiped out by foreign invaders and because the efforts of diaspora Jews to return to the Land was meager.

      • Shingo
        August 13, 2012, 10:00 am

        So what you seem go be saying is that Jews lost their historical connection to Eretz Yisroel because the local Jewish population had been wiped out by foreign invaders and because the efforts of diaspora Jews to return to the Land was meager.

        No, I am saying that the historical connection to Eretz Yisroel has been largely fabricated and romaticised, and that most Jews wanted no part of Eretz Yisroel until the 19th century.

      • MHughes976
        August 13, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Objective historical connections between an individual and a place seem to be unimportant – most of us probably have connections via ancestors with all sorts of places – unless our subjective imaginations take over or unless a political movement sweeps us along.
        But what comes of subjectivity? No one gets a right to possess something, let alone possess it in some exclusive fashion, simply because they passionately desire it or feel a strong affinity with it. And no political demand is valid just because it’s made. That applies to Jewish people influenced by Romanticism and indeed to the Palestinians.
        No one should be excluded from enfranchised life anywhere – the UK, Palestine – on grounds of ancestry, certainly not Jewish ancestry. Nor of course ‘simply because they are not Jews’ in Professor Beinart’s phrase. Accordingly, the basic right to be included doesn’t arise because some of your ancestors lived in the place but because you yourself have dwelt there in a peaceable fashion, generally accepted and contributing to local life. There is then a secondary right (Locke states this in strong terms) to be included if your ancestors were close enough to have owned identifiable property to which you are the heir: though this I think would lapse if you choose to leave the scene and make your life elsewhere.

      • Hostage
        August 13, 2012, 2:41 pm

        So what you seem go be saying is that Jews lost their historical connection to Eretz Yisroel because the local Jewish population had been wiped out by foreign invaders and because the efforts of diaspora Jews to return to the Land was meager.

        No, I’m saying that only the people who actually lived there had any connection that mattered. Your “historical connections” are only a form of irredentism, which is legally irrelevant. The notion of a “historical connection” was concocted to downplay the fact that the Allied Powers determined that the Zionists lacked any legal standing to assert a claim to the territory of Palestine during the Post-WWI peace conferences at Versailles and San Remo under the applicable laws of that day and age.

        The Principle Allied Powers decided there were no bases for a legal entitlement. So Lord Balfour suggested that some polite words about recognizing the “historical connection” of the Jewish people and “immigration under suitable conditions” be added to the Mandate instead. The travaux préparatoires of the British Foreign Office Committee that was tasked with drafting the Mandate said:

        “It was agreed that they had no claim, whatever might be done for them on sentimental grounds; further that all that was necessary was to make room for Zionists in Palestine, not that they should turn “it”, that is the whole country, into their home.

        – See PRO FO 371/5245, cited in Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers 1917-1922: Seeds of Conflict, George Brazziler, 1972, pages 99-100

        FYI even if foreign Jews had legal ties, including some rights to the land, that would still not imply they still have a right to colonize Palestine or that they can exercise sovereignty there. Legal ties do not override the right of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory. See UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and the summary of the judgement in the Western Sahara case:

        The materials and information presented to the Court show the existence, at the time of Spanish colonization, of legal ties of allegiance between the Sultan of Morocco and some of the tribes living in the territory of Western Sahara. They equally show the existence of rights, including some rights relating to the land, which constituted legal ties between the Mauritanian entity, as understood by the Court, and the territory of Western Sahara. On the other hand, the Court’s conclusion is that the materials and information presented to it do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the territory of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity. Thus the Court has not found legal ties of such a nature as might affect the application of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) in the decolonization of Western Sahara and, in particular, of the principle of self-determination through the free and genuine expression of the will of the peoples of the Territory.

        * link to icj-cij.org
        *http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/1514%20%28XV%29

        *In a 1949 Israeli Supreme Court decision, “CApp 41/49 Simshon Palestine Portland Cement Factory LTD. v. Attorney-General,” the Court ruled that all rights under the Mandate ended when it was terminated by the UN and the Mandatory in 1948.

      • proudzionist777
        August 13, 2012, 7:43 pm

        ‘Although the number of Jews who succeeded in making the voyage and settling in Palestine never constituted more than a small portion of world Jewry, these messianic aliyot were of enduring significance, partly because of the renown of those who took part, partly because of their regular appearance over the centuries, and partly because of the variety of diaspora communities which participated. The messianic impulse which spawned these waves of immigration, and the belief in the centrality of the land of Israel upon which they depended, were in no way marginal to the Jewish tradition, but in fact became an axis of Jewish spiritual life. Indeed, the story of aliya from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries illustrates the depth and force of the Jewish people’s connection to its ancestral homeland, a connection that was carried into the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when modern Zionism found a new way of giving it voice.’

        Arie Morgenstern, Dispersion and the Longing for Zion, 1240-1840

      • proudzionist777
        August 13, 2012, 8:05 pm

        @Hostage

        “No, I’m saying that only the people who actually lived there had any connection that mattered.”

        The people who lived where? In ‘Palestine’? In Greater Syria? In Hussein’s promised Kingdom? Who? Where? What national rights did they have and when did they acquire them ?

      • Blake
        August 13, 2012, 8:41 pm

        I don’t mind zionist propagandists getting their comments on here but what I do abhor is their Palestinian denial when zionists in the yishuv days called it Palestine for one. Palestinian dresses (Thoob) reflect the unique Palestinian culture, each village and city has a unique Embroidery feature. Now what have the Zionists got (hopeless propagandists don’t count)?

      • Shingo
        August 13, 2012, 9:04 pm

        Indeed, the story of aliya from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries illustrates the depth and force of the Jewish people’s connection to its ancestral homeland, a connection that was carried into the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when modern Zionism found a new way of giving it voice.’

        So Morgenstern switches Messianiac motives with religious. Typical.

        The realityis that Ben Gurion and his cohorts had no reagard for religion or the bibble. What’s more, the Jews that were in Palestine were adamently opposed to the idea of a Jewish state.

        Thus Morgenstern’s fanciful theories crumblea the first hurdle.

      • RoHa
        August 13, 2012, 9:59 pm

        “The people who lived where? In ‘Palestine’?”

        The people who lived in Palestine.

        “What national rights did they have and when did they acquire them ?”

        If you mean “what rights did they have to keep living there”, they acquired those right by being born there.

        If you mean “what rights did they have to form a state there”, they had those rights by virtue of being legitimate residents of the territory.

      • ColinWright
        August 13, 2012, 10:07 pm

        “No, I am saying that the historical connection to Eretz Yisroel has been largely fabricated and romaticised, and that most Jews wanted no part of Eretz Yisroel until the 19th century.”

        It would probably be fairer to say they simply didn’t think that way. To a profoundly religious, pre-modern people living before the nation state was even invented, the notion of physically acquiring Israel and holding it in a form of title that simply didn’t exist would have been — to say the least — novel.

        It would be a bit like expecting us all to choose which species of frog we were to enter into holy matrimony with. It simply wouldn’t be something that would fit in with the assumptions of their mental world.

        I’m not quite hitting it right here — but my point is that thinking pre-modern Jews were thinking in terms of anything that would resemble today’s Israel in the first place is quite a leap.

        As someone once said, ‘the past is a different country. They speak a different language there.’ To define the discussion in terms of an independent and discrete nation state of Israel and assume people in the past either wanted it or didn’t want it is an unwarranted assumption right there. I don’t think those were the alternatives they were dealing in.

      • manfromatlan
        August 13, 2012, 10:51 pm

        And those Manifest Destiny dudes eventually tried to slaughter the native populations and herd them into reservations, of course.

      • Hostage
        August 14, 2012, 12:22 pm

        It would probably be fairer to say they simply didn’t think that way. To a profoundly religious, pre-modern people living before the nation state was even invented, the notion of physically acquiring Israel and holding it in a form of title that simply didn’t exist would have been — to say the least — novel.

        No, that is exactly what the Torah and ancient Judaism were all about. It was always a systematic theology based upon the idea that the chosen people were the congregation of God, or Israel, and that they are a nation. Each of its members has a personal inheritance in a Promised Land. That was an integral part of the Divine Covenant, which entailed a commandment to conqueror it, by driving out the seven nations living there, and possessing it.

        Most Jews had no desire to go there, because they believed the arrival of the Messiah was a prerequisite to the reconstruction of the Temple and the establishment of a proper, functioning, Jewish society in the Holy Land. The Talmud instructed them that the destruction of the first Temple occurred because hatred without cause had been rampant in Jewish society. They also believed that the exile was Divinely ordained and they were obliged to fulfill the Three Oaths before they could ever return to Palestine in mass. link to halakhah.com

        For an overview of the doctrines regarding the nation and land see Deuteronomy Chapter 7:1-9 and 26:1-10:

        When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land to to which you are coming to possess it, He will cast away many nations from before you: the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful that you.

        And the Lord, your God, will deliver them to you, and you shall smite them. You shall utterly destroy them; neither shall you make a covenant with them, nor be gracious to them.

        You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son.

        For he will turn away your son from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others, and the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.

        But so shall you do to them: You shall demolish their altars and smash their monuments, and cut down their asherim trees, and burn their graven images with fire.

        For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God: the Lord your God has chosen you to be His treasured people, out of all the peoples upon the face of the earth.

        Not because you are more numerous than any people did the Lord delight in you and choose you, for you are the least of all the peoples.

        But because of the Lord’s love for you, and because He keeps the oath He swore to your forefathers, the Lord took you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.

        Know, therefore, that the Lord, your God He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and loving kindness with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.
        . . . .
        And it will be, when you come into the land which the Lord, your God, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it,

        that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you will bring from your land, which the Lord, your God, is giving you. And you shall put [them] into a basket and go to the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to have His Name dwell there.

        And you shall come to the kohen who will be [serving] in those days, and say to him, “I declare this day to the Lord, your God, that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our forefathers to give us.”

        And the kohen will take the basket from your hand, laying it before the altar of the Lord, your God.”

        And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, “An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.

        And the Egyptians treated us cruelly and afflicted us, and they imposed hard labor upon us.

        So we cried out to the Lord, God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.

        And the Lord brought us out from Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awe, and with signs and wonders.

        And He brought us to this place, and He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

        And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground which you, O Lord, have given to me.”

      • proudzionist777
        August 14, 2012, 6:59 pm

        What were the borders of Palestine? Please tell me?

        You see, I think your ‘Palestine’ had been a set of Ottoman administrative districts( none of which were called Palestine).

      • Hostage
        August 16, 2012, 5:09 pm

        What were the borders of Palestine? Please tell me?

        You see, I think your ‘Palestine’ had been a set of Ottoman administrative districts( none of which were called Palestine).

        There was actually a confidential Ottoman policy against using the term “Palestine” (more below). Nonetheless, the central government eventually relented and the official Ottoman Atlas for 1907 added the additional identifier “Filistin” to the District of Jerusalem. See the discussion on page 57 and the map on page 58 of Johann Büssow, “Hamidian Palestine:
        Politics and Society in the District of Jerusalem 1872-1908″, BRILL, Aug 11, 2011: link to books.google.com

        So you’re wrong. At least one of those districts was officially called Palestine and the inhabitants of all six Ottoman districts had repeatedly petitioned the central government to name it their provincial capital beginning in the mid 1870s.

        It’s a matter of public record that the juridical boundaries of the Consular District of Palestine that were established by the German Consul General in Jerusalem included all six Ottoman administrative districts. The American Consul General in Jerusalem advised the State Department that he too considered all six of the districts of Palestine to be inside the juridical boundaries of his area of supervision. The jurisdiction of the British Consul General of Jerusalem only included five of the six. Prussia, Austria, and Spain had similar consular jurisdictions. The Holy See, Russia, and France had similar consular jurisdictions as well as protectorates for various confessions through out the Miudle East. Under the terms of the capitulations those were official criminal and civil jurisdictions.

        For example, In Reid v Covert the Supreme Court noted that Palestine had been an international condominium with mixed courts and jurisdictions since at least 1535, when the French concluded the first treaty in a series that became known as “The Capitulations”.
        link to law.cornell.edu

        American consular jurisdiction had existed since before the adoption of the US Constitution, it had been exercised for 170 years by the time it was described in Reid v Covert in 1956. At least one individual had been hanged pursuant to the sentence of an American consular court, but the President usually commuted sentences to life at hard labor. See In re Ross, 140 U.S. 453 (1891)
        * link to supreme.justia.com

        The US treaty of 1830 with the Ottomans was codified by Congress in 8 Stat. 408. It gave the Consul all executive, legislative, and judicial powers and authorized funding for his marshals and the clerks of the Consular Courts. That statute was repealed by 70 Stat. 773 in the post-mandate era. The Consul General in Jerusalem, Palestine played a dual role. He was the Consul for the Ottoman district of Jerusalem, and at the same time, he was the superior of the consular offices in the other five Ottoman districts within the juridical boundaries of Palestine. That included everything from the region of Eilat to the territory north of Safed. Note that the Galilee panhandle was not yet considered part of the country, before the era of Trumpeldor and Tel Hai. Under the terms of the agreement on land ownership between the Ottomans and the USA, the local authorities could not enter the home of an American citizen living in a locality within 9 hours travel time from a consular residence without obtaining the assistance of a Consul. Americans in the two northern districts could call upon nearby consuls for the Syrian Pashalik for protection too. So the two Consul Generals had overlapping jurisdiction there. Here is a link to the official map of the juridical boundaries of Palestine as of 1910 and the National Archives and Records Administration accession number. The map shows the locations of the Consulate General, the US Consulates, and the Consular Agencies: link to books.google.com

        FYI, many of the Ashkenazi Jews of Palestine were proteges of the German, American, or other consuls when the Basel Congress adopted the platform calling for the establishment of a national home in “Palaestina”. Unlike Eretz Yisroel, Palaestina was a multilateral legal jurisdiction with boundaries – and it was under the protection of a statutory consular regime aka “the Capitulations”.

        Zionists always lay great stress upon the Ottoman administrative districts as if they governed daily life in Palestine. But in 1884 a member of the Sultan’s entourage in the Yildiz Palace, Ahmed Hamdi, complained that between Aqaba in the south and the northern towns of Nablus and Salt there was a stretch of 800 hours travel distance of an anarchic nature where no single government employee was ever seen or heard from and which was entirely left to the Bedouin shaykhs (‘urban mesayihine
        terk olan)”. He went on to say that in order to effectively strengthen the state’s authority in the region, it should be discussed whether it was not wise to unite all territories around the District of Jerusalem into a new province. However, he strongly advised that this entity should not be called ‘Palestine’ (Filistin), as this might arouse the curiosity of the Europeans, especially the British. He noted self-critically that the Ottomans did not even possess a map of the southern deserts of Palestine. See the discussion on pages 53 & 54 link to books.google.com

        Producing maps had been the first order of business for Napoleon’s expedition. The British Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem and Palestine were performed in the 1860s by the same group of British engineers who had performed the survey of Egypt. General Wilson went from being a map maker to head-up the military intelligence section during the British invasion and occupation of Egypt in 1882. Afterward he returned to head-up the Palestine Exploration Society’s on-going efforts.

    • Donald
      August 10, 2012, 8:24 pm

      “On the last decade or so of French Algeria, I recommend Alistair Horne’s history A Savage War of Peace ”

      I don’t disagree, but I thought there were some subtle pro-French biases in Horne’s book, or at least in the 1977 edition that I found in a used bookstore. There’s a casual throwaway line about the 19th century conquest where he mentions the demographic catastrophe that accompanied it. Before the Algerian rebellion he goes into some detail about French atrocities (Setif for one), but once the rebellion starts one would think that it was rebels killing civilians on the one hand and French torturing rebels in Algeria on the other and that’s it, until the drama of the attempted coup in France and then the OAS terrorism at the end, which he also condemns. The sense I got is that Horne disapproves of non-state violence more than state violence. At the end of the book he goes through the various casualty estimates, giving official French claims considerable weight, and then mentioning almost in passing that French military actions accidentally killed civilians, when those deaths were probably the bulk of all deaths in the war. I don’t know what the later edition of the book is like. Phillip Knightley’s book on war correspondents (The First Casualty) paints the French in a darker light.

  46. Kathleen
    August 8, 2012, 9:19 am

    Folks please contact your Reps. Let them know that people have become more aware of the facts on the ground. Demand that the U.S. cut off aid to Israel. At the very least demand that none of our aid be used to continue to develop illegal settlements and illegal housing in E Jerusalem

  47. ColinWright
    August 10, 2012, 4:34 am

    “…In the past, you have argued that Zionism cannot be a colonialist project because it lacks a metropole (ignoring the phenomenon of settler colonialism)…”

    Indeed, hasn’t Zionism always had an external ‘metropole’? Psychologically, if not materially? I’ve repeatedly been struck in Haaretz with how Israelis are almost absurdly concerned to imitate whatever trend is current in the US. They seem quite unconscious of this relationship, but it’s there. We develop a taste for raw octopus, they’ll develop the taste. It’s remarkable.

    …and for all its existence, Israel has had this ‘metropole.’ I don’t think Israel could seriously imagine itself as a completely independent state in the Middle East. Indeed, its ties to the ‘metropole’ seem to be not only materially but psychologically essential. It looks to and strains to perceive itself as part of the West rather than as part of the Middle East.

    The religion becomes quite secondary. It won’t bother Israel in the least if we take up school prayer and define ourselves as a ‘Christian nation.’ She’ll still identify with us. On the other hand, she would be genuinely aghast if anyone suggested she is a Levantine state.

    In its own mind, Israel is a Western state. Why, after all, should they so furiously protest that they are a democracy, that they do observe human rights, that they do care about being ‘green’, etc? Absent a desire to be part of the West — why should they? Why wouldn’t they just say ‘fine — we’re Jewish like Saudi Arabia is Muslim’? Why — assuming a genuinely independent consciousness — would they be so concerned to perceive themselves as psychologically positioned somewhere in the North Sea?

    Take Yishai’s ‘Israel is for the White Man’ remark. Leaving aside the moral repulsiveness, isn’t this also an assertion of an identity that implies a ‘metropole’ — of being part of a collective of ‘white men’?

    In some respects, Israel is about as far from being able to go it on its own as you can get.

  48. Mooser
    August 10, 2012, 2:11 pm

    This thread takes too long to load, and the comments are all too short.

  49. srickard
    August 12, 2012, 11:55 am

    Israelis want to maintain the Zionist fantasy that there is a Jewish democracy, when it is neither, it is a Zionist authoritarian and racist state.

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