Who is Goliath?

Israel/Palestine
on 112 Comments

I went to Thanksgiving yesterday in my wife’s childhood community of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, (affluent, gentile) and was struck by the criticisms of Israel over the Gaza assault. “Those poor people can’t escape anywhere,” said a middle-aged woman, speaking of Gazans. While a relative said the imbalance of forces between Israel and Hamas reminded her of a schoolyard bully. “Or let’s say you see your neighbor mercilessly beating his dog. And he says to you, Well he snarled at me. That’s not an excuse. Really it’s a David and Goliath situation.”

But who is Goliath? Today in the New York Times, Israelis say they are developing a missile defense system called “David’s Sling” to stop missiles that travel  more than 50 miles to reach their targets. So in Israel’s view, Palestinian militants in Gaza could be Goliath, or Hezbollah could be Goliath… In that article, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren likens the Iran-Gaza axis to the Soviet Union and Cuba in the 60s; but is that analogy accurate? Weren’t the U.S. and the Soviet Union on a par with one another? Iran doesn’t have nukes, and international bodies have not found that it is seeking them. Israel has hundreds.

I remembered running into Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld in Sderot last week, as he calmly, icily described the threat posed by Hamas to Israeli towns and cities and spoke of an Israeli military response that would be sweeping, crushing. In his neat uniform and measured speech, standing on a salient, he might have been an Allied colonel describing a pincer movement aimed at the Germany army. But we were overlooking little Gaza, 140 square miles, less than half the size of New York City. It felt grotesquely wrong.

I know, Jews are scarred by the Holocaust and by persecution in Europe. They tried to wipe us out. But that does not excuse this noncomprehension in Israel, this belief in endless overwhelming enemies, when sometimes it is just scary shadows on the wall.

About Philip Weiss

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

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112 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    November 23, 2012, 9:23 am

    It has been clear for a very long time who is Goliath. A clear case of the oppressed become the brutal oppressors. People are starting to get it..the MSM is opening up a bit. But the situation on the ground has gotten only worse for the Palestinians. You are well aware of that.

    • Ellen
      November 23, 2012, 6:48 pm

      Yes, people are starting to get it that the US has no respect, even inside Israel. And who can blame the the Israelis?

      Think about it. Here is a country (USA) pouring billions into the hands of Israeli Oligarchs in the name of defense, a country with a HoLO memorial in every little town. Where are the memorials in every town to Armenians, Congolese, Irish, Somalis, the victims of Emperor Diocletian (!) on and on,etc?

      Where, as in Charleston, SC there is no memorial to the slaves who built and sustained that city, nada. But right smack in the middle of that city is the mega European Holocaust memorial.

      a country where its legislators cheer out and clap their hands red when Netanyahoooo visits Congress. Where Sharon publicly demeaned Condolesa Rice by talking only about her legs on her first State visit. (An intended message of disprespect and riducule, no matter what one may think of Rice.) A country where our own senators (Cantor) go to Israel and trash talk the POTUS.

      Who can repect a country like that?

      No wonder cartoonist are now coming up with stuff like this:

      link to deesillustration.com

      Or the IDF wunderkind of social media warfare is parading around in blackface, parodying the US President.

      link to english.al-akhbar.com

      US legislators may not get it, as they live in a bubble, but the public is figuring it out.

      • Scott
        November 23, 2012, 7:28 pm

        Where, as in Charleston, SC there is no memorial to the slaves who built and sustained that city, nada. But right smack in the middle of that city is the mega European Holocaust memorial.

        Powerful point I’ve never seen before. Deserves a wider airing.

  2. seafoid
    November 23, 2012, 9:29 am

    Israel is deluded. 35 years of Likud and the more or less Likudisation of the Israeli masses and 800,000 settlers and the 4th largest army of the world and they have painted themselves into a corner. 90%+ of Israeli Jews supported the slaughter.

    90%+ were WRONG

    Perhaps Philip Stephens below is a bit rosy eyed on the 2ss but it’s worth a read…

    link to ft.com

    The effect of Israeli attacks on Gaza has been to underpin Hamas’s legitimacy across the Arab world and to weaken Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority. Not so long ago the Israeli government was talking, albeit through the Egyptians, to Ahmed Al-Jabari, the head of Hamas’s military organisation. By killing Mr Al-Jabari, it created another martyr to Palestinian radicalism. Mr Abbas, sidelined by Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank, struggles to seem relevant.

    This is of a piece with the reactionary world view of the Israeli prime minister. Almost everything has changed in the Middle East; Mr Netanyahu has not. He lives in the shadow of a war hero brother, who perished during the Israeli rescue of hostages at Entebbe, and a father who believed Arabs would never make peace with Jews. As long as Hamas can be cast as terrorists, Mr Netanyahu can refuse to talk peace. The unspoken delusion is that Israel’s security can be forever underwritten by military victories.

    Even before the Arab uprisings the strategy had run out of road. Ehud Olmert, Mr Netanyahu’s predecessor, also waged war on Hamas in an effort to show it would pay a heavy price for terror attacks. Mr Olmert, however, had also begun to understand that military might was not enough. He concluded that durable security depended on facing up to the decision Israel had long avoided: a negotiated withdrawal from the Palestinian territories. “The time has come to say these things,” Mr Olmert remarked during the dying months of his premiership.

    Mr Netanyahu is creating facts on the ground intended to defy this strategic logic. His settlement policy has left the West Bank resembling nothing so much as a Bantustan from South Africa’s apartheid era. You hear his supporters say that it will soon be impossible for any Israeli leader to hand back the land.

    All the while, Israel is running out of friends. Hamas hails from the same Islamist family as Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Not so long ago the US shunned contact with the Brotherhood. This week Mr Obama praised Mr Morsi for his leadership in brokering the Gaza ceasefire.

    Turkey, once a close partner, is as hostile to the present government as is any Arab state. The leaders across Europe who this week affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself did so through gritted teeth. Even Tony Blair, who as an international envoy to the region has never strayed far from Mr Netanyahu, seems to think it is time to talk to Hamas.

    Mr Netanyahu draws a link between Palestine and Iran’s nuclear programme. He says Israel can consider peace only when the US has dealt with the threat from an Iranian bomb. Logic runs in the opposite direction. International pressure cannot properly be mobilised against Tehran until the west shakes off the charge of double standards.

    During his first term Mr Obama blinked in the face of Mr Netanyahu’s intransigence. He took advice from officials who said that the US could never challenge Israel.

    What is required now is American leadership – a decision by the White House to set out the parameters for a settlement and to seek broad regional and international support for them. The elements are familiar enough: a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps; unbreakable security guarantees for Israel and its recognition across the Arab world; and a shared capital in Jerusalem. Past Israeli leaders have accepted this as a fair template. If Mr Netanyahu rejects it, he must explain why.

    The time has also come for Europeans to leave the sidelines. Instead of whispering behind their hands, they should say publicly what they agree privately. After all, they need do no more than take Mr Olmert’s script: Israel’s security and democracy cannot indefinitely survive the subjugation of Palestinians. One way to start would be to offer European backing for Palestinian statehood at the UN. If there is a single lesson from the tumultuous events of the past few years, it is that the era of the armed reactionary is coming to a close.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 23, 2012, 10:15 am

      ”The elements are familiar enough: a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps; unbreakable security guarantees for Israel and its recognition across the Arab world; and a shared capital in Jerusalem. Past Israeli leaders have accepted this as a fair template”

      Have they though?

      Has ANY Israeli leader seriously, sincerely contemplated a withdrawal to the 67 lines, a complete evacuation of the ‘settlements’ and E Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine?

      I don’t believe that any ever has, or that any ever will.

      • Kathleen
        November 23, 2012, 10:59 am

        Water!

      • pabelmont
        November 23, 2012, 6:45 pm

        Kathleen: Unless you’re thirsty, you mean –> any “just and lasting peace” must provide for the equitable sharing of naturally occurring (not desalinated) water. Quite right, and let us keep saying it and saying it. Especially during the duration of the occupation of Gaza (e.g. as long as ANY supervision of import/export is exercised over Gaza by Israel (or by Egypt on behalf of Israel), Israel is RESPONSIBLE for providing water and whatever else is needed for health. After peace, well, that’s another question for another time.

      • Kathleen
        November 23, 2012, 8:42 pm

        Huge issue

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2012, 2:13 am

        Maximus- Freedland is on cif in the grauniad with a classic of the genre.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 24, 2012, 11:28 am

        LOL yes I saw that! Absolute classic Freedland, as you say. Everyone else is simplistic and one-sided – but not our Jonathan. He is oh-so-reasonable and oh-so-nuanced in his views. Not. Like we agreed, he’s a hard-core Zionist who likes to present a ‘moderate’ face when it suits him.

        I also bet Freedland is one of those types who alters his views depending on his audience. I’ve heard his writing is a lot more ‘honest’ (ie unrepentant Zionist) in the Jewish Chronicle.

      • Wawi
        November 24, 2012, 3:18 pm

        Nor should they. Why should Jerusalem be cut in half. It did not work in the past. Note that Jerusalem was a divided city from 1948-1967, previous to that it was under British rule and for 500 years before the Brits under Turkish rule. The division of the Jewish capital did not bring peace to the city or region, so why should it be split now? Will the seperation bring peace, no, so why do it?

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2012, 5:21 pm

        Jerusalem is de facto divided, habibi. Try getting a taxi from west j to beit hanina. Compare spending per head between east and west. The sad fact of the ‘jewish capital’ is that it needs 50 professional torturers to keep the status quo going. And what part of tikkun olam covers torture?

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 3:55 pm

        “And what part of tikkun olam covers torture?”

        I would say Kashruth, but that’s in Levitcus.

  3. Citizen
    November 23, 2012, 9:37 am

    Michael Oren was laying down official hasbara to Piers Morgan re Breaking News Gaza two days ago. When Morgan pointed out the disparate death and wounded toll, Morgan kept after him about the disproportionality, that the respective harm caused reflected the severe imbalance of power. Oren kept avoiding how those facts conflicted with what he had been saying. Oren seemed astonished Morgan was actually pursing this matter; finally he came up with a poll taken recently which showed most Americans supported Israel. Oren in effect concluded his smack down of uppity Morgan by inferring, Why are you pestering me when Americans agree it’s OK to be oh-hum about any number of Palestinian dead and wounded?

    Seems Morgan agreed as he dropped the matter.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 23, 2012, 10:22 am

      Remember that Morgan is best known in Britain as the editor of the Daily Mirror – a tabloid which, though sleazy, has a definite left-wing slant. So his ‘heritage’ would make him way, way further to the left than just about any American journalist (remember that ‘left wing’ is defined very differently in the US), and also likely to be much more pro-Palestinian than anyone on US network TV. That said, clearly Morgan prefers keeping in with the US elites and knows where to draw the line when it comes to interviewing Israeli spokespeople – if he gave Oren anything like the treatment British TV news anchors like Jon Snow give to the likes of Mark Regev, he would lose his job.

      Oh, and I hardly think Oren should celebrate the fact that, after decades of relentless hasbara, something like 58% of Americans support this latest IDF rampage. A decade ago, I reckon it would have been closer to 90%. Even in the US, as at home, demographics are against the Israelis. All the hasbara in the world can’t change that.

    • Shingo
      November 23, 2012, 3:19 pm

      Oren in effect concluded his smack down of uppity Morgan by inferring, Why are you pestering me when Americans agree it’s OK to be oh-hum about any number of Palestinian dead and wounded?

      I only wish that Morgan had come back with the polls that show Israel to be the greatest threat to world peace and that place Israel’s prestige alongside that of North Korean.

  4. Dan Crowther
    November 23, 2012, 9:41 am

    “us”? geez louise. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Israel Shahak who responded to a young man asking him why he criticizes Israel knowing “they tried to wipe us out” – his response: Did you just say “us”?

    • Kathleen
      November 23, 2012, 9:56 am

      “us” a bit too much for me

    • ahmed
      November 23, 2012, 11:16 am

      Not to mention the amorphous “they”

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 23, 2012, 4:25 pm

        The “they” is the enemies who “rise up in every generation” (in the Jewish tribalist worldview).

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:37 am

        “The “they” is the enemies who “rise up in every generation” (in the Jewish tribalist worldview).”

        I’m sorry, Stephen. Look, I know what I owe Judaism, I know what I should do, but I simply don’t have the courage. Don’t worry tho, I’ll be gone soon enough. I guess that extra “o” fools nobody, huh?

    • Don
      November 24, 2012, 11:09 am

      Geez Louise, indeed!

      I could not agree more, Dan. Rather uppity of Phil to self identify with Jews…never mind the “different time, different place”…and he is taking a bullet to the back of his head; or inhaling some rather unpleasant substance.

      What is it about “us” that is problematic?

      What is it about this conflict that makes it so difficult for people to think clearly?

  5. seafoid
    November 23, 2012, 10:02 am

    East Jerusalem, Israel’s “eternal” possession, is as eternally Israeli as hasbara control of the narrative.

    What Operation Shoot oneself in the foot repeatedly showed was that hasbara is malfunctioning. Even if Israelis refuse to look at pictures of dead Gazans the world won’t any longer. The Zionist narrative- that Palestinians are more or less worthless vermin – no longer works* on mass OECD audiences (* except perhaps south of the Mason Dixie line and in certain religious communities)

  6. iResistDe4iAm
    November 23, 2012, 10:16 am

    Israel is a wolf in shepherd’s clothing that kills the sheep, then cries wolf, then pretends to be an orphaned lamb.

  7. gamal
    November 23, 2012, 10:17 am

    “I know, Jews are scarred by the Holocaust and by persecution in Europe. They tried to wipe us out”

    are you insane “they” lost fifty million people and the whole continent was in ruins fighting those who “tried to wipe us out”. Do you know any European history, it was all war and extermination for quite some time, the Germans nearly wiped themselves out didnt they, 30 years war and the hundred years war before that was an endless series of conflicts that in a way gave rise to national ideologies in France and Britain? Thirty years before they tried to wipe you out they were proposing to give you some one else’s country, gratis, supported by their arms and blood. Everyone’s blood has been spilled over this same time copious slaughters were committed through out the world by the rising European powers, no one else trades on this history to excuse current heinous crimes save “Jews” clinging to their manufactured trauma, it explains nothing, the crimes of Zionism are crimes of domination not born of fear but of arrogance, hubris and the classic European racism, which you have the audacity to claim to be victims of, and as a source of Israeli insecurity, the insecure and fearful are meek and cautious, Israeli’s are murderous and vengeful and arrogant.

    “scary shadows on the wall” no its scary shadows on the conscience, war is a game to Israeli’s, vastly more Israelis die in traffic accidents than die in Palestinians actions. This whole trauma thesis is born of a sense of exceptional worth, which in common parlance is called racism, right now people are being slaughtered in their millions by an empire from which Jews are doing very nicely, you dont hear them whining about their right to inflict unbelievable pain and spread death and destruction on the utterly innocent, even those who resist, people they have so recently robbed.

    does Rudoren speak for all of you, tears for those back in Israel while calmly opining about slaughter all around her, you the Jews have never had a monopoly of suffering, rather you have been living in the same world as the rest of us have, its your view that there is some special quality to Jewishness, thats the problem, Italy killed up to 80% of Libyans last century, but you were supporting the destruction of that state with all its concomitant suffering and bleat about the pin pricks of terrorism, iraq with 1.5 million killed in 4 years plus 1.5 million excess deaths from sanctions, 500 thousand of them children, in the previous decade, why this constant thrashing of a manufactured sense of threat, even that “Holocaust” was accompanied and followed by vast blood letting in the empires, none of which is ever used to excuse the sort of crimes which Jews are proud to support and Israelis are happy to engage in, till their presence of mind returns which i think will be too late, our blood is not cheap, whatever you might now think nor our rights easily traded for hollow promises, the people of the ME have a history which you seem to know nothing about, and unlike yours it is not some ersatz jumble of self justifying myths, but is rooted in real places, where we have always been and we never forget, since you decided to colonize us you’d better not get weary, because we will always be resisting as we always have, and we will decide when justice has been served, international law can kiss our collective scarred arse, we know whats ours and what we have a right to.

    Jerusalem is ours.

    • Keith
      November 23, 2012, 2:14 pm

      GAMAL- I’m glad you brought this up as it helps to put things into perspective and highlights something which I have come to believe. Jewish history as told by the Jews is a largely biased interpretation of events, ideology projected back in time where incidents are de-contextualized from surrounding events. A laser-like focus on perceived Jewish suffering where wars and social strife are viewed as endless pogroms, gentile suffering and victims invisible. It is not that some or all of these events didn’t occur, but that the context and interpretation overwhelmingly reflect an ideological input designed to promote tribal solidarity at the expense of historical knowledge and understanding.

      “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (Israel Shahak, 1994)

      • seafoid
        November 23, 2012, 2:46 pm

        2 fine examples of the genre; the mufti of jerusalem personally ran the shoah and the last 13 centuries of sephardi history were a misery of muslim antisemitism.

      • Citizen
        November 23, 2012, 2:55 pm

        @ Keith
        Well, yes, that’s why the study of Jewish History is not the study of World History. The especially unique feature of Judaism is that Jewish religious holidays, celebrations are never distinguished from Jewish History. The bible stories are deemed true objective history same as the latest Jewish conflict happening today, as presented by contemporary rabbis for their tribal audience.
        In a nutshell: “They tried to kill us all, they failed, we won. Let’s eat!”

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:46 am

        “In a nutshell: “They tried to kill us all, they failed, we won. Let’s eat!”

        Man, everybody’s got a Thanksgiving aphorism.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        November 23, 2012, 3:31 pm

        A good example is the treatment of the massacres of Jews (“pogroms”) that accompanied the uprising against Polish rule led by Chmelnitsky in 17th century Ukraine. The Ukrainian peasants had suffered terribly under the Polish lords and the Jewish leaseholders who managed their estates. For instance, Jewish innkeepers who had been given a monopoly on the production and sale of liquor had the right to use any means, including torture, against peasants suspected of distilling liquor themselves. When the peasants rose up, they killed any Poles AND Jews they could find. It had little to do with religion because the Poles were fellow Christians (though a different denomination — Catholic). They were taking revenge on their tormentors, although no doubt there was some injustice involved, as not all Jews and Poles had treated them cruelly.

        Many later Jewish writers (not all of them Zionists) present the massacres in the spirit described by Gamal — completely out of context, as simply one more example of the eternal Gentile hatred of Jews, not mentioning the Polish victims or what went before. And yet Hanover, the main Jewish chronicler of the events at the time, did show some understanding of the insurgent peasants (he says that Jews had become too powerful in Ukraine).

        Some years ago I was commissioned to write a short educational text on the history of Ukraine (I won’t identify the institution that commissioned me). I explained the Chmelnitsky uprising in the terms outlined in the first paragraph above. But as I wrote I knew for sure that my text would be censored and all reference to the role played by Jews before the uprising removed — despite the fact that I was a Jew and the editor who would be censoring me was a Gentile (but a Gentile trained to fear other Jews, much more powerful than me). Of course, my expectations were not mistaken.

      • Citizen
        November 23, 2012, 4:56 pm

        @ Stephen Shenfield

        LOL. Why should you be treated differently by the the powers that be? Here’s Wikipedia’s “objective” take on similar issues and how they are handled—Re 200 Years Together: link to en.wikipedia.org

        Note that this book by a world-acclaimed author who always dealt with controversial historical issues from a World POV, has yet to be published in English translation in America:
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        And note that Wikipedia says nothing about why this is. A few chapters were published online by freelancers working for free, along with an analysis–on a website those in power in USA have made officially taboo, so that nobody can even use the historical data provided to gain more education on the subject matter or ask questions about the PC version of that history without being attacked as “anti-semitic.”

        Cf: Gunter Grass’s public view and literary cry re Israel’s nukes, and how that has been handled in America.

      • Keith
        November 23, 2012, 5:45 pm

        STEPHEN SHENFIELD- Thanks, Stephen, this is a perfect example of exactly what I am talking about. It is the de-contextualizing of historical events which permit them to be interpreted in an otherwise obviously erroneous fashion and to be misapplied in justification of a bogus narrative. A narrative, I might add, which is difficult to challenge without a broad awareness of the big historical picture insofar as the specific events may have actually occurred, albeit within a context not widely known. Because this is such an important point in an important topic, I am going to conclude with another quote from Israel Shahak:

        “All modern studies on Judaism, particularly by Jews, have evolved from that conflict, and to this day they bear the unmistakable marks of their origin: deception, apologetics or hostile polemics, indifference or even active hostility to the pursuit of truth. Almost all the so-called Jewish studies in Judaism, from that time to this very day, are polemics against an external enemy rather than an internal debate.”

        “It is important to note that this was initially the character of historiography in all known societies….But sooner or later there comes a time when an attempt is made to understand one’s national or religious adversary and at the same time to criticise certain deep and important aspects of the history of one’s own group; and both these elements go together. Only when historiography becomes…‘a debate without end’ rather than a continuation of war by historiographic means, only then does a humane historiography, which strives for both accuracy and fairness, becomes possible; and it then turns into one of the most powerful instruments of humanism and self-education.” (p22, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak, 2002)

      • MRW
        November 23, 2012, 7:19 pm

        @Stephen Shenfield,

        Tony Karon wrote about this in 2006:
        link to tonykaron.com

        I have spent my subway commute this winter reading Paul Kriwaczek’s sweeping history Yiddish Civilization, a must-read and endlessly revealing tale of the years between the Roman Empire and the collapse of the heym. And one observation about early Jewish life in the Ukraine jumped out at me for its relevance both to the experience of Jews in South Africa, and of the Israeli experience, particularly after 1967.

        Kriwaczek, in a prelude to his explanation of the notorious Cossack pogrom of mid-18th century Ukraine, explains the fraught relationship between the Polish nobility, the Ukrainian peasantry and the Cossack warlords, and the way Jews were inserted into that complex and unfortunate web. Polish nobles who had feudal ownership over the Ukrainian villages began renting them to Jewish entrepreneurs. These frontier moneymen were now “owners” of the land and feudal labor of the Ukrainian peasantry, and were inclined, as market forces dictated, to extract as much surplus as they could. At the same time, Jews had long been used by the Polish nobles as their tax collectors and bailiffs, making them the on-the-ground presence of an oppressive feudal system under which the peasants chafed. It was a moral disaster, writes Kriwaczek:

        QUOTE
        The alliance between ruthless Polish nobles and insecure Yiddish frontiersmen proved dangerous and destructive. The Jews now held a position that nothing in their background or religious law had properly prepared them for. They had been placed in authority over another people, of another social order, another culture and another religion, a people of whom the [Polish noble] magnates, the Jews’ masters, regarded as racially inferior and fair game for callous exploitation. Tragically, shaking off the restraining influence of the wise [Rabbinical] counsel of the West, the repeated warnings of the rabbis of metropoiltan Cracow, Posen and Lublin, the Yiddish businessmen who flocked to the colony came to reagard the peasantry in a similar contemptuous light.
        ENDQUOTE

        The parts I emphasized in italics [bold, italics won't take] could as well have been applied to many of the Jews arriving in already colonially-segregated South Africa in the first three decades of the last century. And, of course, to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:43 am

        “(I won’t identify the institution that commissioned me).”

        No, you won’t do that, will you? Gee, I wonder why?

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 5:25 pm

        “(I won’t identify the institution that commissioned me).”

        “No, you won’t do that, will you? Gee, I wonder why?”

        Okay, thought about it for two days, read the comment several times, and now I think I get it. Only took a couple days.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:40 am

        “Jewish history as told by the Jews is a largely biased interpretation of events, ideology projected back in time where incidents are de-contextualized from surrounding events.”

        See? I keep on telling you that Jews are just like anybody else! Thanks for the proof! Ever read anything British about Britian’s “Opium Wars”?

      • Keith
        November 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

        MOOSER- “See? I keep on telling you that Jews are just like anybody else!”

        Gentile tribalism? I am not aware that everybody else believes that they are the eternal victims of irrational hatred, 2000 years of pogroms culminating in a Holocaust. David Mamet’s comment that “The world hates the Jews. The world always has and will continue to do so,” is a core belief of both classical Judaism and Zionism, the glue which psychologically justifies and reinforces Jewish tribalism. This is not something inherent in someone born into a Jewish environment, rather, it is a specific acquired belief system which manifests itself repeatedly in the Mondoweiss comments section. It is what enables Phil to write “I know, Jews are scarred by the Holocaust and by persecution in Europe. They tried to wipe us out.” Or for you to identify sufficiently with the tribe to feel threatened by this discussion.

        In my 11/23 comment at 5:45 pm, I quote Israel Shahak as follows: “It is important to note that this was initially the character of historiography in all known societies….But sooner or later there comes a time when an attempt is made to understand one’s national or religious adversary and at the same time to criticise certain deep and important aspects of the history of one’s own group; and both these elements go together.” He goes on to say that “Almost all the so-called Jewish studies in Judaism, from that time to this very day, are polemics against an external enemy rather than an internal debate.” In other words, as flawed as Gentile historiography is, what with imperial apologetics, etc, Jewish historiography doesn’t even rise to that level. I would have thought that this would have been evident based upon many comments which de-contextualize violence against Jews so as to efface the surrounding conditions and Gentile suffering, which results in a narrative whereby the Holocaust is viewed as a super pogrom, the culmination of irrational anti-Semitism, rather than as a part of the slaughter which was World War II.

        Mondoweiss has pursued this type of discussion, I believe, in an attempt to unravel the motivation behind the critically important American Jewish support for Israel. Not all Jews, of course, but organized Jews and many Jewish fat-cats. Surely there must be some basis for this support. As an assimilated Jew, you must be aware that there are significant differences in perceptions between you and Jews with a tribal orientation. Not that hard to grasp. Shouldn’t be perceived as a threat, yet you appear to do so. I wonder why?

      • MHughes976
        November 24, 2012, 5:31 pm

        Even the belief in eternal hatred (which is also a belief in inherent superiority) is a human, all too human, thing, a specific manifestation of what Hobbes calls ‘glory’.

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 11:36 am

        “Even the belief in eternal hatred (which is also a belief in inherent superiority) is a human, all too human, thing, a specific manifestation of what Hobbes calls ‘glory’.”

        Thanks, MHughes976, but your comment comes too late to comfort me after “Keith’s” indictment. All I could think while I read it was: “Oy Gevalt all this, and we smell funny, too! Yes, Keith, everything you said about Jewish tribalism is true, and yet I can’t help liking myself! Gosh, there must be something I can kill myself with around here. Wait, I know, there’s some shrimp in the icebox! Goodbye, cool world.

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 5:40 pm

        “Surely there must be some basis for this support. As an assimilated Jew, you must be aware that there are significant differences in perceptions between you and Jews with a tribal orientation.”

        Sure is, and they are pretty much the same difference I have with anyone who thinks in that “tribal” way. No matter what his “tribe” is.
        And I’m not exactly sure what you want me to do with this Jewish “glue which psychologically justifies and reinforces Jewish tribalism”? Or do about it. But really, as this “glue” is used on Mondoweiss, it’s non-toxic, safe for children, but not guaranteed waterproof. Clean both surfaces before assembling.
        Anyway, you’re asking the wrong guy. I’m not a professional Jew, just an ordinary typical Jew. There are many here much more qualified to engage in this discussion with you.

      • Keith
        November 27, 2012, 11:59 am

        MOOSER- “Anyway, you’re asking the wrong guy. I’m not a professional Jew, just an ordinary typical Jew. There are many here much more qualified to engage in this discussion with you.”

        Funny, I don’t recall initiating this discussion with you. I seem to recall you reacting to something I said with your typical defensive hostility to any suggestion that organized American Jews perceive reality even slightly different from the surrounding Gentile community. As to why the Council of Presidents of the major ‘just like anybody else’ organizations strongly support the ‘just like everybody else’ state of Israel, your answer seems to be ‘the less said the better.’ Since my first response didn’t survive moderation, I’ll let it go at that and hope for the best.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “Funny, I don’t recall initiating this discussion with you.”

        That’s understandable since “MOOSER” (sic) is the first word in the comment I was responding to, so perhaps I jumped to the conclusion it had something to do with me. It was probably the other Mooser. BTW, my first name is “Derbig”.

      • Keith
        November 27, 2012, 3:24 pm

        MOOSER- “That’s understandable since “MOOSER” (sic) is the first word in the comment I was responding to, so perhaps I jumped to the conclusion it had something to do with me.”

        Why are you misrepresenting what occurred? Why are you avoiding the issue? The comment you refer to is the third comment I made on this thread. It is specifically directed to you in response to your comment concerning my previous comment which you quoted in part. Are you saying that your comment “See? I keep on telling you that Jews are just like anybody else! Thanks for the proof! Ever read anything British about Britian’s “Opium Wars”?” wasn’t directed at me, hence, initiated ‘our’ discussion? Or should I say your defensive hostility towards any such discussion?

        As for the discussion itself, you say that “…Jews are just like anybody else!” Yes, generally speaking. Does that imply that ‘anybody else’ is just like everybody else? One big happy family of man singing Kumbaya? Then how to explain wars, empires, discrimination, exploitation, etc? Are the causative factors behind human behavior worth knowing? Worth discussing? Or do we shrug it off and say only God knows? Or do we ask these questions about everybody else but attack those who dare to inquire about a select group which is just like anybody else?

        Mooser, if you don’t want to participate in the discussion that’s fine. But why the ongoing attempt to monkey wrench it?

    • Inanna
      November 23, 2012, 9:21 pm

      @gamal: bravo.

      Until liberation and return.

  8. Stephen Shenfield
    November 23, 2012, 10:29 am

    “Jews are scarred by the Holocaust.” By now only a few elderly Jews are directly scarred by the Holocaust. It can be argued that some other Jews are indirectly scarred by the Holocaust — in particular, the children of the survivors. For most of us, and especially for the young generations born decades after the event, any scarring is the result not of the Holocaust as such but of Zionist brainwashing that works hard to shape and keep alive an image of the Holocaust (one that is distorted in important respects) for its own evil purposes.

    • seafoid
      November 23, 2012, 11:02 am

      And Yad va Shem is a waste of time. The Nazis weren’t uniquely evil. It will happen again. All you need is a brainwashed population, intense paranoia, a war and sociopathic decision makers.

      You need leaders who can say things like

      There is no equivalence between jews murdered by terrorism and palestinians who die in unfortunate accidents that happen when the idf takes the utmost care

      And you also need people who don’t want to know about what their army does in areas populated by non people

    • Kathleen
      November 23, 2012, 11:04 am

      As a youngster until now have always noticed that only Jews were murdered in the Nazi genocide. Always found it very troubling and telling that the Poles, Gypsies etc never mentioned as having been murdered too. How many Russians died in that horrific war? 20 million?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        November 23, 2012, 11:43 am

        Agree.

        I don’t want to in any way, shape or form downplay the horror suffered by Europe’s Jews in WWll, but this emphasis on the ‘uniqueness’ of the holocaust is indeed troubling. Didn’t ‘professional holocaust survivor’ Elie Wiesel once even say that the deaths of ‘other’ holocaust victims simply weren’t the same as that of Jews, that they ‘died differently’ or some such logical fallacy?

        I highly recommend the late Peter Novick’s book ‘The Holocaust and Collective Memory” for an analysis of the ways in which the holocaust has been used and abused, especially in the US. It’s way more thoughtful than Finkelstein’s gratuitously combative book on a similar subject.

      • seafoid
        November 23, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Foxman says the shoah is sui generis because the jews are the chosen people and that murdering jews is an assault on god. It’s not enough to be a stain on humanity. Foxman’s mother must have been the stereotype. I really miss lenny bruce.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 23, 2012, 5:55 pm

        “Foxman says the shoah is sui generis because the jews are the chosen people and that murdering jews is an assault on god.”

        Beside that bit, the racist old fool also said that because of the holocaust, the Jews shouldn’t be held to any standard of rationality; that irrationality on behalf of Jews is excused by the holocaust. Vile stuff.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:52 am

        “I really miss lenny bruce.”

        Lenny Bruce was once subject to a search of his dressing room which turned up a bunch of morphine tablets. He claimed they were aspirin. When confronted with a hypodermic needle which was also found, he shrugged and said “Look, I can’t stand the taste”.

        And Keith, don’t mourn too much, I’m still around!

      • American
        November 23, 2012, 12:32 pm

        link to historylearningsite.co.uk

        Civilian Casualties of World War Two
        Allies:

        Great Britain + Commonwealth 60,000
        France 360,000
        United States Minimal
        USSR 7,700,000
        Belgium 90,000
        Holland 190,000
        Norway Minimal
        Poland 5,300,000
        Greece 80,000
        Yugoslavia 1,300,000
        Czechoslovakia 330,000
        China (from 1937 on) 10,000,000

        Total 25,410,000

        Military casualties of World War Two

        Allied forces:

        Great Britain + Commonwealth 452,000
        France 250,000
        USA 295,000
        USSR 13,600,000
        Belgium 10,000
        Holland 10,000
        Norway 10,000
        Poland 120,000
        Greece 20,000
        Yugoslavia 300,000
        Czechoslovakia 20,000
        China (from 1937 on) 3,500,000

        Total 18,587,000

        Axis forces military and civilian deaths aren’t included in the above…but you can figure about half the amount of allied military and civilian deaths apply for the Axis, so about another 20 million to the total for all of WWII.

        As you can see China and Russia lost the most (astronomical numbers) in civilian and military deaths.

      • RoHa
        November 24, 2012, 1:02 am

        You will also notice from those figures that, although North Africa and Syria were battlefields, not a single Libyan, Tunisian, Egyptian, Moroccan, or Syrian civilian was killed.

        Both Allied and Axis forces showed truly phenomenal adherence to the principal of discrimination.

      • American
        November 24, 2012, 9:53 am

        That’s true Roha….there were Arab and African countries with big loses also. I’ve seen the numbers on them elsewhere but don’t remember exactly so won’t try to quote.

    • pabelmont
      November 23, 2012, 11:25 am

      Exactly: you can talk yourself into a belief in the craziest things (not corresponding to reality) when you do all the talking and no-one is allowed to contradict.

      Why, Jews even talked themselves into a Talmud provision, once upon a time, teaching that Jews should make nice with their neighbors and not cause trouble — and another teaching that the in-gathering of Jews to Zion promised by God was God’s business and (Jewish) mankind should not do anything to bring it to reality, not even to pray for it (as I heard the story — I am not a Talmud reader).

      Well, I guess the pogroms circa 1900 persuaded some Jews to abandon the Talmudic teaching against going en masse to Zion, and the Holocaust ended most resistance to the idea, although fearful Jews still resisted making much noise in support of Zionism from a desire to continue to make nice with neighbors without making waves, if not because their Rabbis taught this as a Jewish duty — as the orthodox group Neturei Karta ( NK facebook and Youtube) still teaches.

      So, today, the ethically magnificently flexible Jewish people (at least those in Israel) teach make-awful to your neighbors, steal their land, expel them, kill them, starve them, bomb them.

      Or — maybe — only while you have the strong hand (Goliath). When little David (Gaza) armed with his sling (Egypt, international outrage, just maybe a [of course] secret nudge from Obama) resists, Goliath “lay down and dieth”, more or less. How odd that “Porgy and Bess” comes to mind here.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 11:57 am

        “How odd that “Porgy and Bess” comes to mind here.”

        Yup, I bet Phil is humming “There’s a Boat That’s Leaving Soon, for New York” the whole time he’s there.

        Ever seen the Muppet version? “I Loves You, Piggy” (sung by Kermit) had me in tears.

  9. tombishop
    November 23, 2012, 11:42 am

    I recently returned from Cambodia where I saw the Khmer Rouge torture center and the killing field outside of Phnom Penh. Over 1.5 million people were killed in a genocide whose beginnings were the relentless bombing of the U.S. in Cambodia from 1971-1973. It lead to a terrorized population which was vulnerable to the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge.

    What struck me is the similarity of all genocides whether it be the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazis, or the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Armenia at the beginning of the 20th century, and others. In each case, ruling elites sought to eliminate an obstacle to their imperial designs by preparing their own population for the genocide against “the other” by portraying them as a threat which must be eliminated.

    I therefore find the rhetoric being casually thrown about in Israel which questions the humanity of the Palestinians to be most troubling. If you study the history of ethnic cleansing and genocide, this is how it begins. This “truce” has done nothing to end this danger. If anything this latest attack by Israel seems to have led many Israelis to consider the unthinkable.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      November 23, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Agreed. One journalist spoke of how an Israeli woman told him the campaign should have continued until Gaza was ‘deleted’ and added that he’d heard similar sentiments ‘about ten times this morning’. Now, what does ‘deleted’ mean except wiped out, eradicated? Gilad Sharon calmly spoke of a ‘Hiroshima solution’ for Gaza. Such sentiments are quite mainstream in Israel now – just look at who they elected for proof of that. I really do believe that, in the event of a major conflagration, the majority of Israeli Jews would favour deporting the Palestinian population – including those who are citizens of Israel – en masse. However, even allowing for how tolerant Western powers are towards Israeli brutality, I don’t think even Israel could get away with such blatant ethnic cleansing. But who really knows?

      • RebuildingAll
        November 23, 2012, 1:34 pm

        TomBishop, have you found ways that turn peoples away from the abyss of totalitarianism and genocide? The critical question for our time is this: what can we do to bring neighborhoods and nations back to good health, safety, and respect for human rights and environmental responsibility?

        One thing we must do is to listen to the peacemakers, those working for justice in each country. On Thanksgiving Day, just after the ceasefire was announced, Rebuilding Alliance held our 2nd hour-long Stay Human Conference Call with

        • Dr. Eyad El Sarraj, founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, calling from Gaza City, Palestine

        • Dr. Ruchama Marton, founder of Physicians for Human Rights, calling from Tel Aviv, Israel

        Remarkable call, please listen to the recording.

        Our first call, last Tuesday included Mr. Husam El Nounou calling from Gaza City and Rabbi Arik Ascherman calling from Jerusalem.

        Four years ago during Cast Lead, I created the Sweep Down the Walls Conference Call series, putting a peacemaker from Gaza and a peacemaker from Israel on the line every two days with dozens of people throughout the U.S. and the world to hear them. Such important voices… I couldn’t find funding to keep it going. This time we must find a way.

        The next Stay Human Conference Call will be Monday, Nov. 26th, speakers to be announced, register here by clicking “Count Me In”

        Starting Tuesday, Morgan Bach and I will be in DC to walk the halls of congress and bring these conference calls — with their constituents on the line — to the senior staffers for Senators and Representatives. If you would like me to visit your Senators and Representative, please help me schedule the meeting. Sincerely,
        Donna Baranski-Walker

      • Kathleen
        November 23, 2012, 8:37 pm

        Have heard this type of racist violent speech coming out of Jewish students at Ohio State in Columbus Ohio and Jews attending the Aipac conference in D.C.

  10. yonah fredman
    November 23, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Scary shadows on the wall- Hardly. There were 5 Israeli fatalities. They were caused by projectiles and not by shadows. And the shooters of those projectiles have a philosophy that is murderous. You might justify their philosophy and see it as a philosophy of the oppressed and the less powerful. But this is not mere shadows. Such rhetoric is propaganda, not journalism.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 23, 2012, 5:44 pm

      “And the shooters of those projectiles have a philosophy that is murderous. ”

      LMAO. As if the philosophy of the zionists is about giving the Palestinians cupcakes, rainbow stickers and pictures of unicorns.

    • Cliff
      November 23, 2012, 6:07 pm

      This isn’t about Hamas.

      But don’t go thinking anyone should weep for the death of an IDF colon.

      As for ‘murderous’ ideologies – you subscribe to a colonial ideology that in practice is murderous.

      I’d say for all practical purposes, Zionism – like Manifest Destiny – is murderous.

      So who are you to talk? You aren’t imparting moral wisdom here. You are hysterical over 5 deaths and silent and without perspective on 100+.

      • yonah fredman
        November 23, 2012, 7:35 pm

        I accept that Gazans are David and Israel is Goliath (although Iran ain’t no David, even if it has no nukes, it still ain’t no David.) and that the death of the Palestinians was horrible and I hope the cease fire will lead to a cessation of war between Gaza and Israel.

        To state that Hamas is not the issue, I don’t even know what that means. Hamas is at least in part the governing party of Gaza. Obviously if you favor the dismantling of Israel, then Hamas is not the issue. But if you favor some compromise between the Zionist Jewish Israelis and the Palestinians living in Gaza, then Hamas is definitely part of the issue.

        My point was not a moral one, it was one of using the term shadows to describe the Israeli fears. This is bushwa. The Israeli fears may be exaggerated, but they are certainly not based on shadows on the wall. If Truth is a moral issue, and it is, then I guess it is a moral issue. But in that case my sensitivity to the deaths of the Palestinians is besides the point and to equate projectiles and shadows with one another is falsehood.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2012, 12:28 am

        Obviously if you favor the dismantling of Israel, then Hamas is not the issue.

        The issue existed before Hamas was created by Israel. If anything, Hamas have come out of this looking like the more reasonable and pragmatic of the two sides.

      • Sumud
        November 24, 2012, 5:00 am

        But if you favor some compromise between the Zionist Jewish Israelis and the Palestinians living in Gaza, then Hamas is definitely part of the issue.

        Asking yourself yet why Israel chose to kill at the start of the latest onslaught, Jabiri of Hamas who was trying to negotiate a permanent truce with Israel? Could it be that Israel is the fly in that ointment, not Hamas?

        Israel doesn’t want any kind of normalisation with Gaza, keeping the West Bank and Gaza divided and being able to cry “no partners for peace” is the goal, IMHO.

      • Mooser
        November 24, 2012, 12:03 pm

        “The Israeli fears may be exaggerated, but they are certainly not based on shadows on the wall.”

        Absolutely! Yonah, I know exactly what those fears are, too! Whenever I steal something I am afraid of being caught, and having to pay the penalty for my crimes. And unbelievable as it may sound, “The Bible tells me so!” never got me a day’s mitigation.

        “My point was not a moral one” Yonah, believe me, pal, nobody is accusing you of that.

      • AhVee
        November 25, 2012, 1:48 am

        ” But if you favor some compromise between the Zionist Jewish Israelis and the Palestinians living in Gaza, then Hamas is definitely part of the issue.”

        Aside from the obvious question why anyone within a 100-mile radius of moral justice would even step forward to bargain with Zionist Jewish Israelis in the first place, let me tell you that it is decidedly *not* about Hamas. The Hamas are but one name given to the menacing shadow on the wall that the Israeli, eternally shackled to the walls of a murky cave in his own mind, fear.

        If you don’t see how the eternal idea of the “hostile other” is a convenient means with which to achieve an end that has already been planned and written (the fact that it was never in Israel’s intentions to stick to any of the borders imposed on it by the international community in the first place, for example, and the fact that Israel would always have been indifferent to what amount of suffering the Palestinians go through as a result of Israel’s actions), then I think you’re missing something here, and if you think that compromise is something that Israel was ever seriously considering, with or without Hamas, you’re absolutely deluded. As long as Israel doesn’t have to compromise to get rewarded with money, weapons and support from the West, it won’t compromise. Indeed a continued ‘war’ with Hamas has been running in Israel’s favor. Look at that juicy nuclear arsenal it’s managed to build up by convincing the world that homemade rockets are a viable threat. The Mouse won’t stop pressing that lever either, as long as goodies tumble down at every press. Or do you seriously believe that those couple of hundred dead Israelis in all these years are enough to finesse Israel away from its expansionist fantasies? Do you honestly believe that your own leaders (I’m assuming you’re Israeli, if you’re not, I apologize) care a dime for your life, or see you as any more than collateral damage waiting to happen, in the process of the fulfillment of something that has become a pathological fantasy, and has broken down into naught other but a power game?

        Are you seriously blaming Hamas for the fact that Palestinians don’t have the justice they deserve yet? How about the fact that Israel has committed overwhelming atrocities that predate Hamas, which lead to its formation in the first place? Hamas is a ‘monster’ Israel has created as a result of its own actions. Hamas are neither a side-effect, nor a cause, or an end. Of course, I don’t expect people to work the chicken-egg equation with any clarity, not after generations of brainwash and hysteria.

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 11:46 am

        “Are you seriously blaming Hamas for the fact that Palestinians don’t have the justice they deserve yet?”

        How dare you saqy that about Yonah! If you read his comment carefully, you’ll see he’s decided to blame Iran! And I ask you, in good faith, is there anything Iran cannot be blamed for?

      • AhVee
        November 26, 2012, 2:39 am

        “he’s decided to blame Iran!”

        Wait, that’s even funnier.

        “is there anything Iran cannot be blamed for?”

        I’m pretty sure the measles are Saudi Arabia’s fault…

    • thankgodimatheist
      November 24, 2012, 2:10 am

      “There were 5 Israeli fatalities.
      And the shooters of those projectiles have a philosophy that is murderous.”

      3 of these were soldiers. Is that murder too?

      • dimadok
        November 24, 2012, 9:51 am

        Small correction-2 were soldiers, 3 were sitting at the kitchen table, having breakfast in their morning clothes. Happy now?

      • Cliff
        November 24, 2012, 10:23 am

        Hey Dim,

        I think you should head up the next Israeli massacre/Op. – it’s called Righteous Indignation! (with exclamation to put the ‘subtle’ in unsubtle)

        If you kvetch this much over 5 deaths, 2 of them non-civilian – I’d love to see your Oscar winning performance for the multitude of dead Arabs Israel has Zionized.

      • sardelapasti
        November 24, 2012, 12:23 pm

        No.
        Those three, if immigrated, immigrated illegally, fully knowing that they were being recruited to be first-class citizens on other people’s land where they have no rights at all AND that they were required to do serve in the aggression forces. If there were any minors, they were under the responsibility of the criminals who were exercising the parental powers over them, consciously putting them at risk! They all were put knowingly at risk of death by the Zionist entity, who started a war of aggression in 1947, canceling by its armed invasion the UN partition proposal.
        So if you are looking for someone responsible for all the death and destruction since 1947 the only place to go is the Zionist entity.

      • Eva Smagacz
        November 24, 2012, 5:56 pm

        Zionized or Zioslayed?

    • LanceThruster
      November 27, 2012, 2:54 pm

      yonah –

      MURDER as cover for THEFT is *not* SELF-DEFENSE.

      The history of the region is that a group of outsiders with the help of other powerful outsiders imposed their will on the indigenous people of the region who fled their homes because of the fighting. In trying to resist, more of their land was taken. Those with the power to impose their will continue to treat the victims as irrationally violent with no motivation other than bloodlust.

      From Fredy Perlman – link to libcom.org

      [begin text]

      The trick of declaring war against the armed resistance and then attacking the resisters’ unarmed kin as well as the sur­rounding population with the most gruesome products of Death-Science – this trick is not new. American Pioneers were pioneers in this too; they made it standard practice to declare war on indigenous warriors and then to murder and burn villages with only women and children in them. This is already modern war, what we know as war against civilian populations; it has also been called, more candidly, mass murder or genocide.

      Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of a Pogrom portray themselves as the victims, in the present case as victims of the Holocaust.

      Herman Melville noticed over a century ago, in his analysis of the metaphysics of Indian-hating, that those who made a full-time profession of hunting and murdering indigenous people of this continent always made themselves appear, even in their own eyes, as the victims of manhunts.

      The use the Nazis made of the International Jewish Conspiracy is better known: during all the years of atrocities defying belief, the Nazis considered themselves the victimized.

      It’s as if the experience of being a victim gave exemption from human solidarity, as if it gave special powers, as if it gave a license to kill.

      [end text]

  11. Avi_G.
    November 23, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I know, Jews are scarred by the Holocaust and by persecution in Europe. They tried to wipe us out. But that does not excuse this noncomprehension in Israel, this belief in endless overwhelming enemies, when sometimes it is just scary shadows on the wall.

    For non-Israeli Jews the Holocaust plays a key role. That is why Israel’s leaders and advocates outside of Israel play up this event.

    But the truth is that within Israel, inside Israel, the Holocaust plays a secondary role.

    The primary fear that is promulgated in Israel — by state institutions and the education system — is the Enemy at the Gates concept.

    In other words, for each target audience, for each — shall we say — market, Israel uses different marketing strategies. Inside Israel, the Enemy at the Gates is essential to maintaining internal cohesion, unity and cooperation between the various social classes, Jewish ethnicities, and Jewish races (White, African etc.).

    The Holocaust was a uniquely Ashkenaazi Jewish experience. But that didn’t stop Israeli institutions from literally brainwashing non-Ashkenaazi Jews with the Holocaust experience. I remember that in grade school, the indoctrination of non-Ashkenaazi Jews with the trauma of the Holocaust was so real, so potent, so effective that Mizrahi Jews would find themselves crying — in class — as though they experienced the Holocaust themselves. But it was also an attempt to gain acceptance within the dominant Ashkenaazi culture as if to say we have a shared collective memory.

    Again, however, the Holocaust played a secondary role in unifying the various Jewish sects in Israel. The stronger and more potent motivator was the Enemy at the Gates effect.

    So for decades the Israeli government sought to emphasize that effect, to teach it in public schools, in private schools, in universities, and in the media, for without it, Israeli society falls apart.

    I wrote all that in order to explain that even in the absence of the Holocaust, Israeli institutions, the Israeli Establishment, would manufacture a reason — a pretext — to justify its actions, and to justify its belligerence.

    A similar quandary faces Israel when it seeks to attack Gaza. That is to say that even in the absence of rocket fire, Israel manages to manufacture rocket fire by attacking Gaza, thus eliciting a response, and in turn justifying a greater retaliation which it then promotes as defensive. This, in effect, is a microcosm of Israel’s regional strategy and the justification for its existence as an exclusive Jewish state.

    • dimadok
      November 24, 2012, 11:17 am

      I don’t know what “kvetch” means. Please explain it to me.

      • Bumblebye
        November 24, 2012, 3:15 pm

        Don’t your search engines work? As Annie says, google is your friend!

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 2:19 pm

        “I don’t know what “kvetch” means. Please explain it to me.”

        Dimadok, for hasbara to work, it needs at least some element of believability. An Israeli who doesn’t whine and complain, incessantly? And who is not always on the edge of a vilent explosion of temper? Simply not believable.

      • dimadok
        December 8, 2012, 8:21 pm

        Every Israeli whines and complains, Mooser? Jewish, Arab or Druze Israeli or anyone particular ?

  12. Shingo
    November 23, 2012, 6:27 pm

    I suspect the whole David and Goliath myth is the reason Israel keeps insisting that Iran is behind everything that Hamas and Hezbollah does. If they were to admit this is a fight between their massive military apparatus and poorly armed and relatively small militias, it would make it that much harder to hide the fact that Israel is a saddistic bully.

  13. MRW
    November 23, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Bottom line is that American gentiles are getting hip to this. Phil can be “struck by the criticisms of Israel over the Gaza assault,” but Danaa and I have been reporting this from the hustings for almost two years. Phil heard what they will say in polite company. The private admissions are raw.

    Israel is coming up against the very real American aversion to someone crying wolf and falsifying threats, even false flag ones, which always ‘will out’. No amount of hasbara can overcome this Yankee trait. None. Israelis dick with Americans on this at their own peril; pilpul to murder the other is considered obscene. The chasm between ordinary American and Russian/Orientalist/Israeli perspectives on lying, falsifying, and hyping threats to the national myth is huge, even though Americans have plenty of obscene national myths that fortify exceptionalism. Average Americans are repulsed; Russian/Orientalist/Israelis think it’s justified and therefore excusable. Once the door closes in the average American mind, it will seem as if there was no door to begin with, so seamless will the wall appear. Israelis would have better luck bashing the Indian Ocean to death with a baseball bat.

    • Mooser
      November 27, 2012, 2:22 pm

      Also, MRW, don’t forget: disgust or indignation and opposition to what Israel does can make a fine, fine cover for ignoring what the US does, so there’s another advantage for Americans in anti-Zionism.

  14. Mondowise
    November 24, 2012, 6:55 am

    “I know, Jews are scarred by the Holocaust and by persecution in Europe. They tried to wipe us out.”

    it is long past time to effectually address the scarring of Gazans. unlike the Jewish holocaust, an atrocity NEVER to be tolerated, the Palestinian holocaust has lasted decade after decade after decade, generation after generation after generation. the magnitude, severity and chronicity of Pals’ physical, psychological and spiritual scars are shockingly unprecedented.

    imagine the Jewish holocaust lasting over 60 years. the point is: it didn’t, it wouldn’t, and it’s a sure thing it will never happen again. but…can’t say the same for the Palestinians. think about that.

  15. Obsidian
    November 24, 2012, 8:39 am

    Phil. How did the Thanksgiving conversation turn to Gaza?

    In my house, Thanksgiving was about friends, family, food and football.

    • Cliff
      November 24, 2012, 9:10 am

      Clearly, you are superior to Phil since you avoided the taboo of talking about politics at the dinner table amidst a conflict relatable to your ethno-religious identity.

      How taboo!

    • American
      November 24, 2012, 10:21 am

      No doubt the converation turned to Israel because they know what Phil is involved in and because of what was currently happening in Gaza.
      Otherwise I would agree that politics and religion is not a good topic for the dinner table.

      • Wawi
        November 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Nothing is currently happening in Gaza, so why are you so fixated on nothing?

    • Mooser
      November 24, 2012, 12:07 pm

      “In my house, Thanksgiving was about friends, family, food and football.”

      Obsidian, exactly how shallow Zionists are, and to what lengths they will go to avoid any rational discussion is well known to Mondo readers, but thanks for confirming. Observations from the field are always appreciated.

  16. Mooser
    November 24, 2012, 11:30 am

    Anybody who goes near a Thanksgiving celebration has only themselves to blame, and is solely responsible for their own indigestion. We took the dog to the ocean for a swim. And when reaches China in record time we’ll be famous!

  17. Mooser
    November 24, 2012, 11:33 am

    “It felt grotesquely wrong.”

    Sure was. There you were, there he was, but did you have a single useful resource? Nooo! One quick thrust with a shiv would have done more good than all your tongue-work.

  18. yonah fredman
    November 24, 2012, 4:16 pm

    In the 14 or so months since I moved out of Israel, this has been the most significant battle/clash, with sirens sounding in Jerusalem, 5 Israelis killed and over 150 Palestinians killed. One of my nieces was in Beersheva and left the building a bit early and missed being struck by fragments from the Iron Dome defense by mere meters. One of my nephews would have been in Gaza, if there had been a ground invasion. I have “opposed” on some level many Israeli actions beginning in 1982 with the invasion of Lebanon, so I suppose my opposition this time was not so very different, only I had an increased “permanent war” reaction to the reports by Phil of genocidal attitudes of Jewish Israelis.

    I think when one dismisses Israeli fears as mere shadows on the wall, one has crossed over the line into- there is nothing to understand about the Israeli psyche- they are genocidal paranoiacs. I think the uncertainties of the Arab Spring, see the reaction of liberals to Mursa’s announcements, are not mere shadows on the wall but very real reasons to fear. I think to label them shadows on the wall, is to engage in anti journalism. Of course there is a lyrical side to the David/Goliath imagery and the use of propaganda by Israel tempts those opposed to Israel to engage in propaganda as well. But Phil’s journalism background lends his name some credence. But his current anti journalism depletes that credence.

    • Mooser
      November 25, 2012, 11:51 am

      Yonah, you are right, and almost everybody here agrees with you! Why on earth the Zionists choose Palestine (except that the name sure is a wonderful way to manipulate Jewish people, huh?) and why did they do things the way they did? Why, it’s almost like they care more about their ideological program than they do about Jewish lives.

      But it was very nice of you too leave some related children as human shields for the Zionists.

      • Mooser
        November 25, 2012, 11:55 am

        Yonah, nobody is dismissing Israeli fears as “shadows on the wall” The Israelis have much to be afraid of, much they should and deserve to be afraid of.

        And Yonah, not every criminal comes out with his hands up when they serve the warrant. Many of them fight it out to the death, and I’m sure they feel an awful fear, a very real fear, during that time. Funny, you would think, with a +15IQ advantage, we would have known that.

      • yonah fredman
        November 27, 2012, 12:19 am

        hey mooser, sorry that thanksgiving did not cure your disease. the internet is a gift for sadists like you.
        But regarding my nieces and nephews. I would say they can only blame themselves for being in a war zone, but that would not reflect my attitude, which is: we don’t choose where we are born. some palestinian born in gaza to religious parents has rather good odds to end up being loyal to Hamas and some american jew born to modern orthodox jewish parents has rather good odds to end up being a modern orthodox jewish zionist. we do not control where we are born. that is part of the reason why I believe in dialogue, which does not apply in your case. then we can find out how people have evolved or diverged from the fate of their birth.
        okay, now you can do your don rickles imitation.

      • Citizen
        November 27, 2012, 9:56 am

        @ yonah fredman
        Animals have much less choice than humans. The difference is in the brain power. Animals are very limited in their ability to override their instincts, even those raised by humans. Are you familiar with the American phrase, “cookie cutter?” It is used to describe humans born into a given culture, a given petri dish if you will, who never get beyond that dish. Only a fool would look to such humans for the advance of tolerance and humane conduct. The contrary POV is one of empathy, of “walking a mile in X’s shoes.” We fought WW2. The end result was not merely “might makes right (Goering’s view),”
        but also the international legal principles applied ex post facto at Nuremberg and Tokyo. State officials were hung. This means no state is above the law, especially as such law would no longer be applied ex post facto. Mooser is an example of Western individualism, you are an example of a “cookie cutter” collective mentality, not unlike those tried at Nuremberg and in Toyko after WW2. You need to school yourself on “crimes against humanity” and its lever, “the crime of aggressive war.”

        WW2 cost a lot of lives. The Nuremberg Court made, inter alia, state crimes against Jews a universal crime. The clear intent was not merely “Never Again” for Jews, but for all humans of any group.

        You don’t get it.
        Anti-semitism ignores the Jew as an individual. And Zionism ignores the non-Jew as an individual.

        You are the problem, not Mooser.
        He’s just a guy born in the USA of Jewish parents who make up his own mind about what that means to him, same as everybody born here, of whatever parental/sub-cultural background.

      • eljay
        November 27, 2012, 11:09 am

        >> some palestinian born in gaza to religious parents has rather good odds to end up being loyal to Hamas and some american jew born to modern orthodox jewish parents has rather good odds to end up being a modern orthodox jewish zionist.

        The Palestinian born in Gaza will fight for an end to occupation and oppression and to regain what belonged to his grand/parents.

        The Zionist Jew born in the United States will fight to support a foreign and supremacist “Jewish State” and its on-going colonization of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians.

        The Palestinian will fight for freedom from oppression and occupation.

        The American Zionist Jew will fight in support of oppression and occupation.

        But don’t blame the American Zionist Jew for failing to comprehend the injustice and immorality of his position – he’s just a victim of his birth. :-(

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 2:27 pm

        “the internet is a gift for sadists like you.”

        It sure is! I have no desire to be spit on, I have no desire to get in physical fights, and I really can’t take on more than one small child at a time, since I refuse to carry any kind of weapon. But if it makes you feel better, tell me where I hurt you, and I’ll kiss it and make it better.
        And I don’t often leave somebody an opening like that, Yonah, so use it.

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 2:30 pm

        “He’s just a guy born in the USA of Jewish parents”

        Wello, that’s what they say, when driven into a corner by school psychologists or police detectives. But they used to say “You’re no son of mine!” quite a bit, so, you never know.

        And as a sadist, Yonah, I sincerely thank you for your masochism. I don’t know what I would do without you!

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 3:02 pm

        “we do not control where we are born.”

        No Yonah, we do not, our parents do, and that is why I will always hold Zionists in contempt for using there own Jewish children as human shields in what they themselves tell us is a war zone.

        Look, Yonah, you are pretty apparently so famisht such a schmendrick it’s hard for you to understand anything real, but let me try (I know, but maybe I enjoy hitting my head against a wailing wall):

        Look, Yonah, I happen to be Jewish, and I like Jews, and I like my bad Jewish self. And there aren’t that many of us left, in terms of world population, a mere whisper of a people. So I am against anything which puts Jewish life at risk, for nothing, like Zionism. And I also believe, from my study and experience of Judaism, (now listen up Yonah) that there is no Jewish leadership position (all we have left is Rabbis) which is entitled to the privilege of putting Jews lives at risk, even ostensibly “for Judaism”. Perhaps you don’t, and think Jewish lives are just the cost of Zionist politics and gains. But then Yonah, I can’t “fine tune the past”
        Zionism kills Jews (not to mention all the others, which, for the purposes of discussing the only thing which matters to Yonah, we are not.) so I’m against it. Zionism puts Jews lives at risk unnecessarily, so I’m against it. Zionism is posited on a philosophy which requires there are essential differences between Jews and others, something I have found not to be true, so I’m against it.
        And your dis-like of yourself as a Jew, and your hope that Zionism can somehow change this for you, is not my problem. As far as I can see, all you’ve got in Zionism is some kind of a weird subliminal death-wish for Judaism and Jews.
        But please, Yonah, if you can direct any Jews killed for, or who died for, Zionism to give me a call (letter or e-mail will do) and tell me it was worth it, that might change my views.

        Now, I can’t control a lot of the things which kill Jews, like old age, disease, accident, and I can’t control the things which might drain Judaism of people, and I can’t control others who might decide to kill Jews. But that we should kill each other, or rather, hell it’s even worse when one Jew forces another into risk.
        So I want Jews, and Judaism, to live, and not die, so I hate Zionism. Although I can understand how someone with less attachment to living might embrace it, especially if it’s somebody else who does the dieing. Do you like people dieing for you Yonah? Does it make you feel valuable? I do not want any Jews dieing for me (Nor anybody else, of course, but see parenthetical note above.)

      • Mooser
        November 27, 2012, 3:13 pm

        “he’s just a victim of his birth. :-(“

        No wonder I’m happy-go-lucky, sensuous, self-centered, self indulgent and lazy. I was born in Suburbia. And Thanksgiving didn’t cure my (pace Yonah) “disease”.

        “He’s got a social disease!
        So take him to a Social Worker

        Dear Kindly Social Worker,
        They say go earn a buck.
        Like be a soda jerker,
        Which means like be a schumck.
        It’s not I’m anti-social,
        I’m only anti-work.
        Gloryosky! That’s why I’m a jerk!”

      • yonah fredman
        November 27, 2012, 4:04 pm

        Citizen- if you had even once engaged in the online equivalent of conversation and dialogue with me, i might take you seriously. but with you it’s cut and run.
        yes humans have more free choice than animals, but i would bet if you or mooser revealed 7 sociological factors from your lives (from birth til age 20), a statistician would reveal that neither of you are more than two standard deviations from the mean of your birth through 20 groupings regarding your attitudes towards zionism.

        but i don’t expect an answer from you.

        surprise me. and tell me what the 7 factors from birth til 20 were and how you differ from that sociological grouping.

      • yonah fredman
        November 27, 2012, 4:14 pm

        eljay- once in a while there is some validity in your words.

        i think the moral questions raised by zionism place a Jew raised by Zionists in a different circumstance than a palestinian raised in gaza. but… Zionism will not be solved by your moral snobbery. on one hand it will be solved by hard work of changing the american congressional campaign election system and yes, i believe it will be helped by full dialogue and conversation of individuals describing their education and initial attitudes.

        you have shown no evidence of seriousness regarding discussing your upbringing and the development of your attitudes towards religion, Judaism, Jews or Zionism.

        using shorthand i tried to convey that one’s background is a starting point for discussing our individual attitudes. it is not the end of the discussion, as you depict and as a superficial reading of my attitude might convey, but it is an important human element of the attitudes of people. if you wish to engage in such a discussion, I’m willing, but I doubt you are capable of anything other than superficial sloganeering.

      • yonah fredman
        November 27, 2012, 6:55 pm

        mooser- good. i like a political discussion. but right away i bring in the personal.

        to me the greatest achievement of zionism were the jews who were there rather than in Europe in 1939 to 1945. those jews included great aunts and uncles of mine who started the 30’s in poland and by 1939 were living in mandate palestine and there’s little doubt that most of them would have died had there been no zionist movement.

        i accept the moral supremacy of the palestinian beef against the british mandate of the post WWI era.

        in 1881 there was a jew named pinsker who wrote auto emancipation. he proposed jews acting as a group to find a piece of land and establish a homeland. he did not have palestine in mind. i think he was a hero. i think the idea of jews in europe (and possibly elsewhere) acting in concert to provide for jewish self defense in the year 1881 was an act of utter clarity to see the need and to express it.

        now obviously 2012 and 1881 are not the same. the world has changed and the choice of palestine as the homeland which made sense from a project point of view (no way to raise funds or encourage immigration, though the immigration was always a trickle compared to jewish floods to america and other destinations until those destinations shut their doors), though it made sense from a project point of view it did not make sense in the long run from a geopolitical/moral point of view.

        now what i was talking about fine tuning the past- I cannot save my aunts and uncles in the Zionist project and then stop on a dime and turn the Zionist project into a Magnes project between 1945 and 1948. The same Zionists that made it possible for my great aunts and uncles to survive the war, turned around and exiled the Palestinian masses.

        For a long time I was averse to the phrase nakba, but it was a disaster for the Palestinians and today the world would be a safer place if somehow that spot on the world was not such a hot spot.

        I spent two and a half years in Israel from 72 to 74, the ages of 16 1/2 to 19 in a yeshiva on the west bank, aka occupied territory, during the period that included the yom kippur war. that was my pre 20 year old education.

        I was a super zionist then, now i am a reluctant zionist. To me the bottom line on zionism is: disarming the IDF would be a very messy business. No one will attempt it in my lifetime unless I live past 95. that’s the bottom line.

        my sisters live there, my brother lives there. most of my nieces and nephews live there. you like to call them hostages or human shields. i accept that. but you also get a pleasure telling me that they are in danger. i think that’s sick.

      • eljay
        November 27, 2012, 9:39 pm

        >> eljay- once in a while there is some validity in your words.

        I’m flattered! :-)

        >> you have shown no evidence of seriousness regarding discussing your upbringing and the development of your attitudes towards religion, Judaism, Jews or Zionism. … I doubt you are capable of anything other than superficial sloganeering.

        Well, that didn’t last long. :-(

        >> Zionism will not be solved by your moral snobbery.

        It won’t be solved by your apologetics, by absolving Zionists/Jews of their crimes, by making Zionists/Jews out to be nothing more than victims of “other men”, of “the wheel of history” and now of “the fate of their birth”.

        When people – including Zionists – choose to do immoral and unjust things, I have a problem with that. When Zionists choose to do immoral and unjust things, you appear to have no problem making excuses for them.

        Anyway, I’m clearly not smart enough to have a discussion with you. All I
        know is how to superficially sloganeer for – among other things – justice, equality, morality and accountability. :-(

      • yonah fredman
        November 29, 2012, 3:08 pm

        eljay- I first visited Israel over 40 years ago and I have been following the “story” ever since. Before that I went to Zionist camps and studied Hebrew and sang Hatikva. That’s where I’m coming from.

        I think there is advantage in understanding one’s opponents. There are opportunities in conflicts that present themselves that are not apparent to those who lack that understanding. I realize that here in Mondoweiss’s basement the opportunities presented by understanding the Israeli society and the American Jewish society that supports them are really irrelevant. These are not the halls of power, but the internet equivalent of a street rally. So I accept that you view your role as moral cheerleader for your side. Rah! Rah!

        I don’t think you are alone in demonizing Israeli Jews and American Zionists. I think Phil does it as well. I think that is one of the effects of the BDS movement.

        You and some others seem to dream of the day when you will be the new Nuremberg judges with Israel Jews and American Zionists in the docket. I react to your fantasy with disdain, but whatever gets you through the night.

        I think that demonizing the enemy hardens the heart. I think demonizing the enemy leads to cruelty, given the wrong circumstances.

        I will continue to attempt to explain the human side and the cause and effect of Israeli and American Zionism. I live in a community (despite my hermit tendencies) and I am not free to dismiss these people as demons or paranoids. Most of them are quite human. I know I won’t convince you of that.

      • eljay
        November 29, 2012, 3:42 pm

        >> I realize that here in Mondoweiss’s basement the opportunities presented by understanding the Israeli society and the American Jewish society that supports them are really irrelevant.

        If “undertanding the Israeli society and the American Jewish society that supports them” will…
        – end Jewish supremacism in Israel and result in a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state;
        – spur Israel to end its illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine, to dismantle its colonies and to withdraw to within its self-declared 1948 borders; and
        – cause Israel to enter into sincere negotiations with the Palestinians for a just and mutually-beneficial peace;
        …I’m all for it.

        If “undertanding the Israeli society and the American Jewish society that supports them” won’t accomplish any of these things, what opportunities does this understanding present?

        >> These are not the halls of power, but the internet equivalent of a street rally. So I accept that you view your role as moral cheerleader for your side. Rah! Rah!

        I don’t see myself as a “moral cheerleader” – I’m just someone who believes in justice, equality and accountability (among other things). And you – who support Zio-supremacism – mock me for it. Interesting.

      • eljay
        November 29, 2012, 5:21 pm

        y.f.’s plea for an understanding of Zio-supremacism brings to mind this scenario:
        – The rapist is sexually assaulting his victim.
        – On-lookers cry out for justice: Stop the rape, arrest the rapist and hold him accountable for his crime.
        – Friends of the rapist label this “cheerleading” approach unhelpful. The on-going rape, they say, will not be solved by moral snobbery. They suggest that both groups discuss their “initial attitudes” toward rape; that they learn more about the rapist, why he is doing what he does and why his friends continue to support him.
        – Meanwhile, the rapist continues with his rape; the victim continues to suffer; the on-lookers continue to call for justice; and the rapist’s friends continue to mock the on-lookers and to absolve the rapist of his crime.

        If the roles between the Israelis and the Palestinians were reversed, you can bet that y.f. would, very hypocritically, have no trouble unleashing “moral snobbery” on Palestinians oppressors and their supporters, and “cheerleading” for justice and accountability.

      • RoHa
        November 29, 2012, 7:30 pm

        “Most of them are quite human. I know I won’t convince you of that”

        Difficult, when they persisit in behaving demonically.

        Well, plenty of other humans have behaved demonically, but have managed to change. Can they?

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2012, 12:42 pm

        Eljay, thank you for bringing the rest of this conversation to my attention. A wealth of paucity on Yonah’s life here.

  19. Andreas Schlueter
    November 25, 2012, 4:16 am

    Who is Goliath? This question is again and again necessary to be put, and this website is to be praised for not stopping to do so. But the answer is also clear to those who want to see since decades! It´s also to be found here: link to wipokuli.wordpress.com
    Andreas Schlüter
    Sociologist
    Berlin, Germany

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