It’s time for the media to talk about Zionism

Last week, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan characterized me as “the anti-Zionist Jewish-American journalist who writes about the Middle East.” That’s my reputation; I can’t take exception to her words. But when Sullivan quoted Jeffrey Goldberg, she did not say he was Jewish or a Zionist–or that he had once emigrated to Israel because he believed that America was unsafe for Jews, and served as an officer in Israel’s army before coming back here and recommending Israel’s militant policy toward Arabs to America.

Sullivan’s double standard is indefensible, but it is typical of a standard of censorship in our journalism. American media are not talking to their readers about Zionism. They are not even attempting to describe the ideology that is at the heart of the problem in Israel and Palestine. The media are honest with their audiences about other movements of a religious character, from evangelism to opposition to stem-cell research to radical Islam. So they should be honest with them about Zionism.

Zionism is a 115-year-old movement inside Jewish life that says there is a need for a Jewish state in Palestine because Jews are unsafe in the west and Jews have a biblical connection to Palestine. Some people say that this is too complicated a concept to explain to Americans. (Norman Finkelstein joked that Zionism might as well be a hairspray and it’s irrelevant to the discussion at the New School in October). I don’t think so. Beliefs are very important; and Americans have a right to know why so many American Jews believe in the need for Israel at a time when this concept is warping our foreign policy.

It’s not enough for a reporter to say that someone is pro-Israel. Zionism draws on a person’s worldview and has a religious character, it supplies meaning to his or her life. It is often a core understanding that drives that person’s positions in other areas (see Neoconservatism). And it is deeply enmeshed in the official Jewish community.

I believe the media have refused to explore the Zionist issue because it would involve a lot of squeamish self-interrogation on the part of Jews. Imagine Ted Koppel having a panel where Wolf Blitzer, Robert Siegel, David Gregory, Andrea Mitchell, Richard Engel and Ed Rendell would have to explain what Zionism means to them. The acknowledgment of Jewish prominence in the Establishment, and of the power of Zionism, would make a lot of Jews uncomfortable, so the conversation is verboten.

But so long as these beliefs are not examined, and Israel and its supporters continue to play such a large role in our policymaking, the silence is bad for Jews. It allows people who are justifiably angry over our foreign policy to believe that all Jews support Israel, or suspect that we disguise our dual loyalty with misleading prescriptions about American security. It allows Zionists to seek cover for our country’s blind support for Israel by stating that there is no difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism– when there is absolutely a difference. See Jewish Voice for Peace. See Hannah Arendt. See Judith Butler

And it allows Jews to avoid very important historical/existential questions that we really ought to be asking publicly, and urgently answering: Do I feel unsafe in America or Europe? If I feel unsafe in America what am I doing here? (A theme of Shlomo Sand’s new book.) If I feel safe do I need Israel? Do I believe in the need for a Jewish state? At what price? Who is Israel making unsafe in my name?

I think all Jews should be openly debating these matters; but they won’t till the belief question is raised by the mainstream media. There are signs that the ice is melting. Last week Andrew Sullivan, an influence leader if anyone is, published a mini-essay (attacking the liberal Zionist Spencer Ackerman‘s dream of a laser war) in which he stated that Zionism is another hurtful 20th century “ism” that has run its course, and modern political reality is inconsistent with the goal of a Jewish-majority state. Ethan Bronner (a reputed liberal Zionist who seems to understand that Zionism has lost its way) boldly gave Rami Khouri space on the front page of the New York Times during the Gaza assault to attack Zionism. On NPR Jim Fallows said bravely that there has always been a tension between Israel’s creation as a Jewish state and a democracy; you really can’t be both, he was suggesting.

As Fallows and Sullivan seem to know (and Matt Yglesias and David Remnick will surely come to profess some day, and Jonathan Cook knew years ago, and the late Ibrahim Abu-Lughod knew when he was a teenager in Jaffa) the contradiction between democracy and Jewish nationalism has been inherent in the Zionist project from the start, but has always been described as a tension rather than a contradiction so as to make Zionists and their friends feel better about their undertaking. The Nakba of 1948 continues today with the ethnic cleansing of Area C on the West Bank and the pulverizing of Gaza. But liberal Zionists have given themselves permission to dither about the destruction of Palestinian rights by calling this longstanding contradiction a tension that will be resolved when there is a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish-majority state. As if tomorrow Palestinians will gain their rights in the context of an expansionist Jewish state. As if Oslo is a more meaningful political paradigm than the Likud Party, which draws deeply on Zionist ideology and grows more rightwing by the minute.

Zionism came out of the real condition of Jews in Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries. I can well imagine being a Zionist at other periods of Jewish history. I would have been a Zionist if I had been in Kafka’s circle in Prague in the 19-teens with the rise of anti-Semitism. I would have been a Zionist if I had been born into the family of my mother’s best friend in Berlin in the 1930s.

But I was born in America, in the 20th century. In my lifetime Zionism has been a dangerous ideology for Palestinians and for the wider Middle East. Zionism has endorsed the Iron Wall strategy of militancy on Israel’s ever-moving borders. Zionism has created a Sparta, just as Hannah Arendt predicted that it would in 1948 when she saw that Israel was born in war, and saw the purging of Palestinian refugees from the Jewish state to be.

I consider myself a liberal anti-Zionist, or a non-Zionist (because the label is less confrontational to the Zionists I am trying to wean from their mistaken belief). I like liberal traditions of personal freedom in the United States, including the tradition of tolerance of religious and ideological claims I find preposterous. These liberal principles have guaranteed my freedom as a minority in the U.S. and granted me a darn good life, including jobs in the First Amendment business and marriage to someone who is not Jewish—a marriage that could not take place in Israel where there is no civil marriage.

I am an anti-Zionist because I reject the entire religious nationalist program: I don’t see a need for a Jewish state, I don’t see Jerusalem as my home any more than Kenya, where my people came from before the temple period. I don’t subscribe to the racial theory of the Jewish people. I take America at its word. I don’t like political separation of people on an ethnic basis and first class citizenship granted to one over the other; and I see the current militant and totalitarian aspects of Israeli society as flowing from a belief system, Zionism, the way that Soviet oppressions grew out of the Politburo’s interpretation of Communism.

I oppose Zionism, too, because the Israel lobby plays such a hurtful role in our foreign policy, and the Israel lobby is inherent in Zionism as it has evolved. From the beginning Zionism depended on the support of imperial powers. Herzl turned to the Kaiser and the Sultan, Weizmann turned to the British Prime Minister, Ben Gurion turned to the American president. “We became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy,” Alan Dershowitz said. Yes, and that lobby helped generate the conditions of 9/11, the Iraq War, the murders of Robert Kennedy and Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan, and the hysteria about Iran.

The sooner we have this conversation, the greater diversity we will see in the Jewish community and American foreign policy. We can transform the special relationship and isolate Israel for human rights violations and pressure it to transform itself.

When we have this conversation, liberal Zionists will be pressed to decide what they believe in more, liberalism or Zionism. Leading writers like Matthew Yglesias, Eric Alterman, Richard Wolffe, Peter Beinart and Spencer Ackerman, who have kept their liberal and Jewish nationalist dishes spinning forever in the air alongside one another without having to deal with the fait accompli of that ideology—the cruel joke that Oslo has been for the Palestinians, the prison that is Gaza– will have to come down on the democracy side or the Jewish state side. And I am sure many will come down on the democracy side. I am sure that many will answer as I have, and say that they prefer a society where minorities have equal rights to one in which one group is privileged over another.

But we should not give them cover. We must have a real and open conversation in the American Jewish community for all to see. Are you a Zionist, and why? Do you feel unsafe in America? And what sort of unsafety have your beliefs created in a foreign land?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged

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

  1. Gryfin says:

    Well written Phil. Every so often you offer something like this and it uplifts my spirits and renews my faith in humanity.

  2. marc b. says:

    good rant. but as always…

    Last week, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan characterized me as “the anti-Zionist Jewish-American journalist who writes about the Middle East.” That’s my reputation; I can’t take exception to her words.

    you should take exception to her words, for reasons you make clear later in your post. sullivan’s characterization isn’t an accurate description of your position at all, in fact i would argue that it’s simply code for something that you probably wouldn’t agree you stand for, whether it’s the implied ‘self hatred’ diagnosis incorporated into ‘anti-zionism’ or whatever other winks and nods she’s giving as she reduces your position to the level of sophistication of the nutritional label on a can of corn.

    But when Sullivan quoted Jeffrey Goldberg, she did not say he was Jewish or a Zionist–or that he had once emigrated to Israel because he believed that America was unsafe for Jews, and served as an officer in Israel’s army before coming back here and recommending Israel’s militant policy toward Arabs to America.

    again, that’s not really necessary. the NYT readership, and more narrowly NYT readers who made the effort to follow the ruderon ‘scandal’ understand the subtext. and i think you’re giving the NYT credit for a much broader readership than it deserves. i’d guess that the couple million regular readers are a pretty homogenous lot.

    Sullivan’s double standard is indefensible, but it is typical of a standard of censorship in our journalism. American media are not talking to their readers about Zionism. They are not even attempting to describe the ideology that is at the heart of the problem in Israel and Palestine. The media are honest with their audiences about other movements of a religious character, from evangelism to opposition to stem-cell research to radical Islam. So they should be honest with them about Zionism.

    i disagree. the MSM may talk more frequently about ‘other movements of a religious character’, but i’d hardly call the discussions accurate or honest. ‘radical islam’, for example: is there really any other kind? even the bizarre contradictions of the relationship of evangelicals to israel aren’t ever discussed in depth.

    Zionism is a 115-year-old movement inside Jewish life that says there is a need for a Jewish state in Palestine because Jews are unsafe in the west and Jews have a biblical connection to Palestine. Some people say that this is too complicated a concept to explain to Americans. (Norman Finkelstein joked that Zionism might as well be a hairspray and it’s irrelevant to the discussion at the New School in October). I don’t think so. Beliefs are very important; and Americans have a right to know why so many American Jews believe in the need for Israel at a time when this concept is warping our foreign policy.

    i agree with you that. the handwringing over the complexity of zionism and IP more generally is a tactic to warn off the uninitiated from further investigation. it worked on me for decades, just like in the case of ireland/n.ireland.

    there is lot more ‘wrong’ with the piece than i have time for now, but much more ‘right’ with it. well done.

    • Krauss says:

      To describe the brilliance above as a ‘rant’ is a display of a pedestrian mind.

      • marc b. says:

        whatever. to characterize my response to weiss’s post by reducing it to a single word is a display of fill in the blank. and ‘brilliance’? please. i’ll give credit where credit is due (and it is due here), but that’s a load of hyperbole. weiss is re-packaging an oft-repeated criticism made nearly on a daily basis by commenters to this site.

        • Citizen says:

          @ marc b
          Yes, he is. MW commenters are more savvy than Phil; of course, they don’t get paid for their savvy, nor depend on it, as he does.

        • marc b. says:

          i do give him credit for struggling mightily with these issues, citizen, but it’s more of a psychological or emotional victory than an intellectual breakthrough. yes, we knew, but who would listen.

    • Mondowise says:

      …but i’d hardly call the discussions accurate or honest. ‘radical islam’, for example: is there really any other kind?

      do you honestly believe that ALL islam is radical, that there is no ‘other kind’??? are you seriously that significantly ignorant???? it’s arrogant ignorance like this that harms all life. very sad when it’s a simple choice to educate one’s self, and in this world of global strife and suffering, there’s no excuse not to. you have as much blood on your hands as the ‘radical islamist’ criminals from your irresponsibility in not educating yourself. you’re pathetic beyond reason.

      • aiman says:

        Not only that, but in the context of “Zionism”, the term “radical Islam” is unfair. We don’t refer to Zionism as “radical Judaism”, indeed many anti-Zionists here would talk about the threat of Zionism to Judaism. Why not call it “Maududism”? When it comes to Islam, such courtesy in not extended. Most of the theological training in liberal/left screeds is owed to New Atheism which borrows its specific rhetoric from the ancient Christian temperament of intolerance. Zionism and its thinkers like Bernard Lewis have also contributed severely to talk about “Islam” as an object. Sam Harris is Lewis’s slick-tongued disciple. It’s all too complicated.

  3. yourstruly says:

    no getting away from it, zionism = racism, has been from its start and for this reason it’s opposed by all freedom & justice loving people. as for the claim that anti-zionism = anti-semitism, with the undoing of the zionist entity israel (not its people), antisemitism would be reduced to a size that could be flushed down a toilet. am i saying that the existence of the settler entity is what stokes antisemitism? damn right!

  4. eljay says:

    Clearly and eloquently stated, Mr. Weiss. Nicely done! :-)

  5. David Nelson says:

    “I like liberal traditions of personal freedom in the United States, including the tradition of tolerance of religious and ideological claims I find preposterous. These liberal principles have guaranteed my freedom as a minority in the U.S. and granted me a darn good life, including jobs in the First Amendment business and marriage to someone who is not Jewish”

    My own upbringing is such that i am not a minority in American society. I grew up ‘swimming with the current’ and so do not know directly what those early experiences as a minority are like.

    I did however convert to Islam in 1998 at the age of twenty-five. Since then, and especially since 9/11, i have gained a much deeper appreciation of America’s liberal principles and how those principles directly relate to my own survival as a ‘free’ person here.

    On top of this, and perhaps to some extent because of these principles, i have i also involved myself with the budding legal cannabis industry here at home in Washington State. In two days, recreational use of cannabis becomes legal. As a member of the industry, i am again relying on American liberal traditions to (hopefully) remain a ‘free’ person.

    Anyway Phil, I have often asked myself: “How can i be a liberal and a Muslim at the same time?” This essay comes very close to answering that question.

    • Mooser says:

      “How can i be a liberal and a Muslim at the same time?”

      Well, it’s probably the same for both religions, you can be a liberal and a Muslim, by not being fussy. I didn’t know Muslims smoked pot , and I never bought drugs from a Muslim, that I know of, but I’m looking forward to the privilege! Only in America! What a Country! Let us know where your shop is!
      Of course, you voted for the free sale of liquor, too, instead of state stores, I assume? This new law is getting more liquor inbto the hands of the underage than ever before. Thank God they legalised pot.

      • David Nelson says:

        Thanks Mooser. The legalization of pot is very much a social justice issue world-wide. As for being Muslim and smoking pot (and the future of cannabis is so much more than smoking), i have a rational, scientific understanding/perspective of the cannabis plant. The superstitions against it must end, when that happens, we will see how much benefit this God-given plant brings to humanity.

        I do not have a shop, i currently deliver to Medical Marijuana patients. I am not sure what is going to happen in two days, but only medical patients are allowed to grow. So it seems we (mmj patients and providers) can be of help to those over 21 looking for primo buds. The state has a year to develop a licensing structure. Will be exciting whatever happens. Still waiting on a position from the Obama administration.

        • Dutch says:

          “I am not sure what is going to happen in two days.”

          Well, how about the Dutch system of Coffee Shops. As a customer you can buy softdrugs legally there, these shops pay taxes and the government can check as much as they like. Everybody happy. You can also have it delivered if you prefer. Or grow your own in your garden – a very popular thing to do here. So, once legal, there are many ways to go.

          Quite amazing, by the way, that softdrugs are still banned in the land of the free. Why exactly is this?

        • Mooser says:

          “we will see how much benefit this God-given plant brings to humanity.”

          I think there is no question that pot does much, much less damage then alcohol. I attribute my 40+ years of accident-free (and mostly ticket-free) motorcycle transportation to “leaving no turn unstoned.”
          My best wishes to you, and I am certain that Dec. 6th will be distinguished by how little happens, in terms of social cost from the legalisation of recreational marijuana. Hopefully, the social cost will be so low (if there is not, as you say, a benefit) there will be little reason for extensive government interference.
          Me, I always thought the “medical marijuana” thing was a masterpiece of hypocrisy (sick,disabled people should not have to pay for pot instead of other medicine, they should get it, for whatever reason they want it, gratis) but it got the state through to recreational legalisation.

          Of course, the next big challenge is legalising opium smoking. Wanna sign a petition?

        • Tzombo says:

          @Dutch: You have to show id now to buy anything, so in practice it is only for citizens. Which is kinda ironic given the topic of this thread.

        • David Nelson says:

          @Mooser about the opium. There are many difficult questions ahead, but just ask the people of Latin America if the US needs drug policy reform.

          If there was not so much money in heroin, would the people in Afghanistan be growing so much of it?

          Personally i think every substance should be judged based on its own merit or detriment. I see alcohol as coming at a much greater negative cost to society than cannabis use. Marijuana is marijuana, and alcohol is alcohol, and never the twain shall meet, except in very broad generalizations.

          I have never been able to convince myself that marijuana is an intoxicant. It just gets me ‘normal.’ A brain functioning without thc for me would be the same as a brain functioning without serotonin or dopamine. Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the idea, it’s just another neurotransmitter.

          Also, the medicinal efficacy of cannabis is well established, there is nothing hypocritical about it.

          Anyway, absolutely did not mean to derail the discussion of Philip’s essay. so apologies;)

        • Dutch says:

          Tzombo, good one. But the ban for non-citizens is off the table for all big cities, and soon for the rest of the country. Anyway, I think David would even be helped with a citizen only coffeeshop system.

        • Rizla says:

          What a great post. I predict the War on Drugs will end like the Iron Curtain did, when people realize that there’s no bogeyman appearing when people are free to, basically, not go to jail for doing something natural and normal. One day, enough people just won’t believe in the “War”. I hope that future generations will wonder what all the fuss and misery was about. It’s a similar issue to I/P in a way — people are starting to imagine that certain things could change and the world will carry on, no problem. Regarding opiates, if they were intrinsically ruinous, our Hospitals would have a hell of a time functioning. I’ll sign it!

        • Sibiriak says:

          Tzombo

          You have to show id now to buy anything, so in practice it is only for citizens

          That wasn’t my experience during a recent visit there.

        • Mooser says:

          “I have never been able to convince myself that marijuana is an intoxicant. It just gets me ‘normal.’ A brain functioning without thc for me would be the same as a brain functioning without serotonin or dopamine. Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the idea, it’s just another neurotransmitter. “

          I wouldn’t get to concerned. It’s not a hard addiction to break, not even comparable to the addiction of narcotics. Just a few hours of easily controllable irritability, and then the rough part; you start remembering your dreams. The ol’ home-made seritonon starts pumping agin, and there you are, gtood as new.

          Heck, Dave, it’s easy to give up pot, I’ve done it a thousand, no, maybe ten thousand times.

        • Mooser says:

          “Marijuana is marijuana, and alcohol is alcohol, and never the twain shall meet, except in very broad generalizations.”

          As Freewheelin’ Franklin said: “Smokin’ pot and drinkin’ beer is like pissing into the wind”. And said while he was, in fact, doing just that.

        • Mooser says:

          “Also, the medicinal efficacy of cannabis is well established, there is nothing hypocritical about it”

          David, I don’t care if the cannabis doesn’t do a goddam thing except make them feel better, sick people shouldn’t have to pay for it. Do we make sick people stop drinking, which indubitably does them real, immediate harm? Absolutely not, as a visit to any bar will show you. Your expenses for growing should be reimbursed, yes, by the State of Washington, and the pot given them for free. I know what MM dispensaries charge, and it’s the same price as on the street sometimes more. And there’s no need to drum up all kinds of doubtful or anecdotal evidence of benefit. People have the right to get high, especially if the worst thing that happens is putting the ice-cream container back in the freezer empty, causing distress and alarm next time it’s taken out.

        • David Nelson says:

          Mooser, i think got the wrong drift from what you said. I am with you on the medical patients and offering them better prices. There was a RAND study done just before California’s Proposition 19 (to legalize cannabis) went up for a vote in 2010 (unsuccessful). The study concluded that the prices could drop by as much as 80% in California if it were to be legalized.

      • David Nelson says:

        here is some great reading on the issue. i have noted the Israelis are progressive on the issue of medical pot.

        link to alternet.org

      • David Nelson says:

        On the issue of liquor, i have been bone-dry for many years now. I stand by liberal principles as a matter of survival. I voted in favor of the liquor laws. And i voted in favor of gay marriage. I am a minority within a Muslim context with many of these issues. But again, and as Phil’s essay covers, it is a matter of survival at its core.

        • Mooser says:

          “On the issue of liquor, i have been bone-dry for many years now.”

          I would be, too, except I married a bootlegger’s daughter, and she makes me liquor.

      • AhVee says:

        “I didn’t know Muslims smoked pot”
        According to a recent article in a local newspaper, Afghan forces estimate that around 1 in 10 Afghans are addicted to heroin. So apparently, they do harder stuff, too.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Muslim country, but I can assure you that they drink quite a bit of alcohol, too. Never visited a house without a minibar, though I’ll admit, I haven’t popped my head into *every* household. ;)

        • piotr says:

          “Never visited a house without a minibar…”

          A whiff of suspicion that you do not accept invitations from just anyone.

        • Shmuel says:

          A whiff of suspicion that you do not accept invitations from just anyone.

          Or that those who welcome AhVee into their homes need a drink ;-)

      • RoHa says:

        “I didn’t know Muslims smoked pot …”

        Never heard of Hashishiim, or the use of hashish by Sufis?

  6. Nevada Ned says:

    The Zionist narrative has been successfully sold to the US public, and only in recent decades have the Palestinians been able to start to tell their side of the story. So let’s clarify with an analogy.

    I have ancestors who emigrated to the US from France a century or two ago. If I went to France now and demanded that they give “my land” back to me, I might be told, “Sorry, there are people living on that land.” And suppose that I then persisted, “kick them out, it’s my land! It has always been an integral part of the sacred and indivisible land of…[blah blah blah]” I’d be regarded as a lunatic. That’s how nutty Israel appears to much of the world.

    Citizenship is based on race. The native Palestinians are the victims of Israel’s official racism, in housing, education, social benefits, and much more.

    Israel claims to be the state of the Jewish people, no matter where they live on the earth. In the 1950′s, Ben Gurion expected all American Jews to emigrate to Israel. But what fraction of American Jews have moved permanently to Israel? Only about 1%.

    It is only reasonable to expect that if opposition to Israeli policy continues to grow, at some point Israel will have to change her racial policy. It won’t be “the destruction of Israel”, any more than the overthrow of Jim Crow meant the “destruction” of Alabama and Mississippi.
    But it will be a big change. And it will be resisted by those who benefit (or think that they benefit) from racism.

  7. Within three days of each other:

    David Remnick:

    the Israeli political class is a full-blown train wreck.

    Philip Weiss:

    that lobby helped generate the conditions of 9/11, the Iraq War, the murders of Robert Kennedy and Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan, and the hysteria about Iran.

    Powerful and angry words. We’re going to hear more from Mr. Remnick, who was reticent for a long time, but may feel impelled to make up for it.

    As for Phil Weiss, we’ll see people like Margaret Sullivan showing more respect for and interest in his views and positions within the next nine months.

    Great essay.

    • Rizla says:

      Yeah, Remnick surprised me and I’m eagerly awaiting more good stuff from the New Yorker, who’d have thunk it a year ago? And you don’t have to agree with everything Phil says to realize that, for self-appointed moderates on the issue, this essay is powerful counter-hasbara. I think it’ll have legs, as they say.

  8. David Samel says:

    Brilliant essay, Phil. I love the analysis of the use of the word “tension” where “contradiction” is more appropriate to describe the relationship between Zionism and democracy. (As a lawyer, I often use the phrase “irreconcilably inconsistent.”) As you say, liberal Zionists “who have kept their liberal and Jewish nationalist dishes spinning forever in the air alongside one another” (wow!) have to choose which is more important. I think they have chosen Zionism, but are close enough to the fence that they can change sides, especially as Israel continues its rightward shift that is making more and more people realize that the 2SS will never happen.

  9. Krauss says:

    This is a brilliant piece. But yet again, it is difficult for me to grasp if this topic is verboten on this site or not? Because how can you get into a deep-in-the-weeds discussion of the ideological and, by extension, cultural underpinnings of Zionism without delving into the Jewish cultural world for the past, say, 150 years? I would say to you: it is impossible.

    I agree that beliefs are incredibly important. Sheldon Adelson didn’t just spend over $100 million dollars because he wants to keep his wealth, even if that is an important factor in of itself. He did so because he is motivated by Zionism, and that Zionism is in of itself a product of his Jewish upbringing and the culture he was surrounded with.

    His birth, in many ways, was the beginning of the rise of Zionism. His generation, post-WWII and certainly post-1967, was the one that truly had ingrained Zionism into their cultural fabric. To be a Zionist ceased to be an ideological position.

    It became Jewish in it’s fundamental character. To ignore this fact of Adelson, and the roots of his political activities and instead try to blame it on some kind of warped ‘capitalism’(like Noam Chomsky) is either a result of ignorance, which I doubt Chomsky has a lot of, or more likely unease and cowardice.
    I would say Finkelstein has the same problem.

    He simply does not like talking about the lobby or Zionism as a Jewish cultural experience. It’s too close to him. So instead he attacks those who do, or insist on bypassing the topic alltogether.

    And here I must add a minor criticism, because there was a strain of this in your and Adam Horowitz’s post, where you two more or less felt that talking about Jewish culture(not in a general sense but strictly in relation to Zionism) was now verboten. Yet, your brilliant essay proves that one cannot ignore this fact and in this sense, at least, a Jew is best equipped with the topic because although it can be painful, an intellectual Jew can also understand the issues on a more deeper level than, say, an outsider with a cold magnifying glass.

    Part of the reason why Mondoweiss is head and shoulder ahead of its competition is precisely of this insight, and also how this insight is further channelled into such an intellectual essay like I just read.

    • Mooser says:

      “where you two more or less felt that talking about Jewish culture(not in a general sense but strictly in relation to Zionism) was now verboten.”

      Gee, Krauss, is it “verboten” or “more or less” verboten? Of course, if for some reason you have a hard time distinguishing culture from stereotypes, I can see where it would be confusing.

  10. seafoid says:

    “I would have been a Zionist if I had been in Kafka’s circle in Prague in the 19-teens with the rise of anti-Semitism. I would have been a Zionist if I had been born into the family of my mother’s best friend in Berlin in the 1930s”

    You could also have been a Bundist. Most Jews were. Kafka wasn’t a Zionist AFAIK .

    • Mooser says:

      If I was a Zionist, I wouldn’t have an honest conversation about it unless I had a signed, sealed and iron-clad guarantee of immunity from prosecution. (Or, for media figures, in public humiliation and loss of credibility)
      Why is Phil asking Zionists to have a conversation which can only result in their own indictment? I mean, they’re dumb, but they are, you know, sentient.
      Or does Phil think there’s a conversation we can have which will everything come out fine? Maybe Hostage will call off the ICC?

  11. American says:

    Zionism does need to be introduced to the US public in the media but I doubt it’s going to happen. Imagine a zionist having to explain the basis of zionism is Jews believing in the impossibility of Jews ever being able to get along with others and the eternal hatred of Jews by all others and Jews eternally living on’ stand by’ ready to flee when the next inevitable and inherent anti semite disease breaks out…. and then tying all the bible myth and etc. to militant Israel. To everyone except the fanatical Christian Zios it would sound like the insane Cult it is.
    And how would the zionist expain the practical things that go against their claims, like the world having poured trillions of dollars into Jewish homeland if the world hated Jews? Would they say it was because we are secretly herding them all into one location, the easier to get rid of them when we go anti semitic again? And if they said that how would they defend Israel as the ‘safe haven’ they claim ? No , if zionism was ever ….. exposed…. to the public it would rank along with the Jim Jones cult. I try to imagine some average Jew also who might generally support zionism or Israel, sitting safe and happy in his US home hearing all this said out loud on national public media and wonder what would happen to his brain when caught between the actual ‘reality’ of his life as it is and the delusional and
    dire prophecies of zionism.

    I think I’ll just once again refer to my online former zionist-disappointed zionist friend , jeldell at Col. Langs who said….

    “I currently sincerely doubt any Israeli government now, or in the future, will ever allow a real Palestinian state. The two state solution is dead. Eventually, the arabs will reclaim the territory of Israel. It may take them 100 years or 1000 years but it will happen.
    The past is prologue – it has happened before to the Jews and it will happen again. As Zionist Jew and a dual Israeli citizen, this makes me very unhappy but it’s our own damn fault.
    We’ve never figured out that assimilation does not mean we have to abandon our culture and religion but with only 15 million of us in the world we’ve got to figure out how to live with the other 6 billion humans in this world. ”

    link to turcopolier.typepad.com

    Yep………”We’ve never figured out that assimilation does not mean we have to abandon our culture and religion but with only 15 million of us in the world we’ve got to figure out how to live with the other 6 billion humans in this world. ”…….is what some have never figured out. The uber hard core militant zionist probably will never figure this out or more accurately they don’t care, their goal is domination, not getting along…..and they don’t want Jews realizing they don’t have to be ghettoized or a militarized ‘state’ or control the ‘political powers’ to keep or continue their own culture and religion.

  12. radii says:

    This discussion is coming – for our side we present the proper frame as a great many Americans have no idea that there is a difference between Jews and Zionists.

    The Frame:
    Jews have been around as an identifiable culture for nearly 6000 years, nearly as long as the Chinese.

    Zionism has been around for over 100 years – or roughly 1/60th that time.

    Zionism is a political movement that says Jews are entitled to the land their ancestors once lived on thousands of years ago. Communism was a political movement. Socialism was a political movement. Nazism was a political movement. Afrikaner nationalism was a political movement. Anti-globalization is a political movement. Anti-nuclear is a political movement. The fight for labor rights isa political movement. Libertarianism is a political movement. Anti-apartheid activism is a political movement.

    The Zionists want the world, and especially Americans – who’s tax money and government support the Zionist government of Israel – to believe the two are one and the same. They are not.

    • Mooser says:

      “Jews have been around as an identifiable culture for nearly 6000 years, nearly as long as the Chinese. “

      6,000 years? Sounds like a long time, but it has been proved by carbon-dating petrified bagels found at the back of my bread-drawer.

      • seafoid says:

        “Jews have been around as an identifiable culture for nearly 6000 years, nearly as long as the Chinese. “

        Yet as recently as the 1950s Amos Oz could look at the Sephardim in Israel and say

        …”Yemenites, Georgians…all of them undoubtedly our brothers, but what could you do, they would need a huge amount of patience and effort”.

        And “shared culture” implies nobody takes the freak show approach to the brothers

        link to madamepickwickartblog.com

        • sardelapasti says:

          “Amos Oz could look at the Sephardim in Israel and say
          …”Yemenites, Georgians…”

          Zionist propaganda, blast him! Since when are Yemenites and Georgians Sefardí? Since when do they have anything in common with the Sefardí?

        • Mooser says:

          Perhaps those questions will be answered soon. They’re starting another excavation in my bread-box.

      • piotr says:

        Am am quite serious now: those thousands of years are simple arithmetic errors.

        6000 = 4000 (mentioned frequently enough) + 2000 (because of confusion between “years ago” and “years BC”)

        4000 is a strange number, I think this is roughly the time when (allegedly) Abraham was born. I think that the Chosen people were chosen later. Carbon dates are of course less precise then counting the years of patriarchs lives — as the invention of bagels did not attract prompt notice of historians and prophets, we do not know if the Chosen people adopted them from the Nations or blessed the Nations with their invention.

        It is a bit similar for Chinese history, except that there were some first scribbles made with proto-Chinese characters nearly 4000 years ago. Very hard to make claims for longer history than that.

        • MRW says:

          It is a bit similar for Chinese history, except that there were some first scribbles made with proto-Chinese characters nearly 4000 years ago. Very hard to make claims for longer history than that.

          Uhhh. The Egyptians were at it in the 4700s BC. That’s 6800 years ago. The Chinese royals kept exact readings of cow scapulas (a prediction specialty) in 2200 BC; Chinese writing was already highly developed then, I saw the originals. That’s 4300 years ago. Sumerian textbooks date from 3000 BC (see Samuel Noah Kramer). That’s 5000 years ago. And that’s just the stuff we’ve been able to decipher.

          P.S. don’t forget: Confucius and Sun Tzu’s Art of War are over 2500 years old.

        • piotr says:

          The dates are tossed around somewhat carelessly. Check link to en.wikipedia.org
          So Chinese have perhaps a bit more than 3200-3300 years of history, plus fascinating legends and very interesting archaeological cultures — with jades and more. Interesting archaeological cultures in Palestine have huge antiquity, after all this is part of the region where Neolithic revolution started.

          Concerning specifically Jewish history, the consensus seems to be that David and Solomon are legendary kings who at best were petty rulers. Afterward the Biblical account is at least partially confirmed. The time when Jewish monotheism started is highly controversial, probably there was a long transition period from “there are 40 sibling gods and this one is the patron of our tribe, and behold Ashera, his lovely goddess wife” to “there is only one God”.

          Patriarchs and Moses are of course no more historical than Achilles, Heracles, Theseus and Ariadne etc. Greek mythology is worth knowing, because it is instructive when compared to the modern myths. Perhaps you know that Sparta is a popular object of emulation, and important inspiration of neo-Cons and Zionists. Spartan were Dorians who ruled over helots = serfs, a population conquered by Dorians around 1000 BC. But according to the Dorian myths it was not an unjustified conquests but “Return of the Heraclids”, descendants of Heracles regaining their rightful patrimony.

        • American says:

          All so immaterial how old Jewish tribe is and original habitation of the land claims……….Neanderthals ruled it 130,000 years ago.

          link to news.nationalgeographic.com

          Did Humans and Neanderthals Battle for Control of the Middle East?
          By Ben Harder
          for National Geographic News

          Thousands of years before Christians, Muslims, and Jews became locked in dispute over the Middle East, humans wrested control of the region from its true original inhabitants, the Neandertals
          Their analysis focused on two archaeological sites in Israel, called Skhul (pronounced “school”) and Kafzeh. Archaeological evidence excavated at the sites years ago indicated that people had lived in the caves, at least occasionally, for more than 130,000 years.
          Most remarkable about the finds was the discovery that the caves had changed hands between Neandertals and modern humans no fewer than three times.
          In the upper layers of the dirt floors in both caves, archaeologists found bones of humans. Lower down, in layers that were deposited between 47,000 to 65,000 years ago, human bones were absent, but researchers excavated Neandertal remains. That discovery corresponds to a period of Neandertal occupation of the site that lasted nearly 20,000 years.
          To the researchers’ surprise, however, they uncovered more human remains beneath those of the Neandertals in both caves. These ancient bones dated to an era that stretched from 80,000 to 130,000 years ago. From the deepest layers of dirt beneath the cave floors, which accumulated more than 130,000 years ago, they again found Neandertal bones.
          The finding indicated that Skhul and Kafzeh—and, presumably, much or all of the surrounding region—passed from human hands back into Neandertal control between 65,000 and 80,000 years ago.

        • American says:

          Since some modern humans today have been proven to still have Neanderthal DNA obviously the thing to do to settle the who does the Palestine-Israel area belong to is track down these present day Neanderthals descendents and let them have it or decide who they want to give it to.

          link to news.bbc.co.uk

          BBC News Updated every minute of every day One-Minute World News

          Neanderthal genes ‘survive in us’

          By Paul Rincon
          Science reporter, BBC News

          Many people alive today possess some Neanderthal ancestry, according to a landmark scientific study.

          The finding has surprised many experts, as previous genetic evidence suggested the Neanderthals made little or no contribution to our inheritance.

          The result comes from analysis of the Neanderthal genome – the “instruction manual” describing how these ancient humans were put together.

          Between 1% and 4% of the Eurasian human genome seems to come from Neanderthals.

          But the study confirms living humans overwhelmingly trace their ancestry to a small population of Africans who later spread out across the world.

          [Neanderthals] are not totally extinct, in some of us they live on – a little bit

          Professor Svante Paabo
          Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
          The most widely-accepted theory of modern human origins – known as Out of Africa – holds that the ancestors of living humans (Homo sapiens) originated in Africa some 200,000 years ago.

          A relatively small group of people then left the continent to populate the rest of the world between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.

          While the Neanderthal genetic contribution – found in people from Europe, Asia and Oceania – appears to be small, this figure is higher than previous genetic analyses have suggested.

          “They are not totally extinct. In some of us they live on, a little bit,” said Professor Svante Paabo, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.”

        • MRW says:

          @Piotr, you ever see this? Might interest you. Scroll to bottom.
          link to individual.utoronto.ca

          I have a book deep in storage that describes in great detail how the Greek gods came from the Celts, how for instance Aengus (the Celtic god of love and poetry) became Eros, the Greek god of love. Shocked the hell out of me until someone told me about Knowth built in Ireland in 3300 BC and the other ancient monuments uncovered there. The theatre and poetry connection is certainly interesting.

        • seanmcbride says:

          MRW,

          I could dwell at length on the ancient accomplishments of my own tribes — Celtic and European — we could all do this for our respective tribes — but what would be the point?

          What matters is what we — individuals worldwide from all tribes — are doing today and what we are going to do tomorrow.

          An obsession with the longevity of one’s tribe, ethnic group, race or culture strikes me as being a major mental disorder. It is a cheap way to acquire a feeling of self-esteem and status without doing any important creative work in the present.

          The most influential tribes of the future may well be the youngest tribes on the historical graph. Tribes come and go, ebb and flow.

          Successful high-tech companies are not hiring people on the basis of their tribal pedigree. The best minds around the world come from a wide variety of tribes and nations.

        • YoungMassJew says:

          @seanmcbride,
          Great comment!

    • MRW says:

      The Chinese are way older, and 2000+ years is nowhere near ‘nearly as long’. I saw exquisite and sophisticated polished Chinese royal jade artifacts in the Taiwan Royal Museum that were dated older than 6,000 BC.

  13. Liz18 says:

    Well said, Phil. Amen.

  14. seanmcbride says:

    Another classic Phil Weiss essay — a keeper that should be widely circulated.

    I am not a Zionist — or Jewish nationalist — for the same reason I am not a white nationalist, black nationalist, Afrikaner nationalist, Chinese nationalist, Irish nationalist, Arab nationalist, etc. — I think ethnic nationalism is incompatible with modern Western democratic values, which I highly prize and which have been very good for me and for everyone I know (including Jews). I think ethnic nationalist movements in the modern world are innately self-destructive. I am confidently betting against them.

    The main problem with opening up a meaningful discussion about Zionism in contemporary American politics: Zionists (like all ethnic nationalists) tend to be wound-up authoritarians who are hostile to dissent and free speech. Since their beliefs are largely based on superstition, emotion, ancient myths and other irrational factors, they work hard to censor any rational investigations into those beliefs.

    Zionism has become America’s unofficial religion, displacing the Enlightenment Christianity and secularism of the American Founding Visionaries. Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Abraham Kook have trumped Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in American political culture. This is a dismal development — perhaps even a catastrophic development for Americans. We need to reboot.

    I am hopeful that the long overdue discussion about Zionism can be conducted with civility, friendliness and mutual enlightenment among Jews and non-Jews — and that will mean reining in both Jewish and non-Jewish extremists on the subject, of which there are many (including many classical antisemites and Judeophobes).

    • Mooser says:

      “both Jewish and non-Jewish extremists on the subject, of which there are many”

      Like the people who say that religious defects in Judaism inextricably lead to the violence and crime of Zionism?

      • seanmcbride says:

        Mooser,

        Like the people who say that religious defects in Judaism inextricably lead to the violence and crime of Zionism?

        That is not my point of view. What I have stated is that religious Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, have relied heavily on biblical (especially Old Testament) myths and symbols to structure their ideology and beliefs and to rationalize and justify their policies.

        Some of the concepts in play: the Land of Israel, the Jewish people (defined within a messianic/mystical framework), “the nations,” Amalek, Moshiach, etc. It is impossible to discuss contemporary Zionism in a well-informed way without deconstructing its ancient ideological roots.

        I am not condemning Judaism in its entirety — in fact, I find much to admire in it. But there are negative streams in Judaism, just as there are in Christianity and Islam. Abrahamic religions in general have a tendency to run off the rails in predictable ways.

        I think that Judaism needs to reclaim the best of its tradition by clearly separating itself from Zionism. Zionism has damaged the Judaism brand — and has the potential to utterly ruin it.

        Again, Mooser, am I being too much a crazy radical for you? :) I can easily name a dozen reputable and mainstream Jewish scholars who have probed this domain in depth — the problematic entanglement of Judaism with Zionism.

        • Mooser says:

          “I think that Judaism needs to reclaim the best of its tradition by clearly separating itself from Zionism. Zionism has damaged the Judaism brand — and has the potential to utterly ruin it.”

          Sean, I appreciate your energy and enterprise, but that’s one hell of a row to hoe. Okay, study, conversion, then more study, then ordination, then years of dealing with your own congregation. But then it gets complicated, really complicated, since there really isn’t a Jewish religious hierarchy you can surmount, and then change Jewsh liturgy and theology. And remember, anything you do with the Askenazi may not stick with the Sephardim, and then you’ve got the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform divides to bridge.
          But it’s one heck of a noble aim, to improve our religion for us. Good luck!

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Sean, I appreciate your energy and enterprise, but that’s one hell of a row to hoe.

          Well, the prescription might be relatively simple: encourage Jewish religious leaders to review their entire tradition and to brush off and bring to the forefront all those elements with the greatest universalist appeal to humanity as a whole.

          Reform Judaism conducted this exercise earlier in its history — it just needs to recover the themes that it has already grasped and embraced. During the last few decades it has been backsliding, under relentless pressure from Zionism and the Israel lobby. It needs to clear the fog from its head and get back on track.

          And then there is Jewish civilization as a whole, which extends far beyond the limits of Judaism and religion in general: it commands a wealth of resources completely distinct from Zionism.

          These problems can be fixed. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

        • Rizla says:

          “But there are negative streams in Judaism, just as there are in Christianity and Islam. Abrahamic religions in general have a tendency to run off the rails in predictable ways.”

          This is important and needs to be mentioned every so often. Negative, misogynist, often cruel. No big deal to admit it, most cultures have bloody histories and skeletons in the closet, which historians, if not lobbyists, eventually have to examine.

        • Mooser says:

          “These problems can be fixed. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

          You bet there is! Cut those anti-Zionist kids (they’re no kids of mine!) off without a farthing and give the money to the Zionists!

      • seanmcbride says:

        Mooser,

        Like the people who say that religious defects in Judaism inextricably lead to the violence and crime of Zionism?

        Do you think it would be fair to say that the Zionism of Elliott Abrams, Yitzhak Shapira, Michael Ledeen, Abraham Kook, Norman Podhoretz, Yechiel Eckstein, David Brog, Meir Kahane, Eric Cantor, Leon Wieseltier, Joe Lieberman, Charles Krauthammer, Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, Ari Fleischer, Chabad-Lubavitch members and many Jewish settlers has been heavily steeped in their understanding of Judaism?

        How is it possible to discuss their brand of Zionism without discussing their brand of Judaism?

        • Mooser says:

          “How is it possible to discuss their brand of Zionism without discussing their brand of Judaism?”

          Very easily. You just learn some goddam manners!

        • yourstruly says:

          when palestine is liberated, down goes zionism. then the conversation will turn to how the hell did anyone ever fall for the one about a land without a people for a people without a land? how long will it take to undo zionism? less time than did it took to denazify germany, considering the fact that only 24 years after its unconditional surrender, remember who was elected chancellor of the federal republic of germany? that’s right, none other than willy, brandt, public enemy number one during the cut short by 988 yrs 1000 year reign of the 3rd reich. so since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, in order to take down zionist israel (the entity, not its people), why waste time & energy navigating through ancient fairy tales, when to defeat israel one need only join the struggle for justice in palestine. and once palestine is free, hindsight will come into play, such that, demystifying zionism & figuring out what went wrong? no problema!

        • Citizen says:

          Oh, I thought you just learn the Sermon On The Mount.

      • Walker says:

        Mooser, Judaism is an ideology or system of thought, just like Zionism. Are you saying that Judaism should be outside the realm of scrutiny?

        Please note that I am not saying that Judaism “inextricably lead(s) to … violence and crime”. I’m not saying that it would be judicious for Phil to plunge into an extended discussion of this issue here. However, I do believe that there are threads in Judaism that support the exclusivity and double standards of Zionism. I don’t think one can fully understand Israeli behavior without understanding that.

        I think it’s a very, very bad idea to reduce any religion to its less attractive aspects. But Judaism, like Christianity or Islam, should be open to critique.

        • Mooser says:

          “But Judaism, like Christianity or Islam, should be open to critique.”

          Okay, then why not critique it for what it really is, not what you, for reasons I am unable to fathom, want it to be. “Judaism is an ideology or system of thought”? Okay then, tell me what the Jewish ideology or system of thought is? And don’t say “Zionism” cause that’s suspiciously circular.

          Here it is, basically, when you know anything about Judaism or Jewish history, you start laughing, not to mention getting justifiably suspicious, when any body starts talking about Judaism and “ideology” and “system of thought”.
          Ge, after 6,000 years we ought to have it pretty well codified, and have developed an infallible and universal system for inculcating it in young people. Wanna link me to it? Or is it concealed from non-Jews?

        • Mooser says:

          And, look, Walker, do me a favor, when you do detail and explicate that Jewish “ideology” and “system of thought” please, go tell the Israelis about it. The conflicts between the seculars, Reform, Conservative, Semi-Hemi-Orthodox, Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, Haredim, Ashkenazi, Sephardim, (And how many others? Left out the Mizrahi, and didn’t even mention class)) is quite embarassing. And at the very heart of Zionism, too! And then there’s the burgeoning split between Israel and the rest of the world’s Jews. That’s a “system”?

        • Mooser says:

          What is so galling about the entire “Jewish ideology” nonsense is this: The very state of Zionism (let alone the rest of Judaism) clearly demonstrates that if there’s anything they don’t have and never had, it was a Jewish “system of thought” or an “ideology” strong enough and consistent enough for their needs.
          Not of course, that I would wish that on anybody. And, uh, you might notice that there’s a big guy in the sky who devinely declines to play His proper part in the “ideology” or “system of thought”. So that sort of poses a problem, too.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Judaism’s core driver: messianic ethnocentrism and ethno-religious nationalism organized around a particular physical territory (Eretz Israel and Jerusalem).

          The key components:

          1. ethnocentrism
          2. territorialism
          3. nationalism
          4. messianism

          Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism have attempted break out of this conceptual box, but with little success — they are now completely under the control of Zionist ideology and the Zionist political establishment.

          You know, it’s really not difficult to understand Judaism, Zionism or any other ideology — there are these things called books and journals. :) Ideologies are organized symbol systems. Organized symbol systems can be parsed. One can attend universities and study intellectual history. This is not an arcane or mysterious process.

        • Mooser says:

          “You know, it’s really not difficult to understand Judaism, Zionism or any other ideology — there are these things called books and journals. :) Ideologies are organized symbol systems. Organized symbol systems can be parsed. One can attend universities and study intellectual history. This is not an arcane or mysterious process.”

          Another words, you got nothin! Can’t even link me to a pamphlet, let alone any “system of thought” or (it is to laugh) an “ideology”. And don’t forget, you need to show us how this system and ideology is administered and inculcated, and not by using Zionism

          You got nothing except your own misconceptions and a bit of prejudice, not to mention a shameful credulity. Well, I’d be ashamed of being that credulous. YMMV.

        • Mooser says:

          “The key components:
          1. ethnocentrism
          2. territorialism
          3. nationalism
          4. messianism”

          Ah yes, now there are some things that our history shows we were very good at, and were at the very center of every move made by a Jewish person! Maybe that’s why those are the things Jews never got, in fact, if you look at what Jews actually freakin did instead of what you imagine motivates them (for reasons I can only thank God I don’t know) you might see that those things you listed were very much what did not motivate them. As witnessed by the goddam actual things they were known to have done! Either that or world-wide dispersion was not a very smart way to go about it. And Jews emigrating, consistently, from places where they would be Jews with their own ethnic identity to countries where they would merely be secular citizens. Was it all just a big plot? Okay?

          Would you like to tell me how (remember, Zionism is only their culmination, right, so we need stuff way before that) Jewish history reflects a people who were very concerned about those four “key components”? Doesn’t seem to be what they were concerned about as witnessed by the things they did. And how they did it with no common language, quite a variegated religion, and very little communication between disparate communities, gee, if any of this “key components” nonsense is true, why are there such deep divisions between Jews today. All a feint, right?

          BTW, I don’t think the moderators did you any favor by printing that comment, but then again, they pass many of my jokes. Anyway, somebody sure has an “ideology” and a “system of thought” and I don’t think it’s me.

        • Dan Crowther says:

          You gotta fight the White Knights around here, Moose. They’re worse than the bats.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          I can’t think of any reputable scholars on religious Zionism who wouldn’t agree that these are some of that ideology’s core terms, concepts and symbols (among others):

          1. Amalek
          2. Eretz Israel
          3. goyim
          4. Haman
          5. Hashem
          6. Jerusalem
          7. Judea and Samaria
          8. Moshiach
          9. the Jewish people
          10. the Land of Israel
          11. the nations
          12. Third Temple
          13. Torah

          All religious Zionists explicitly rely on ancient Judaism for their authority, and they are in fact messianic ethno-religious nationalists who are obsessed with a particular piece of real estate. Anyone who reads the articles of leading religious Zionists in the Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, Ynet News, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Press, etc. knows this.

          Let me know when you get up to speed on these matters. :) Perhaps we can have a meaningful discussion. When I stop to think about it, I can’t recall you ever mentioning many scholarly books or articles you’ve read on any subject, including Zionism.

          Being brought up as a member of a religion doesn’t make one an expert on that religion. For instance, I can think of many Jewish scholars who know much more about Christianity than most Christians.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          By the way, I presume that you realize that you are much more ethnocentric than most of your fellow American citizens and than most contributors here — right?

          The ethnocentrism index: the number of times one mentions one’s ethnic identity, issues, problems, conflicts, enemies, etc.

          I have become quite interested in trying to understand why some people are much more ethnocentric than others. Is there a psychological mechanism in play? What is it? Perhaps you could introspect on the cultural, emotional and mental factors and processes that produce a steady stream of ethnocentric expressions in some people. There is something distinctively obsessive-compulsive about it.

          Why are some ethnic groups more bogged down in ethnic nationalism and ethnic nationalist conflicts than others? Why do some ethnic groups escalate and elevate ethnic nationalism into messianic religious cults?

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Another words, you got nothin! Can’t even link me to a pamphlet, let alone any “system of thought” or (it is to laugh) an “ideology”.

          Following are a few books that dissect the ideology of religious Zionism from various angles:

          # Books on Religious Zionism

          1. Arie Morgenstern; 2006; Hastening Redemption: Messianism and the Resettlement of the Land of Israel; Oxford University Press

          2. Aviezer Ravitzky; 1996; Messianism, Zionism, and Jewish Religious Radicalism; University of Chicago Press

          3. Avrum M. Ehrlich; 2005; The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidism Past and Present; Ktav Publishing House

          4. Chris Hedges; 2007; American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America; Free Press

          5. David S. New; 2002; Holy War: the Rise of Militant Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Fundamentalism; McFarland & Company

          6. Edith Zertal, Akiva Eldar; 2007; Lords of the Land: The War for Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007; Nation Books

          7. Ehud Sprinzak; 1991; The Ascendance of Israel’s Radical Right; Oxford University Press

          8. Elliott Horowitz; 2006; Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence; Princeton University Press

          9. Gershom Gorenberg; 2000; The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount; Free Press

          10. Grace Halsell; 1986; Prophecy and Politics: the Secret Alliance between Israel and the U.S. Christian Right; Lawrence Hill

          11. Grace Halsell; 2002; Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture … and Destruction of Planet Earth; Amana Publications

          12. Herman J. Ruether, Rosemary Radford Ruether; 2002; The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Fortress Press

          13. Ian Lustick; 1988; For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel; Council on Foreign Relations Press

          14. Israel Shahak, Norton Mervinsky; 1999; Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel; Pluto Press

          15. Israel Shahak; 1994; Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years; Pluto Press

          16. Jonathan Cook; 2006; Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State; Pluto Press

          17. Karen Armstrong; 2000; The Battle for God; Knopf

          18. Laurence J. Silberstein; 1993; Jewish Fundamentalism in Comparative Perspective: Religion, Ideology, and the Crisis of Modernity; New York University Press

          19. Michelle Goldberg; 2007; Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism; W.W. Norton

          20. Robert I. Friedman; 1990; The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane: From FBI Informant to Knesset Member; Lawrence Hill

          21. Robert I. Friedman; 1994; Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel’s West Bank Settlement Movement; Random House

          22. Shlomo Avineri; 1985; Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism; New York University Press

          23. Timothy P. Weber; 2004; On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel’s Best Friend; Baker Academic

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

          Have you read any of them? I confess to being a voracious reader: I’ve read all of them, and I tend to retain and connect everything I read.

          What in your mind are the core beliefs of the religious Zionists I mentioned in a previous comment? From where did they derive those beliefs?

        • Citizen says:

          There are thousands of classes in Jewish Culture Studies conducted annually across America, in junior colleges, state colleges and universities, and private ones too. Open to anyone interested.

        • MRW says:

          @Dan Crowther,

          Hysterical.

        • Sibiriak says:

          seanmcbride,

          I would also recommend:

          Baruch Kimmerling, “The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military”

        • seanmcbride says:

          Sibiriak,

          I would also add these four books to the list of necessary reading about religious Zionism:

          1. Clifford A. Kiracofe Jr.; 2009; Dark Crusade: Christian Zionism And Us Foreign Policy; I.B. Tauris

          2. Shlomo Sand; 2012; The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland; 2012; Verso

          3. Stephen R. Sizer; 2005; Christian Zionism: Road-Map to Armageddon?; InterVarsity Press

          4. Victoria Clark; 2007; Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism; Yale University Press

        • Walker says:

          I hope you’re teasing Mooser here.

    • MRW says:

      I am hopeful that the long overdue discussion about Zionism can be conducted with civility, friendliness and mutual enlightenment among Jews and non-Jews — and that will mean reining in both Jewish and non-Jewish extremists on the subject, of which there are many (including many classical antisemites and Judeophobes).

      That ain’t gonna’ happen; you sound like Witty. ;-)

      Ever lance a boil? You have to get the pus and blood out before you can see the core. So you need to develop a stomach for the unpretty sight, and understand it is the nature of the game. If the gatekeepers of “civility, friendliness and mutual enlightenment” are there with their cruise director clipboards and wagging fingers, the likelihood of extremism mounts, and the pus won’t come out. And it needs to.

      The issue is the goal, removing the core. You keep your eye on the goal regardless of the tactics to impede it.

      • Mooser says:

        “I am hopeful that the long overdue discussion about Zionism can be conducted with civility, friendliness and mutual enlightenment among Jews and non-Jews”

        Well we’ve already seen that the decision on whether to charge the ZIonists with genocide, or merely ethnic cleasing will be an impassioned one. I’m sure some compromise can be reached.

        • Dutch says:

          Talking about discussions — these will at some point be joined by an Israeli generation that just realized the price that was paid by others for their right to live on chosen lands. I’m a bit hesitant about the level of civilty, friendlyness and mutual enlightenment that this will bring along. To be honest, I’m afraid the whole project will end in misery and tribal warfare — a meltdown of an overblown concept. It seems almost predictable. In the process zionism will kill itself as an unacceptable and unliveable concept.

    • Bruce says:

      @seanmcbride

      Corey Robin does an effective job of exposing founding father Thomas Jefferson’s racist ideology in his article, Thomas Jefferson: American Fascist?

      I doubt Thomas Jefferson would have had any problem with Zionism, and reading Robin, it is easy to understand the attraction of Zionism to white America and its attraction within American political culture.

      America does not need a reboot. It needs further transformation.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Bruce,

        I doubt Thomas Jefferson would have had any problem with Zionism…

        It is difficult to envision Thomas Jefferson being an ardent Zionist — how well do you know his writings and those of his fellow Enlightenment thought leaders — Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Edward Gibbon, etc.?

        If Jefferson were living in our era, his political views would probably be similar to those of American foreign policy realists like:

        1. Brent Scowcroft
        2. Chas Freeman
        3. Dwight Eisenhower
        4. George Ball
        5. George H.W. Bush
        6. George Marshall
        7. James Baker
        8. James Forrestal
        9. Jimmy Carter
        10. John Mearsheimer
        11. Paul Craig Roberts
        12. Philip Giraldi
        13. Scott McConnell
        14. Stephen Walt

        Surely you are familiar with Jefferson’s views on Judaism:

        To William Short, August 4, 1820

        There are, I acknowledge, passages not free from objection, which we may, with probability, ascribe to Jesus himself; but claiming indulgence from the circumstances under which he acted. His object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust. Jesus, taking for his type the best qualities of the human head and heart, wisdom, justice, goodness, and adding to them power, ascribed all of these, but in infinite perfection, to the Supreme Being, and formed him really worthy of their adoration. Moses had either not believed in a future state of existence, or had not thought it essential to be explicitly taught to his people. Jesus inculcated that doctrine with emphasis and precision. Moses had bound the Jews to many idle ceremonies, mummeries and observances, of no effect towards producing the social utilities which constitute the essence of virtue; Jesus exposed their futility and insignificance. The one instilled into his people the most anti-social spirit towards other nations; the other preached philanthropy and universal charity and benevolence. The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever dangerous. Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a blood thirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel.

        Key phrases:

        1. a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust
        2. idle ceremonies, mummeries and observances
        3. futility and insignificance
        4. anti-social spirit towards other nations
        5. priests of the superstition
        6. blood thirsty race
        7. cruel and remorseless

        Thomas Jefferson was indeed an anti-black white racist — as were Abraham Lincoln and most white Americans during the 18th and 19th centuries. Most anti-black white racists also tend to be antisemites and anti-Zionists — Nazis are the leading example.

        • Mooser says:

          Sean I thought Theosophists didn’t make lists.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Sean I thought Theosophists didn’t make lists.

          Some theosophists believe that all the knowledge in the universe can be expressed as a single list — one that is capable of self-reflection and deep learning. They are working at the interface of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Semantic Web.

        • Bruce says:

          @seanmcbride

          Your argument seems to be that Jefferson would have been an anti-Zionist on account of the fact that he didn’t like Jews or Judaism.

          One certainly doesn’t or didn’t have to think highly of Jews or their religion to be supportive of Zionism, a Jewish state, or of Zionists. Do I need to provide all the past and present examples? Today more white racists are pro-Israel than the opposite. And there were more than a few Nazis that would have been satisfied with shipping the Jews to their own state somewhere far away rather than endorsing Hitler’s Final Solution.

          Did you read Jefferson’s writings as quoted by Robin? I see no mention of them in your reply. Would Jefferson have had a problem with apartheid? I think not. It’s not just that Jefferson was a racist, it is his racist ideology that I draw to your attention. Lincoln may have been racially prejudice, but he ultimately freed the slaves without repatriation. Would Jefferson have ever come around to that view? The evidence is not reassuring. Only 50 years separated the two.

          We would only be guessing how Jefferson’s ideology and religious prejudices would have evolved in 100 years, but had he decided the Jews were racially or culturally superior to the Palestinian natives, I don’t see for what reasons he would had a problem with Zionism, especially in its secular origins rather than its more recent messianic forms.

          Also, I am more than uncomfortable tying Thomas Paine to Jefferson. Paine was strongly opposed to slavery and in favor of emancipating the slaves, which is probably the reason he was excluded from power in the new United States. There is no doubt in my mind which of the two was more Enlightened.

        • Mooser says:

          “Some theosophists believe that all the knowledge in the universe can be expressed as a single list — one that is capable of self-reflection and deep learning. They are working at the interface of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Semantic Web.”

          Are you saying that everybody who glares at me and says, “Mooser, you’re on my shit-list from now on” is a Theosophist? I’m sunk! I’ve heard an upper-echelon Theosophist can materialise in your room, (without an invitation, too!) and kill you with a look! Oy! Why do I always offend the powerful?
          And I though ‘Ouija board’ was just a cheap paneling they sell at Home Depot!

        • Mooser says:

          “They are working at the interface of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Semantic Web.”

          Oh, so now Jews control the Internet, too? Okay, Cossack, discussion’s over!

        • American says:

          Dear Bruce,

          Jefferson has been dead for 186 years.
          Besides your general hatred of America’s founders and need to showcase the immorality of everyone on earth except yourself of course….what is it you wish to prove by exhuming Jefferson into 2012 zionism?
          That Jefferson’s racism towards blacks would have made him a proponent for Zionism and he would have seen Jews as superior to ‘brownish” Arabs. And therefore the Zionist who try to claim that American founders were sympathetic to or influenced by the Israelites and their return to ‘Israel’ are correct.
          You keep beating the same old dead horse…give it up.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Oh, so now Jews control the Internet, too? Okay, Cossack, discussion’s over!

          If you ever actually develop an intellectual curiosity about these matters, you might dig around in the interstices of these topics:

          1. artificial intelligence
          2. automated knowledge discovery
          3. Big Data
          4. computational linguistics
          5. computational social science
          6. Cyc
          7. data mining
          8. data science
          9. deep learning
          10. global superintelligence
          11. Google Knowledge Graph
          12. IBM Watson
          13. machine learning
          14. Peter Norvig
          15. predictive analytics
          16. Ray Kurzweil
          17. Semantic Web
          18. Singularity
          19. sentiment mining
          20. social network analysis
          21. statistical linguistics
          22. text mining
          23. Tim Berners-Lee
          24. Web science
          25. Wikidata
          26. Wolfram Alpha
          27. World Wide Web Consortium

          This is a much more interesting knowledge matrix than Mideast politics, in my opinion, but Mideast politics offers a great deal of low-hanging semantic and social networking fruit to pluck and use in developing these technologies.

          In some ways, well-composed and well-organized lists comprise the divine road to cosmic consciousness (which is a theosophical preoccupation). Lists are the backbone of big data mining. Big data mining is the real deal for advanced knowledge discovery.

        • Mooser says:

          Oops, I’m wrong again! Why did God make the words “semitic” and “semantic” so damn close? Probably just to drive me nuts. And then there’s “semiotic” and “somatic” to worry about, too.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Bruce,

          It’s difficult to understand what you are attempting to accomplish by bringing up Thomas Jefferson in this way.

          1. Any efforts to link Zionism with the white racism of early Americans can, of course, only be enormously damaging to Zionism and Israel. That is not a road any intelligent Zionist would want to go down.

          2. Why would you presume that white racists would support Jewish racists? As a rule, one would expect the opposite: white and Jewish racists are usually in sharp conflict. There is no good reason to presume that Thomas Jefferson would support Zionism because he was a white racist. He might well believe, like many contemporary American foreign policy realists, and on perfectly rational grounds, that American and Israeli interests were radically at odds.

          3. Neither Thomas Jefferson nor Thomas Paine was very fond of the Bible — they shared similar views on that matter. A few Thomas Paine quotes:

          1. “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

          2. “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.”

          3. “It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.”

          4. “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”

          5. “There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.”

          6. “The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.”

          7. “Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.”

          8. “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”

          9. “Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death, and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man?”

        • Mooser says:

          “In some ways, well-composed and well-organized lists comprise the divine road to cosmic consciousness (which is a theosophical preoccupation). Lists are the backbone of big data mining. Big data mining is the real deal for advanced knowledge discovery.”

          “Oh, ah, yeah, cool. I’m, like totally down with cosmic consciousness” He said, backing slowly away and never letting his eyes stray from mcbride. Then, whoosh, he turned, and ran like hell. “Ah yes” chuckled an observing biologist. “A rather ungainly looking animal, but he can sure move quickly when there’s a danger of being bored to death.”

        • Bruce says:

          @American

          Pay attention if you can. I realize its taxing.

          It was Sean who brought Jefferson into the discussion, not me.

          Zionism has become America’s unofficial religion, displacing the Enlightenment Christianity and secularism of the American Founding Visionaries. Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Abraham Kook have trumped Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in American political culture. This is a dismal development — perhaps even a catastrophic development for Americans. We need to reboot.

          I thought it was another bombastic statement, which he did ask me to call out awhile back.

          You are taking your handle much too seriously. While I certainly don’t hate America’s founders, I don’t worship them either. As I implied already, I have the greatest respect for Thomas Paine, or have you airbrushed him from history? I suppose a person who has to hide behind the nom de plume “American” must pay homage to certain foundational myths.

  15. seafoid says:

    It has to come out in toto. That since its inception Zionism has been secretive, run by thugs, pulling levers, destroying careers, slurring people with the most vile accusations . going as far as murder, and all the time demeaning the Palestinians. It isn’t about now, about Lieberman or Netanyahu. Thuggery is the DNA of Zionism.

    “But Jews wouldn’t do that”. They do, and then some

    link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

  16. Dan Crowther says:

    Minority? She-it. Wonderbread Weiss, you ain’t no minority!! :)

    Other than that, a good read – nice job brother Phil.

    • Mooser says:

      “Other than that, a good read – nice job brother Phil.”

      Yes, he just offered himself up for the Zionists to use and throw away. Oh well, if that’s what he wants to do, to keep on screaming at the world: ‘Yes, Zionists can have an honest conversation!’, I’m sure they will make full use of him.

    • seafoid says:

      Hostess is bankrupt, Dan and Wonderbread may be lost with it.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        I see what you’re doing there, seafoid – i like it. :)

        What I found most interesting was where Phil mentions all the historical times and places he might have been a zionist – but he doesn’t mention any time or any place that he would be an observant, practicing Jew. In other words, he doesn’t seem to identify with the root of his identity.

        • Mooser says:

          “but he doesn’t mention any time or any place that he would be an observant, practicing Jew. “

          Okay Dan, thank you, I roared with laughter at that. Look, I give Phil mass props for the admission he would have been a Zionist. I like to think I wouldn’t admit that without some kind of physical torture. Who would have thought Phil would have that kind of self-worth problem?

        • marc b. says:

          In other words …

          it is a curious, hallucinatory trip down memory lane. since weiss can’t get past historical anti-semitism himself (while simultaneously criticizing zionists for their fixation) you have to wonder if he’s inviting a similar ‘historical confession’ from ethnic european gentiles of the 21st century american variety? ‘I would have been a so-and-so if I had been born into the family of my mother’s best friend’s hairdresser in kracow in 1923 . . .’ (i actually have no idea what i would be doing if i were born in poland in the early 20th century, and wouldn’t waste my time worrying about it, but i’m no ivy leaguer.)

          i am pleased that he’s reached the point where he can ‘trust america’, as if he’s somehow set apart from ‘americans’. (I take America at its word. what, no exclamation point? and, more importantly, can ‘americans’ trust weiss? i’m not sure, but i’ll bring it up at the next meeting.) i’ve got news for him, though: there is no ‘word’. most ‘americans’ aren’t even paying attention.

        • Mooser says:

          “(i actually have no idea what i would be doing if i were born in poland in the early 20th century”

          Many talented musicians from that period are now decomposing.

        • seafoid says:

          I am deeply uncertain about Phil saying he would have been a Zionist in the 30s. I don’t think they would have accepted him. Does he worship his body and can he kick sand in the face of homeless people?

          Is he the kind of person who would live his life along the principles outlined in the song “I’m sexy and I know it” ?

          link to youtube.com

        • Mooser says:

          “Is he the kind of person who would live his life along the principles outlined in the song “I’m sexy and I know it” ?”

          All you have to do is look at his gravatar. The man is, without a scintilla of doubt, a veritable Adonistein.

  17. Mooser says:

    “Zionists I am trying to wean from their mistaken belief.”

    ROTFLMSJAO! Wean away, wean away, wean away home.

  18. Do I feel unsafe in America?

    I feel unsafe in America, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with being Jewish. The main thing I am afraid of is a car accident. Other dangers are inundation resulting from global heating and earthquakes caused by fracking. Going to Israel will not help, nor will going to Vietnam, Russia or India.

    I may go to Mars. I have no intention of establishing a Jewish state there.

  19. seafoid says:

    Why would the media suddenly start talking about Zionism ?

    I was reading an article in the Progressive about Super PACS. 196 people provided half a billion dollars in funding for the Presidential election. When are the media going to address that? Or plutocracy? Or low tax rates on hedge funds and super PACS ?

    When does the system by which the US is run ever make it into the media ?

  20. excellent phil. zionism cannot be flushed out publicly without busting open the most favored hasbara myth. top lie repeated endlessly: “they share our values” when ethnic nationalism is completely contrary to our values as a civic national state.

    the hasbara handbook, or perhaps it was the hasbara fellowship site where i read it, instructs what people hear first, loudest and repetitiously they will believe. so this myth, this lie is so prevalent in american discourse by design. it’s powerful branding/propaganda.

  21. seafoid says:

    I think that one of the dangers of lifting up the rock of Zionism to see what is beneath is that it will reflect very badly on the people in whose name the banal atrocities of Israel are carried out. And maybe this is one reason why they have winged it for this long. Ordinary people will feel very betrayed and who knows how they will react ? The whole thing is so sleazy and the list of people involved cuts right through the community. It is a real mess.

    • This is one of the main reasons I follow IP. One is to stop having my money sent to support the unfairness. The other is concern about just what exactly is going to happen once the ‘ordinary people’ become aware of just what exactly has been going on all this time. The more I watch this stuff (since 9/11, now 11 yrs) the further back the rubber band is getting stretched – boy it’s gonna hurt when it snaps back. We’ll see.

      • seafoid says:

        Zionists are vicious and they will attempt to hold the line until the bitter end with no prisoners taken

        link to irishtimes.com

        Sir, – Supporters of boycotts in countries with struggling economies are best counselled to wield their power judiciously (Home News, December 3rd).
        While all too many in Ireland are charged with their ill-advised boycott of Israel and its products, I dare to suggest that the spirit of the boycott equally has the effect of inciting worldwide supporters of Israel to boycott products of Ireland, and Irish travel.
        Is it not interesting that the effects of boycotts are reciprocal? – Yours, etc,

        ALLEN E NUTIK,
        Redfern Avenue,
        Montreal, Canada

        • Sumud says:

          7 million [Israelis] versus 6 billion [global citizens] – I’ll take my chances.

          Pls zionists, boycott Australia!!! In the process you’ll alert even more people to BDS and the apartheid state of Israel.

          Zionists are too stupid to see how tightly they’ve painted themselves into a corner; all publicity for Israel is BAD publicity now.

    • Mooser says:

      “The whole thing is so sleazy and the list of people involved cuts right through the community. It is a real mess.”

      We need to streamline, and rationalise, the excommunication process. And make sure it is observed by the totality of the Jewish Community! Hell, we’ll make it public, with podcasts of procedings!

  22. Shmuel says:

    The media are honest with their audiences about other movements of a religious character, from evangelism to opposition to stem-cell research to radical Islam. So they should be honest with them about Zionism.

    Are they honest about colonialism/neo-colonialism, free-market capitalism, democracy, history, war, peace, power, patriotism, the environment, growth, resources, technology, consumerism or anything else that matters?

    I think you give them far too much credit. At least Sullivan spelled your name right :-)

    • marc b. says:

      Are they honest about free-market capitalism

      it’s either berlusconi or kim il-sung. pyongyang or disneyworld: where do you want to live?

      • Shmuel says:

        it’s either berlusconi or kim il-sung. pyongyang or disneyworld: where do you want to live?

        Can I go to Mars with Stephen?

        • marc b. says:

          shmuel, that’s the ironic beauty of ‘free-market capitalism’. it’s the most stimulating, ambitious, creative project the world has seen, yet it can’t quite compose a third selection for the political juke box. it’s ‘a’ or ‘b’, pal. there is no ‘mars option’ (the title of my forthcoming sci-fi thriller.)

        • Shmuel says:

          it’s the most stimulating, ambitious, creative project the world has seen

          Wow. Imagine what it would be like if it were actually free.

          it can’t quite compose a third selection for the political juke box

          But that’s not fair.

          there is no ‘mars option’ (the title of my forthcoming sci-fi thriller.)

          Definitely a cool title. Will there be invisible hands and everything?

        • marc b. says:

          Will there be invisible hands and everything?

          there will. invisible hands are the best of all. i’ve modeled my work after adam smith’s ‘theory of moral sentiments’, but added some flying saucers. 23rd century capitalism.

        • Shmuel says:

          23rd century capitalism

          Oh, I see why you’d want to avoid the “red” planet. But wouldn’t that be the greatest challenge of all?

          Like these guys: link to youtube.com

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Funny aside: the U of Chicago press took “invisible hand” out of it’s index in it’s reprintings of the wealth of nations, for good reason, it’s only instance is actually a critique of what would come to be called “neo-liberalism” – he says the “invisible hand” is basically a person’s patriotism and he’ll be lead by the hand to promote domestic/local business instead of foreign markets etc.

          A problematic graf for the boys in Chi-town.

        • Mooser says:

          “Can I go to Mars with Stephen?”

          Okay, if there’s a Jewish Mars colony run by Stephen and Shmuel, I am so there! At least for a visit, if I can’t stay. They can support the colony by bottling Martian soil and mislabeling it as Israel Holy Land Sand. And, of course, open a string of Mars Bars.

        • marc b. says:

          open a string of Mars Bars.

          boo. hiss. throwing of rotten tomatoes.

        • Bumblebye says:

          I bet Mooser just Snickers.

        • Mooser says:

          “I bet Mooser just Snickers.”

          Oh, I do, good and plenty, while I eat my milky whey. It’s a little plain, but I put honey on it, which I’ve decided I should do with my comments, so they go down easier.

        • Citizen says:

          If memory serves, there is a third selection, “Mars” by the Hedgefunders. Flip side is good too, Bailout. Oh wait, that’s on ATCO by the Coasters.

  23. Well, opening the discussion on the meaning of Zionism opens a Pandora’s box.

    - The existence of a Jewish people/nation is constituted by devine revelation.
    - The Enlightenment separated politics from supra-political claims.

    The very concept of a Jewish people/nation was not tolerable in Europe (only the concept of Jewish citizens). – That’s the deeper reason for the establishment of a
    Jewish state in Palestine.

    • marc b. says:

      klaus says: well …

      waiting, waiting.

    • Mooser says:

      “The very concept of a Jewish people/nation was not tolerable in Europe (only the concept of Jewish citizens).”

      Exactly, Klaus! Didn’t the German regime during the 1930′s make lot’s of laws about Jewish citizenship? And of course, history shows us how all the other European states were just begging the Jews to come there and be citizens. So, to avoid hurting anybody’s feelings, Israel was founded!

      • marc b. says:

        Exactly, Klaus! Didn’t the German …

        there it is. clock work.

        • Mooser says:

          “there it is. clock work.”

          Hey, as the old German watch-repair guy said when I asked about my watch (which only went tick— tick—-): “Vee haff vays off makink them tock!”

        • “old German watch repair guy” – Mooser

          Why do you keep talking about Germans?
          The Germans didn’t invent the Jewish people/nation by devine revelation nor did they invent the European Enlightenment, nor European anti-Semitism. – Did they invent Zionism or Israel?

        • MRW says:

          @Mooser. . . .you need your own radio show.

          “Vee haff vays off makink them tock!”

        • Mooser says:

          “@Mooser. . . .you need your own radio show.”

          Why, so I can get sued by Johnny Carson’s estate? I can use it here, this is non-profit. And let me know if you’d like a Hickory Daiquiri, Doc.

        • Citizen says:

          @ Klaus
          Mooser’s clock is stuck; his infantile circumcision was quite traumatic for him. Works everytime.

      • Exactly Mooser,
        but it were the French in their National Assembly in 1789 (or 1791) who said:

        “The Jews should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything
        as individuals (citizens).”

        • Mooser says:

          “Exactly Mooser,
          but it were the French in their National Assembly in 1789 (or 1791) who said:
          “The Jews should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything
          as individuals (citizens).”

          I remember that, Klaus. The Jews of France had just submitted a declaration of independence, papers of state incorporation, and asked for a couple of provinces. That statement (“The Jews should be…”) was part of the decision turning their request down. Considering the times, their assurance that Jews would be Citizens of France was quite liberal, don’t you think?

        • MRW says:

          @Mooser,

          Considering the times, their assurance that Jews would be Citizens of France was quite liberal, don’t you think?

          Actually, no. Not liberal at all. The French, after all, invented or helped invent the idea of nationhood from loosely ruled provinces in which everyone was given equal rights, regardless of class, ethnicity or origin. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. The original red, white, and blue. The French created the idea of a republic using these principles (and ‘radicals’ — the people– had been developing them since Fénelon coined the phrase 90 years before) and that was what moved Jefferson (that and Sally, who was installed en suite). It’s why we never adopted a parliamentary system. This was the point Shlomo Sands made in his book; Sands is a known historical expert on this period.

          Granting what the Rabbis wanted (they wanted France to give Jews a couple of provinces, and grant a nation within a nation) would have been a complete contradiction of everything France wanted to create and stand for.

        • Mooser says:

          “Granting what the Rabbis wanted (they wanted France to give Jews a couple of provinces, and grant a nation within a nation)…”

          I made that up. I sort of wondered if the “nothing for the Jews as a nation” came more from anything the Jews of France actually did, or more from the National Assembly’s conception of what Jews (following, as they must, their “system of thought” and “ideology”) do.

        • American says:

          “I sort of wondered if the “nothing for the Jews as a nation” came more from anything the Jews of France actually did, or more from the National Assembly’s conception of what Jews (following, as they must, their “system of thought” and “ideology”) do.”it was….Mooser

          Look at the Jewish glass half full instead of half empty for a change. Ask yourself why you assume it had to be either of what you asked……it was what it was equally for Jews as it was everyone else…..forming ‘nationhood from loosely ruled provinces in which everyone was given equal rights, regardless of class, ethnicity or origin’…..that was the beauty (after a lot of blood) of the French Revolution. Been a while since I read up on the French Revolution but I am betting I could find some groups on which the French emancipation had the same or similar questions as they discussed on Jews, like the papist for example and other groups.

        • Citizen says:

          Yes, Mooser, quite Magna Cartaesque, eh?

    • Mooser says:

      “- The existence of a Jewish people/nation is constituted by devine revelation.”

      Ah, that’s sweet of you to think that Klaus, very touching. Especially when a person could say (I never would, of course) that Germany is constituted by the area the German Army was driven back to at the end of WW2, after its attempt to conquer Europe and Asia. But you think we are devine! Thanks!

    • American says:

      “The very concept of a Jewish people/nation was not tolerable in Europe (only the concept of Jewish citizens). – That’s the deeper reason for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.’>>>Klaus

      Some evidence for Jewish nationalism pre dating zionism.
      This book (Jewish author btw) about the emancipation of the Jews in Europe in the 1700 and 1800′s.
      link to books.google.com
      Contains the papers and government actions of European countries and responses from the Jewish leaders in those countries beginning with France, Germany, etc,etc.. on full citizenship rights for Jews.
      Reading thru the documents governments are offering Jews total equality in rights—–in return for Jews assuming total “nationality” and national obligations and acceptance of the laws of the countries they live in.
      In the Jewish leadership responses, some Jewish leaders are for this and some aren’t.

      Starting with Jewish emancipation in France after their revolution the French leaders expressed the only doubt about Jewish citizenship and rights this way……

      “All deliberations on the obvious fact that the rights of citizens granted to the Jews appertain to the Jew’ qua individual’ and not to the Jews ‘qua nation’.
      Presumably it is the Jew qua member of the Jewish nation who bears all the egregious qualities that evoke the Frenchman’s fears.”

      In every nation that was emamcipating the Jews this was general theme….give up Jewish nationalism and accept full and equal citizenship.
      So this Jewish nationalism does in fact have a basis, else it would not have been the “major concern” in Jewish emamcipation for each country. The concern put forth was centered mostly on would Jews follow the laws of the nation instead of their religious and tribal laws and since emamcipation would allow Jews into government positions would their first duty be that of a ‘citizen’ to the nation and not to their Jewish tribe or nation.

      What you see in some Jewish responses to the governments (mostly by Rabbi leaders) is rejection of the requirement that Jews abide by national norms and laws on the grounds it would ”disolve the tribe and tribal unity”, they argue for citizenship but also maintaince of separate laws and practices or exceptions from some national norms for Jews.

      * Evidently the ones that argued against this are still around in the form of zionist.

      • Sibiriak says:

        American,

        This book (Jewish author btw) about the emancipation of the Jews in Europe in the 1700 and 1800′s.

        What book?

        • American says:

          Sibiriak says:
          December 5, 2012 at 12:42 am
          + Show content
          American,

          This book (Jewish author btw) about the emancipation of the Jews in Europe in the 1700 and 1800′s.

          What book?>>>>>>>>

          I see the link didn’t go thru….I guess because I copied it from the original comment I did here on this back in October….I will go back and hunt it up.

        • American says:

          Here’s the link and book..

          link to books.google.com

          The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, 2nd Edition
          By Paul R. Mendes-Flohr, Professor Jehuda Reinharz

      • Sibiriak says:

        American,

        So this Jewish nationalism does in fact have a basis, else it would not have been the “major concern” in Jewish emamcipation for each country.

        But isn’t the an older, different concept of “nation”–one that is not linked to a defined territorial base?

        • American says:

          Sibiriak says:
          December 5, 2012 at 12:45 am

          American,

          But isn’t the an older, different concept of “nation”–one that is not linked to a defined territorial base?>>>>>>>>

          There may be I suppose..like in the bibical references to nations.
          Imo though the concept of a ‘nation of people’ without/or not in a defined country or territory is at odds with the modern world.
          I have always thought that zionism promoting Jews as a ‘bona fide nation’ of people—regardless of what actual nation they live in causes problems.
          Imagine if for instance white people or christians subscribed to the concept that they were a universal nation of people (like the Aryan movement for example) around the world and where ever they lived acted as ‘a nation’ of whites or christians….. we could pretend they would always promote their ‘nation’s interest’ in benign ways and not in conflict with others but in reality it seldom, if ever, happens that way…as we have seen many times.

        • Hostage says:

          There may be I suppose..like in the bibical references to nations.

          Even in the biblical context, the world was divided up in the patriarchal age. The heads of the nations are listed in Genesis Chapter 10. They and their descendants received Divine allocations of territory and in many cases were brought from other lands to the Land of Israel, the Land of the Philistines, & Syria through acts of Divine intervention, e.g.:

          And the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan
          – Genesis 10:6

          And to Eber were born two sons: one was named Peleg, because in his days the earth was divided, and the name of his brother was Joktan.
          – Genesis 10:25

          Are you not like the children of the Cushites to Me, O children of Israel? says the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and Aram from Kir?.
          – Amos 9:7

      • Shmuel says:

        So this Jewish nationalism does in fact have a basis, else it would not have been the “major concern” in Jewish emamcipation for each country.

        The very fact that Jews needed to be “emancipated” meant that they had previously been treated (and treated themselves) as separate and other. If I were undertaking a similar project, in good faith, I would also have my concerns about old mentalities on both sides. Were my good faith tinged by my own prejudices or by concern (political or otherwise) with the views of those who opposed emancipation out of ignorance and obscurantism, I would also give voice to misgivings regarding lingering Jewish otherness.

        That is not to say that elements of “Jewish nationalism” did not exist, but merely that there were also other reasons for this “major concern”.

        • American says:

          Shmuel says:
          December 5, 2012 at 2:30 am

          My take on the otherness, separation, suspicions, and mentalities involved in the Jews and Others is that it was always a two way street….. both sides giving rise to and reinforcing the other side.
          Which side ‘started it’ so to speak ….and why? For someone looking to answer that it becomes the which came first, the chicken or the egg, question.
          IMO, from reading general world history and various eras, the Jews vr others started like all the other tribal conflicts in ancient times; over competition for resources or power or religion or slave vr owner classes.
          Why it persisted is a different question.

        • Shmuel says:

          American,

          Two-way street makes sense, but majority-minority relations are never that simple (nor as simple as chalking it up to “pathology”). For an interesting take on the subject (within a specific time-frame), see: David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages

          link to books.google.it

          My point was merely that the fact that Jewish “nationhood” was a matter of “major concern” in countries contemplating or implementing the emancipation of the Jews in their midst doesn’t necessarily imply that such fears had a basis in reality – and certainly not as a comprehensive explanation.

        • Mooser says:

          Thanks for weighing in Shmuel. You always inform where I confuse.

        • American says:

          “My point was merely that the fact that Jewish “nationhood” was a matter of “major concern” in countries contemplating or implementing the emancipation of the Jews in their midst doesn’t necessarily imply that such fears had a basis in reality – and certainly not as a comprehensive explanation.”…..Shmuel

          Well I would again probably split that down the middle or at least split it up a bit…….of course some of the fears on the non Jewish side may have been from plain bigotry or Jew ‘aversion’…..then some may have been from past experience with the ‘tribal’ elements within the Jewish group that gave them valid reasons to be concerned.
          I think the way it was expressed as ‘Jew qua individual’ being recognized but “Jews qua nation” being rejected, does show the key concern on the part of government was not directed at Jews as individuals ‘for being Jews’, as some kind of anti semitism — but at ‘tribalism’ elements (as in the Rabbis that argued it would destroy tribal unity) in that might present a problem for the state if it superseded the Jewish citizenship obligation to the state.

          I am not one who believes in the certain Jewish camp position that says all anti Jewishness was irrational and never cause by any of their own actions or attitudes……and more than I believe in the opposite anti semite position that say Jews were always the devious, guilty ones and brought everything on themselves.
          Both those beliefs are equally crazy and illogical to the commonality of human beings nature’s .

        • Mooser says:

          “I am not one who believes in the certain Jewish camp position that says all anti Jewishness was irrational and never cause by any of their own actions or attitudes……”

          Someday you must tell me what “attitude” results in a pogrom. So many innocent people get hurt in those, and I’d hate to provoke one, and you know me, I’ve always got an attitude, so I’d like to know which ones to avoid.

        • “Two-way street makes sense … majority-minority relations” – Shmuel
          ———————————-
          That’s what sociologists call in-group out-group relations, mutual aversion.

          But in the case of Jews and Gentiles Immanuel Kant didn’t see it that way.
          He wrote in his philosophy of religion on Judaism in 1793:

          ” Judaism/Jewry (“das Judentum”) excluded all of mankind from its community as Jehovah’s especially chosen people that was hostile to
          all other peoples and was therefore treated with hostility by all others.”

          - Kant’s causal arrow is clear: The hostility originated from the Jews.
          ————————————————————————–
          Zionism was supposed to solve the “Jewish question”. That is: Once there
          is a Jewish state, Jews who think of themselves as a separate nation settle there. Those who don’t stay in the countries they live in as an integral part
          of that nation. – It didn’t turn out that way. The ‘Jewish question’ stays on.

        • Citizen says:

          Same take on Gypsies through the ages?

        • Citizen says:

          @ American,
          Yes, and not to mention the more serious history work on the subject.

        • What struck me about KANT’s straightforward assertion that the hostility originated from the Jews and that what we today call anti-semitism is a reaction to that hostility – what struck me is that Kant didn’t bother to provide any further evidence to his assertion, as if he stated something self-evident to his contemporary readers (including the enlightened Jewish ones).

        • American says:

          Mooser says:
          December 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm

          “I am not one who believes in the certain Jewish camp position that says all anti Jewishness was irrational and never cause by any of their own actions or attitudes……”

          Someday you must tell me what “attitude” results in a pogrom.>>>>>>>>>

          Maybe the ‘attitude’ you just exhibited……implying you can’t imagine a single instance or thing the Jewish Tribe might have ever done to provoke another Tribe.
          Make up your mind….you either believe Jews are regular folks with the same tendency to vices and virtues as all other humans or you think they don’t have the same human natures and aren’t like other humans.
          Which is it?

        • Mooser
          Here is one attitude/event Spartacist uprising 1919.

  24. Beautiful essay- thank you Phil.

  25. RE: “I see the current militant and totalitarian aspects of Israeli society as flowing from a belief system, Zionism” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Y’all, Phil sho’ ain’t jus’ “whistlin’ Dixie”, y’all!

    SEE: The Likud presents: The craziest, most radical list ever expected to win elections, By Noam Sheizaf, 972 Magazine, 11/26/12
    Knesset members behind attacks on the left, Arabs and asylum seekers won the day at the Likud primaries. All moderates but one were pushed down the list, and probably won’t serve in the next Knesset.
    ~
    Examples:

    [EXCERPTED]
    #1 in the Likud primaries is Gidon Sa’ar, the current education minister and the person behind the school trips that take Israeli children to the settlement in occupied Hebron, and the effort to open a university in the settlement of Ariel. He also has a lot to do with the attempt to shut down the Department of Government and Politics at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva.

    #5 Danny Danon: One of the most extreme right-wing Knesset members, who incited against asylum seekers in the rally that turned into a riot in Tel Aviv. Danon was the man who brought Glenn Beck to Israel.

    #14 Moshe Feiglin, who wants the state to encourage Palestinians – he once referred to them as parasites – to leave the country. Feiglin’s claim to fame was the civil disobedience campaign he launched against the Oslo Accord. One of his latest op-eds was titled, “I am a proud homophobe.”*

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to 972mag.com

    * It’s always nice to see proud homophobes come out of their own particular closets! ! ! That reminds me, Roy Cohn certainly was an interesting character. Arthur J. Finkelstein too!

    • P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Moshe Feiglin]:

      [EXCERPT] Moshe Zalman Feiglin (Hebrew משה פייגלין, born 1962) is an Israeli politician, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction of the Likud party in Israel. Widely quoted in Israeli media, Feiglin is considered a political hardliner with a unique political perspective that emphasizes policies that reflect Israel’s Jewish identity.
      In 1993, Moshe Feiglin co-founded the Zo Artzeinu (“This [is] our Land/Country”) movement with Shmuel Sackett to protest the Oslo Accords. On August 8, 1995, 80 intersections throughout the country were blocked in a massive act of civil disobedience against the Oslo process. As a result of his activities, Feiglin was sentenced to six months in prison in 1997 for sedition against the state by Israel’s Supreme Court. The sentence was later commuted to community service.[1] . . .
      . . . Several left-wing commentators have depicted Feiglin as fascist,[8][9][10] but for his part, Feiglin rejects this label, claiming that he is fighting fascism [so-called Liberal Fascism no doubt ~ J.L.D.] himself.[11][12][13][14]
      . . . In an article in Ha’aretz, Yossi Sarid quoted Feiglin, in the context of demonstrations against the democratically chosen Oslo accords, as saying, “Hitler was an unparalleled military genius. Nazism promoted Germany from a low to a fantastic physical and ideological status. The ragged, trashy youth body turned into a neat and orderly part of society and Germany received an exemplary regime, a proper justice system and public order. Hitler savored good music. He would paint. This was no bunch of thugs. They merely used thugs and homosexuals.” Feiglin clarified his position to the Maariv newspaper that just because he considers Hitler a military genius this does not mean he admires him.[1] In an interview on Israeli television Feiglin accused Sarid and other left-wing journalists of a smear campaign against him by quoting him out of context. He explained his point as saying that just because Germany was a democracy does not give legitimacy to what Hitler had done.[30]
      Feiglin is banned from entering the United Kingdom due to a decision by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, made public in March 2008, excluding Feiglin on the grounds that his presence in the country “would not be conducive to the public good.”[31] A letter to Feiglin from the Home Office said that Smith based her decision on an assessment that his activities “foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs; seek to provoke others to terrorist acts; foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts and foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”[32][33] Feiglin responded, “Seeing that renowned terrorists like Hizbullah member Ibrahim Mousawi are welcomed in your country in open arms, I understand that your policy is aimed at encouraging and supporting terror.[34] . . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Feiglin Davens with Minyan on Temple Mount, Arabs Silent”, By Yori Yanover, JewishPress.com, 12/04/12
      The world did not erupt in flames. Even the Muslims preferred to keep mum about it.

      [EXCERPTS] MK to be Moshe Feiglin, who made the number 14 spot on the Likud Knesset list, on Monday morning managed to surprise many yet again when he showed up on Temple Mount with a minyan and conducted a prayer service.
      For years, Israeli governments, police and, naturally, the Arab Waqf, have been preventing Jews visiting Temple Mount, warning that such an attempt on the part of Jews to connect with their father in Heaven would surely start never-before-seen riots that would sweep the Middle east in rivers of blood. . .
      . . . Feiglin’s statement regarding the event was posted on his Facebook page after his primary election a week ago: “This is just the beginning, until we arrive at building the Temple on top of Temple Mount, and accomplish our goals in this land.”
      Looking forward to joining him next time!

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to jewishpress.com

    • P.P.P.S. AND SEE: “Feiglin New Rightist Power Behind Likud Throne”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 12/27/08

      Gershom Gorenberg has written a stunner of a political appraisal of the role Moshe Feiglin and his far-right allies will play in Likud before and especially after the next national election. Feiglin is an Orthodox extremist settler leader who toiled in the political trenches of far-right splinter parties until he cottoned on to an idea David Duke had some time ago. Instead of laboring in political obscurity, take over the major party nearest to your ideology. In this case it was Likud.

      In the last leadership primary, Feiglin (remember again that his views are somewhat akin to Duke’s in an Israeli context) garnered 25% of the vote to embarrass Netanyahu deeply. In the most recent primary, Feiglin and his allies chipped away further at the party leader: not only did Feiglin place 20th on the list which would’ve made him a certain MK winner (party leaders later used technicalities to move him to 36th), but many of his ideological soulmates placed high in the list as well. Gorenberg argues that no matter how centrist Netanyahu tries to paint the party, the newly empowered extremists will weigh him down like an albatross. The Israeli journalist speculates that even IF (a big “if”) Netanyahu would want to engage in territorial compromise with the Palestinians after becoming prime minister, the rump right wing caucus could muster the support to nix such an initiative or anything that even smacks of craven capitulation to the enemy.

      Here are some of the more shocking beliefs that Feiglin holds:

      On the Jewish Leadership website, [he] proposes principles for a constitution for Israel. It would include a high rabbinic court, chosen only by clergy, that would overturn any legislation it saw as contradicting Jewish religious law. A newly established senate, with a guaranteed Jewish majority of over 80 percent, would have to consult the rabbinic court on all national issues. Israel would lay claim not only to the West Bank and Gaza, but also to all of Jordan.
      . . . He proposes . . . holding a ceremony at every army base in which all non-lethal weaponry would be destroyed. Faced with Palestinian demonstrators, soldiers could only shoot to kill. . . Another Feiglin tract contrasts parliamentary democracy with an “authentic Jewish regime” that would express the “organic unity of the Nation of Israel.” Put simply, Feiglin’s ideology is the meeting point of fundamentalism and fascism.

      Gorenberg concludes his essay with this warning about the false ‘branding’ of Likud under Netanyahu’s leadership:

      The campaign packaging for the Likud will show Netanyahu’s face. In his modulated MBA voice, he’ll try to sell the Likud to voters as a pragmatic conservative party, willing to make peace if only the Palestinians agree to its conditions. Inside the package, however, is a party in thrall to a lean and hungry man offering extremist leadership for Israel. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to richardsilverstein.com

      • P.P.P.P.S. AND SEE THESE TWO:

        “Bogie Yaalon’s Excellent Adventure with Feiglin, Kahane Kids”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/17/09
        LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com

        “Yaalon Looks to Fascist Right for Support in Likud Leadership Struggle”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/20/09
        LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com

      • Citizen says:

        Clash on the Jewish Israeli right: Eldad v Feiglin:
        link to jewishpress.com

        • Hostage says:

          Clash on the Jewish Israeli right: Eldad v Feiglin

          That’s nothing, Lieberman gave his lieutenant Danny Ayalon the boot. Maybe Netanyahu really is trying to patch up relations with Turkey:
          Ayalon out for next Knesset
          JTA
          In a surprise move, Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Liberman announced that former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon, will not be included on the party’s Knesset list.

          Ayalon is currently serving under Liberman as deputy foreign minister.

          The move announced Tuesday rocked Israel’s political arena since Ayalon and Liberman were believed to have a close relationship.

          link to jewishjournal.com

  26. Kathleen says:

    I was surprised that Chris Hayes did not get more attention and support for stepping out once again on this issue a couple of weeks ago. I am sure he was hammered. Go over there and thank him for stepping out like no one else has on this critical issue. He needs to know we support his brave efforts

  27. Just a quick reaction- An American Jew can feel safe in America and still favor Zionism for the Jews living in Israel. The alternative in Israel is not between Zionism and American constitutional protection of minorities. The alternative is between Zionism and an unknown. It is easy to believe that the unknown will be filled by some system that will not be protective of the rights of the Jewish minority and thus the choice of Zionism for those Jews (seems to be)/is a choice to avoid repression. The price that America or the world pays for the safety of 5 million or so Jews who live in Israel is something that may not be worth it. That is a different question. But all the world’s Jews do not live in America. A very large percentage live in Israel and concern for them is one definition of Zionism.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “and still favor Zionism for the Jews living in Israel.”

      How about for the non-Jews living in that land? Do you give any thought to them? Or is it only Jews that you care about?

      “The alternative is between Zionism and an unknown. It is easy to believe that the unknown will be filled by some system that will not be protective of the rights of the Jewish minority”

      And why is that group incapable of believing that this “unknown” would be a system that does protect the rights of everyone?

      “thus the choice of Zionism for those Jews (seems to be)/is a choice to avoid repression.”

      And this false belief is at the cost of subjugation of the Palestinians. Is it your position that the harm to them is not an issue? Is any level of harm to the Palesinians acceptable to you to secure this avoidance of repression you posit? And if the tables were turned, how many Jews would you permit to be harmed in order to ensure someone else “avoid[s] repression”? 100? 1,000? 6,000,000? What is the number?

      “The price that America or the world pays ”

      Oh, they’re not paying. Only the Palestinians are paying. With their blood and the diminished livelihood that is being inflicted upon them needlessly.

      • Mooser says:

        Woody, he can’t help himself. Zionist pilpul is all there is, and all you will get.

      • Woody- The pain of the Palestinians deserves attention from thoughtful people. There are a lot of American and Israeli Zionists who have hardened their hearts to Palestinian suffering and this is bad.

        Regarding a realistic expectation of what will come after Zionism- I think the current situation in Egypt tells us a lot more than false hopes.

        • Mooser says:

          “Regarding a realistic expectation of what will come after Zionism- I think the current situation in Egypt tells us a lot more than false hopes.”

          So basically, everything that happens to all the Jews in Israel will be everybody’s fault but theirs, and certainly, no never, not Zionism’s fault or responsibility.

    • Mooser says:

      “Just a quick reaction- An American Jew can feel safe in America and still favor Zionism for the Jews living in Israel.”

      So there’s nothing in Judaism which says you shouldn’t just take whatever you can get, however you have to get it? I did not know that, I thought we were called to something higher than that. But then, I haven’t lived in Israel, so what would I know?

      • Citizen says:

        @ Mooser
        yonah’s kinda stuck on that old familiar question, “Is it good for the Jews?” Not a double standard, the same standard applied everywhere. What’s not to like?

  28. Ori says:

    Very eloquently stated. As an Israeli-born American of 20+ years, I couldn’t have put it better myself. My entire family is definitely steeped in Zionism because they have never known anything else. I desperately try to separate them from it, but frankly, who wants to apologize about the conditions of their birth or their existence? I completely agree with the article, however, I would like to see some intellectual consistency, with the criticism of religious-based nationalism extended to Muslim countries. If we oppose Israel from the point of view that ‘Jewish and democratic’ is an oxymoron that produces oppression, why can we not acknowledge that Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology is equally destructive? Is it because the Muslims are brown and poor (miskenim)? Isn’t that a little patronizing to consider ‘Jews and liberals to be “above” Zionism’ but say that a mirrored ideology is alright and appropriate for Muslims and Arabs. I just cannot wrap my head around that sort of self-righteousness, as in, specifically directed at Israel and Zionism (which I personally am no fan of).

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      I, for one, have no problem saying that “Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology” are repellant in the same manner as is Zionism. I am wary, though, as bringing up such things is often not a matter of the “Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology,” but as a way of deflecting from the problems of Zionism.

    • Danaa says:

      So, Ori, where did you read in Phil’s article passionate defense of religious nationalism in muslim countries? maybe you know something about Phil we don’t but I can’t seem to recall him arguing that “sharia-based nationalist ideology” is superior to “Halacha-biased dominionism” or such.

      You did well in your short missive to back into Hasbara rule #2 (the deflection) with only a 2 sentence preamble (zionism bad, intellectual honesty good, so why are we talking only of them “Jews”?).

      And the argument is cute: liberal Jews uber zionism but give a pass to sharianism – the racism of it all! how can you possibly call yourself a “liberal”?

      But Ori – the bringer of light unto us – who for some reason reminds me of Lara S is no fan of “zionism” or so he/she/it assures us. Though unlike Lara S (the American-Israeli who dropped a few [OK- many] then scampered off) Ori is a true-blue-and-white “Israeli-American” (+20 years).

    • talknic says:

      Ori — Zionism, schmionizm … an ideology can’t be made to face the consequences of the Law. Zionism simply doesn’t acknowledge International Law or the UN Charter or Israel’s obligations as a UN Member State to comply.

      BTW What Arab/Muslim country is acting outside it’s sovereign extent? If Israel was not acting outside of its sovereign extent, there’d be no UNSC resolutions against Israel’s actions outside of its sovereign extent. Has nothing to do with being Muslim or Zionist or Jewish. It’s simply a matter of what is and what is not legal.

    • Krauss says:

      I agree with you Ori, there has been at times a neglect of criticism of the other side. I think it’s the old leftist sin: you think morality is proportional to their power/economic standing(the implicit assumption is, the more rich/powerful you have become, the more dirt you have under your fingers). That’s a mistake, because today’s losers can be tomorrow’s winners.

      Right now we are seeing the Muslim Brotherhood acting in a way very much like the old Arab dictators. The Egyptian people are resisting, of course, but it is a telling sign to all those on the left who refused to question the rise of the MB and instead praised ‘democracy’. Well, what good is democracy if there’s only one election?

      But another crucial point is this: Israel has, actually, been ‘assimilating to the region’ as the left has long pleaded. The problem is that such an assimiliation contains the thuggish, anti-democratic and militaristic displays we can now all see. And second, a lot of Zionists don’t want to talk about Israel and the de facto apartheid in place throughout the West Bank. So, I think their cause with the left has been hurt precisely because people know they are not being genuine when they talk about Syria; for them it’s a way to deflect attention of Israel rather than any serious consideration of the Syrian people.

      • Mooser says:

        “I agree with you Ori, there has been at times a neglect of criticism of the other side.”

        Ah yes, one notices that in the American media all time. Muslims, well them you got to handle with kid gloves, but it’s open season on Zionists. Yup, you bet.

        • Citizen says:

          @ Mooser
          Yeah, especially on Fox News, why those dolls are always heckling Israel, tossing out that sharp barb, “judeo-christian values,” and swooning over Muslims, Islam, and their synonym “terrorists.”

    • Inanna says:

      So when you can point me to a statement by Phil that he supports Islamic nationalism, then your accusation of intellectual inconsistency will hold. Otherwise, I don’t know where you got the idea that Phil or anyone else here supports sectarianism of any kind, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or whatever.

      • marc b. says:

        So when you can point me to a statement by Phil that he supports Islamic nationalism, then your accusation of intellectual inconsistency will hold. Otherwise, I don’t know where you got the idea that Phil or anyone else here supports sectarianism of any kind

        exactly. it’s as if the peddlers of this critique are incapable of understanding what this site is about. weiss is jewish; weiss objects to the conflation of zionism and judaism; weiss objects to the mistreatement of palestinians in the name of conflated zionism/judaism; weiss believes that the issue of zionism is not the subject of sufficient scrutiny in the media so starts his own website to fill a perceived need; ori whines because weiss doesn’t say bad things about islamic racists too, and suggests weiss’s product isn’t ‘balanced’ (as if the MSM weren’t awash in criticism of ‘islam’.)

        there’s no need for ‘balance’ here. mondoweiss isn’t a satellite floating out in space. it’s one point in a matrix of thousands of sources of news and analysis on ME politics. if ori wants analysis regularly criticizing the syrian government, or iranian religious leaders, or the degenerate saudi ‘royal’ family, it’s out there. and there are plenty of regular commenters here who consistently beat the balanced drum of equivalences, e.g. ‘of the palestinians kill civilians too’ variety. it’s not as if their voices are stifled.

    • Mooser says:

      “My entire family is definitely steeped in Zionism because they have never known anything else. I desperately try to separate them from it, but frankly, who wants to apologize about the conditions of their birth or their existence?”

      Yes, it’s much easier to keep on stealing than “apologise”. Of course, where I come from, we call those ‘apologies’ “confessions”, and they are often followed by prosecution. But they’re said to relieve the conscience.

      Of course, if they accepted responsibility, made an accounting and an attempt at restitution and reparations, they wouldn’t have to think about apologising, and I really doubt anybody would require it of them.
      And apologies aren’t that hard, I’ve made a million of them. It’s the “confessions” which really screw you up.

    • Mooser says:

      “If we oppose Israel from the point of view that ‘Jewish and democratic’ is an oxymoron that produces oppression, why can we not acknowledge that Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology is equally destructive? “

      Damn those Muslims! I knew it was them keeping us from doing the right thing all along! I shoulda known.

  29. eljay says:

    >> If we oppose Israel from the point of view that ‘Jewish and democratic’ is an oxymoron that produces oppression, why can we not acknowledge that Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology is equally destructive?

    I believe we should acknowledge it. Being a second-class citizen in an Islamic state is no better or more just than being a second-class citizen in a Zionist state or in any other supremacist state.

    If a Palestinian state were to be realized which was not a secular, democratic and egalitarian state – a state of and for all Palestinians*, equally – I would object to it in much the same way I object to supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel.

    ——————————
    *”Palestinian” = a bureaucratic designation applied to all inhabitants of the region(s) included in the new state + all new legal immigrants to the state + all foreign citizens up to, say, three or four generations removed from the region.

    “Israeli” = a bureaucratic designation applied to all inhabitants of the region(s) included in the new state + all new legal immigrants to the state + all foreign citizens up to, say, three or four generations removed from the region.

    “Jewish State” = a bullshit, supremacist designation.

  30. MHughes976 says:

    I keep banging on about definitions. Here I go again.
    Zionism, you say, is the belief that there is a need for a Jewish state in Palestine because Jewish people are not safe elsewhere and because they have a biblical connection with Palestine. (Why on earth should a connection through an ancient text create a need here and now? How can anyone be unable to do without something because of words in a book, however sacred that book is?)
    We can all use words as we like but I would prefer reference to a right rather than a need. Zionism in your definition doesn’t fully imply that there ought to be a Jewish state. You can’t make a demand unless you have a right and a need doesn’t create a right to a thing, at least unless there is no competing need for the same thing, which in this case there seems to be.
    You stipulate that Zionism appeals to Jewish insecurity and to the Bible. If someone argues that the Israeli situation is entirely justified regardless of whether Jewish people are safe elsewhere and/or regardless of the Bible, but simply because of UN decrees, that person would not be a Zionist under your definition.
    Surely the clearest definition makes the question of right utterly central. A right is asserted for each and every person who is Jewish; for them inherently; for them only; to a share in sovereignty; sovereignty over all of the Holy Land or over such subset as Jewish people, by consensus, may see fit to claim.
    I always think it important to note that Zionism does not imply that non-Jewish people must have no share in the sovereignty or resources of the Holy Land, only that they cannot have it by inherent right, only by grace and generosity.

  31. Are you new?

    The effing “media” never stop talking “about Zionism”. The “media” love to “talk about Zionism” so goddamned much, in fact, that you can never seem to get them to STFU about it. Hell, the “media” have only been peddling that toxic Zionism crap for years and years, treating it like it was the real shit and manipulating us into believing that 8 out of 10 cats prefer it, then characterizing the two which don’t as self-hating anti-Semite scum who just don’t count.

    No, it’s time to stop the insipid navel-gazing, that’s what it’s time for.

    And breathe.

  32. eGuard says:

    Mondoweiss: It’s time for the media to talk about Zionism

    Why not ask Peter Beinart? He’s been silent since Israel started bombing. He’ll sure be wise by now.

  33. ritzl says:

    Brilliant article.

    Since I don’t know much about these things, is there a way this statement could be made with, I don’t know, anti/non-Zionist synagogues/temples/shuls, etc? Can differentiation happen in the religious context as well as the political and/or media contexts? Would religious differentiation give support and/or credence to political and media differentiation? Or not?

    Interesting, faceted topic.

  34. Les says:

    Shocking news on front page of NY Times web site:

    Jewish Congregation Applauds U.N.’s Palestine Vote
    By SHARON OTTERMAN

    B’nai Jeshurun of Manhattan issued an enthusiastic endorsement of the decision to grant Palestine nonmember observer status.

  35. MRW says:

    @Phil,

    If I were a Jew, I would have written these sentiments and thoughts. You ought to do a series of open letters to your detractors taking them on with the clarity you exhibit above. Whenever you get back from a trip to Israel, you come home with one more light lit in your belly.

  36. Denis says:

    Original deleted.
    Even as a member of your choir, Phil, I am stunned (again) by your eloquence.

    As to the question of Jews feeling unsafe in America, every country has pockets of xenophobe idiots that threaten anyone who is not like them. Even with an Irish surname I often felt threatened in Southie Boston. But on the large, nationwide, scale, I cannot imagine Jews feeling threatened for the reason of being Jewish.

    It seems to me that if the Jews have a homeland that meets Herzel’s dreams and expectations, it is America. Where else, historically or geographically, have Jews flourished, contributed, and been praised like they have in America? Jews in America are as integrated as they want to be, and many, such as Brooklyn’s Satmar Hassidic Jews simply don’t want to be. Sometimes xenophobia is a two-way street.

    If mainstream American Jews are threatened, it is by Israel and its endless bellicosity and nuclear stockpile. For if Israel precipitates a nuclear exchange that kills hundreds of thousands of millions of people, all Jews will be lumped together, demonized, and none will be safe. It seems to me that getting zionism out into the light is in the interest of every American Jew.

    • Citizen says:

      @ Denis
      Well put, thoughtful comment. Thanks.

    • YoungMassJew says:

      @ Denis,
      Yes, I was lumped in with the Jewish ethnic-nationalists when a kid mumbled under his breath about Jews in front of me in class. He knew I was Jewish by looking at me. Granted it only happened once. But, yes, Israel’s polices have the effect of creating the impression that all Jews support it since American Jews largely support Israel through their words (i.e Facebook postings), even if it’s only the multi-millionaire and billionaire ones who are the main lobbyists. It’s only going to get worse I’m afraid.

  37. tokyobk says:

    Interesting essay.

    “I consider myself a liberal anti-Zionist, or a non-Zionist (because the label is less confrontational to the Zionists I am trying to wean from their mistaken belief).”

    This makes it sound as if non-Zionism as a category is simply a conversational strategy, and maybe it is for you. In fact non-Zionism is a perfectly ethical system and arguably morally superior to anti-Zionism.

    • Shmuel says:

      In fact non-Zionism is a perfectly ethical system and arguably morally superior to anti-Zionism.

      I’ll bite. Why is non-Zionism morally superior to anti-Zionism?

      • Mooser says:

        “I’ll bite. Why is non-Zionism morally superior to anti-Zionism?”

        Because “non-Zionism” allows you to be a Zionist, while claiming you are not. And it also confuses the isues, and releases you from responsibility, of any type. What could be superior, morally, to that?

        Wow, if you listen to Zionists, excuse me, non-Zionists, the ethical demands of Judaism seem to be quite unrestrictive and undemanding. It’s a wonder more people don’t convert.

  38. Hostage says:

    I completely agree with the article, however, I would like to see some intellectual consistency, with the criticism of religious-based nationalism extended to Muslim countries. If we oppose Israel from the point of view that ‘Jewish and democratic’ is an oxymoron that produces oppression, why can we not acknowledge that Muslim and sharia-based nationalist ideology is equally destructive?

    There have been countless comments here about the fact that Palestine and Israel are both bound by the terms of their own acceptance of the provisions of the minority protection plan contained in UN GA resolution 181(II). It addresses that area of concern.

  39. chinese box says:

    I agree with Phil but the acceptance and (grudging) admission of realities in the political/media sphere that most of us on this forum have known for years is so glacially slow that I don’t have a lot of hope at this point. The peace process is dead? 2ss may not be possible because of settlements? REALLY? Edward Said saw clearly in the early ’90s that Oslo was fatally flawed that the PA was corrupt and ineffectual and yet the media has been glossing over these facts for almost two decades. No one in the media wants to mention the elephant in the middle of the room because it might hurt their careers, or they might not get invited to the best cocktail parties anymore, or maybe they just don’t care.

    As for Obama, I have no doubt he knows how f*d up Israel is but at heart he’s a politician and will just go with what the Washington policy establishment consensus is if it furthers his own power and prestige. I hope to be proven wrong but the way things are going I fear that public acknowledgement of the realities of Zionism may not come in our lifetimes (although it will come).

  40. sardelapasti says:

    Excellent, Phil, thank you.

    But there is still lingering Zionism in it.

    “Zionism came out of the real condition of Jews in Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries.”

    No. It may have come out of mainly Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews, mainly living together, mainly in segregated areas, mainly in the Russian Empire, and unable to understand the racial troubles of the time. Why do you call this subgroup by the more general term “Jews”? This is so misleading. It covers up the other Zionist hat-trick, the one played against all other unrelated groups.

    “I can well imagine being a Zionist at other periods of Jewish history. I would have been a Zionist if I had been in Kafka’s circle in Prague in the 19-teens with the rise of anti-Semitism. I would have been a Zionist if I had been born into the family of my mother’s best friend in Berlin in the 1930s.”

    Only if you had been/are some Romantic Nationalist caveman. I like to think that you’re too smart for that. People with a minimum of integrity, according to their temperament and politics, claimed up their citizenship and resisted, or changed nation in the normal way. Instead of fleeing to some ridiculously unconnected Orient, to rob and murder people even more helpless than themselves. I find your giving a free pass to the 1930s Zionist murderers inexplicable.

    • Citizen says:

      Kafka was not much of a Zionist; he’s quoted as saying he was attracted to it and repelled by it. At university he identified with the socialists, not the zionists.

  41. yourstruly says:

    difficult to believe?

    that this is it

    the moment upon us

    criteria?

    timing has to be perfect

    conditions optimal

    the cause just right

    justice for palestine?

    no reason why not

    one victory

    what it’ll take

  42. Mayhem says:

    This clip from Australian ABC TV about Zionism
    link to abc.net.au

  43. dbroncos says:

    Great piece, Phil. I’d love to see you kick in the saloon doors on the stage set of “Morning Joe” where you could splash beer in the face of comfy Establishment Zionist types like Richard Hass with your concerns about Zionism and Jewish identity.

    • Mooser says:

      “I’d love to see you kick in the saloon doors on the stage set of “Morning Joe”

      Heck no! Do you have any idea how slippery the floor is in that studio?

  44. cogit8 says:

    Excellent piece – hope it goes far into the mainstream!

  45. kalithea says:

    Yes, yes and yes the media must dare to utter “Z i o n i s m”, but they won’t dare. Why??? Because it all comes down to this: Zionism is Evil and sounds evil. You won’t hear Wolf Blitzer come out on the Situation Room and say: I’m a ZIONIST and proud of it and let me introduce you to my Zionist guests. Zionism isn’t colloquial in the mainstream it’s the shadowy backdrop; and examining it will expose its evil aura and make it real even though every day it’s manifesting its injustice in greater ways. Without uttering the word “Z i o n i s m” or “Zionist” the media and politicians want us to have faith in the eventuality of the end justifying the means; when everyone is starting to realize they’re being played because that “honorable” end isn’t materializing. Instead Zionism looms in the background breathing life into the “protocols” of suspicion and resentment, like a self-fulfilling prophesy and creating a Frankenstein that society fears and loathes but must never confront and try to undo.

    Why not go further and examine the issue of: everyone hates me so I need to steal someone else’s land to make a safe haven for myself while I control all forms of criticism with my privileged victim card and circumvent the law with loads of cash and political influence; cause no doubt that’s gonna solve the problem of everyone hating me!

    AND why not examine while we’re at it the hubris and supremacy aspect of believing oneself to be one of “the Chosen People” when all God’s/Allah’s children are fighting for that same kind of recognition. And why not discuss why only the superior chosen are graced from above with specific real estate entitlement that allows them “to get away with murder” and whether or not that has any part in creating resentment and how this belief has injustice written all over it, “ism” or no “ism”.

    But enough with what came first the chicken or the egg.

    Zionism…was it ever really an innocent, altruistic project? Either we’re all created equal with inalienable rights or we’re NOT! Love your Palestinian neighbor as yourself, don’t bear false witness against him and thou shall not STEAL from him. There’s no other way but the RIGHT WAY. Simply put, Zionism is doomed.

  46. piotr says:

    link to nytimes.com

    Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a large synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is known for its charismatic rabbis, its energetic and highly musical worship, and its liberal stances on social causes.

    But on Friday, when its rabbis and lay leaders sent out an e-mail enthusiastically supporting the vote by the United Nations to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state, the statement was more than even some of its famously liberal congregants could stomach.

    [hundreds of comments, mostly supportive of the congregation, including letters from the members]

  47. gingershot says:

    Dear Moderator – please forward this to Phil Weiss if you think he will be interested

    Richard Witty dishing on Phil Weiss over at Open Zion: – personal relationship and details

    link to thedailybeast.com

    Thanks
    Sincerely, ginger

    • Wow. There’s some nasty stuff over there. If I remember correctly, Bill Pearlman writes for “truthisrael.com” or something similar (I was banned for injecting some there)..

    • Citizen says:

      Witty’s comment on Open Zion is so lame, narrow, and hateful; he blames Phil for growing up with American values and his constant efforts in applying them to his life, even as Witty grew up in the same goy-protected American nest, yet choses to live in the threatening pre-Nuremberg European past as if it were the American and current world present. Witty’s a classic example of borrowed traumatic neurosis. He borrowed it from his wife’s family experience in old Europe during the Nazi Era. He himself has led a totally secure (and prosperous) life in America since he was born, protected by Gentile law, cops, ad soldiers, same as Phil has. Phil, OTOH, has chosen to marry a Gentile, a rational, fair-minded, and unbiased woman. Who’s the realist?

      BTW, Bill Pearlman, as well as Witty, wrote comments on Open Zion; he slams Phil personally; he has yet to forgive him for booting him off Mondoweiss. Pearlman’s contribution to Mondoweiss were always vulgar, racist, personal attacks. Two cranky, rabid supremist jews with no interest in the truth.

      • American says:

        “Witty’s a classic example of borrowed traumatic neurosis. “…Citizen

        I seem to remember Jackie Rose in ‘The Question of Zion’ saying that Zionism attracts many individuals with neurosis or fills some distorted social or mental/emotional need for some of them.

        I remember witty on here once saying he ‘had a fear ‘ of blacks and
        gentiles….that sounds very disturbed if you ask me.

      • Mooser says:

        “Pearlman’s contribution to Mondoweiss were always vulgar, racist, personal attacks. Two cranky, rabid supremist jews with no interest in the truth.”

        When someone is banned, or asked not to post is their comment archive expunged?

        • Citizen says:

          It wasn’t in the old days, when Pearlman posted, Mooser. He use to post under different pen names, if memory serves. I don’t know about now.

    • Mooser says:

      “Richard Witty dishing on Phil Weiss over at Open Zion: – personal relationship and details”

      Witty is a fool! Has he forgotten that Phil, or rather Mondowiess has his comment archive!
      I bet he goes looking for gas leaks with a match, too.

    • Hostage says:

      Debating Zionism—a philosophy of Jewish sovereignty which in the eyes of some is a necessary and laudable system and in the eyes of others is an unjust one—is not an intellectual luxury we can afford today, over one hundred years after the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland. This is because the State of Israel already exists — by Mira Sucharov, Talking To Phil Weiss About Zionism

      The only tangible manifestation of so-called “sovereignty” is jurisdiction. The “philosophy” that it is “necessary and laudable” for Jews to have the boundless discretion to exercise jurisdiction over the Palestinians living in Israel, or anywhere else in historical Palestine, is patently racist claptrap. That’s no longer a luxury we can afford today, based upon over one hundred years of oppression, colonialism, and apartheid after the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland. No sane intellect wishes to debate the existence of the State of Israel, we are debating the sorry conditions of life that Zionists impose on the non-Jewish inhabitants.

  48. Well, they talk about anti-Zionism quite a bit.

    link to israelnationalnews.com

  49. Reds says:

    Hi all,

    First post, But I think the “Transfer Agreement” by Edwin Black should be discussed and how Zionist worked with the Nazi to prevent world Jewish Boycott. Also the history and beliefs that Zionist first took with the first aliyah to Palestine vs the second and third. In which Jews were told to openly discriminate agains Arabs living on the land and only higher Jews for work.

    I think it’s important to discuss the similarity and justifications that some zionist give for the Israeli government’s actions and compare them to the actions taked and reasoning given by Whites in the Jim Crow South and how after so many Jews and blacks fought against such in the Jim Crow South than can honestly defend the actions the Israeli government has/is taking against not only Palestians but it’s non-israeli jews.

    Lastly ask the question does zionist(not only jews, but included Christians )as well beliefs mirror racist or hold racist belief in itself against other groups? how is this different than other groups that holds/mirrors racistbeliefs about other groups ? And why does it seem that so many Hardcore Zionist are on the other side of Human Rights groups if there cause is just?

    • American says:

      Hey Reds,

      Stick with the Jim Crow comparison—-but please leave off Black and his Transfer agreement…. it always creates a thread melt down here that branches off into a 1001′ irrelevant to today’ arguments.

  50. kalithea says:

    This article here really inspired a venom-infused pity party over there at the Daily Beast. I’m not surprised but very amused. The truth often has the effect of an exorcism. It brings out the best in those who embrace it and the worst kind of drama, complete with thrashing, screaming and cursing (lol!) in those who fear it. Those who detest the truth will do anything curse, cheat, lie, oppress, steal and murder to suppress it and protect their insidious charade. The truth FOILS their pretense of a higher, noble cause and naturally provokes a frenzy of hostility. Haha! It’s exactly as I stated! Discussing Zionism is the way to release the cunning evil therein to the glaring light of day. Once Zionism is forced out of the shadows; it’s days will be numbered.

    Zionists should be put on notice: THE JIG IS UP.

  51. kalithea says:

    Summing up Witty’s comment at The Daily Beast:

    We had a similar upbringing, hold similar political inclinations blah-blah, but let me get real personal now i.e. the predictable guilt trip: I married a Zionist and you didn’t. (Translation: which no doubt makes me a whole lot better than you and explains why you betrayed the clan and its cause.).

    He ends his condescending biographical diatribe by whipping out another predictable tool: the pitiful victim card, the lowest card in the deck, iow, the Zionists “ace” in the sleeve and then brags about his diverse circle vs this narrow tent. But of course, one needs as wide a market as possible to peddle the “virtues” of Zionism to.

    When you’re trying to fight a slippery parasite or the insidious injustice that is Zionism you need to ARM YOURSELF WITH UNWAVERING CONVICTION and not allow artful dodgers like Witty to send you down the garden path in circles on a fool’s quest instead. GETTING WISE is a good thing.

  52. American says:

    ” Do I feel unsafe in America or Europe? If I feel unsafe in America what am I doing here?..Phil

    I don’t believe Jews feel unsafe in America or think they ‘need’ Israel..as in need, need, Israel as some safe haven. Yea, we see the hasbara bots spouting another holocaust could happen at any time…and some paranoids who would be paranoid over something else anyway if it wasn’t over being Jewish.
    Maybe in holocaust reactions early on Jews really did think or fall for the idea that Israel was a guarantee of their safety but I dont’ think that’s it any longer. I think simply that Jews have gotten to use to the idea of Israel, it’s now more a ego thing or pride thing among Jews than a “safety need” belief. I mean the zios organs have blared out for 65 years, 24/7, that the world, the US could go anti semtic at any time, constantly fear mongering on anti semitism….and what’s happened?….has this scared large numbers Jews in the US or elsewhere to Israel? No, it hasn’t.
    I just don’t see that the ‘fear factor’ has much if anything to do with US Jews in particular and Israel.

    • yrn says:

      American, do you write as a Jew and if as a Jew, did your family survive the Holocaust, as I am sure you are not Jewish and if so, your family did not survive the holocaust.
      You remind me of my Grandfather, a very proud Austrian that was a Captain in the Austrian army in WWI , assimilated in the Austrian society, that once the Nazi’s came out claimed, this will never ever happen in the liberal modern Austria, that we Austrian citizens will be driven to concentration camps and Jews will be killed only because they were born Jews (he never practised Judaism) ……… that hurt him the most.
      Your claims that those are Hasbara bots, are an insult for those who in there stupidity Naive belief were murdered by the Nazis.

      • Citizen says:

        @ yrn

        Yeah, it’s really tough growing up as a Jew in America, and always has been. Why, just read the great Jewish American novelists on the subject beginning with Portnoy’s Complaint. Israel cannot afford to be like America in its treatment of minority non-jews. I’ve never heard of a Jew born in USA who wasn’t bullied, picked on when he was a kid. So horrible, the life of a Jew in America. Maybe one day they will be able to partake in the American Dream if only the goy American would give them a chance.

        • Mooser says:

          “Yeah, it’s really tough growing up as a Jew in America, and always has been.”

          You know it, Citizen. You would not believe what people do. My dry-cleaner is constantly pressing my yamulkes sideways!

  53. stevieb says:

    “Zionism came out of the real condition of Jews in Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries.”

    I agree with most of a very good essay, but I have to take exception with this. I don’t think there’s enough to suggest this was the main reason- even if it mainstream history holds this up as a given. I don’t…