Israel and the nomination of Chuck Hagel

Israel/Palestine
on 327 Comments
CHagel
Chuck Hagel, nominated to be Secretary of Defense

As I write in January 2013, President Obama has nominated former Senator and decorated infantryman from the Vietnam era, Chuck Hagel, to be Secretary of Defense in his second administration. This has created a considerable commotion in Zionist circles, scarcely news in itself, as Israel is a perpetual commotion machine, but of considerable interest, as it may be signifying a sea change in one of the most vexing disputes on our planet. However the Hagel candidacy may be resolved, it demands a close look at the current situation of the Zionist state of Israel and its chief imperialist patron, the United States.

The Zionist era is typically seen in light of the ancient Jewish narrative of selection by God to be the Chosen People and subsequent exile and suffering, with its dream of redemption located in the building of Israel.Thus Israel becomes Judaism’s destiny, a widely held but quite dubious proposition, for quite a number of reasons including leaving out the fact that for Israel-the-dream to become Israel-the-reality requires the recruitment of Western imperialism for the redemption of the Jewish People.

This has been a source of endless contradiction, essential for the understanding of Israel. For the Zionist state is all ambivalence. There is no inner integrity to it, no possibility of reconciliation, either in the mind or the external world. From the beginnings of Zionist expansion a dual impulse has existed: to get out of Christendom and the West, as the sources of anti-Semitic oppression; and alongside this, a growing realization that the Holy Land would not be attained without the active assistance of empire. This meant drawing power from the very lands the Zionists wanted to flee. It followed that despite utopian claims and goals, Palestine would have to be conquered through settler-colonialism with accompanying violence, racism, ethnic cleansing and exterminist policies toward the indigenous Palestinians. This attained heights of irony inasmuch as many of its Palestinian victims are descendants of the original Jews of Judaea; meanwhile, their conquerors—the Ashkenazi Jews—are of European origin. The irony is compounded by the fact that the Zionists have generally been strident modernists only a small fraction of whom were originally at all religious. Yet, in seeking the path of violent expropriation, they have been driven by Old Testament belief in an angry and jealous God. Thus Zionist modernity sprouts its atavistic Doppelganger. One side takes the form of hip technocracy; the other, of a burgeoning ultra-Orthodox segment that would make the founders of Israel turn over in their grave. They are joined, hatefully, in Zionism; and each works to legitimate the violence essential to Israel’s existence.

There being no hope of resolution, a hostile identification has grown between Zionist Israel and its imperial patrons, chiefly the United States, prime buttress of the Jewish State and the leading external power in the Middle East. It is safe to say that never in history has there been a relationship like this, in which the client state masters the master, occupies his precincts, and colonizes the colonizer. It took shape in the first administration of Harry S. Truman, successor to Franklin Roosevelt, who had been no friend to Zionism. Roosevelt tried to work out with England a post-war re-settlement of Jewish refugees, but the idea was shot down by a furious Zionist response. It is safe to say that had FDR lived through his fourth term, Israel as we know it would not exist. Truman’s foreign policy team, Secretary of State George Marshall in the lead, were bitterly opposed to the Zionist state, accurately claiming that it opened a path to endless fanaticism and warfare in a region of extreme strategic importance. But Truman overrode them with the plaintive observation that it was too bad about the Middle East, but that, having come into office essentially on his own, he had been taken in hand by remarkably supportive wealthy Jews whose help was essential for his re-election. Truman recognized the State of Israel like a thief in the night, fifteen minutes after its founding, by personally typing out a short paragraph on POTUS stationery and signing it, to the fury of his foreign policy staff. With this, the long, convoluted and parasitic occupation by Zionism of the National Security State was underway. The Eisenhower administration slowed this down, but Kennedy failed to make much impact on its growth, which became viral under Johnson and after the Six Day War in 1967, despite the single most revealing episode in the whole history of the US/Israeli relationship, Israel’s destruction of the USS Liberty on its fifth day.

“The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth.” [NY Times, 12/25/12]

Thomas Friedman, a superstar of the bourgeois press, has made a remarkably sensible statement about one of the most vexing issues of our time, though he doesn’t grasp its meaning.

Friedman’s main point is that the Israel lobby should call off its attack dogs who are currently savaging Chuck Hagel. Make no mistake, Hagel has affronted Israel, especially when, as Senator, he made the righteous statement that “The Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here” [on Capitol Hill, but] “I’m a United States Senator. I’m not an Israeli Senator.” Such usage is a sure route to unpopularity in American political culture. The Zionist watchdogs start baying about anything that implies that Jews might seek power and play rough in doing so. But whether you call it Jewish or Israel, the lobby’s frank goal is to secure the power of a state explicitly for the Jewish people and open to all Jews simply by birth. To stave off realization of how outrageous this is, the charge of anti-Semitism is reflexively hurled, with remarkably effective stupidity.

Hagel goes further. He has denounced the Iraq War that Israel and its lobbies foisted on the United States through the neoconservatives who serve as Zionism’s chief agents within the United States. He is no less critical of the Iran War the same elements are urging upon us now. And he has gone so far as to say that “The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has been bloated. … So I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.” Sacre bleu!

Hagel, like Obama, does not stand outside the project of the ruling class. Neither evinces any desire to limit the imperial reach of the United States, or to liquidate the expansion of capital that the empire is put in place to secure. But ruling classes are never homogeneous and different routes to their goals will arise. They can also, so to speak, be bundled as in Hagel’s case, who combines exasperation over Israeli control of the US government, with turning away from the follies of neocon-led military aggression, and the desire to cut bloated military spending to contain unsustainable federal debt without destroying entitlement programs. Hagel does not offer a vision of basic change; but his positions are as good a package as can be expected consonant with ruling class options. He deserves limited support because of the process he has joined.

Hagel now stands in the place of George Marshall, except that where Truman’s Secretary of State warned of fanaticism, now fanaticism has become internal to the US government as well as spreading over the Middle Eastern zones of the empire. Obama, freed from Truman’s burden of facing election, is also free to settle scores, including with his nemesis, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who was dumb enough to have blatantly favored Mitt Romney for President—or was he rewarding the Republican for reaching new depths of servility when Romney pledged that on any matter involving Israel, he would phone Netanyahu and do whatever the PM told him to?

Friedman is right to conclude that Hagel’s candidacy is a step forward, though it is also a throwback to Marshall’s realist view that the Zionist state is a liability to the United States rather than an asset. This is important, but it remains no more than a step. Friedman goes off the rails if he thinks that the telling of such a truth will in itself save Israel from national suicide. For what determines the self-destructivity of a nation-state is what rots it inwardly, and not what others say from without.

As with everyone I know of in official political culture, Friedman assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states. The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime.

Israel is no normal state, but one governed by the forging of Zionist system-logic into a Satanic ideology: that an ethnocratic state can be democratic. It is amazing that this gross contradiction is celebrated instead of treated with the derision it deserves. I would venture to speculate that the error stems from a link between what Judaism is supposed to be, namely, the source of the notion of a just God; and what Democracy is supposed to bring, namely, the universalization of a just society. Neither of these propositions can live up to their potential in the present context, which is to say, become realized in practice. God is not a big daddy in the sky, but a process that lives in us as we seek the universal in the here and now. How can a just God be the deity of a very small subset of humanity who have taken power with an aggressive state, and continue, day by day, to seek the extermination of the people it has displaced? How can democracy be authentic so long as it remains under class domination? And how can America tell Israel, or anyone, this truth, when it is at least as great a practitioner of the crimes of empire and the awful injustice of its class society? Itself unwilling and unable to step off the wheel of empire and accumulation, the American state cannot counsel the Israeli state. Its best hope is to disengage from the special relationship with Israel and look inward to its own transgressions.

Many facts on the ground over the last forty years remain to occlude this process: the invasion by Zionism of academia, Christian churches and the cultural and journalistic institutions of civil society; the interpenetration of the two militaries; and a great deal of residual influence by ardently Zionist neoconservatives who came to power in the 1980s. Nonetheless, the “Israel as liability” faction is stronger in the United States than at anytime since the Eisenhower administration, and there is no structural reason to expect its retreat, given the appearance of soft-Zionist alternatives to AIPAC and its cohorts.

In fact, there is every reason to expect its advance, driven by the disintegration of Zionism itself. This stems from Israeli triumphs which, break down their legitimations and set into motion an inexorable process. Israel’s success in eliminating and/or weakening regional opposition in Iraq, Syria and Iran, along with its never-ending ethnic cleansing of Palestine, creates chaos, foments resistance and hatred against it, and also against anybody associated with it. This includes, to be sure, US troops in the region. Such was the observation of General David Petraeus in 2011 as he allied himself with the liability faction and tried to tell Zionism some truth. He was swiftly made to eat humble pie by his masters. Who can doubt that Petraeus would hate Israel for his humiliation—or that Obama would feel the same when listening to his demented Congress cheering on the Israeli leader, or indeed, that nine tenths of Congresspersons themselves would inwardly feel hatred for having to bow like so many slaves to the Zionist overlord?

The breakdown of Zionist legitimacy is widespread and I believe it to be irreversible so long as people speak out against Israeli crimes in Palestine and the impunity given the Jewish State by the American security apparatus. Basic change is afoot, beyond hatred: a dialectical negation emerging across much of the world and very widely affecting youth, including, especially, Jewish youth in the United States. It arises as conscientization, it is watered by tears, and grows from pain and agony, and it engenders solidarity. It takes shape through the non-violent Boycott-Divestment-Sanction movement, led by an alliance of Palestinians and a saving remnant of Israeli activists along with their global counterparts; and it means in practice that mighty Israel with its war machine cannot escape the reach of justice no matter how much impunity the superpower offers. Each crime turns to dust, each step down the road to perdition is shadowed by hope, including a painful yet hopeful struggle between old and young Jews. This will fatally weaken the Zionist apparatus in due time. If Israel undergoes a suicidal process, it will have gestated within.

Awaiting the transformation of Israel into a full-fledged apartheid state with the annexation of the West Bank, we might keep in mind the observation of Ehud Olmert, successor to Ariel Sharon two Prime Ministers ago. Once this happens, Olmert noted, the hope of a Palestinian state would vanish. Then, he continued, we will have arrived at a cascading South African situation, and once the reaction to this takes hold, “Israel will be no more.”

Now that will be something.

Joel Kovel is a radical scholar and author of many books, including Overcoming Zionism and The Enemy of Nature. This site covered Kovel’s religious journey last summer.

327 Responses

  1. James Canning
    January 20, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Truman’s foreign affairs and military advisers told him that recognising Israel when its borders were not defined, was a very bad idea.

    • American
      January 20, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Actually they told him that the very “creation of Israel” was a bad idea that would embroil America in eternal Israeli conflict in the future and ruin our relationships in the Arab world.
      And it did.

    • talknic
      January 20, 2013, 3:29 pm

      J Canning

      Of course. The US was a signatory to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States link to cfr.org which is in brief, a codification of Customary International Law

      • Kathleen
        January 20, 2013, 11:32 pm

        So Truman just ignored his foreign policy team because of funding to his campaign? So pathetic sold out US national security.

      • Citizen
        January 21, 2013, 4:44 am

        Truman ignored his entire State Department and Diplomatic Corps. The Zionists told him if he did not recognize Israel they would fund Dewey, and the mainstream media and NY vote would also be programmed to defeat him.

      • Kathleen
        January 21, 2013, 12:28 pm

        Zionist buying a US election. No influence there…right.

      • tombishop
        January 22, 2013, 8:33 pm

        This is the President that authorized the dropping of two nuclear bombs on hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in a sick political and military chess game. The militarism and jingoism we have lived with ever since was on full display at the Inauguration of Obama. If you want to see what our “freedom fighters” are really up to, look at this:
        link to democracynow.org

  2. James Canning
    January 20, 2013, 2:01 pm

    Is it fair to say that stupidity on the part of the US Congress helps to make Israel a much larger liability (for US interests) than otherwise would obtain?

    • Kathleen
      January 20, 2013, 11:33 pm

      They are not stupid they are complicit in undermining US National Security. Maybe more like traitors

      • seanmcbride
        January 21, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Would it be fair to say that Harry Truman was the first major American politician who betrayed the American interest on behalf of the Israeli interest? A precursor of contemporary Israel-First politicians like John McCain and Lindsey Graham? Easily bribed, pressured, cajoled and brainwashed to work against the best interests of his own country?

      • Hostage
        January 21, 2013, 9:20 pm

        Would it be fair to say that Harry Truman was the first major American politician who betrayed the American interest on behalf of the Israeli interest?

        “Israeli ” perhaps, but “the fix was in” when the “King-Crane report on the Near East” was suppressed instead of being published by the GPO, like any other report made by a Presidential Commission.

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 10:42 am

        @ Hostage

        I’d say, yes. I don’t think one can get around it. Plenty of evidence at the Truman Library, for starters.

        But here too:

        The preponderance of evidence strongly indicates that the change from passive to active support of the partition plan was ordered by Truman. According to the Jewish Agency’s David Horowitz, the instructions came directly from Truman. The State Department acted accordingly. Indirect pressure to support the Zionist cause was applied all along on any state dependent on the US economically. As late as one day before the vote, the outcome was very much in doubt. Three votes swung the day for the Zionists.

        By October of ’47, Truman had been told in no uncertain terms by his campaign managers that support for the Zionist cause was needed for his POTUS campaign. Yet Truman was still undecided at that time according to Sec of Defense Forrestal.
        The Zionist pressure intensified from Democrats inside and outside congress to approve the partition plan. Robert Wagner asked Truman to ignore the Arab pressure, to which Truman replied, “I know of no pressure except the pressure of the Jews, which has always been extensive and continuous.”

        If you go to the Truman Library you can read what Truman said about the Jews being no better than any others once they had power, were no longer the unterhunds, but the uberhunds; he got so pissed at the Zionists banging on his desk he refused them entry and burned a stack of Jewish letters urging him to recognize Israel ASAP, but he allowed them back in as a favor to his old business buddy, a common Jewish American who was privileged to just walk in on Truman any time. The Zionists directly told Truman if he did not recognize Israel they would back Dewey to the hold with tons of Jewish cash, Jewish media pundits, and the NY Jewish vote. The rest is history. Truman ignored his whole State Dept and Diplomatic Corps to affirm the Zionist plan and the implementation of it.
        See
        Truman, The Jewish Vote, and the Creation of Israel
        By John Snetsinger

        In part, text available here: link to books.google.com

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 11:00 am

        @ Hostage
        Yes, the King-Crane Commission’s Report, which did not end up favoring the Zionist Project, was suppressed before and at its release.. I wonder if Truman even knew about it. In fact, to this day, some folks are still trying to gather all the historical documents that comprise the input to the final report: link to oberlin.edu

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 11:05 am

        Hostage,

        “Israeli ” perhaps, but “the fix was in” when the “King-Crane report on the Near East” was suppressed instead of being published by the GPO, like any other report made by a Presidential Commission.

        Who was behind the suppression of the King-Crane report? What were their motives for suppressing the report?

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 11:22 am

        Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

        http://www.ccun.org
        http://www.aljazeerah.info
        Opinion Editorials, August 2009

        -Crane Commission Report:

        A Unique Official US Condemnation of Zionism

        By Tammy Obeidallah

        ccun.org, August 2009

        “Down with American Imperialists.” This sign, or one of its variations, can be seen at protests and demonstrations throughout the world. U.S. policies have given credence to it, fueling legitimate hatred in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and others victimized by America’s lust for oil and support of the Israeli military juggernaut. Yet less than 100 years ago, the United States was admired in the global arena as a bastion of justice and freedom. Furthermore, Zionism—the belief that all Jews are entitled to a “homeland” in Palestine—was condemned in an official document.

        The King-Crane Commission is relatively unknown, buried under a century of Zionist propaganda and attempts to discredit Dr. Henry Churchill King and Charles R. Crane as Nazi sympathizers. On the contrary, Dr. King was one of the best known educators of his time and served as the director of religious work for the YMCA in France. Mr. Crane was selected as part of a special diplomatic mission to Russia and was U.S. Ambassador to China from 1920-1921. In 1919, after World War I and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, President Woodrow Wilson appointed King and Crane to head the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey.

        King and Crane’s mission was to record the wishes of the people in the former Ottoman territories regarding their desired form of government and the degree to which outside intervention would be accepted. President Woodrow Wilson’s July 4, 1918 address provided the backdrop for their objective:

        “The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.”

        It was in this spirit that King and Crane had embarked on their 42-day tour of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Asia Minor. The commission conducted conferences throughout the region, gathering opinions on such topics as territorial limits, independence, form of government, choice of mandate and Zionism.

        The King and Crane Commission examined responses from religious, political and social/economic organizations and found overwhelming support among the Muslim population in Syria for an American mandate, as opposed to Britain or France, should it be determined that the fledgling government needed external assistance. The reasoning behind this preference was summarized in the final report as “…the nearly universal recognition of the fact that America sought no additional territory…” Article 4 of the General Syrian Congress, convened that same summer in Damascus, supported their finding:

        “…And desiring that our country should not fall a prey to colonization and believing that the American Nation is farthest from any thought of colonization and has no political ambition in our country, we will seek the technical and economic assistance from the United States of America…”

        While there was some disagreement in the territories as to the choice of mandate, there was nearly universal opposition to Zionism. The General Syrian Congress unanimously passed articles opposing partitioning Palestine from the rest of Syria. Leaders at that time grasped all too well the strategy of “divide and conquer”; they also understood the Zionist ambitions of setting aside Palestine as future Jewish state.

        Prior to their journey, King and Crane had been lobbied by pro-Zionist groups and were, by their own admission, “pre-disposed in its favor.” However, during conferences with local Jewish representatives, it became apparent that their goal was the “practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine by various forms of purchase.”

        Further investigation revealed something far more sinister than acquiring the land by mere “purchase.” Statements made by British officials increased the commissioners’ misgivings about the entire Zionist project. In their final recommendations, King and Crane wrote:

        “No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist program could be carried out except by force of arms. The officers generally thought that a force of not less than 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the program…Decisions requiring armies to carry out, are sometimes necessary. But they are surely not gratuitously to be taken in the interest of a serious injustice.”

        King and Crane also took into consideration the status of holy sites in Palestine: “The places which are most sacred to Christians—those having to do with Jesus—and which are also sacred to Moslems, are not only not sacred to Jews, but abhorrent to them.” The Commissioners went on to reason that it was neither logical nor prudent to place these most holy sites in the control of a Jewish authority.

        Finally, King and Crane concluded that the implementation of the Zionist plan would be contrary to the aforementioned principle outlined by President Wilson, whereby nations have a right to self-determination free from external pressure. Nine-tenths of the population surveyed, including Muslim and Christian groups, were against Zionism. Their final recommendation read “…This would have to mean that Jewish immigration should be definitely limited, and that the project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up.”

        It is nothing short of tragic that in the 90 years since the King-Crane Commission, subsequent American leaders have abandoned the principles which led President Wilson to embark on that diplomatic effort in the first place. The common sense and mutually beneficial policy of non-intervention was rejected in favor of big oil and strategic interests. The opportunity to forge an allegiance with emerging governments eager for freedom and self-determination was squandered in favor of the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing and genocide, from Dair Yassin to Lebanon to Gaza. And America will continue to pay the price.

        The entire King-Crane Commission Report can be read at:

        link to atour.com

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 11:35 am

        Here’s the Wilson Commissions’s King-Crane Report’s answering Zionists in 1919:

        ZIONISM
        E. We recommend, in the fifth place, serious modification of the extreme Zionist program for Palestine of unlimited immigration of Jews, looking finally to making Palestine distinctly a Jewish State.
        (1) The Commissioners began their study of Zionism with minds predisposed in its favor, but the actual facts in Palestine, coupled with the force of the general principles proclaimed by the Allies and accepted by the Syrians have driven them to the recommendation here made.
        (2) The commission was abundantly supplied with literature on the Zionist program by the Zionist Commission to Palestine; heard in conferences much concerning the Zionist colonies and their claims; and personally saw something of what had been accomplished. They found much to approve in the aspirations and plans of the Zionists, and had warm appreciation for the devotion of many of the colonists and for their success, by modern methods, in overcoming natural obstacles.
        (3) The Commission recognized also that definite encouragement had been given to the Zionists by the Allies in Mr. Balfour’s often quoted statement in its approval by other representatives of the Allies. If, however, the strict terms of the Balfour Statement are adhered to -favoring “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights existing in non-Jewish communities in Palestine”-it can hardly be doubted that the extreme Zionist Program must be greatly modified.
        For “a national home for the Jewish people” is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase.
        In his address of July 4, 1918, President Wilson laid down the following principle as one of the four great “ends for which the associated peoples of the world were fighting”;………….

        more at link: link to atour.com

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 11:41 am

        Documentation amply shows that the commission went over to the Middle East fully expecting to rubber-stamp the Zionist plan since they’d been lobbied by the Zionists incessantly before hand.
        Zionist leopard by its spots because they never change. If not, it will be the downfall of the USA and another world war at the very least. America must stop Zionism forever. Obama, with his expertise in community organizing, demonstrated anew in 2012-2013, is the man for the job–he could match the Zionist lobbying, which every major Western country has caved into, to date. I’d have more hope if Chuck Hagel was POTUS.

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 6:21 pm

        Citizen,

        Thanks for that important documentation on the King-Crane Commission Report. That should feature prominently in a Wikipedia-style reference guide to the history of Zionism.

      • Hostage
        January 23, 2013, 4:49 am

        Who was behind the suppression of the King-Crane report? What were their motives for suppressing the report?

        President Wilson and his US State Department. The Commission’s initial reports and cables to Wilson in July-August of 1919 were made several months before his stroke in October of 1919. Wilson was probably expecting a report in favor of the Zionist plans for Palestine. Balfour had coordinated the text of his declaration about the Jewish national home with the White House, not the State Department. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and future Justice Felix Frankfurter had lobbied Wilson on the subject and even suggested changes to the text of the draft declaration. Nonetheless, when the British government finally issued the Balfour Declaration, U.S. Secretary of State Lansing was blindsided:

        The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain [Telegram] Washington, December 15, 1917, 3 p. m. 6041.
        Investigate discreetly and report fully and promptly to Department reasons for Balfour’s recent statement relative Jewish state in Palestine. – Lansing

        –Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1917, Supplement 2, The World War, Part I: The continuation of the war–participation of the United States
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        During the Peace Conference, Lansing was neither a supporter of the Zionist plan for Palestine nor the President’s attempts to apply the principle of “self determination” there. He felt that self determination was a dangerous idea that would only raise hopes which could never be realized and cost thousands of lives. He noted in his book, “The peace negotiations: a personal narrative” (page 97-98) that self determination in Palestine could not be harmonized with Zionism, to which the President was practically committed. link to books.google.com

        Lansing resigned in 1920 and became associate editor of the American Journal of International Law. He wrote two books about the Peace Conference which explained the mandates were old fashioned imperialism:

        “The mandatory system, a product of the creative mind of General Smuts, was a novelty in international relations. … …If the advocates of the system intended to avoid through its operation the appearance of taking enemy territory as the spoils of war, it was a subterfuge which deceived no one. It seemed obvious from the very first that the Powers, which under the old practice would have obtained sovereignty over certain conquered territories, would not be denied mandates over those territories. The League of Nations might reserve in the mandate a right of supervision of administration and even of revocation of authority, but that right would be nominal and of little, if any, real value provided the mandatory was one of the Great Powers as it undoubtedly would be.

        Thus under the mandatory system Germany lost her territorial assets, which might have greatly reduced her financial debt to the Allies, while the latter obtained the German colonial possessions without the loss of any of their claims for indemnity.

        It should not be a matter of surprise, therefore, that the President found little opposition to the adoption of his theory, or, to be more accurate, of the Smuts theory, on the part of the European statesmen.

        Lansing, “The peace negotiations: a personal narrative”, Houghton Mifflin company, 1921, Page 155 et seq link to books.google.com

        The King-Crane Commission Archives at Oberlin College has a webpage which makes it clear that Wilson and the State Department suppressed the report. It explains that the findings of the Commission were so at odds with the actions being taken by the Allies that the Chairman sent urgent telegrams to President Wilson calling for modification of the extreme Zionists program for Palestine (See page 2 of the cable).
        link to dcollections.oberlin.edu

        The final report was submitted to the Paris Peace Conference and hand carried to Washington, but Wilson and State Department officials decided suppress it until after the post war treaties were concluded. The Oberlin page cites a “Letter from Undersecretary Henry Fletcher to Secretary of State Leland Harrison, April 7, 1922. Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State, 763.72119/7161, Microfilm Publication 367, Reel 439, National Archives and Records Administration” and explains that:
        :

        Though both Henry Churchill King and Charles Crane felt that the Commission’s report should be made public, they believed themselves unable to distribute the report or speak with the press without the explicit permission of either the Department of State or Woodrow Wilson himself. The State Department prevented even other U.S. government officials from seeing the report, stating that, “it would not be compatible with the public interest.”

        There was quite a bit of public outrage when the report was finally published after the US and the Allies had signed the Treaty of Sevres and partitioned Ottoman Asia against the wishes of the inhabitants of Palestine and Syria. They obviously had wanted independence or, in the worst case, an American mandate based upon a popularly elected constituent assembly that could adopt its own constitution and laws under the general principle of self determination. See for example: William T. Ellis, December 03, 1922, CRANE AND KING’S LONG-HID REPORT ON THE NEAR EAST; American Mandate Recommended in Document Sent to Wilson. PEOPLE CALLED FOR US: Disliked French, Distrusted British and Opposed the Zionist Plan. ALLIES AT CROSS PURPOSES Our Control Would Have Hid Its Seat in Constantinople, Dominating New Nations, New York Times. link to query.nytimes.com

      • Obsidian
        January 23, 2013, 6:26 am

        I wonder if Charles Crane’s virulently anti-Semitic had anything to do with the the Commission’s findings?

        Crane expressed his animosity towards Jews in meetings with his business and diplomatic contacts as well as in social situations. When Franklin Roosevelt appointed William E. Dodd American ambassador to Germany in 1933, Crane wrote Dodd a letter of congratulation that told him,

        “The Jews, after winning the war, galloping along at a swift pace, getting Russia, England and Palestine, being in the act of trying to seize Germany, too, and meeting their first real rebuff, have gone plumb crazy and are deluging the world—particularly easy America—with anti-German propaganda. I strongly advise you to resist every social invitation.”

        Crane so admired Adolph Hitler and had no objection to how the Nazis were treating Germany’s Jews. He told Dodd: “Let Hitler have his way.”

      • American
        January 23, 2013, 10:30 am

        ‘Would it be fair to say that Harry Truman was the first major American politician who betrayed the American interest on behalf of the Israeli interest? ”

        Not only fair but accurate. Imo he was the first real “traitor” in American leadership….went against the advice of everyone who warned him of the consquences to the US and the ME and the Palestines and did it for his own personal, pathetic career…can’t get any lower than that.

      • American
        January 23, 2013, 11:22 am

        @Citizen and Hostage

        Thanks for bringing this out……I had read years ago about the call for America to assume the mandate because the Arabs viewed the US as being fairer than the British or French…but had never seen the King-Crane report.

        Imagine how different things would be for the ME and for the US, and even the world, if Zionist had not been able to buy Truman.

        When Hostage described zionism as a ”criminal enterprise”— he was totally right—a large, bloody, costly and far reaching one…….and that’s no exaggeration.

        One thing that also always strikes me when looking back in the US news archives is how more honest and factual the press was then in reporting on the Israel-ME and zionist……at some point the Zios did take almost total control of the US press and media on Israel…to deny that is laughable…they did and that’s the major reason they have gotten away with what they have.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Obsidian,

        As it turned out, Charles Crane turned out to be a prophet and a visionary on the matter of America’s relations with Zionism. From Wikipedia:

        In respect to the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East, the report cautioned “Not only you as president but the American people as a whole should realize that if the American government decided to support the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, they are committing the American people to the use of force in that area, since only by force can a Jewish state in Palestine be established or maintained.”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        No wonder the American national security establishment strongly warned Truman not to back Zionism — look at where we are now on that issue. Israel’s endless wars with its neighbors could easily cause the economic collapse of its patron, the United States. Pro-Israel activists and militants were the ringleaders of the Iraq War and are now trying to push Americans into a war against Iran and Muslims worldwide.

        Do you harbor any prejudices toward non-Jews, Christians, WASPs, Europeans, Roman Catholics, Irish Catholics, Italian Catholics, Slavic Catholics, Lutherans, Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, Turks, Africans, Asians or any other ethnic, racial or religious groups? Do you think that members of all these groups should enjoy equal status and power with Jews in Israel?

        And how many times have you used the charge of antisemitism against political opponents in discussions about Israel over the last decade?

        Where are you coming from on Mideast politics: 1. ethnicity? 2. religious background? 3. nation of citizenship? 4. political affiliations?

      • Hostage
        January 23, 2013, 1:54 pm

        I wonder if Charles Crane’s virulently anti-Semitic had anything to do with the the Commission’s findings?

        “Virulently anti-Semitic” what? I suspect that you aren’t wondering about that at all, since the report didn’t deal with the subject of Hitler or Germany. You’re artlessly deploying the shopworn and asinine Zionist talking points on the subject though. The report of the American section of Inter-allied Commission was the work of dozens of individuals, not just Mr. Crane. The recommendations for a fair and just disposition of Ottoman Asia were perfectly reasonable. The description of the Zionist’s literature and conclusions about Zionist aims regarding the complete dispossession of the non-Jewish population were factual and almost prophetic. Why don’t you wonder about that fact for a while, since its more relevant?

        Israeli historian Avi Shlaim noted that Ahad Ha’am (Asher Zvi Ginsberg), visited Palestine in 1891 and published a series of articles that were sharply critical of the aggressive behavior and political ethnocentrism of the Zionist settlers. They believed, wrote Ahad Ha’am, that “the only language that the Arabs understand is that of force.” And they “behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency.” — See “It Can Be Done”, link to users.ox.ac.uk

        The Jewish leaders who were represented on the Zionist Commission for Palestine during the Paris Peace Conference included a few who were critical of the plans that were presented. Sylvain Levi of the Alliance Israélite Universelle raised a number of objections and then noted that:

        the masses of people who might wish to return to Palestine, would largely be drawn from those countries where they had been persecuted and ill-treated, and the mentality which such a regime was likely to engender could be easily realised. Those people would carry with them into Palestine highly explosive passions, conducive to very serious trouble.

        I wonder if the conclusions of Jewish eye witnesses, like Ahad Ha’am and Sylvain Levi, were the result of their virulent anti-Semitism too?

        Even staunch supporters of the Zionist movement, like Winston Churchill, were outspoken critics of the role played by “International Jews” in the Bolshevik Revolution. He, and most other politicians of the day, viewed the Jewish leadership as being partially responsible for their own dilemmas and thought it best to funnel the energies of the Jewish people into the Zionist cause and immigration to Palestine. See ZIONISM versus BOLSHEVISM. A STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE, By the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill link to en.wikisource.org

        When Franklin Roosevelt appointed William E. Dodd American ambassador to Germany in 1933, Crane wrote Dodd a letter of congratulation that told him . . . .

        Lots of people were content to let individual governments deal with “The Jewish Question” in the 1930s. That included quite a few members of the Zionist Executive who signed a business partnership agreement between the Third Reich and their Haavara Ltd., that also allowed Mr. Hitler to have his way with the Jews. Is that supposed to be evidence of virulent anti-Semitism too? The bottom line is that there’s no evidence that Crane was a Nazi or that he would have approved of Hitler’s actions after the Wannsee Conference adopted the “Final Solution.”

        The author went on to note that:

        Dodd partly embraced Crane’s notion that the Jews shared responsibility for their plight. He wrote to Crane later, after arriving in Berlin, that while he did not “ approve of the ruthlessness that is being applied to the Jews here,” he did think the Germans had a valid grievance. “When I have occasion to speak unofficially to eminent Germans, I have said very frankly that they had a very serious problem but that they did not seem to know how to solve it,” he wrote. “The Jews had held a great many more of the key positions in Germany than their numbers or their talents entitled them to.”

        — Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Random House , 2011, page 39

      • Obsidian
        January 24, 2013, 1:16 pm

        @Hostage

        “You’re artlessly deploying the shopworn and asinine Zionist talking points on the subject though”

        And Mondoweiss saw bias in the Palmer Commission’s inquiry in Mavi Marmara because former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was one of the three commissioners.

        “Israeli historian Avi Shlaim noted that Ahad Ha’am (Asher Zvi Ginsberg), visited Palestine in 1891″

        And if Ahad Ha’am had visited Palestine in 1886 he would have witnessed the Arabs violent attacks on the Jewish settlers in Pitka Tikva.

        What did Sylvain Levi say?
        “Those people (Jewish Zionists) would carry with them into Palestine highly explosive passions, conducive to very serious trouble”.

        Yeah. Bolshevism. Got it.

        “Even staunch supporters of the Zionist movement, like Winston Churchill, were outspoken critics of the role played by “International Jews”’

        Yeah. Bolshevism. Got it.

        BTW. How much genuine Arab hostility was there against Zionists? Weren’t rich, reactionary Arabs stirring up the Arab masses against Zionists using the Bolshevich bogeyman?

        In a Parliamentary Debate on Palestine, Colonel Josiah Wedgwood said:

        “No doubt since the Armistice, or perhaps before it, the military atmosphere there was anti-Jew and pro-Arab. They moved in the society of the effendis, the ex-Turkish officials owning large acres; the old lords of the country. They liked them. They got on with them. They listened to their views, and when the Noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman get up in this House and tell us what are the views of the Arabs about the Jews, how bitterly hostile they are, they are voicing the views of the Arab effendis, the old officials of the Turkish Government. These people hate the Jews, and for a perfectly good and sufficient reason. The Jews go in from Rumania, Russia, Poland, and go in not only as Jews but as outposts of Labour ideals, of Western ideas of civilisation, they plant themselves down in Palestine. The first thing the Jew does is to start a trade union. The next thing he does is to try and get the uneducated and unskilled Arabs to join him in raising wages. There is nothing on earth that any governing class hate more than the ignorant, stupid, slavish proletariat getting ideas as to what wages it ought to get. These wretched Jews, these Bolshevik Jews, start telling the Arabs they ought to get more wages when they are working on Government contracts. Hitherto the effendis have had the time of their lives, getting the Arabs to work for them and swindling them of their pay. This sort of thing has gone on in these Eastern countries for countless centuries. Now that the westernised Jews go into the country and teach that this is not what the working classes ought to put up with the effendis do not like it.”

        Churchill was a funny guy.
        He once wrote in an unpublished editorial that “They [Jews]have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer.”

        How perverse it is to blame persecuted people for their own persecution.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 8:59 pm

        Obsidian,

        Have you figured out yet that the more that pro-Israel activists lobby for Israel and their own narrow ethnic and religious nationalism, the more they turn the world off? That all that relentless agitation and demand for attention is self-defeating?

        Aggressive ethnic and religious nationalism is intensely alienating for most human beings outside the cult. That is why most Americans want nothing to do with any kind ethnic or religious nationalism for themselves — they get how modern and culturally diverse Western democratic polities work: Keep a lid on the ethnocentrism. Pay attention to individuals. Be a universalist. Focus on the ties that bind us across all ethnic and religious groups. Work for the overall public good.

        Do you ever stand back and look at the big picture issues?

      • Hostage
        January 25, 2013, 1:27 am

        “You’re artlessly deploying the shopworn and asinine Zionist talking points on the subject though”. . . And Mondoweiss saw bias in the Palmer Commission’s inquiry in Mavi Marmara because former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was one of the three commissioners.

        Now you’re artlessly trying to engage in pilpul. Unlike Uribe, Crane was not the subject of an on-going criminal investigation involving crimes against humanity. What are you going to do for your next trick? Teach your Grandmother how to suck eggs?

        The Mondoweiss article noted that shortly before his appointment to the Palmer Commission, a Magistrate on the Colombian Supreme Court had asked the State Prosecutor to open a criminal investigation on Uribe. In August of this year, Colombia’s chief prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary criminal investigation over allegations Uribe sponsored a killer far-right militia as a regional governor in the 1990s.
        link to huffingtonpost.com

        The Palmer Inquiry Commission was operating under a cloud in the first place, since it’s mandate didn’t allow it to collect its own evidence or hear testimony from witnesses. It also took instructions from the two member states concerned regarding the conclusions of the report in violation of the principles contained in Article 100 of the UN Charter.

        FYI, the US had engineered the Palmer report in order to make the formal reports from the international mandate holders, i.e. the UN OHCHR and UN HRC, “disappear”. Anne Bayefsky spilled the beans about the behind the barn deal that led to its creation because she thought the Obama administration hadn’t kept its end of the bargain:

        August 2, Ban launched his investigation, which got off the ground only because the U.S. pressed Israel to agree, and Israel took American assurances seriously. U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice spelled some of them out: “The United States expects that the Panel will…obviate the need for any overlapping international inquiries.” The overlapping inquiry of the Human Rights Council, she claimed, would go away.

        Haaretz added that the Israeli government believed it had received assurances that “the review panel will not have the authority to subpoena witnesses, including Israel Defense Forces soldiers and officers.”

        link to weeklystandard.com

        And if Ahad Ha’am had visited Palestine in 1886 he would have witnessed the Arabs violent attacks on the Jewish settlers in Pitka Tikva.

        I believe the legal inhabitants of Palestine still object to having small Lithuanian towns established on their territory. The only difference is that the rest of the world has finally adopted the same view.

        What did Sylvain Levi say? . . . Yeah. Bolshevism. Got it.

        He didn’t mention Bolshevism at all. But he might have had so-called Labor Socialists in mind. Ben Gurion had extorted money from wealthy Jews at gunpoint in his early days as a union organizer in Poland. We also know that Haganah was carrying-out political assassinations in cases like Jacob Israël de Haan even in the early days of its existence. On the other hand, the bomb throwing Revisionists were fascists, not socialists.

        In a Parliamentary Debate on Palestine, Colonel Josiah Wedgwood said:

        We know from declassified cabinet records that during the same so-called “debate” Churchill had deliberately lied about the promises that were given to the Sharif of Mecca regarding the future government of Palestine and the independence of the Arab people living there. The Labor Party Whip, Col. Wedgewood, was an ardent Zionist who was involved in the propaganda effort to shore-up support for increased Jewish immigration and the use of armed Jewish militias to maintain law and order after the initial Arab riots and uprisings. We know that both of those policies proved to be a disaster. Wedgewood employed the now-familiar stereotypes which portray Jews as the vanguard of Western civilization and capitalism, while denigrating the Arabs as bloodthirsty and backward heathens, e.g.:

        “The Levantine in a red fez. He stirs up the “black hundreds” to butcher the Jews, and on the first occasion of these riots the Government immediately stopped the influx of more Jews into Palestine.

        link to hansard.millbanksystems.com

        If the Colonel thought that it was only the Effendis who disliked the Jews or that they only disliked the Jewish socialists on the moshavim, then he obviously hadn’t been informed about the significance of the attack by the local Arabs from the village of Yehudiya against the agricultural colonists of Petach Tikvah in 1886;-)

        Churchill was a funny guy. How perverse it is to blame persecuted people for their own persecution.

        That sort of perversion is a Zionist art form. See for example Christopher Hitchens, and Edward W. Said (editors), “Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question”, Verso, 2001.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2013, 3:19 am

        Obsidian, Have you figured out yet ..

        sean!! don’t tell him that. it’s one of the best weapons we have going for us, and it’s free and in full supply.

      • Obsidian
        January 25, 2013, 5:49 am

        @Hostage

        “If the Colonel thought that it was only the Effendis who disliked the Jews…..he hadn’t been informed about…the significance of the attack by the local Arabs from the village of Yehudiya against the agricultural colonists of Petach Tikvah in 1886;-)”

        As far as the attacks at Petach Tikva/Yehudiya, a landed notable, Abu Rabah, opposed Jewish land ownership on personal and religious grounds, and stirred up the local fellahin against the settlers.

        Just like Col. Wedgwood said, ;-)

        See, The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948 , by Aryeh L. Avneri at pages 81-82.

        link to books.google.co.il

      • Obsidian
        January 26, 2013, 1:03 am

        “If the Colonel [Wedgwood] thought that it was only the Effendis who disliked the Jews… then he obviously hadn’t been informed about the significance of the attack by the local Arabs from…Yehudiya against the agricultural colonists of Petach Tikvah in 1886″

        Ibrahim Abu Rabah was a notable landowner who rejected Zionist land purchases on religious grounds and had a monetary stake in keeping Zionists off the lands. This ‘sheik’ had an interest in ‘sharpening the conflict’ between the fellahin and the Petah Tikvah/Yehudiya Zionists. See, Avneri, Aryeh. ‘The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948′, at pages 80-81.

        Sounds like old Colonel Wedgwood had it right after all. ;-)

      • Hostage
        January 26, 2013, 11:05 am

        Just like Col. Wedgwood said, ;-) See, The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land-Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948 , by Aryeh L. Avneri at pages 81-82

        So far as I know Wedgwood was a racist who never stepped foot in Palestine. His political biographer labeled him a Radical and noted that the authorities in Palestine considered prosecuting him for incitement after the Revisionists reprinted one of his screeds advocating armed Jewish rebellion. More to the point here is snippet that illustrates his bias against Palestinians:

        Wedgwood’s view on how to pacify the Arabs was very different. In his usual unsubtle way he saw appeasement of the dictators and of the Arabs as two sides of the same coin – both were signs of British weakness, both made victims of the Jews and both were counter-productive. As he advised the Foreign Office to stand up to Hitler, so he advised the Colonial Office to stand up to the Arabs, counselling that martial law, unlimited Jewish immigration and the exemplary destruction of the Arab town of Jaffa would be a more appropriate British policy. As he put it,

        The awful fate of Jaffa will be advertised throughout the East by thousands of refugees; the chain-gangs [of rebellious Arabs) will advertise it in Palestine. Respect for the angry Englishmen would restore our prestige; Bagdad, Alexandria, and Beyrout would fear a like fare; and Palestine would coo like a sucking dove. In a world which respects only Hitlers, we must show that we too can if necessary behave in the same way.

        Being charitable, the memo might have been written in a vein of black humour, although it is more likely that, frustrated by the government’s attitude to Germany and the Jews, Wedgwood had taken leave of his liberal senses, which was something he increasingly tended to do in the last decade of his life when considering the faults, real or imagined, of Arabs and Catholics.

        See Paul Mulvey, The Political Life of Josiah C. Wedgwood: Land, Liberty and Empire, 1872-1943, Boydell & Brewer, 2010, page 187
        link to books.google.com

        I don’t need to read any more books about Jewish Land settlement policy. Ben Gurion’s biographer noted (page 99) that the 1919 charter of his political party, Ahdut Ha’avodah, called for the establishment of a Jewish Socialist Republic in all of Palestine and demanded “the transfer of Palestine’s land, water, and natural resources to the people of Israel as their eternal possession.” He also repeatedly drove home the point that economic, social, and geographical partition (i.e. de facto apartheid and Bantustanization) were inherent in Ben Gurion’s fundamental conception of Zionism. See pages 10-12, 43-44, 66, and 179-184 of Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985. Other authors have devoted entire volumes to the subject of structural racial discrimination in the economy and society, e.g. Barbara Jean Smith, The Roots of Separatism in Palestine: British Economic Policy, 1920-1929, Syracuse University Press, 1993

        In any event, the Courts of Palestine, several Royal Commissions/Enquiries, and the League’s Permanent Mandates Commission had to repeatedly address the problem of dissident fellahin cultivators who had been made landless by Zionist purchases and the policy of Jewish labor. It doesn’t help that the foxes who were raiding the hen house always put one of their own in charge of discrediting Arab claims and blowing sunshine up everyone’s a** instead of simply setting up an Arab commission to perform a credible investigation.

        If you want to know why Palestinians disliked Zionists, just ask one, not some British Parliamentarian.

      • Obsidian
        January 30, 2013, 12:49 am

        @Hostage

        “Virulently anti-Semitic” what? … “You’re artlessly deploying the shopworn and asinine Zionist talking points on the subject though.”

        I label Charles Crane an anti-Semite and I’ve ‘artlessly deployed shopworn talking points’, but you can label Col. Wedgwood a ‘racist’.

        How the hell are you anyway?

        “So far as I know Wedgwood was a racist who never stepped foot in Palestine”

        Have you ever stepped foot in Palestine, or Israel?

      • Hostage
        January 30, 2013, 7:30 am

        I label Charles Crane an anti-Semite and I’ve ‘artlessly deployed shopworn talking points’, but you can label Col. Wedgwood a ‘racist’.

        No you implied that the report of the King-Crane Commission was anti-Semitic because Crane was involved, but can’t even cite a passage from the report which says anything remotely anti-Semitic. Then you employed some pilpul to try and reframe the conversation in order to artlessly change the subject.

        I pointed out that the report didn’t say anything about the Zionist program for Palestine that wasn’t echoed in the warnings supplied by contemporary Zionists, like Ahad Ha’am and Sylvain Levi, who also predicted trouble if the extreme Zionist program for Palestine was pursued to its natural conclusion. And whether you like admit it or not, people like Herzl and Churchill published widely read articles which said that Jewish capitalists and socialists were partly responsible for putting Jews into such a predicament in Europe.

        You claimed that Crane was “virulently” anti-Semitic, but didn’t provide any direct evidence. Plenty of people still claim that the Jews did little or nothing to win the 1st World War or to claim Palestine as some sort of reward for their efforts at the subsequent Peace Conference.

        It’s hard to see how claiming that 1) Jews are over-represented in positions of power; or 2) that the ultimate goal of Zionist settlement is to take Palestinian territory away from the Arab inhabitants can be construed as anti-Semitic. After all, the Jewish Daily Forward frequently publishes stories which discuss 1) the Zionist strategy of creating “facts on the ground” in Palestine so that the resulting settlements can be retained by Israel; and 2) that even when the numbers of Jewish representatives plunge, Jews are still statistically overrepresented to a considerable degree by the number of Jewish members of Congress, e.g. link to forward.com

        Have you ever stepped foot in Palestine, or Israel?

        No, but when I was in the military I visited places in the region that Zionists claim are part of Eretz Israel, like the Multinational Observer Force’s northern Border Guard Area of Operations in the Sinai and portions of occupied southern Lebanon. So I’ve been to places that were attacked by the IDF or settled by Israelis. I also visited Beirut in the aftermath of the Embassy bombing and went to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.

      • Hostage
        January 30, 2013, 7:55 am

        but you can label Col. Wedgwood a ‘racist’.

        That’s pretty easy. In the same speech to Parliament that you quoted he stereotyped Levantines “in a red fez” stirring up the “black hundreds” to butcher the Jews. I also quoted his recommendation verbatim that the Arab city of Jaffa be completely destroyed and the survivors forced into chain gangs so as to provide a spectacle that could be exploited for propaganda purposes.

        I’ve never seen any evidence that Crane said anything similar to that about Jews or Zionists. I’ve noted elsewhere that Zionists did more than acquiesce to Hitler’s plans for the Jews. They formed a business partnership with the Third Reich to carry them out. That doesn’t mean that either Crane or the Zionist Executive approved of Hitler’s actions after the Wannsee Conference adopted the “Final Solution.”

      • Obsidian
        January 31, 2013, 1:48 am

        ” In the same speech to Parliament that you quoted he stereotyped Levantines “in a red fez” stirring up the “black hundreds” to butcher the Jews. ”

        ‘black hundreds(sic)’ is not racist. Wedgwood was referring to the Black Hundreds, the xenophobic Russian pogromists of the early 20th century. It is a political reference, not a racist one. Similarly, the ‘red fez’ is a political symbol for the effendi class.

      • Obsidian
        January 31, 2013, 9:26 am

        ”You claimed that Crane was “virulently” anti-Semitic, but didn’t provide any direct evidence.”

        President Howard Taft appointed Crane minister to China, but rescinded the appointment because he was considered a “dilettante and a busybody” and also “because Taft himself was shocked by Crane’s open hatred of ‘Japs and Jews,’ leading the President to conclude that Crane’s would have been ‘a dangerous appointment.’” (Kaplan page 69).

        “The most pronounced prejudice which dominated his [Crane’s] thinking during [his] later years was his unbridled dislike of Jews,” writes his biographer. Crane “tried … to persuade the recently elected Franklin D. Roosevelt, to shun the counsels of Felix Frankfurter and to avoid appointing other Jews to government posts.” Crane “envisioned a world-wide attempt on the part of the Jews to stamp out all religious life and felt that only a coalition of Moslems and Roman Catholics would be strong enough to defeat such designs.” In 1933 Crane actually proposed to Haj Amin Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, that Mufti open talks with the Vatican to plan an anti-Jewish campaign.

        This led Crane to develop an intense admiration for Adolf Hitler, whose Germany Crane considered “the real political bulwark of Christian culture.” A private audience with the Führer, like the one many years before with the czar, proved easy for a man of Crane’s beliefs and financial means to arrange. Hitler and Crane found that they shared a hatred of the British and the French as well as of the Jews. Crane’s last letter about world affairs before he died was to Hitler, blaming the Jews for the problems in the Middle East. Crane, at this time, despite his hatred of the Bolsheviks, voiced support for Stalin’s anti-Jewish purges in Soviet Russia. (Kaplan, page 71)

        Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite.

      • Hostage
        February 1, 2013, 9:23 am

        Similarly, the ‘red fez’ is a political symbol for the effendi class.

        It doesn’t help your case when you repeat racial stereotypes.

      • Hostage
        February 1, 2013, 11:59 am

        Robert D. Kaplan, The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite.

        Let’s cut to the chase. Kaplan doesn’t cite any anti-Semitic passages from the report of the Inter-Allied Commission.

        The reason Crane was recalled was that he had published confidential information about US objections to a Treaty between Japan and China, link to query.nytimes.com

        The unconfirmed second hand stories gathered from sources like Dodd’s memoirs, or Philipson, My Life as an American Jew: An Autobiography are gossip at best and Zionist propaganda at worst. This stuff proves nothing about the report of the Allied Commission.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 1, 2013, 12:29 pm

        citing camera again obsidian? if first you don’t succeed try try again,

      • Obsidian
        February 1, 2013, 12:57 pm

        You are absolutely right. There is not a trace of written anti-Semitism in the entire King-Crane report.

      • Sibiriak
        February 1, 2013, 9:31 pm

        Hostage:

        Kaplan doesn’t cite any anti-Semitic passages from the report of the Inter-Allied Commission.

        I thought Obsidian’s point was that Crane’s alleged anti-Semitism may have biased the report, not that anyone would be stupid enough to include actual “anti-Semitic passages” in it.

      • Hostage
        February 2, 2013, 6:05 pm

        I thought Obsidian’s point was that Crane’s alleged anti-Semitism may have biased the report, not that anyone would be stupid enough to include actual “anti-Semitic passages” in it.

        In hindsight, the Report and the Confidential Appendix were completely balanced, fair, and detailed. The comments about the contents of Zionist literature and their extreme plans for Palestine were accurate and are beyond dispute at this point in history.

        If you or Obsidian have a point to make about the contents of the report, please don’t keep us all waiting on pins and needles.

      • Obsidian
        February 3, 2013, 6:15 am

        @Hostage

        “..completely balanced and fair..”

        Really?

        Captain William Yale, a technical advisor to the King-Crane Commission, filed a formal dissent, advocating a Jewish state in Palestine.
        Previous to his work with the King-Crane Commission, he’d been appointed as a Special Agent of the Department of State and dispatched to Cairo to report on political developments. Given a military commission, he was made a Military Observer to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Palestine from June 1918 to January 1919, before being recalled to Paris as an expert on Arab affairs.
        Captain Yale was far more experienced in the Middle East then either King or fortune heir, Crane.

        See Yale’s dissent at pages 36-38.
        link to dcollections.oberlin.edu

      • Obsidian
        February 3, 2013, 7:08 am

        @Hostage

        “If you or Obsidian have a point to make about the contents of the report, please don’t keep us all waiting on pins and needles”

        I claim bias in the Commission’s Report.

        Falsely claiming to have started out “with minds predisposed in [Zionism’s] favor,” the Commission had rendered its harsh verdict on Zionism BEFORE conducting any meaningful inquiry.
        To wit; On June 12, 1919, less than 48 hours into its investigation (and directly on the heels of its meeting with the anti-Zionist American Consul, Otis Glazebrook, in Jerusalem), the Commission had sent a telegram to the peacemakers in Paris stating that it would be impossible “to carry out the Zionist program except through the support of a large army.”
        See, Oberlin Archives, “Text of a telegram from the Commission concerning self-determination and the possibility of Zionism, 12 June 1919.”

        link to dcollections.oberlin.edu. Cited August 10, 2012; see also Howard, p. 92; Knee, p. 41

      • Obsidian
        February 3, 2013, 7:15 am

        And lest we forget the other technical advisor to the King Crane Commission, Dr. George R. Montgomery, a clergyman with long experience in the region, who similar to Captain Yale, offered President Wilson his pro-Zionist ‘minority report’.

        dcollections.oberlin.edu/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/kingcrane/id/2297/rv/compoundobject/cpd/2300

      • Obsidian
        February 3, 2013, 9:19 am

        @Hostage

        “..completely balanced and fair..”

        To whom?

        The Commission gathered petitions with the declared purpose of divining the aspirations of the Syrian population, but when the results were tallied it was found that Muslims—comprising more than 75% of the population—authored only about a third of the petitions, while the far less numerous Christian population accounted for more than half. During its 16-day tour of Palestine, where Muslims outnumbered Christians by eight to one, the Commission received “53 delegations of Christians … and only 18 delegations of Moslems.”, leading one scholar to Knee conclude that, “Far from being an ‘experiment in peacemaking,’ the King-Crane Report was a pro-Christian document.” See, Knee S (April 1977) The King-Crane Commission of 1919: The Articulation of Political Anti-Zionism. American Jewish Archives, p 49-52.

      • seanmcbride
        February 3, 2013, 11:00 am

        Obsidian,

        Why should Americans support any form of ethnic or religious nationalism?

        What forms of ethnic or religious nationalism do you support other than your own?

        Stand back and look at the big picture.

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2013, 11:59 am

        And lest we forget the other technical advisor to the King Crane Commission, Dr. George R. Montgomery, a clergyman with long experience in the region, who similar to Captain Yale, offered President Wilson his pro-Zionist ‘minority report’.

        LOL! If you’re looking for an example of unscientific and unhistorical racist theories in the working papers of the Commission, then Montgomery’s your man, but he’s a Zionist. I’ve asked if you can find anything anti-Semitic in the report?

        The “Report by George Montgomery on Zionism”, 1 July 1919″, is just a title Oberlin College supplied. It isn’t a “minority report”. It’s just a list of unanswered questions, which were mainly rhetorical, and unsolicited commentary about the reasons he felt the opinions of Americans, Brits, Romanians, and Russians should out-weigh the opinions of the indigenous population of Palestine and Syria. I’ll post the text in a separate comment so people here can see some of the outrageous things he said for themselves and answer some of his stupid questions. His assumptions turned out to be wrong in any event.

        The purpose of the Allied Commission was to determine the wishes of the indigenous population. The Allies had already heard the pitches of the Zionist Mission to the Paris Peace Conference in person. See for example the comments and proposals of the Zionist Mission in the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of Ten on 27th February 1919.
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The Inter-Allied Commission was dispatched as a result of the subsequent Council of Four Conference held on 20 March 1919. It was attended by Prime Ministers Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Orlando. President Wilson, Lord Balfour, and General Allenby. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        Wilson said the point of view of the United States of America was indifferent to the claims both of Great Britain and France over peoples unless those peoples wanted them. “One of the fundamental principles to which the United States of America adhered was the consent of the governed. This was in-grained in the United States of America thought. Hence, the only idea from the United States of America point of view was as to whether France would be agreeable to the Syrians. The same applied as to whether Great Britain would be agreeable to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia. It might not be his business, but if the question was made his business, owing to the fact that it was brought before the Conference, the only way to deal with it was to discover the desires of the population of these regions.”

        Prime Minister Clemenceau said that he adhered in principle to an inquiry, but it was necessary to have certain guarantees. “The inquiry must not confine itself to Syria. Mandates were required for Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, and other parts of the Turkish Empire as well as Syria.”

        No one asked Montgomery to write a report about conditions in Russia or Romania. Similarly his thoughts about the results of Zionist plans to break-up private land holdings were totally incorrect and violated the laws of nations recognized by the US Supreme Court in United States v Perchman (1832):

        The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2013, 1:54 pm

        ..completely balanced and fair..” To whom?

        The Commission gathered petitions with the declared purpose of divining the aspirations of the Syrian population, . . . Muslims—comprising more than 75% of the population—authored only about a third of the petitions, while the far less numerous Christian population accounted for more than half. , “Far from being an ‘experiment in peacemaking,’ the King-Crane Report was a pro-Christian document.

        From the outset this comment thread and the judgment of history itself have generally recorded that the only failure in this particular so-called “peacemaking experiment” was 1) listening to bunch of disingenuous Zionists; 2) ignoring the desires of both the indigenous Muslim and Christian communities; and 3) suppressing the report of the Commission until after the terms of the post-war treaties and mandates were concluded.

        You’ve bragged about the pro-Zionist “minority reports” of William Yale, but you just cited a (somewhat dated 1977) journal article which cites Yale’s memos from 1918 and says that the US State Department and White House received many such communiques suggesting that “in the Southern zone of Palestine, violent hatred of the Jews and Zionists and general dissatisfaction with British administration” would lead to civil war.

        Knee cited two of Yale’s other memos, Yale to the State Department, “Zionism and the Arab Movement,” Report No. 19, March 18, 1918 and “Arrival of the Zionist Commission,” Report No. 20, March 25, 1918 and concluded that

        Although Yale proved to be much more equitable in his judgment of the Zionists than King or Crane, it must be emphasized that he was consistently pro-Arab and, if not openly opposed to Zionism, always suspicious of its leaders

        link to americanjewisharchives.org

        There should have been ample evidence available to Knee and the American Jewish Archives in 1977, and even more today in the form of illegal annexations and hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers, to illustrate that the conclusions of King, Crane, and Young were accurate and that their distrust of the intentions of the Zionists leadership was not anti-Semitic.

        The Commission did much more than merely gather petitions. In any event the Christians and Muslims expressed the very same preferences for complete independence and opposition to the Zionist plans for immigration anyway.
        link to hri.org

        FYI, the King Crane Report itself contained an entire subsection that dealt with “The Value of the Petitions as an Estimate of Public Opinion in Syria”. It explained that any group could submit a petition and that the numbers received were not proportionate to size of the various communities concerned. All of those factors were taken into consideration.
        link to hri.org

        The Commission was NOT a peacemaking mission. It’s mandate was to determine the opinion of the peoples of the region. It did that by accepting petitions from every group which desired to submit one and meeting with the leaders of the communities and other groups that desired a hearing. The question isn’t whether it received more raw input from Christians than Muslims, but whether or not it accurately gauged the opinions of the peoples of the region. Knee doesn’t supply any evidence that the conclusions of the Commission were incorrect. In fact, they’ve held up much better over time than some of Stuart Knees own conclusions.

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2013, 2:21 pm

        @Obsidian here is the text of the so-called “minority report” Dr. George R. Montgomery. As the readers can see, it doesn’t do anything but ask a series questions that have nothing to do with gathering petitions or testimony from the inhabitants of the region or passing along their stated desires to the Peace Conference. He includes a lot of unhistorical and unscientific Jewish racial theory and wishful thinking.

        Worse still, he demonstrates that he is a racist with no regard for the principle of self-determination enunciated by Wilson. He proposes to interfere in regional politics to prevent a union between Egypt and Syria by deliberately putting a group of non-Arab people in the way to send a message to the Arabs:

        QUESTIONS ON ZIONISM.
        I.
        If it is time that President Wilson, Colonel House, and others high in the Peace Conference seem to he favorable toward Zionism, is it not worth while in presenting our views to them to try to appreciate their opinion?

        In presenting our views is there not a danger of over-estimating the advantage with respect to information which our experiences in Palestine and Syria have given us?

        II.
        Is Palestine the place for one to make up his mind whether to be pro or anti -Zionist? In Palestine, is not his opinion determined by the point of view and do not most of the points of view in an isolated Palestine give anti-Zionist vistas? Must not one get away in time and in place so that points of view are merged into a perspective?

        Is not Palestine one only of the countries involved in Zionism? Are there not also Roumania, Poland, Russia, Great Britain and America? Must not the Christians of Europe and America he considered as well as the Arabs and the Jews?

        Is it not possible that with a vision which includes such larger ranges many of the points of view, which before gave an anti-Zionist vista, are replaced by a panorama into which Zionism fits more easily? Will it not increase the force of our report if this panorama has been visualized?

        III.
        Is it more or less probable that those who have the final decision in hand are not tied to a doctrine of rights? Should not one who passes judgment realize the existence of an important group who believe that the greatest benefit of the greatest number should be the basis of politics rather than the matter of rights? Is it important to discuss historical possessions and ancient boundaries? Should not our report recognize the wide spread of the theory in high places, that the greatest benefit of the greatest number often determines the matter of rights?

        IV.
        Assuming that some of the leaders in the Paris Conference are favorably disposed toward Zionism, can we say that they have probably been impressed by what appears to many to be the miracle of the Jewish race through the centuries, and impressed by the theories which this remarkable history suggests? Can we say that there is quite possibly something of admiration for the achievements in the first of the Jewish race, and a desire to give them a chance?

        Can we say, moreover, that they have probably been impressed by the serious problem which anti-Semitism in its various forms presents? -that the Jews are still being persecuted in Poland, Russia, and Romania? May we not say perhaps that the cry of the Jews comes to them as a voice to which some sort of heed must be paid? May we not say that they doubt less regard Palestine not only as a refuge persecution but as a place for trying out an experiment in nationalism? Do they possibly think that although the Jews with all their remarkable qualities have been exclusive and separate this exclusiveness, it may be, has been a necessity for the preservation of their nationality; and that when the race is assured a national existence, it will not feel the necessity in Russia and elsewhere of keeping so exclusively to the customs of antiquity?

        V.
        Will any report which may be made of Arab opposition to Zionism be new to the Peace Conference? Was not opposition to be expected? Was not also to be expected the specially bitter opposition of the large land holding Arab families? When there are some individual holdings which cover entire districts, when several villages are often owned by one man, and when a part of the avowed program of Zionism is to break up these large private holdings, could not a vigorous organization of opposition before seen? Are not these large holdings in Palestine particularly harmful because we have to do here with a sort of serfdom under absentee ownership, and particularly dangerous in case a government is established which will not dare to grapple with the problem?

        Is it not worth noting that the purpose of the Zionists is not to dispossess the fellah but either to arrange that they shall be permitted to buy their farms from the large holders and then be in a position to sell these farms if they so wish, or else to arrange some other equitable system? Should it not be noted also that if the large holdings are broken up, this will not be done arbitrarily but under the supervision of the mandatory power?

        Is it not likely also that many in Paris believe that the country of Palestine and even the fellah will be more benefited under a Zionist than under an Arab regime? Do not the large private land owners know that they will probably be compelled to sell at reasonable figures land which they acquired at ridiculously low prices and which they are now holding at ridiculously high prices? Is it a fact that the purchase of land by the Zionists has increased greatly the value of property and in this sense the influx of immigrants eager to buy cannot be the calamity which has been pictured,
        especially in a country where there is room for the Arab along with the Jew? Is it fact that the situation of the Arab fellah has greatly improved by the coming of the Zionists whose wages have given him a certain independence
        in contrast with the serfdom under the land lords? Is it true that Palestine has greatly increased in population and wealth during the last forty years in contrast with other parts of Syria?

        VI.
        How much attention should be given to the opposition of some of the British military men? Is the attitude taken by the English Colonel at _______ typical when he said that if Jewish immigration was allowed, he would go over to the Arab side and teach them how to kill the Jews? Does not the military man naturally feel an antagonism toward a race which in recent years has been the reverse of warlike, and would not the British in particular be inclined to sympathize with the Arabs who have been fighting alongside of them?

        VII.
        Should the construction work that Zionism is likely to do for the land in the coming years be envisaged in the report? Would such a forecast involve the beneficent interest of wealthy men and the whole hearted interest of experts? In considering such interest of wealthy men and of experts should attention he paid to the words of a few zealots or to the official program where the benefit foreseen is not solely that of the Jews but of the Arab population as well? Is it fair to remember that the mandatory will be present to insure Justice? Is it fair, moreover, to mention as a possible advantage the placing of a block of non-Arabs between Syria and Egypt as an announcement to the Syrians that their national development must seek growth in other ways and not through union with the Arabs of Egypt? Is political union with Palestine essential to the economic development of Syria? Is Palestine essential to the growth of a Syrian national feeling? In considering the whole subject, need there be real fear for the preservation of the Holy Places, especially when the preservation can be provided for in the constitution and safeguarded by the Mandatory?

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2013, 3:03 pm

        I claim bias in the Commission’s Report. Falsely claiming to have started out “with minds predisposed in [Zionism’s] favor,” the Commission had rendered its harsh verdict on Zionism BEFORE conducting any meaningful inquiry.

        The only evidence you’ve supplied against Crane on the subject of the Jews comes from Dodd in the 1930s, long AFTER he was exposed to extremist Zionists and their propaganda literature in Palestine.

        Moreover, the so-called pro-Zionist “minority report” written by Montgomery readily admits that the information gained from his own experience in Palestine and Syria had to be ignored and the desires of Zionists in Romania, Poland, Russia, Great Britain and America considered in order to find any pro-Zionist perspective on the situation at all.

        On June 12, 1919, less than 48 hours into its investigation (and directly on the heels of its meeting with the anti-Zionist American Consul, Otis Glazebrook, in Jerusalem), the Commission had sent a telegram to the peacemakers in Paris stating that it would be impossible “to carry out the Zionist program except through the support of a large army.”

        LOL! No they were only reporting the preliminary results of discussions with officials in Jerusalem. FYI Vladimir Jabotinsky and all of the Jews suffered from the very same anti-Semitic “bias”:

        This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

        Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts.

        All of us, without exception, are constantly demanding that this power strictly fulfill its obligations. In this sense, there are no meaningful differences between our “militarists” and our “vegetarians.” One prefers an iron wall of Jewish bayonets, the other proposes an iron wall of British bayonets, the third proposes an agreement with Baghdad, and appears to be satisfied with Baghdad’s bayonets – a strange and somewhat risky taste’ but we all applaud, day and night, the iron wall. We would destroy our cause if we proclaimed the necessity of an agreement, and fill the minds of the Mandatory with the belief that we do not need an iron wall, but rather endless talks. Such a proclamation can only harm us. Therefore it is our sacred duty to expose such talk and prove that it is a snare and a delusion.

        Two brief remarks: In the first place, if anyone objects that this point of view is immoral, I answer: It is not true; either Zionism is moral and just or it is immoral and unjust. But that is a question that we should have settled before we became Zionists.

        — Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs), 1923
        link to danielpipes.org

      • Hostage
        February 3, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Really? Captain William Yale, a technical advisor to the King-Crane Commission, filed a formal dissent, advocating a Jewish state in Palestine.

        No he did not file “a dissent”. His technical report was addressed to the Commission and confirmed that the majority did not support the Zionist plans for their country.

        It may surprise you, but the Commission was sent to Palestine to determine the wishes of the people living there, not to cast dissenting votes based upon their own impressions or views on the subject. Here is the only part of Yale’s report that was relevant to the mission:

        The Desires of the People of Palestine.
        The Moslems.
        The Moslems of Palestine form approximately three-quarters of the entire population, and are for the greater part the tillers of the soil and the tenders of the f locks, fellaheens and bedouine. In the larger towns and villages there are large landed proprietors, office holders, religious dignitaries, small shop keepers and artisans. The vast majority are illiterate and in such centers as Hebron, Nabulus, and Jenin profoundly fanatical, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti -European. However, the fellaheen in the villages are for the most part docile and easily managed.

        The Moslems as a body demand complete independence, union
        with Syria under Emir Faisal, prevention of Jewish immigration. They protest against Palestine being made a national Home for the Jews, and want no European interference in their affairs.

        The Christians.
        The Christians form less than one-eighth of the population . . .

        All object to the establishment of a Jewish national home for the Jews in Palestine and the majority protest against Jewish immigration.

        The Jews
        The Jews of Palestine form about one-eighth of the population . . .

        Although there is much rivalry and bitterness among the Jews themselves, they are united in asking for the separation of Palestine from Syria, the mandate of Great Britain and the establishment of a National Home for the Jews in Palestine.

      • Obsidian
        February 3, 2013, 4:23 pm

        “Worse still, he demonstrates that he is a racist with no regard for the principle of self-determination enunciated by Wilson.”

        Did King and Crane show any more regard to Wilson’s principle of self determination? Sure, they adopted Wilson’s axiom of “free acceptance … by the people immediately concerned” when it came to the majority views in Palestine, but when the report turned its focus to Lebanon, “a predominantly Christian country,” that “naturally fears Moslem domination in a unified Syria,” the commissioners reach an inverse conclusion. Namely, that “Lebanon would be in a position to exert a stronger and more helpful influence if she were within the Syrian State, feeling its problems and needs … instead of outside it, absorbed simply in her own narrow concerns,” and that “there would be less danger of reactionary Moslem attitude, if Christians were present in the state in considerable numbers, rather than largely segregated outside [it].

        With an American Mandatory firmly in place, King, Crane and Consul Otis Glazebrook, could use Lebanese Christians to begin an American led
        “missionary enterprise”’ in the new ‘Greater Syria’.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 4:56 pm

        “How perverse it is to blame persecuted people for their own persecution.”

        Obsidian, my friend, if you don’t know the answer to that question, you damn well better find out. You want people yelling “Zionist pervert” at you in the street?

      • Obsidian
        February 4, 2013, 2:19 am

        @Hostage

        “The question isn’t whether it received more raw input from Christians than Muslims, but whether or not it accurately gauged the opinions of the peoples of the region.”

        And what about taking ignorant, bigoted ‘raw data’ and passing it off as fact?

        The most troubling claim in the entire King-Crane Report came from the Report’s recommendations. “With the best possible intentions, it may be doubted whether the Jews could possibly seem to either Christians or Moslems proper guardians of the holy places, or custodians of the Holy Land as a whole. The reason is this: the places which are most sacred to Christians—those having to do with Jesus—and which are also sacred to Moslems, are not only not sacred to Jews, but abhorrent to them.”

        The source of this unmerited assertion is not explicitly documented in the report, but there is at least some evidence that it originated with Christian and Muslim delegations in Palestine. In his “historical sketch” of August 1, 1919, for example, Albert Lybyer records that among the “principle considerations” urged by these groups was the claim that “as Christians and Moslems, they can honor all the Holy Places whereas the Jews can honor only their own …. ”See, Oberlin Archives, “Historical sketch by Albert H. Lybyer of the Commission’s visit to Syria, 1 August 1919,” p. 4.

        If these anti-Zionist delegations were indeed the source of the charge, their claim ought not to have been accepted at face value. That it was not only accepted, but also proffered as a viable argument in the Commission’s final report, suggests a degree of ignorance or bigotry sufficient to disqualify the Commission as an impartial body of inquiry.

      • Hostage
        February 13, 2013, 6:32 pm

        Sure, they adopted Wilson’s axiom of “free acceptance … by the people immediately concerned” when it came to the majority views in Palestine, but when the report turned its focus to Lebanon, “a predominantly Christian country,” that “naturally fears Moslem domination in a unified Syria,” the commissioners reach an inverse conclusion.

        They actually didn’t, since “Lebanon” was only an anachronistic reference to Mount Lebanon at that point in history, not “the constitution and practice of the new State [that] would be forming” as a result of “the oversight of the League of Nations, with its insistence upon religious liberty and the rights of minorities”.

        There were no official statistics at the time the King-Crane report was compiled and Christian-controlled governments prevented any authoritative census from being conducted. They relied on the suspect six to five ratio that resulted from a census conducted 10 years after the King-Crane report for many decades until the constitutional amendments of the Taif agreement were enacted which reduced the ratio to a fifty-fifty political parity. See for example Rania Maktabi, “The Lebanese Census Of 1932 Revisited. Who Are The Lebanese? British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Nov99, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p219, 23p link to web.macam.ac.il

        So the predominately Christian Mount Lebanon community had no outlet to the sea and wanted to be awarded the coastal territories of Tyre, Sidon, Beirut, and other regions of Syria which had a significant Muslim majority population.

      • Hostage
        February 13, 2013, 6:38 pm

        The source of this unmerited assertion is not explicitly documented in the report, but there is at least some evidence that it originated with Christian and Muslim delegations in Palestine.

        I’m Jewish, and can verify that Christian Holy Places were, and still are, regarded as abhorrent by many mainstream Jewish leaders and Israeli government officials. See for example link to halakhah.com

      • Hostage
        February 13, 2013, 8:03 pm

        And what about taking ignorant, bigoted ‘raw data’ and passing it off as fact?

        You’re arguing in circles. I’ve supplied you with links which prove beyond any doubt that 1) the Commission of Inquiry passed along the data on petitions with a written breakdown of the sources that were employed and an explanation of the results; and 2) that the Allies had no intention of consulting the wishes of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.

        Only the members of the Zionist lunatic fringe are still willing to argue in favor of the proposition that the majority of the inhabitants did not oppose foreign or Jewish immigration after the Ottoman regime of Capitulations was brought to an end by the League of Nations.

        As a matter of international law, the Arab majority didn’t need to petition for the right to operate their own independent government under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles or the Hague regulations of 1907. Balfour wrote a lengthy memorandum from the Paris Peace Conference which noted that fact and that Allied policy actually violated the “five documents, beginning with our promise to the ruler of the Hedjaz in 1915; going on to the Sykes-Picot Agreement with France of September 1916; followed by the Anglo-French declaration of November 1918 and concluding with the Covenant of the League of Nations of 1919; and the directions given to the Commission sent out to examine the Arab problem on the spot”:

        The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the ‘independent nation’ of Palestine than in that of the ‘independent nation’ of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are. The four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion that is right. What I have never been able to understand is how it can be harmonised with the declaration, the Covenant, or the instructions to the Commission of Enquiry.

        I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs; but they will never say they want it. Whatever be the future of Palestine it is not now an ‘independent nation,’ nor is it yet on the way to become one. Whatever deference should be paid to the views of those who live there, the Powers in their selection of a mandatory do not propose, as I understand the matter, to consult them. In short, so far as Palestine is concerned, the Powers have made no statement of fact which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate.

        –See Nº. 242. Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia’ [132187/2117/44A] link to scribd.com

  3. American
    January 20, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Fantastically written article. Agree with every word.

    And this:
    “The breakdown of Zionist legitimacy is widespread and I believe it to be irreversible so long as people speak out …..”

    Is also why we not very important people have to attack, attack, attack our politicians……with the right words that will nail them…betrayal, foreign loyalty, wh**es for special interest. This is our time for this, now with Hagel….the legitimacy of these accusations against out politicians can’t be denied in the face of their own public claims that a US Sec of Def qualification is that he must exhibit loyalty to the foreign country of Israel.

  4. ivri
    January 20, 2013, 3:05 pm

    It is the umpteenth time that people predicts the undoing of Israel. It is a favorite pastime for some, portrayed to be “just around the corner”. Remember the second Intifada when Israel was awash with suicide bombers – nobody could see a way out of that. Or, Abdul-Nasser amassing hundreds of thousands of soldiers near Israel (at that time, much smaller in both pop and area) declaring that “the end” is near. Fast forward to now: Iran made Israel`s “wiping out” a major goal. This is not over yet but compare how it looks now with only few years ago, when it projected confidence, ambitions of regional- hegemony and had strong Arab allies with it. Well.

    • Avi_G.
      January 20, 2013, 3:36 pm

      Abdul-Nasser amassing hundreds of thousands of soldiers near Israel (at that time, much smaller in both pop and area) declaring that “the end” is near.

      You utter lies as often as you breathe.

      There were no Egyptian troops amassed — anywhere, for that matter — in 1967. But thanks for the reminder that Historical Revisionism is the bread and butter of Zionism.

      Iran made Israel`s “wiping out” a major goal.

      You’re a few years late on your propaganda. The lie you just told has been disproved several times by various sources. Do an internet search.

      • Obsidian
        January 25, 2013, 6:56 am

        Iran’s major foreign policy concern is Israel.

        Iran: “If Assad is toppled, the line of resistance against Israel will be broken”

        From Iran’s ABNA:

        Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said the fall of al-Assad will damage the resistance front against Israel.

        “The main reason behind our focus on the Syrian issue is to prevent the fall of the resistance line against Israel. If Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, falls the resistance line against Israel will break up,” Velayati stated.

        [Velyati] described his fate as a “red line” for the Islamic Republic.

    • talknic
      January 20, 2013, 3:39 pm

      ivri “Remember the second Intifada when Israel was awash with suicide bombers”

      Nope. Tell us about this ‘awash’ ..

      “– nobody could see a way out of that”

      As now Israel could have ended its insane land grabbing!

      “Abdul-Nasser amassing hundreds of thousands of soldiers near Israel”

      Egypt is a sovereignty, it can place its troops anywhere it likes in Egypt, even with an aggressive neighbour like Israel.

      “..declaring that “the end” is near”

      Unsubstantiated nonsense is unsubstantiated nonsense, no matter how many times it is repeated..

      “Iran made Israel`s “wiping out” a major goal”

      The UNSC agrees with Iran on the matter. link to wp.me

    • Kathleen
      January 20, 2013, 6:38 pm

      Iranian leaders have never said “wiping out” Never. Professor Juan Cole and other experts dispelled that falsehood years ago. Another dangerous myth created and cultivated by the same warmongers who lied the US into Iraq. Was never said. Although continually repeated by Bill Kristol, Bolton, Frum, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Rep Gohmert, Berkley, Ros Lehtinen, Wasserman Schultz, Hell I think Friedmann repeated this hooey

    • peeesss
      January 20, 2013, 8:03 pm

      What nonsense. Begin himself admitted that there was no threat . That Israel was seeking a confrontation. Such ignorance. But my main thought is to thank Joel Kovel for his brilliant piece. His understanding of Zionism and the historic evil that its adherents have brought to the world , in particular, to the indigenous people of Palestine, cannot be improved upon. Kovel’s understanding that the US own policies emanating from its Imperial aspirations give Israel space to practice its own violence and illegal actions. Again a brilliant piece.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:09 pm

        “Kovel’s understanding that the US own policies emanating from its Imperial aspirations give Israel space to practice its own violence and illegal actions.”

        Well said, and I would think, a fair and accurate explication of Kovel’s article. And every empire needs a fall guy, and we specialise at that, when the time comes.

    • W.Jones
      January 21, 2013, 8:09 pm

      Ivri,

      I sympathize with your first sentence (“It is the umpteenth time…”)- I think there are alot of dire predictions for the State system there that seem exaggerated, considering how powerful and influential it is.

      However, I did mistakenly think your last sentence was actually talking about the Israeli State when I read it the first time. It’s funny: I thought you were talking about how Egypt’s and Turkey’s relations with the state may have changed in the last few years since its 2009 Cast Lead attack. Still, those states’ relations I take it may be closer than they appear.

  5. yonah fredman
    January 20, 2013, 3:07 pm

    Joel Kovel- Christians should avoid using the word Satanic in regards to Jews, no matter how bad the situation you are trying to describe. Try the word “dastardly” next time.

    • Ellen
      January 20, 2013, 4:23 pm

      Yonah, Kovel is not a Christian.

      But maybe he wanted to hit home the idea that to mix Judaism (and as it should be) with Zio logic is simply evil.

      For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. …

      When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

      Robert Kennedy
      link to commondreams.org

      This is the evil Of Zio logic Kovel writes about. And what it has done, for too many, for Judaism. And that is, indeed, Satanic.

      • yonah fredman
        January 20, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Ellen- Maybe you missed it. Kovel converted. He is a Christian.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2013, 4:43 pm

        yonah, do you have anything else to say or are you just going to continue to tag authors today and advise them about proper phraseology? i think he knows what he’s talking about and if he wants to write Satanic try absorbing that by taking off your one size-fits-all framing mechanism.

      • Ellen
        January 20, 2013, 4:50 pm

        yonah, I didn’t know that he coverted to anything.

        But do know that he wrote “Overcoming Zionism.” Whatever he might label himself now, he was born into a Jewish family and was raised as such.

        I am sure he is careful with his language and understands more than most that Zionism is much more evil than the cartoon word, “dastardly.”

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2013, 5:08 pm

        ellen, i highly recommend

        The conversion of Joel Kovel (Part 1)
        link to mondoweiss.net

        The conversion of Joel Kovel (Part 2)
        link to mondoweiss.net

        as i recall there was quite a lot of dissent in the comment sections by the
        pro i’s.

      • Ellen
        January 20, 2013, 5:12 pm

        Thanks Annie! I will take a look.

        Annie yonah is just showing us the primitive mentality and tools of framing and labeling others to justify attack and riducule.

        It is how Zionism, and other institutions often defend themselves. Teaching a man is lessor because of his beliefs. And here yonah pinned beliefs onto Kovel to ridicule and attack.

        And that is Satanic.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2013, 5:16 pm

        I am sure he is careful with his language and understands more than most that Zionism is much more evil than the cartoon word, “dastardly.”

        he’s completely clear on his context ellen. this requirement (or in some cases demand) everything be framed against offending jewish sensibilities (endless ‘tropes’) is crazy. for anyone too lazy to find the context:

        Israel is no normal state, but one governed by the forging of Zionist system-logic into a Satanic ideology: that an ethnocratic state can be democratic. It is amazing that this gross contradiction is celebrated instead of treated with the derision it deserves. I would venture to speculate that the error stems from a link between what Judaism is supposed to be, namely, the source of the notion of a just God; and what Democracy is supposed to bring, namely, the universalization of a just society. Neither of these propositions can live up to their potential in the present context, which is to say, become realized in practice. God is not a big daddy in the sky, but a process that lives in us as we seek the universal in the here and now. How can a just God be the deity of a very small subset of humanity who have taken power with an aggressive state, and continue, day by day, to seek the extermination of the people it has displaced? How can democracy be authentic so long as it remains under class domination? And how can America tell Israel, or anyone, this truth, when it is at least as great a practitioner of the crimes of empire and the awful injustice of its class society? Itself unwilling and unable to step off the wheel of empire and accumulation, the American state cannot counsel the Israeli state. Its best hope is to disengage from the special relationship with Israel and look inward to its own transgressions.

      • Citizen
        January 20, 2013, 5:31 pm

        @ Annie

        Thanks! Can’t believe I forgot the MW past discussion of Kovel. But I’m amazed by his article today on MW. It’s so damn clear! I went back to the old MW discussion–thanks for the hot links!.]

        Get this, from Kovel, from the first link you sent: “This is something very important. People say the Jewish organizations don’t represent the rank and file, but the fact is that these attitudes are all through Jewish life. They won’t boycott the settlements because my mother won’t boycott the settlements.
        That very deeply informs my critique. It’s just not the rich big Jews. My mother Rose Kovel was part of it.”

        This issue is often debated here on MW, even though it’s pretty obvious sans the silent support of the little jews, the Big Jews’ organizations and the Big Jew Money bags would not have so much power—no matter what Mooser says, implies, etc. I’m reminded of the old adage “the Silent Majority.” Well, Jews have their own Archie Bunkers, yes? And they don’t need a Pope to remain silent in the way they are silent.

        Who thinks Mooser bothered to contact his governmental reps and the WH to support Hagel? To diss those who diss Hagel? Not me. I’d be happy if he did, since Hagel may have faults, but they are not as bad as those who oppose him.

      • yonah fredman
        January 20, 2013, 5:42 pm

        Annie Robbins- If I recall among the people who thought that Kovel’s rationalization of his rejection of Judaism was superficial was Shmuel.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2013, 6:15 pm

        yonah, i thought we were discussing the forging of Zionist system-logic into a Satanic ideology

        what has that got to do with challenging the sincerity of his conversion? that is not something i am qualified to discuss.

      • yonah fredman
        January 20, 2013, 6:26 pm

        Annie- we were discussing that, but re: kovel’s conversion you wrote:
        “as i recall there was quite a lot of dissent in the comment sections by the
        pro i’s.”
        and that’s what I was commenting upon.

      • Ellen
        January 20, 2013, 6:44 pm

        yonah, you do not give up in trying to denigrate the guy. First the snide rebuke and scolding that a Christian would dare use the word Satanic “in regard to Jews.”

        But Kovel, a Jew who converted to Christianity, was writing of Zionism and not Jews.

        Attacking Kovel as a Christian did not stick, so now you are reminding us of someone’s else’s judgement about his conversion to Christianity. That someone thought it was superficial.

        When what you really want to do is ridicule and demean Kovel. To “teach that he is a lessor man” to quote from the beautiful Kennedy speech given shortly before his death.

        If you are doing this in the name and defence of Zionism, you are proving Kovel to be right.

      • Ellen
        January 20, 2013, 6:54 pm

        no yonah, you are being disengenuous. You singled out a specific and respected poster to remind Annie that he judged Kovel’s conversion to be superficial. To discredit Kovel. And that was your purpose.

        Not to discuss a side comment Annie made.

      • yonah fredman
        January 20, 2013, 7:05 pm

        Annie Robbins- If a person feels they can get closer to God or to their own true meaning by converting to Christianity, far be it from me to tell them not to. But I actually believe that the act of a Jew converting to Christianity carries with it a particular burden that requires an added dose of sensitivity to the religion they have left behind. (History is the source of this burden and the names Pablo Christiani and Johannes Pfeffercorn might guide one as to the reasons for the need for such sensitivity.) I haven’t read the New testament recently, but the term synagogue of Satan is found in that book, an unfortunate formulation. To use the term “Satanic” in reference to Zionism and Judaism after one has converted to Christianity from Judaism reveals a type of insensitivity. Kovel was not in the habit of sensitivity to Jews and Judaism before his conversion and it would take a lot more effort to develop sensitivity at this point of his life, than it did to convert.

      • American
        January 20, 2013, 9:24 pm

        how can America tell Israel, or anyone, this truth, when it is at least as great a practitioner of the crimes of empire and the awful injustice of its class society? Itself unwilling and unable to step off the wheel of empire and accumulation, the American state cannot counsel the Israeli state. Its best hope is to disengage from the special relationship with Israel and look inward to its own transgressions.””….

        Excellent advice. Big Satan needs to heal itself and in that process we might heal little Satan too.

      • Kathleen
        January 20, 2013, 11:36 pm

        Did Mordechai Vanunu convert also. What is happening with Mordechai? He is one of my heroes. One brave individual

      • W.Jones
        January 21, 2013, 12:52 am

        Dear Yonah,

        I am unsure that “the act of a Jew converting to Christianity” means the convert has “left behind” his religion. Judaism teaches that the people look forward to the Messiah. Can’t one belong to this religion without coming to a conclusion about Jesus? If so, can’t the person consider that Jesus was the person they were looking for? After all, a convert doesn’t leave behind the Old Testament, and the early Christians were themselves Jews whose descendants are the modern Palestinians, like Kovel writes.

        One could point out that Jewish Christians like Kovel often don’t follow the Old Testament rituals, but isn’t that true of many adherents of Judaism? And one could claim that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, but how many other non-Christian Messianic groups have there been that have not stopped being considered “Jewish” despite differences on the Messiah’s identity?

      • RoHa
        January 21, 2013, 1:19 am

        yonah,

        The term comes in Rev. 2:9.
        “I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

        So it is not a term applied to Jews, but to people who are pretending to be Jews.

        “To use the term “Satanic” in reference to Zionism and Judaism after one has converted to Christianity from Judaism reveals a type of insensitivity.”

        Kovel calls Zionism “Satanic”. Where does he call Judaism “Satanic”? Nowhere that I can see. Learn to read what is there, and stop being so sensitive to things that are not there.

      • Shmuel
        January 21, 2013, 3:07 am

        he judged Kovel’s conversion to be superficial

        Not his conversion, but his critique of Judaism.

        What has Satan got to do with Zionism? If God is “a process that lives in [all of] us”, presumably so is Satan. I understand what Yonah is saying, but I think he is focusing on the mote rather than the beam that Kovel points out: the grotesque manipulation of human ideals.

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2013, 4:38 am

        yonah, you are making crap up now as you desparately reach for the sympathy card to defend your argument. Your sensibilities are hurt? This is a pathetic display.

        That you believe Kovel should be more sensitive and dare not use the word Satanic when refering to the Zionist enterprise.

        The Zionist gig is no different from any other ethno nationalist movement built on romantic myths to justify terror and conquest. It like so many others is the “Mindless Menace.”

        Have you contacted your brethren at Lucifer Farms on your feelings about using Satan’s name for their Zionist enterprise?

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2013, 5:06 am

        Schmuel, Thanks for the correction — his critique of Judaism as superficial. Conversion…..or critique, that is irrelevant. Evoking another poster’s comments (yours) out of context to try and give weight to his attempt to discredit Kovel is cheap, dishonest. He dishonestly used you.

        Personaly I do not like the language “Satanic,” but for other reasons, which are not relevant to Kovel’s argument.

        Yonah takes something irrelevant and is working hard to try and discredit Kovel, and with that his argument on Zionism.

      • W.Jones
        January 21, 2013, 5:24 am

        “Have you contacted your brethren at Lucifer Farms on your feelings about using Satan’s name for their Zionist enterprise?”
        There is that name again. What am I not getting? Is it referring to a local aquifer as a “lucifer?” Are they saying they are “bringing light”? Is this just an oddity, like the town of “Hell” in Norway?

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2013, 5:58 am

        W.Jones, you are not getting Yonah’s dishonest diversion used to discredit a writer. Using an irrelevancy and playing every card he could, finaly begging for sympathy when nothing else could stand.

        You have only confirmed Yonah’s dishonest straw grabbing in his attempt to discredit.

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2013, 4:36 pm

        “Who thinks Mooser bothered to contact his governmental reps and the WH to support Hagel?”

        Okay, okay, I was late, I put it off, and subjected Hagel to that humiliating pre-nomination wait, and Oy Gevalt Obama is furious with me! “I won’t forget how you kept me waiting for your Sec Def pick, Mooser…” was the last thing he said. But darn it, a guy needs time to make up his mind!

      • Mooser
        January 21, 2013, 4:57 pm

        “Your sensibilities are hurt? This is a pathetic display.”

        Ellen, sorry, but you don’t know Yonah, if you thought this display was anything special. After all, he will have to top this, on the subject of “jew-baiting”:

        “Annie- A Jew using a Jew baiting term is a Jew using a Jew baiting term. If you really need me to come up with a new term for it, I will feed it into my language computer and add a few dashes of chicken shmaltz, kishkes and a pastrami sandwich on rye with a kosher pickle. Then I’ll say the Shma, dance a hora and cut off a foreskin and pray for guidance and see if it comes up with some fancy term for it. But I don’t think being Jewish is a license to use Jew baiting terminology. (Of course unlike James Bond and his license to kill, we do not need a license to use any term we wish, but I think you get my point.)”

        Can you imagine the maelstrom of mishegos he’s got going on?

      • sardelapasti
        January 21, 2013, 5:27 pm

        “To use the term “Satanic” in reference to Zionism and Judaism after one has converted to Christianity from Judaism reveals a type of insensitivity”

        So fluting what? Boo-hoo. Where is your “sensitivity” to your darlings’ theft and wholesale murder? Zionism is past Satanic, and anyone defending it deserves all the contumely we can command. By the way, there is no link between Zionism, a racist doctrine of racial supremacist conquest, and Judaism, as far as that applies to a religion, so your slimy, sidling introduction of the religious motif surely would deserve the characterization of “satanic” if it hadn’t been so ludicrously clumsy.

        Anyway, what is a nice Zionist boy (just to show my favorable prejudice for feminine intelligence) like you doing in this den of iniquity, if not being a good soldier for the Propaganda-Abteilung?

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2013, 6:11 pm

        Geesh! or holly moly! He said using the word pilpul is “Jew Baiting!” It’s a great word. How does he navigate through anything without fearing a Juophobe behind every expression, shadow and corner.

        What did his parents do to him?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2013, 6:33 pm

        lol, i know ellen, and then he compared it to ‘a pound of flesh’.

      • yonah fredman
        January 22, 2013, 1:43 pm

        Shmuel- Sorry for misrepresenting your judgment of Kovel.

        While I’m at it, let me offer a less immediate, less visceral reaction to Kovel.
        In his first appearance on this web site since the interview last spring revealing his conversion to Christianity (and his aversion to certain of Judaism’s so called “essences”), Joel Kovel displays characteristic

        ivory tower/autistic/tone deaf/ “I am a genius Freudian therefore I need not be told how to choose my words, any more than Picasso needs to be told how to choose his colors”
        by choosing to toss the word “Satanic” into the mix when descrying his opponents on the other side of the Zionist divide.

        He is a stupid idiot for doing so.

        Regarding: conversion to Christianity by a Jew.

        In i.j. singer’s “the brothers ashkenazi” a father treats his son as dead (sits shiva for him) when the son changes his garb from traditional to modern. Thus the “I would sit shiva for him” loses credence and is in fact essentially wrong.

        My cousin converted to Christianity. In the aftermath of a crisis, needing solace for his soul, surrounded by a Christian wife and two daughters who went to church, there was negligible chance to find group solace at a synagogue, so he took the cross.

        I accept that and I hate that. Torquemada tortured Jews and they still would not take the cross. Yet, on the other hand, God is not near, so find Him where you can.

        Kovel’s use of “Satanic” was ridiculous and he is an a**hole.

      • tree
        January 22, 2013, 2:50 pm

        While I’m at it, let me offer a less immediate, less visceral reaction to Kovel. In his first appearance on this web site since the interview last spring revealing his conversion to Christianity (and his aversion to certain of Judaism’s so called “essences”), Joel Kovel displays characteristic

        ivory tower/autistic/tone deaf/ “I am a genius Freudian therefore I need not be told how to choose my words, any more than Picasso needs to be told how to choose his colors”…

        Truthfully, yonah , this response sounds just as visceral as your first one. Its obvious that you have a very visceral dislike of Kovel, and it appears to have just as much to do with his personal “rejection” of Judaism in favor of joining a Christian sect as it does with his choice of one word. Your dislike was obvious in your comments on his earlier interview posted here.

        At least you are making some progress, I suppose. You start out implying someone who says something you don’t like is anti-semitic. You then get called on it and end up simply labeling that person as stupid and telling everyone here to “sue” you for having an opinion. If you want your opinions to be mindlessly accepted maybe you should go elsewhere. On the other hand, if you really want dialogue then this is a great place to get your ideas critiqued and challenged.

        Kovel’s use of “Satanic” was ridiculous and he is an a**hole.

        Pretty visceral comment there, yonah. Don’t hold back. Tell us what your really think.

        BTW I can find no such statement from Kovel in any way even similar to the one you put in quotes, implying that Kovel said those exact words. Do you have a source for that quote, or are you merely intuiting what Kovel thinks? If you don’t have a source, then putting words in people’s mouths is something you ought not to do because it is dishonest. You attempted to do the same thing with the quote from Azzam in another thread.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 22, 2013, 3:16 pm

        “My cousin converted to Christianity…. I accept that and I hate that. Torquemada tortured Jews and they still would not take the cross.”

        For the love of Pete, would you get over yourself. Your cousin’s conversion has nothing to do with Torquemada, nor does Kovel, nor does his use of the word “Satanic” mean anything.

        People aren’t answerable, in their lives, to what is bouncing around in your head.

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 3:46 pm

        yonah fredman,

        On Joel Kovel:

        He is a stupid idiot for doing so.

        he is an a**hole.

        Why do so many pro-Israel activists converse in this style? It’s the usually the first thing I notice about their communications — the crude verbal abuse and personal attacks. The language is an index into their ideology and mindset.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 22, 2013, 6:25 pm

        y’know yonah..come to think of it… you’re one of the longest running zionist commenters on the site. you might try listening to some of the criticism and upgrade your lens accordingly and your communication…since you represent the zios and all.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2013, 7:08 pm

        “you’re one of the longest running zionist commenters on the site.”

        As I remember Yonah has been (I’ll leave it up to him to confirm it, of course) a pretty consistent not-a-Zionist in his comments. I believe he adamantly asseverated that he “has not made up his mind about Zionism”.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 22, 2013, 7:34 pm

        oh yeah, i forgot.

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 7:37 pm

        Mooser,

        I prefer “assiduously asseverated” to “adamantly asseverated,” but that’s just me. That’s the way I roll.

      • yonah fredman
        January 22, 2013, 8:40 pm

        Annie- Next time a Jewish anti Zionist touts his conversion to Christianity on Mondoweiss by dissing Judaism and the next time he appears on the web site throws around the word Satanic, I will keep my powder dry and my opinion to myself.

      • LeaNder
        January 23, 2013, 12:44 am

        Yes, that’s just you. I prefer adamantly. More stony, less busy, in his not wanting to make up his mind.

        We had a news report over here, by the way, that an average Jew called Moose from Bremerton, WA has failed to contact Obama to express his support of Hagel. No images though only a short report. ;)

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 12:10 pm

        “I prefer “assiduously asseverated” to “adamantly asseverated,” but that’s just me. “

        Sean, let me make this perfectly clear. When I say “adamantly” I mean to say, well, that is, you know, “adamantly”! Just like it says. And later today, I might even look up what it means.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 12:15 pm

        “More stony, less busy, in his not wanting to make up his mind.”

        Yup, that’s me!

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Oy, Lea, please don’t bring it up. Michelle gave me such a drubbing last night, ‘he’s so busy, he’s got the whole world on his shoulders, and you keep him waiting? Who the hell do you think you are, Bernard Baruch?’…all that. Looked daggers at me all during the ceremony, too.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 1:05 pm

        Woody, I was going to suggest to Yonah that he could just about completely invalidate and obviate his cousin’s conversion, simply by treating him and thinking of him with the same love and respect he did when he was Jewish.
        Ha! That’ll show those Christians! But I’m not sure he would get it.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 1:19 pm

        “I would sit shiva for him”

        Say that three times, fast, without insulting Hindus.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:13 pm

        “is much more evil than the cartoon word, “dastardly.””

        And besides, isn’t Judaism matrilineal? So really, it’s hardly an issue, no matter what the marital complications.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 6:15 pm

        “This issue is often debated here on MW, even though it’s pretty obvious sans the silent support of the little jews, the Big Jews’ organizations and the Big Jew Money bags would not have so much power—no matter what Mooser says”

        I hadn’t noticed this. So let me ask you, Citizen, when did the “Big Jew Money bags” (expect to see yourself quoted on that) come and ask us about it. They sure seemed to have the explicit and administrative support of the ‘big’ Catholics.

        By the same token, then, may I conclude that the child-molesting priests had “the the silent support of the little” Catholics? In fact, using your logic, I could very easily conclude that pederasty is one of the core ideological drivers of Catholicism. If it wasn’t, why would the Church go to so much trouble to protect it’s practioners.

        Look, maybe you think, after a lifetime of being oppressed by Jews, you have found a subject with which you can tar all Jews, and give them all crap about? How in the hell does a man end up with that kind of need? I guess the only responsible course is to see what his closest point of contact with Jews is, and see if anything can be done about the situation which engenders all this resentment.

    • Kathleen
      January 20, 2013, 6:42 pm

      What is with illegal settlers calling a settlement “Lucifer’s Farm?”

      • W.Jones
        January 21, 2013, 12:54 am

        I want there to be a rational explanation for that.

      • Citizen
        January 21, 2013, 5:02 am

        @ W.Jones
        Here’s your rational explanation: link to acrosstheborderline.wordpress.com

      • W.Jones
        January 21, 2013, 5:20 am

        It doesn’t really give an explanation, although it does say:
        ((It was founded by Yaakov Talia, who, according to David Shulman’s book “Dark Hope”, is a South African who converted to Judaism at the end of apartheid, and moved to Israel. ))

      • Shmuel
        January 21, 2013, 6:14 am

        I want there to be a rational explanation for that [Lucifer Farms].

        It is an English transcription of a Hebrew distortion of the Arabic name for the hill, where the Jordanians had a police station (known in Hebrew as “Mishteret Lutzifer”).

    • Keith
      January 20, 2013, 6:44 pm

      YONAH FREDMAN- “Christians should avoid using the word Satanic in regards to Jews….”

      You don’t go far enough. Anyone who has any common sense should never label anyone as Satanic. To do so indicates a Manichean mindset which sees everything as good guys versus bad guys, and judges incidents based upon the label rather than judging individuals based upon their actions. Also, the Manichean mindset tends to view reality as a cosmic struggle between good and evil, and is the mindset cultivated by warfare states to demonize enemies of convenience. I, too, was disappointed that Kovel used the term, hardly an enlightened description, particularly in view of historical usage, and was surprised to see it defended. Perhaps the other commenters are seeing you as a “bad guy” Zionist, hence, wrong by definition.

      • tree
        January 21, 2013, 12:15 am

        Anyone who has any common sense should never label anyone as Satanic. To do so indicates a Manichean mindset which sees everything as good guys versus bad guys, and judges incidents based upon the label rather than judging individuals based upon their actions.

        Keith, Kovel did not call anyone Satanic, he called Zionism (and NOT Judaism) a “Satanic ideology”. And he did not indicate that he thought anyone else was the “good guy”, nor is he judging anyone based on a label, but is rather labeling an ideology based on its tenets and actions. Perhaps you are a victim of your own Manichean mindset that assumes that a “Satanic ideology” must have an opposite ideology, and are judging Kovel not on what he is doing and saying but on the “Manichean” label you’ve pressed on him.

        Perhaps the other commenters are seeing you as a “bad guy” Zionist, hence, wrong by definition.

        Or perhaps yonah is once again filling his self-appointed role as nit-picker-in-chief of the Mondo comment section. He hit his apogee awhile back with his comment that the “Today in Palestine” feature was being dishonest because it was reporting on something that happened the week before and not “today”. Now he’s offering advice on “sensitivity”. Frankly I think there is too much “sensitivity” and not enough truth regarding the subject. I commend Kovel for his bravery and his humanity. We are well past the stage that requires “sensitivity”in regards to Zionism.

      • Keith
        January 21, 2013, 3:20 pm

        TREE- “Keith, Kovel did not call anyone Satanic, he called Zionism (and NOT Judaism) a “Satanic ideology”.

        And how would the followers of this “Satanic ideology” be described? A “Satanic ideology” either comes directly from Satan, or is the metaphysical ideology of devil worshippers. This is the type of condemnation usually associated with pre-enlightenment Theologians, not the rational argument one would expect of Joel Kovel. In the past, I have recommended “Overcoming Zionism” by Kovel, and do so again. Funny, I don’t recall Kovel making reference in the book to any “Satanic ideology.” It would appear that Kovel has at least somewhat abandoned rational argument in favor of questionable phraseology. It is one of the reasons that I am so disappointed in this particular post. The phrase “Satanic ideology” caught my attention prior to reading the comments, although I probably wouldn’t have commented on it, or on the rest of the article, had it not been for the ritualistic condemnations of Yonah Fredman, rather than on an honest evaluation of the comment in question. Or, do you honestly believe that Zionism is the work of Satan?

      • tree
        January 21, 2013, 4:40 pm

        A “Satanic ideology” either comes directly from Satan, or is the metaphysical ideology of devil worshippers. This is the type of condemnation usually associated with pre-enlightenment Theologians, not the rational argument one would expect of Joel Kovel.

        Again, you seem to have a very limited view of what the word “Satanic” means. From Dictionary.com:

        “characteristic of or befitting Satan; extremely wicked; devillike; diabolical.”

        Synonyms: evil, devilish, hellish, fiendish, infernal

        From Meriam-Webster Online:

        “characterized by extreme cruelty or viciousness”

        Do you disagree that Zionist ideology as practiced in Israel fits these definitions? Do you acknowledge that “Satanic” is not the same as “devil worship” and has broader meanings? And if not, why not?

        It would appear that Kovel has at least somewhat abandoned rational argument in favor of questionable phraseology.

        What a Manichean viewpoint that is! One either has a rational argument or questionable phraseology. Having one apparently negates the other in your mind. Considering that you have such a limited view of the meaning of the term used, perhaps it is an arguable point., but Kovel is clearly NOT implying “devil worship” in his piece so the fault seem to lie more with your limited view than with Kovel’s rational argument.

        Personally, I would not have used the term but if I only accepted viewpoints that exactly match my own phraseology as “rational arguments” then I am needlessly and foolishly limiting my knowledge and learning to my own detriment.

        I probably wouldn’t have commented on it, or on the rest of the article, had it not been for the ritualistic condemnations of Yonah Fredman, rather than on an honest evaluation of the comment in question.

        I take it here, that you are referring to the “condemnations” of other posters, not the comments of Yonah’s, which to my mind oftentimes are purely ritualistic themselves, having little substance other than to limit the debate or nit-pick what is acceptable dialogue.

        So, if my understanding of your viewpoint on this is correct, what pray tell was “ritualistic” about Ellen’s and Annie’s responses.? I see nothing that fits that description in either of their posts. Please point it out to me.

      • Ellen
        January 21, 2013, 6:34 pm

        Keith, Yonah was not honest. He was picking at irrelevant straws for another agenda. And then dug himself in.

        It is not about the use of the word Satanic — which Kovel also used in his earlier writings here.

        You ask, How would the followers of a Satanic ideology be desribed?

        Brainwashed, misguided, unfortunate.

        Rational people can seperate the humanity of an individual from their ideologies. I grew up surrounded by ideologies that are abhorent, but these neighbors and family members were not “Satanic.” Yet their beliefs and prejudices were evil, but we can, afterall, overcome evil.

        Upon the death of MLK, my white educated neighbors thought that was a good thing he was gone. They were not Satanic orbevil people, but totally misguided, brainwashed by culture to support a evil.

        I was a kid, but sad to hear the cheers, but did not know why I was sad.

        Your comment and comments from yonah reminded me of that sadness then when we heard the news and so many cheered.

      • tree
        January 21, 2013, 6:56 pm

        Apparently my earlier response to Keith is still awaiting “moderation”, but in the meantime I fully support what Ellen has said above and think describing her comments to yonah as “ritual condemnation” is totally wrong and unfair.

      • libra
        January 22, 2013, 9:54 am

        Keith:Anyone who has any common sense should never label anyone as Satanic.

        You little devil Keith, spoiling all our fun again with your etymological exactitude. But on the other hand, perhaps Kovel is cleverly sowing the seeds of doubt amongst the Christian Zionist multitude. In fact, doesn’t the very word “Zionism” add up to 666?

        Besides which, are you sure you’re the right person to lecture us on Manichean mindsets? You’ve always struck me as someone whose “Evil Empire” outlook was the epitome of dualism. Though come to think of it, I’m not sure there are any good guys left in your dark universe. Except Professor Chomsky, of course.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2013, 7:17 pm

        I don’t know Libra, and of course I would defer to Hostage on this, but I’m not sure if charges of Satanism will carry much weight at the ICC.

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 7:21 pm

        libra,

        Besides which, are you sure you’re the right person to lecture us on Manichean mindsets? You’ve always struck me as someone whose “Evil Empire” outlook was the epitome of dualism. Though come to think of it, I’m not sure there are any good guys left in your dark universe. Except Professor Chomsky, of course.

        Ouch — that hit the target. Hard leftists are Manichaeans par excellence — the righteous vs. the evil empire. And their ideological constructs tend to be even more simplistic than dualistic religious schemas. Don’t dare to challenge St. Chomsky.

    • Hostage
      January 21, 2013, 6:39 am

      Christians should avoid using the word Satanic in regards to Jews

      I can’t imagine why Christians should avoid calling Zionist ideology Satanic. In the Hebrew literature the satan is just an “accuser” or “adversary”. That’s a very apt characterization of the role Zionists have chosen for their political movement and its organs from the moment of their inception.

      In fact, Judeophobia and Der Judenstaat are full of unflattering racist accusations about Gentiles. You only need to look at the statements made against Hegal to see the Zionist modus operandi in action.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 21, 2013, 9:58 am

      “Christians should avoid using the word Satanic in regards to Jews, no matter how bad the situation you are trying to describe.”

      I think someone telling someone else what words they “should” avoid (read: “can’t use”) is much more offensive than using the word “satanic” when discussing zionism (or even Jews or Judaism, for that matter); so much so that it is not even close. Yonah, perhaps you would develop some sensitivity to those of us who have no tolerance for those who with to play Censor over another’s speech, even repugnant speech.

    • Donald
      January 21, 2013, 11:41 am

      “Christians should avoid using the word Satanic in regards to Jews, ”

      Agreed. though I don’t think we’re going to see pogroms resulting as the result of a hyperbolic use of language. I’d prefer nobody use “Satanic” about anyone, except maybe Satan.

      The best reason for not using it is this subthread–the article was good, but a bunch of us are commenting on this one word instead.

    • seanmcbride
      January 21, 2013, 12:41 pm

      Yonah Fredman,

      Looking at the big picture:

      Zionists and pro-Israel activists are now facing the prospect of dealing with all the people around the world, including many influential Americans and Europeans, whom they have physically attacked, verbally abused, exploited, strong-armed, threatened, smeared etc. over the last few decades.

      Have you really thought about this?

      How do you see this situation playing out?

      This is not a rhetorical question: what scenarios do you envision?

    • Mooser
      January 21, 2013, 4:16 pm

      “Ellen- Maybe you missed it. Kovel converted. He is a Christian.”

      Maybe you missed it, Yonah, but in a civilised society, people declare their own religion, and are not subjected to others declaring what they are, and what that implies.
      Of course, I don’t know what kind of society you are used to, so I won’t judge.

      • yonah fredman
        January 21, 2013, 10:15 pm

        Listen. I read the columns here and I react. Sometimes I react to words rather than to the column. That’s the way I am. Sue me.

        Satanic is a stupid word used by an old man. When I write “Arabs” instead of “Palestinians”, people lose their wits around here. When I hear “Satanic” uttered by stupid spoiled old man genius Kovel, I voice my objections. Sue me.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 22, 2013, 12:29 am

        yonah, i don’t like the word statanic and don’t use it. i don’t even use the word ‘evil'(not that i recall, or rarely) however, objecting to it on the grounds of jewishness is silly. i don’t use it because is conjures unhuman devil stuff..not my bag. but that applies across the board. and what it reference wasn’t applicable to your initial criticism.

      • Ellen
        January 22, 2013, 4:41 am

        Yonah, at least you’ve come clean and stated your honest thoughts and expressed it with entlightened name calling. stupid spoiled old man… instead of haranging on his Christianity or use of a word.

        As for your hyper sensitivity to single words causing you to react to a word instead of a column, or the whole of a message: you might want to come to terms with this condition you have shared.

        It prevents understanding, leads to a cripling of the mind. Not only things like the angry bitterness to an elderly man who used a word you are sensitive to, but as we see here, causes you to see things and meanings that are simply not there.

        This can lead to a mutiple of psychiatric conditions. I am not ridiculing, but serious. You might want to seek professional help.

      • Ellen
        January 22, 2013, 8:57 am

        is my comment to yonah moderated out? Here goes another try: at least yonah finaly came out with what he wanted to say all along complete with name calling — “stupid spoiled old man …” Thanks for the honesty of your thoughts. Why didn’t you just say that from the start?

        Meanwhile you might want to explore the hypersensitivity to single words you come across, which cause reaction to the words only, and prevent absorbing a complete text and context.

      • Mooser
        January 22, 2013, 7:24 pm

        Ellen, you are seeing what I call “the Ziocaine Syndrome”. And yes, as you can see, it leaves you in a hell of a shape.

    • W.Jones
      January 21, 2013, 8:18 pm

      Yonah,

      In your sentence (“Christians should avoid…”), are you referring to Christians making blanket statements about all Jews? I would certainly agree with you then that they shouldn’t do this.

      Or are you just referring to statements about certain sub-groups as Satanic? Obviously, there can be Satanic ideologies related to any ethnicity or cultural background. The Nazi leadership was occultist and Germano-centric. It makes sense to me to describe that as possibly Satanic. And there were political spin-offs of Nazism that are still around today. ;)

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 22, 2013, 5:46 am

        I am an atheist and i would like to make a comment on the issue that has arisen in the comment section with regards to the use by Christians of the term “Satanic” in order to qualify Zionism, because i have been thinking a little about a similar issue lately – not deeply though.

        The issue that triggered it in my mind was whether it would be decent for a German to accuse the state of Israel (or Israelis) with some or other analogy with the Nazis (for what it’s worth, i am a Zionist, i.e. i want a state for Israel, with whatever borders).

        Naturally, i hypothesized for the sake of argument that Israel has indeed engaged in actions that could be aptly paralleled with those of the Nazis (i don’t believe that this is the case, but this is irrelevant to my argument). Still, my moral intuition was that a German making this parallel would be acting inappropriately.

        In searching for reasons to justify my intuition, i came upon the general idea that a member of a group (Germans, in my example) that has unjustly persecuted another group (Jews, in my example) either ferociously or for an extended time period, should abstain from criticism that a) evokes to the mind of the persecuted the painful memories of her persecution, and criticism that in addition b) evokes the thought that it was the ancestors of the ones who are right now accusing her who were responsible for her persecution.

        This, of course, does not morally prohibit other groups (say, the English), which have not persecuted the group in question, from making the accusation: an Englishwoman making the accusation that Israelis are like Nazis would indeed evoke painful memories to the Israelis, but would not arouse to the Israeli minds the thought “look who’s talking about Nazis, the ones whose ancestor’s were the Nazis”, so the righteous indignation that would accompany the accusation by a German does not arise in the case of an English accusation.

        And obviously, according to my intuition, the Germans are allowed to criticize Israelis with other analogies, different from the Nazi one.

        Taking my intuition as an axiom, and supplementing it with another one, namely that the accusation (phrased in terms of a painful analogy or of an equally evocative of past pain phrase that connects to the common history of the accuser and the accused) must correspond to reality, we have a test for deciding whether any such accusation against a group by a member of another group is morally permissible. The two questions that need be answered, if the accusation is to be deemed permissible, are:

        1) Does the one who accuses belong to a group that has persecuted the group accused? If yes, she should not do it.

        2) Is the accusation true? If no, she should not do it.

        But if the answers are no and yes to (1) and (2) respectively, then she has the right to make the accusation, we have two conditions that, if fulfilled, license the criticism.

        My construct is probably full of holes, as i said i have not thought deeply about it, so feel free to point possible counterexamples. Meanwhile, let’s apply it to the case of Christians criticizing (a subgroup of) Jews, i.e. the Israeli Zionists.

        I take for granted that the term “Satanic” uttered by a Christian has the potential of arousing painful memories of past Christian persecution, and also of arousing righteous indignation in many Israeli Jews. If it does not have that potential, then there is no problem in the first place, no painful memories will be evoked, so the Christian is allowed to proceed with the accusation. But if it has the potential, and if it is not true that Israeli Zionists can be aptly called “Satanic”, then the Christian should abstain.

        I will take Hostage’s argument as a true assumption:

        I can’t imagine why Christians should avoid calling Zionist ideology Satanic. In the Hebrew literature the satan is just an “accuser” or “adversary”. That’s a very apt characterization of the role Zionists have chosen for their political movement and its organs from the moment of their inception.

        This means that, ex hypothesi, we have satisfied our condition (2): the accusation is true, Zionists (or Zionist ideology, i use the terms interchangeably) can be truthfully accused as “Satanic”.

        But condition (1) cannot be fulfilled: Christians have persecuted Jews for an extended period of time, so they should abstain from criticizing a subgroup of Jews with the particular term – but they are morally free to use the phrase “murderous Zionists”.

        I would also like to add that, since the specific person (Joel Kovel) in the discussion in the comments section is a former Jew, it can be argued (and i think that another commentator has said something to that effect) that he will not be perceived as the “prototype” of a Christian (whatever that might mean) and, hence, he might proceed with the “Satanic” accusation: he is not bound to provoke the righteous indignation element that my construct deems morally relevant in banning the criticism.

        A final point i would like to make is that, in making criticisms, perceptions do matter. If i give a banana to any person so as to insult her intelligence by implying that she has the IQ of a monkey, no one will deem me a racist. If i do the same to a black person, then i will certainly be interpreted as a racist by many in the black community (and understandably so), and this is something that should be taken into consideration in my moral calculations concerning the appropriateness of the contemplated criticism.

        Long Live Israel

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 8:30 am

        Absurd. Because your ancestors persecuted somebody else’s ancestors, you cannot criticize the activity of the spawn of the latter ancestors? If the principled institutionalized shoe fits, no matter who is wearing it….
        Empathy would appear to mandate such criticism, rather than the reverse.

        Imagine if Palestinians one day have power over the Jewish Israelis, and the former are doing to the Jews what the Jews once did to them. The Jew is obligated not to protest by historic analogy to what the Jews did when they were in the power seat?

      • American
        January 22, 2013, 9:43 am

        @dionissis mitropoulos

        If it walks, talks and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.
        I would call the Israeli zionist ‘midget nazis’ at this point, not yet risen to full blown Nazi status.
        Meanwhile, who better than Germans to call out a Nazi mentality when they see it?

        As for Christians calling zionist/Zionism satanic ….you can’t control what people think or say. Every time you make some “perceptions” and sensitives claim/ excuse the hypocrisy just turns people off more.
        Christians persecuting Jews 3000 years ago is ancient history……..TODAY is today, and you are the ones doing the persecuting TODAY.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 22, 2013, 9:52 am

        Citizen

        Absurd. Because your ancestors persecuted somebody else’s ancestors, you cannot criticize the activity of the spawn of the latter ancestors?

        They are morally allowed to criticize, according to my (tentative) formulation, but not with the analogy or the phrase that, i quote me, “connects to the common history of the accuser and the accused”.

        That’s why i said that Germans are allowed to criticize Israelis, but not with Nazi analogies.

        But you are right, the way i phrased condition (1) is obscuring. I should have made it more explicit that i refer to the sort of accusations that touch upon the shared past, instead of just having said ” we have a test for deciding whether any such accusation against a group by a member of another group is morally permissible”[i added the emphasis with retrospect].

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 22, 2013, 11:03 am

        @dionissis mitropoulos

        That’s a load of crap. If it is okay for an Englishman to say a thing, but wrong for a German to say the same thing, for no other reason than their ethnicity, that’s bigotry akin to racism. Nothing more.

        If someone has hurt feeling about the word “satanic” being used, they need to grow a thicker skin. Period.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 22, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Woody Tanaka

        That’s a load of crap. If it is okay for an Englishman to say a thing, but wrong for a German to say the same thing, for no other reason than their ethnicity, that’s bigotry akin to racism. Nothing more.

        I agree that if i had been predicating the moral prohibition on the ethnicity of the accuser, then i would have been expounding an outright racist position.

        But i only base it on the past behavior of the accuser, who happens to be the Germans in the case of Holocaust analogies. If it happened that the perpetrators of the past atrocities were the English, i would apply the moral prohibition to the English. I am not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity.

        A rule implied by my formulation is: “She who has inflicted the pain must not criticize with words that revive this pain and that generate indignation”.

        A racist rule would have been “The Germans must not criticize…”.

        But my construct implies only the first rule, not the racist second one.

        If someone has hurt feeling about the word “satanic” being used, they need to grow a thicker skin. Period.

        That’s a good point. You are in effect saying that not all hurt feelings should be respected, but only those that are justified and/or cannot be overcome. I haven’t thought about that yet.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 22, 2013, 7:05 pm

        American

        If it walks, talks and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.
        I would call the Israeli zionist ‘midget nazis’ at this point, not yet risen to full blown Nazi status.

        That was my starting point. I took for granted (though i disagree) that the Nazi analogy is true, and pursued the inquiry as to whether it would be appropriate for Germans to apply it to Zionists.

        As for Christians calling zionist/Zionism satanic ….you can’t control what people think or say.

        Yes, we cannot control most of what people think. But we (humans in general) can control at least a small part of people’s thinking, i.e. the part related to their/our ethical discourse. And we certainly think that we have the right to do so when we engage in persuasion by ethical argument – i consider this very natural, not morally wrong.

        Every time you make some “perceptions” and sensitives claim/ excuse the hypocrisy just turns people off more.

        I think i fully grasp what you mean, and my perception is that you are partially right: people there are who are turned off by what they perceive as mawkishness.

        But even if all people where turned off, still this wouldn’t mean that it would be decent for a German to use the Nazi analogy against Zionists. It would only mean that the smart policy for Zionists would be to refrain from complaining (so as not to turn people off).

        Christians persecuting Jews 3000 years ago is ancient history

        This is a good point, and it sounds very similar to the point Woody Tanaka made (below) about the accused growing a thicker skin: are the Zionists/Jews really justified to feel hurt in perpetuity? More generally, are all hurt feelings to be respected, or only the justified ones? As i said to Woody Tanaka, i need to think that further.

        TODAY is today, and you are the ones doing the persecuting TODAY.

        I am a supporter of Israel, not an Israeli!

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 22, 2013, 8:10 pm

        @ Woody Tanaka
        @ American

        You have each made a point that sounded similar to me. Woody talked about Zionists needing to grow a thicker skin and American about Christian persecution of Jews being a thing of the very distant past. I interpreted both claims as saying that Zionists are oversensitive. Let’s suppose it’s true. What would be the implications for my formulation? Is it still immoral for Germans to make the Nazi analogy and for Christians to use the term “Satanic” when referring to Zionists, if it so happens that Zionists can overcome their propensity to feel hurt and indignant when accused by those groups through the respective accusations?

        My quick answer is that gratuitous feelings should not be indulged. This means that my formulation should be reformulated to cover for this contingency. Where i talk about hurt feelings and indignation, they should be taken as justified hurt feelings and justified indignation (so, here we have found and fixed the first hole in my original formulation).

        Therefore, if it is true that Zionists are oversensitive, then Germans do have the right to apply the German analogy to Zionists, and Christians the right to use the term “Satanic”.

        But it is my gut feeling that no Jew can be considered oversensitive just because she is affected by such accusations. So i consider all Jews (and, therefore, Zionists too) to be justified if they feel hurt and indignant. And if this is true, then the corresponding moral prohibitions to Germans and Christians are still applicable.

        I will try to think of a way to back up my gut feeling that Zionists/Jews are not oversensitive if they feel hurt and indignant at those accusations by the specific accusers.

        PS. As i write, my first response to American is still in moderation.

      • Sibiriak
        January 22, 2013, 11:40 pm

        dionissis mitropoulos :

        a member of a group (Germans, in my example) that has unjustly persecuted another group

        The concept of “a group” in your premise is fallacious, imo.

        The “group” that persecuted Jews (as a group) was NOT /Germans and their descendants/.

        1)Only a specific subset of Germans (however large)–a group of specific individuals– persecuted Jews.

        2) The descendants of those Germans did not inherit any guilt for the actions of their ancestors. There is no genetic transmission of sins or sinfulness.

        To suggest otherwise is to embrace an irrational form of tribal/ethnic essentialism.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 6:33 am

        Sibiriak

        “The “group” that persecuted Jews (as a group) was NOT /Germans and their descendants/. 1)Only a specific subset of Germans (however large)–a group of specific individuals– persecuted Jews”.

        When it comes to history, i am an ignorant. But i have heard it said a trillion times that a lot of Germans embraced Nazism and i have taken it since as a corroborated fact. The way this fact relates to my argument will become obvious in the next sentences.

        “2) The descendants of those Germans did not inherit any guilt for the actions of their ancestors. There is no genetic transmission of sins or sinfulness.”

        We are agreed that contemporary Germans don’t have to feel guilty for what their ancestors did. Succinctly as you put it, sin is not hereditary. Each is to be morally evaluated through her actions, not through others’ actions which she had no control over.

        But i have based my moral prohibition of Germans using the Nazi analogy against Zionists on a different postulate, not on the idea that contemporary Germans are or should feel guilty.

        I have concentrated on the effect that the application of the Nazi analogy is bound to have on the psychology of many contemporary Jews (and Zionists). It is the psychological pain and the feeling of indignation that is aroused in some Jewish brains that is morally relevant according to my formulation.

        Modern Germans would be acting inappropriately if they used the analogy, because of what they would be doing to the present-day Jewish brains, not because of what their grand parents did to WW2 live Jewish bodies. They are morally culpable because of their hypothetical application of the analogy and the psychological harm it brings about, not because of the guilt of the Nazis.

        I have mentioned emotional pain and indignation (in tandem) as the harm done by a German’s use of the analogy. The pain would have been generated even if the analogy had been put forth by a member of any other group (an English, for example). But the Jewish indignation would be stemming from the ethnic identity of the accuser.

        This indignation must ultimately be related to a deep (conscious or unconscious) fear of the form “Now what, would this German be willing to do it again today, if she had the chance? Why is she talking so harshly”?

        To the extent that Jews have been the most consistently persecuted group in history, i find the indignation fully justified. And this is also another way of saying that a Jew, who experiences this indignation at the use of the analogy by a German, cannot be considered oversensitive.

        And i think that this answers the issue that both Woody Tanaka and American have raised concerning oversensitivity: Jews are not touchy, if it happens that they become indignant because of justified deep-seated fears.

        “To suggest otherwise is to embrace an irrational form of tribal/ethnic essentialism.”

        I don’t believe in nations. I would love a nation-less Earth where we would all be speaking a common language (i vote for English) and be free to interact with people that we choose, not with people that artificial borders have imposed on us.

        But i make an exception for Israel and support her state, because, if there is a group that currently needs a state, these are the Jews. I am convinced that there is, even today, too much potential for Jew-scapegoating in the global mindset.

        As for tribalism, i am afraid of everything pre-modern and i feel that way because of the vulgarity that emanates from it – ultimately because of a fear that i might have to experience physical aggression. Year by year the planet becomes more gentle (which is not say that it is at acceptable levels) and i hope things stay on this course.

      • Citizen
        January 23, 2013, 7:18 am

        So, what do you support about Israel’s conduct? Or do you just support the name Israel?

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 23, 2013, 10:35 am

        “I agree that if i had been predicating the moral prohibition on the ethnicity of the accuser, then i would have been expounding an outright racist position.”

        You are espousing an outright racist position, because you do not base the proffered prohibition on whether the individual did anything, but, rather, on what ethnicity he or she is, which you cross-reference to a list of historical grievences to determine if that wholly innocent person, who has committed no wrong, must be limited in his or her speech based on the actions of other people who happen to share his or her ethnicity. That’s racist.

        “But i only base it on the past behavior of the accuser, who happens to be the Germans in the case of Holocaust analogies. ”

        No, you base it on the behavior of people who share the ethnicity of the accuser.

        “If it happened that the perpetrators of the past atrocities were the English, i would apply the moral prohibition to the English. I am not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity.”

        It’s racist because you are imposing a duty on someone because other people who share their ethnicity did something. That’s racist.

        “A rule implied by my formulation is: ‘She who has inflicted the pain must not criticize with words that revive this pain and that generate indignation’.”

        No, it’s not. Your formulation is: “She who has something in common with someone who inflicted the pain must not criticize with words that revive this pain and that generate indignation.” You are treating people differently based on the accident of their birth.

        No one born after 1945, categorically, can bear any guilt whatsoever for anything that happened during the Nazi era. Yet you would impose a burden upon the most progressive person born in Bonn of German parents, in 1967, based solely on the accident of his ancestry, for crimes committed by other people, in a different State, which occurred decades before his birth. Yet you would not place the same burden upon the same speech by a similarly progressive person, who was born in London of English parents on the same exact day. That is bigotry, pure and simple.

        “That’s a good point. You are in effect saying that not all hurt feelings should be respected, but only those that are justified and/or cannot be overcome. I haven’t thought about that yet.”

        No, I am saying that having hurt feelings is a condition of being human and is no basis to impose, demand or expect a limitation on public free expression. The offended is free to reject the speech, but is not free to stop the speech.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 23, 2013, 10:44 am

        ” I interpreted both claims as saying that Zionists are oversensitive.”

        Everyone is oversensitive. Not just zionists.

        “Is it still immoral for Germans to make the Nazi analogy and for Christians to use the term ‘Satanic’ when referring to Zionists, if it so happens that Zionists can overcome their propensity to feel hurt and indignant when accused by those groups through the respective accusations?”

        It’s not immoral even if they can’t. That’s the point of the thickening of the skin. If the Christian believes that zionism is Satanic, the fact that someone might be offended is no basis to expect or ask the Christian to choose other words.

        (I wonder if you actually put your formulation into effect when it comes to Palestinians. They are absolutely justified in taking offense at any assertion of Jewish “right” to the land of Palestine. [At least, if not more so, than your proffered statement that all Jews would be per se justified in objecting to the use of the word “satanic.”] Do you now call on all zionists to refrain from any such assertion? Would you object to the phrase “promised land?”)

        “Where i talk about hurt feelings and indignation, they should be taken as justified hurt feelings and justified indignation (so, here we have found and fixed the first hole in my original formulation).”

        And here’s where your position is stupid: no one’s hurt feelings, justified or not, is a basis to impose or expect a limitation on another’s public speech.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 23, 2013, 11:24 am

        “And here’s where your position is stupid: no one’s hurt feelings, justified or not, is a basis to impose or expect a limitation on another’s public speech.”

        I appologize. I should have said, “misguided,” not “stupid.” I regret using that word.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 11:41 am

        Woody Tanaka

        You are espousing an outright racist position, because you do not base the proffered prohibition on whether the individual did anything, but, rather, on what ethnicity he or she is, which you cross-reference to a list of historical grievences to determine if that wholly innocent person, who has committed no wrong, must be limited in his or her speech based on the actions of other people who happen to share his or her ethnicity. That’s racist.

        My formulation is not racist. It is not racist for the reason that it does not single out Germans because they are Germans, but because they happen to be the ones who are in a unique position to unduly harm psychologically the accused group through the use of the Nazi analogy. My formulation does not need the word “German” in it, it applies to any group that is morally evaluating whether it is ok to proceed with the criticism.

        The German must not be limited in her speech legally. I think she must limit herself, if she wants to be decent. And if she does not limit herself, i think i have the moral right to judge her as having acted immorally – if my formulation expresses a moral truth.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 11:57 am

        @Woody Tanaka

        No, you base it [the moral prohibition on the accuser] on the behavior of people who share the ethnicity of the accuser.

        I base the prohibition on the fact that, if the German uses the Nazi analogy, she will bring about too much psychological harm on the accused. It just so happens that this unique position of the German to harm is based on the behavior of her ancestors. But that was not the stated objective of my formulation. The objective was to morally prohibit unnecessary harm. And that is why there need be no mention of Germans in the formulation, but only mention of accusations that bring about too much harm through the connected history of the groups. Ethnicity is incidental to the whole thing.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 12:23 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        It’s racist because you are imposing a duty on someone because other people who share their ethnicity did something. That’s racist.

        I am imposing a moral duty on someone to refrain from a specific criticism (the Nazi analogy) because, if she delivers the criticism, there will be too much harm on the accused. My concern is with the results of her action, not with the past behavior of her compatriots. The past behavior of her compatriots just happens to be the reason that the results of her action will be bad, but it could have been the case that her criticism would be equally devastating for other reasons, irrelevant to that past behavior of her compatriots. In that case, i would still apply my moral prohibition to her. And my formulation would relieve her of the duty to not criticize, if it so happened that the criticism would not be devastating. Ethnicity plays no important role in the reasons i cited.

        Calling a black man “boy” might be perceived as racist. If i were to ask you to abstain from using the term against a black person, based on the psychological harm that you would inflict, would you have said that i am unfairly imposing a duty on you because other people that share your white race did something in the past? And that what i am asking is racist?

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 12:34 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “No, it’s not. Your formulation is: “She who has something in common with someone who inflicted the pain must not criticize with words that revive this pain and that generate indignation.” You are treating people differently based on the accident of their birth.

        We may treat people differently in a way that might seem that we are based on the accident of their birth, when in reality we are not concerned with their place of birth, but with other (moral) issues.

        Suppose a country today asks Germany for WW2 financial reparations. Suppose also that the demands are morally fair. If the recipient country gets what it wants, it has imposed a burden on the German taxpayer, just because the taxpayer happened to have been born in Germany. Would you call the recipient country’s demands unfairly discriminatory?

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 12:57 pm

        @ Woody Tanaka

        “No one born after 1945, categorically, can bear any guilt whatsoever for anything that happened during the Nazi era. Yet you would impose a burden upon the most progressive person born in Bonn of German parents, in 1967, based solely on the accident of his ancestry, for crimes committed by other people, in a different State, which occurred decades before his birth. Yet you would not place the same burden upon the same speech by a similarly progressive person, who was born in London of English parents on the same exact day. That is bigotry, pure and simple.”

        Your paragraph above is a more elaborate statement of the your thesis that treating people differently based on, i use your expression, “on the accident of their birth” is wrong.

        I don’t think i am unfairly discriminating against the Germans, and i will illustrate my point with one more thought experiment:

        Suppose all Israeli Zionists wake up tomorrow and, for inexplicable reasons, are under the delusion that it was the English that perpetrated the Holocaust, and not the Germans.

        If that were the case, my formulation would dictate that the English refrain from using the Nazi analogy, not the Germans.

        So i am not unfairly discriminating against the Germans based on the accident of their birthplace. I am morally concerned with the effect of the accusation, be it that the accuser is English or German or whatever. I am not based on birthplace, i am based on (allegedly unnecessary) harm done.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 1:37 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “No, I am saying that having hurt feelings is a condition of being human and is no basis to impose, demand or expect a limitation on public free expression. The offended is free to reject the speech, but is not free to stop the speech.”

        We agree that the offended is free to reject the speech of the Nazi analogy. And i agree that the offended is not (morally) free to stop the hurtful speech legally (if that is what you meant).

        But i think that the offended has the moral right to criticize as an immoral action the Nazi analogy speech. I think the offended has the moral right to demand and expect that the offender stop on his own will, but she does not have the moral right to ask for a law that imposes on hypothetical offenders a limitation on the free expression of the Nazi analogy.

        If the offender does not stop, then the offended may rightly view him as indecent because he unnecessarily hurt her too much (there are always combinations of words that might bring about the desired substance of the criticism, without overdoing it in terms of psychological harm).

        Hurt feelings are a condition of being human, as you said. But hurting feelings gratuitously and unnecessarily need not be such a condition.

      • American
        January 23, 2013, 1:42 pm

        “But it is my gut feeling that no Jew can be considered oversensitive just because she is affected by such accusations. So i consider all Jews (and, therefore, Zionists too) to be justified if they feel hurt and indignant. And if this is true, then the corresponding moral prohibitions to Germans and Christians are still applicable.”………dionisis μητρόπουλος>>>>

        It doesn’t matter whether Jews are over sensitive or not or if they are justified in being sensitive.
        Even if they are ‘justified’ only two things matter in this question:
        Whether or not zionist or Jews can ‘dictate’ what others think and how they describe their views –because of their personal sensitivities.
        And the fact that ‘real life harm’ to other Non Jewish lives involved in Zionism ‘should trump’ any personal sensitives.

        If preventing ‘real’ damage to others –by describing zionism as what it is and Israel by what it does, even in the harshest terms— means ignoring Jewish sensitives or even making them uncomfortable then that is a natural esculation, from frustration, not necessarily by design, due to the fact that ‘sensitive’ criticism so far has produced no change…people do lose patience sooner or later.

        The cold hard truth for both Zionist, Israel and Jews is this—when zionist and Israel cease doing what they’re doing and make what they’ve done right, and the Jews who have supported them cease supporting it—-then no one will have their sensitivities offended.

        What you are demonstrating in your argument, whether you realize it or not, is the absolute colossal fatal narcissism inherent in Zionism of believing that you are the most important people in the universe—-to the absurd extent that your ‘feelings’ trump all, that the truth can’t be told, similaries to other racist mentalities can’t be pointed out, without softening or modifying it to accommodate your sensitivities…or better yet censored, not said at all.

        The consider my ‘feelings’ appeal in the face of zionism/Israel does not inspire me to be more sensitive.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 1:57 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “Everyone is oversensitive. Not just zionists”.

        Sorry, you lost me on that.

        If taken at face value, your statement cannot be true because we do distinguish among sensitive and oversensitive people. If everyone were oversensitive, we wouldn’t have been distinguishing, we would have even dropped one of the two terms.

        Of course, we have both been writing for long time, and it is only natural to write sloppily on such complex conceptual issues. I myself have wrongly expressed my theses at least twice, and you have rightly corrected them both. So if you think you have the time and your sentence is important to your argument, i would want to hear what you meant.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 2:24 pm

        where’s all this ‘jewish sensitivity’ when they’re bulldozing other people’s houses and dragging people’s children away in the middle of the night, no charges, under administrative detention?

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 2:54 pm

        You know, Annie, I just went back over “dionissis mitropoulos” comments, and I do believe the words “Palestine” or “Palestinian” are nowhere in evidence. Perhaps I missed something. He basically goes the “people-less land for landless people” with “but Britain gave it to the Jews, fair and square” for backup.
        And I for one, can find no fault with dionissis mitropoulos’s reasoning. If the Palestinians disappeared, or were never there (they’re “Jordanians”) the Zionist project had a pretty good chance of not dispossessing them or harming them in any way. Can’t deny that. Now, why can’t we all get along and agree there’s no Palestinians or Palestine? He’s been here before.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 3:03 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        Dionissis said:
        “Is it still immoral for Germans to make the Nazi analogy and for Christians to use the term ‘Satanic’ when referring to Zionists, if it so happens that Zionists can overcome their propensity to feel hurt and indignant when accused by those groups through the respective accusations?”

        Woody replied:

        “It’s not immoral even if they can’t. That’s the point of the thickening of the skin.

        I think that if each Zionist cannot overcome her indignation (at least, not without damaging other personality traits of hers that are both beneficial to her and morally acceptable), then we may say (and this a terminological point) that she cannot thicken her skin to the degree you require. In this case, it would be immoral for a Christian to use the term “Satanic”, according to my formulation.

        If she can thicken her skin without significant personality loss, she should. And if she chooses to stay touchy, then there is nothing immoral in truthfully criticizing her with the indignation-producing term “Satanic”, because it was her choice to let herself unjustifiably vulnerable (my formulation keeps on getting reformulated and elaborated. It’s the basic reason i wanted to enter this discussion, i wanted to clear up my mind on the conceptual issues, and dialogue helps a lot in this direction).

        My gut feeling is that lots of Jews cannot easily (if at all) grow thick skin on hearing Nazi analogies by Germans and phrases from Christians that are reminiscent of Christian persecution. Deep-seated fears of persecution cannot be easily overcome. And when in fear, indignation might come easily as an emotional response (but it is not necessarily expressed).

        “If the Christian believes that zionism is Satanic, the fact that someone might be offended is no basis to expect or ask the Christian to choose other words”.

        This is where our moral intuitions clash: i think that, over and above the truth of the Christian assertion, there is basis to ask the Christian to choose other words. And the basis is the impact that the specific accusation by the Christian would have on the psychology of the accused – it arouses fear, that gets transformed into indignation.

        That’s what i would have said to the hypothetical (non-anti-Semite) Christian:

        “Do you really have to scare them with words that remind them that you have been chasing them in the past for so many years? Can’t you just criticize them by calling them “murderous monsters”, or whatever equally harsh”?

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 3:29 pm

        @ Woody Tanaka

        “(I wonder if you actually put your formulation into effect when it comes to Palestinians. They are absolutely justified in taking offense at any assertion of Jewish “right” to the land of Palestine. [At least, if not more so, than your proffered statement that all Jews would be per se justified in objecting to the use of the word “satanic.”] Do you now call on all zionists to refrain from any such assertion? Would you object to the phrase “promised land?”)

        Your example differs from the cases that my formulation was meant to address: we were examining criticism of group A against group B on account of group B’s behavior against a third party C.

        We were examining whether Germans or Christians could criticize with certain phrases the Zionist behavior (or ideology that leads to a behavior) towards Palestinians.

        My formulation is certainly not applicable if the accuser accuses the accused for her behavior against him.

        If Zionists started putting Germans into gas chambers, it would be absurd to ask the Germans not to criticize Zionists with Nazi analogies.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 3:44 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “And here’s where your position is stupid: no one’s hurt feelings, justified or not, is a basis to impose or expect a limitation on another’s public speech”.

        We do expect a self-limitation on another’s public speech in cases where she swears. And we justify our moral demands based on the distress that the victim of the swearing might experience.

        It’s my impression that, to some Jews, a German’s Nazi analogies sound like swear words – and more.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 4:22 pm

        @American

        “And [what matters is] the fact that ‘real life harm’ to other Non Jewish lives involved in Zionism ‘should trump’ any personal sensitives.
        If preventing ‘real’ damage to others –by describing zionism as what it is and Israel by what it does, even in the harshest terms— means ignoring Jewish sensitives or even making them uncomfortable then that is a natural esculation, from frustration, not necessarily by design, due to the fact that ‘sensitive’ criticism so far has produced no change…people do lose patience sooner or later.”

        American , i will reply to the other points you made, but i will start with this, because it struck me as very important.

        Your question amounts to my mind to this: if we can save lives (or alleviate the misery of some lives) by saying some truths that hurt, should we refrain from saving the lives because the truth will hurt the murderers?

        My immediate answer, my spontaneous moral intuition, is that not only do we have the right to speak the truths (even couched in Nazi analogies) but that we also have a duty to do it. My second spontaneous intuition is that we have such a right even if what we speak is not true, even if the Nazi analogy is inaccurate.

        If it is the case that the consistent use of the Nazi analogy (apt or not) by Germans is necessary to stop Zionists from committing crimes, and thus save lives, or alleviate miseries that weigh more than hurt feelings and indignation and deep-seated fears, then the Germans have the moral right to use the Nazi analogies – or at least, those Germans that are acting so as to save lives, and are not motivated by mere anti-Semitism.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 4:30 pm

        @ Woody Tanaka

        “I appologize. I should have said, “misguided,” not “stupid.” I regret using that word”.

        No worries Woody. The Israel-Palestine conflict is a highly emotive subject, and tensions are unavoidable.

        I really appreciate your coming back for this.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 5:08 pm

        @ American

        μητρόπουλος

        Nice touch!

        Thanks!

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 23, 2013, 5:25 pm

        @American

        “What you are demonstrating in your argument, whether you realize it or not, is the absolute colossal fatal narcissism inherent in Zionism of believing that you are the most important people in the universe”

        No, American, i am not Jewish (neither ethnically, nor religiously).

        My interest in this discussion was purely of a philosophical nature, i wanted to engage in conceptual analysis in certain issues that concern me.

        My general pro-Israel attitude is two-years old, and was born initially as a reaction to the unanimus Greek animus against Israel (Greece is my country). In researching the issue, i became gradually more pro-Israel. It has become a mental habit by now.

        No supremacist considerations in me.

      • RoHa
        January 23, 2013, 7:24 pm

        “In researching the issue, i became gradually more pro-Israel. It has become a mental habit by now.”

        Then lot more research (such as that carried out by Hostage) could change your mind and break the habit. Good.

      • sardelapasti
        January 23, 2013, 10:17 pm

        “unanimus [sic] Greek animus against Israel ”
        Unanimous my ass. There are a good number of reactionaries supporting Zionism. Including the two, no, make it four or more, most recent governments. The last two resoundingly and in full sight.
        Just so people don’t take your statements on Greece at face value…

      • Sibiriak
        January 24, 2013, 4:36 am

        dionissis mitropoulos:

        But i have heard it said a trillion times that a lot of Germans embraced Nazism and i have taken it since as a corroborated fact.

        “A lot of” is not the same as “all”; “a lot of Germans” is not the same as “the Germans”. Valid philosophical argument requires rigor and precision.

        I have concentrated on the effect that the application of the Nazi analogy is bound to have on the psychology of many contemporary Jews (and Zionists).

        Yes, that does seem to be the core of your argument. I find it highly dubious–pernicious, in fact. I believe in freedom of speech as an individual right. There are limitations of course, but I don’t think causing “offense or hurt feelings” can possibly be one of them.

        If “hurt feelings” or “negative psychological effects” on a group were a legal or moral test for free speech, especially political speech, the ensuing limitations on that speech would be so great as to render the notion of freedom of speech to be practically meaningless.

        The harmfulness of such a limitation would only compounded if it were to be were selectively applied to individuals based on an ethnic or other group identity, as you suggest.

        I have mentioned emotional pain and indignation (in tandem) as the harm done by a German’s use of the analogy.

        But how do you prove that harm? Emotional and intellectual growth– arguably good things– may entail bouts of emotional pain and indignation. If an individual or group of individuals are forced to face certain painful facts, that pain is not necessarily harmful.

        Concretely, to even begin to make your case, you would need to show that Jews would not in reality *benefit* from being confronted with facts about Zionism, no matter how painful or indignation-inducing those facts might be in the short run. You have completely failed to do that.

        (You would also need, of course, to take into consideration the real harm that might be done to others through the suppression of free speech regarding Zionism.)

        A German individual should not be restricted from saying something others are free to say simply because he/she is German and because a German saying certain things might offend/cause psychological hurt to another group (Jews in this example).

        Many people feel hurt or offended by the truth as much as by falsehoods.

        Suppose certain Nazi analogies are valid. You are saying that truthful speech should be suppressed simply because members of a certain group find those truths hurtful. That’s absurd, with all due respect.

        And how would we know if those analogies are valid? The only way is through rational debate–and that debate cannot occur if those topics are not allowed to be discussed, or if certain individuals, because of their ethnic identity alone, are barred from the debate.

        People have a right to express their opinions, even ones that cause offense to others. No one has a right to be free from speech–especially political speech– that may cause them emotional pain or indignation. (Yes, there are exceptions here–sexual harassment, libel, incitement to violence, and so on– but I don’t think I need to spell out all that out.)

        Modern Germans would be acting inappropriately if they used the analogy, because of what they would be doing to the present-day Jewish brains, not because of what their grand parents did to WW2 live Jewish bodies

        I don’t find that at all persuasive. Freedom of speech requires a critical distinction between mental and physical harm. In fact, that distinction is a foundational one to liberal, pluralistic, democratic society.

        And again, who is to judge the real harm done, as opposed to subjectively felt hurt or indignation? The truth often hurts, but is rarely harmful.

        To the extent that Jews have been the most consistently persecuted group in history, i find the indignation fully justified.

        You seem to be singling out Jews for special group rights–the right as a group not to be offended or emotional hurt by others’ political speech. Following your logic, there would have to be some entity that assesses and ranks human groups in terms of persecution, and assigns speech rights based on those determinations. That’s as absurd as it is unworkable, imo.

      • Sibiriak
        January 24, 2013, 5:36 am

        dionissis mitropoulos :

        But i think that the offended has the moral right to criticize as an immoral action the Nazi analogy speech.

        You seem to think that one can morally evaluate the Nazi analogy speech act without having to make any determination of the validity of the analogy.

        That’s not possible, imo.

        Basically, you are making a consequentialist argument. One of the consequences (effects) of a German making a Nazi analogy regarding Zionism, you claim, is psychological harm done to Jews.

        Two problems arise with this (without going into general issues involving consequentialism):

        1) It’s impossible to assess the harm done to Jews without first assessing the validity (truth-value) of the specific Nazi analogy in question. Why is this? Because it makes all the difference in the world if the analogy–and the general criticism of Zionism it represents–is true or not.

        If the Nazi analogy and general critique of Zionism it represents are valid, then, as I argued previously, one could easily argue that Jews would benefit–not be harmed– by being exposed to such truths, *even if* they might experience emotional pain and indignation. The “medicine” might be bitter, but be highly beneficial in the long run.

        On the other hand, if the Nazi analogy is false, then the harm done to Jews would be much more easily demonstrated.

        Thus, there no getting around the question of truthfulness when it comes to a moral assessment of harmfulness of a certain speech.

        Your own statement implies this:

        But hurting feelings gratuitously and unnecessarily need not be such a condition.

        There is no way to judge if hurtful speech is “gratuitous'” or “unneccessary” without first assessing the truthfulness of that speech.

        2) If you are going to judge an act based on its consequences (effects), then you must look at ALL the consequences, short term and long term, direct and indirect. You have not done that; you have only considered the immediate short-term effect on Jews to the exclusion of all other possible effects.

        You need to also consider:

        *The effects on Palestinians and other groups impacted by Zionism.
        If Zionism is an evil to be combated, one must consider the effects of not fully engaging in that battle.

        *The long run effects of setting a precedent of the (self-)suppression of speech on the basis of a particular group’s sensibilities (due to past persecution or not).

        Again, these effects (and others) cannot possibly determined without first determining the validity of the Nazi analogy in the first place.

        Truth counts.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 6:17 am

        @sardelapasti

        unanimus [sic]

        You could guess how my spelling mistake came about, seeing that i was referring to unanimous animus.

        But i am sure you can contribute even more to the discussion if you keep checking my spelling or grammar. I am sure you will find many more of my mistakes. Keep up the good work.

        “There are [in Greece] a good number of reactionaries supporting Zionism. Including the two, no, make it four or more, most recent governments. The last two resoundingly and in full sight. Just so people don’t take your statements on Greece at face value…”

        First of all, i was obviously referring to the general sentiment of the Greek people and the Media, the feelings of the country.

        Of course, the Greek Government supported Palestine in the recent UN statehood vote:

        link to qz.com

        Oh, and i just noticed that Greece had opposed the 1947 Partition Plan (believe it or not, i didn’t know that. But i know my compatriots’ anti-Semitism very well).

        Two MPs from the second biggest party of Greece were in the latest flotilla (Estelle):

        link to shiptogaza.gr

        There is an abundance of evidence that point to the Greek political establishment’s anti-Israel stance (it’s only natural, they are trying to accommodate the public’s sentiment).

        Concerning Greek anti-Semitism in general:

        link to jcpa.org

        I quote from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs link:

        “Anti-Semitism in Greece occurs not only among extreme rightists and leftists. It is embedded in Greek mainstream society and manifests itself in religious contexts, education, politics and the media. Jews are often not perceived as true Greeks, although many families have lived there since the 15th century”.

        “A Eurobarometer survey in the year 2000 showed Greece to have the highest degree of xenophobia in the European Union”.

        “Greek mainstream media regularly uses the terms “genocide,” “Holocaust” and the names of concentration camps drawing a parallel between Nazi Germany and Israel today. In this, Greece is more similar to Syria and Iran than to the Western world”.

        All the above was in 2004. Things have gotten far worse since then.

        But just so that people don’t take your statements on Greece at face value, i challenge you to name the “good number of reactionaries” that are pro-Israel.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 6:40 am

        @RoHa

        Dionissis said:

        “In researching the issue, i became gradually more pro-Israel. It has become a mental habit by now.”

        RoHa replied:

        “Then lot more research (such as that carried out by Hostage) could change your mind and break the habit. Good”.

        RoHa, my grasp of the general nature of the conflict won’t change, i have come to my conclusions as to who is responsible for the fact that the two-state solution has not materialized.

        More research will give me the nuance, the shades of grey that are required so that i will feel the other side’s perspective more accurately.

        Yes, from what i saw in our last discussion, i like Hostage’s detailed research.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 9:47 am

        @sibiriak

        “A lot of” is not the same as “all”; “a lot of Germans” is not the same as “the Germans”. Valid philosophical argument requires rigor and precision.”

        I agree on both counts. But my formulation only required that a big part of Germany embraced (or acquiesced to) Nazism.
        My excuse for the lack of rigor is that i thought i could make my half-thought formulation more precise through the criticism of it by the commentators.

        Dionissis said:

        “I have concentrated on the effect that the application of the Nazi analogy is bound to have on the psychology of many contemporary Jews (and Zionists).”

        Sibiriak replied:

        “Yes, that does seem to be the core of your argument. I find it highly dubious–pernicious, in fact. I believe in freedom of speech as an individual right. There are limitations of course, but I don’t think causing “offense or hurt feelings” can possibly be one of them. If “hurt feelings” or “negative psychological effects” on a group were a legal or moral test for free speech, especially political speech, the ensuing limitations on that speech would be so great as to render the notion of freedom of speech to be practically meaningless”.

        I meant my formulation as a moral test, as a test that someone should impose to herself before engaging in the use of the Nazi analogy.

        It was not meant as a consideration that the legislator should bear in mind in deciding prohibitions to free speech. I greatly value the right to free speech. The Nazi analogies should not be illegal.

        My conclusion was that if she is German, she should restrict herself.

        But it would be wrong for the legislator to impose it on her, because, as you said, the consequences on the right to free speech would be pernicious.

        “The harmfulness of such a limitation would only compounded if it were to be were selectively applied to individuals based on an ethnic or other group identity, as you suggest”.

        I have made some attempts in my replies to Woody (they were in moderation when you were replying to me, i think) to illustrate that the limitation based on ethnicity is incidental.

        I wouldn’t call it an unfair discrimination, it’s more like the discrimination based on nationality that is performed by the Eurovision’s organizers when they sit the contestant countries at different tables – not meant to hurt the one discriminated.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 10:55 am

        @sibiriak

        “But how do you prove that harm? Emotional and intellectual growth– arguably good things– may entail bouts of emotional pain and indignation. If an individual or group of individuals are forced to face certain painful facts, that pain is not necessarily harmful”.

        I fully agree. The standard philosophical example that elucidates your point on the tradeoff between temporary pain (physical or emotional) and long term benefit is the visit to the dentist.

        “Concretely, to even begin to make your case, you would need to show that Jews would not in reality *benefit* from being confronted with facts about Zionism, no matter how painful or indignation-inducing those facts might be in the short run. You have completely failed to do that”.

        You are right that i have failed to say anything about the benefits that Jews might incur if confronted with facts about Zionism.

        But my negligence was due to the fact that i thought that Nazi analogies can be translated to Nazi-free speech with no loss of factual content.

        I think someone can tell Zionists that they are on the wrong without invoking the Nazi analogy. The open-prison analogy is morally acceptable according to my formulation. Why should a German need to call it Auschwitz?

        If that’s the case, the Nazi analogy is unnecessary to benefit the Jews, and it would be gratuitous to choose this form of speech over a less distressing candidate.

        Besides, i think that if we overdo it in harsh criticism, we might scare away the accused, she might not be willing to listen to anything further, if she perceives us (rightly or wrongly) as motivated by a sort of moral sadism.

        “(You would also need, of course, to take into consideration the real harm that might be done to others through the suppression of free speech regarding Zionism.)”

        Yes, yes, American has drawn my attention to this fact, and i acknowledged it as a very important consideration. My reply to American is still in moderation, but, just to give you a heads-up in case the present reply comes out first, i said that my spontaneous moral intuition is that, in case one tries to save lives or alleviate miseries (things that weigh more than hurt feelings and indignation and deep-seated fears), and the use of the analogy is necessary (i.e. no other way to save the lives), then she should proceed with the Nazi analogy.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:02 am

        @ dionissis mitropoulos
        “My formulation is not racist. It is not racist for the reason that it does not single out Germans because they are Germans, but because they happen to be the ones who are in a unique position to unduly harm psychologically the accused group through the use of the Nazi analogy.”

        But this “unique position” you reference is simply another way of saying that they are of the same ethnicity of the people who actually did harm to the “accused group.” Holding them on the dock morally for something which they did not do is, in my view, morally reprehensible. It is the heckler’s veto writ large.

        Further, your statement that this person must limit herself if she wants to be decent is also morally reprehensible. One needs not internalize another’s racism or ethnic bigotry against oneself in order to be decent.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:09 am

        “I am imposing a moral duty on someone to refrain from a specific criticism (the Nazi analogy) because, if she delivers the criticism, there will be too much harm on the accused. My concern is with the results of her action, not with the past behavior of her compatriots.”

        And the only way that her action could produce “too much harm” (and who, by the way, judges how much harm is produced by a speaker? the speaker or the person with the interest in shutting up the speaker?) is if one makes her an exemplar of her ethnicity and, in doing so, strips her of her individuality.

        “Ethnicity plays no important role in the reasons i cited.”

        I disagree. You’re posited no reason why this particular person should even have to make the moral determination, other than her ethnicity.

        “Calling a black man ‘boy’ might be perceived as racist. If i were to ask you to abstain from using the term against a black person, based on the psychological harm that you would inflict, would you have said that i am unfairly imposing a duty on you because other people that share your white race did something in the past?”

        Bad analogy. You’re mixing a slur with a criticism. But even so, yes, if you did not look at my motivation to made a determination based on my merits as an individual, but merely the color of my skin, you are bigoted in your moral judgment.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:12 am

        “We may treat people differently in a way that might seem that we are based on the accident of their birth, when in reality we are not concerned with their place of birth, but with other (moral) issues.”

        But if you are drawing distinction based on the ethnicity, then the other moral issues are merely a screen for the bigotry.

        “Suppose a country today asks Germany for WW2 financial reparations. Suppose also that the demands are morally fair.”

        That puts the rabbit in the hat. How can it morally fair? The war ended 3/4 of a century ago and the people who caused any of the damages are all dead, and the people of today have no moral guilt over the situation. How can it be morally fair to demand anything of them today?

        “Would you call the recipient country’s demands unfairly discriminatory?”

        Unquestionably.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:17 am

        “So i am not unfairly discriminating against the Germans based on the accident of their birthplace. ”

        No, in your hypothetical, you would be discriminating against English people based on their ethnicity. It matters not why you are carving out a subsection of humanity and imposing upon the individuals in that group a moral judgment based on nothing other their inclusion in that ethnicity; the mere fact that you are doing so is the basis for the conclusion that it is a bigoted act.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:28 am

        “I think the offended has the moral right to demand and expect that the offender stop on his own will,”

        I disagree. I think holding such an expectation and making such a demand is a highly immoral thing. I think one can demand and expect not to be individually and personally slandered, but nothing more.

        “If the offender does not stop, then the offended may rightly view him as indecent because he unnecessarily hurt her too much…”

        The problem is that you are putting the speaker at the mercy of those offended by his speech the control over the speech. What is “too much”? When is it appropriate??

        “But hurting feelings gratuitously and unnecessarily need not be such a condition.”

        I disagree, because the question of whether those feelings are hurt “gratuitously and unnecessarilty” are, themselves, necessarily subjective, so there will always be a disagreement on that point. On this particular issue, one could say, “even if the Nazi analogy is inexact and causes harm to the israeli, it is non-gratuitous and necessary in order to emphasize the harm being done by zionism and israel against the Palestinian people. Therefore any harm inflicted is appropriate and morally correct.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:30 am

        “Sorry, you lost me on that.”

        You seemed to be making the point that I was saying that zionists were oversensitive, but this is not limited to zionists. The notion of people being oversensitive to their own sense of hurt is more universal than that. That was the only point I intended with that comment.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:37 am

        “My gut feeling is that lots of Jews cannot easily (if at all) grow thick skin on hearing Nazi analogies by Germans and phrases from Christians that are reminiscent of Christian persecution.”

        Then the correct solution lies there, not in limiting anyone else.

        “And the basis is the impact that the specific accusation by the Christian would have on the psychology of the accused – it arouses fear, that gets transformed into indignation.”

        That is a basis to ask the indignant to, again, grow a thicker skin or withdraw from the coversation, not to limit the ability of the speaker to express himself.

        “That’s what i would have said to the hypothetical (non-anti-Semite) Christian:

        ‘Do you really have to scare them with words that remind them that you have been chasing them in the past for so many years?…'”

        And there is the crux of the bigotry in your approach. The speaker in your example has not been “chasing them” in the past. Other people did that; people for whose actions the speaker is not morally responsible, yet you would impose it upon them for no reason but your inability to discern individuals among groups. The correct response is to say to the “fearful” that the fear reaction is irrational and hope the person seeks treatment to be able to reasonable analyze things in the future.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 11:44 am

        “Your example differs from the cases that my formulation was meant to address: we were examining criticism of group A against group B on account of group B’s behavior against a third party C.”

        I don’t see the difference you’re attempting to draw. If a Palestinian-American feels reasonable offense at the notion of Jewish claims to Palestine based on the notion of the land as “promised land” in the bible, does that person ahve the moral right to demand that a Jewish-American refrain from citing this “promised land” imagery in his claim of support for israel? And is the Jewish-American morally obligated to refrain from mentioning it if we expects to be thought of as being a decent person?

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 11:57 am

        @sibiriak

        “A German individual should not be restricted from saying something others are free to say simply because he/she is German and because a German saying certain things might offend/cause psychological hurt to another group (Jews in this example)”.

        She should not be restricted by Law, on this we agree.

        But my formulation asks her to restrain herself.

        Not simply because she is German, not because of her ethnicity, but because she would inflict psychological pain without any benefit for the Zionists (i included your contribution about log term benefit in my formulation).

        Thought experiment:

        I am in a place full of only black people and i am the only white. Someone asks his girlfriend to go “fetch” a drink, she reacts, he verbally bullies her.

        The incident awakes the knight in me and i intend to criticize him for his dominating attitude and actions. So i tell him:

        “Hey boy, did you like it when the whiteys were doing this to you”?

        I have caused psychological harm cum indignation to him and to the others present. Couldn’t i have just said the following?

        “Hey pal, you are hurting her and humiliating her. You really get off playing the dominant guy, don’t you”?

        I think the second approach (the boy-less) is better, morally speaking.

        If someone were to point to me this fact, i.e. that i shouldn’t have used the word “boy”, telling me that being white is something morally relevant under the circumstances, would that be imposing a moral restriction on my right to free speech unfairly based on my race?

        Yes, my race enters the picture, and is relevant to my moral deliberations, but not in an unfairly discriminatory way.

        “Many people feel hurt or offended by the truth as much as by falsehoods. Suppose certain Nazi analogies are valid. You are saying that truthful speech should be suppressed simply because members of a certain group find those truths hurtful. That’s absurd, with all due respect”.

        She should not be suppressed by the Law. She should restrain herself. And the Zionists have the moral right to try to persuade her by ethical argument. Persuasion by logical reasoning concerning moral issues does not count as suppression.

        “And how would we know if those analogies are valid? The only way is through rational debate–and that debate cannot occur if those topics are not allowed to be discussed, or if certain individuals, because of their ethnic identity alone, are barred from the debate”.

        These topics should be allowed to be discussed, and they are allowed to be discussed. It’s the very topic (Nazi analogies and Christian “satanisms”) we are discussing.

        If there were a (non-Jew) German commentator present, and argued about her right to use the analogy, any Zionist attempting to exclude her from the discussion would be touchy and unfair.

        Debating about the moral right to use the analogy is not the same as using it.

      • Citizen
        January 24, 2013, 12:04 pm

        “No one born after 1945, categorically, can bear any guilt whatsoever for anything that happened during the Nazi era. Yet you would impose a burden upon the most progressive person born in Bonn of German parents, in 1967, based solely on the accident of his ancestry, for crimes committed by other people, in a different State, which occurred decades before his birth.”

        That burden has been imposed on each generation of Germans since 1945. Now, it’s also why Germany gives Israel submarines set up to carry nuke missiles. The Germans feel no guilt about what they enable Israel to do to the natives of Palestine, ditto the USA. A Martian would consider that odd.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 24, 2013, 12:11 pm

        ‘We do expect a self-limitation on another’s public speech in cases where she swears.”

        “Swear” is too amorphous a word in English. How do you mean “swear”? Do you mean slander? So-called “obscene” or vulgar words? Slurs? So-called blasphemy? Oath-taking?
        In my mind, the only one of these that is morally objectionable is slander and slurs. Others may be socially or religiously unacceptable, but nothing more.

        “And we justify our moral demands based on the distress that the victim of the swearing might experience.”

        I disagree. I think we reject slander and slurs as morally objectionable (and, in fact, do so regardless of the distress of the victim). The others are excluded on social or relgious grounds, not on morality.

        “It’s my impression that, to some Jews, a German’s Nazi analogies sound like swear words – and more.”

        That very well may be true, but that does not necessarily mean it is morally objectionable. One thing which, however, would be morally objectionable, would be to base the determination of whether the speaker’s words are subject to moral judgment based on the fact that the speaker is a German, as opposed to the merits of the words alone or the speaker’s individual moral worth.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 1:02 pm

        @sibiriak

        dionissis said:
        “To the extent that Jews have been the most consistently persecuted group in history, i find the indignation fully justified.”

        sibiriak replied:
        “You seem to be singling out Jews for special group rights–the right as a group not to be offended or emotional hurt by others’ political speech”.

        I do single out any group that has been greatly abused.

        I do the same in singling out (among all the children) the sexually abused children for special treatment.

        They should be talked to differently.

        And would the political speech be unduly restricted if a German decided (on her free will) to say “Israel’s lethal nuclear arsenal is the biggest threat to world peace”, instead of comparing it to “the gas chambers of Hitler”?

        “Following your logic, there would have to be some entity that assesses and ranks human groups in terms of persecution, and assigns speech rights based on those determinations. That’s as absurd as it is unworkable, imo”.

        It would certainly be absurd and unworkable.

        But my logic does not ask for such an entity. The individual can assess by herself what impact her criticism would have and restrain herself accordingly.

        It’s not difficult for a German to realize that the use of Nazi analogies by her would stir emotions too much.

      • American
        January 24, 2013, 1:45 pm

        “My interest in this discussion was purely of a philosophical nature, i wanted to engage in conceptual analysis in certain issues that concern me.

        My general pro-Israel attitude is two-years old, and was born initially as a reaction to the unanimus Greek animus against Israel (Greece is my country). In researching the issue, i became gradually more pro-Israel. It has become a mental habit by now.””

        Well dionissis, ”if” you’re not a bona fide zionist then I think you are severely mixed up and in need of help since choosing to champion and sympathize with a supremist ideology and a state that is currently victimizing others.
        Here you are, taking the side of ‘current victimizers’ in that they can’t be called nasty names while tell ” former victimizers” (and us) what they can’t say about the “current victimizers”.
        Do you realize this makes no sense..isn ‘t in any way consistent?
        That what you are showing is a supremist attiude in insisting that current Israeli current victimizers be treated better and ‘shown respect” for doing things like what the former victimizers did?

        That is very messed up.

        It amuses me how some people want to get all ”philosophical and conceptual”with nitpicking issues , like the morality in this or that term while avoiding the *core moral issue*.
        I don’t know why, maybe it’s a form of mental masterbation or whatever—-maybe they think they’re being intellectually deep or have hit on some unique thought or application to some question or issue.
        Usually it ends up being bs about bs…like this discussion about Satanic has been.
        Satan- hatan, who cares what it’s called…..Zionism as practiced in Israel is bad, wrong, evil, unjust, etc.etc.etc.etc..I don’t give a shit if their feelings are hurt. If it were up to me I’d hurt a lot more than their ‘feelings’.

      • American
        January 24, 2013, 2:12 pm

        “I am a supporter of Israel, not an Israeli!”

        Well you are backing the wrong horse ……you will be lucky if someday ‘zionist sympathizer” isn’t as much of a slur as ‘nazi sympathizer”.
        Your supported state seems headed that way.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 2:34 pm

        @sibiriak

        “You seem to think that one can morally evaluate the Nazi analogy speech act without having to make any determination of the validity of the analogy”.

        I took it for granted that it is true and, still, my formulation prohibited it on the distress-and-indignation-without-benefit grounds.

        “Basically, you are making a consequentialist argument. One of the consequences (effects) of a German making a Nazi analogy regarding Zionism, you claim, is psychological harm done to Jews”.

        Yes

        “Two problems arise with this (without going into general issues involving consequentialism): 1) It’s impossible to assess the harm done to Jews without first assessing the validity (truth-value) of the specific Nazi analogy in question. Why is this? Because it makes all the difference in the world if the analogy–and the general criticism of Zionism it represents–is true or not. If the Nazi analogy and general critique of Zionism it represents are valid, then, as I argued previously, one could easily argue that Jews would benefit–not be harmed– by being exposed to such truths, *even if* they might experience emotional pain and indignation. The “medicine” might be bitter, but be highly beneficial in the long run”.

        If the Zionist is presented with a German that accuses her of having turned Gaza into a concentration camp, she might write off the German as an anti-Semite and refuse to entertain in her mind the criticism.

        She might become even more determined in her Zionism.

        And, all along, the German could have achieved the desired outcome of motivating the Zionist to consider her mindset and be benefited from the truth by calling Gaza an open-air prison.

        Why use a term (“concentration camp”) that is bound to be perceived as anti-Semitic, if uttered by a German?

        The truth won’t just hurt, but won’t even be taken seriously.

        So it won’t be a beneficial truth, the patient will (most likely) refuse to swallow the pill.

        “On the other hand, if the Nazi analogy is false, then the harm done to Jews would be much more easily demonstrated”.

        If it is false, then the Jew won’t ever listen again to anything that the user of the Nazi analogy has to say. Having branded the utterer as an anti-Semite, the Zionist will just stay away as far as possible from the one who used the (according to your assumption) false Nazi analogy

        But how would the harm done to the Jew be more easily demonstrated?

        “There is no way to judge if hurtful speech is “gratuitous’” or “unneccessary” without first assessing the truthfulness of that speech”.

        I think there is a way. We might take for granted that the concentration-camp analogy is true, and also note that the open-air prison phrase conveys all the facts required to make the Zionist assess if his stance towards Gaza is appropriate.

        Knowing this, it would be gratuitous to hurt the Zionist more than required.

        If the German can express all that is needed by the open-air prison phrase, why evoke Nazi thoughts to the mind of the Zionist? Especially when the Zionist is bound to discard the analogy as coming from an anti-Semite?

        It would be unnecessary harm – something like the extra kick the police officer might give to the demonstrator after handcuffing him.

        “You need to also consider: *The effects on Palestinians and other groups impacted by Zionism. If Zionism is an evil to be combated, one must consider the effects of not fully engaging in that battle.”

        I have addressed this point in my previous replies. I await input.

        *The long run effects of setting a precedent of the (self-)suppression of speech on the basis of a particular group’s sensibilities (due to past persecution or not).”

        I see no problem in regulating my speech according to the listener. I do it all the time. Some of my self-censorship has to do with a particular group’s sensibilities.

        Of course, suppression by the Law would be the beginning of the end of democracy (yes, we should be legally allowed to criticize any religion, or the Zionists with Nazi analogies).

        “Again, these effects (and others) cannot possibly determined without first determining the validity of the Nazi analogy in the first place.
        Truth counts.”

        I guess the Zionists have heard the Nazi analogy so many times from hardcore right-wing certified anti-Semites, that they have tagged it as anti-Semitic anyway, irrespective of its truth, and irrespective of who is using it.

        I need to insist on that: even if the analogy is true, it won’t succeed in altering the Zionist mindset, so it won’t be beneficial. And in this way, it will have just caused unnecessary pain.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 4:36 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        dionissis said:
        “Suppose a country today asks Germany for WW2 financial reparations. Suppose also that the demands are morally fair.”

        Woody replied:
        “That puts the rabbit in the hat. How can it morally fair? The war ended 3/4 of a century ago and the people who caused any of the damages are all dead, and the people of today have no moral guilt over the situation. How can it be morally fair to demand anything of them today?”

        Let me rephrase it.

        Suppose that after 3/4 of a century, in 2090, all Israelis alive in 2013 are dead.

        Suppose also that some of those Israelis have committed war crimes against the Palestinians in 2013 and before.

        The Palestinians of 2090 ask the Israelis of 2090 for financial reparations.

        They claim that Israelis have a moral obligation to pay, even if there is no legal mechanism to force the Israelis to pay.

        The 2090 Israelis are not guilty for the crimes perpetrated in 2013 or before. The people who have committed the crimes are all dead.

        Would you say that the Palestinian demands are not fair?

        Would you say that it is not morally fair to demand of the Israelis anything in the year 2090?

        Dionissis said:

        ““Would you call the recipient country’s demands unfairly discriminatory?”

        Woody replied:

        “Unquestionably”.

        Would you call Palestine’s demands (in 2090) unfairly discriminatory against the Israelis of 2090?

      • sardelapasti
        January 24, 2013, 5:10 pm

        Dionysios:
        “… the application of the Nazi analogy is bound to have on the psychology of many contemporary Jews (and Zionists). ”

        Well, duh. That’s exactly the objective: rub the nose of Zionists in their own doo-doo. The greater the effect “on their psychology”, the better.

        Anyway, let’s check them against the Nazi, now that you opened that door:

        – racially defined official exclusivity of the state: check
        [would be no better if it were defined by religion]
        – complete rejection of the rule of law for the out-group: check
        – endless war of aggression: check
        – status of the occupied populations, as characterized by their racial status or accident of birth with relation to nominal religion, to be defined as spoliation, statelessness, slavery and misery, plus the well-known Spartan Helot treatment (periodic pogroms just to keep periodicity of intimidation, continuous unpunished random theft and murder): all present, and how!
        – police state: check
        – open contempt of peace, open flouting of international law: check
        – terrorism, inside and abroad, in addition to continuous war: check
        – industrially organized mass annihilation of populations: not yet (hoping it remains so and the piracy ends before they get to do it)
        – bonus (absent in Nazism): theocracy!

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 24, 2013, 5:43 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “But this “unique position” you reference is simply another way of saying that they are of the same ethnicity of the people who actually did harm to the “accused group.” Holding them on the dock morally for something which they did not do is, in my view, morally reprehensible. It is the heckler’s veto writ large.”

        I mentioned that only the German is in a unique position to inflict unnecessary psychological harm through the Nazi analogy so as to illustrate that i was concerned with the harm done and not with the Germans.

        I also mentioned that my formulation does not even need the word “German” in it, but i did not elaborate. Let me elaborate now.

        Let’s forget about my formulation. Let’s rephrase it with all the considerations that i have mentioned to you that i consider morally relevant.

        The moral rule that would be the result of such a reformulation would be:

        “If you (humans) attempt to criticize (anyone), make sure you 1) do not cause unnecessary psychological harm to the person criticized and 2) you say the truth”

        This formulation makes no reference whatsoever to Germans or Zionists or Nazi analogies.

        So it is not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity.

        Yet, it expresses the gist of my thesis.

        A German who considers this formulation to be a moral truth might decide to test with it a Nazi-analogy criticism that she wishes to apply to a Zionist.

        She decides that she should refrain from the criticism, because she realizes that the Zionist will feel distress and indignation (an indignation that she realizes that it stems from a deep-seated fear of Nazi persecution).

        If she does not deliver the criticism, she has acted morally, according to the formulation.

        If she decides that it does not really matter to her whether she will bring about unnecessary psychological harm, and delivers the criticism, then she has acted immorally, according to the reformulated rule.

        She is morally culpable not because of something her ancestors did, but because she didn’t care for the psychological harm she would bring about.

        One way or another, the rule does not discriminate against Germans. It does not even mention them.

        “Further, your statement that this person must limit herself if she wants to be decent is also morally reprehensible. One needs not internalize another’s racism or ethnic bigotry against oneself in order to be decent.”

        If the reformulated rule expresses a moral truth, then i am not morally reprehensible in saying that this person must forgo her criticism with the Nazi analogy if she does not want to commit an indecent act.

        No racism and no bigotry, just concern for not causing unnecessary psychological harm.

        The rephrased rule (tentatively, i await counterexamples) applies to the whole population of Earth, and bestows moral wrongness on criticisms that are applied gratuitously and hurt too much.

      • W.Jones
        January 25, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Dionissis:

        Could a white southerner refer to modern human trafficking in Africa as “slavery?” Could Barak Obama talk about it as slavery, since his own ancestors owned slaves?

        The Japanese committed genocide in China. Can the Japanese now talk about genocide in the rest of the world?

        Over half the Germans did not vote for the Nazis- it was an totalitarian regime. Can those Germans now decry racism and fascism when they see its foundations laid in other parts of the world? “We’ve seen this before!”

        How about a boy who got into a fight and beat up another little boy? Can he intervene when he sees other kids fighting? Years later can he stop the little boy grown big from beating up other little kids?

        In any case, Kovel is a suppressed academic making political criticisms of the politics of a belligerent occupying power for persecuting others. This is the opposite of a medieval religious making religious attacks in the context of persecuting the targets of those attacks.

        Kovel uses the term “Satanic” to attack ethnic persecution and racism, while in your example, the term was misused to support religious persecution.

      • Sibiriak
        January 26, 2013, 5:45 am

        dionissis mitropoulos:

        …Why use a term (“concentration camp”) that is bound to be perceived as anti-Semitic, if uttered by a German?

        The truth won’t just hurt, but won’t even be taken seriously.

        So it won’t be a beneficial truth, the patient will (most likely) refuse to swallow the pill.

        I don’t think you can generalize on this point, as you are doing. It depends on which German, on the nature, quality, and validity of the “Nazi analogy”, and on the particular Zionist.

        You can’t just assume that any “Nazi analogy” voiced by any German will have no positive effect in all cases.

        To carry your argument further, you would need to define all the elements of the situation. Trying to derive some moral rule that applies to ALL Germans, uttering any kind of Nazi analogy to ANY Zionist just does not work. It’s just too easy to come up with possible exceptions.

        For example, suppose the German is a well-respected writer with a pristine record of moral integrity, impartiality, and intellectual rigor; suppose he puts forward a detailed, cogent, eloquent “Nazi analogy”; suppose this German is an expert on Nazi practices and shows in a convincing fashion deep insight into certain Zionist activites via the analogy; suppose the Jewish Zionist listener is one deeply concerned that Nazi-like activities never again be allowed to go unchallenged, and that this Zionist has the moral and intellectual honesty to criticize fellow Jews if the facts demand it; suppose that the German’s analysis powerfully resonates with arguments and facts coming from other sources which have already been partially or wholly accepted by the Zionist; suppose this Zionist already has deep doubts about many Zionist practices and foundational dogmas. In such a case, I don’t see how you can simply *assume* that the German’s speech act could never have a positive impact.

        I need to insist on that: even if the analogy is true, it won’t succeed in altering the Zionist mindset

        Argument by insistence is not particularly compelling, imo. Two points.

        1) You have not shown why it is impossible that a compelling argument involving a Nazi analogy could not contribute to opening a “Zionist mindset” to new ideas. You simply assume that all Zionist minds are completely and eternally closed. I don’t buy that.

        2) You assume that the only audience for the German is Jewish Zionists. But if the German’s arguments have positive effects elsewhere, these must be weighed against any potential negative effects on Jewish sensibilities. One cannot say in advance, without looking at all the particularities of the case, whether positive effects outweigh negative ones.

        On the other hand, yes, one could well envision a situation in which a German would do well to take into consideration the nature of his Zionist interlocutor and avoid certain references in order to be more persuasive and avoid uneccessary offense.

        Each case has to be judged on its own terms– morally, no general rule can be asserted, imo. (And legally, we agree, there is no basis for any limit on freedom of speech in this case.)

        I see no problem in regulating my speech according to the listener.

        Either do it. Depends on the situation. And you haven’t defined a concrete situation.

        And would the political speech be unduly restricted if a German decided (on her free will) to say “Israel’s lethal nuclear arsenal is the biggest threat to world peace”, instead of comparing it to “the gas chambers of Hitler”?

        You say that you are assuming the “Nazi anaolgy” to be true, yet the actual concrete examples you give–e.g. references to “gas chambers”– are in fact patently fallacious.

        You are putting forward strawmen, in other words.

        thought that Nazi analogies can be translated to Nazi-free speech with no loss of factual content.

        There is no basis for assuming that to hold true in all cases.

        1) It assumes there are no unique and positive insights that can be made by historical analogies, such as those to Nazi Germany. 2) It ignores the potential positive benefit of the emotive power of such analogies. If Zionists are indeed committing horrendous crimes against humanity, it may well be that drawing Nazi analogies would be a very effective way of opening eyes and challenging consciences in people to whom the Nazi experience is of the deepest intellectual, emotional, and spiritual importance. That’s a practical question that must be judged on an individual basis.

      • Sibiriak
        January 26, 2013, 6:33 am

        Woody Tanaka:

        And the only way that her action could produce “too much harm” (and who, by the way, judges how much harm is produced by a speaker? the speaker or the person with the interest in shutting up the speaker?) is if one makes her an exemplar of her ethnicity and, in doing so, strips her of her individuality.

        Excellent point. If a Jew is offended/hurt by a statement simply*because* it is stated by a German (even if the statement is true, and even if the particular German has committed no moral offenses herself), that Jew is indeed stripping that German of his/her individuality and moral uniqueness.

        That Jew’s sense of offense, hurt or indignation doesn’t have a rational basis; it derives from an morally deficient ethnocentric worldview.

      • sardelapasti
        January 26, 2013, 6:55 am

        Dionysios: Tiring, tiring; like a salesman who thinks that an endless flood of irrelevant talk will eventually wear down the customer. You give yourself up by citing acts of opposition to Zionism as “antisemitism”. (And quoting one undocumented impression, which anyway ties in to the history of official representatives of local Jewry and their support for Ottomans, then Zionism.)

      • Sibiriak
        January 26, 2013, 7:11 am

        dionissis mitropoulos:

        I took for granted (though i disagree) that the Nazi analogy is true

        “The Nazi analogy”?? There is no such singular analogy. There are an number of possible analogies, some which might be true, others patently false.

        Consider this passage from a book dealing with the Nakba:

        When the international pressure subsided and Israel had put in place clear rules for dividing the spoils, the Committee for Arab Affairs also formalised the official governmental attitude towards the Palestinians left within the territory of the new state, who were now citizens of Israel.

        Totalling about 150,000, these became the ‘Israeli Arabs’ – as if it made sense to talk about ‘Syrian Arabs’ or ‘Iraqi Arabs’ and not ‘Syrians’ or ‘Iraqis’.

        They were put under a military regime based on British Mandatory emergency regulations which, when they were issued in 1945, none other than Menachem Begin had compared to Germany’s 1935 Nuremberg Laws.

        These regulations virtually abolished people’s basic rights of expression, movement, organisation, and equality before the law. They left them the right to vote for and be elected to the Israeli parliament, but this too came with severe restrictions. This regime officially lasted until 1966, but, for all intents and purposes, the regulations are still in place.

        The writer is drawing an analogy between Israel and Nazi Germany in that passage.

        Are you claiming that it would it would immoral or indecent for a person with German genes to write that, but just fine if a person without German genes did so?

        That would be the conclusion according to your extremely broad deontic formulation:

        Germans are allowed to criticize Israelis, but not with Nazi analogies.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 7:13 am

        @Sibiriak

        “If Zionists are indeed committing horrendous crimes against humanity, it may well be that drawing Nazi analogies would be a very effective way of opening eyes and challenging consciences in people to whom the Nazi experience is of the deepest intellectual, emotional, and spiritual importance. That’s a practical question that must be judged on an individual basis.”

        In my experience, and i don’t know if my sample is representative, most Israelis don’t open their eyes but, instead, close their ears when presented with Nazi analogies.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 11:44 am

        @sardelapasti

        “You give yourself up by citing acts of opposition to Zionism as “antisemitism”. (And quoting one undocumented impression, which anyway ties in to the history of official representatives of local Jewry and their support for Ottomans, then Zionism.)”

        I did not intend to equate those who oppose Israel with anti-Semites.

        But in Greece, this is usually the case: anti-Zionism for Greeks is very likely to be motivated by anti-Semitism.

        link to haaretz.com

        Everything that i quote below from Haaretz can be perceived as anti-Zionism and not anti-Semitism.

        But i know that most of it is done in order to accommodate the Greek public’s attitude towards Jews not Zionists.

        “Syriza fully identifies itself with the Palestinian cause, and their party platform explicitly calls for an end to Greece’s defense cooperation with the “aggressive” Israel, even though on Friday his foreign affairs advisor tried to take a softer stance. Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the “Zionists”, claiming that they are not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist. Syriza’s former head, Nikos Konstandopoulos, has consistently offered his services as a defense lawyer for convicted and alleged Arab terrorists who have been arrested in Greece. Sofia Sakorafa, a confidante who has rubbed shoulders with Hamas, and a celebrated former Olympic athlete, requested and received Palestinian citizenship a few years ago, in a bid to represent Palestine in the Olympic Games, when she was well into her 40s”.

        “Dionysios: Tiring, tiring; like a salesman who thinks that an endless flood of irrelevant talk will eventually wear down the customer.”

        It was not irrelevant talk, i was trying to show you that the Greek political establishment is not pro-Israel. And i went a step further and attributed it to widespread anti-Semitic sentiment.

        At least, have i managed to wear you down? Are you going to buy anything? If you don’t, i might consider you stingy.

        Did you know that in Greece, if the context makes it clear that you are referring to someone stingy, and you want to use a slang term, you can call him “a Jew”?

        I won’t tire you any more, i will leave you in peace.

        Sincerely

        Signature
        rega_analati

        PS. for non-Greek speakers: “sardelpasti” means “salted sardine”.
        “rega” means “herring”, “analati” means “without salt”.

        So i was not offering red herrings, merely unsalted ones.

        A joke for the benefit of sardelapasti, if (s)he speaks Greek fluently.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 5:15 pm

        @Woody Tanaka

        “I don’t see the difference you’re attempting to draw. If a Palestinian-American feels reasonable offense at the notion of Jewish claims to Palestine based on the notion of the land as “promised land” in the bible, does that person ahve the moral right to demand that a Jewish-American refrain from citing this “promised land” imagery in his claim of support for israel? And is the Jewish-American morally obligated to refrain from mentioning it if we expects to be thought of as being a decent person?”

        The Palestinian-American has the moral right to criticize the Jewish-American for his promised-land talk.

        The Jewish-American can expect to be thought of as talking decently, until and when the Palestinian-American (or anyone else) provides valid reasons as to why it is indecent to talk about the Sky-Daddy’s prerogative in the presence of the Palestinian-American.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 5:51 pm

        @sardelapasti

        “Well, duh. That’s exactly the objective: rub the nose of Zionists in their own doo-doo. The greater the effect “on their psychology”, the better.”

        I have never done such a thing to any of my pets, ever.

        Keeping the house clean doesn’t take priority over their feelings.

        And i don’t want them scared of me.

        Ask the experts:

        link to americanhumane.org

        “Never rub a dog’s nose in urine or feces, or punish a dog for an “accident.” This will teach your dog to fear you, and he may hide when he has to “go.””

        PS. I have seven cats now.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 6:20 pm

        @Citizen

        “That burden has been imposed on each generation of Germans since 1945. Now, it’s also why Germany gives Israel submarines set up to carry nuke missiles. The Germans feel no guilt about what they enable Israel to do to the natives of Palestine, ditto the USA. A Martian would consider that odd.”

        1) My sources tell me that the lobby has made inroads into that planet, too. Not only don’t they consider the German help odd, but don’t be surprised to see Zio-Martians invading Iran – they are green , the color of Islam, the Persians won’t even see it coming.

        2) The nukes are not meant for the Palestinians. Samson has told me that they are to be used against the West in case things get really rough for Israel.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2013, 8:41 am

        @ dionissis mitropoulos

        If so, maybe the West needs to copy the Israeli tactic–do a preemptive thing on top of Samson. More immediately, the West, especially Uncle Sam, needs to take Samson to the barbershop by ending aid to Israel & while he’s at it, also taking back his UN SC veto from Samson’s pocket.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 28, 2013, 1:43 pm

        @Citizen

        “More immediately, the West, especially Uncle Sam, needs to take Samson to the barbershop by ending aid to Israel & while he’s at it, also taking back his UN SC veto from Samson’s pocket.”

        I have heard right-wing Israelis asking for the same thing: an end to American aid.

        The claim is that Israel is too much constraint in her actions due to her ensuing obligation to abide by American demands. They think it would be better if they were left alone to act as they wish, even if that meant no US cash.

        I stay non-committal on this, i don’t know.

      • Sibiriak
        January 29, 2013, 2:29 am

        dionissis mitropoulos:

        In my experience, and i don’t know if my sample is representative, most Israelis don’t open their eyes but, instead, close their ears when presented with Nazi analogies.

        1) You will have to do better than “in my experience” if you want to provide real backing for your broad, categorical philosophical assertions.

        2) Why are you assuming now that all Zionists are Israelis?

        3)If Zionists–including the majority “liberal Zionists” who are ostensibly committed to liberal democratic principles, human rights–simply “closed their ears” upon hearing “Nazi anaolgies” , then why would they be so psychological harmed as you assert? You contradict yourself, with all due respect. A more reasonable assumption would be that a Nazi analogy which is cogent, grounded in facts and logic, and morally compelling hits home in a very painful way and elicits “cognitive dissonance”, and likely immediate denial. Of course, even immediate denial does not mean there cannot be a less visible longer term effect, especially in conjunction, over time, with further exposure to troubling facts and arguments.

        See, for example, this Mondoweiss story about the film “the Gatekeepers” by director Dror Moreh:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        [Moreh] gave an example about Avraham Shalom. Shalom, now 84, was the director of Shin Bet from 1980 to 1986. He told me the story of Shalom growing up during the rise of the Nazi party in Germany and being seriously beaten by kids at school because he was Jewish. Moreh said it pains him that at the end of the film when Shalom says that we treat the Palestinians as the Germans treated Jews, the story of Shalom’s childhood is not in the mind of the viewer.

        Once again, we have a “Nazi analogy”. Moreh says:

        My main thing was to create something that will alter the way Israelis see reality.

        Clearly, he disagrees with your suggestion that ALL Israelis (let alone, all Zionists) are completely and eternally close-minded regarding certain moral arguments.

        According to your argument, it would be immoral and indecent for any German to make such a film. I just don’t see that at all. I don’t see any case for “psychological harm” being done that outweighs all other considerations, (including benefits to Jewish Israelis.)

        Again, it’s impossible to discuss this further in a rigorous philosophical way until you more precisely define what kind of “Nazi analogy” you are considering, who exactly the audience is, and the specific context.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 22, 2013, 6:44 am

        “The Nazi leadership was occultist”

        No they weren’t. Himmler was, and the rest thought him a bit odd on account of it.

      • W.Jones
        January 25, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Woody

        He was more than a bit odd. :)

        [Alfred] Rosenberg [Was he the main ideologue of Nazi anti-Semitism?] was also a close associate of the Thule Society – an occult-mystical organization that believed true Germans originated from a superhuman race of Aryans. He has been described as having an “occult-driven psychosis”, and was adamant that Christianity should be eliminated or “allowed to die out”…

        As Adolf Hitler’s deputy, [Rudolf] Hess was the third most powerful man in the Third Reich. He was also said to be “the biggest occult supporter of them all.” …Even before the Nazis’ rise to power, Hess was a member of the Thule Society…

        link to brainz.org

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 25, 2013, 4:13 pm

        W.Jones,

        Yes, he was a rather bizarre, delusional man.

        As for these two, Rosenberg was a key Nazi, but he wasn’t in the top leadership. A lot of Rosenberg’s political ideas were popular in the party and with Hitler, the religious and occult ones weren’t. Hitler was pretty clearly on the record rejecting them. I think that Hitler was too pragmatic (albeit irrational when it came to things like race theory) to be interested in the religious ideas. While I’ve little doubt that, had he won the war, Hitler would have worked to replace Christianity with something even beyond Positive Christianity, towards, essentially, a religion of National Socialism, but not out of any occultish feeling or theological concern, but simply to eliminate a potential rival power base.

        And, you know, it’s funny, I actually simply forgot about Hess, which I guess is easy to do if you’re not talking about Landsberg, Nuremberg, or Scotland. Hess clearly was into the occult. But the funny thing about Hess is that even though he was #3 in party at one point, he was basically a non-entity as far as setting policy and doing any actual leading goes. I’ve long suspected that he was a bit touched in the head (no surprise), and that Hitler made him deputy simply out of loyalty to him for the enormous amount of work Hess did for the party in the 20s and early 30s, and because he was an alter Kämpfer, but then simply shut him out of any actual role in running the state.

      • W.Jones
        January 25, 2013, 8:28 pm

        Woody,

        I found some more for your interest:

        Goring believed passionately in the concept of The Hollow Earth. The Third Reich’s premier architect, Albert Speer, was fascinated by geomancy or earth power, and many of his architectural layouts betray his fascination with mystic geometry.

        link to primarysources.newsvine.com

        He had a hypnotic talent, which explains his huge influence on Hitler. He performed occult rites and kept a diary during his entire life. Joseph Goebbels – these pages, which disappeared on the eve of his suicide, could have shed light on the secret life of the Reich’s top bosses… Shown are some never before published documents, and rare newsreel footage from his private archives, which were kept in secret vaults of the KGB for many years.

        link to sales.vgtrk.com

        “Berndt handed in a plan for the occultist propaganda to be carried on by us… We are therefore pressing into service all star witnesses of occult prophecy. Nostradamus must once again submit to being quoted.”

        -Goebbels

        You are right about their desire to get rid of Christianity. Goebbels said that previous religions would be “uprooted” and everyone would follow Nazism as their religion.

        Regards.

    • Jethro
      January 25, 2013, 10:29 am

      Shorter Yonah: “YOU didn’t break up with me; I broke up with you!”

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:24 pm

        “Shorter Yonah: “YOU didn’t break up with me; I broke up with you!”

        And we have a winner!

  6. Clif Brown
    January 20, 2013, 3:53 pm

    What a brilliant piece this is, so concise, penetrating, perceptive. There isn’t a paragraph that isn’t worth quoting. I’m sorry to say Kovel is new to me, but I will make it a point to follow his output. One more treasure found in the gold mine that is Mondoweiss.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 20, 2013, 4:40 pm

      yeah, it’s incredible..working my way down now.

      It is safe to say that never in history has there been relationship like this, in which the client state masters the master, occupies his precincts, and colonizes the colonizer.

    • Citizen
      January 20, 2013, 5:05 pm

      @ Clif Brown
      I agree. Kovel is a refined diamond of truth in the ultimate (intentionally) confusing area. I never heard of him either. I’m embarrassed.

      No regulars at this site will be surprised to learn that Kovel lost his prestigious academic job due to his view on Israel: link to insidehighered.com

      Wonder how he pays the rent these days? You can be sure he gets no help from the “smart jews” like Shelly Adelson.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 20, 2013, 5:09 pm

        I never heard of him either.

        citizen, scroll up. i just left ellen 2 must read links

      • American
        January 20, 2013, 9:27 pm

        I read those when they first appeared…..Kovel is brillant, honest….rare,rare,rare.

    • Kathleen
      January 20, 2013, 6:51 pm

      Have to read again. So much there.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    January 20, 2013, 6:59 pm

    RE: “Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there . . . But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. ~ Joel Kovel

    MY COMMENT: Ouch, that really smarts! And it’s a stunningly keen observation.

  8. pabelmont
    January 20, 2013, 7:38 pm

    Here’s pie-in-the-sky (again, my hobby-horse): If Obama-Hagel (Kerry !?) were able to indicate to the nations that the USA is taking its thumb off the scale (not just at UNSC but in a myriad forms of pressure) in the matter of protecting Israel and would value some international pressure on Israel (which it would *NOT* punish, as in past and present), there might develop some non-USA pressure on Israel sufficient to turn Israel around (or at least catch its attention). Although

    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime.

    is correct: Israel has always ignored what anyone merely said (mere words roll off its back), actions have rarely been tried (one recalls Eisenhower) and so it is too early to say that international pressure could not succeed in forcing Israel to behave itself (e.g., remove settlers, settlements, wall). But the business of imposing the pressure wqill require more strength and determination than most nations have. Each, alone, would say, “Why me?”. So what’s needed is a UNGA resolution that [1] lays out the demands [2] and a time-table for Israel to come into compliance with the demands [3] and a timed list of sanctions for the countries to apply to Israel in the event of non-compliance. That way, if the demand includes (as it should) a time-table to be published within one month which sets forth a uniform schedule for removal of settlers, settlements, and wall over a stated period (e.g., one year), then sanctions would be called for if Israel failed to meet the one-month deadline or thereafter failed to meet the schedule of removals. NO SINGLE COUNTRY would have to act alone. All countries could recall their ambassadors one month after non-compliance. All countries could end commercial air commerce with Israel two months after non-compliance. And so forth.

  9. W.Jones
    January 20, 2013, 10:34 pm

    I found Kovel’s article here to be straightforward, deep, and frank.

    I recommend also the article “The conversion of Joel Kovel”, which was posted on Mondoweiss some months ago, which Annie pointed to.

    Peace.

  10. Kathleen
    January 20, 2013, 10:47 pm

    “It is safe to say that never in history has there been a relationship like this, in which the client state masters the master, occupies his precincts and COLONIZES THE COLONIZER” Whoa

    • Mooser
      January 21, 2013, 5:18 pm

      “It is safe to say that never in history has there been relationship like this, in which the client state masters the master, occupies his precincts, and colonizes the colonizer.”

      Well, I’ve heard that China was able to turn that trick at one time. But then they met up with the British East India Company.

  11. MRW
    January 21, 2013, 1:38 am

    What’s next? Going after Blake for satanic mills and Jerusalem?

    • W.Jones
      January 21, 2013, 5:17 am

      good point.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 23, 2013, 10:55 am

      MRW hits the target. kovel’s responds: link to mondoweiss.net

      But in what sense is “Satanic” to be regarded? After all, this is a word that has been the subject of many volumes of scholarship. I’m a long way from being an expert on the subject, but I do have a particular point of view to share–which one commentator, “MRW,” who posted on January 21, got.

  12. Citizen
    January 21, 2013, 8:56 am

    Supreme PEPmeister Bill Maher had Rula Jebreal on his show January 18th. After Bill went on and on how he was disturbed by the Notre Dame football guy who had a fake facebook girl friend, the eloquent, poised, beautiful Ms Jebreal interrupted his angst over cultural trivia by saying, Why not talk about important stuff? Bill then made a joke about Jebreal wanting to take over his show, and told her, go ahead, what do you want to talk about? She said, “Chuck Hagel.” Bill ASAP moved on, bantering about other trivial subjects and nobody could or would stop him. After all, its his show. What a guy! Ms Jebreal did not pursue it–he never gave her the slightest chance. At the opening of the show Maher went down his short list of important things that had happened while he was on vacation–Hagel was not mentioned, although he did mention the Israeli elections, wrt the right wing trend there, using the Tea Party analogy. Very disappointing, same as Jon S.

    • Chu
      January 21, 2013, 11:10 am

      He really believes he’s a wunderkind and imbued with a ‘special’ chosen quality, but in truth he’s a narcissist toady for Israel who manages to have liberal’s snicker at lame political jokes.

    • seanmcbride
      January 21, 2013, 11:44 am

      Citizen,

      During that show Bill Maher noted that John McCain and Lindsey Graham are joined at the hip, but failed to note that Joe Lieberman and militant Zionism are the glue that has joined them. McCain and Graham are tools and dupes of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby.

      Maher is blind about the role of Jewish nationalism (Zionism) in wildly warping American politics — and his own head.

      I agree with most of Maher’s political positions, and appreciate his clever wit, but on the subject of Israel and Jewish nationalism he is weirdly reality-challenged — as much a robotic cult follower as any of the religious fundamentalists and fanatics he ridicules.

      Also: Maher’s brainless and unquestioning support of the 9/11 official story — what happened to his independent and critical intelligence on that topic? — is almost certainly connected to his pro-Israel militancy and Pamela Geller-style Islamophobia.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2013, 4:13 pm

        Maher’s brainless and unquestioning support of the 9/11 official story — what happened to his independent and critical intelligence on that topic?

        didn’t he get sacked after 9/11 after saying the highjackers weren’t cowards..or something like that. he probably enthusiastically stepped in line to get his show back.

      • seanmcbride
        January 21, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Annie,

        Losing your high-profile and high-paying job over making a relatively uncontroversial remark about 9/11 — yeah, that would make a big impression on one’s mind and adjust one’s attitude. Good point.

        I find it difficult to believe that Bill Maher in private is any more gullible about the 9/11 official story than some of the lead 9/11 Commission members themselves — who thought their own report was a fairy tale.

      • Cliff
        January 21, 2013, 5:18 pm

        he said the hijackers were brave

        saying they were cowards would not be something anyone would get sacked for

      • Annie Robbins
        January 21, 2013, 5:25 pm

        thanks cliff, i’ve since edited! i meant ‘weren’t’ cowards.

      • Citizen
        January 22, 2013, 8:46 am

        @ seanmcbride

        Maybe Maher in private is also well aware of Zionism and the Israel Lobby too. In public he’s very witty and insightful about everything unless there’s an actual negative pattern connection to big establishment Jews and/or Israel. In a way, he’s like Glen Beck, whom he hates, in that Beck use to map out the dots, name the human face of each dot, and connect them on his TV blackboard. But he never connected the obvious when all or nearly all of the dots sported Jewish names and neocon/ziocon associations. Yet Maher preens on being the exact contrary type of human being than the likes of Beck.

      • seanmcbride
        January 22, 2013, 7:32 pm

        Citizen,

        You say many insightful things, and say them elegantly. I think you may be right about Bill Maher — he knows where he can tread and where he can’t tread in order to keep his gig. Rattle many cages for shock and entertainment value but stay away from a few cages — especially one cage in particular.

        Another interesting facet of Bill Maher: he is very tough on pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church. I have no problem with that — everyone should be tough on that issue.

        But what about pedophilia in the Orthodox Jewish community? It’s a fairly big issue — scan the last few years of posts on the subject at Shmarya Rosenberg’s Failed Messiah:

        link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        But this issue is rarely covered in the mainstream media or by Bill Maher. Why not? Double standards? Intellectual incoherence? In denial?

        Perhaps Bill himself could explain the personal priorities and agenda which regulate and modulate his moral outrage and righteous indignation towards this issue, Israel, the Israel lobby, neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, etc.

      • Citizen
        January 23, 2013, 9:39 am

        @ seanmcbride
        Thanks.
        Yes, he always goes after the Catholic priests on pedophilia, but totally ignores the rabbis of similar bent–actually nobody in the press or comic satire industry goes after those rabbis, but many take swipes at the priests.

        Kathy Griffin is one comedian who, I believe it was during her first HBO stand-up routine hour, came right out by way of introducing herself as a person who is a no-holds barred comic except she would “never make fun of the Jews–are you kidding? I want to work!”

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 12:24 pm

        “Yes, he always goes after the Catholic priests on pedophilia, but totally ignores the rabbis of similar bent–”

        Excuse me for bringing reality into this, but as far as I know, Rabbis are not pledged to celibacy or even chastity. And was it a Rabbi who sang “I think that any love is good love, so I took what I could get, took what I could get…”, lowering the morals of an entire generation? Ha!

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 12:46 pm

        Mooser,

        The issue is not celibacy or chastity but pedophilia — do you even bother to read the passages you quote these days? :) For the last month or two you’ve missed 90% of your targets in your comments — you need to read and think carefully before you start typing.

      • Woody Tanaka
        January 23, 2013, 1:01 pm

        “Excuse me for bringing reality into this, but as far as I know, Rabbis are not pledged to celibacy or even chastity. ”

        Poor form, Mooser. As everyone knows, the crime is not the violation of the vows, but the battery on the children.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 4:14 pm

        For the last month or two you’ve missed 90% of your targets

        i thought it was a joke. am i the only person here who gets mooser’s soh. or maybe you think he doesn’t read the sentences he italics. okay, a sick joke..but still a joke. woody’s right, poor form.

        but context is important/should be considered. it was about comics making jokes about pedophilia. in that light, mooser’s joke was fair game. or i should say the (pedophile) rabbis are fair game.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 4:29 pm

        “i thought it was a joke.”

        So did I, and I hoped it was in pretty dubious taste, just dubious enough, too. I found humor (God help me) in the idea of the “fair ‘n balanced” view of reporting on incidents of sexual abuse by religious figures.
        Okay, since I couldn’t get the Rabbis off on a technicality, shall we go on to compare by number of incidences, or on a per-capita basis? Maybe a trade-and-cap arrangement? Quotas? Can we run a handicap, to make things fair?
        I mean Citizen posed some kind of comparison between, I think Catholic Priests who have abused children, and Rabbis who have abused children. I’m just trying to help. It sure as hell isn’t something I would bring up.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 4:37 pm

        “Perhaps Bill himself could explain the personal priorities and agenda which regulate and modulate his moral outrage and righteous indignation towards this issue, Israel, the Israel lobby, neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, etc.”

        I have a hunch it is a malign and avarice-driven force called The Producer.

      • marc b.
        January 23, 2013, 4:55 pm

        yup. mooser. bletch. and read what the pigs in the ‘community’ are doing to the victims’ families and advocates. bleach to the face. physical threats. what a bunch of f*cking creeps. not funny. as in the opposite of funny.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 5:28 pm

        Annie,

        If that was actually a joke — and it still doesn’t read like a joke to me — I am astounded. I usually get Mooser’s sense of humor.

        Look into what is going on in these cases here:

        link to failedmessiah.typepad.com

        Even the New York Times is beginning to cover the story — there is a major article today.

        There is nothing humorous about this subject in my opinion. Read some of the victim impact statements. The effects of these crimes on their lives has been devastating.

        The main issue here is still Bill Maher’s blatant double standards on a few sensitive issues.

        Since the subject of the connections between Judaism and Zionism first came up here, in an effort to explicate and understand the roots of religious Zionism, Mooser has undergone a noticeable transformation in attitude and personality — much of the humor has been replaced by grim outrage and thinly veiled accusations, at least in his comments directed towards me.

      • MHughes976
        January 23, 2013, 5:39 pm

        I thought Mooser was not neglecting or minimising the problem of assaults on children but satirising the criteria for indignation which he attributes to Maher and which he considers make Maher far too indulgent on Jewish matters. Whether he’s being unfair to Maher, who’s not such a big name in the UK, I can’t say.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 5:53 pm

        sean, i am well aware of the pedophilia in that community and the cover up.

        much of the humor has been replaced by grim outrage and thinly veiled accusations,

        yes, i am well aware of your criticisms, you’ve let us all know (repeatedly) your opinion on mooser’s contributions here.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 6:21 pm

        “Even the New York Times is beginning to cover the story — there is a major article today”

        Ah, so the ban on Rabbi-pederasty stories is not total. That’s good. I think my experience with religious figures has been good, because I suspected each and every one of them of something, even before I really knew what it was I was afraid of. Gave ‘em a wide berth. I hate being bored and wheedled. But isn’t it the way, the reality turns out to be worse than anything I could ever have suspected them of at the time?

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 6:33 pm

        “much of the humor has been replaced by grim outrage and thinly veiled accusations”

        First of all, I can’t do “grim outrage”, Sean. I haven’t got enough teeth to clench, and that’s one of the core drivers of grim outrage, clenched teeth.

        And as far as “thinly veiled” accusations go, Sean, we’ve just painted the living-room, and will trample to the wharehouse where the Drapes of Roth are stored, and order new ones, next week. So that’s taken care of.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Annie,

        yes, i am well aware of your criticisms, you’ve let us all know (repeatedly) your opinion on mooser’s contributions here.

        I am still not sure that everyone here understands what this debate is about — it is easy to be distracted by the wisecracks. An important intellectual difference has opened up between Mooser and me.

        I think that in order to change Israeli policies, we will need to challenge the main drivers and enablers of those policies: the Jewish establishment, the Jewish lobby, the Jewish religious establishment, and those elements of Judaism that have merged with, inspire and prop up aggressive and messianic religious Zionism. The Jewish establishment exerts much more influence over Israeli and American Mideast policies than Christian Zionists. The Jewish lobby (AIPAC especially) overwhelmingly dominates and controls the Israel lobby.

        Apparently Mooser doesn’t want the discussion to go anywhere near those topics.

        These exchanges have been enlightening: I now realize that some anti-Zionists can be as effective as liberal Zionists in deflecting any challenges to Israeli policies that might actually be effective. In his own way, Mooser is very much a gatekeeper of a type we have all come to know quite well (I am thinking of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein at the moment).

        Primal ethnic, religious and tribal loyalties keep intruding into discussions about Mideast and Israeli politics in the strangest ways.

        Apart from this one disagreement, which is fairly major, I share most of Mooser’s views on other subjects.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 7:31 pm

        MHughes976,

        I thought Mooser was not neglecting or minimising the problem of assaults on children but satirising the criteria for indignation which he attributes to Maher and which he considers make Maher far too indulgent on Jewish matters.

        Actually, if I stand back a bit from the immediate horror of having read today’s news on this topic in Failed Messiah and the New York Times, Mooser’s comment is hilarious. Ok — your interpretation is legit.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 7:40 pm

        Mooser,

        Let’s change the phrase “grim outrage” — admittedly over the top — to brittle alarm.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 9:04 pm

        you miss a lot of his humor sean, which is unfortunate.

      • sardelapasti
        January 23, 2013, 9:11 pm

        “I usually get Mooser’s sense of humor.”
        ?

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 9:24 pm

        Annie,

        Mooser’s humor is not difficult to get — and I enjoy it — except when very occasionally it’s a bit off-kilter. What I would like to see, however, is some indication that he knows anything about Mideast politics.

        Mooser is one of the few people here who seems to lack any interest in the scholarly history of the subject — it’s difficult to pursue a reasonable discussion with him in that domain. I should probably abandon the effort and simply let Mooser be Mooser — he is certainly a rare enough breed.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 9:30 pm

        sean, i hope you’re really listening to me here. just because you see something, doesn’t make it what’s necessarily happening the way you see it. you’re a gatekeeper too sean and a very strong dominating voice here. you move the conversation where you want it to go when you want it to go there, and if someone takes it somewhere other than your direction you stay on them like a dog w/a bone. after all this time you can’t even tell when moosers pulling your leg and when he’s serious. you just can’t read him but that doesn’t stop you from making judgement after judgement about who he is and trying to engage him in the kind of discussion you want to have the way you want to have it, over and over and over.

        no one is stopping you here. no one is saying if you want to obsess on this or that do it at your own blog. mooser isn’t even saying quit asking me these questions or quit hounding me. try suspending your regular thought process and imagine he’s smarter than you, just try it. try imagining he’s communicating to you in a way that’s foreign to you and you don’t understand it. but it’s so foreign to you to not come to a conclusion you’re making one anyway, because that’s what you do, make conclusions. saying your right and making these declarations about what’s really going on wrt him, won’t help. it won’t. it’s like he’s under your skin and your way of dealing with it is labeling him. it’s not going to work cuz yer dealing with a 1/2 sense here because you do not know how to read him. iow, you don’t get it. that’s how it reads to me. good luck.

        btw, you could find an ally here if you wanted too link to mondoweiss.net

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 9:45 pm

        Annie,

        You are more impressed with Mooser’s intellect than I am. Contributors like Hostage, Shmuel, Krauss, Sibiriak and many others here provide direct and intelligible answers to direct and intelligible questions, and offer direct and intelligible questions of their own. That is how one pursues a useful discussion and moves it forward — by clarifying points of agreement and disagreement on the basis of facts and logical arguments.

        With regard to the role of the contemporary Jewish religious establishment, and the brand of Judaism they espouse, in propping up and energizing Zionism, I still don’t understand Mooser’s views after participating in several exchanges that he himself has repeatedly initiated. If you understand his thinking, perhaps you could interpret it for me.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 10:01 pm

        “Apart from this one disagreement, which is fairly major, I share most of Mooser’s views on other subjects.”

        You mean, you like to dress in women’s frilly underthings and put on make-up, too? Fabulous! From now on, brother, you and me is like sisters! Oh wait, you told us about your background, I should have known….

      • Annie Robbins
        January 23, 2013, 10:02 pm

        Contributors like Hostage, Shmuel, Krauss, Sibiriak and many others here provide direct and intelligible answers to direct and intelligible questions.. That is how one pursues a useful discussion and moves it forward

        intelligible to you in the way you communicate. That is how you pursues a useful discussion and move it forward.

        in propping up and energizing Zionism, I still don’t understand Mooser’s views

        sean, we all get it that it is your view he ‘props up zionism’

        what if you’re wrong? have you considered that? please explain to me here how he ‘props up zionsim': link to mondoweiss.net

        or does this just fly right past your radar? maybe there’s something you can’t comprehend that’s going on over your head. no one is required to follow your linear format wrt logic, i assume you can comprehend that, no?

        btw, i find your continual references to ‘Mooser’s intellect’ more than amusing since it’s obvious so much of it (especially his soh) flies right over your head on a regular basis. you just haven’t figured it out yet…but it’s not really that challenging for me. maybe because i’ve been blessed with the best kind of sense, the common kind.

        i think today is the very first time (after too many flybys to mention) i ever pointed out to you just missed the joke. you miss them all the time sean. i think it’s because your mind is just wired in a linear (perhaps non flexible) way or something.

      • seanmcbride
        January 23, 2013, 10:16 pm

        Annie,

        sean, we all get it that it is your view he ‘props up zionism’

        This is a perfect example of how we are not communicating with clarity.

        I didn’t say that “he” (Mooser) “props up Zionism” — I said that the Jewish religious establishment has been propping up Zionism by entangling Judaism with it. Mooser has voiced vague objections to this assertion without explaining why precisely he objects.

        With regard to his ironic comedy “stylings,” they are not nearly in the same class as, say, Philip Roth, of whom I am a big fan. If you want to enjoy ironic complexity that is off the charts, try reading Roth’s major novels — perhaps you already have.

        Roth, by the way, offered his own brilliant critique of religious Zionism in “The Counterlife” —

        link to amazon.com

        — everyone here should read it.

      • Mooser
        January 23, 2013, 10:16 pm

        Well then okay. No more anthropophagy jokes, and from this moment on, no more pederasty jokes from any angle. Nope, not a one, not ever again. If you are walking down the street and somebody asks you, “Hey heard any good pederasty or cannibalism jokes lately” you can reply: “Not from Mooser, I haven’t” with a complete assurance of veracity. And with those two subjects closed off, I should be just about mute!

      • Hostage
        January 23, 2013, 10:26 pm

        In his own way, Mooser is very much a gatekeeper of a type we have all come to know quite well (I am thinking of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein at the moment).

        None of the above are playing the role of gatekeepers, they just ridicule bad ideas or point out the obvious shortcomings of some of the grand schemes that others have hatched to solve the Question of Palestine.

      • MRW
        January 24, 2013, 12:49 am

        @annie, hear, hear.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 12:50 am

        That is how one pursues a useful discussion and moves it forward — by clarifying points of agreement and disagreement on the basis of facts and logical arguments.

        there’s something to be said for repeating the same thing over and over again even if it gets you nowhere. i’m curious sean, why do you bother if, as you’ve implied, mooser’s intellectually challenged? why not just ignore him?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 12:56 am

        I should probably abandon the effort and simply let Mooser be Mooser — he is certainly a rare enough breed.

        exactly!

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2013, 1:10 am

        “In his own way, Mooser is very much a gatekeeper…”

        I am not a Moderator, or an administrator, and I have no contact with Mondo other than the comments everyone sees. I do not keep any gates here, and I resent you implying that I do. I cannot delete any comments nor can I ban anyone. What you say about me being a gate keeper is nonsense.

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2013, 1:24 am

        “With regard to his ironic comedy “stylings,” they are not nearly in the same class as, say, Philip Roth, of whom I am a big fan.”

        I should hope not! His stuff was filthy. The man violated his nearest and dearest’s hepatic repast! If there isn’t something stern about that in Leviticus, there damn well oughta be!

      • libra
        January 24, 2013, 12:52 pm

        annie: … if, as you’ve implied, mooser’s intellectually challenged?

        Couldn’t we clear this important issue up once and for all if Mooser just posted a PDF of his doctorate certificate? Ideally from Harvard but Yale would be OK, Princeton at a push.

      • libra
        January 24, 2013, 1:00 pm

        annie: … because your mind is just wired in a linear (perhaps non flexible) way or something.

        You mean like a list? Surely not?

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 2:00 pm

        Annie,

        i’m curious sean, why do you bother if, as you’ve implied, mooser’s intellectually challenged? why not just ignore him?

        Mooser keeps directing comments my way that misrepresent my positions — do you normally remain silent when commenters here misrepresent your positions? Hardly :) — I know your discussion/debating style well.

        I have tried several times to engage Mooser in extended discussion to clear up these misrepresentations and misunderstandings, but he has failed to answer nearly all my points — he keeps coming back with the same stuff. Why not ask him what he’s up to?

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 2:02 pm

        Annie,

        i think it’s because your mind is just wired in a linear (perhaps non flexible) way or something.

        It’s interesting that you think that. I regularly reread James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and Rimbaud and Baudelaire rank among my favorite poets. I am heavily into the close reading of complex nonlinear literary texts (like Philip Roth’s The Counterlife).

        But I distinguish imaginative writing from expository political writing, and for political writing George Orwell is my hero and model — write as cleanly and crisply as possible. Make sense. Be clear as a bell.

        I see political discussion forums as an opportunity for people with varying or opposing ideas to engage in a dialectical process that enables mutual learning. In the clash of ideas, all sides acquire new knowledge and insights — or at least that is the ideal. That kind of mutual learning process usually goes on more effectively here at Mondoweiss than on any other political forum I can think of. But to participate in this process requires a certain set of skills of the type that Hostage displays on a regular basis — including a mastery of the facts and scholarship in a domain, and the ability to develop long chains of rational argument.

        At the end of an effective debate, all the parties to that debate should clearly understand one another’s assumptions, arguments, positions, etc. without necessarily agreeing with one another. All of them will have picked up and added new facts and insights about the world to their collective knowledgebase.

        Example: I just learned a great deal about the King-Crane Commission here. That is why I keep coming back to Mondoweiss — to learn.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 2:40 pm

        Hostage,

        None of the above are playing the role of gatekeepers, they just ridicule bad ideas or point out the obvious shortcomings of some of the grand schemes that others have hatched to solve the Question of Palestine.

        Let’s discuss the concept of gatekeeping in more general terms, to see if we agree on the definition of the term.

        Gatekeepers are people who try to control the conversation on issues, to define limits on that conversation, to steer the conversation in certain directions and to silence discussion on certain topics. They are often self-appointed arbiters of political correctness, ideological sentries, or, if you will, thought police. Sometimes they are even heavy-handed censors.

        With regard to discussion about Mideast and Israeli politics, there are three major subjects, in increasing order of sensitivity and volatility, that tend to bring gatekeepers out of the woodwork:

        1. the Israel lobby
        2. the Jewish establishment/lobby
        3. the Jewish religious establishment and Judaism

        We saw many gatekeepers attempt to suppress all discussion of the Israel lobby by smearing Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer as antisemites when they released their book on the subject.

        To this day, many liberal Zionists, like Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher, are performing the role of gatekeepers for the Israel lobby in the mainstream media by refusing even to mention the existence of the lobby.

        Gatekeeping becomes even more fierce when the subject of the Jewish lobby within the Israel lobby comes up — look at the torrent of attacks that have been directed at Chuck Hagel for merely mentioning three words once — “the Jewish lobby.” All informed observers of the great Mideast debates know that the Jewish lobby (especially AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) is by far the most powerful and consequential component of the Israel lobby — but stating the simple truth on this matter will inevitably set off waves of hysteria.

        When the subject of the role of the Jewish religious establishment and Judaism arises in the context of their key role in propping up and energizing Zionist doctrine, all hell will often break lose. This may be the most taboo topic in American politics, even though the rhetoric of Israeli leaders and pro-Israel activists is drenched in religious imagery and justifications lifted directly from the Torah.

        Can we agree on this much, Hostage, concerning the role of gatekeeping on matters related to Israel?

        Political gatekeepers try to control and regulate the content of political discussion, often by working in a coordinated way to steer the conversation away from certain topics or openly censoring them.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 2:53 pm

        Hostage,

        Regarding Noam Chomsky as a gatekeeper:

        I have attended two of his lectures in which he responded to questions about the Israel lobby by dismissing it as a topic of no consequence — he tried to shift the blame for American Mideast policy on a vague corporate/capitalist elite, the members of which he never names with any specificity. But students of American policy towards Israel from its origins to the present know that that corporate elite, including the oil industry, and in tandem with the best judgment of the American national security community, has often been overpowered by the Israel lobby in the making of American Mideast policy.

        Quite a few people have come to the conclusion that Chomsky is a gatekeeper on the left for the Israel lobby — even though he has been a vigorous and principled critic of the Israeli government. And here is the problem: how can one change Israeli policies without challenging an Israel lobby which continues to dominate the making of American Mideast policy?

        Norman Finkelstein has been similarly reticent about discussing the role of the Israel lobby in American politics.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 3:01 pm

        Hostage,

        Regarding the role of the corporate/capitalist elite in making American Mideast policy:

        How many Fortune 500 CEOs are obsessed with the problems and enemies of Israel? How many are bursting at the seams to go to war against Iran? Very few. Most of them rarely think about Israel at all.

        Chomsky’s theories don’t match up with the real world. Analysts like Craig Unger, Stephen Sniegoski, Philip Giraldi, Paul Craig Roberts, Chas Freeman and many others like them have done a much better job than Noam Chomsky at dissecting the political forces which have dominated the formation of American Mideast policy for decades.

      • Citizen
        January 24, 2013, 4:14 pm

        @ Mooser
        Celibacy or chasity vows are not the issue here, just sexually preying on children. Lots of rabbis do this as at least NY folks know–never seems to get the national press attention like priests do, aping Maher. And yes, such Rabbis “take what they can get.” Auditioning for a new illustrated Nazi children’s book I guess.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 7:11 pm

        sean, i said ‘perhaps’ non flexible. just keep in mind there are very different kinds of communicators here. for example, taxi, yourstruly and dickerson all communicate in completely different ways. we can’t order discourse on a platter like ihop pancakes.

        ;)

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 7:25 pm

        libra,

        You mean like a list? Surely not?

        If you want to see some real multidimensionality and hyperdimensionality, try linking together and integrating a few million lists.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 7:32 pm

        libra, we should request a dna sample while we’re at it.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 7:43 pm

        With regard to discussion about Mideast and Israeli politics, there are three major subjects, in increasing order of sensitivity and volatility, that tend to bring gatekeepers out of the woodwork:

        1. the Israel lobby
        2. the Jewish establishment/lobby
        3. the Jewish religious establishment and Judaism

        omg, i cracked when i read this! do you think it’s just a coincidence …oh, never mind.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 7:51 pm

        Hostage,

        None of the above are playing the role of gatekeepers, they just ridicule bad ideas or point out the obvious shortcomings of some of the grand schemes that others have hatched to solve the Question of Palestine.

        The Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein as gatekeepers meme seems to have acquired major traction and velocity on the Internet:

        1. Google [noam chomsky gatekeeper]

        link to google.com

        53,500 results

        2. Google [norman finkelstein gatekeeper]

        link to google.com

        954,000 results

      • libra
        January 24, 2013, 9:03 pm

        annie: libra, we should request a dna sample while we’re at it.

        annie, if you want to collect a DNA sample from a full-grown bull moose, possibly not in the best of temper, be my guest. But frankly I wouldn’t advise it.

        On the other hand, for Sean DNA is but another long list. Or, to be more precise, two parallel lists stuck together and written using a very small alphabet. But what better demonstration of the power of lists to create enormously intelligent systems than Sean’s very own genome?

        And so keen was he to prove this point, Sean sent me a digital copy of this super-smart sequence, billions of lines long, together with his permission to publish it. A wonderful treat for list cognoscenti but I’m afraid lesser minds would find it deadly dull and rather repetitive so I’ll just offer Mondoweiss readers a very small extract, taken at random:

        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P

      • libra
        January 24, 2013, 9:36 pm

        Mooser: What you say about me being a gate keeper is nonsense.

        Mooser, I’m probably equally wrong here but I’ve always imagined you to be more of a bartender than a gatekeeper.

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2013, 10:33 pm

        The Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein as gatekeepers meme seems to have acquired major traction and velocity on the Internet

        I’ve commented on the hysteria and hand-wringing here on many occasions and there’s no reason to go into it again, just search the comment archives. Most of the criticism of Chomsky is based on bogus summaries of his views written by others.

        Finkelstein isn’t controlling the discussion. He’s simply explaining why he thinks BDS hasn’t become a major mainstream mass movement and that he believes many activists engage in narrow-minded, cult-like thinking on the subject.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2013, 9:48 am

        libra,

        1. On a mundane level, lists are well-organized bundles of facts that help one see, in a maximally efficient and speedy way, what is going on in the world and how things are connected.

        For instance, libra, quick: provide a list of the names of neoconservatives who are members of the CFR, who have published articles in Commentary and who have been agitating for an Iran War. Who are they? Can you show me a list of their combined published articles by oldest, newest, publication, impact, etc.? A list of all the organizations with which they are affiliated? A list of those organizations sorted by their budgets for 2012? A list of the most important funders of those organizations? A list of the affiliations of those funders?

        Take the issue of “liberal Zionists” — to whom precisely are we referring? Can we see a list of “liberal Zionists” to help understand what characteristics they share in common? What are their affiliations and policy positions across the board and in combination? How do they connect to one another?

        But wait — these are just lists — why would anyone be interested in knowing such things when trying to understand Mideast politics?

        2. On an esoteric level, within the culture of the Semantic Web, transhumanism, the Singularity, Google Knowledge Graph, Wolfram Alpha, IBM Watson, Wikidata, etc., a supreme list of lists of lists of lists will be the foundation for building the World Tree and a rapidly self-evolving global superintelligence. Lists become especially interesting when they start conversing with and learning from one another in combination.

        Does this sound nonsensical? — it is being built as we speak — and all the research literature on how it is being built is out there for your perusal if you are curious — just a few keystrokes on Google will open it up for you.

        And what the heck is the World Tree? You should be able to figure it out. Hint: it occupies a point at the intersection of analytical philosophy, theosophy and computer science — and it will revolutionize every aspect of human society.

        I will be honest: I find cutting-edge knowledge technologies to be much more interesting than Mideast politics. Wars among neurotic and feuding Abrahamic cults tend to become boring fast. But they provide interesting grist for innovative knowledge-processing mills.

      • seanmcbride
        January 25, 2013, 10:22 am

        libra,

        annie, if you want to collect a DNA sample from a full-grown bull moose, possibly not in the best of temper, be my guest. But frankly I wouldn’t advise it.

        I would curious just to know what books and scholars on Mideast politics have made the greatest impression on Mooser’s mind and what thoughts he has on those books and scholars.

        But that’s just me — books and scholars matter when trying to figure out complex domains like Zionism, Judaism, US-Israeli relations, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, the Iraq War, Iranian politics, etc.

        I wouldn’t turn to Sarah Silverman or Jonah Hill to understand these subjects, even though they can be funny now and then.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2013, 4:26 pm

        “Poor form, Mooser. As everyone knows, the crime is not the violation of the vows, but the battery on the children.”

        You are right, Woody. A better line would have been: “But remember, those Rabbis were hampered by the lack of a world-wide organisation to protect them from the legal consequences and break the duty-to-inform on their behalf.” I don’t understand how he expects them to keep up.
        But as I said, I’ve abandoned the religious-figure-sexual-abuse humor market for good. It doesn’t pay.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2013, 4:37 pm

        “I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P
        I H
        T D
        M P”

        Libra, give it a chance. I’ve heard it starts out good, but gets a little slow through the middle, but really picks up in chapter 998,793,537,240, and the pace is break-neck, the suspense unbearable, the action piquant, bawdy, lusty and sumptuous from then on, right up til the end. (I won’t spoil it for you by telling, but there’s a twisteroo in the last helix which’ll have all the corn-fed customers in Dubuque hanging on the edge of their chairs, if we can get it past the Hayes Comission. I say we feed it to ‘em red-hot and damn Mrs Grundy! If they won’t have it in Boston, Girodas and Olympia will put it out, even if they have to put “Jane Eyre” on the cover.)

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2013, 4:43 pm

        “Couldn’t we clear this important issue up once and for all if Mooser just posted”

        Since I was, obviously, fitted by both nature and nurture for a career in poverty and unemployment facilitation, I left school in the sixth grade. It was time for me to not go to work, and the rest I learned on-the-job.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:36 pm

        “Mooser, I’m probably equally wrong here but I’ve always imagined you to be more of a bartender than a gatekeeper.”

        I’m just the house organist. I play jazzyish arrangements of standards, and after the most of the white folks leave, it’s all blues. Oh God, how I wish! My life has been wasted. Wasted! I could have been the organist in a cheap club, but no, look at me, instead, I’m a whore!
        I better go practice, maybe there’s still time…

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 6:43 pm

        “1. Google [noam chomsky gatekeeper]
        link to google.com
        53,500 results
        2. Google [norman finkelstein gatekeeper]
        link to google.com
        Chomsky954,000 results

        Sean, do you not know how a computer search works? Okay, you got all those hit’s where the word “gatekeeper” was in the same article as the name Chomsky or Finkelstein. Doesn’t tell anything else, not how the word was used, in what context, or even of the word “gatekeeper” was applied to Chomsky or Finkelstein in the article. For all we know the articles can say that Chomsky and Finkelstein are “marching past the gatekeepers” or “have defied the gatekeepers” or as I said, the word may have been used entirely apart from Chomsky or Finkelstein.
        And gee, isn’t “gatekeeper” a really, really common expression to use in an article about subjects connected with Chomsky and Finkelstein.

        So you are prepared to say that every one of those hits is an article which identifies Chomsky or Finkelstein as a “gatekeeper”?
        I’ll say one thing Sean, when it comes to artificial intelligence, you’re really smart.
        Anybody familiar with computer search can see right through that one. BTW, is this type of “association” your usual deductive process? Why yes, it mostly is.

        We’re just supposed to pretend that the “is a” is implicit in [noam chomsky gatekeeper]? It isn’t. And the fact that you used this as a reply to Hostage really shows your opinion of his astuteness. It’s not something I would try.

    • gingershot
      January 21, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Maher actually used the ‘Apartheid word’ during this segment of his interview with Rula Jebreal – I was pretty surprised.

  13. seanmcbride
    January 21, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Joel Kovel,

    As with everyone I know of in official political culture, Friedman assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.

    In truth, Zionism is a messianic and apocalyptic ethno-religious nationalist cult, armed with a large arsenal of WMDs, which holds the entire world — and Western rationalism in particular — in contempt.

    Why is it taking so long for American and European “official political culture” to see clearly what is directly in front of their noses?

    Most Zionists are not open to rational appeals of any kind — they are listening to the strange ancient voices in their heads. They are sleepwalkers. This is the kind of psychology that drives members of all messianic ethno-religious nationalist cults.

    • Citizen
      January 22, 2013, 8:50 am

      An irony that leaps out is that its the Iranian leaders who are rational, not the Israeli leaders. Of course you need a modern Middle East history lesson to see that. Or you need a great thirst to keep your nice career, let the chips fall where they may.

  14. Keith
    January 23, 2013, 9:39 pm

    ELLEN, TREE, SEAN, LIBRA, ET AL- Thanks for the entertainment. It is unusual to see such a display of synchronized pilpul.

    Such verbose umbrage caused by Yonah Fredman suggesting that Joel Kovel describing Zionism as a “Satanic ideology” would be better rephrased as “dastardly.” This after Kovel repeatedly linked Judaism and Zionism, describing Judaism as Zionism’s “Doppelganger.” But “dastardly” wasn’t dastardly enough for the Mondo faithful who insist that only “Satanic” will do. One can only imagine the Mondo reaction had an Israeli Rabbi published an op-ed in Haaretz claiming that anti-Zionism was a Satanic ideology.

    I am not going to critique the entire article by Kovel for a variety of reasons, time constraints being one. My wife and I flew into Maui this Tuesday and I have other things to distract me than the endless ritual incantations of tribal anti-Zionists. While I am anti-Zionist, there appears to be little else in common. My primary reason for commenting at all is the hope of engaging in meaningful discussions, at least occasionally. At this stage of the game, it appears that this will occur rarely. Yet, I continue to be fascinated by Mondoweiss group dynamics, this latest exchange doing nothing to alter previous conclusions on this topic. I might add that I don’t take any of this too seriously. Well, time to close, get a micro-brew, sit on the lanai and raise a toast to Noam Chomsky. Cheers!

    • tree
      January 23, 2013, 11:47 pm

      My primary reason for commenting at all is the hope of engaging in meaningful discussions…

      You seem to be failing at that since you manage to engage none of the comments in reply to you, and even your first comment on the thread was simply made to denigrate those you disagreed with, and to issue stern decrees on what language should and should not be allowed, not to engage in “meaningful discussions” . All you’ve managed to do in your latest comment is misquote and misstate every one’s comments, i.e. this from you, below:

      But “dastardly” wasn’t dastardly enough for the Mondo faithful who insist that only “Satanic” will do.

      No one here said that. You obviously have no cogent reply and so are forced to create straw men. And I see you are still using Manichean phrasing, which you profess to disagree with.

      Enjoy Maui.

    • Hostage
      January 24, 2013, 12:10 am

      This after Kovel repeatedly linked Judaism and Zionism, describing Judaism as Zionism’s “Doppelganger.”

      You seem blissfully unaware of the fact that many Jews are firm believers in the idea that they do have a central role in a cosmic struggle between good and evil and that assimilation of Gentile customs or intermarriage with Gentiles should be completely taboo. That aspect of traditional Judaism has resulted in a great deal of evil or misfortune and constitutes one of the major ideological and spiritual battlegrounds of Judaism, i.e. the dispute between the disciples of Hillel and Shammai.

      But “dastardly” wasn’t dastardly enough for the Mondo faithful who insist that only “Satanic” will do.

      I, for one, didn’t say that only Satanic would do. I said that it was completely appropriate usage. Satan is a very well known figure or literary device, having been employed since ancient times by Jewish authors in their lectures or discourses on moral themes. Satan can personify an “adversary”, an “accuser”, an “antagonist” who places obstacles in the way of others, or an enemy who wages an unjust war on mankind. link to jewishencyclopedia.com

      I think that “satanic ideology” is a most appropriate label to describe a belief system which claims a special position for Jews, while insisting that the rest of mankind has an incurable hereditary disease called Judeophobia or anti-Semitism. Zionists go so far as to claim that Jews cannot possibly live a normal life or have a satisfying existence if they have to share jurisdiction over the same territory or society with members of the Gentile nations. As a result, they’ve resorted to the use of deceit and deadly force in order to obtain their own State. They claim to have a continuing right to cleanse their country of anyone or anything that threatens its “Jewish” character.

      • Obsidian
        January 24, 2013, 2:02 pm

        @Hostage

        Like Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein has also called Israel a ‘satanic State’, though in the context of Operation Cast Lead.

        But what’s really in Finkelstein’s head came out during a interview he gave in Cairo not too long ago when he suggested that Israel was behind the terrorist bombing of a Coptic Church.
        A blood libel if ever there was one.

        So Finkelstein, who used an anti-Semitic motif to demonize Israel in front of an Iranian audience no less, stooped to a blood libel,when speaking to an audience of Arabs.

        I see a pattern.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 24, 2013, 7:16 pm

        now now, we all know israel has a history of false flags in egypt. elliot abrams specialized in pitting ethnicities against each other. it’s the way neocons have conducted wars all over the ME. so don’t go moaning blood libel when you don’t know what happened there.

      • seanmcbride
        January 24, 2013, 7:34 pm

        Obsidian,

        I see a pattern.

        The fateful pattern that you should be paying most attention to is the ever-escalating stream of angry verbal attacks by pro-Israel activists against influential Americans and Europeans — like those by Pamela Geller against Barack Obama.

        That is the pattern that has the potential to blow the entire Zionist experiment sky high.

      • American
        January 24, 2013, 8:37 pm

        But what’s really in Finkelstein’s head came out during a interview he gave in Cairo not too long ago when he suggested that Israel was behind the terrorist bombing of a Coptic Church.
        A blood libel if ever there was one”

        I see a pattern”……..Obsidian>>>>

        rotflmao…!!…Yea I see a pattern too….of blowing up things.
        A blood libel?…..What you got to say about Jewish zio Israelis dressing up as Arabs and bombing the King David Hotel?
        The thing about your old blood libels and canards…… is you keep proving they aren’t.

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2013, 9:53 pm

        Like Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein has also called Israel a ‘satanic State’, though in the context of Operation Cast Lead.

        That’s a well deserved accolade for the criminals who repeatedly air-burst white phosphorus shells over densely populated residential areas killing or grievously wounding people, including little children attending schools and patients in hospitals.

        But what’s really in Finkelstein’s head came out during a interview he gave in Cairo not too long ago when he suggested that Israel was behind the terrorist bombing of a Coptic Church.
        A blood libel if ever there was one.

        I haven’t seen any evidence one way or the other. But I spent much of my life listening to Zionists lying about the Lavon Affair and bitching about blood libels that turned out to be the unvarnished truth. So I’ll reserve judgment until I see some more compelling evidence, like Shertok’s Diary or the memoirs of “The Arabists of the Palmach” or Mista’arvim , literally, “Arab-pretenders”, who are known to have been in operation in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries as early as 1942. — See Targeting To Kill: Israel’s Undercover Units, Elia Zureik and Anita Vitullo, The Palestine Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC)
        *http://www.palmach.org.il/show_item.asp?levelId=42858&itemId=9023&itemType=0
        *Zvika Dror, The ’Arabists’ of the Palmach (Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986)
        *http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/2942

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2013, 10:19 pm

        now now, we all know israel has a history of false flags in egypt.

        We also know that the Knesset had to terminate its investigation of the Ofer brother’s violations of the international sanctions against Iran when a “High ranking Security Official” revealed they had sent the brother’s ships to Iranian ports as part of a Mossad covert operation.
        link to richardsilverstein.com

        The Hezbollah reports after the 2006 IDF commando raid in Baalbek, said that some of the Israeli soldiers were disguised as Arab militia members and spoke Arabic.

      • LeaNder
        January 25, 2013, 12:02 am

        But what’s really in Finkelstein’s head came out during a interview he gave in Cairo not too long ago when he suggested … So Finkelstein, who used an anti-Semitic motif to demonize Israel in front of an Iranian audience no less

        Interesting, Obsidian, why did Norman address an Iranian audience in Cairo? Did Finkelstein and the Iranians choose that setting for a special reason?

        You have to read Joel Kovel’s essay, and understand why he used “satanic”:

        The “military industrial complex” is identified as “satanic” in the opening sentence of this essay, perhaps jarring the reader unused to figures of speech that seem archaic to the contemporary mind. But surely the MIC is more than the sum of weapons, contracts, factories, military bases, political deals, and propagandist manipulations of which it is ordinarily composed. It must also be anchored in the mind, as part of the consent necessary for hegemony.

        Not everything must necessarily be as easy as it seems on first sight.

      • Obsidian
        January 25, 2013, 12:09 am

        @Hostage

        Could you respond to my earlier posting above?

        Obsidian says:
        January 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      • LeaNder
        January 25, 2013, 12:29 am

        Like Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein has also called Israel a ‘satanic State’, though in the context of Operation Cast Lead.

        The problem with many anti-anti-Semite-hunters or self-hating-Jew hunters for that matter, is, that they usually have not much knowledge beyond talking points leave alone human depth.

        While claiming you can descend into Norman’s head you unveil your own propagandized mind.

        Since Iran is the current ultimate enemy consent, than Norman must look more satanic, if he addresses an Iranian audience in Cairo. Fantasized guilt by association. You surely couldn’t have merged “the enemy” and “the suspect” more perfectly.

      • Hostage
        January 25, 2013, 4:16 am

        @Hostage Could you respond to my earlier posting above?

        Yep been there and done that.
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Obsidian
        January 25, 2013, 6:52 am

        Two different interviews. One in Cairo, one with Iranian news.

      • JeffB
        January 25, 2013, 10:22 pm

        by pro-Israel activists against influential Americans and Europeans — like those by Pamela Geller against Barack Obama. That is the pattern that has the potential to blow the entire Zionist experiment sky high.

        Oh for crying out loud. Pamela Geller is the chairwoman of Women for Sarah Palin. She says the same kinds of stuff about Barack Obama as Tea Party members who are 200 hundred different groups say about Barack Obama. Heck she might even be more polite than average.

        Just because Pamela Geller is Jewish does not make her actions any more influential than the tens of thousands of right wing extremist groups that have nothing to do with Jews. If Barack Obama is going to be upset with Jews it is going to be progressive Jews that make it difficult for him to stay centrists. Jews, given their share of the population, and their high level of political activism are a disproportionately small number of the right wing kooks in America.

        Pamela Geller is great for him, she ties the Tea Party to all sorts of Islamaphobic paranoid rantings, and this helped him win Michigan and will keep helping.

    • Citizen
      January 24, 2013, 4:19 pm

      @ Keith

      Re ” I have other things to distract me than the endless ritual incantations of tribal anti-Zionists”

      And what tribe would that be, Keith? I’m unaware the regular commenters on Mondoweiss are all, or even mostly Jews.

      • Mooser
        January 25, 2013, 5:00 pm

        “endless ritual incantations of tribal anti-Zionists”

        Keith, when the “endless ritual incantation” fades into the hush of a beautiful summer night… and everybody is all worked up from the dancing and singing….well, let’s just say the Dionysians could take our correspondence course, and more-than-likely say “Jumpin’ Jupiter, we didn’t know the half of it…” when they open the first lesson.

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        January 26, 2013, 7:05 am

        @Mooser

        “…well, let’s just say the Dionysians could take our correspondence course, and more-than-likely say “Jumpin’ Jupiter, we didn’t know the half of it…” when they open the first lesson.”

        I think that was meant for me.

        I am not a pundit on Israel, i admit!

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 6:57 pm

        dionissis mitropoulos, ain’t you got no Greek culture? I was referring to the ancient temple rites, the ones which get, well, you know, mmmm… a bit, well, ecstatic, if you get my drift, nod-nod-, wink-wink. Grab yourself a Menead and go for it!

        Okay, my wine-dark and many-throated friend? No reference to you whatsoever. But you’re welcome to join us if Keith won’t show up, and he’s in Maui, the lucky stiff!

      • dionissis mitropoulos
        February 4, 2013, 4:37 am

        @Mooser

        I was having a conversation in Israpundit, and we had mentioned the Dionysian rites, and someone had used the word “correspondent”. I saw both words in your comment, and i thought you somehow had run upon this discussion.

        I love getting ecstatic (nod-nod, wink-wink), and i don’t drink – alcohol upsets my stomach.

        Your other comment, about pervert Zionists? I’m just a kinky one.

        I don’t know who Keith is, but i would have taken you up on your invitation if i lived nearby.

        I love all dominatrixes, Maenads too.

      • seafoid
        January 25, 2013, 5:48 pm

        “I’m unaware the regular commenters on Mondoweiss are all, or even mostly Jews”

        I’m a Hindu Jew. My last reincarnation was from Galicia. I knew Mooser’s Muslim grandfather as a Parsi.

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:46 pm

        “I knew Mooser’s Muslim grandfather as a Parsi.”

        I think that was my great-great-grandfather, Seafoid, but it’s very likely true. And then the line comes down through Joseph Silver (AKA “Jacob Lys”) to me. It’s distinguished Jewish lineage. Many people contend he was “Jack the Ripper”, but that’s only gelding the lilly, so to speak.

  15. Citizen
    January 24, 2013, 4:26 pm

    “You seem blissfully unaware of the fact that many Jews are firm believers in the idea that they do have a central role in a cosmic struggle between good and evil and that assimilation of Gentile customs or intermarriage with Gentiles should be completely taboo. That aspect of traditional Judaism has resulted in a great deal of evil or misfortune and constitutes one of the major ideological and spiritual battlegrounds of Judaism, i.e. the dispute between the disciples of Hillel and Shammai.”

    Mooser seems to be unaware of this too. See his angry attacks on seanmcbride.

    • Mooser
      January 25, 2013, 5:26 pm

      “Mooser seems to be unaware of this too.”

      Amazing, isn’t it? I grew up in a Jewish (Reform) house, and had many Conservative and Orthodox relatives. And I was completely unaware of any Jewish ethnocentrism, feelings of religious superiority, or resistance to out-marriage. Amazing how that happens! Gosh, and looking at the retention figures, and the out-marriage figures, neither did a lot of other Jews. Why didn’t somebody inform us about those things, so we wouldn’t do this kind of anti-Jewish stuff? (You know, stuff like walk-away, or marry out.)
      BTW, Citizen, you don’t give those Jews enough credit. Do you know what the penalty for disobeying Jewish law is? For defying Rabbi? Let’s just say, those suits you had made for a whole person? Well, you can give ‘em to Goodwill….

      “See his angry attacks on seanmcbride.”

      If I have to face assault charges, and pay his medical bills, I’ll do it. I have to take responsibility for my actions. But I’m glad he’s found a protector in you, Citizen, that sort of man-buddy chivalry really turns me on.

      • HRK
        January 25, 2013, 7:15 pm

        Wikipedia’s article “Jewish Views on Intermarriage” has this to say about the subject (and we all know that Wikipedia has the final say on any topic):

        “Attitudes

        All branches of Orthodox Judaism refuse to accept any validity or legitimacy of intermarriages.

        Conservative Judaism does not sanction intermarriage, but encourages acceptance of the non-Jewish spouse within the family, hoping that such acceptance will lead to conversion.

        Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism permit total personal autonomy in interpretation of Jewish Law, and intermarriage is not forbidden. Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis are free to take their own approach to performing marriages between a Jewish and non-Jewish partner. Many but not all seek agreement from the couple that the children will be raised as Jewish.”

        However, myjewishlearning.com reports that “. . . according to a survey released in October 2000, Lieberman’s comments reflect the beliefs of the majority of American Jews. In short, according to the survey, ‘the Jewish taboo on mixed marriage has clearly collapsed.’

        More than half of American Jews disagree with the statement, ‘It would pain me if my child married a gentile,’ and 50 percent agree that ‘it is racist to oppose Jewish‑gentile marriages,’ according to the American Jewish Committee’s 2000 Survey of American Jewish Opinion. “

        (My goyish opinion: I don’t see any problem with religious Jews who have more or less traditional views of the Hebrew Bible opposing intermarriage. From their perspective, they’re merely following God’s commands–their motive isn’t racist or hateful.

        I’d lump non-religious Jews who oppose intermarriage in the same category as gentiles who oppose inter-racial or inter-ethnic marriages. Which isn’t to say that they’re horrible people.

        For example, I know a Native American woman who told me her father felt uncomfortable with her marrying a white guy. It made him uncomfortable and even sad, apparently–he felt that his people were dying out. (I actually knew her father as much as I knew her. He was a very nice guy. He actually said an Indian prayer at my dad’s gravestone several months after the funeral. I wasn’t even there–he just went out and did it; I found out afterward. Needless to say, I was touched. –A very, very thoughtful person.)

        One thing is very clear to me: Even though I might have tribal feelings of some sort, if my child, sibling, etc., did marry someone outside of my ethnic or racial group, the only moral way to react, I believe, is with acceptance and love. And, to a large extent, that alone can be used to dictate what we should say to our family members before they get into any close relationships that might lead to marriage: If I tell my children not to out-marry, what happens to my relationship with them (and their spouses) if they go ahead and do it, anyway?

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 7:06 pm

        “moral way to react, I believe, is with acceptance and love.”

        Sure, do it the touchy-feely liberal way. As for me, I’m very traditional about that kind of stuff. From the day I intermarried, as far as I was concerned, I was dead to me. I never spoke to myself again, and never will. Come into my house? Never, I’ll never allow me in the house again! And when people ask me, “And so, how’s yourself, Mooser?” I answer: “Self? Self? What “self”? Since the day I married that woman, I have no self!! And you might as well know, I’ve cut me out of my will!”
        I don’t care what anybody says, I will stick to tradition!

      • RoHa
        February 3, 2013, 8:51 pm

        “I never spoke to myself again, and never will.”

        So you can’t have an intelligent conversation any more.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2013, 11:27 am

        @ Mooser
        We all know from what you always tell us that the Jews have no Pope, or even any main Jewish Establishment leaders authorized to speak for the Jewish community. Therefore, according to Mooser’s logic, nobody should look at any enmeshment of Judaism (as actually practiced by Jewish religious Establishment in America) with Zionism (AKA rubber-stamping of Israel’s conduct & backing it financially & diplomatically), and additional support for this logic is because the Jewish rate of intermarriage is high. BS.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2013, 11:31 am

        @ Mooser
        “Amazing, isn’t it? I grew up in a Jewish (Reform) house, and had many Conservative and Orthodox relatives. And I was completely unaware of any Jewish ethnocentrism, feelings of religious superiority, or resistance to out-marriage. Amazing how that happens!”

        Me too, and I grew up in a Catholic house. How’d that happen?

        So we both learned reality later, eh? We both intermarried. Good way to learn?

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 5:56 pm

        “So we both learned reality later, eh? We both intermarried. Good way to learn?”

        So help me God, Citizen, I have never, ever slept with or married a Jewish girl. Well not knowingly that is, but I’m not responsible for who I sleep with in my sleep. I don’t know about you, Mr. Citizen, but I respect Jewish women. Never laid a finger on one. Look, I love my Mom, I love my sisters, I love my cousines, neices, but there’s a limit, you know? I’ve just got a really strong incest taboo. Something wrong with that, pal?

      • Mooser
        February 3, 2013, 7:18 pm

        “Therefore, according to Mooser’s logic, nobody should look at any enmeshment of Judaism (as actually practiced by Jewish religious Establishment in America) with Zionism (AKA rubber-stamping of Israel’s conduct & backing it financially & diplomatically), and additional support for this logic is because the Jewish rate of intermarriage is high. BS.”

        Citizen, I believe the high rate of intermarriage, and also, how gosh-darned nice Micheal Feinstein sings, should give all Jews in America complete legal immunity for all crimes committed in the furtherance of Zionism. And I’ll fight for that, Citizen. Don’t worry, Citizen, no one is going to hurt or arrest a single one of your relatives, if I can help it.

  16. Tobias
    January 25, 2013, 6:28 pm

    Joyce

    Dublin, June 16 1904

    But begob I was just lowering the heel of the pint when I saw the citizen getting up to waddle to the door, puffing and blowing with the dropsy and he cursing the curse of Cromwell on him, bell, book and candle in Irish, spitting and spatting out of him and Joe and little Alf round him like a leprechaun trying to peacify him.

    — Let me alone, says he.

    And begob he got as far as the door and they holding him and he bawls out of him:

    — Three cheers for Israel!

    Arrah, sit down on the parliamentary side of your arse for Christ’ sake and don’t be making a public exhibition of yourself. Jesus, there’s always some bloody clown or other kicking up a bloody murder about bloody nothing. Gob, it’d turn the porter sour in your guts, so it would.

    And all the ragamuffins and sluts of the nation round the door and Martin telling the jarvey to drive ahead and the citizen bawling and Alf and Joe at him to whisht and he on his high horse about the jews and the loafers calling for a speech and Jack Power trying to get him to sit down on the car and hold his bloody jaw and a loafer with a patch over his eye starts singing If the man in the moon was a jew, jew, jew and a slut shouts out of her:

    — Eh, mister! Your fly is open, mister!

    And says he:

    — Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.

    — He had no father, says Martin. That’ll do now. Drive ahead.

    — Whose God? says the citizen.

    — Well, his uncle was a jew, says he. Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me.

    Gob, the citizen made a plunge back into the shop.

    — By Jesus, says he, I’Il brain that bloody jewman for using the holy name. By Jesus, I’ll crucify him so I will. Give us that biscuitbox here.

    — Stop! Stop! says Joe.

    • Mooser
      February 3, 2013, 6:01 pm

      Tobias, you’ve brought Joyce, Joyce, Joyce to my heart. Glad I circumnambulated over here. Goodbye, Columbine!

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