Israel’s Identity Crisis: The practical difficulties of a Jewish and democratic state

Israel/Palestine
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(Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images)

Israel refers to itself as both ‘a Jewish state’ and ‘the Middle East’s only democracy’. This article will ascertain what constitutes the former, why being deemed both a Jewish state and legitimate democracy is of great importance to Israel and finally, the extent to which these apparently conflicting identities can be reconciled.

The ultimate aim of the Zionist movement – pioneered in the late 1800s, and which gained significant traction throughout the 20th and current century – was to “…return the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.” [1] This movement culminated in the official formation of the Jewish state of Israel on May 14th, 1948. But what is meant by the term ‘Jewish state’ and why is it so important for Israel to be considered as such?

Ruth Gavison [2] deconstructs the ‘Jewish state’ concept into three separate definitions or ‘clusters’. Due to page limits, this article will focus on that which Gavison deems most significant: Israel as a Jewish homeland “. . . in which the Jewish people exercise their right to political self-determination.” [3] This homeland-based approach is firmly entrenched within Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which states, “The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed.”

The wording of this statement is key, with a clear distinction drawn between the identities said to constitute ‘Jewishness’. Thus, the definition of whom can be considered ‘Jewish’ for the purposes of populating a Jewish homeland appears to be flexible extending beyond religious adherence and encompassing cultural factors. This is in keeping with the largely secularist nature of the early Zionist movement. The notion received support from the Israeli Supreme Court in the case of Shalit v Minister of Interior et al (1969), as well as being confirmed in April 2012 by Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, who stated, “…Israel defines membership in that people [Jews] broadly, integrating many who would not be considered Jewish by rabbinic authorities.” [4]

The individuals who make up international Jewry in the eyes of Israeli authorities are therefore best thought of as existing upon a spectrum of ‘Jewishness’. This loose interpretation is of great strategic importance to Israel allowing for a wide range of individuals to be brought into the country as migrants and thus strengthening the state’s Jewish majority as was the case in the 1990s when Israel welcomed in excess of 1 million individuals from the recently collapsed Soviet Union. Israel’s very creation was founded upon the self-proclamation of the state as a Jewish homeland. This connection between Israel and the global Jewish population continues to underpin Israel’s projected identity today and is reflected in the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of George Raphael Tamarin v State of Israel (1972), where Head Justice Agranat famously asserted that “There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries.” [5] For these claims to carry legitimacy, then, a Jewish majority within the state is crucial.

In adopting such an approach, Israel has effectively established a de facto global Jewish nationality. Indeed, Israel makes the unique distinction between ‘Jewish nationals’ and ‘Israeli citizens’; the former consists of all persons, both within the borders of Israel and outside, who consider themselves to be Jewish, be it through familial ties, culture or conversion, and the latter who belong to the State of Israel, but who claim no Jewish linkage. This is a novel construct and is often explained by Zionists in terms similar to that of Professor Gil Troy, who posits, “The French have France, Germans have Germany, the Dutch have the Netherlands, Jews have Israel.” [6]

Troy’s assertion is misleading. Muslims residing in France are free to adopt the national French identity. However, Muslims residing in Israel cannot assume the national Jewish identity. This leads to a much more significant point, and one often overlooked in the discourse addressing Israel’s self-description as a Jewish state. The indigenous Arab population of Mandate Palestine present prior to Israel’s formation – having avoided the continuous waves of displacement since 1948 – now reside within a Jewish state as Israeli citizens. This population, numbering roughly 1.5 million individuals and representing 20% of Israel’s population, [7] is subject to a wide range of discriminatory laws and practices. To this end, the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights has identified in excess of 20 examples of Israeli legislation and case law, which serve to entrench the rights of Jewish nationals and further this ethnic group’s advancement at the expense of non-Jews within Israel. [8]

Ultimately, the contention that what is now modern day Israel can be deemed a ‘Jewish state’ is supported by a range of evidence including the Zionist ideology underpinning its inception, its resident Jewish majority, and the de facto situation on the ground whereby the state’s legal framework affords greater protection and liberty to Jewish residents than it does to their non-Jewish counterparts. This, in conjunction with Israeli practices within the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), constitutes the crime of apartheid and was the subject of a 2010 report by UN Special Rapporteur, Richard Falk. [9] Such damning allegations from well-respected sources serve to compromise Israel’s reputation within the international community, as well as its ability to attract foreign investment and aid. This latter point is crucial, as Israel is not economically self-sufficient [10] and is heavily reliant on foreign finance to service its disproportionately large military budget. [11]

With Western governments viewing Israel as a politically stable ally in the otherwise politically volatile landscape of the Middle East, vast amounts of foreign aid flood into Israel annually; the US alone channels $3 billion worth of military assistance per year. [12] Foreign finance is not unconditional and in order to maintain this economic lifeline, Israel must be seen to balance the concept of a Jewish state with that of a fully functioning democracy complete with a provision of democratic mechanisms. But what do such mechanisms look like and can Israel be said to have implemented them?

Dictionary definitions of ‘democracy’ allude to“…a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people, and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system” [13] and Israel’s own Declaration of Independence provides:

“The State of Israel…will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace […] will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex…”

Furthermore, Oren [14] cites a number of democratic safeguards employed by Israel, including an independent judiciary, universal suffrage for Israeli citizens and a 120-seat parliament. Such mechanisms would appear to provide solid foundations upon which the concept of Israel as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ can be based. However, each of Oren’s examples is fundamentally undermined by factors arising from Israel’s status as a ‘Jewish state’.

Oren points to the Supreme Court’s 2011 conviction of former Israeli President Moshe Katsav on sex offence charges as evidence of “…the commitment to the rule of law displayed by the Jewish state.” However, such a case poses few questions relating to the Jewish nature of the state and is therefore of little value when seeking to determine the extent to which the concepts of a Jewish state and a functioning democracy are reconcilable. When a case arises whereby such questions are raised, the ruling typically favors Jewish national identity above all other factors and influences. This is best demonstrated through the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Citizenship Law in 2012, preventing Palestinians from living with their Israel-based spouses, and whereby Justice Grunis remarked that “Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide.” [15]

In addition, though suffrage is indeed open to all Israeli citizens of voting age, as is election to the Knesset, there exist a number of legislative restrictions that limit the democratic value of these provisions. For example, amendment 9 of section 7A of The Basic Law: The Knesset, 1958, prevents candidates from seeking election if they contest “…the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.”

Of what democratic worth is universal suffrage if all electoral candidates are required to abide by a single ideological position and one which 20% of the overall Israeli population is unlikely to support? It soon becomes apparent then, that democracy within Israel is encouraged only up to the point where it begins to infringe upon the Jewish nature or character of the state, and proposed legislation, submitted to the Knesset in August 2011, seeks to codify this principle [16], stipulating that:

  1. The State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it realizes its aspiration for self-determination based on its cultural and historical heritage.
  2. The right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is uniquely that of the Jewish people.
  3. The text of this Basic Law or any other legislation is to be interpreted in light of this clause.

Lip service is paid to the concept of democracy in Clause 2, which provides “[t]he State of Israel has a democratic regime,” but this clause offers no further elaboration as to how such a balance between these two competing ideals will be realised. As a result, this proposed entrenchment in Israeli law of the primacy of Jewish interests serves only to lend further weight to the argument that the state harbors a clear disregard for true democratic principles.

To counter such allegations, Gavison asserts that “…we should not talk about ‘democracy’ as an ‘all or nothing’ matter…,” but rather view it as “… a hierarchal spectrum of meanings….” [17] Oren furthers this argument, citing Israel’s external threats as justification for the apparent curtailment of certain rights. He posits that “[w]hether by suspending habeas corpus or imprisoning a suspected ethnic community, as the United States did in its Civil War and World War II, embattled democracies frequently take measures that depart from peacetime norms.” [18] This is of course true, though the criticism leveled at contemporary examples, such as controversial US and UK anti-terrorism legislation, falls far short of that leveled at Israel’s treatment of its own citizens and residents of the oPt.

The concept of a spectrum-based approach to democracy is not in itself problematic, and it is common for democracies to deploy non-democratic measures at times of existential threats. However, when such measures are applied only to a societal minority, it is at this point that democracy can be said to have failed. As Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes, “a country that pursues a discriminatory policy against a fifth of its Palestinian citizens […] cannot be a democracy”. [19]

In conclusion, the two components of Israel’s self-applied split personality – though both are essential to the state’s diplomatic legitimacy and economic survival – are impossible to reconcile with one another. Recognised democratic mechanisms such as universal suffrage and freedom to run in elections are indeed evident, yet are forced to bend and give way in the event of conflict with the overarching interests associated with maintaining the state’s Jewish character. This is consistently reflected across key judicial decisions, a legal framework that implies an inherent Jewish primacy, and proposed legislation which would codify the right of Israeli self-determination as one belonging solely to the Jewish people, despite the significant Arab presence within the state.

The label of ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ is therefore cynically deployed by a pragmatic Israeli state to acquire the legitimacy it desperately needs in order to attract foreign aid and political support, which it, in turn, utilizes to further Jewish interests while maintaining the status quo of oppression. Despite proud Israeli assertions to the contrary, the reality on the ground is very much one of ‘Jews first, democracy second’.

A version of this article originally appeared in “Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Defying the Ongoing Nakba“, the the Winter 2012 issue of al-Majdal published by the Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights.

Notes

1. Mitchell Geoffrey Bard and Moshe Schwartz, One Thousand and One Facts Everyone Should Know about Israel (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), p. 1.

2. Adaptation of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State: Tensions and Prospects, Ruth Gavison. Available at http://www.gavison.com/c935-book-can-israel-be-both-jewish-and-democratic-or-israel-between-jewishness-and-democracy (hereafter Gavison).

3. Ibid.

4. Oren, M. Israel’s Resilient Democracy, Foreign Policy, April 2012. Available at: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/05/Israel_Is_a_Democracy?page=0,5 (hereafter, Oren).

5. George Raphael Tamarin v State of Israel 1972 (Supreme Court).

6. Troy, Gil, Why Do We Need a Jewish State Anyway…, Jerusalem Post, 8 March 2011. Available at; http://blogs.jpost.com/content/why-do-we-need-jewish-state-anyway.

7. The Arab Population in Israel: Facts and Figures 2012. Myers – JDC – Brookdale Institute. Available at: http://brookdale.jdc.org.il/?CategoryID=182.

8. Israel’s Discriminatory Laws (scheduled for publication Autumn 2012). Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights .

9. Richard Falk: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, August 30, 2010.

10. Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance. CRS Issue Brief for Congress, April 2005. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/IB85066.pdf.

11. In 2011, Israel’s military budget accounted for 6% of GDP. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/08/us-israel-security-budget-idUSTRE8070N120120108

12. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel. Jeremy M. Sharp on behalf of the Congressional Research Service. March 2012.

13. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/democracy.

14. Oren.

15. Court upholds law banning Palestinian spouses from living in Israel. Guardian, 12th January 2012.

16. The Basic Law: Israel the Nation State of the Jewish People 2011. At the time of writing, this legislation is still at debate stage.

17. Gavison.

18. Oren.

19. Why Israel is not a democracy, interview by Frank Barat on 2 April 2011. Transcript available at: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/04/01/why-israel-is-not-a-democracy/.

About Simon Reynolds

Simon Reynolds studied law at the University of Reading, graduating in 2007, before taking time to travel through Africa and East Asia. He is particularly passionate about the upholding of human rights within vulnerable communities and has recently completed a 6 month placement with BADIL's legal research and advocacy program.

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120 Responses

  1. Les
    February 14, 2013, 12:49 pm

    Any religious based state is under the thumb of a religious hierarchy, and the most conservative within that heirarchy dominate because their support gives authenticity to the rule of the leaders. Israel, as a Jewish state, cannot possibly be democratic. The government operates with the acceptance that the Haredi must be accomdated, no matter what is demanded by them.

  2. eljay
    February 14, 2013, 1:22 pm

    Israel is a supremacist “Jewish State”, a state in which Jewish citizens have more / different rights than do non-Jewish citizens.

    Israel could/should be:
    1. A secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli State, a “culturally Jewish” state of and for all Israeli citizens, equally.

    2. A secular, democratic and egalitarian Jewish State, a state with a nationality of Jewish which is bestowed up on all citizens and immigrants; a state of and for all Jewish citizens, equally:
    – The nationality, the culture and all the citizens are Jewish.
    – Extending a “RoR” to Jewish people elsewhere in the world – including expats and up to n generations of their descendants from the geographical region now defined as Jewish State – makes more sense.
    – Honouring the RoR for ethnically-cleansed, refugee Palestinians wouldn’t be an issue, as any who might choose to return to Jewish State would become Jewish.

    • seafoid
      February 14, 2013, 3:06 pm

      The culture of Israel is degraded because you cannot run a system of national thuggery by focusing on the finer things . Your 18 year olds are there to run the checkpoints. Who needs poetry in Greater Israel ?

      I wonder what post zionist judaism will look like .

    • goldmarx
      February 14, 2013, 4:43 pm

      There was a group back in the 1980s called the Coalition for a Democratic Zionism which focused on your first paragraph. It defined Israel as the state of all its citizens and the homeland of the Jewish people, as opposed to those who support Israel as the state of its Jewish citizens, all others be damned.

      In practice, CDZ’s policies would mean keeping the Law of Return, but abolishing the Jewish National Fund and all other forms of material discrimination within the June 4, 1967 borders.

  3. NormanF
    February 14, 2013, 1:54 pm

    Affirmative action is seen as taking measures to redress the lot of persecuted and deprived peoples. As President Johnson famously said, its not enough to give an ex slave formal equality and say he should begin from there. Equality cannot just be a formal fact, it has to be expressed in substance as well which is why the state helps minorities to overcome past officially imposed disadvantages so they can attain their full potential.

    Israel is a unique instance in which a formerly persecuted and deprived minority uses state power as a state majority to redress mistreatment at the hands of others to give Jews national self-determination, protection of their cultural and spiritual heritage, seeks to make the Jewish people whole again and establish true equality within the family of nations. State power used to that end is affirmative action and neither is illegal nor racist; the Zionist goals were recognized in the Balfour Declaration, at San Remo and in the League Of Palestine Mandate as encompassing humanitarian, cultural-spiritual and national goals for the Jewish people. The Jewish people have despite realizing national independence, still not attained true equality and the Jew of the nations is still not a full member of the human family.

    Zionism remains as relevant as ever to the Jewish condition today and for the future.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 14, 2013, 2:13 pm

      Affirmative action is seen as taking measures to redress the lot of persecuted and deprived peoples. ….Israel is a unique instance in which a formerly persecuted and deprived minority uses state power as a state majority to redress mistreatment at the hands of others

      affirmative action? you’ve got to be kidding me? turning millions into stateless rightless oppressed people?

      the hasbara coordinators must be working overtime to shove out such garbage as this.

      • American
        February 14, 2013, 2:38 pm

        I agree, almost lost my lunch at that paragraph.

      • eljay
        February 14, 2013, 3:03 pm

        >> NormanF @ February 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        In short: Aggressor-victimhood is a really tough gig. :-(

      • NormanF
        February 14, 2013, 4:27 pm

        The Arabs have 23 countries in which to exercise all their rights.

        Jews have only one and this is not equality by any standard of justice. And the mistreatment of stateless Arabs is an Arab not a Jewish responsibility.

        Had the Arabs shown as much solicitude and care for displaced Arab brethren as Israelis have done for the world’s Jews, there would be peace today.

        There have been population exchanges and new nations coming into being throughout history so Israel is not an outstanding exception to that rule.

        There is a moral, humanitarian, spiritual and political case to be made for Israel, whether justified by affirmative action or on other grounds.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 14, 2013, 8:03 pm

        Jews have only one

        that’s not true and you know it.

      • yonah fredman
        February 14, 2013, 10:00 pm

        Annie Robbins- Before WWII, it was quite apparent that the Jews had no homeland, meaning not one country was willing to accept Jewish refugees. I think on that level, Norman F’s statement has validity.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        February 15, 2013, 3:04 am

        Before WWII, it was quite … I guess you mean After WWII
        not one country was willing to accept Jewish refugees
        That does not entitle those refugees to take over another people’s land. Second, the argument is plain wrong : Jews/zionists had already started their monstrous project well before WWII and were already moving en masse to Palestine
        Thus NormanF statement has no validity whatsoever. It is pure hasbara

      • tree
        February 15, 2013, 4:32 am

        Before WWII, it was quite apparent that the Jews had no homeland, meaning not one country was willing to accept Jewish refugees.

        Not this lie again!! For the umpteenth time, I’ll repeat: Somewhere around 500,000 German Jews left Germany/Austria before 1938. Only 10 percent of them went to Palestine. Ninety percent of those who left went to other countries, which did in fact accept Jewish refugees from Germany. You are simply repeating a Zionist myth.

        Meanwhile the Zionists in Palestine had a selection apparatus in place to determine whom they would give immigration certificates. Refugee status was not an important determinant. If you were young and strong and could be useful to the nascent Jewish state you got a certificate. If you got injured or sick in Palestine, chances are the Zionist hierarchy would send you back home. It wasn’t looking for refugees, it was looking for “pioneers”- “good human material”- and if you didn’t cut it then you were just “human dust” in their minds. “Too bad, so sad.”

      • American
        February 15, 2013, 8:26 am

        yonah fredman says:

        Annie Robbins- Before WWII, it was quite apparent that the Jews had no homeland, meaning not one country was willing to accept Jewish refugees. I think on that level, Norman F’s statement has validity.>>>>>

        Whine, whine,whine, lie,lie,lie…..

        link to nytimes.com

        ”Between 1880 and 1924, a third of Eastern Europe’s Jews left for the U.S., with most settling in overcrowded tenement neighborhoods like New York’s Lower East Side.

        From 1880 to 1924, around two million Jews moved to the United States, mostly seeking better opportunity in America and fleeing the pogroms of the Russian Empire. After 1934 Jews, along with any other above-quota immigration, were usually denied access to the United States.”

      • talknic
        February 15, 2013, 9:06 am

        NormanF

        “The Arabs have 23 countries in which to exercise all their rights. Jews have only one and this is not equality by any standard of justice”

        Irrelevant to the legal status of Israel’s Internationally recognized sovereign extent and it’s illegal actions in non-Israeli territories. Furthermore diaspora Jews and Arabs (including Jewish Arabs), who constitute around 50% of the “world’s Jews”.

        “And the mistreatment of stateless Arabs is an Arab not a Jewish responsibility” … “Had the Arabs shown as much solicitude and care for displaced Arab brethren as Israelis have done for the world’s Jews, there would be peace today”

        Indeed it is not a Jewish responsibility. Nor is it an Arab responsibility. Israel dispossessed them by preventing their return, Israel has illegally acquired their territory by war, Israel has illegally annexed and illegally settled in their territory.

        The Arabs have for almost 100 years, fought legal battles in the LoN and the UN. For 64 years provided refuge, fought wars, all at enormous cost both monetarily and in lives.

        Then there’s the small matter of Israel having illegally acquired (and still illegally acquiring) more than 50% of the territory that remained of Palestinian after Israel was declared, not exactly the way to peace. Furthermore, almost half the world’s Jews do not live in Israel, do not really benefit from Israel or its existence.

        Israel has been a wedge driven between Jews who follow the basic common sense tenets of Judaism & believe in the post 1945 rule of law, much of which was adopted because of the atrocities suffered by Jews under the Nazis and those who are willing break the law, lie, cheat and bear false witness in order to justify the theft of other folks territories.

        “There have been population exchanges and new nations coming into being throughout history so Israel is not an outstanding exception to that rule”

        There has been no “population exchange” between Israel and Palestine. There has been illegal and continued dispossession, illegal annexation and illegal settlement by a UN Member State. Rather unique.

        “There is a moral, humanitarian, spiritual and political case to be made for Israel, whether justified by affirmative action or on other grounds”

        There is? What is it? Is it applicable in illegally acquired, illegally annexed and illegally settled territories “outside the State of Israel”?

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 15, 2013, 10:03 am

        “I think on that level, Norman F’s statement has validity.”

        Bull. NormanF is a bigot, plain and simple. He’s a Klansman with a kippa for a hood. And you are just as bad if you’re making excuses for his vile racism.

      • yonah fredman
        February 15, 2013, 5:25 pm

        tree- You suppose that the only Jews seeking refuge were German Jews. This is not true. There were many Jews who sensed that things were not going their way in Poland in the 1930’s and the free immigration which existed in America prior to WWI no longer existed after WWI (exact year of anti immigration American movement was 1924?) and they too were seeking other venues. Many went to Palestine, many stayed in Poland, which meant death for 90% of them. Why did the Jewish population of Palestine increase from 85,000 in 1914 to 400,000 in 1939, because they suddenly took the words, “next year to Jerusalem” in the seder to heart? No. Because there was nowhere else to go. How many Jews would have left Europe for America if America’s immigration policy had been the same as it was before WWI, I don’t know, do you?

      • eljay
        February 15, 2013, 10:13 pm

        >> The Arabs have 23 countries in which to exercise all their rights.

        If they are exercising their secular, democratic and egalitarian rights, great. Else, they are acting immorally and you are aspiring to be as immoral as they are.

        >> Jews have only one and this is not equality by any standard of justice.

        So…to Zio-supremacists, equality means having at least one oppressive and supremacist state. Interesting. Don’t you guys ever get tired of being hateful and immoral?

        >> And the mistreatment of stateless Arabs is an Arab not a Jewish responsibility.

        The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands is very much the responsibility of the Zio-supremacists who did it and who continue to support, excuse and justify it.

        >> Had the Arabs shown as much solicitude and care for displaced Arab brethren as Israelis have done for the world’s Jews, there would be peace today.

        So, because Arabs were assholes, Jews get to be assholes. Zio-supremacists, always reaching for the bottom of the morality barrel.

        >> There have been population exchanges and new nations coming into being throughout history so Israel is not an outstanding exception to that rule.

        Except that Israel didn’t come into being as an Israeli state – a state of and for all its people, equally – it came into being as an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, supremacist “Jewish State”. And it remains an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, supremacist “Jewish State”.

        >> There is a moral, humanitarian, spiritual and political case to be made for Israel …

        There is no moral or humanitarian or just case to be made for any supremacist state, anywhere, ever. Spiritual or political cases might be made, but they’re hateful and immoral bullshit, which explains why Zio-supremacists would advocate for them.

      • RoHa
        February 17, 2013, 5:31 am

        “The Arabs have 23 countries in which to exercise all their rights. Jews have only one”

        What rights can Jews not exercise in Australia or the UK? They are full, equal, citizens, and have all the rights the non-Jewish citizens have.

        “There have been population exchanges and new nations coming into being throughout history so Israel is not an outstanding exception to that rule.”

        That doesn’t make it right.

        “There is a moral, humanitarian, spiritual and political case to be made for Israel, whether justified by affirmative action or on other grounds.”

        I have never seen such a case. Make it.

      • RoHa
        February 17, 2013, 5:36 am

        “Before WWII, it was quite apparent that the Jews had no homeland,”

        Bollocks. Australian Jews had a homeland. It was Australia. British Jews had a homeland. It was Britain.

        “meaning not one country was willing to accept Jewish refugees.”

        Bollocks again. Australia accepted a lot, even though the Australians primarily thought of them as Germans.

      • pjdude
        February 17, 2013, 5:00 pm

        every other state could be an arab state and it still wouldn’t matter. just because other arab peoples have gotten to excersice their right of self determination is zero legal or moral reason to deny the palestinians theirs. the jews have one and legally should have none. jews aren’t a nation but a faith. there is zero valid justification for Israel.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 19, 2013, 1:35 pm

        @yonah

        “Why did the Jewish population of Palestine increase from 85,000 in 1914 to 400,000 in 1939, because they suddenly took the words, ‘next year to Jerusalem’ in the seder to heart? No. Because there was nowhere else to go.”

        No one would begrudge them, as refugees, from seeking shelter until the crisis passed and then returning to their homes. The problem here is that they did not seek to be refugees, but sought to steal another people’s country, and continue to do so today. If they didn’t give a damn about the rights of the Palestinians, on what basis do you ask anyone (or, say, the Americans of 1940) to give a damn about them and their rights?

      • goldmarx
        February 14, 2013, 4:38 pm

        The Hasbara co-ordinators don’t like to use affirmative action to justify Zionism because that pisses off neo-cnonservatives and right-wingers who oppose affirmative action as a liberal cause. A supporter of the Israel’s Peace Now Movement, the late Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, was well-known as a formulator of Zionism along these lines.

        Something that starts out justified as affirmative action can become twisted and lead to the oppression of others, so there is good and bad in what Norman F. posted.

      • Shingo
        February 14, 2013, 7:38 pm

        Amazing isn’t it Annie? Affirmative action for 80% of the population.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 14, 2013, 8:12 pm

        shingo, it takes a suspension in logic, or brainwashing to accept his twisted logic. orwell had a similar twisted logical mind and used it for a good purpose telling stories. but the point wasn’t for us to emulate this kind of thinking, it was to develop the skills to see thru it and see it for what it was. that was his brilliance. this is just sad tho, mediocrity would be a vast improvement.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 14, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Zionism = racism. It’s goal and mode of operation is the attempted destruction of the people with the greater rights to the land upon which the zionist builds his abomination of a state.

    • Cliff
      February 14, 2013, 2:22 pm

      Zionism is slavery for the Palestinian people.

      Zionism is an ethno religious colonial ideology

      • NormanF
        February 14, 2013, 4:29 pm

        Zionism is self-determination for the Jews.

        A national liberation movement champions the cause of its own people. Every country takes pride in its roots. So do the Jewish people in their homeland.

      • thankgodimatheist
        February 14, 2013, 7:41 pm

        “Zionism is self-determination for the Jews.
        A national liberation movement champions the cause of its own people. Every country takes pride in its roots. So do the Jewish people in their homeland.”

        I take this as seriously as your other statement yesterday that “Israel doesn’t kill its opponents”. To the tragic dishonesty that characterised that one I add the rabid ethnocentric fascism embedded in this one. Keep posting, I want to know more about Israel.

      • Shingo
        February 14, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Zionism is self-determination for the Jews.

        No, it’s racism, apartheid and conquest of stolen land. Like Nazism, it is based on the ideology that Jews and non Jews cannot co-exist.

      • Cliff
        February 14, 2013, 8:02 pm

        Zionism is vanity.

        There is no so singular Jewish identity. And Jews were not liberated by Zionism. Jews exist all over the world and are not oppressed.

        Zionism is colonialism. Zionism took Arab Palestine and through war and lies, turned it into Jewish Israel.

        Of course a Zionist takes pride in that. A normal human being would be repulsed and ashamed.

        There is no Jewish homeland. Religions do not have homelands.

        Jewish people come from many different ethnic backgrounds and different nationalities. A Jewish person born in America is an American and his or her homeland is America.

        They existed before Israel and they will exist long after Israel has rendered itself obsolete.

        But you can believe your homeland is a magical place called Israel as long as you want. That is nationalism. A group delusion.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        February 14, 2013, 8:27 pm

        So do the Jewish people in their homeland
        Except that Palestine is not their homeland, it’s the Palestinian people’s homeland.

      • yonah fredman
        February 14, 2013, 9:42 pm

        Cliff- you said, “There is no Jewish homeland. Religions do not have homelands.” This is an assertion without basis.

        Does Mecca play a special role in Islam? Obviously it does. Obviously Saudi Arabia sees itself as playing a special role because it has the holiest city in Islam in its territory.

        I’m sure there are differences between Judaism’s relationship to Jerusalem and the land of Israel and Islam’s relationship to Mecca. There are laws particularly regarding agriculture that apply in Israel and don’t apply in other lands. There are many statements asserting the importance of being in the land in order to be close to God. The return to the land is a major theme in Judaism.

        Neturei Karta would agree that Israel (the land) has an important role to play in Judaism. They feel that it is not time yet for that role to take place, that it must wait for the Messiah to come before the land can play the role it once played and will play again.

      • talknic
        February 15, 2013, 9:47 am

        yonah fredman
        “Does Mecca play a special role in Islam? Obviously it does. Obviously Saudi Arabia sees itself as playing a special role because it has the holiest city in Islam in its territory”

        Yes. ” in its territory” being the legal operative

        “I’m sure there are differences between Judaism’s relationship to Jerusalem and the land of Israel and Islam’s relationship to Mecca.”

        Indeed.
        A) ” the land of Israel ” Is the territory currently within the Internationally recognized sovereign extent of Israel. Jerusalem is not within Israel’s current sovereign extent. Then there is the Jewish people’s ‘historical’ homeland, which is as it says, ‘historical’.
        B) Mecca is in an Islamic country. It has not been illegally acquired, illegally annexed, illegally settled. Muslims from other countries do not have automatic right to Saudi citizenship.

        “The return to the land is a major theme in Judaism”

        So are the basic common sense tenets against stealing etc. Meanwhile, the land on which Jerusalem sits isn’t Israeli and if Jews wish to return to land outside of Israel, they should seek to immigrate to Palestine.

      • Woody Tanaka
        February 15, 2013, 10:04 am

        “Zionism is self-determination for the Jews.”

        In the same way that Nazism was self-determination for the Aryans.

      • amigo
        February 15, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Palestine is not the Homeland of Jews.Where do you get your wild mclaims from.

        Oh, I know.That great Real Estate agent in the sky.

        Idiotic nonsense and people are dying because of religious fanatics such as you.

      • jon s
        February 16, 2013, 2:32 pm

        Cliff,
        Israel is the historic Jewish homeland, as anyone with even a superficial knowledge of Jewish history knows.
        I could understand if you said that in your view the history is irrelevant to the present day issues, but denying it is absurd.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 16, 2013, 11:13 pm

        Israel is the historic Jewish homeland,

        why should i care? by whatever definition of ‘homeland’ that must be applied to give this word any meaning to the average american jew, if i would use this same criteria it would mean my homeland was nowhere near america. i would have no idea where it was (nor would it occur to me to care). and it’s completely normal to not know where ones relatives were thousands of years ago. completely. so why should i care that american jews claim they are descendants of these jews even if they hold one tiny gene of something. and for that they acquire colonial rights?

        i never even heard this concept growing up ‘homeland’ growing up. and if i had then i would have to say america was mine. all i can say is if jews were wanting to go to jerusalem while they were hanging in vienna or budapest or where ever all these years (for centuries) why didn’t they go. but claining right to the land because the forefathers of judaism lived there thousand of years ago is nuts.

        ever been to a child’s birthday party?

      • yonah fredman
        February 17, 2013, 12:28 am

        Annie Robbins- If the situation of world Jewry had resembled the situation of American Jewry circa 2013 there would never have been a serious Zionist movement. So then the issue of homeland would have been irrelevant. If Israel had not been born as a result of the oppression of Jews in Czarist Russia circa 1881 to 1914 plus the ever present Jew hatred in places like Germany, Austria and France (to cover all the places where Herzl’s development occurred), plus the closing of the gates to America (not slammed shut, but left only a bit ajar) between 1924 and 1939, plus the antisemitism on steroids which Germany experienced between 1933 and 1939, plus whatever effects the genocide of Jews added to the mixture between 1941 and 1945, in other words if history had treated the Jews as gently as your people were treated by history between 1881 and 1945, then world Jewry would have been divided into 3: 1. Jews whose attachment to their traditions was minimal and therefore the tradition of attachment to “homeland” would have been consigned to the age of Messiah which was never going to come, or if it did come, would never include primitive ideas like the original attachment to the land expressed in the Torah and Talmud. 2. Jews whose attachment to traditions was strong and therefore the Talmudic tradition of abjuring from returning en masse to the land would have also been adhered to. and 3. Jews who combined attachment with detachment and who wished for some connection to the land of the bible. This group would have been probably smaller than the other two and would not have caused a major stir or the establishment of a state.

        But in fact history did not develop in an America ca. 2013 type of way.

        Because you belong to a religion that has no connection to a homeland does not mean that other traditions do not exist.

        Any perusal of Jewish books and traditions: prayer books, the bible, the Talmud would reveal very quickly the attachment of Jewish tradition to a specific land.

        The only reason that you have to take this seriously is 1. If you are a student of religions and nationalities. or 2. If you wish to deal with the Middle East as given rather than some fantasy. American Jews 2013 did not lead to the development of Israel and to pretend that they did is fantasy.

        (How to get American Jews ca. 2013 to care enough about their traditions both nationalistic and universal so that they can combine their vote for Obama with realistic pressure on Israel, is a different question. but to state, “why should I care?” is besides the point. Israel exists, with its fulfillment of age old longings, plus unfortunately, injustice towards the Palestinians and the instability which injustice in the 21st century brings. But if you only wish to deal with the problem and not even recognize that the unfortunate history of 1881 to 1945 combined with some very real religious feelings that were translated into nationalistic feelings, that is your right. You need not understand the other. There is nothing to force you to understand the Other. and maybe your politics is best if it is undeterred by any attempt to understand the Other.)

      • jon s
        February 17, 2013, 1:07 am

        Annie,
        If you don’t know where your ancestors came from, but the Jews have preserved their identity and their connection to their historic homeland – that sort of proves my point.
        It’s not only a matter of forefathers: Jews maintained ties to, and a continuous presence , in the land throughout the generations.
        As to the question of “why didn’t they go” – you can ask that of any movement or event in history. Why did the American Revolution break out in 1776 and not earlier or later? Because the conditions weren’t right yet.

        A child’s birthday party? You lost me there.

      • talknic
        February 17, 2013, 5:02 am

        jon s “Israel is the historic Jewish homeland”

        Uh? The Independent Republic of Israel is the Jewish people’s homeland state. It was declared, recognized as it asked to be recognized and accepted into the UN “… as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ link to wp.me

        The historic Jewish homeland, as its name suggests, is historical and encompassed a far different territory than the modern Independent State of Israel. Chunks of the Jewish people’s ‘historical homeland’ are in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, not Israel. If Jews want to live in those historical parts, they should seek citizenship in those countries.

        “.. as anyone with even a superficial knowledge of Jewish history knows”

        ‘knowledge’ or Hasbara? The independent State of Israel has only existed since its declaration came into effect at 00:01 15th May 1948 (ME time)

        “I could understand if you said that in your view the history is irrelevant to the present day issues, but denying it is absurd”

        Once a kingdom existed for a short time. Historically interesting, but irrelevant as of 00:01 15th May 1948 (ME time). BTW The Jews who remained in the region were far longer Palestinian Jews than any other period. From the Roman era until 00:01 15th May 1948. link to wp.me

        Jewish folk in the diaspora had some 2,000 years to return and could have until the 1920’s, gone to Palestine, become citizens, bought land and settled. Odd that Herzl, who could have in his life time, didn’t. Now he’s buried in territory that has never been legally annexed to Israel and Israeli Jews (and Arabs) are prohibited from living anywhere in occupied Palestine under GC IV

      • Cliff
        February 17, 2013, 5:10 am

        No, jon s. Israel is not the historic Jewish homeland because Jews lived all over the world and no Jew today is similar to the Jews 3000 years or 4000 years or however many thousand years ago.

        Most Jews are the product of conversion. If they weren’t then you’d have a massive case of inbreeding.

        Judaism is a religion like Christianity and Islam. Both Christianity and Islam have no homelands, but there have been many Christian and Islamic countries.

        Calling Israel a ‘homeland’ for Jews means that all the places Jews lived in (all over) for much longer than the blip of a Jewish kingdom was just a half-way house.

        And no, Mecca is no the Islamic homeland. It is a holy city. Muslims make pilgrimage there. Jews have holy cities too. So do Christians.

        But Christians don’t have a singular Christian homeland.

        Neither do Muslims. The only reason Jews like you say Israel is the ‘homeland’ for ‘the Jewish people’ is that Jews never had an empire before Israel. The Jewish kingdom was a blip in history.

        Can you define it’s borders? Can you describe life in this Jewish kingdom and it’s system of government and blah blah.

        I remember my world history book in college saying most of what we know about this Jewish kingdom blip is from the Bible and Torah.

      • Cliff
        February 17, 2013, 5:11 am

        Wondering Jew,

        You say:

        “Does Mecca play a special role in Islam? Obviously it does[...]”

        That’s an example of weasel-wording. Mecca is not the Islamic homeland.

        Try again. Maybe consult Eric Alterman’s blog for talking points.

      • RoHa
        February 17, 2013, 5:40 am

        “Zionism is self-determination for the Jews.”

        No, being able to vote and take part in the politics of their home countries is self-determination for the Jews.

        “Every country takes pride in its roots. So do the Jewish people in their homeland.”

        But “the Jewish people” are not a country. They are a widely spread group native to many different countries.

      • Cliff
        February 17, 2013, 8:05 am

        jon s said:

        As to the question of “why didn’t they go” – you can ask that of any movement or event in history. Why did the American Revolution break out in 1776 and not earlier or later? Because the conditions weren’t right yet.”

        I agree. And by stating ‘the conditions werent right’ – you tacitly accept the inauthenticity of Zionism.

        Jews could have came to ‘the land of Israel’ en masse anytime during the 3000 year vacation.

        But they didn’t. They didn’t until nationalism arose in European Jews due to European antisemitism.

        A Jew is not genetically distinct from the rest of the human race. Someone becomes Jewish according to Jewish religious rules. There is no such thing as ‘Jewish DNA’. Jewishness is a sociological identity.

        So, there are Jews from many different ethnic backgrounds.

        And none of these various groups existed in one singular homeland and then decided to spread out all over the planet – only to ‘return’ again thousands of years later.

        Chinese Jews are not from Israel. They are from China.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 9:26 am

        Annie, If you don’t know where your ancestors came from

        john, i know where my ancestors came from. i’m 9 generations american. i said “it’s completely normal to not know where ones relatives were thousands of years ago”. i mean we all came from adam and eve so maybe all of humanity should get tearie eyed over our shared historic homeland in iraq! then we could descend on the place en masse and start kicking out the iraqis, with good/rationalized justification! (what do they know about democracy anyway!!! and they have not invented anything lately..and if they don’t like it and resist it will prove they teach their children to hate! really, i read it in the news)

        Jews maintained ties to, and a continuous presence , in the land throughout the generations.

        sorry, kinda spaced out on that birthday party analogy earlier. something about musical chairs. y’know, this ‘continuous presence’ we’re always hearing about. it’s completely irrelevant. just because there were always a one digit percentile of jews on the land they don’t count as place holders for centuries. life doesn’t work like that. and why 3 thousand yrs or 4? why not 15 thousand? or 100 thousand? oh my homeland in atlantis is underwater if we don’t resurrect it from the bottom of the sea i will go thru my life longing and emotionally deprived. care about me ok? because i’m special and i say it matters/not.

        this kind of ‘historic homeland sentimentality’ great great great great great greatX50 great great grandparents homeland is psychological brainwashing designed to justify colonialism. it’s learned and propagated and taught, it doesn’t mean i should care about it. it’s not as if i can relate to it in any meaningful way. and people are expected to prioritize this kind of sentimentality over their parent’s and uncle’s memories of the nakba 65 years ago? seriously, it takes brainwashing to respect this kind of ‘longing’ for a people who didn’t go back there and had no interest in going back there and then you say “continuous presence” and “maintained ties”?

        children learn this stuff in kindergarten when they loose their place in line after about ten minutes max. and yes there are always extenuating circumstances, but people know what normal emotions are. and drumming up ‘historic homeland’ emotions for a place after thousands of years is a manufactured emotion. certainly one i wasn’t raised with. i can’t prioritize this manufactured emotional thing any more than i would prioritize some other brainwashed fantasy. and it’s not just jews being programmed, all of humanity is being programmed to rationalize why it’s ok for millions of jews to have this attachment that justifies them genociding anothers culture.

        there are other reasons that explain jewish immigration to palestine after WW2, but ‘ancient homeland’ is not one i can respect because why should i care about a ‘homeland’ for a people who think nothing of inflicting outrageous suffering by stealing someones home away from them?

        emotionally, as human beings, if we see a mother cry over her lost child, we have sense of that loss. or if a persons home burns to the ground. on the other hand, if someone was crying and you ask them what the problem was and they told you they were crying over the death of some relative in the biblical era you’d think they were nuts, unless you were brainwashed into reacting to that kind of pain. it’s not normal. that’s how i feel about respecting your ‘historical homeland’ in israel. brainwashed.

      • American
        February 17, 2013, 9:54 am

        “oh my homeland in atlantis is underwater if we don’t resurrect it from the bottom of the sea i will go thru my life longing and emotionally deprived. care about me ok? because i’m special and i say it matters/not.”..annie

        rotflmao…good one!

      • American
        February 17, 2013, 9:59 am

        “There is nothing to force you to understand the Other. and maybe your politics is best if it is undeterred by any attempt to understand the Other.)
        “…….Yonah

        We aready understand the other.

      • American
        February 17, 2013, 10:14 am

        If Israel had not been born as a result of the oppression of Jews in Czarist Russia circa 1881 to 1914 plus the ever present Jew hatred in places like Germany, Austria and France (to cover all the places where Herzl’s development occurred), plus the closing of the gates to America (not slammed shut, but left only a bit ajar) between 1924 and 1939, plus the antisemitism on steroids which Germany experienced between 1933 and 1939, plus whatever effects the genocide of Jews added to the mixture between 1941 and 1945, in other words if history had treated the Jews as gently as your people were treated by history between 1881 and 1945, then world Jewry “…..Yonah

        Yep, everything the Jews in Israel and everything the US zionist are doing is the fault of the world’s anti semitism. Yes indeedy, you’re the exception to all mankind, the world’s only blameless totally innocent humans since time immemorial…..a unique in the universe species persecuted for their innocence and perfection by the evil world.
        Too bad you don’t understand how crazy that is.

      • Ellen
        February 17, 2013, 10:49 am

        Actually the origins of Abrahamic religion (Judaism) are in what is now Northern Syria. Jewish tribes later moved into what you call The Jewish “homeland.”

        Why isn’t it in Syria for you?

      • Ellen
        February 17, 2013, 10:55 am

        Fear not American. When the Zionist enterprise fails, it will be only because “the world is against the Jews.”

        Zionism does not do self reflection. The culture of fear and victimology is what keeps it going. And ironically enfeebling a people.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 10:58 am

        i’m glad someone appreciates my soh american. we could start a cult. the ‘return to historical homeland in atlantis’ cult. if we start now by the end of the century the technology will have been developed to locate atlantis and drag it up from the bottom of the sea, and our cult will have first rights on reestablishing our homeland there. we can raise generations longing for this return and use the press to inform the whole world how attached we are and have always been to our historic homeland. in a few generations they’ll be no people alive to remember a time we didn’t long for this historic homeland. everyone will respect and honor this longing of ours. and the cool thing is, we won’t have to ethnically cleanse anyone to fulfill our ancient longing. how cool is that?

        but what about iraq? since it was everybody’s historic homeland don’t you think the pr for the iraq war was missing a key ingredient not promoting ethnic cleansing based on humanities right to plunder iraq, based on our homeland claim?

      • sardelapasti
        February 17, 2013, 11:22 am

        Annie: “but what about iraq? since it was everybody’s historic homeland don’t you think the pr for the iraq war was missing a key ingredient not promoting ethnic cleansing… ”

        No can do… the invasion having been designed and promoted by the PNAC Likud operatives, Zionists with one defined and already screwed-up homeland.

        On the other hand, Turkey is seriously in danger, as the birthplace of Abraham is historic Edessa-in-Asia, now Turkish Urfa (according to later bombastic renaming by the military dictatorship Shanliurfa.) Now that the Zionist honeymoon with Turkey ended after the close of its military dictatorship, the Zios may get on the idea of expanding all the way there…

      • eljay
        February 17, 2013, 11:24 am

        >> But if you only wish to deal with the problem and not even recognize that the unfortunate history of 1881 to 1945 combined with some very real religious feelings that were translated into nationalistic feelings, that is your right.

        Everyone knows that the most important thing is not to stop the rapist from continuing to physically and sexually assault his victims, nor to hold him accountable for his crimes.

        Rather, it is to try to understand “the Other”, to appreciate why he physically and sexually assaults his victims, to recognize the unfortunate history of his upbringing in an abusive home, to treat him as a victim – of the violence of his past and of the violence of his victims, all of whom punch and slap at him – even as he continues to physically and sexually assault his victims.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 11:54 am

        you got it eljay. it’s understanding the “very real religious feelings” at the heart of the matter. this is exactly sean’s point too. but sean isn’t talking to norman about it, for some reason. i keep trying to figure out how focusing on these deep religious feelings is going to move this process along but i’m failing miserably. link to mondoweiss.net

      • Ellen
        February 17, 2013, 12:00 pm

        Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Irak and even Iran are all THE LAND OF ISRAEL.

        I kid not. following the logic of Zionism that is so. “The Land of Israel” what a doozy of an expression. Sounds like an insane fantasy TV show.

      • seanmcbride
        February 17, 2013, 12:59 pm

        Annie,

        you got it eljay. it’s understanding the “very real religious feelings” at the heart of the matter. this is exactly sean’s point too. but sean isn’t talking to norman about it, for some reason. i keep trying to figure out how focusing on these deep religious feelings is going to move this process along but i’m failing miserably.

        Trying to engage in rational debate with people who have been deeply indoctrinated in irrational cult ideologies and mythologies can be unbelievably frustrating. It’s like bashing one’s head against a stone wall. I feel your pain.

        But the effort must be made, and in some cases minds can be reached.

        Enlightened people have mastered the art of deprogramming themselves with regard to their childhood indoctrination in various religious ideologies. It requires intense intellectual effort, a strong curiosity about the world and an independent spirit. For some people, those hurdles are simply too high.

        Believe me, I get why many political activists are convinced that only methods like BDS will achieve significant progress in moving the needle on American Mideast and Israeli policies — coercion rather than rational argument.

        The civil rights movement in the United States largely succeeded through political activism and coercive pressure, not through “fair, open and well-informed debate.” Sometimes you’ve got to get down in the trenches. That may be where Phil’s head is at now, and I respect that.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 1:21 pm

        Trying to engage in rational debate with people who have been deeply indoctrinated in irrational cult ideologies and mythologies can be unbelievably frustrating. It’s like bashing one’s head against a stone wall. I feel your pain.

        But the effort must be made, and in some cases minds can be reached.

        but my point, and i assume eljays point (he was mocking normanf’s claim that if you wish to deal with the problem one needs to recognize “very real religious feelings”), was aimed at stop the rapist from continuing to physically and sexually assault his victims, nor and hold him accountable for his crimes., not as you imply Trying to engage in rational debate with people who have been deeply indoctrinated in irrational cult ideologies. so i don’t have any pain over trying to make this effort, because for the most part i don’t. (unless you consider advocating humanity get tearie eyed over our historic homeland in iraq ‘rational’)

        but that brings us back to my question, the one you won’t answer, which is how targeting judaism serve that purpose. and if the effort must be made why don’t you make it? you’re the one who talks about it all the time and yet i don’t see you engaging norm them. so who is it that is supposed to engage him or yonah over these “very real religious feelings”? why should i, it’s not me who thinks that kind of engagement will do much good.

        both you and the indoctrinated zios seem to agree there’s a need to explore these “very real religious feelings” at the heart of the matter, albeit coming from opposing sides of the spectrum, but you’re not engaging eachother and you’re not exactly explaining how we’re supposed to use this info you keep posting day after day. i mean we all know it’s there. but you’re being illusive as to how to transform it into a usable form of activism, yet you’re advocating how vital this info is all the time.

      • eljay
        February 17, 2013, 1:54 pm

        >> … and i assume eljays point (he was mocking normanf’s claim that if you wish to deal with the problem one needs to recognize “very real religious feelings”) …

        Actually, I was responding to y.f.’s Zio-supremacist apologetics (which were very reminiscent of RW’s apologetics). It is immoral and disgusting to suggest that the best way to deal with Zio-supremacism – or rapists – and their respective, on-going atrocities is not to condemn and halt the atrocities and to hold accountable the parties responsible, but rather to chat about their respective pasts while allowing the atrocities to continue and while continuing to excuse the perpetrators.

        I guess that’s why Zio-supremacists – even the “liberal Zionist” ones – seem to like that tack. It’s at the bottom of the morality barrel they happen to be digging around in.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 2:04 pm

        Because you belong to a religion that has no connection to a homeland does not mean that other traditions do not exist.

        yonah, i don’t belong to a religion. i acknowledge they exist and as long as people’s religions are not imposed on others they have a right to them. imposing your ‘homeland’ cult-like religious doctrine on other people to the point of their ethnic cleansing is wrong. by this very same rationale a person, via their religion could justify ruling the world or having their religion rule the world. that’s where my respect for your beliefs ends, when they are imposed on others.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2013, 2:07 pm

        eljay, you’re right. i confused yonah’s words with normanf. same mentality on this homeland issue.

        I guess that’s why Zio-supremacists – even the “liberal Zionist” ones – seem to like that tack. It’s at the bottom of the morality barrel they happen to be digging around in.

        yeah, and they’ve been talking about it forever. its called pilpul and serves as a constant diversion.

      • eljay
        February 17, 2013, 2:08 pm

        >> Because you belong to a religion that has no connection to a homeland does not mean that other traditions do not exist.

        A tradition is not an entitlement to a supremacist state…or even to a non-supremacist one.

        It’s amazing how hard Zio-supremacists work at justifying and excusing immorality and injustice.

      • jon s
        February 17, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Cliff,
        To what extent present day Jews are directly descended from the Jews of 2000 years ago is a fascinating subject… if you’re interested in ideas of “racial purity”, “bloodlines” and such. I’m not. Over the generations people intermarried, converted, migrated -the result being the Jewish people of today. What’s important is that the Jews preserved an identity and an historic memory, whatever their biological lineage.
        I didn’t mention Islam or any other religion on this thread . You say that Islam and Christianity don’t have “homelands” , and I’m willing to take your word on that , but Judaism is not (only) a religion , and it most definitely does have one , the Land of Israel. There are plenty of Jews today who are totally non-religious, yet fiercely Jewish: Sabbath-desecrating, lobster-eating, Jewish nationalists. If Judaism was only a religion-they wouldn’t exist. As to what you describe as a blip: you’re
        referring to periods of Jewish sovereignty , such as the Hasmonean kingdom. But Israel continued to be considered the Jewish homeland during the long periods of foreign rule under the Persians, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders , and others. Those empires were simply much more powerful politically and militarily, and the Jews were no match for them.
        If you really want to learn more –you can consult any reliable historical atlas or textbook.

      • jon s
        February 17, 2013, 4:43 pm

        Cliff
        On this point I don’ t follow your reasoning: Zionism did indeed arise- at least in part – in response to the emergence of modern Anti-Semitism and was influenced by the rise of nationalist movements all over Europe. Why does that make it “inauthentic”? I would think that if a movement develops in response to certain realities – that would mean it’s authentic.

      • pjdude
        February 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

        false? your just richard witty alover again with this tired lie. Self determination is the people of a territory deciding their own political status. zionism and ISrael are the exact opposite of self determination. its people from out side of a territory conquering it.

      • Philip Weiss
        February 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

        And if an ideology collapses in the light of certain realities (democratic rights to minorities, decline of anti-semitism in the west, militant sparta dependent on a superpower for legitimacy), that would make it… history

      • pjdude
        February 17, 2013, 5:08 pm

        no it isn’t. jews have next to no connection with the ancient hebrews. theire homelands are from where they ethical backgrounds are. also the ancient kingdom of Israel was about a qurter of the size of the current size of modern ISrael also it din’t include Jurusalem.

      • pjdude
        February 17, 2013, 5:13 pm

        no all judiasm is is a religion anything more they are is a delusion. there is not a single connection that is based in religion. it has no homeland. but why am I agruing with you I’ll never know by your own admittision you live in a stolen house on stolen land and think you have a right to it. also the arabs weren’t foriegn to palestine. it is as much a homeland to them as the false nation of jewry

      • eljay
        February 17, 2013, 5:32 pm

        >> Zionism did indeed arise- at least in part – in response to the emergence of modern Anti-Semitism and was influenced by the rise of nationalist movements all over Europe. Why does that make it “inauthentic”? I would think that if a movement develops in response to certain realities – that would mean it’s authentic.

        You’re right: There’s nothing inauthentic about the rise of the ugly, reactionary, immoral and thoroughly supremacist ideology deliberately and meticulously devised by Zionist Jews.

        But that authenticity is nothing to be proud of.

      • Cliff
        February 17, 2013, 6:10 pm

        What makes those non-religious Jews, Jews? What binds a Chinese or Indian or Arab Jew to one another?

        What makes Jewish identity different from Islamic or Christian identity?

        You haven’t proven that this land of Israel is the Jewish homeland and most atlases refer to the Jewish kingdom blip as Palestine anyway.

        I have consulted history books. Would you like me to take a picture of my college history book? It says what we know about this ancient Jewish kingdom is primarily based on the Bible and Torah (something along those lines).

        Jews today have no connection to ancient Hebrews. Neither racial/ethnic, nor cultural. Especially on the case of ‘secular Jews’.

        I get that someone can self-identify but that’s really as legitimate as someone identifying as a Scientologist and believing that aliens buried our souls in volcanos.

        If there was a Jewish homeland it ceased being that homeland for a Jews once those Jews back then, and their immediate descendants, settled elsewhere and became subjects/second-class citizens/citizens of other countries. Eventually, these Jews and their legacy became American Jews or German Jews or Iraqi Jews or Spanish Jews.

        They never lived in this Jewish kingdom. Neither did you. Neither did your parents and their parents and so on and so forth.

        In short, your connection is abstract and mythological and entirely inauthentic.

        It’s akin to the dentist on Seinfield who converts to Judaism, immediately talking about how oppressed his people are (in private with Jerry Seinfield).

        How about this, if I convert to Judaism, I become an Indian Jew. But my parents and all my family are from India.

        Does Israel and this ancient Jewish blip become my homeland?

        BTW – don’t think for one second I’m into racialistic discussions. I’m simply pointing out an obvious truth. Jewish identity is not racial because Jews are not a race. I thought you’d like that. Isn’t that what antisemites use against all Jews everywhere to imply there is some genetic component to their antisemitic views?

      • talknic
        February 17, 2013, 10:39 pm

        “I would think that if a movement develops in response to certain realities – that would mean it’s authentic.”

        Hamas militancy developed as a response to the Jewish State illegally usurping non-Jews from non-Israeli territory. Hezbollah is a response to the Jewish State’s aggression. Palestinian suicide bombers in response to the International Community’s continual non-response to the Jewish state’s illegal behaviour

      • Annie Robbins
        February 18, 2013, 2:14 am

        how targeting judaism serve that purpose.

        no, jordan is up next. israel foreign ministry has already produced a cartoon explaining how all of jordan was given to the jews. that will be for the next generation to deal with unless we set those borders now. they won’t stop.they’ll use their fundie nutjobs as cover for endless colonization…as usual.

      • Reds
        February 18, 2013, 9:53 pm

        This may interest you ?

        link to online.wsj.com

        “Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.”

        This bit of history is often missing when one talks about Israel and Hamas.

      • yonah fredman
        February 18, 2013, 9:59 pm

        Annie Robbins and others- Homeland is not a natural part of my conversation. I got deeper into the conversation because you said, “Why should I care?” which for someone who has the keys to the editing kingdom is a pretty sloppy thing to say. If you had said what you now say you really meant, “Why should that religious idea override other people’s rights?” I most likely would have left it alone and avoided being called Richard Witty and a rapist once again by the beautiful people here in the Mondoweiss basement. But so it goes.

        Phil Weiss is correct. History does not stand still. It keeps on moving. And if Israel does not keep up with the times (meaning American democracy), it might very well find itself looking like Cairo under Morsi, or like Tehran under Ahmadinejad, ruled by a Paletinian equivalent of those nondemocrats. Those are the currents of history in Israel’s neighborhood rather than the rights of minorities that are the higher values that exist in the good old US of A. But in this interdependent world and given Israel’s dependence on the USA and on trade, Israel cannot be saved by the fact that it might be replaced by something equally bad. (Morsi and Ahmadinejad can be considered better than Sharon by the denizens of this basement, but ask Chas Freeman what he thinks of them and he’ll tell you, that they, Morsi and Ahmadinejad are bad news. Read what he says not only about Israel but about the rest of the region as well.)

        Now what I said about interest in the other, doesn’t apply to everyone here. Only to those people who are interested in dialogue, which I thought applied to you, Annie, but I’m not really sure. If you agree with the others around here with your talk of brainwashing and delusions, then maybe there really is nothing for you to understand. I think curiosity about the other side’s attitudes are very important. Maybe because to me the other side is the Palestinians and they have legit grievances. And maybe the other side to you are the delusional brainwashed Zionists and there is nothing really to be curious about.

        But I disagree. I think there is something to be curious about and I think if someone is responsible in this conversation, then there is something about Zionism that deserves curiosity. Zionism is not flawless, by a very long shot. I wonder what Israel would have been like if the spirit of Ahad Ha’am had dominated rather than the spirit of Ben Gurion.

        I fear for my nephews’ safety in the army, but I fear for their souls as well, but your cohorts here in the Mondoweiss basement will only hoot and jeer over that.

        Now as far as crying over someone who died long ago. Christians cry over the crucifixion of Jesus and maybe that’s only because they think he was the son of God. Jews on Yom Kippur cry over the martyrdom of Rabbi Akiva. Are they delusional? Napoleon was impressed by the Jewish memory of crying over Jerusalem on the 9th of Av. But to you it merely raises your hackles and you hoot and call it delusional. Sloppy language and sloppy thinking.

        As far as Jewish consciousness of Jerusalem and the return to Zion, not overriding the rights of Palestinians to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (to use an American expression), I grant that. If Zionism would be replaced by American style democracy you could count me as a supporter and eventually even if Zionism will be replaced by Zimbabwe style democracy, they are fighting a losing battle if they think they can keep the status quo merely on the merits of the fear of a Zimbabwe. I think some method of granting rights slowly can be found, some incremental way, if the will were there. but the will is not there. The will that dominates in Israel is to settle the land and treat the Palestinians poorly and hope the problem goes away and this will not work.

        The Jewish people (unlike “homeland” that’s a phrase that comes to my mouth with great ease), is not a static phenomenon and has not been static at least since the first temple was destroyed in the time of Jeremiah. (Read Jeremiah. Read Lamentations supposedly written by Jeremiah. Oh that’s right. Since it cannot override the rights of the Palestinians why should you be interested in that.) But the Jewish people have not been static neither in their gene pool, nor in their beliefs. The Jewish people involved in living in the state of Israel and the Jewish people involved in worrying about their fellow Jews who live in the state of Israel, must learn to change with the times. But if you wish to have any credibility with those who disagree with you, you need to educate yourself. True right wingers hate Larry Derfner and hate Yossi Gurvitz. But read Gurvitz sometimes and his deep appreciation of Jewish history. Then you might learn to stop being so sloppy and saying silly things like “Why should I care?”

      • jon s
        February 19, 2013, 1:29 am

        Phil,
        Indeed, if an ideology fails it finds itself in the “dustbin of history” (Trotsky’s phrase, I think). The question is whether or not Zionism is a failed ideology.

      • Cliff
        February 19, 2013, 2:55 am

        Wondering Jew said:

        “in the Mondoweiss basement ”

        You are an age 50+ social outlier – not just as a matter of fact, but by your own admission.

        Most of us are active activists or professionals. I’m going to be a doctor. My entire family is in the medical field (surgeons, psychiatrists, etc.).

        Phil Weiss could have just so easily pursued a mainstream spot in journalism by shilling for Israel – but he didn’t and because he didn’t he has a popular blog that depends on donations rather than a regular appearance on national television extolling the virtues of the Iron Dome system or Israel as a startup-miracle and blah blah.

        You characterize us as simultaneously indifferent to the Israeli perspective and being in the basement. In other words, you’re indifferent to the Palestinian perspective to such a degree that you regard Palestinian agency and support for Palestinian agency (because that is Mondoweiss; that is what Mondoweiss is and has always been and will always be) as being ‘in the basement’.

        While you truly feel this way, you pay lip service to the Palestinian point of view because no where else do you actually give a **** about it. You can say it here online. You can mention it. It can preface your inevitable shallow, Zionist talking points which we’ve seen repeatedly here throughout MW’s existence.

        There is nothing to be curious about regarding Zionism in the context you imply. In other words, no, it’s not ‘complicated’/’Israel lives in a tough neighborhood’.

        And the only person who is truly ‘in the basement’ is you. You – a person who calls SJP ‘Stalinist’ as per Eric Alterman’s suggestion. You believe SJP and Palestinian advocacy is Stalinist but you said NOTHING (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING) about the assault on New Mexico Univ. Palestinian solidarity activists. You say nothing about the assault on JVP members by SWU Zionists. You say nothing about the random Zionists threatening JVP members, by saying ‘we [the Zionists] know where you live.’

        Case after case demonstrates that it’s right-wing/left-wing Zionist Jews in America who take to issuing THREATS – social ostracism and physical violence – to intimidate their political opponents.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2013, 3:24 am

        If you had said what you now say you really meant, “Why should that religious idea override other people’s rights?” I most likely would have left it alone

        i do not really believe it is a religious affair, although i did reference “cult-like religious doctrine”. i think judaism is more about the torah than manufactured hasbara designed to prop up zionism.

        And if Israel does not keep up with the times (meaning American democracy), it might very well find itself looking like Cairo under Morsi, or like Tehran under Ahmadinejad, ruled by a Paletinian equivalent of those nondemocrats.

        and netanyahu is not the equivalent of either of those politicians? what’s your point trying to make a palestinian equivalent? are you going to argue netanyahu has not made at least a 100xmore public statements threatening iran than Ahmadinejad to israel? israel already looks way worse than egypt or iran. way worse. neither of those countries hold millions in permanent oppression. Chas Freeman aside, what is your point comparing israel to iran and egyot and palestine to iran and egypt?

        Zionism is not flawless, by a very long shot. I wonder what Israel would have been like if the spirit of Ahad Ha’am had dominated rather than the spirit of Ben Gurion.

        yeah, me too. but the spirit of Ahad Ha’am did not dominate, so that’s rather a moot point. the spirit of militarism dominated and it has co-opted this ‘homeland’ thing as a hasbara myth.

        link to myjewishlearning.com

        For Ginsberg, Zion­ism was important not only because it sought to provide a physical homeland for the Jewish people but because this homeland had the potential of becoming a spiritual center for world Jewry.

        so if you have any sincere interest in the spirit of Ahad Ha’am why not ask yourself why he sought to provide a physical homeland for the jewish people if the jewish people had already known for centuries their homeland was in palestine? and what does it mean for “this homeland” to have “the potential” of becoming a spiritual center, if it wasn’t already the spiritual center?..for centuries as many now claim!!????? because we both know… it wasn’t.

        The Talmud tells of the prospective proselyte who came before Hillel asking to be given first a statement about the essential meaning of the Torah “while standing on one leg” (i.e., in capsule form). Ginsberg observes that if such a would‑be proselyte had come to him, his reply would have been to quote the verse: “Thou shalt not make a graven image.” But it has to be appreciated that “spiritual” in these contexts has an intellectual and ethical connotation rather than a religious one.

        so what i see happening is a zionist design to co-opt the idea of a “homeland” and merge/infuse it within a “cult-like religious doctrine”in order to justify colonization.

        I fear for my nephews’ safety in the army, but I fear for their souls as well

        fearing for his soul i can understand, but as for his safety i would just go look at statistics. the chance of any physical harm coming to him is practically nil.

        Christians cry over the crucifixion of Jesus and maybe that’s only because they think he was the son of God. Jews on Yom Kippur cry over the martyrdom of Rabbi Akiva. Are they delusional?

        most secular people think the religious are, to varying degrees, delusional. i would imagine, to a certain extent. since you asked. i do not think this is sloppy thinking, i think it is realistic.

        The Jewish people …. is not a static phenomenon and has not been static at least since the first temple was destroyed in the time of Jeremiah. Read Jeremiah. Read Lamentations supposedly written by Jeremiah. Oh that’s right. Since it cannot override the rights of the Palestinians why should you be interested in that.).

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The Book of Lamentations reflects the theological and biblical view that what happened to Jerusalem was a deserved punishment; and its destruction was instigated by their god for the communal sins of the people.[11] This theological viewpoint was also widespread among Judah’s neighbors of differing religions who believed the destruction of a particular city could be attributed to the city’s deity who was punishing the city for some communal sin or wrongdoing.[11]

        the more things change, the more they remain the same. under the current circumstances and given past history, why anyone would imagine jerusalem will not return to it’s indigenous inhabitants is simply beyond me.

        there is no superior claim to a jewish ‘homeland’ over and above that of the ones (primarily) who have lived there for centuries. this is not sloppy thinking. what is sloppy is the idea the al-Quds/Jerusalem is primarily a jewish city. it isn’t. what is sloppy is the thinking that a 65 year old state can erase palestine, it can’t. what is sloppy is the thought of the holy land, for muslims/christians and jews ..is first and foremost..primarily… the homeland of jews. crazy talk.

      • talknic
        February 19, 2013, 4:36 am

        “people here in the Mondoweiss basement”

        incl one yonah fredman, jon s, et al

      • eljay
        February 19, 2013, 8:01 am

        Better in the basement with people advocating for justice, equality, accountability and human rights, than in the bottom of the morality barrel with Zio-supremacists defending a supremacist ideology and a supremacist state.

      • American
        February 19, 2013, 9:23 am

        “I think there is something to be curious about and I think if someone is responsible in this conversation, then there is something about Zionism that deserves curiosity.”…Yonah

        In all sincerity–what is there left to be curious about? When you talk about this you go on and on about Jewish history as if everyone should understand or care about zionism. Like annie said—why should anyone care when they see what Zionist are doing in this century? It’s hard to care about a group that is persecuting others—-doubly hard when all they do is talk about their own past persecution and history.
        You are ‘consumed’ with your story, yourselves– –oh yes, you might ‘regret’ what Israel is doing to the Palestines—but it’s a tiny regret compared to your conviction that Jewish history is some kind of entitlement for zionism, that if we only understood the Jewish history and suffering and studied it more we wouldn’t be so hard on Israel and zionism.

        You don’t get it and will never get it evidently—the Palestine who’s home is being bulldozed today and the stone throwing children the IDF shoots in the head, the 60 history of Israel’s occupation and land theft ‘trumps’ your past history.
        You can drone on about Jewish past history and make pleas for understanding and non urgent incremental improvements but while you do that the world is recording the history you are making now.
        What Israel zionism is doing now is and will be ‘your history’.
        Maybe you should be concerned with that instead.

      • seanmcbride
        February 19, 2013, 9:31 am

        yonah fredman,

        My following remarks are not made with a confrontational attitude or in the spirit of trying to pursue a “debate” or win an intellectual argument. I am just trying to fully understand your take on the role of Judaism in Zionism. I want to know about what *you* think, not what I think or what I think you should think.

        To what degree is your understanding of and emotional attachment to Israel and Zionism grounded in your upbringing in Judaism and the Torah?

        Do you see Zionism as being the natural and organic expression of Judaism? How do most Jewish Israelis and Jewish Zionists that you know think about this issue? Is their Zionism grounded in Judaism?

        I would also be curious to get the viewpoint of jon s on this issue or that of any other committed Zionists who are reading this.

        Thanks

      • seanmcbride
        February 19, 2013, 9:34 am

        jon s,

        This is the same question I just addressed to yonah fredman:

        To what degree is your understanding of and emotional attachment to Israel and Zionism grounded in your upbringing in Judaism and the Torah?

        Do you see Zionism as being the natural and organic expression of Judaism? How do most Jewish Israelis and Jewish Zionists that you know think about this issue? Is their Zionism grounded in Judaism?

        Again, I am trying to fully and clearly understand your views, not challenge, confront or debate them. So relax.

        Thanks

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2013, 11:54 am

        Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists….Israel for years tolerated… encouraged … cooperated

        should read ‘Israel encouraged, empowered, funded, cooperated’ and only then mention toleration. needless to say israel would have had to tolerate them much less if they not been funding them for their own benefit to counter arafat. as it turned out they killed arafat anyway, and now have the gazan authority of their choosing. see how well that’s worked out for them, endless justification for israel’s defense offensive.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

        there is something about Zionism that deserves curiosity.

        and what yonah really means is ‘there is something good about Zionism that deserves curiosity.’ not dissimilar to asherpat tauntingly challenging allison to say something ‘good’ here, stating it would be ‘professionally courageous': link to mondoweiss.net

      • yonah fredman
        February 19, 2013, 4:29 pm

        sean mcbride- Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the intellectual leader of Modern Orthodox Judaism until his death in 1993 at the age of 90 was reported to have said that his attitude towards Zionism had two phases. Before Dachau and After Dachau. Before Dachau accepting the Talmudic prohibition (inferred by the three oaths) on rebelling against the nations and moving to the land en masse and after Dachau accepting the Zionist hubris of taking their fate into their own hands as a necessity.

        How does a religion react to a grievous blow like the Khurban (Khurban- destruction. in this case the genocide of Jews by the Nazis)? That is question number 1. Question number 2: How does a group with national ties survive an exile. When the Dalai Lama was exiled he gathered some Jewish wisdom people and asked them, “how does one survive exile?” (Read Kamenetz, “the jew in the lotus”) It is taught that johanan ben zakai foresaw the defeat of the Jews by the Romans and tried to create a Judaism that could survive exile. The Judaism that resulted was so convincing that Pinsker (Leon) felt that any territory would be enough to keep the Jews alive rather than only THE land, because he argued that the true land of the Jews was in their prayers and beliefs and their books and their learning of the texts and that this could take place anywhere, even in Utah, if land in the US had been provided for the territorial Zionists who did not demand a specific land, but just land somewhere.

        I was raised as a modern Orthodox religious Zionist, the type of group that voted for Naftali Bennett. I was taught that Zionism was a natural outgrowth of Judaism. My brother rebelled against the best of both worlds attempt that modern Orthodoxy endorses. Modern Orthodoxy, aside from its penchant for Zionism, believes in Torah and secular knowledge (the word “mada” is used for knowledge. In modern Hebrew “mada” means science.) The reaction to modernity which accepts the challenge of modernity and attempts to combine the wisdom of secular learning with the wisdom of Torah is difficult and I think my brother’s reaction to go back to the “old time religion” of limiting secular knowledge and contact with nonbelievers is wrongheaded. But the group that my brother joined is far less enthralled to Zionism than the modernists of modern Orthodoxy.

        But my brother lives in Israel, though his kids don’t serve in the army and he thoroughly fears and disdains Palestinians.

        The role that Jerusalem plays in Jewish consciousness is very significant. It requires/required a large element of passivity and acceptance of God’s punishment to allow for the passivity in the face of “next year in Jerusalem” to take a purely “when the Messiah comes” attitude rather than forcing the issue in the here and now. There were two main elements, and one minor element, which forced that passivity to crumble. 1. The enlightenment and the weakening of the bonds of Jewish law’s intrinsic and extrinsic coercive powers and 2. the virulent antisemitism in europe between 1881 and 1945 are the two main elements and the third minor element is the survival of Jewish identity that persisted despite the crumbling of the Jewish religious belief system.

      • yonah fredman
        February 20, 2013, 1:30 am

        Cliff- It is not often that I get an opportunity to quote “Fiddler on the Roof”. “Rabbi,” the shtetl Jew asks his spiritual leader, “is there a blessing to make on the Czar?”
        “Yes,” the rabbi answered. “May God grant the czar long life and keep him far away.”
        Have a nice life.
        You are intelligent and angry and load your animus towards me as I represent Zionism or something else to you and may all your animus be poured out in this direction and may your life be empty of venom as a result.

        You raise many valid points. I would discuss them with you, if the situation were different.

        I will address “basement” separately.

      • yonah fredman
        February 20, 2013, 1:36 am

        To all commenters offended by my use of the word basement to describe “here”. Number one I was not referring to the web site. I was referring to the comments section, where the gods deign to descend every once in a while. I think it is apt (think upstairs/downstairs), but apparently it offends many people. I suppose a more neutral (pareve) term would be beneath the fold, as in the old style print newspaper of the nontabloid sort.

        When I used to argue on east 14th street/union square in nyc with the free palestine contingent, in my own notes I referred to it as “mudwrestling on east 14th street.”

      • yonah fredman
        February 20, 2013, 2:03 am

        Annie R.-I cannot call the Jewish connection to Jerusalem “good”, I can only call it essential to a large part of history of the Jewish people and a large part of the consciousness of the Jewish religion. I have lived in Jerusalem and feel “at home” in Jerusalem, comparable only to my feeling at home in Brooklyn and I suppose I impose my own personal connection upon the stretches of Jewish history.
        For hundreds of years Jews prayed towards and about Jerusalem and it was indeed a word in a book. Til I was 16 Jerusalem was just a thing from the movies and photographs and a word in a book, and I know my connection to the physical city was “weak” compared to what I feel today, so of course those who lived their entire lives never having seen a photograph, their connection was weak.
        The exile of a people far away from their holy place is kind of unheard of. Imagine “worshiping” the god of a mountain top and living thousands of miles away in a valley. It is absurd. But only almost. Maybe the word Jerusalem was like a mantra, yerushalayim, and something about the sound of the word did something to the god chip portion of the brain of those who’ve developed that part of the brain (atheists might call it “wonder”, “the universe”, “life”, “that thing bigger than me/us”) and the mere sound of the word became a token, a seashell from that beach or a seashell that had nothing to do with the place itself but was merely a word unattached to the place and became the mantra of a people, or of the elite religious priests of the people.

        It seems to me that the know nothing attitude towards the Jewish connection to Jerusalem (I know all I need to know. curiosity means that he’s trying to prove something and I have to counter argument with argument.) is an attempt to ensure that one’s hatred of the Zionists remains untainted by any other emotion. You are insecure and have to harden your heart. God forbid that you would allow yourself to stand in the other guy’s shoes, when on a basic level you feel the need to knife him.

        The wisdom of a mandela, the type of certainty and self knowledge that he had when he came out of prison, is certainly a rarity in the human species, but that is what we should strive for. The voice of the activist of the Abbie Hoffman who has something to prove is something which has its appeal, but that is not what I am touting. I am touting wisdom. And knowledge about the Jewish connection to Jerusalem would lead in that direction.

        Those who take the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and turn the situation into an I win, you lose situation have not helped the cause of the progress of the human family and even though that work is a long range work that may take centuries, long after they bury these bones in my fingers that I type with, it is important to move the human family in the right direction. The nakba, including the thieving of books described a couple days ago, was not a move in the right direction. I would say particularly the thieving of the books, for survival might have “dictated” harsh, inhuman exiling of the Palestinians, but the intellectual and psychological thievery of the books was really wrong.

        I accept the anger of Susan Abulwaha as valid and as such I cannot negate the anger you feel on her behalf. I don’t know what Mandela was like as a younger man, his calm certitude and wisdom came partly with age and was partly genetic and I don’t think we are all fated to be the same with the same emotions. But I am advocating curiosity, not because the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is “good” but because it exists and if you need to keep the faith with the hatred of Zionists to such an extent that even hearing the word curiosity causes such bile and venom to gurgle in your viscera, then you are in the mindset of hardening your heart. It is a mindset that I know and “accept” but it is not the goal.

      • jon s
        February 20, 2013, 5:26 am

        Seanmcbride,

        There are several dimensions here:
        I was brought up in a Jewish and Zionist family.
        I grew up in Israel, have lived here most of my life, went to school, served in the IDF, pay taxes, raised a family. So in that respect my attachment is no different from anyone’s natural sentiments towards ones home.
        I’m not Orthodox, though I’m something of a traditionalist: I keep a kosher home, have a Friday night Kiddush, observe the holidays.
        My professional field is Jewish History.

        I think Zionism was a Jewish response –one of several- to the challenges of modernity. And, yes it was quite natural. I’m not sure what you mean by “organic”, though I suppose my answer would be a “yes” there, too.
        Notice my use of the past tense.
        Today Zionism has come to mean different things. For most Israelis Zionism simply means patriotism. For most Jewish Zionists it means a basic affirmation of the ties between Israel and world Jewry , the existence of a ” Jewish People” and support for the concept of a Jewish State in Israel.

      • Ellen
        February 20, 2013, 10:06 am

        Jon S. what exactly is this ” Land of Israel.” It seems to be a rather new expression. What does it mean? Where does it start and end? Boundaries? Has it been plotted out?

        Or is it an idea?

      • ritzl
        February 20, 2013, 2:40 pm

        Great comment!

      • jon s
        February 20, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Ellen,
        The country also known as Canaan, Judea, Palestine, the Holy Land…
        A distinction should be made between the geographic aspect and the political. Geographically the land is generally considered to be within the following boundaries : the Med on the West, the desert on the East, Lebanon to the North , the Sinai and Red Sea to the South.
        Political borders of the various entities that have existed in the country over the centuries have varied according to the political realities.

        Perhaps I should add a third aspect: the boundaries according to Halakha, Jewish religious law. Those boundaries are also different from the political ones.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 21, 2013, 9:40 am

        yonah:

        Imagine “worshiping” the god of a mountain top and living thousands of miles away in a valley. It is absurd….. Maybe the word Jerusalem was like a mantra, yerushalayim, and something about the sound of the word did something to the god chip portion of the brain of those who’ve developed that part of the brain (atheists might call it “wonder”, “the universe”, “life”, “that thing bigger than me/us”) and the mere sound of the word became a token, a seashell from that beach or a seashell that had nothing to do with the place itself but was merely a word unattached to the place and became the mantra of a people, or of the elite religious priests of the people.

        It seems to me that the know nothing attitude towards the Jewish connection to Jerusalem (I know all I need to know. curiosity means that he’s trying to prove something and I have to counter argument with argument.) is an attempt to ensure that one’s hatred of the Zionists remains untainted by any other emotion. You are insecure and have to harden your heart. God forbid that you would allow yourself to stand in the other guy’s shoes, when on a basic level you feel the need to knife him.

        yonah, first i would like to address your need to speak for what you allege i feel which you have characterized in your 2:03 am comment above as:

        insecure, hardened heart, hatred, bile and venom to gurgle in [my] viscera, and anger.

        i would just like to mention this does not help your argument, it represents to me your own doubts as to the validity in your argument. i have no particular instincts to speak of your feelings or emotions while making my arguments or expressing my opinion.

        moving right along. there is nothing absurd in worshiping something ‘far away’. in times of stress especially, the idea of attaining enlightenment it is quite common to sense there is place of peace or fulfillment that is separate from oneself that if we reach we can become whole or one. this is commonly not perceived as a physical place by the common man and not solely in the domain of “elite religious priests,” as you infer. furthermore, your confidence ones conceptualization of this distance mountaintop, when applied to jews/judaism means someone is “trying to prove something…in an attempt to ensure that one’s hatred of the Zionists” is so out there i really do not know what you mean. but i would like you to review this famous passage of a beloved american and man of faith. and i don’t think his idea of mountaintop is very different than what jews have been praying towards in the name of jerusalem. it is not hatred that bring me to this conclusion, quite the opposite actually, that people of all faiths all seek the same union:

        “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.[1]

        ………

        And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? … Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.[1]

      • talknic
        February 21, 2013, 9:51 am

        jon s

        Perhaps you should add a 4th and more important aspect ..

        The LEGAL borders, as recognized before Israel was admitted to the UN and on which hundreds of UNSC resolutions against Israel’s illegal activities “outside the State of Israel” are based. link to wp.me

      • yonah fredman
        February 22, 2013, 9:30 pm

        Ellen- The phrase the land of Israel, eretz yisroel, is used in the mishna, which was edited about the year 200 or so, it is new compared to homo sapiens standing up, but otherwise rather ancient. In the mishnaic phrase it refers to a limited land, which may or may not include Acco (Acre). The mishna differentiates between one who sends a divorce decree from the land of Israel, who does not need witnesses regarding its writing and one who sends a divorce decree from medinat hayam (the lands of the sea), who must send witnesses regarding the writing of the decree and there is an argument in the Talmud (edited ca. 500) whether Acco is included in the land of Israel or not.

      • talknic
        February 23, 2013, 1:31 am

        yonah fredman
        Feb 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        Interesting, but irrelevant to the status of the Internationally recognized legal sovereign extent of the State of Israel as of 00:01 15th May1948 to the present.

        “the Land of Israel” under International Law, International Convention and UNSC resolutions refer to the sovereign extent of the country as defined by borders. If borders were not defined, claims that “Israel was invaded” are meaningless and as Israel has yet to legally annex ANY territory, its borders remain as first recognized.

        corpus separatum was never instituted, Jerusalem was never legally split from what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared (UNSC res 476 “1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem;”)

      • Cliff
        February 23, 2013, 6:13 pm

        Wondering Jew,

        First you insult, then you condescend.

        You are not the Mondoweiss whipping boy. You are a sad imitation of Richard Witty.

        There’s usually about half an idea per 500 words you write. You claim that there’s something worth understanding in Zionism. What exactly?

        Zionism is inclusive. Zionism’s boundaries are defined by Zionism. Zionism is claustrophobic.

        I am not a Jew and I am not a religious or spiritual person. I do not believe I’m an unfair person either.

        I don’t justify hurting others because I was hurt. I don’t justify stealing and forgetting and ‘moving on’.

        I’m very bitter in that way I suppose. But I think bitterness is in everyone. Bitterness is what drives people.

        And to deny that is to be especially dishonest. It’s human nature.

        I had this image of you as a polite liberal Zionist. Then the Brooklyn College BDS lecture controversy happened.

        You promptly revealed yourself to be a crazed lunatic and shameless liar. Not only a shameless liar but a plagiarist citing another ethnocentric Jewish nationalist.

        Zionism is not mysterious, Wondering Jew. Neither are you. In fact, after ‘hearing’ your comments and visualizing you in that line waiting to get into the SJP event – you seem to me like a bumbling, hysterical, dinosaur (and not the affable kind naturally, like in Toy Story).

    • Bumblebye
      February 14, 2013, 3:42 pm

      Norman F
      What the h… does this mean:
      “The Jewish people have…still not attained true equality and the Jew of the nations is still not a full member of the human family.”
      Are you claiming that Jewish people do NOT have equality in any other nation? Or they are not equal to Israeli Jews, who have clear legal superiority over non-Jews in Israel? What’s with the “human family” bit? Oldest brother syndrome, no.1 in the familial hierarchy, expecting to inherit the mostest??

    • justicewillprevail
      February 14, 2013, 6:45 pm

      Bullies love portraying themselves as poor victims who require special privileges. Viewing war, destruction and ethnic cleansing as ‘affirmative action’ takes it to a whole new level, though. Kind of sick to clothe yourself in the language of the deprived when you help yourself to massive subsidies, award yourself special privileges and entitlements, manipulate the political system to your advantage; all whilst kicking the people you have dispossessed when they are down.

    • Shingo
      February 14, 2013, 7:37 pm

      Since when were Jews a minority in Israel Norman?

    • Citizen
      February 15, 2013, 8:06 am

      @ NormanF

      When in history did the Palestinian people enslave the Jews?

    • Citizen
      February 20, 2013, 2:09 pm

      @ NormanF
      When will Israeli jews start affirmative action to address the miserable lot of the Palestinians they have caused? When will the diaspora Jews do the same since Israel bills itself as the state of all the Jews in the world? When will the US, since it enables Israel’s conduct?

      Don’t expect anything from the American “fourth estate,” the mainstream media, look how it ignored the fraudulent attack on Iraq:

      Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint
      10yrs ago today, 30 million of us took 2 the streets around the world to try & stop the impending invasion of Iraq. link to mmflint.me

      This did not reflect at all in the US mainstream press at the time.

  4. American
    February 14, 2013, 2:20 pm

    I view the all the Jewish claims to Palestine and Israel democracy as….myth, cult, nonsense, more myth, more cult delusions, historical revision, magical thinking, out right lying, zionist con, blah,blah, blah. You can dig thru this crap all you want there is no pony underneath.
    Shlomo Sands your people need you…I say as I roll my eyes.

  5. Reds
    February 14, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Great piece,

    The “The French have France, Germans have Germany, the Dutch have the Netherlands, Jews have Israel.”

    Is used ad nauseum by the hasbots, I actually pointed out what the author said “Muslims residing in France are free to adopt the national French identity” not in the same manner but close and how, when one gets French/German citizenship they become French/German and part of the French/German state where as Non-Jews are not awarded such and the Israeli govenment goes out of it’s way to point out Israel is a Jewish State for the Jewish people first than an Israeli state for all it’s people(except they making the tired line that all it’s citizens are treated as equal) .

    If one were to get citizenship in Israel and is is Jewish than one is a Jew part of of the Jewish state if one were to get citizenship in Isarel is is not a Jew the are israeli but not part of the “Jewish State”

    • NormanF
      February 14, 2013, 4:38 pm

      The Israeli state is a legal fiction – the Jewish nation is broader than the territory of Israel. Of course in other instances, a majority of a country’s people do not livc in a Diaspora or they have no wish to return to their homeland. The Jews do and continue to voluntarily exercise that right. At some point, the majority of the world’s Jews will finally live in Israel and the relationship between Israel and the rest of the Jewish people will become a more “normal” one.

      • Shingo
        February 14, 2013, 7:52 pm

        The Israeli state is a legal fiction – the Jewish nation is broader than the territory of Israel.

        Which must explain why they need to steal more land.

        Funny though that Norman apparently doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist – being fiction and all.

        Of course in other instances, a majority of a country’s people do not livc in a Diaspora or they have no wish to return to their homeland

        It’s physically impossible to return to a state you or your ancestors have never set foot in.

        At some point, the majority of the world’s Jews will finally live in Israel

        No they won’t, as more and more become disgusted and ashamed if it. The relationship is headed for a divorce.

      • Bumblebye
        February 14, 2013, 7:53 pm

        NormanF
        “The Israeli state is a legal fiction – the Jewish nation is broader than the territory of Israel.”
        Yeah, we know and it’s what we complain about the most! Get out of Palestine!

      • Citizen
        February 20, 2013, 2:27 pm

        Hey why don’t all nations have a state broader than the one that bears their names? Israel’s definition of itself completely obliterates the concept of the nation-state, which every other country in the world has adapted as function and accountable entity. There are 6 million souls within the geography of Ireland. There are 30 million souls in America with Irish roots. And in, for further example, Canada? So, the Irish nation extends beyond Ireland to how many souls in how many countries? Where in all, geographic borders mean nothing?
        Now, same question, for those folks with German roots, the only ethnic group in America with more ethnic blood invested than the Irish?

        Why is it that we fought Germany in two world wars, despite Germans are the largest ethnic group in America. And we allowed England to stomp all over the Irish for decades despite the Irish were second behind the Germans in having ethnic roots in America? But when it comes to the Jews, an American cannot even criticize Israel’s policies and conduct without heavy blowback negatively crucial to one’s career? With Jews 2% of US demography yet. Just asking.

        If you picked any US combat grunt, with your life on the line, would you say he was of German roots, or Irish roots, or Jewish roots?
        Again, just asking.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        February 14, 2013, 8:32 pm

        The Israeli state is a legal fiction

        Probably the very best definition I have ever read. Now Norman, please, get back to reality and pack up.

      • Citizen
        February 15, 2013, 8:20 am

        @ NormanF

        All states are legal fictions, same as all corporations are legal fictions. Given that legal fact, what’s your point?

      • talknic
        February 15, 2013, 9:58 am

        NormanF

        “Of course in other instances, a majority of a country’s people do not livc in a Diaspora”

        The only people a county has are its citizens. Millions of Jews ‘in the Diaspora’ are not citizens of Israel. It’s rather oxymoronic to refer to people who’re NOT from Israel, NOT citizens of Israel, NOT intending or desiring to leave bountiful lives to immigrate to Israel, as being in any ‘diaspora’.

        “At some point, the majority of the world’s Jews will finally live in Israel and the relationship between Israel and the rest of the Jewish people will become a more “normal” one.”

        Fine…”in Israel”. Not as Israelis in “territories occupied” and never un-occupied, never legally annexed and “outside the State of Israel”

  6. yourstruly
    February 14, 2013, 7:38 pm

    israel?

    a jewish & democratic state?

    meanwhile, the palestinian people?

    being kept down?

    justice for palestine?

    right on time?

  7. DICKERSON3870
    February 14, 2013, 10:09 pm

    RE: “Israel’s Identity Crisis: The practical difficulties of a Jewish and democratic state”

    ALSO SEE, ZIONISM’S “WHITE LIE” ACCORDING TO URI AVNERY (VIA BERNARD AVISHAI), Feb. 2010:

    [EXCERPTS] The Israeli Interior Ministry recognizes 126 nations, but not the Israeli nation. An Israeli citizen can be registered as belonging to the Assyrian, the Tatar or the Circassian nation. But the Israeli nation? Sorry, no such thing.
    According to the official doctrine, the State of Israel cannot recognize an “Israeli” nation because it is the state of the “Jewish” nation. In other words, it belongs to the Jews of Brooklyn, Budapest and Buenos Aires, even though these consider themselves as belonging to the American, Hungarian or Argentine nations. Messy? Indeed.
    THIS MESS started 113 years ago, when the Viennese Journalist Theodor Herzl wrote his book “The State of the Jews”. (That’s the true translation. The generally used name “The Jewish State” is false and means something else.) For this purpose he had to perform an acrobatic exercise. One can say that he used a white lie.
    Modern Zionism was born as a direct response to modern anti-Semitism. Not by accident, the term “Zionismus” came into being some 20 years after the term “Antisemitismus” was invented in Germany. They are twins. . .
    . . . Herzl understood that the new reality was inherently dangerous for the Jews. In the beginning he cherished the idea of complete assimilation: all the Jews would be baptized and disappear in the new nations. As a professional writer for the theater, he even devised the scenario: all Viennese Jews would march together to St. Stephen’s cathedral and be baptized en masse.
    When he realized that this scenario was a bit far-fetched, Herzl passed from the idea of individual assimilation to what may be called collective assimilation: if there is no place for the Jews in the new nations, then they should define themselves as a nation like all the others, rooted in a homeland of their own and living in a state of their own. This idea was called Zionism.
    BUT THERE was a problem: a Jewish nation did not exist. The Jews were not a nation but a religious-ethnic community. . . Herzl had to ignore this difference. He pretended that the Jewish ethnic-religious community was also a Jewish nation. In other words: contrary to all other peoples, the Jews were both a nation and a religious community; as far as Jews were concerned, the two were the same. The nation was a religion, the religion was a nation.
    This was the white lie. There was no other way: without it, Zionism could not have come into being. The new movement took the Star of David from the synagogue, the candlestick from the Temple, the blue-and-white flag from the prayer shawl. The holy land became a homeland. Zionism filled the religious symbols with secular, national content. . . The first to detect the falsification were the Orthodox Rabbis. Almost all of them damned Herzl and his Zionism in no uncertain terms.
    When Herzl originated the Zionist idea, he did not intend to found the “State of the Jews” in Palestine, but in Argentina. Even when writing his book, he devoted to the country only a few lines, under the headline “Palestine or Argentina?” However, the movement he created compelled him to divert his endeavors to the Land of Israel, and so the state came into being here.
    When the State of Israel was founded and the Zionist dream realized, there was no further need for the white lie . . .

    . . . [W]hy do the words “Jewish state” appear in our [Israel's] Declaration of Independence? There was a simple reason for that: the UN had adopted a resolution to partition the country between an “Arab state” and a “Jewish state.” That was the legal basis of the new state. The declaration, which was drafted in haste, said therefore that we were establishing “the Jewish state (according to the UN resolution), namely the State of Israel.”…
    . . . LIKE MOST of us at the time [of the founding of Israel in 1948], David Ben-Gurion believed that Zionism had supplanted religion and that religion had become redundant. He was quite sure that it would shrivel and disappear by itself in the new secular state. He decided that we could afford to dispense with the military service of Yeshiva bochers (Talmud school students), believing that their number would dwindle from a few hundred to almost none. The same thought caused him to allow religious schools to continue in existence. Like Herzl, who promised to “keep our Rabbis in the synagogues and our army officers in the barracks,” Ben-Gurion was certain that the state would be entirely secular. . .
    . . . BUT THE white lie of Herzl had results he did not dream of, as did the compromises of Ben-Gurion. Religion did not wither away in Israel, but on the contrary: it is gaining control of the state. The government of Israel does not speak of the nation-state of the Israelis who live here, but of the “nation-state of the Jews” – a state that belongs to the Jews all over the world, most of whom belong to other nations.
    The religious schools are eating up the general education system and are going to overpower it, if we don’t become aware of the danger and assert our Israeli essence. Voting rights are about to be accorded to Israelis residing abroad, and this is a step towards giving the vote to all Jews around the world. And, most important: the ugly weeds growing in the national-religious field – the fanatical settlers – are pushing the state in a direction that may lead to its destruction. . .

    SOURCE – link to bernardavishai.blogspot.com

    • Citizen
      February 15, 2013, 8:29 am

      Interestingly, Nazi writers distinguished Judaism from all other religions as an “earth-bound religion.” Does this Nazi distinction encapsulate the POV of visionaries like Herzl and Ben-Gurion?

      • DICKERSON3870
        February 20, 2013, 9:56 pm

        FROM BELOW: “Abba Ahimeir [founder of the Revisionist Maximalist faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement - J.L.D.] was attracted to fascism for its staunch anti-communism and its focus on rebuilding the glory of the past . . . Achimeir’s [a leading Zionist of the Revisionist basic assumption was that liberal bourgeois European culture was degenerate, and deeply eroded from within by an excess of liberalism and individualism. Socialism and communism were portrayed as “overcivilized” ideologies. Fascism on the other hand, like Zionism, was a return to the roots of the national culture and the historical past. . .”

        SEE WIKIPEDIA [Revisionist Zionism]:

        [EXCERPTS] Revisionist Zionism is a nationalist faction within the Zionist movement. It is the founding ideology of the non-religious right in Israel, and was the chief ideological competitor to the dominant socialist Labor Zionism. Revisionism is the precursor of the Likud Party.[1] . . .
        . . . Up to 1933, a number of members from the national-messianist wing of Revisionism were inspired by the fascist movement of Benito Mussolini. Abba Ahimeir [founder of the Revisionist Maximalist faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement - J.L.D.] was attracted to fascism for its staunch anti-communism and its focus on rebuilding the glory of the past, which national-messianists such as Uri Zvi Greenberg felt had much connection to their view of what the Revisionist movement should be. [citation needed]
        Abba Ahimeir’s ideology was based in Oswald Spengler’s monumental study on the decline of the West, but his Zionist orientation caused him to adapt its ultimate conclusions. Achimeir’s basic assumption was that liberal bourgeois European culture was degenerate, and deeply eroded from within by an excess of liberalism and individualism. Socialism and communism were portrayed as “overcivilized” ideologies. Fascism on the other hand, like Zionism, was a return to the roots of the national culture and the historical past. According to Achimeir, Italian Fascism was not anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist, whereas communist ideology and praxis were intrinsically so.[citation needed]
        He also developed a favorable attitude toward fascist praxis and its psycho-politics, such as the principle of the all-powerful leader, the use of propaganda to generate a spirit of heroism and duty to the homeland, and the cultivation of youthful vitality (as manifested in the fascist youth movements). . .

        SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

  8. mcohen
    February 15, 2013, 5:51 am

    tonight i spun the dice -opened a random chapter and judges came up -the story of deborah and barak -i always try to read into what the diceman reveals to me -this is the story for those who do not know

    Judges 4:8-9
    Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. (NIV)

    Judges 4:14-16
    Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. At Barak’s advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left.

    now thats a good story on any day -sure beats cnn and the drones from mars

    there are 2 baraks who come too mind but anyone know a deborah?

  9. NickJOCW
    February 15, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Zionism has many of the characteristics, and might reasonably defined as a heresy. Heresies are highly selective breakaway distortions and they attract fanatics. Fanatics exist in all walks of life. Heresies thrive best when taken seriously, when they succeed in attracting determined opposition, either physical opposition which provides them martyrs or dialectical opposition which lends their nonsense credibility and the dignity of being taken seriously. This, I think, is why BDS is important because by depriving Zionists of both their movement will likely weaken and die on the vine.

  10. talknic
    February 16, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Read the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel very carefully. No mention of ‘democracy’, ‘democratic’ or ‘secular’. There are however, some rather alarming disclosures.

    “ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT”

    The Zionist Movement is an organization that uniquely has a natural and historic right and bizarrely a state declared for it!

    “… AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

    Almost six months after the Arabs rejected the resolution, it is enshrined in the Declaration. Yet the Hasbara claims it was irrelevant because the Arabs rejected it!

    “… HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL

    “a” Jewish State, per UNGA res 181! Not ‘the’ Jewish State. The demand to be recognized as “the Jewish State” has no basis what so ever. No country has recognized Israel by anything other than its official name, “THE STATE OF ISRAEL”.

    Nor does the demand to be recognized have any legal basis link to wp.me

    “THE STATE OF ISRAEL …; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel

    Deuteronomy 20:15 permeates the Hasbara narrative. Until recently the territory of Palestine didn’t belong to a nearby state. Israel treated it according to a prophet of Israel. Read this Israeli Government demand of 31st Aug 1949 link to unispal.un.org esp the section regarding territory not belonging to the established states.

    Then:

    “…until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People’s Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People’s Administration.. ”

    There’s still no constitution. The “People’s Administration” short changed the people. There has never been a legally elected Government in Israel, under a constitution.

    A country uniquely declared for people regardless of where they live or what citizenship they hold and the Zionist movement, which is not a people or citizen of any country or exclusively Jewish.

    • talknic
      February 16, 2013, 1:57 pm

      Addition re: the Israeli Government demand of 31st Aug 1949 of territories not belonging to nearby states a la Deuteronomy 20:15

      The demand was rebuffed link to domino.un.org citing the Armistice Agreements. The rebuttal, the Armistice Agreements, International Law, the UN Charter Chapt XI ( no Chapt XII trusteeship was ever established for what remained of Palestine) , were simple ignored. Instead the State of Israel acted according to the prophets of Israel, per the Declaration.

  11. American
    February 20, 2013, 9:13 am

    Welcome to Isrealica. The US isn’t under the zionist thumb?–hah! This is outrageous. I hoope everyone in Hollywood hears about this and reacts to it the way they should.

    link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com
    February 20, 2013

    February 20, 2013
    Palestinian Oscar Nominee detained at LAX
    Got this from the facebook page of Miko Peled:

    Unbelievable? Naah, totally believable, but still unforgivable and inexcusable! From Michael Moore (on Twitter): Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar nominated “5 Broken Cameras” was held tonight by immigration at LAX as he landed to attend Oscars. Emad, his wife & 8-yr old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn’t have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars. Although he produced the Oscar invite nominees receive, that wasn’t good enough & he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine. Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn’t understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee. Emad texted me for help. I called Academy officials who called lawyers. I told Emad to give the officers my phone # and to say my name a couple of times. After 1.5 hrs, they decided to release him & his family & told him he could stay in LA for the week & go to the Oscars. Welcome to America. “It’s nothing I’m not already used to,” he told me later. “When you live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence.”
    Michael Moore on Twitter is @MMFlint.

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